Remember those times when we used to play football in the park,
Past mum’s 6 o’clock curfew, and well into dark,
So that we could hardly see Jogger and Baz’s jumper goalposts,
Not quite yet youthful indiscretion,
Same place, a few years later, found us, like unwanted precious stoners,
Glugging cheap cider and smoking Jogger and Kev’s badly rolled spliffs,
And we looked up to the stars, as if for the first time in our lives,
And realised it was well past our bedtimes.
Yes, we had an authentic childhood,
Raised on food that had been pre-packaged and bland,
As we dreamt of being
In a locked-up.
Just so that I could impress that girl I sat next to in middle-set maths,
With the stars in her hairband,
And the sunshine in her ached-for smile.
I sweated my young blood writing her unseen, unread, unwanted poems:
Like my breath on the wayward wind, carried everywhere and nowhere fast,
Me and my teenage crush I was convinced
She stole my adolescent heart,
But here’s the really crushing part,
She became a teenage mum, pushing her too-soon filled buggy in that park,
As I held my crumpled heart
In my cold, small hands, like a joy-ridden car.
And I wondered lonely through my life,
The lonely boy,
The only boy
In the world who had feelings,
While all the other lads played their neverending games of ‘Life is a Series of Practical Jokes’,
Talked-up with machismo, and yet more
As they half-danced their way from being young laddish lads
You see, it’s like that man said, or maybe didn’t, but should’ve:
Life is like a bowl of nuts.
Am I Jack Kerouac?
Am I Mhari Black?
Or am I just Noel Gallagher singing ‘Don’t Look Back.’
And I remember Jogger,
And I remember and Baz,
And I remember that girl I sat next to in
With the stars in her smile,
And the sunshine in her ached-for hairband,
And her buggy in that park.
And as I recalled all of those things,
It came as something of a surprise
That I was almost, but not quite yet.
Or was I?
You see, the unsaid thought that needs to be said,
That I need to get out of my poetry-filled head,
Cos it won’t shut up, like a really catchy song by
Is that I, with all my poemish words,
Am really, yours truly, madly and deeply:
A composite only,
A caravan of many,
A campsite of baloney,
A cornucopia of youth,
A corny-cope-with-life of:
So, as I take my bardly bow,
I'm hoping that you will allow,
For one last time, an overuse of rhyme:
Cos what I’m really trying to say, you see, is:
It wasn’t easy being a sensitive boy pretending to like football,
And it isn’t easy, now, finally, I can say with some authority
To be a poetry-inspired man,
But is very easy to open a Nationwide Savings Account.
Used to say.