These words are explosives,
This poem is a bomb.
By starting to read it,
I’ve lit the fuse and run.
Now a crackling spitting flame,
Ignites my words one by one.
My work is burning bright,
Soon it will all be gone.
Then there’s nothing left to burn,
The fuse has reached the bomb.
And with the spluttering of a damp squib,
This poem is done.
Happy Black Country Day, and what better way than to celebrate than with a poem about my home town of Walsall which is a proud part of this great region.
My Roots are Showing
Air cushioned souls
descends a cobbled hill.
Worn stones with tarmac patches
wind past a church that
casts a shadow
over a town built before it,
But now living in it.
A town built on
lime and leather,
saddles and soot,
an arboretum and an art gallery,
Highgate mild and pork scratchings.
Foundations built to last.
A town where we’re not scared
to roll up our denim sleeves
to show our tattooed hearts.
A town I joyfully bounce through
pen in one hand, pasty in another
trying to capture its soul
I posted my photos on Twitter,
I shared my photos on Facebook.
I uploaded my photos to Instagram,
I put them up on my blog.
I organised my photos on my USB stick,
I burnt my photos on to a CD.
I edited my photos on my phone,
I stored my photos in a folder on my PC.
But suppose one day these systems crashed,
Where for my memories would I look?
They would be nothing but vanishing pixels
When they should have been safe in a book.
This morning I was a firework.
Filled with fire and light
I aimed for the sun.
Though it was hard, I didn’t care.
This morning, I was a firework.
Spent and full of ash
I fell to the earth.
It was easy, I didn’t care.
Earlier this month I was invited on the Brum Radio Poets show and I’m pleased to say the program is now available for your listening pleasure. It was fantastic to be invited and share the show with their great host Gav Young and the talented poet Christina Thatcher.
The Devil doesn’t wear Prada you
have been sadly misinformed.
Instead he wears a tracksuit of
shadow and trainers that
are as silent as the
dead of night.
He hides in plain sight, right
in the corner of your eye.
The stranger you swear you know
but can’t place. Who smiles at you like
a cloud passing across the sun.
I am not afraid of dying
I am not afraid of taking my last breath
I am not afraid of the end,
I am not afraid of death.
I am afraid of lying in the grave,
I am afraid of being buried with my regrets.
I am afraid of not being able to rest,
I am afraid of what I can never forget.
I slowly peel my body from the bus seat,
Like sticky, sweaty, sellotape.
My once icy bottle of water,
Starts to boil then evaporate.
My ice cream dribbles down my hand,
My flake seems limp and dead.
As the sun shines down mercilessly,
Burning the bald spot on top of my head.
“It’s about time you stopped bloody smoking,” the wife said,
“If you carry on a nicotine slave you’re going to end up dead.”
Even my daughter gets in on the act,
Asking, “is it true Daddy that your lungs are completely black?”
Trying to quit is something I’ve dreaded,
You see I’ve been smoking since I was young, on benches and under hedges.
And I’ve tried before, but only half-heartedly, to quit.
But just like my tries at dieting, I find it very hard to commit.
Mind you it’s not just smoking that can kill you these days,
Even life’s little pleasures can get you in a myriad ways.
You could go out for a quiet walk and find yourself run over,
You could go out for a quiet drive and plummet off a flyover.
Enjoy a few pints, get cirrhosis of the liver,
Feed the ducks, fall and drown in the river.
Sit out on a sunny day, cancerous melanoma,
Sit out on a starry night, surprise, pneumonia.
Life is just stuffed with bitter irony,
I mean look how some famous people died.
Killed doing what they thought safe or by their own inventions,
Marie Curie was poisoned by her own radiation.
Sid James dropped down dead while on stage,
Trotsky was murdered for what he put on the printed page.
James Hesselden segway guru, drove one off a cliff,
Jim Fixx invented jogging, had a heart attack while doing it.
Did you know you can even die straining for a shit?
So I think I’ll carry on smoking for a bit.