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Monday, 21 January 2019

Race Night

Not yet quite time for your departure
How to while away the moments
On the platform lost to capture

Not yet quite time for your arrival
How did you pass the passing hours
On that stairway towards survival

Horses sweat in county stables
Aching for the flag to set them off
Chomping at their restraining cables

Bookies take turf bets by the rails
Longing for the real big hitter
Or the lady, hanging on his tails

The dress was pure Chanel
Perfume steeped to accrue
Reigns unleashed for her sentinel

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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Observe Awareness

Do not take the decisions lightly
Choose each word for each word
Whatever you look back upon, try
Always, to look forwards too

And if you can’t quite explain it
Then at least give of your best
If the phrase is not within reaching
Take us to where you suffer less

For dust is forever in the corners
And leaves are so seldom still
Tell of the sky in the diamond
Whose feint hopes you signify

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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Initiative

Desiree rose
From her seat on the stage by the podium
She strode forward to the lectern
Where her vetted notes awaited her

She stood erect; with youthful surety
She slowly surveyed her audience
She picked up her notes, paused
In apparent thought

Then she put the notes down again
She moved purposefully
Aside from the lectern
To engage spontaneously with the audience

It’s a fucking mess, look at you
You are a fucking disgrace
Here in your Armani suits...


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Friday, 18 January 2019

Young Turks, Old Hands

Joe and Desiree checked into separate rooms
See you in the bar in ten minutes, shouted Joe
As he entered his executive suite

Thick towels, gold taps, king size bed
A fully tiled washroom
A separate dressing area

Joe threw his bag on the bed
He had a quick wash, then, unable to settle
He set off to find the bar

Desiree had none of Joe’ unease
Her unpacking was done with care
Even for an untidy girl

She liked to keep her clothes without creases
She started the bath running, poured in
The full complimentary bottle of sultry soak

She found a radio station...

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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Talent

Philip and Vanessa had worked together
To set out strategic, operational details
She had been instrumental

In removing certain cabinet ministers
She knew how the establishment functioned
And she damned well knew how to manipulate it

Academia would be no different
She would be a natural, so Tom thought
Desiree’s only a girl Tom

They will tear her to pieces
Unless she sets herself up as untouchable
That is what we have to make her

Impregnable, reliable, forceful, tough
And only the disaffected youth
Only the youngsters without hope

Only they, once they know who’s side we’re on
Only they can make that happen...

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Return Journeys

Joe waved, and smiled
As he saw Julie already on the train
Who was that, asked Desiree
In a questioning almost sullen voice

Joe realised that he had, after all
Not quite lost control

Tom and Vanessa had taken the car
Their trip to London would be quicker
Than the train, fortunately, for Tom
The coupe was really only for two people

That is if they wanted to comfortable
And that was what Tom sought right now

To be comfortable again
You should have told me about him you know
Both you and Desiree...


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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Paternal

Joe explained to Vanessa
That he had come down on the train
On speck like, unexpected

Desiree is upstairs, asleep, at the moment Joe
You did say Joe, didn’t you.
I suppose you had better come in

Take a seat in the conservatory
I’ll make some tea
You must need something to eat, is cake ok

Already she was becoming a mother to Joe
Are you at college together
Vanessa shouted out of the kitchen

Sort of
No, no not really...


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Monday, 14 January 2019

Opportunity Knocks

Aunt Vanessa was in the kitchen
When she heard the doorbell chime
Who was this, in mid-afternoon, she pondered

With the security chain in place she opened
The door a little way, and there she saw Joe
Of whom she knew nothing

Back up country, in Toms study, the phone rang
It was the Dean
We’ve got a slot at the Baccalaureate conference

It’s in London Tom, it’s the big one
Do you think you could persuade Desiree to take it
He asked, with an air of excitement in his voice

What, was Tom’s uninspired reply
The Dean drew breath, then spoke slowly...


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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Engagement

Julie was immersed in the story
She was alive, she laughed
She was compassionate
She explained to Joe what metaphor meant
And understood why Desiree
Had been so forceful so passionate

Joe loved it
Oh yes, he was so proud of that girl of his
He was bursting with enthusiasm
For what she had done
But still he gave Julie no details of just how
He had come across her manuscript

Before they both knew it
They were at their destination
Their table was scattered
With sandwich wrappers, crisp packets
Empty bottles of pop
Torn up bits of paper with little drawings

Joe and Julie...

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Travel

Tom had been reluctant to tell Joe
Of Desiree’s whereabouts
Instinctively Tom felt some distrust of Joe
He had some fear, but
And he knew it was to become a bigger but
He also knew that Joe

Had got the confidence of the Dean
Tom had no doubt
That if Joe felt that Tom was being obstructive
Then he would manipulate the situation
Tom dare not put his daughter Desiree
At such a risk.

The train pulled slowly out of the station
It was travelling north to south
Over the full length of the country
The travellers on the train...


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Friday, 11 January 2019

Learning

Well Tom, I want you to do a crash course
In sociology with psychology
I want you to get into the minds of the youth
I want you to build something new
Then the Dean paused:

It is no good letting our chaps do it
We will just come up with more of the same
It needs a new perspective
Untainted thoughts
Again the dean took a breath

But I’m sorry, I need to know
That you have the establishments words
That you have their theories in your tool bag
We must not let academia beat us
We must play them at their own game

But we must play to win
Wow, that’s the best yet said Tom...


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Thursday, 10 January 2019

Humanities

That Joe is quite interesting
The Dean said to Tom
He is so right about the mess we’ve made
The vision that we’ve lost
Now we just look down the straight lines
The soiled, sordid monetary lines

Tom did not answer; he had been touched
By Joe's effect on the Dean; Tom was a man
Who actually did understand how to look
Down the straight lines, down the monetary lines
Give Tom a clear, well defined objective and he
Would produce results; but sociology, for that

Was where he thought the Dean was going
Social science was far too vague
The humanities far too rich in theory
Far too short on indisputable rights or wrongs
Look Dean, Tom spoke sincerely...


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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wood Work

On his settee Joe was transfixed
He stared into an entire empty space
He had no framework in his mind
About where he was to go next

He was, as his mother’s voice reminded him
He was in uncharted waters
He was in way too deep

Eventually he picked up the empty fruit bowl
Which his friend Stephen had made at school
Stephen had no family
So had given the dish to Joe’s mother

Who had often looked out for him
Here it was now...


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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Relations

Tom Smithson had never really got on
With his older sister
It had all seemed so easy for her
Whereas he had to work hard

He had to take risks, his technique
His only known way was to give up all
To concentrate
On winning the one thing

He hated her easy roundness
Her apparent completeness
Tom thought that Vanessa
Had never given him any help

Any real thought even...


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Monday, 7 January 2019

Resurgence

Vanessa, superficially
Had settled to be a lady of leisure
Apparently, to the outside world
She was more than happy
To live the life of the trophy wife

Her husband Philip was at Oxford
When they met, both with firsts in English
They came down into the city
Philip was a natural speculator, a natural predator
His portfolio grew ever so quickly

Soon he was noticed by Government
He was ideal diplomat material
Not some old soak...

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

Fighting Talk

Well I’m not going back
I’m never going back
I have been humiliated
No one cares about my work
No one understands what I want to achieve

Sometimes I even wonder myself
You know, do I deserve
Do I deserve to be on the side
Of those who I see to be underprivileged
Or am I just a spoilt brat

Am I, Aunt Vanessa
Am I, oh please please tell me
Of course not dear; Vanessa paused
You see my dear you have a brain
A mind, a soul, a love, a passion

O you are so lucky
But often it can turn to tragedy...


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Saturday, 5 January 2019

Shoulder To Lean On

Joe got a bus home
He stopped short of the village
Walked through the woods
Along the riverbank
He paused at the church, sat in the graveyard

What the hell had he done
He heard the words he had spoken
Ringing around his head
It was dark when he sat down
At home, on the leather settee

Desiree was oblivious
To the goings on at the university
Her father had suggested a few days away
Here she was on the south coast...


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Friday, 4 January 2019

Committed

Well we will need a committee
Said the Dean
With a wry smile
No, no, no screamed Joe

Get Desiree
Get the papers
Get the radio
Get the kids

Tell ‘em it’s going to change
That they have made things change already
And that they, they alone
Can make more of a change

Celebrate Desiree’s work
Tell ‘em that’s what she wants
That is what we want
That is what you want...


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Thursday, 3 January 2019

Match Met

Tom Smithson was corrupted
By his life of organised storage
It was no surprise that in Desiree’s words
He saw so much of his own mis-spent youth

He had not always been tidy
In fact he had missed
The end of his own education through
The mistake of misapplication

Tom’s sympathy then, for Desiree
Was not simply brought on by parental blindness
He took that thought with him
As he set off to meet the Dean and Joe

Tom, I am in a very difficult position


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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Emergence

Scraps
The lines we skipped
At the start of Desiree’s poem
These then are now Joe’s words

Desiree suspects
No, she knows
That Joe could easily
Reconstruct the whole poem

And he could publish it in her name
She would little be able to dispute it
After all, certain snippets
Were already in the public domain

And to publish at a later date
Could only be construed as a wilful act
A deliberate act against her father...


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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Shopkeepers

Joe’s village corner shop now rents videos
Aswan also sells six-pack lagers
And bottles of Bacardi Breezer

The freezers are full of TV dinners
In the corner by the till is confectionery
At the side of the cigs there’s a lottery machine

Gone are the fresh vegetables
The wallpaper paste
The newspaper delivery boys

No longer the bookie's runner
Nor the post office counter...


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