Last Dance

Last Dance.

Look at them skedaddle along the sidewalk

like runaways, dash across the boulevard,

full of beans, reckless as buccaneers,

realizing perhaps this could be

their last dance

before Winter

closes the whole show down.

  • poem courtesy of pinterest

What It’s Like

It’s like an ambush when you’re drifting off to sleep

a kookaburra in yr throat

an earth tremor in yr lungs

an opponent in yr bed

a double rainbow popping up in yr thoracic sky

lit up with pain

like that late train to Bedfordshire forging thru the Valley of Rumbles

a cock-eyed gift from the gods when you’ve run out of things to write about

it;s gentler than Golden Staph and comes with a puckish name


but all you’d like to do is clobber it over the head

And a sudden thought occurred to me: if you wanted to overcome an opposing army

all you’d have to do is infect them with the hiccup virus and they’d lose the will

to fight !

The Stan Laurel Syndrome

Stan Laurel Syndrome.

At the Blood Clinic I got a call

from my daughter

to give mum a birthday wish

and to please clear up the nice mess

I’d got her into,

I am always putting my foot in things.

It’s a gift.


One pothole after another.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Mystic Mauve

Mystic Mauve.

I’m eight miles high again, sweet Jesus

branded on my feet

been smoking that purple rain again

though I have no one to meet

in the jingle jangle morning

mauve shadows are forming

& I’m running out of time

still tryin’ to catch the wind, sweet Mary

still one toke over the line

  • pic coutesy of pinterest;

Like an Animal

Like an Animal.

I hear it like the sea

from four or five streets away

faint, soft

like a cuddly toy

but when I sit outside

in the car port

where the barbecue is

it smashes into me

like an olfactory wave

a phantosmia of

chops, Frenched lamb cutlets

sizzling on the grill

and me, grabbing them by the hands

ripping into them

tearing the meat off like an animal —

& I know then

my appetite is back.

Mystery Ships

Mystery Ships.

When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night,

she’d be there

or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen

for a glass of milk,

she’d be in the hallway,

with her axolotl stare.

Time after time.

Passing ships in the night.

He’d look at her, and she at him,

sometimes a twitch of understanding, affection,

then they’d both look away.

After eight years, off and on,

they were still a mystery to each other.

Her cat. Not his.

They’d never bonded.

Aisle Man

Aisle Man.

I like to sit at the end.

The aisle seat.

At the cinema



That’s where action heroes would sit,

I imagine.

Not in the middle of Row 22, for instance,

cramped on either side

like cattle in a truck.

No, Vin Diesel, John Wick , for instance,

would sit on the aisle,

close to the exit,

primed for action,

its sudden summons

like me

if only to take a phone call

or toilet break.

A Short Story is not a Car

A Short Story is Not a Car.

At the writers’ group, the first one I went to,

we were issued a list of things to check

when we’re critiquing each others’ stories,

the usual things like plot, character, setting, dialogue.

We’d put a tick or a cross depending whether the requirements were met.

All well and good.

Yet I couldn’t help thinking of the checklist that mechanics fill out

when they’re servicing your car.

So I said,

“A short story is not a car!”

This put a brake on proceedings.

They didn’t know what I was driving at.

but I felt I was onto something.

I pushed the pedal even further.

We were heading for a collision,

the tutor and me.

I didn’t know what the perfect metaphor was

nor did anyone else

but I was darn sure it wasn’t a car.

Red Ronnie: a little splash of Grand Guignol

Red Ronnie.

Grandma looked good in her widow weeds.

She really looked the part of an axe murderer.

She wielded that weapon like a true Viking.

Red Ronnie was getting the chop:

Red ‘coz of his coxcomb, Ronnie ‘coz of Ronnie Corbett,

the gruff and portly other half of ‘The Two Ronnies’

we used to watch Friday nights.

Wham! Down it came.

Ronnie took off around the yard as though looking for his head, crashing into things

‘coz it’s sort of hard without yr eyes.

We ate Ronnie at Xmas.

*pic courtesy of pinterest