That Hollywood Moment


You can feel the tension mounting.
Slow to start but quickly gaining momentum,
Building to an epic moment.
A moment of true Hollywood proportions.
An assassin’s finger hovers on a trigger,
A countdown is about to reach zero.
This is the moment armies clash,
The fate of empires is at stake,
Worlds hang in the balance.

Is it over?

You realise you’re holding your breath,
The fear in your stomach stars to rise again.
Battle lines are being redrawn,
For the final showdown between good and evil.
The uncountable hordes of darkness gather,
Against them one tired man stands alone,
Gnarled hands hold an old blade.
Then the final prophecy is revealed,

“To be continued.”

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Poetry for Pikpa refugee camp


This summer I had the pleasure of performing at an event to raise money for the Pikpa refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, which was a great success. Now this Saturday the event is running again at Waterstones in Birmingham and I’m pleased to have been asked to perform again.

If you are in the area here’s the link to the event page on Facebook.

If you’re not local but still want to support this great cause then here’s a link to the donation page.

Here’s some details about the camp from the event organiser Helen Calcutt

“My wish is to go to my home in Iraq and play with my friends and go to my school when the Isis is finished.” With the balance of home life, comes the balance of dreams. This is now the dream of one child on the refugee camp known as ‘Pikpa’. It’s sad enough, and this is one place, one child. There are people fleeing their homes and seeking refuge all over the world. But if we can help one, we can work towards helping the many.

photo courtesy of Helen Calcutt

 

This isn’t a Poem


This isn’t a poem
It’s the fallout from an explosion
in a dictionary.
Mixed with the shredded pages of
a thesaurus, glued back together
at random.

This isn’t a poem.
It’s words plucked from
a scrambled radio station or
phrases pulled from a
scratched record played
at the wrong speed.

Which then begs the question….

If this isn’t a poem
why do I expect anyone to read it?

Fake


You say you’re willing to die for your art,
You declare it proudly with all your heart.
You take the mic up and so you start,
Sleeves rolled up to display your scars.
I once knew a bloke who didn’t proclaim,
He just simply took a razor blade.
Then down his wrists a cut he made,
Never committing his hopes and fears to the page.
I’m still listening to you saying you’ll die for your art,
You’re still declaring it proudly with all your heart.
But when we both roll our sleeves and compare arms,
You and me both just have paper scars.

Battleground


Age is just biological warfare.
A chemical weapon,
your body the battleground.

Your precious memories burn away
one by one.
Muscles waste, bones weaken.

Nerve endings constantly smoulder
Your immune system capitulates
under the assault, your surrender is
inevitable.

These are the Hands


These are the hands,
That stitched the saddle.
That cut and bled,
As they worked the leather.

These are the hands,
That mined the coal.
That grew hard and callused,
As they swung the pick.

These are the hands,
That dug the canal.
That tore and split,
As they toiled with the shovel.

These are the hands,
That tilled the earth.
That weathered the elements,
As they scattered the seed.

These are the hands,
That comforted you.
That never wanted to let go
As they held you close.

These hands were all I had,
That even now as they grow old
That though they are tired,
Have stood the test of time.

Don’t Worry about your Exam Results


So here I type, an alleged “poet,”
Who in 1988 got an “F” in English Lit.
So now poetry for me is more like woodwork,
I hack away at words, trying to make them fit.

Which is a bit ironic really, as in 1986,
I can now actually own up and tell.
That in all of my woodwork exams,
I got an “F” as well.

Down by the Arboretum Lake



Down by the lake’s shore,
Where its waters calmly lap.
Nature holds its court,
Among the green muddy banks.

Ducks waddle and dip their toes,
Trees bend and reach.
Geese strike a yoga pose,
Among the willows and beech.

Swans both big and small
Across the lake elegantly glide.
While among the rushes tall,
Nests with cygnets hide.

The lake is a place to pause,
To embrace nature’s calming effect.
A green kingdom with no flaws,
For all to stop, enjoy and reflect.

A Different Me


You told me that you wanted to go looking for a different me,
So although it was a struggle, I knew I had to set you free.
Then at last you could find someone who was perfect,
Until you found fault with them and moved on to the next.
You left a crimson trail of bruised and broken hearts,
As no one was good enough for your fresh start.
So you resorted to profiling and DNA matching,
To try to identify who you should be catching.
But despite all your questionnaires and surveys,
You couldn’t find a different me who’d even meet you halfway.
Because no matter how hard you look,
When they made me they burnt then threw away the book.
Everyone is different, but everyone is also me,
I needed you to discover that, so I set you free.
So when you returned to me from your futile quest,
I would be the different me that you loved the best.
But now you’re back, to my heart I must also be true,
That’s why I’m going looking for a different you.

There’s a Message in my Sandwiches


When we first got together
you wrapped my sandwiches in foil.

I’d gently run my thumb down the metal
With a soft pressure.
Imagining I was running it down the back of your neck.
Then I’d part the foil, peeling it away slowly
Like I would the dress from your shoulders.

Next I’d take a tiny scrap of foil
Reverently place it on my tongue
Running it around my mouth relishing
the electric shock,
Reminding me of when my lips used to touch
The nape of your neck.

Now you wrap my sandwiches in cellophane.

A clammy body bag, sweaty to the touch.
I would try not to flinch away from it
Like when I accidently brush against your skin.

A cheap covering that can’t disguise what’s within.
Easily see through like the lies and promises I make.
Grasped at it tears easily, falling apart as we are doing now.