Monday, 21 December 2015

Arabesques

That blighted sound of pitter-patter riles my very soul,
as meaningless words are typed onto soulless screens
and, caged, my body squirms in a windowless vessel.

All hopes fade with every smack of the space bar,
separating lines of spuriously contemplated pish -
my head, erupting, amidst a cacophony of plastic.

The constant hammering builds to a crescendo
of a lamentable 21st Century symphony
where creativity has come to die.

Swap me that plastic for blissful ivory chime,
each key caressed with the guile of an artist's touch
while words typed as melodies kiss my eardrums

Or the glistening glide of a whittled feather
painting trails of masterful strokes,
each line, to capture, a heartfelt moment.

As my mind wanders through each letter scribed,
the chains around me seemingly come loose-
the patter muted under sweet Arabesques.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

25 hours in London

Friday night and sirens blare,
I try not to stare but look
As throngs of feet drip past
And there sit two fire trucks.

They pull a dubious u-turn
And almost collide head-on,
The bustle is confusing
For anyone straddling these streets.

The firemen watch me,
fag in hand, they think -
It's them that burn the houses
Down, whiskey bottle in hand.

Back inside the city hotel
I catch a chat at the bar
Practising my French for a while,
I've almost forgotten where I am.

I fancy a jar to clear my mind,
Addled by the constant buzz -
Normally I'd step outside
To think, but here it's unnatural

Unless, you're an ant.  This
Swarm of perpetual foot fall
Pounds in my ears and rings
Like I've developed tinitis.

I give up, back to the bar,
A double whiskey, a bit more French
And unprepared I head to bed,
My saturated mind to settle.

Down twelve quid only eight hours later,
A taxi drives aimlessly round
Pretending the pitiful length
Of the journey warrants a tip.

And now I'm in a post-capitalist
Wasteland, wondering how
Much it'll cost to buy outright
A measley one bed studio flat

Where the nearest decent shop
Is a DLR stop down the line,
Inflating the price of a pint
Of milk at five hundred percent.

And finally it's time to leave
This desolate, throbbing jungle
As my carriage sweeps through vast,
Crumbling, concrete estates.

Then the descent into the black
Of a train-sized manhole, packed
Until the doors slide open
And I join the wilderbeast

Which stampede toward the central line
And cram me to the wall as I
Attempt to stem the incessant flow
In vain to try and read the map.

Back in the throng, a bottleneck,
Of a fattening queue blocks
The steps of a perfectly decent
But overwhelmingly underused set of stairs.

I skirt the laziness and beat
The escalator, and narrowly
Avoid being knocked to the ground
As the wilderbeast peg it

To the gate, which slams
So suddenly shut that my bag
Was hardly accommodated,
Heaved through and over, before

I realise it's mid-October,
Umpteen feet under the ground
And I'm sweltering, wearing
Only a t-shirt and a Harrington,

Accentuated as I step inside
A burning hot tin of humans
Pressed against doors and squashed
Together, no-one catching an eye.

I ponder the words of Alan
Partridge, who said of London
That you can go there but
You'll either be mugged or unappreciated. 

I've never been mugged but
I feel like a muggle, lost
In a mysterious metropolis
I'll never fully understand.

I eventually reach platform six
Of Liverpool Street Station,
Coffee in hand and I sigh...
Thank fuck I live in Norwich!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Dreams and reality

My problem at night is that my dreams are too real,
Vivid swathes of vague lucidity, playing out in a parallel world.
Thoughts drift to what's past and could have been,
Intertwined with a future unseen.

I find myself living out two separate existences,
So hard to prize apart that they melt into one.
At night she's there, tantalisingly near,
Yet always at arm's length until dawn cements that fear.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Prospects

The squirrel searches the barren trees
For nuts but none will yield.
Earth is scratched for pitiful treasures
Of years gone by when springs were fair.

The countless debts and tuition fees
Accrue while wages wilt.
The country wrecked, roads only lead
To the city where the soulless breed.


Monday, 17 August 2015

For my Uncle Graham

Those good old days of Santa's sleigh
Feel different now he's gone away.
His joyful songs I used to play,
Those tapes which made my childhood gay.

Off to the chapel, on Blueberry Hill,
A winter wedding in December chill.
In that wee kilt, I felt such thrill,
And sailed to lands of pleasure filled.

My mind was flown to sunny seas
And Christmas spent in balmy breeze.
I stayed up late, like the locals please,
Snapping crackers under coconut trees.

I long for those sweet, blissful days,
And the memories I keep will never stray,
Like every year, we'd go to to stay
With Graham and Imelda, we couldn't wait.

Up past Belmont, with Scotland in sight,
We knew we'd arrived when in the light
There in the window, with sheer delight,
Imelda and Graham would be waving each night.

We'd search for clues and hunt for treasure,
Dress as pirates and hell for leather
For once, not arguing, Peter and Heather,
Would find our bounty and enjoy it, together.

We'd go to Girvan, to Graham's Mum and Dad,
Nancy and Willison were always glad
To see us all, and give us gifts,
Then to the beach and jellyfish.

We'd all look out to Ailsa Craig
Where Waverly would tread the waves.
Then back to town and the penny arcades,
The 'musemements where our dreams were made.

We'd walk up Bine in any weather
Strolling through the Purple Heather
And with the folk club, we'd sing a few
Of the songs, which thanks to Graham, we knew.

As I grew older and could send a beer,
I'd visit with glee at least twice a year,
When Graham and Tony would take me on walks
From Ashton Lane to the Oran Mor.
 
With passing seasons I grew so tall,
And in his music, still enthralled.
The singalongs and melodies of old,
Replaced by stories forever told.

Almost at once, the tapes were flipped,
Yet still, each year, more songs were ripped.
I loved to get those glistening discs,
With memories yet to reminisce.

Those songs have never felt so true,
Or near to me, as I think of you.
It's hard to recall the man I knew,
Impossible to fathom why his time was slewn.

I wonder if he knows, that now,
I follow in his footsteps proud.
Bequeathing music, rhyme, and sound,
And rousing reels to play aloud.

I miss my friend, who filled my past,
With thought, and song, and happiness.
But every year, I'll raise my glass,
To that dear man from Inverness.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The fine-coated blanket

Words of wisdom come like the rain
Under an umbrella as the drops scatter.
One day the words fall like the drops
And the next they rise in recalcitrant steam.

We live within a fine-coated blanket;
Our world manufactured in our own torrential stream.
We dream of a world which favours the splashes
Of that we can only wish to seem.

We step into puddles of our own accord,
Not counting the jumps we chose to make.
We steep into dark, dampened recesses
But our shoes are only soggy for the sake.

Rich, poor, or hungry for more,
We all seem so different but we're just the same.
Sanity, a state reserved for the sane
But who knows for whom, while we await the refrain?


Friday, 19 June 2015

Torn crystal blue

Driven East, I've been sent West,
For want of trying she's never impressed;
A box of red roses sent back crystal blue,
My chest filled with passion but still in lieu.

I've exported a piece of my heart into hers
And though she can't feel, it'll never return.
The beats from my ribs pound dull and untrue
From the hole that's been torn and remains inside you.

Like travelling backwards on a speeding train,
Gazing upon what you've missed and has past.
Better, surely, to face the tracks;
What's never been, none can lack.

Yet there out the back the wilting rose
Has not yet passed when near's the hose.
But though the spray may raise the turgor,
Thorns may tear the hole yet further.