Friday Verse

Two poems today. One written on the way into work, and the other on the way home. They’re both graduates of the Pick A Random First Line And See Where It Goes School Of Rhyme, but beyond that I don’t think they’re connected. I could be wrong though, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Lactose Intolerance

My brother stole my milk float
He didn’t get too far
He didn’t know my milk float
Was much slower than my car
I caught him and I groomed him
Gave his beard and hair a trim
Then I drowned him in a bath tub
That I’d filled with semi skimmed
I dried him off and wrapped him
In a bolt of purest silk
Then offered him to Dairy
(Holy Mother Of The Milk)
She took him and she beat him
Into full fat double cream
Then she beckoned, and caressed me
And I couldn’t even scream.

“Why’s The Swan Upside Down, Daddy?”

The swan is upside down today
Just bobbing on the swell
His legs look very rigid
I don’t think he’s very well
I guess he could be sleeping
With his head down on the bed
But no. That’s wishful thinking:
Mr Swan is very dead.
So now I’m in a quandary –
Do I tell the truth or lie?
Say that Swan is sleeping
Or explain that all things die?
I brace myself and tell the truth
And now I’m rather pleased:
The death talk’s done, it’s up to Mum
To do the birds and bees.

445 – The Butcher Rises Early

Poem number 445

The Butcher Rises Early


The Butcher rises early

Tiptoes gently from the room

Leaves behind his Mistress

Snoring softly, in the gloom


Washed and dressed he breakfasts

Natural yoghurt, branflakes, fruit

Hat, coat, shoes and keys to van

Embarks upon his route


Butcher tools beside him

In a bag upon the seat

Drives around the district

Peeling eyes, a hunt for meat


A tramp is sleeping by the road

The van slides to a stop

The tramp is swiftly slaughtered

Boxed, with ice upon the top


The engine starts, another mile

A postman in a trap

The van pulls up, an open door

A neck, a twist, a snap


The hunt goes on, a paperboy

A milkman, hikers two

The van is at capacity

Before the sun pokes through


Harvest chores complete at last

The Butcher mops his face

A pristine linen hankerchief

With trim of scarlet lace


Drives back home through rising dawn

Parks neatly by his shed

His mind already skipping

To his Mistress in their bed


Stock transferred to freezer bags

Refrigerated store

Shed locked up behind him

Combination on the door


Butcher tools rescrubbed, away

Slaps on some aftershave

Climbs back in with Mistress

And it’s time to misbehave


Mistress gives a little grunt

A negligee so sheer

He slides a trotter to her rump

And nips a hairy ear


Waking slowly, Mistress

In an early morning bliss

Snout slides from the covers

To bestow a snuffling kiss


Bristly cheeks together

Oinking softly, lovers now

The Butcher and his Mistress

Killer Hog and hungry Sow.

No-one sits by me on buses

No-One Sits By Me On Buses

No-one sits by me on buses

I think it’s because I’ve no hair

The bus will be crammed

But people will stand

And the seat next to me will be spare.


People avoid me on buses

Perhaps it’s the look on my face

The folk will slide by

Whilst avoiding my eye

And pretend not to see there’s a space


Nobody likes me on buses

I see that as clear as a bell

But I have to admit

That I don’t give a shit

Because people on buses all smell.

Down The Tube

Down The Tube

How I hate the Underground

It’s busy and it smells,

It’s full of worn down workers trudging through their daily hell.

The stench, the crush, the dirty looks

Judgemental sliding doors,

Fagan’s silent army dipping deep to take what’s yours.

The heat, the stress, the nausea

The claustrophobic fear

That extremists and their backpacks could be standing somewhere near.

The constant risk of fire and smoke

The dread of being late,

Sardined within a warren, not the master of your fate.

The clear blue sky’s a world away

And freedom just a dream –

If it all came down upon you would they even hear you scream?

Our world is not Victorian

A man stepped on the moon

Yet still we trudge through tunnels through the crush and through the gloom.

Archaic, ancient, out of date.

A relic still in use,

We call it transportation but in truth it’s pure abuse.

It’s time to end the torture

The anachronistic plight

Of the folk who have to trudge to work through ever present night.

It’s time to find a better way

To travel through the town,

Men were meant to breathe the air, not burrow underground.

The Dentist

I’m due to visit the dentist this week, so I wrote a poem to mark that joyous occasion.

The Dentist

I sit, once more, upon the chair

Head tilted back ‘neath greying hair,

With eyes that dart from left to right

Whilst there behind me, out of sight

The Dentist fills his great syringe

And murmurs “You may feel a twinge

Of pain as I inject your gum,

But soft! Relax! Your mouth will numb –

I promise you won’t feel a thing

When, finally, the op begins.”

The needle slides beneath the skin

By Christ that hurts! It’s digging in!

But then the gentle soothing tide

Of anaethesia over-rides

And all is fluffy, thick and slow,

It’s hard to speak – my tongue won’t go

From side to side or down and up

I try to spit into the cup

But liquid dribbles down my jaw:

Reduced, I am, to little more

Than gibbering, imbecilic child

Whilst there above, anarchic, wild

The Manic Dentist laughs in joy

Then sets to work with sharpened toy.

I feel a tugging, nothing more

But in my mind I see the gore:

The blood, the flaps of orphaned flesh

Stained red, no longer minty fresh,

‘Til here, at last, upon this chair

I pray to Gods I hope are there

And promise, if I make it through

With mouth still whole enough to chew,

To change my ways, embrace the light

And brush with fluoride EVERY night!

High Visigoths

I tend to write poems in my head whilst I walk to work. This is one I wrote the morning after watching Metroland on BBC4, so I guess it’s my homage to Betjeman…

High Visigoths

The route through lovely Caversham, where once the Roundheads strode, is surrounded now by workmen grimly digging up the road. The second set of lights is gone, a pelican in lieu – though moved a few feet down the down the road where traffic tends to queue. The mosaic layers of tarmac sunburned into varied shades, of black and grey and black again, the scars that never fade. Traffic cones of orange – witches hats in all but name –  line up, fluorescent soldiers, past the pothole by the drain. And through it all pedestrians trudge on through narrowed paths, raising eyebrows shaking furrowed brows whilst workmen stand and laugh with a cup of tea in one hand and the other on a spade, ankles crossed and hats tipped back whilst resting in the shade. But soon they’ll don their workmen’s gloves and once more grasp the nettle: Drilling, scraping, paving, tarring, bashing stone with metal. Onward, ever onward, hi-vis jackets striding on, digging up and putting back until the past is gone.

A poem to kick things off

This is one I wrote a long time ago, but I’ve still got a soft spot for it.

Dinner Is Always Gone Too Soon

Dinner is always gone too soon
The plate too quickly cleared.
Leaving worn ceramic patterns and a fat man’s lonely fears.
In the darkened hours that lie ahead
Before the next meal comes
Will the hunger gnaw and worry or the weakened heart succumb.
Will the urge to simply eat again
Drive slippered feet to creep
Out of bed down to the kitchen whilst the thin men lie asleep.
Will he sit all bathed in fridge-light
While his hands scoop deep inside
And the ice cream dribbles off his chin whilst tears begin to slide.
Will the silence all around him
And the darkness in his soul
Drive him deeper into madness as he guzzles sausage rolls.
Will he wake, once more at daybreak
Slumped down on the kitchen floor
Where at last he’d stopped his eating when his jaws could take no more.
Can he make it to tomorrow
To those three permitted meals
Now that dinner’s too soon over and the hunger’s all he feels,
Eternity before him.
And an agony of mind
Now that dinner’s too soon over and today’s food all behind.