birthday poem

mum went into labour
on the 28th december
dad’s birthday
but I wasn’t born until
three minutes past midnight
on the 29th

he wanted the day to himself
the midwife said

three minutes past midnight?
that’s suspiciously precise

what? was the midwife
cheering on the crowning head
from the side of the bed?

and what counts as born?
when you back-heel
the mothership?
when the cord
gets snipped?


fact is
the certificate says
the 29th
not the 28th

and anyway

what’s a few hours
in this great daisy chain
of life on earth?
dad was begat
then beget
some things you hold on to
some you forget

and now dad’s dead
head or feet first
into the abyss
I must confess
I’m not entirely sure
all that is clear
is that I’m still here
looking around
wondering where the rhyme is
checking what the time is


the low to no pressure blues

we’ve been jawing & toying
but there’s no more avoiding
these low to no pressure blues
the roses – who sent ‘um?
they’re devoid of momentum
their colours look sad in this outer space spectrum
the low to no pressure blues

Einstein was right
about doughnuts and light
and the low to no pressure blues
his virtual particles
are the genuine article
they phase in and out with trajectories farcical
in the low to no pressure blues

your stars were too hot
and they imploded a lot
with the low to no pressure blues
there’s no more surprisin’
your event horizons
their appetite for light was quite mesmerisin’
in these no to low pressure blues

but I’m done with the weather
out here in your aether
the low to no pressure blues
you needed your space
and I’m so out of place
the tears have been boiling clean off my face
in these low to no pressure blues

I’m through with the suction
molecular reduction
these low to no pressure blues
I’m losing my spark
in your virtual heart
and I’m worried we’re rushing things out in the dark
and the low to no pressure blues

so let’s stay as friends
with our love through a lens
and the low to no pressure blues
it’s not you it’s me
I need air to breathe
and I’m panicked with the mechanics of entropy
in these low to no pressure blues

I’m sorry but it’s true
what else can I do?
with the low to no pressure blues
the low to no pressure blues

(…. fade out according to the rules of General Relativity….)

bad king wenceslas

Bad King Wenceslas looked out
on the scene of sirens
blue lights flashing round about
the neighbourhood environs

Fiercely shone the chopper lights
bullhorn shouts were cruel
negotiator came in sight
struggling to stay cool

Hither page and stand by me
if thou know it telling
yonder agent who is he?
where and what his dwelling?

Sire he lives a good league hence
underneath a mountain
works for government defence
narco crime accountin’

Bring my vest and bring my piece
bring my bullets hither
thou and I will this guy grease
send his brothers hither

Page and monarch forth they went
forth they went together
till their weapons all were spent
and down they went together

Sire the night is darker now
and the wind blows stronger
fails my heart I know not how
I can go no longer

Hark my footsteps my good page
tread thou in them boldly
thou must find the righteous rage
to freeze thy blood less coldly

In his master’s steps he trod
past the cars so dented
the heat was in the very sod
and Wenceslas demented

Thus shall gangsta men be stopped
wealth or junk possessing
ye who now do waste the cops
shall all soon be resting


the shard

I found the fragment
of an old plate
a shard of blue and white
washed out by the rain

I thought about
the meals it represented
a clicking of cutlery
like the ticking of a clock

now it lies like a mosaic clue
a spray of blue leaves
a pair of boots
a swollen river

we are made of elements
random accumulations
that form and break
according to the weather

we pattern out our time
it rains, or it doesn’t
someone carries a plate
nothing lasts forever


star wars: the retirement

Yoda parks his Skoda
sadly affected
by scoliosis
COPD with a poor prognosis
wheezes into his local
where he ends up getting vocal
with some stormtroopers on the pool table
waggling their cues a lot
so they miss their shot
till the owner gets called
and he’s hauled
back out on the street
(which happens most weeks)
he gets back in his Skoda
licence plate YODA
and a sign on the back of the car:
If Read This You Can Too Close You Are
and heads back to his cave
half watches Dave
whilst he knocks out a series of gnomic tweets
to Kylo Ren and the Imperial Fleet

Admiral Ackbar
runs a shitty little snackbar
somewhere out on Kessel
serving doughnuts and slime
to the guys from the mine
and random passing vessels
days when it’s slack
he loiters out back
playing cards with Fett and Finn
rolling his eyes
when the generator dies
and a Jedi wanders in

Princess Leia
works as a quantity surveyor
(she wanted something more regular)

Jabba the Hut
is a fitness nut
owns a number of successful franchises
aimed at customers of equivalent sizes

C-3PO and R2D2
disappeared after #metoo

Obi-Wan Kenobi
shaved head and goatee
works in security
standing all night on the door
‘this is not the club you’re looking for’

Darth Maul
doesn’t do much at all
just sits all day in his study
cantankerous and moody
watching reruns of Judge Judy



end of the day blues

I’m slumped / dumped / spiritually gazumped / I’m rolling on the forecourt with the last gas pumped

I’m slack / cracked / wasted and whacked / I’m a shop soiled cosmonaut drifting off track

I’m snookered / bazooka’d / soulfully verruca’d / I’m a wonderland caterpillar totally hookah’d

I’m trolleyed / squalid / more liquid than solid / I’m a bottle of windolene chugged and volleyed

I’m stuffed / snuffed / artlessly roughed / I’m a dragon with a fag on fatally puffed

I’m steaming / keening / vacantly dreaming / I’m one part how’de do, two parts screaming

at least / if I’m honest / that’s how it’s seeming


creative differences

Klugman as Quincy
scowling as he rinses
his hands
a series of reprimands
on the actor
playing the hapless inspector
who shakes his head and looks at the director
who’s too stressed, bored
inexperienced & over-awed
so the actor’s concerns are ignored
and whilst they clear the studio floor
getting ready for the next shot
the actor wanders outside for a spot
and thinks about all the parts he hasn’t got
and whether he should quit or not
or give the whole thing one last shot
and stares up at the sky and smokes a lot

that’s me
one hundred percent absolutely