I know a thingummy squat and wide
with hollow cardboard rolls inside,
Its hollow feet and hollow hands
let in the cold when up it stands,
so down it sits as like as not
to keep the draught from up its …
I’ve never asked it for its name
I think I might, then think again,
then think it might be rather shy
and think I might be wrong to pry
but then again a name is nice
I have a name, my name is…
I like to sit next to my friend
(the one with the hollow cardboard end)
I pause a while and contemplate
the kind of things we might debate
if only I could sit and stay
beside my quilted friend all day.
Once upon a silken sleeping bag
I flew a merry while
across the seven continents
and wondered for a smile.
When all the sheep were snoring
and dingoes were the brass
I put a trumpet to my lips
and blew it through the grass.
The crocodiles were friendly
and the badgers very kind
the cockroaches misunderstood
and kidded me they rhymed.
We danced around a story
and sang a cup of cheer
A band of bees played harmonies
that lasted for a year.
And when my time was over
and light was in the sky
my sleeping bag woke up again
and bid the dream goodbye.
But in the morning’s glory
when I wake up at home
I know the verdant pastures
where imaginations roam.
On the shooting of a star
I hung my boots
and travelled far
In a book I read a line
thoughts of mine
In a tree I heard a crow
Through the keyhole of a dream
I saw a sheep…
What can it mean?
On the twenty second of October
shortly after dawn
they were curled up in their castle
when her radio alarm went off.
She didn’t have to go to work,
the moon was still in the sky,
so, What’s this? he called out.
She smiled. The cricket, she replied.
Springing forth, she grabbed jeans and tee
and caught a plane to Bangladesh.
It came as a bolt out of the blue
that she liked the game so much.
He turned over and pulled the covers
right up to his goateed chin.
My, my, he chuckled, throatily,
there is much to know about Mother.
Oh, how I love you:
I like to taste your sweetness
and feel you upon my lips,
I like to bite and chew you.
Sometimes, I choose your dark good looks,
Others, your milky whiteness,
You are my delicious treat –
My comfort, my reward.
I love you best
when I can’t have you,
when you are barred from me.
Sometimes, I break you into pieces
and share you with a friend.
Then, I clean my teeth.
That by writerly licence, turner of pages, bastion of books,
ambles into the empty library and, notepad open, takes a corner chair.
One hour passes.
Cramp prompts perambulation towards the fiction shelves,
to commune with the Abernalds and Abernathys, the Bagshawes and Baileys,
and while a further hour.
Despite nodding graciously at a couple of oblivious locals,
who rapaciously clutch the bagged imagination of Arthur C. Clarke,
only lunchtime approaches.
Sandwiched between history and psychology, consumed by mystery,
the writer eats secretly, surreptitiously sliding crumpled cling film
between dog-eared tomes.
At four, children bring giggling and in-tow mothers, who skirt
the perimeter of their once-upon-a-times; riding paperback dragons
over the broken back of the day.
As the last book closes, the resident writer gathers all thought
and prepares for another night precariously shelved, wrapped in the cover
of a contemplative manuscript.
I made a cake for you and me
to eat our fill just after tea,
mixed sugar, eggs and milk and flour
and baked it well for half an hour,
I tipped it out upon a tray
and let it cool for half a day,
beat sugar up with butter fat
and added loads of chocolate,
then piled it on and heaped it up
and stuck a candle on the top,
then called you in when it was done
to serenade you with a song,
and watched you blow the candle hard
and open up your birthday card,
and then we cut it into two
and ate our cake, just me and you!