Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Catalan Nativity

The Catalan Nativity
contains an extra character:
the figure of a crouching peasant
doing what peasants do when crouching.

And all I did was comment that
some poor Reception child in Spain
would get the part of ‘Shitting Peasant’
in this year’s school nativity.

And that the film ‘Love Actually’
would be improved beyond all measure
if a Catalan peasant came
on at the end and shat on the stage.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

I Stand Corrected About the Wisdom and Insight of Children

[During typically dismissive conversation between self and spouse about such silly phrases as ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘thinking outside the box’.]

12-year-old son: “So many people think ‘outside the box’ these days that if you think ‘inside the box’ then you are, in fact, thinking ‘outside the box’ ”.

We had to stop the car so that we could be really modern parents, i.e. worship said child, take a photograph to mark the occasion, blog his comment, and smile beatifically about the wisdom and insight of our genius offspring.

Abnormal service will be resumed shortly.

Conversations with My House

This week, Dr Socrates Meringue-Pie, Emeritus Professor of Musical Chairs at Belgrano College, Oxford, speaks with his spare bedroom about references to icing sugar in Higella Lawsuit’s cokery books.

“I found one!” I exclaimed in what I hoped sounded like a detached, intellectual voice. “Page 15 of How to be Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Running around the Kitchen like a Dangerous Cat. Look at the illustration: icing sugar everywhere!”

My spare bedroom rarely follows tabloid newspapers, but has long since been a huge fan of Nigel Lawson’s book about global warming…

Next week, Dr Meringue-Pie will be analyzing flat-pack furniture with his chimney.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Wrong-footed by Doggerel

‘I am the strings of a guitar!’
A little bit contrived, perhaps?
‘The castles which you build are made of sand.’
Perhaps. It doesn’t scan, though, does it?
One foot too many: five, not four
(it didn’t listen to the ‘Halt!’ command).
But look! Another line of five!
Ironic, is it not?
And that last line was one too short!
And here it suddenly occurs to me
that this particular, poetical endeavour,
would have been, had it rhymed,
a bit more memorable, enjoyable and clever.

Saturday, 13 December 2014


I read my latest poem to
the next door neighbours’ cat. He sits there,
inscrutable as weathered granite.
‘Inscrutable as weathered granite?’
he says in feline disbelief.
‘I simply gave your poem due
consideration while you read it.
And also, I was trying not to laugh.

‘The problem with your poetry
is that it fails to answer any
questions of genuine importance:
what is the most effective way
to kill a mouse?; should rabbits be
allowed as pets?; should voluntary
euthanasia be made compulsory
for dogs? You see where you’ve gone wrong?’

I thank the cat for his advice
then ask if maybe poems
can serve to broaden our horizons,
enabling us to see the world
through others’ eyes: to touch their rainbows;
to hear their music; taste their tears.
‘But what would be the point in that?’
he says, and wanders off in search of death.

Instructions for Life

Sing like you’re John Redwood at the Welsh Conservative Party 
   Conference in 1993.
Love like you’re an awkward teenage boy too shy and inexperienced 
   to ask anyone out.
Laugh like you're retaking A'Level Physics.
Remember every long-held slight and grievance as your thoughts roam 
   like wolves across the Gestapo-notebook of your memory 
   at three in the morning.
Live today like it’s your last, complete with funicular tie, and standing on 
   a soon-to-be-unbalanced wobbly chair.
Oh, yes, and don’t forget… dance like an Englishman.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Time and Season

Time meets with Season every Tuesday
to talk about philosophy
and poetry and opera,
but Season only wants to talk
about celebrities and pop
music and Coronation Street.

‘Although I like the lucid insights
of Bertrand Russell, nothing equals
the wisdom shown by Seneca…’
Season confuses Bertrand Russell
with Russell Brand; the conversation
takes some unexpected detours.

‘I swoon for Byron, Keats and Shelley.
Romantic poets represent
humanity’s apotheosis…’
Season expresses admiration
for Ronan Keating’s amorous
endeavours, and his back catalogue.

‘Where Mozart’s operas play to full
houses, enlightenment can dazzle
even the dullard’s loutish heart…’
Season says Moz’s favourite soap
opera was Coronation Street,
‘Which shows he had at least some taste.’

Time is in love with Season’s presence.
Season is not aware of Time’s
affections. Time understands this.

Sunday, 16 November 2014


I sit upon the floor inside
my childhood bedroom, wondering why
it is that God cannot be seen.
‘God is in everything,’ I’m told,
but I can see this isn’t true.

He isn’t in my radio.
He isn’t in my Action Man.
He isn’t in the church on Sunday.
Although I look, I cannot see
him in my mother’s shouting face.

I manufacture God from things
left lying on my bedroom floor:
some wooden blocks; a dried-out paintbrush;
the engine from my brother’s train-set;
and a wig from the dressing-up box.

God balances next to the bookshelf.
‘Hello there, God’ I say, but God
does not reply; he doesn’t have
a mouth. ‘Here, borrow mine,’ I say.
I wear God’s wig and start to talk.

I talk like God, or how I think
that God would talk. I open-shut
my mouth, then open-shut my mouth
again as silence fills the room.
I stand there, mute, more fish than God.

‘For God is very like a fish,’
I say, in pompous, priestly tones.
I open-shut my fish-God mouth
for one last time, de-wig myself,
and put God back inside his boxes.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


How can anyone eat a black pudding?
Giant, sausage-shaped animal scab,
the clotted life-force bled from an animal
so that a hangover may be combatted
courtesy of a Full English with all the trimmings.
It is more delicious than a punch in the face,
and as visually appealing as a blood-spattered windscreen
at the scene of an RTA.
See as they knock themselves out
with their perverse culinary tastes
and inability to think outside
their own heads.

House Fire

I want to burn your house down,
not because I like flames,
or want you dead,
but as a futile gesture
of my granite rage.
I want to set your house on fire,
or maybe break in
when you’re on holiday for two weeks,
and leave the taps running,
and the central heating on
with the thermostat on full,
to see how you react
to having everything you value
taken away from you.
I want to set fire to your house,
to seal every door and window frame,
and fill the house with gas.
And stand in the hall,
and stare at the light switch,
remembering, remembering, remembering.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Reflection on Watching a Wall of Slowly Drying Paint

It ain’t.

Slowly Drying Paint

I took an antique time-piece to pieces:
unscrewed all screws, released all springs, and laid
out every coil and cog together on
the kitchen table. Time stripped bare. Time stilled.

At which point even I began to think
that this was fast in danger of descending
into a sort of nonsense whimsy posing
as deep, profound, insightful wisdom. That,
it ain’t, but rather something more prosaic.

And thus it was that I went to write a poem
about a wall of slowly drying paint.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Another Brian Cox

Brian Cox looks to the camera, utters a softly-spoken thought of great profundity about humanity’s place in the universe and then falls off the edge of a cliff.
   ‘Cut!’ shouts the director. ‘Can we have another Brian Cox, please?’
   A junior research assistant promptly goes to the Brian Cox Room, where they keep the spare Brian Coxes. The assistant knocks before popping her head through the door.
   ‘We need another Brian,’ she says to the 307 assembled Brian Coxes.
   ‘What was it this time?’ asks one. ‘A volcano? A manhole? A black hole?’
   ‘Cliff,’ whispers the assistant.
   ‘Third one this series,’ says another Brian Cox, as he walks towards the assistant, hand outstretched. ‘Brian Cox,’ he says, by way of introduction, ‘although you probably knew that already.’
   ‘If you’d like to follow me,’ says the assistant, once the introduction is over.
   Brian Cox and the assistant walk towards the cliff edge, where they are met by the impatient director. ‘Brian, we need to re-do the shot. You fell off the cliff as the last word was coming out and it sounded very post-watershed.’
   Brian Cox utters a softly-spoken apology of great sincerity before asking what it was that he was saying. ‘Some shit about humanity’s place in the universe,’ replies the director.
   ‘Oh, right,’ says Brian Cox. ‘Do we need to do the shot next to a cliff?’ he asks.
   ‘You tell me,’ sighs the director, wearily. ‘You wrote the bloody thing.’

Brian Cox looks to the camera, utters a softly-spoken thought of great profundity about humanity’s place in the universe before jumping on to his Yamaha DX7 and snowboarding into a tree.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

amateur heart surgeon

amateur heart surgeon
seven manslaughters
‘completely preposterous
patients can’t expected
100% survival rate
all can say is
if had lived
hundred fifty
years go
would all 
dead now
not just seven’
bail denied

amateur heart surgeon
stands in dock
amateur trial
where amateur jury
manslaughter: not guilty
amateurishness: guilty
amateur judge
hands down
amateur sentence:
two our fathers
one hail mary
everlasting life

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Today’s ‘To Do’ List

1 Write today’s ‘To Do’ list

2 Get distracted

3 Misplace ‘To Do’ List

4 Bake banana and chocolate chip cake to take up to son at university

5 Eat banana and chocolate chip cake intended for son at university

6 Text said son ‘This morning I baked a banana and chocolate chip cake for you’

7 Receive text from son thanking me for being ‘such a sharing kinda Dad’

8 Drive to shops to buy ingredients for banana and chocolate chip cake only to realise that car has been left at home (which will at least explain some, if not all, of the shouting in the street)

9 Return home to get car

10 Drive to shops (yes, in actual car, obviously) to buy ingredients for banana and chocolate chip cake

11 See no.4

12 See no.5 (nah – only kidding!) Leave banana and chocolate chip cake to cool

13 Do houseworky stuff until house no longer resembles stunt double for ‘How Clean – for want of a better word – is Your House?’

14 Find today’s ‘To Do’ list and notice that all of the things on it have been done exactly in the order and in the manner described*.

*What do you mean, ‘That’s a bit of a weird list’?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

amateur formula 1

amateur f1
bad press
due to
628 car pile up
on m25
venue for
amateur f1
gb grand prix
said organisers
‘no idea m25
so busy
friday 4.30 pm
thought most people
still at work
planned deal with
small volume traffic
by flashing lights
get out of effing way’
this year’s winning car
amateur f1 xr3i
said winner
‘amateur f1 cars
normal cars but
i think i’m a f1 racing driver
on side
in orange crayon’
plans ban amateur f1
‘clear infringement civil liberties’
jeremy arseson
elsewhere ukip councillor
‘628 car pile up
result too many immigrants
also god’s judgment
not banning
foreign shit
beards curry french names’ 

Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility Becomes God

The universe will be dismantled an atom at a time. God will take each atom and make it vanish behind his Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility.

When the universe has been dismantled an atom at a time and hidden behind God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility, God will then dismantle himself an atom at a time and hide the atoms behind his Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility until the only thing left in the universe is God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility.

Sentience will evolve inside God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility and thus, God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility will notice a sizeable collection of atoms and decide what to do with them.

“Let there be light entertainment!” God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility will command and a new, slightly shallower universe will evolve.

And this is how God’s Harry Potter Cloak of Invisibility becomes God*.

And it is true because it has been written because it is true.

All: And so say all of us. Oh-oh, the hocus-pocus, that’s what it’s all about.

(from the Gospel According to Leif Garret)

*Although destined forever to live in a universe which refuses to acknowledge his existence, despite him once turning up at a fancy dress party disguised as a magic carpet with the words I’m God now and this magic carpet manifestation is a test of your faith woven into its fabric; unfortunately, it was in a language which nobody understood** and which looked like some fleur de lys patterns which had been stitched on by a one-armed bandit***.

** Only three people in the new God’s new universe could speak Cloak and they were all cloaks.

***Not a gambling one-armed bandit, but an actual one-armed bandit with only one arm.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


after Luke Kennard (encore une fois)

for 2015½
eurovision football contest
eleven special edition lime-flavoured milkshakes
predictably tedious affair
momentarily erupts
into controversy
as england’s captain
wayne combover
drinks left-back
peace and harmony restored
when everyone remembers
it’s only game of foopball
with little hope
of milkshakes scoring
let alone winning
their supporters instead
try win
racist behaviour award
small island st lucia
on pitch
whenever england
near goal
england supporters respond
by whistling
second movement
third piano concerto
ref blows final whistle
seventeen times
before is heard
as england
progress to finals
where eliminated
before plane


ray winstone
loses dignity
in advert

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

This Much

for George and Joanna (04.10.2014)

More than a prisoner hates his cell,
More than a bully likes to shove,
Or the hypochondriac hates to be well,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a dog can bark,
More than a cloud holds rain,
I love you more than the moon lights the dark,
And more than work is a pain.

As a bad comedian laughs at his jokes,
Or the sky likes to be blue,
As a bicycle wheel needs its spokes,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a bird can sing,
And more than a banger won’t start,
I love you as much as a wedding needs a ring,
And more than a horse pulls a cart.

I swear to you by the world at large,
For everyone to see,
As a sensible soldier hates the word “Charge!”
That’s how you’re loved by me.

(after Nash)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Ex Nihilo

Sample of Abandoned Lines/Thoughts from my Nearly-Finished Oscar Wilde Notebook:

We all have some pretty strange ideas at three in the morning.

All buildings are monuments to the second law of thermodynamics.

A caramelised shopping trolley in the Stygian gloom.

The t-shirt reads ‘Proud to be Bland’.

The Existential Bicycle is leaning
against a wall, attempting nonchalance.

Songs of Independence? Revenge of the Untalented.

Childhood: everything is either forbidden or compulsory.

I try to persuade the next-door-neighbour’s cat to become a jihadist.

‘The pointless enthusiasm for useless knowledge’ – Seneca

The Vital Importance of Frivolity.

The point isn’t 'Is war ever justified?' but 'Is war avoidable?'

I stand in the kitchen and shout illegal exhortations to violence. 

Existential despair at not knowing how or why or when it all started is a little like.

‘It was very ghost-like.’
‘You mean, it didn’t exist?’

Beware the virtue of the sentimental.

'You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, and if that isn’t enough of a curse, I don’t know what is.’

Be a scholar not a bore, to misquote Seneca (‘make you appear more a bore than a scholar’ which, I think, sums up pedants rather nicely).

Do not lose the day in waiting for the night.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Step Forward Gods of the Heavy

‘Rock journalism is written by people who can’t write for people who can’t read’ 
                                                                                           – Sir Frank of Zappa

Just what is it about the Midlands and hard rockers?

Is it something in the air?

Is it something in the water?

Is it something in the air and in the water?

Maybe it’s the accents?

Until science shines its all-seeing light on the matter, we’ll never know for sure, but in the meantime, there can be no denying that the Midlands is the birthplace of the highest form of human artistic achievement outside of the Sistine Chapel.

I refer, of course, to Heavy Metal.

All that is needed to prove this bold statement is to name check a handful of bands who have so enriched the metallic life our nation.

They’re all from around here.

Here goes:

Black Sabbath, and if that’s not enough evidence for you then there’s…

Judas Priest, and if you need further proof then how about…

Diamond Head? and if you haven’t heard of them…

there’s always Slade, who were so important that they even named an art school after them three-hundred miles away in London, of all places.

If all of that that wasn’t enough to convince you, then the coup the grace, the clincher, the absolute final word on the matter belongs to a Midlands band that has had massive commercial success everywhere in the world.

The band that stands at the vibrating and vibrant heart in the pantheon of all things authentically leather-clad, rifftastic and screechworthy; the very apotheosis of the heavy musical experience.

I refer, of course, to Duran Duran.

Wild Boys! You betcha.

Or, as their best-selling biography, ‘Make-Up is for Boys’, should have been called, ‘The Toughest Band the Midlands Ever Produced’.

I mean, have you seen the video? Turn this one up to 11, eh, boys?

Who’s with me?

Long Live Synthesizers!

By Len Zebbelim

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Monk Joke

Three monks walk into a pub.

The first one goes up to the barman and asks for a pint of bitter.

No, that’s wrong.

Three monks walk into an airport lounge.

The first monk goes up to the information desk and asks if they have any duty-free porn.

The barman says, “Hop it sonny Jim; we don’t serve Muslims in here.”

The second monk explains to the barman that his Benedictine habit is not a burka and tries to enlighten the barman by embarking upon a protracted theological explanation about the sartorial differences between Muslim women and Benedictine monks, which takes longer than it should have done, seeing as it can be summed up in two words: no mask.

Where were we? Oh, yes.

So, these three strippers walk into a monastery at the end of their shift.

The first one knocks on the imposing wooden door.

The door slowly creaks open, seemingly of its own volition. Although, thinking about it, ‘volition’ is probably too fancy a word for this joke.

The door slowly creaks open, seemingly all by itself. Mind you, the phrase ‘all by itself’ is a bit ambiguous, don’t you think? As if by magic? As if it had free will? As if… what’s the word for when you do something voluntarily? It has the same root. Volition. That’s it.

The door slowly creaks open, seemingly of its own volition, and a voice calls out.

‘I’m not sure there’s such a thing as duty-free porn, but you could try WHSmiths,’ says the woman at the Airport Lounge Information Desk, because she has been to a Politeness Awareness seminar (although, you do find yourself asking, ‘How likely is it that it was a real seminar?’ don’t you?) and has learnt the importance of being polite to all customers/clients, irrespective of whether they actually deserve it. ‘Think of the customer as a terrorist,’ the Politeness Awareness seminar leader, whose background was in biscuit-tin marketing, had said.

So the first monk goes to WHSmiths and buys a copy of Hello magazine, which is apparently the closest thing they have to duty-free porn.

The second monk finishes his protracted theological explanation about the different clothing habits of, respectively, Benedictine monks and Muslim women, and orders a pint of bitter.

‘I thought you Muslims weren’t allowed to drink,’ says the barman.

‘Why are you naked?’ asks the voice.

The three strippers had become inured to their nudity and had forgotten to dress at the end of their shift.

The first stripper spies a dress hanging from the branches of a tree, pulls it down and puts it on. It’s hardly Versace but it does the job.

Now, at some point in the joke, there is a ‘reveal’, where we learn that the strippers are, in fact, male strippers, and you sit there thinking, ‘Ah! So I’m not as reconstructed as I thought I was,’ and you go for a top-up of cultural Marxism at the BBC’s new shopping channel, which is being hosted by the Dream of Scottish Independence’s still twitching (nice oxymoron) corpse, but I can’t remember at which point the ‘reveal’ comes because, as you may have gathered, I’m not very good at telling jokes.

Where were we? Oh, yes.

Two Muslim women walk into a monastery.

‘Welcome home boys!’ says the short-sighted Abbot.

No! Sorry, wait.

Two nuns in a car.

One says to the other, ‘Where’s the punch line?’

And the other says, ‘Why? Is this a joke?’

It’s all in the delivery, folks.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Clear the Room for Painting

I look at all the fucking pointless clutter
amassed upon my ever limping journey
towards that cold-dark-buried-wooden box,
and, on a whim, decide to give my books
away, now, each one, to my sons; a tiny
foretaste of what’s to come. Blank walls look better

than overcrowded shelves. I stare at nothing,
and feel a freedom from the slavery
of ownership. I listen to my breathing,
the only thing that’s here apart from me.
Is this, I think, what life is all about:
acquire, use, discard, gather dust, clear out?

February 2008

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Ballad to the Immortal Memory of Rabbie Burns

by Fergus "William" McGonigal

Ay! Hearken to some lines aboot
   Scotland’s best luved son.
For a’ ye caddie’s gathered here,
   Some scrievin’ has been done.

Ah! Rabbie Burns, the nicht we do,
  Salute ye and your work,
Ye Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman’s friend,
   (Rebuked in Mauchline Kirk!).

Afore I spak anither line,
  There’s something ye should ken:
These words are nae original,
   They’re frae an English pen!

(Enough then, folks, of dialect,
    Both tricky and obscure,
Let’s stick to stick to Standard English,
   Or be a dreadful bore.)

Though born to wretched poverty,
  In Seventeen-Fifty-Nine,
Young Rabbie’s literary talent,
   Saw one day he would shine.

But not before he’d spent his youth,
   Labouring on a farm,
Work which left him with a stoop,
   Which did his health great harm.

One harvest-time, aged fifteen years,
   Young Rabbie spied a girl,
Nelly was the creature’s name,
   She’d put him in a whirl.

“O! Once I loved a Bonnie Lass”
    Our Rabbie did declare,
In writing down this poem, folks,
   He’d laid his talent bare.

One Ritchie Broun encouraged him,
   To make it as a bard,
And Rabbie’s work was subsequently
   Held in high regard.

His Scots-based verse was bought en masse,
   And lauded everywhere:
From Gretna Green to John O’Groats,
   From Aberdeen to Ayr.

To Edinburgh he took himself,
    Where those who knew all said,
He was the match of any scribe,
   (And far more widely read!).

His standing in society,
   Belied his humble birth,
The rich, the poor: all understood,
   His true poetic worth.

Our Rabbie had worked wonders with
   The state of Scottish poesy,
But in the world of Scottish song,
    Things were far from rosy.

A passionate supporter of
   This quickly-fading art,
He wrote a song or two or three,
   But that was just the start.

Hundreds of songs in all he wrote,
   While others he preserved.
Was triumph as a lyricist
   Ever more deserved?

But Rabbie saw such things atop
   His lofty reputation,
Which led him to a revolutionary
His bosses and his friends agreed:
    They didn’t like his stance,
But Rab’s support lay squarely with
   The goings-on in France.

As if he hadn’t done enough,
   In poems, words and song,
He stood beside the downtrodden,
   Denouncing what was wrong.

Which sealed forever, Rabbie’s place,
   As Scotland’s favourite son:
Now loved at home and loved abroad,
   Loved by everyone.
The gloomy night was gathering fast,
    Despondency now ailed him,
At thirty-seven, Rab breathed his last,
   As health completely failed him.

And so, tonight, let’s drink a dram –
   Though there’ll be no returns –
On this the day that he was born:
   Mr Rabbie Burns!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Borders Aren't Real

A border is a risky line,
Drawn on a map in pencil fine;
On either side there hangs a sign:
That side is yours, this side in mine.
   We fought a war, we made a deal.
   What were we thinking? Borders aren’t real.

A border’s just a make-believe margin,
A reminder to folk that they can’t just barge in
With guns ablaze and soldiers a-chargin’,
(Nobody’s country needs enlargin’).
   We fought a war, we made a deal.
   What were we thinking? Borders aren’t real.

A border’s no more than a mark on a map,
But time and again we fall in the trap
Of bating our neighbour until he goes snap!
Then fighting breaks out and we’re all in the crap.
   You don’t need a war to strike up a deal,
   Just think for a second: borders aren’t real.

Friday, 22 August 2014

What You Need for a War

At least two nations, both of whom would like
to be significantly bigger than
the other; that way, both of them will spend
a lot of time and money building up
their fighting capabilities, which means
that when their diplomatic efforts fail
the fight which follows won’t be some one-sided
affair which will all be over by tea-time –
   for where would be the fun in that? we ask.

These two bellicose nations need a cause
to win the public’s hearts and minds; to capture
imaginations of both old and young;
to stir the patriotic fever till
it bubbles, boils and bursts; as jingoistic
expressions make their way on to the front of
newspapers, filled with pages rich with lies
about the foe. They could use words of caution –
   but where would be the fun in that? we ask.

And finally, the other side must start it,
for when two nations go to war, it’s always
the other side who must be blamed. With all
their brutish, hawkish, Empire-building madness
it was inevitable  that they’d start
a war with us: the side who did no wrong,
whose Empire is a charming, tranquil one.
We could promote a peaceable solution –
   but where would we find glory then? we ask.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

How Did it Come to This?

How did it come to this? Voice One
was heard to ask. All stopped what they
were doing, looked around to see –
too late – a fearsome volley detonate,
consuming Earth, and sky, and mate
   – but time will pass and we’ll forget.

The Other Side did something wrong…
I think. It was so long ago,
I can’t remember what Voice Two
replied, then took a bullet to
his chest and promptly went and died
   – but time will pass and we’ll forget.

It doesn’t matter why it started,
it only matters that it stops
Voice Three imparted this opinion
before the blast that did for him
merged earth and sky and what was left
    – but time will pass and we’ll forget.

I’d tell you why this war began
Voice Four then paused – before he climbed
the steps and ran, with thousands more,
towards a pointless, bloody death –
But I’ll not waste my final breath
explaining why all wars begin
   – for time will pass and you’ll forget.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

play nicely

what the world’s warring
nations need
is a no-nonsense
a modern mitochondrial matriarchal
reminding us we’re all
quite closely
connected cousins
Play Nicely
she would command
treating us like
the tyrannical brats
we are

before we got
to fighting
she would sit us down
with a chocolate cake
in the shape
of our countries
You Want Borders?
she would ask
as she held out
a knife
for one of us
to grasp
One Cuts
The Other Chooses


do it mum’s way
that way