We don’t have much choice on where we’re bought up,
We’re forged by bricks, mortar, schools and pubs.
It’s a real postcode lottery,
And it was WS1 that raised and nurtured me.
WS1, just two letters and a number,
What it stood for I often wondered.
I found out it was supposed to be for Walsall South,
Or what a smeghole, the jury’s still out.
WS1 it’s where I learned to ride a bike,
Where I learned to fight kids I didn’t like.
Where I learned how to wag from school,
Where I learned how to play the fool.
It’s where I first fell in love… with Doctor Who
It’s where I first drank cider and also spewed
It’s where I first broke my arm , my nose and my toe
It’s where I first realised I hated Black Forest Gateaux.
Now I must quickly interrupt this poem to point out that although it seems trivial to hate Black Forest Gateaux it was the Seventies there was a lot of it about. Vienetta my saviour was many years away.
Then we moved away to WS5,
The suburbs, where folk seem more dead than alive.
It was a place to escape too if you could afford the cost,
It was a place where I felt completely lost.
The streets were litter free, birds sang,
To me it was like living in a foreign land.
A land of sunshine and blue skies,
A land which was really a graveyard where pensioners came to die.
So eventually I left there and moved back to WS1
Back to where it had all begun.
I gradually lost my hair so I grew a beard,
I had a daughter , every day she tells me I’m weird.
I flick the V’s when I walk past my old school
I started writing poetry – so I still play the fool.
I returned as they say to the scene of the crime
And I’ll try not to make the same mistakes this time.
Though I make no promises.
I’m very pleased to announce I’m launching my new book of poetry “Creative Waste” on Febuary 24th at Southcart Books in Walsall. I’m even more excited to announce that my fellow poetry chums Matt Humphries and Paul Morris will also be launching their new books alongside me making the event a triple spectacular. More details and interviews with Paul and Matt to come nearer to the time.
There’s a hush in the wood,
As nature settles down.
Bracing against wind and rain
While winter comes around.
Then green fades to brown,
That succumbs to white.
Frost decorates the trees,
As winter’s jaws bite.
The hardest thing I did this year,
was to stand up at your memorial service
and read one of your poems about nature.
I mean I’m a city boy, made of streets and brick,
reading a poem about the wisdom of trees.
Trees, my only concern with them
is when they drop their leaves
on my lawn.
But now I read your poem,
a poem whose words grew and blossomed
from the earth that nourished them.
Words to me that feel like
pebbles in my mouth.
Afterwards when I get home,
I take the paper with your words and
bury them under the tree,
at the bottom of my garden.
I thought you might appreciate it.
Last Christmas I gave you my heart.
Then the very next day….
A mob of angry villagers
under the misapprehension I was some sort of grave robber
appeared at my castle
armed with pitchforks and torches.
They then proceeded to burn down my ancestral home
destroy my science project
and threaten me with legal action.
So this year to save me from tears
i think I’ll just give you… Next vouchers.
I’m the fresh milk in your latte,
The crisp salty bacon in your roll.
The clean empty seat on the train,
The freshly tarmacked pothole.
I’m the work spreadsheet that won’t balance,
The disembodied electronic voice in the lift.
The email that invites you to an all day meeting,
The feeling you’re not alone on the night shift.
I’m the missed call on your mobile phone,
The last five percent on your battery.
The text message from someone you don’t know,
The unknown person photobombing your selfie.
I’m the treacherous black ice on the pavement,
The hard rain that drives and stings.
The wind that smashes grit into your eyes,
The unexpected crack of thunder and lightning.
I’m the decaying pigeon corpse on the footpath,
The cracked paving slab that twists your feet.
The steaming vomit at the bus stop,
The brick wall that blocks the end of the street.
I focus on….
The dough not the nut,
The beer not the gut,
The joy not the division,
The tunnel not the vision,
The Doctor not the who,
The crazy not the glue,
The under not the exposure,
The game not the over,
The world not the war,
The eye not the sore,
The banana not the split,
The bull not the shit.
Festive tradition says that it’s bad luck
to refuse a kiss under the mistletoe.
I mean what harm can it bring to
lock lips under bright green foliage
and berries as rich and white
as the soft touch of snow.
Could you resist a seasonal dare
and the accompanying giggles that
But don’t forget in your excitement that
mistletoe and its plump white berries also
bring extra Christmas gifts.
They love to give you blurred vision,
soaring blood pressure but best of all
they will kill you.
Mind you they do say a kiss will do
exactly the same thing.
When your pen feels like a splinter in your hand,
When your malicious inner demons won’t be quiet.
When your body feels like a carcass left out for the dogs,
When your convinced you’ll soon be caught out as a liar.
There is no better time to write.
Write whatever your demons are slyly whispering,
Write no matter how badly it hurts about how you feel.
Write to exorcise all your fears and insecurities,
Write it all down and create poetry for you that’s real.