Friday, December 30, 2011

Clarinet Lesson

Walking home
After my clarinet lesson

Anticipating supper

Humming the theme
To Coronation Street

I open the door to my first floor flat

A surprise on the stairs
A snake

A hissing, hooded cobra rears
Ready to strike

I reach for my clarinet

Monday, December 26, 2011

Man Goes Into a Pub

I'm waiting for Robb
Nursing a pint
Two men discuss the Arsenal
The conversation goes on for half an hour
And is full of interesting and detailed fact
And conjecture
And opinion

I wonder if Wenger
Might consider
Employing them
In a coaching role maybe
Or as tacticians
Or scouts

Then I think, No
That’s silly
They probably have
Perfectly good jobs

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Poem Is Not Just For Christmas

A poem is not just for Christmas
A poem is for life
It’s for a child, a mum or dad
A husband or a wife
It’s for the changing seasons
For the many, for the few
But this poem is for Christmas
This poem is just for you

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Am the Song of Winter

I am the beard of icicles
That hangs beneath the eaves

I am the rock-hard mud
The frosty crunch of frozen leaves

I am the chilly wind that searches out
The cracks around the door

I am the wet scarf on the radiator
The puddle on the floor

I am the bustling of the birds
The seeds thrown in the snow

I’m the blue tit on the bacon rind
The patience of the crow

I am trees drawn with a fine black nib
Against a troubled sky

I am a pensioner. All alone
As another day creeps by

I’m the awesome silence
When the final snowflake’s fallen

I am the halo round the moon
The dark the day has stolen

Yes, I’m the gloomy afternoon
The leeching of the light

I am the growling, howling song
The wind sings in the night

Sometimes I’m hot buttered toast
As the snowstorm roars outside

But sometimes I’m untimely death
And the feeling hope has died

Monday, December 19, 2011


The hundredth anniversary. Disney
lures the children to the rink
in their satin pinks and creams. Buy an angel
on a stick. Mickey Mouse inflatables
only a tenner. Parents trudging
from the car park. Bambi lying dead beneath
the Christmas crowds. Dreams packaged in silver stars.
You see, it’s not the traffic that is far too loud
for hollow carols. You can’t blame the band.
It’s just the eerie silence of deserted fairyland.

And if you're having a Kindle Christmas - try my new book of grown-up poems.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

What Grandad Did Next

After he’d battled the baddies
Vanquished the knights
And dealt with the dragons
Grandad decided to have a snooze
In the garden

So he fetched the sun lounger from the shed
And set it up
Under the cherry tree
In a patch of shade

He took his shoes and socks off
Lay down
And closed his eyes

But he couldn’t sleep.

He was comfy enough.
The birds were tweeting in the trees
Which was very pleasant.

And he wasn’t too hot.
And he wasn’t too cold.
He was just right.

But something was nagging at him.
A tiny thought in his head.
It was saying, You can’t snooze yet!
There’s something you’ve forgotten.
Something important.

Grandad tried to think what it was.

He’d locked the car door.
Yes, of course he had.

He’d given Granny a kiss
Before she set off for the shops.
Of course he had.

He had put his screwdriver and screws away
After he’d fixed the shelf.
Of course he had.
Granny got cross
If he left his tools lying about.
And he’d changed the light bulb in the bathroom.
So what had he forgotten?

Then he remembered.
Of course!
Grandad sighed.
He put his shoes and socks back on.
He got up from his sun lounger.
And he whistled for his horse.
Then he called for his special assistant, Sammy.

What had he forgotten?
To rescue the maiden in the tower of course.
Come on, Sammy, he said,
Let’s go!