Rhetoric

Rhetoric

They won’t change our way of life:
the news will still be full of lies
and cries that we need to understand Islam.
We’ll bring in draconian laws
and identity cards to track everyone.
There’ll be more speed cameras
and health warnings and ‘lifestyle’.
More people will be unpolitical
when they realize they make no difference.
With each new day will come
credit card applications
or holidays in the sun:
if you dial this number.
Rich rock stars will blackmail the poor
to give to the even poorer
for reasons of PR and record sales.
The summer will come in with hose pipe bans
and the winter with calls to the Samaritans.
We’ll complain about passive smoking
from behind the bull-bars of an SUV:
but, they won’t change our way of life.

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Prayer

Prayer

Our Father, franchised from America
that makes the world the same.
Thy mores come,
thy burgers will be done in Omsk
as they are in Cape Town.
Give us our dose of the daily dead
and televise their carcasses
as we bomb the shit out of those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into Utopia
but deliver us from evil.
For thou hast dominion
the power and the weapons
but maybe not forever.
Amen.

Universal Suffrage

Universal Suffrage

Grandmother had the self same dolls
all lined up and on display. Once
a year she would take them out

for dusting. They were not for touching
but remained behind glass,
smiles fixed, fading from

four ’til six as the sun passed
over the backyard. Tiny women
trapped beside the pantry door, forever

catching crumbs and flinching
from the faces of eager children.
A frigid life, lived on the shelf

infertile: yet beautiful, unnatural
in its combination, awful
now when contemplated.

Counting the Unseen Bird-nests

Counting the Unseen Bird-nests

It is with mild surprise, I see again
the tint of mauve leaves
spread within the autumn trees. That refrain
I hum each year, of hankies left knot-free,
as once more I have carelessly forgotten
to remember to learn the names. Perhaps
this is how death feels: or Parkinsons:
either way it is strange. At the bottom
of this train of thought, on a bench, wrapped
against the first refreshing cold pale sun

jagging between almost rain, I decide
it would be fun to gatecrash my funeral.
To sit at the back, with a pad jotting
the names of those who came: who laughs, who cried,
who came for the white wine and sausage roll.
The nail-tappers, the cheque-cashers prying
in every conversation for their gain.
And then that certain misty light, shifts, lifts,
soaps away the stain,
and I find myself thinking of Christmas.

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Featured poem @inksweatandtears

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My poem Return is the featured poem of the day on the website inksweatandtears.

I am greatly honoured to be featured on this website.

The site is run by the poet Helen Ivory.

She publishes some of the best and most exciting contemporary poetry and prose being written today.

So if you fancy a treat, brew some coffee, crack open some dark chocolate, and spend a few hours feeding your mind with some excellent writing.

peace:)

 

Autumn

Autumn

Through morning misty rain, the berries bright
with temptation:
we watch the distant hills.

High upon the moors, slowly creep the smoke
of clouds, colder
than our dew soaked boots.

Something has changed, the sweet chestnuts split
from their shells
to whisper Christmas.

And we walk by, looking ever upward,
smelling only the gathering shower
now falling on the cairn.

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#amwriting #poem #poetry #plath Sylvia Visits

Sylvia Visits

My children, hot from the sun and dragged
around, perhaps having fun, do not see
why we have come to this walled pen of graves.
Nor why I tramp the trampled grass, a ragged
path between the plots and stones glance reading
the waiting names: all strange, all unknown, save
a few that have their story carved in brief.
And out beyond, lies a landscape, soft, steep,
and green. Relief
comes quietly here. Noiselessly as seeds

falling, and as jumbled as the chatter
from the church fete.
I have come to find a poet who matters
too much to some, but not me – much. I rate
Ms Plath fine, but too wild and hidden, mad
in encouraged ways. A consumptive, drawn
to the sea but choking in fear of flood.
Why else climb up here, to lie? To seek sad
searchers for saints who celebrate and mourn:
votive pens, a flower button of wood

shines in the wind bleached air. Ownerless,
ash, grey bitch comes
toward us wagging full body – eel in grass:
lithe snake; something dying in the ebon
of eyes, which hang begging almost opal.
On light toes the dog dances for affection
while we shoo her and walk on, untouched, clean
away from the dangled tongue; bid ‘go home’
to where she belongs. Not in perfection –
of this brochure ordered place. Where girls dream

for the unbearable romantic want
of resurrection. Scratched names, dirty nails,
the tapping silver trail of a single
tear that will salt the high pastures, dry the font
for babies yet unborn. For when God fails,
and men die, there will dry white petal
on summer bramble, the fly eye bubble
boil into yellow berry: bells ring still
for all troubles.
But no trumpet, and no brine touched hills.

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The Blue Book – lovely ripe banana’s – uh – banananas –

#amwriting #poem #poetry Sylvia Came to Visit

Sylvia Came to Visit

My children, hot from the sun and dragged
around, perhaps having fun, do not see
why we have come to this walled pen of graves.
Nor why I tramp the trampled grass, a ragged
path between the plots and stones, glance reading
the waiting names: all strange, all unknown, save
a few that have their story carved in brief.
And out beyond, lies a landscape, soft, steep
and green. Relief
comes quietly here. Noiselessly as seeds

falling, and as jumbled as the chatter
from the church fete.
I have come to find a poet who matters
to many, but not to me – much. I rate
Ms Plath good, but too wild and hidden, mad
in all the wrong ways. A consumptive, drawn
to the sea but choking in fear of flood.
Why else climb up here, to lie? To bring sad
searchers for saints to celebrate and mourn:
and offer tokens, like pens. Anger should

shine not dull, or roll like beads of sweat down
necks. Having not
found the grave. And children eager to go
find food, and play more games – then a grey dog
comes wagging toward us, it’s body eel
through grass: lithe snake. In search of affection
on light toes, begging leper, blackberry
eyes squeezed from dark to opal blue; peels
us away from this garden of perfection:
back through the iron gates. With all we carry.

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The Blue Book – a nice present for someone you love.

#amwriting #poem #poetry On Visiting Sylvia Plath’s Grave

 

On Visiting Sylvia Plath’s Grave

I wasn’t looking that hard, the view was
too nice – the sort
of place you want yourself when picking
through the brochure – wild contentment
in death. And just a hint of craggy saviour
in the form of an unowned blue-eyed
grey dog, distracting the searchers from the rabid
obsession of madness: and in my gravest voice
I warned the kids, I’ve got no money
so don’t you dare bury me for falling asleep….
like poor Mary.
Then the dog licked my youngest’s knee
and we went to buy pub burgers,
and dance the floss,
and note how steeply the land rises here.

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The Blue Book – more earthy than single malt.