Friday, 29 January 2010

Winter Song

I reach for a drink,

wet lips on a rim and

eyes look out at an

amateur talent show. There’s snow

on hills and all’s intensely still

when my sons play guitar and start

to sing a new song

about, well, writing a song.

It’s heartily sung,

taking human folly

on a wave of story-sound

and, as I take another mouthful,

my eyes wet. Outside, whiteness

shines in moonlight. I newly realise

- right there in front -

how crucial to defy inevitable

shrinkage and riskstrugglefight

to look out, laugh, expand.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Pass

You lose the ‘Invalid Pass’

one day. It fell

out of a car door

and now you feel bad,

take it personally

- passes are important,

they save effort, time and money

and you’ll have to explain

to your ex-wife (who owns the pass)

that you lost it and she

might shout and bawl,

blaming, re-creating

that old, old

feeling of guilt;

as a great castrator.

But the loss

of a pass births

feelings of needing

to write a poem about

being at fault, about old

relationships, about guilt

and then it’s not so bad.

It seems almost, like, worth

it, you get, because

that poem comes out alright,

quite okay

and then the Pass turns

up – found by a neighbour

and you see how it all goes on;

at least for as long as it can.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Life is a banana


Choose banana


Peel banana


Cut banana


Squish banana


Bread banana


Spread banana


Ah banana


Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Whatever time of year

Andrew never reads a book

except for picking letters

around food.

Despite this, he seems happy;

pokes his brothers,

drinks lemonade.

He hasn’t places to go

being undeniably here

as long as it’s a little familiar,

never lost

because he connects,

nudges and

makes people happen.

Monday, 25 January 2010


Very dark outside.

I’m on a standing train

by a window, wondering

how to write again,

when I pick up a book

by MacNeice

- a tatty paperback

and there’s an unknown poem about

‘a Window’ from half a century back.

This poem’s a moment

hanging in time and space -

and, if I could, I would talk

to him on alienation, I would mention

a window and how, outside, it’s dark

but light inside – how it is -

and how a train can go slow

until lights in the far, far distance

blur and pass, blur and pass;

wondering how we’d connect.

Death, ambition, even love

are not around – but moments

flashing. Each one unexpectant

like on a train, beyond a window.

So I pick up a pen

and I wonder.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Our family eats dinner, picks food;

Andrew nips away.

I hear the kitchen door begin to tremble

while Van-the-Man plays in stereo, digital,

but that’s not it.

Bursting through our kitchen door

a boy with trilby hat and walking stick,

diamond eyes, looks at himself in a mirror

and launches

a spinning rendition

of ‘The Old Bamboo’, jumping, partnering

a twirling stick.

We clap. He bows like Oscar Wilde,

grins and sits himself down to

a sideways glance, a smile, dinner.