Pressure

Girls with thick lashes
Kissing boys with moustaches
Rocky relations
Under trowels of foundation
Beautiful children, insecure and afraid
Hiding behind expectations we made.

When the fear bites
When the tears sting
When they’ve tried too hard
They simply remember we asked them to fly
and then they don’t feel …

and we wonder why.

You know what?

You know what?
Stop sour-graping at your
counterparts, like an overipe extra,
in a soap opera market place.

You know what?
Stop being a bad potato.
There’s a famine going on
in our front rooms.
We are being stacked against
each other and it isn’t
looking good for our shelf life.

You know what?
You know what?
The stress word is a
construct, to make us
think we are faulty goods.

And while we are rotting
on life’s shop floor,
they laugh at us,
like gods in a supermarket.

Take Social Care

An angel spoke to me one night
when I sat in my youth
he told me I should be aware
of one unerring truth:

That like or not the time will come
when I will need a hand
to guide me through my daily life
– not quite what I had planned.

He bade me think, this angel fair
of loving volunteers
and low paid carers struggling
to tend my ageing years.

What will I want when I am old?
An elephant that rages
because we locked the cupboard door
and wouldn’t pay her wages?

Am I so sure I will not yearn
for love’s sustaining patience
when I am old and on my own
with similar relations?

Why do we lend so little heed
to those who hold our future?
For I’ll receive what I beget –
if I forget to nurture.

“So pay the carers what you will,”
the angel said, “be certain
that you will want the gentlest hand
to close your final curtain.

Vote

Scritch, scritch, scratch,
there I am again
teetering
on the edge of sleep
clutching a ball point
oh Elpis
I left a message for you on a slip
inside Pundora’s box
folded inside disturbed sleep
these desperate disordered times
are too many sheep for me to count
jumping

running

 fumbling in the gloom.

Scritch, scritch, scratch,
quickly, lock me in
and I will vote for you in the morning
my children
none of them have tails
perhaps we will never be well again
docked
writing nonsenses
criss cross
dressing hurriedly
dashing in our hither thither
setting our souls on tenterhooks…

Bear

In the high street you turn from Ursula,

that small wreaking bear in a fine old coat:

well worn dichlorobenzenated reminder

of an otherwise wasted life.

.

Up and down she pads, from dawn to dark,

claws clicking past embarrassed charity,

rather proffering that magnificent maned neck

to the limp lasso of wet and greedy punters.

.

Her hunted life is heft and loaded into BMWs,

to be stuffed and tipped back latersore and sober,

that fabulous bear coat torn and taken from her,

the remains of its wilderness scratching at her back.

The Sound of Guns

Parricide is not pretty,

but in a time of swallowed splinters,

there emerges a new confidence,

and no one is safe from

the absolute certainty of the Crack.

.

When anger is awake and ungoverned

the Almighty Metal Guru draws near to tease.

The wheel turns as young wreakers and hoakers,

already tucking boredom in their belts,

dash through familial barriers

straight into the Crack’s improbable deathhole.

.

Suddenly, we are all prey:

heavy weights flailing and falling

past previously pitted lives

towards our own bloody demise.

.

Unable to climb smooth surfaces

society begins to fester,

scraping the walls with botulinal nails;

kicking itself with blister boots.

.

Oh, those ugly days of lost heritage;

elders supping tears together, whilst

so many futures are crossed

by the star thin silver reticle

of the Almighty Crack.

Nothing to Lose

L and G
O         A
S          I
S         N
reluctant bedfellows;
Gain forever stealing the quilt
whilst Loss lies facing the wall
cold and crying.

But in the stillness of the night
Gain begins to feel afraid: there is
Too much
hidden beneath the mattress
Too much
resting upon the next day’s transactions
Too much
stacked up and ready to fall upon him
Too many
angry people with a stake in his heart.

Gain taps Loss on the shoulder:
“What is it like to be in your place?” he says.
Loss wipes his eyes and turns over,
he thinks for a while then puts his arms around Gain.
“Let me share the quilt and I’ll tell you,” he says.