About Richard

Comic book lover, poet, Captain Britain fan and all round good egg. Writer of the Beer Froth book of poetry and chairman of the Walsall Poetry Society

Sandcastle


Dark clouds are gathering behind my eyes,
inside my head an imperfect storm is brewing.
Black waves of thoughts froth and swell
then surge and crash
against my resolve.

A resolve that is a castle,
a castle built of sand.
Whose smooth walls have
withstood many storms and
although some of its parapets
crumble today the rest stands firm.

Once the storm passes I
lower my drawbridge, then
as for the rock pools of doubt
left behind, I tread carefully
round them.Wary of what
they might conceal.

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Yampy


 

“Yampy,” my neighbours said about me when I was young,
as I rode my Grifter no-handed past their shocked faces,
laughing as I crashed into their beloved shrubs.
“Yampy,” they whispered from behind their windows
as I walked to school,
laces untied, shirt hanging out, head in the clouds.
Teachers echoed these taunts,
“could do better, must try harder, slacker.”
I didn’t care as I couldn’t change
as yampy was burnt into my DNA.
Fast forward I grew up – a bit – and discovered beer.
“He’s yampy,” after a few they said in my local,
“he’s yampy before he’s walked in the door,” was the reply.
Fag in my gob, pint in my hand I joined in the laughter.
When I met my wife she used to laugh at my bad memory,
“Come on you yampy bugger,” she’d say,
“Why can’t you remember my favourite drink?
Why can’t you remember my birthday?
Why can’t you remember your own poems?”
Us yampys do have memory problems it’s true,
our brains are like attics
stuffed with junk that we think one day might
come in useful again.
Then when we want to find something
we struggle to remember
where it is and what we wanted in the first place.
Plus we’re easily distracted in attics
Look an old school report
I’ll need that later in the poem.
Where was I…, that’s it
When my daughter was born people said, thinking they were out of earshot,
“I hope she takes after her mom.”
I ignored them as I cradled my new-born, writing a poem in my head.
Poetry again I know, I was surprised as you.
But us yampys are drawn to poetry like
a seagull is drawn to chips.
Snatching ideas and words, squawking them back out
cackling like the bird brains we are.
Poetry was one of the many plasters I applied to my brain,
I tried drugs legal and not but
yampyness cannot be cured only
lulled into drowsiness until
it snaps awake at 12 am demanding attention
like a dog demands an urgent midnight piss.
Recently I burnt all my school reports
then I burnt all my school photos,
plus I burnt all the mementoes of my teenage years.
But I didn’t burn my bridges
I’m yampy not stupid.

 

Yampy is a local term where I live to describe someone who is daft or losing the plot.

Quick plug this poem features in my latest poetry collection A Pigeon among the cats.

The UK version can be found here, paperback or Kindle

The US version can be found here, paperback or Kindle

Post Blue Monday Thoughts


Yesterday I forgot
that I only needed to stretch
and the stars would
have been easily
within my grasp.
Instead I scrabbled for
dirt, that quickly
slipped through my fingers.

Today I have promised myself
that I will stretch
and pull the stars down.
And even if they burn
I won’t stop until I
hold the planets in
my hands as well.

The Poem that Refused to Stay Dead


This is the poem that refused to stay dead
it clawed its way out of my head.
The words struggled and scrambled for the light,
pressed together in a shambolic incoherent half-life.
A poem eager to escape the shallow grave of my brain
a rhyme I thought I’d buried and would never see again.

This is the poem that came back from the dead
that has no heart or spirit left.
Verses that have no right to exist
an unliving, unloved family of misfits.
Constantly struggling just too even breathe
yet unwilling to die despite being so ill-conceived.

This is the poem that should have stayed dead
it shouldn’t live, it should be six feet under instead.
With no obituary pinned to a church noticeboard
no wreathes of roses and no time and place to mourn.
It will be buried tonight in another dark corner of my mind
and I hope that this poem will now quietly lay down and die.

Taming the Black Dog


And you know as sure as hell that your
black dog ain’t gonna let you be.
Howling outside your window
scratching at the door
impatient to be let in.

That hound can smell fear,
it’s drawn to it.
So let it in, let it come close,
then slap the lead on it.
If that black dog’s gonna follow me
the least it can do, is learn to
walk to heel.

If a Sausage Roll doesn’t have meat it’s still a Sausage Roll


The newspapers are screaming that it’s the apocalypse and the end of days,
“Society is crumbling,” the man on breakfast TV says.
The internet has gone in to complete meltdown,
The doomsday clock’s on the last minute of its countdown.
The nightly news broadcasts. ” We’re now at Def Con One,
Adding, ” if we don’t act quickly everything we love will be gone.”
Outside you can see rioters burning cars on the street,
All because now you can buy a sausage roll that has no meat.

 

Yes the UK now has a Vegan sausage roll and its causing some people a problem, read more here.

Happy New year Poetry, We’ve Survived Another Twelve Months


Happy New year Poetry
It’s not been a bad twelve months has it?
Remember how it began when
I updated my Facebook status to
Richard Archer is
in a relationship with Poetry.
We we’re inseparable
pub, cinema, bus, work, everywhere.
People stared, some smiled,
others whispered,
“This can’t last, he’s embarrassing himself,
remember last year.”
I’d heard it all before so
didn’t pay much attention as
I’d taken you to the pub to meet my mates,
who grinned, raised a pint and told us
how pleased they were that we were back together.
Yes back together.

Because poetry for me and you it wasn’t
always rhythm and rapture and rhyme and romance.
We’ve spent more time apart than together.
Times when I’d often jolt awake
reaching for you, not realising you’d gone
until I’d shaken the dreams from my head.
Then for the rest of the day I wouldn’t
be able to focus, wondering what
you were doing or who you were with.
Because you left me without a word,
so I took all we had made together
and burnt it.
While telling myself
This
Was
It.

Then I won’t forget when I woke up
the next day, I found
you curled around me
and you looked up at me
smiled and placed a pen in my hand.
It was just like we had never been apart
as we started all over again.

Krampus


Krampus

As the winter snow falls gently down,
There’s a unholy sound carried on the breeze.
Something wicked this way comes,
You tremble with the feeling of impending unease.

Coming closer is the sound of metal clinking
Accompanied by an ominous heavy tread.
There, did you catch that brutish laughter?
Did you glimpse those eyes of fiery red?

Meet Krampus the malevolent bastard of Christmas,
He doesn’t bring presents he brings terror tonight.
Children scream as by their window Krampus stalks past,
As the monster is truly a hideous sight.

The beast’s matted hair is brown and black,
He walks quickly on twisted hooves.
On his misshapen head grow deformed goat horns,
While between cracked teeth his lecherous tongue drools.

Krampus’ huge warty hands carry,
Chains to thrash all the misbehaving children well.
On his back he bears an old rusty bath tub,
In which he drowns the naughty then washes them down to hell.

Now hold that thought of Krampus being evil,
Hold your thought that he’s a truly nasty soul.
Did you know some folks adore Krampus,
If the strange truth be told.

These folks have made Krampus a celebrity,
He’s the figurehead of a vast empire
Of Krampus related merchandise,
That children and adults at Christmas all desire.

You can now buy Krampus action figures,
Or purchase Krampus t-shirts and masks.
You can dress your partner up as Krampus,
But let’s move quickly on from that.

It seems to me that Krampus has gone from being nasty,
To being a multi-media celebrity icon.
He now truly represents the dark side of Christmas,
But I can see what is really going on.

There’s a new streak to Krampus’ evil,
It’s that what makes me really afraid.
As now rather than drown me and then send me to hell,
He’ll keep me alive because there’s money to be made.

 

 

Christmas Shopping Disaster


On the first day of Christmas I was
surprised to receive in the post…

Twelve best of Drum and Bass CDs,
Eleven vaping pipes,
Ten LEGO models of the House of Lords,
Nine ladies tasteless Christmas jumpers,
Eight Maid Marian cosplay outfits,
Seven boxes of Swan filter tips,
Six Wild Geese DVDs,
Five Ex- Ratners gold rings
Four calling bird ring tones
Three roasted French hens
Two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Doves and
A signed photo of Alan Partridge.

That’s the last time I do the Christmas shopping on Amazon when I’m drunk.

 

Train Wreck


Monday hits you with the force of a runaway train,
Tuesday you get up only to be crushed back down again,
Wednesday starts quietly then sneakily stabs you in the back,
Thursday feels like a full-blown heart attack,
Friday you crawl towards the light at the tunnels end,
Saturday you let your broken brain try to mend,
Sunday you brace yourself for it to start all over again.