2017: January Pre-Mourning

The night before the work starts
Our streets echo with lone travellers
This night of cold clear dread
As the new year shakes free
Of it’s champagne and fireworks
A mighty muted still
Fills up the dark

And in the raging dreams
Of all these people in their beds
Uncertain and alone in today’s cold sleep
Questions of fragility
Feed our hunger for dread
Spoiling this last bedtime
With what tomorrow brings

Outside in some dark corner
Of a Southern London home
I ponder how few deaths make many mourn
The slaps of conflict beat
Fresh tears from more bored eyes
Yet each hour too much life
Is bled and crushed in horror

For one more year has come on us
And forseers contort with doom
Such angry rhetoric, such mounting gloom
Yet this new year is not foretold
And harbours chances new
There’s not time to conjure lies
Just time to start the world.

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

The end of the world news, Ankakay via Flickr

Pop

You know, he’s the most enormous person there is in the whole wide world.

Where is he?

The music is fading.
Truck’s stopped and everyone else is getting off, entwined in mums and dads,
so where is he?
You glance from big grinning face to big laughing head… Nowhere!

Try not to panic!
It feels empty now.
Gripping hold, tight, to the bar.
Afraid to stand, you fight back those early tears
and bite your bulging bottom lip.

Two huge hands reach in.
Click. You’re free; those hands, in your armpits, thrusting you skywards!
A reassuring bass voice
“Hello Twinkle! You enjoy that?”

“Dadeeeeee” you squeal,
beaming your best tooth-filled Beam back,
as he hoists you snuggly onto one arm and presses you against his wall of chest, for a carry!

Now that you’re three,
your arms easily encircle his tree-trunk neck
and you both sail along past other tempting stalls and flashing rides.
“Dinner soon” He harrumphs, close to your forehead
as you quietly de-panic and enjoy the comfort of the best ride in the show
– your best daddy in the whole wide world.

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Party at Aunty Kayes 1932

Shadows

A dark knock loiters out my door
I can’t tell what it’s waiting for

Somedays I catch it catch it’s breath
Somedays I brood on where we met

One night it rested on the wood
That shadow scarred like no claw could

And in the warmth of this close home
Wrapped deep in folds of family down

My burning ears and itching hands
Breathe deep, fold down and make a stand

 

My Private Wonder

Stalking quietly
Quickly lightly
Hunting them who cannot see thee
Hunching tensely
Breathless nobly
Pounce on pray so unaware

I can see thee
I can hear you,
In the darkness
In the light

You will hardly catch me sleeping
While a breath in your lungs haunts
Morning lately, noon or nighttime –
Never can I rest at all

Creeping slinky
Shadows crawling
Though I fear you in my mind
I shout loudly
Sharply strutting
You shall not my manner wane

Beck Beat Poetry

Open mic

Things need to change
Complain complain complain
Lets do something about it
Somebody already is
Well lets do it as well
It’s not going to change anything, nothing ever does
Lets do more
Nobody will come
Lets do it differently
They’re busy doing their own thing
Lets do it in the dark
Nobody will care
Lets do it with people we don’t know
There’s already too much of it out there
Lets do it in Beckenham
With a microphone
In a bookshop.


Having spent much time reading many of your words on screen, I recently got a hankering for some real, in-the-flesh poetry. A few events in London and some irregular You-Tubing later and my appetites whetted… Thankfully, the thoughtful wordsmyths at The Beckenham Bookshop agreed to support my urge to witness more of this on my own doorstep. Ergo…

Here’s your invitation to a free, Open Mic, Poetry event in Beckenham, London.
Tuesday 1 March, 6.30PM-8PM.
Sign up on the door for a 7 O’Clock start, with each artist given up to 5 minutes airtime (depending on numbers), you will enjoy a poetic reception at The Beckenham Bookshop and see the start of a regular, ‘local’, poetry event.

the first open mic poster

the first open mic poster

At the Edge of the World

At the edge of the world,
Where only power and influence survive.
The ‘greatest’ of men collide.
Teasing nuclear envelopes
The way kids round our way, tease creepy-crawlies.
And just as this mighty cloud of wealth teeters on the brink…

A loud voice, deep in the midst of our crowd,
Remembered the bosom
(the soft cosy curve of sweet breast) out loud.

You’ll never believe that one shout saved the world!
Or rescued our leaders
From their throw-away plot
To blow us all up,
But you’ll have to believe that it’s true.
And as she shouted again, I’ll tell you –

So sudden this rage and shame fell
Like a shroud
As each nutter revisited
Memories of real warmth
And worth.