Pages

Monday, 31 December 2018

Defence

James continued
Desiree’s father had denied
Any suggestion of impropriety
He categorically stated
That their family had been completely cleared
Of anything other than parental fondling
Even after the unfortunate episode with his wife

But the Dean was even more resolute
Behind his staff to the hilt
Frankly he was amazed
That Tom Smithson
Was letting his daughter
Write such pervasive muck

The Dean wanted Desiree to leave
Her father threatened to withdraw his funds
A peacemaker was needed
Joe had a quiet, unheard, sigh of relief...


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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Intrusions

Joe heard the knock on the door
It was unusual for anyone to call at this time
He opened the door with a little apprehension
Surely no one knew yet of his planned surveillance

Desiree and James stood there together
Under the glare of the sodium streetlight
The tension was obvious
Briskly Joe brought them inside

Are you with us Joe
Asked James
Are you ready for some action

Joe looked towards Desiree
He saw that same sparkle in her eyes...


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Saturday, 29 December 2018

Renovate

Joe stood by the simple door
A door made
From thin planks
Of cheap softwood
Planks laid in line
Then braced
With two diagonal planks
Finished off, with a lime white stain

This door
With a single finger hole
To a lift up latch
Was the entrance to the cold stone steps
Steps that led down from the old parlour
To the cold, cold cellar below...


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Friday, 28 December 2018

Observation

The village boys had played in the old cotton mill
They had swum in its dams
Climbed on the derelict machinery
Even when the developers moved in
They could not keep these crafty kids
Outside of their security fences

Joe knew
That the guy who had brought the University
To town, had created and lived in
This seriously upmarket development
The whole town had seen Tom Smithson’s
Presence grow; he was certainly no stranger
To publicity, or to the local media

For the first few days it was planned...


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Thursday, 27 December 2018

Against The Flow

The students were sat in the bar
Some wanted to go downtown
Joe wanted to find Desiree
James wanted to talk more about music
Academia was at one an amusement
Yet also a distraction

Joe could hold his own here
His quick wit more than compensation
For lack of certification
Or attendance at secondary school
But Joe had no depth of concentration
He sought instant gratification
He could still smell the musk of love
As he spoke out...


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Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Questions

The young student was impetuous and eager
Did you ask him how he wrote the lyrics
Did you ask him where he first played
Did you ask him where does he think
He is going to go next with his music

Questions rattled off
At such a pace which suggested
That there was little time to wait for answers
But Joe fielded the questions
Studiously, thoughtfully, steadily

Here in the calm of the coffee house
He could not use the one word answers
Which he had shouted out in the pub
Over the blare of the Juke Box
Anyway James was a more serious student

He had been quiet
On the night they first met...


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Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Family

Tom’s daughter Desiree was the love of his life
She had hung on when his wife could not
He would have given his all, or so he said
For the relationships between the three of them
To have been somewhat different

Tom had made his money in microfiche
He had been in at the beginning
Of the electronic archive revolution
Now he held the licence, for the world’s foremost
Document storage and recovery software

It was produced on all continents
Sold by internet, shipped worldwide overnight
He was a very wealthy self-made man
Desiree was the love of his life
But she was also the trouble of his life...


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Monday, 24 December 2018

Stonework

Down the valley from the town
An old cotton mill provides
Modern, tastefully developed
Executive accommodation

As the advertisements claim:
Village life accommodation, with a nearby wealthy
Town community; electric gates, double garages
With elevators to totally safe environments

The mill, a century earlier
Had been a place of graft, of industry
Driven by water wheels
The buildings had teemed over with factory workers

Many who were no more than children
Weaving, spinning, combing, finishing...


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Sunday, 23 December 2018

Manifesto Is It

Eventually Joe opened the folder
He had wondered, at first
Whether this was like reading
Someone else’s letter
Which he considered he would not do
No, that would be a private intrusion
But a folder he thought of as something
For the whole world to see
Even so, he did not feel comfortable
Yet he still began to read:

Neo non-intellect
It is not

That I do not want them to have a voice...

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Saturday, 22 December 2018

Disturbed, Deluded

What happened at Weatherspoon’s then
He could hear his old friends say
But what would they say now
To see him in the sociology block
Of the university

Off limits Joe lad
Way off limits
They would for sure
Echo his mother’s warning
At this thought, he panicked

If he disturbed her would he lose her
If she thought he was prying on her
Would she cast him off
If he did not measure up would she
Discard him for a more educated type

Without any further delusions...


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Friday, 21 December 2018

Learning Places

The universities had become apolitical
A mirror of the apolitical society
Into which they were being moulded

To meet the master plan
They had needed to build very quickly
The focus then, on concrete, on facility

Not on theory or faculty
The new teacher’s contracts took
The lecturers pay below the minimum wage

That is if they were at all to engage
In the recommended, expected...


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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Tied Ties

O Joe, what are you doing
Joe could imagine his mother’s voice
This girl is way outside your territory
You are well and truly hooked
Way over, way above your limitations

But Joe could still smell the musk of love
Enraptured, besotted
He was outside of that place
We call common sense
He was on the run

Caught full on
He could still see her eyes...


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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Conviction

Who would believe him
More to the point
Would he want anyone
Or everyone to know

What would he now become
Who could tell him
Of this thing called love
Where could he go

Where would he go
To feel this way forever
This way where she had gone...


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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

She’s Leaving Home

Joe’s previous evening
Had been a stupendous
And tremulous occasion
Joe thought he was not the first
But that did not matter

For what Joe had learnt
In such a short
Yet delirious space of time
Would last him
For far more than this lifetime

She had left
Before the morning light
Without a sound
Without a goodbye
But she had left Joe her legacy

And on the coffee table
She had left something else
Joe did not notice...

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Monday, 17 December 2018

Art It Is

Was it Rembrandt
Vermeer, or de Bray
Where the cloth always appeared
Softly folded, lapped as layers
Of skin-like fatty tissue

If it had been the surrealism of Dali
You would see the distorted shape
Take on another reality
But here, in Joe’s room
The clay pots hang with a purpose

Without of decoration, simply perforated
Perforated for the air to move
For the testicles to breathe
His emblem of the love...

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Girl

More importantly
Even now
Through the half-light of the dance floor
He could see her eyes sparkle
The girl from earlier

She was, or so it appeared
She was still alone
Was it true he wondered
Could she really
Could she truly not leave him alone

The lights went up
Now they were outside
In the warm night air...

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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Not That Temperance Lot

Weatherspoon’s
As well as opening for breakfast
Also had a dancing area

A sop perhaps to obtain a longer licence;
One which goes from the early morning
Back into the early morning

Nevertheless
The dance area was a valuable attraction
A Venus flytrap of sorts

To encourage all the musk-laden trade
That could be mustered; the dance floor
Was popular with the Juke-Box students

The last dance came towards a close...


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Friday, 14 December 2018

Class Apart

Joe also knew intuitively
That these new visitors
Wouldn’t be like the wealthy tourists of old

Those selfish transitory leisure classes
Who came here simply to be served
Who came here for their pampered egos

To be preserved in aspic
With no care for those who served them
They were well prepared, happy

Happy to move on
To move swiftly on...


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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Involvement

Joe saw energy in the town
A youthful vibrant energy
An energy that his village had lost
Lost so so completely

He turned to his old friends
And said; boys
With what this town’s already got
It’s going to go somewhere

I’ve read the posters
They are asking people
That means you, and me, all of us...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Urbanisation

Joe thought his village cold and dead
Yet here it is, in our day
A model
For new urban developments

Rural life transposed to commuter land
Villages overlapped with other villages
Developers redeveloping the rural idyll
Building a pastiche of a past life

What is everyone scared of
Why standstill, or worse
Why try to go backwards
Thought Joe

For Joe the town was different...


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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Music It Is

In Weatherspoon’s
Joe is alone
His friends have decided not to join him
He sits beside the jukebox

A cold beer
A warm cigarette
A rough-cut shirt
His best biker’s leather jacket

His sharp-cut leather boots
His extravagant belt
With buckles, studs, and trophies
Youth in all of its glory

Fearless, that is until...


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Monday, 10 December 2018

New Winners

Joe thought otherwise
The pub is dead
Just like the chapel is dead
The church is no longer the lifeblood
Or the focus of the community
The church is now devoid of ordinary folk
No more local festivals
No more ever-caring parishioners
Yet still the cold moves in on the church
As so too do the familiar delusions

But Joe’s precious time
Right now
Was away from his cold village
Although it was not
Not too too far away
He walked in the filtered sunlit woods
Wandered aside the splashing streams
He loved the noise of life’s quiet places
He had a pixies touch on the footpaths
He stroked the stone walls

Just as if they were female sculptures
OK there were no longer any potato fields...

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Old Losers

You know the kids today, they are lost
They have lost their way
It was so different in our day

You can almost hear the words rise
From the gathered throng
Outside of the chapel:

Our church
Or to be precise our chapel
It was a lovely building

A Welsh slate roof
Slate from the valleys no wonder...

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Saturday, 8 December 2018

Cellar Talk

This bloody cellar
This dammed
Cold, same-old
House

This bloody village
This hopeless landscape
This endless place
Of stone, and lime

Joe took no satisfaction
From knowing...

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Friday, 7 December 2018

Home

The cellar was the whitest room in the house
Walls covered in a lime-wash
Walls with a cover that shone

The shine in the lime-wash
Came from its bond
A bond made from animal flesh

It is flesh then...

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Pub Talk

Come on, let's go down Weatherspoon’s
Go an have some fun
These boots
They’ll scare the shit out of them weeds
Look at the buckles
And the leather...

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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Goodness

Still
You know they are good lads
In their hearts
You know that don’t you
If only the government
Could find them something to do
It’s work, don’t you think...

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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Edgy

That bloody nervous twitch
I’m sure it comes from me stutter
It gets right on me bloody nerves
Just like having to do
That climatic withdrawal

Given half a chance I’d have the snip
But yer know what mothers are like
She’d go barmy, soft bugger
One day all this will be mine
Then I’ll make ‘em pay

Pay for everything...

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Monday, 3 December 2018

Streetwise

But this is
The language of the streets
Isn’t it
These days

And it’s not only the boys
Heaven knows what the young girls are after
What with their half-undressed...

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Sunday, 2 December 2018

Cleverness

An don’t let 'em think
That we’re not as clever as they
I’ve read me books
And done the sums
What with the dole
And the social
Boy o boy...

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

Roughness

Of course you see them as rough sorts
Their words are coarse words
Yet it was never like this
Back in your chapel days
Or in the Sunday school
Or at home with the children...

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Friday, 30 November 2018

Worthiness

But don’t think I’m not worthy
I’m worth any two of them soft lards
With my body I can carry an ox
I can pull a sheep
From off them bloody ledges
Up on the scar
Carry ‘em all the way home
If needs must
An that’s not through...

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Thursday, 29 November 2018

Mothers

You turn away
Don’t you
Embarrassed
You don’t want
To be associated
With those harsh
And bigoted
Points of view...


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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Sons

You can remember the past, perhaps not quite so clear, but you do remember, don’t you, you do remember overheard conversations:

They’ve no right being here
Bloody students
Who do they think they are
They’re not like me
Me
I’m an ordinary lad
But I’ve got a language of my own
I’ve got my own identity
For sure it’s true
Some of me mates have shaved their heads
A sort of socially implied tribal-bonding...


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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

W Spa

Gentle, peaceful
Warm summer
Except
Yes, except that I remember

That poem I wrote
About a striped wasp

And today
For this the last poem
I am surrounded again
By wasps


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Monday, 26 November 2018

Hairdo

I put one step
In front of the other

The morning sun
Warms me

The blue sky
Soothes me

Earlier I meditated
Listening to Quietude


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Sunday, 25 November 2018

English Summer

It is a few weeks later
The first two cricket test matches
Have been won

The football season
Has started
But not with quite such good results

The summer does continue
Butterflies
Meander through the garden

Autumn is a good way off
Yet we cannot stop ourselves
Preserving jams in preparation


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Saturday, 24 November 2018

Am I Not

I struggle with Hegel
With his sense
With his sensibility

I thought I was ok
With the here
With the now

Here with the sight
Now with the sound
Here with the smell

Now with the taste
Here with the touch
Now with the feeling


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Friday, 23 November 2018

Vantage Point

That outlook
This outlook
Those outlooks
Over fields, and fields, of corn
To the blue, blue-sky horizon

That farmer
This farmer
Those farmers
Ploughing, with tractors
Harvesting, with combines

That summer
This summer
Those summers, never the same


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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Woody’s Top

It is
Out in the country
It has
Five en-suite bedrooms
With a hot tub
Round the back

It was
A youth hostel back in the day
It is true, yes, we did once
Hire the place exclusively
For a bunch of poets
To disorientate themselves


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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Big To V. Small

Perhaps Capability Brown
Or one of his contemporaries
Planted out
The widely dispersed trees

It is a style
Not yet adapted
To the window box
Or the small terrace garden

Though for sure
The rash of reality TV
Just needs a spark
For it to be off and planting


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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Plant Out

There is a giant conker tree
There is an avenue of limes
There are places just to be
Church bells, with chimes

There are lavender plants
Fair awash with working bees
Of course there are sycophants
Desperate, almost on their knees

There are sets of onions
In a kitchen garden
Old ladies crush their bunions
Saying; sorry, I do beg your pardon


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