Friday, 18 November 2011

The Day Uncle Derek Died

Just while we're on the subject...

The day Uncle Derek died
there was a knock on the door, but no-one there,
and his long-dead dog, much loved, was seen, for a moment, in the kitchen.
The family gathered with solemn face and downcast eye,
half-shrugs, handshakes, hugs.
Someone put the kettle on, so we drank some tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
there were balloons next door, and birthday banners,
a bouncy castle and the sound of children playing.
A car arrived and through the house a whispered echo spread
the doctor’s here...the doctor’s here...
best put the kettle on and make some tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
we sat outside, and watched some flies,
and talked of who would have his pigeons and two of the cats.
No-one wanted to be the one to phone the undertaker,
to say that he was gone,
so we put the kettle on, and drank more tea.

The day Uncle Derek died
his sisters sat and spoke of 
jokes and laughter, tricks he used to play.
I bought a lottery scratchcard, because that’s what Uncle Derek did
when he knew he was going to die. 
I didn’t win. Nor did he.
Back home, I put the kettle on, and made a cup of tea.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The first conversation I had after I learned that my brother had died.

I am sharing this because my dearly loved, unique, eccentric brother would have liked this story. I can hear his laughter as I write.

I was in Oakengates, Telford for a theatre performance which I learned, on arrival, had been cancelled. I had about 40 minutes until the next train for Wolverhampton so I decided to look for somewhere to have a bite of lunch. This was no mean feat in Oakengates but I eventually located a likely looking cafe and was walking towards the door when my phone rang. 

As soon as I saw it was my sister's number I knew what the call would be, and had little choice but to take it there in the street. She told me that Andrew had died. 
We knew he was terminally ill (he'd been in hospital over the weekend) but until three days before we'd all thought that he'd be with us for a while yet. We hadn't adjusted to the new timetable, had not enough time to prepare, but then again, is there ever enough time? 
My sister and I spoke for a few minutes and to be honest I'm not sure what was said by either of us. As the call ended I put my phone into my bag, took a deep breath, and walked into the cafe.

I looked at the menu, walked to the counter and asked if I could have scrambled eggs on toast.
"and could I have mushrooms with that, please?" 

 "Yes..." said the lady behind the counter.
 So far so good.

"...and do you want brown bread, or white?" 

I burst into tears.

"Oh, sorry," she said, 
"perhaps I shouldn't have asked"

I apologised but was quite unable to tell her why I was crying.

There is now a woman in Telford telling people about the strange customer she had in the cafe who obviously needs help with her bread issues.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Fishing Prayer

Worm and pellet, corn and bread,
Cast offerings to the riverbed.
By chub and perch, by roach and dace,
Grant me good fishing in this place.

For stone and gravel, reed and bank,
The water goddess I must thank,
And leaf and flower and branch and tree
For shade and for tranquility.

To bream and gudgeon, ruffe and rudd
Respect I offer, true and good;
To grayling, salmon, barbel, trout
Reverence and praise devout.

Hook and line and rod and reel,
Thy rituals help my soul to heal.
Carp and eel and tench and pike
Please grant forgiveness for my strike.

Friday, 4 November 2011

all apologies...

...this is just a short post to say sorry for the big gaps between blog posts at the moment.

strange times.

hoo hars and 
occurences occuring.....

UN nerving

a sense of 

The glass is neither
half full nor
half empty
>flinches< away
out of range


for it.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A poem for Marco

My latest poem will be posted here at a later date but can be seen on the Poetry 24 website,  where it is the poem for Monday 24th October.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

There's enough of them already...

 This is very disorganised but that's how I'm feeling today so I make no apology, it just is what it is. 
This is what is happening in my street. Worst of all, they expect me to agree.

Up in arms, prepared to fight, the neighbours are stirred up,
The Club Has Closed.
The drinking den with smoking shelter (optional) attached
is gone but worse to come,
the rumour’s doing the rounds, we saw someone come out
Challenged him
What’s going on, what’s it going to be?
The answer couldn’t have been worse.

Crackhouse, Whorehouse, Paedophiles retreat?
No, worse (of course)

You never would believe what is afoot
Lowering the value of our properties,
The tone of the neighbourhood,
Bringing people in who don’t belong, here.

Yes, that’s right. A Mosque!

Something must be done.

Bring back the boozers, smokers, Saturday night 
shouting-in-the-streeters and
good old local 
Dope sellers.

No Mosque here, we say. 
No Way.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A poem for National Poetry Day

 First, some provenance:-  
Today on Facebook
 First post- 12hours ago
I might try to write a poem for National Poetry Day. Don't hold your breath- current ETA is 11.59pm..............
·  update: 11 hours ago
Got notebook, searching for favourite pencil.

· update: 9 hours ago
checking Twitter for inspiration.

· update: 8 hours ago
Jeremy Kyle on ITV2

· update: 7 hours ago
think I might pop to the corner shop for some chocolate......

· update: 6 hours ago
my legs need shaving

· update: 5 hours ago
why are my socks all similar but none of them actually seem to match? I'd better get the sock drawer sorted..........

· update: 4 hours ago
making progress. Well, started. Had a good idea, anyway. Now need to leave it for a bit to take our mother for her birthday chinese all-you-can-eat treat. May be some time.

· update: 22 minutes ago
back home now. After we got back to our mother's from the chinese all-you-can-eat we had a lovely chat and she read out her funeral plan to me. Now I'll get on with it before National Poetry Day actually ends.

· update: 20 minutes ago
I'll get on with it as soon as the Taylor/Nicholson darts match is finished

Update: 2 minutes ago
Done! Before the estimated ETA as well. Sharing link to blog post in a few minutes. Well, I hope it was worth the wait. Hello? Where is everybody? Anyone there? Oh no! Don’t say they got fed up of waiting. Bloody Hell, I’ve spent ALL DAY working on this......

Oh well .......

National Poetry Day 

For me it’s a whole day off work day
A winnie-the-pooh style of blustery day
It’s a rag-and-bone man in the street day
A bit weird being home in mid-week day

Its goodbye to ‘Palin for President’ day
And a good-riddance-too-we-all-say day
Ninety-nine percent march in New York day
And the media tries to ignore (again) day

It’s the rich buggers making a mint day
and pay off your debts (though you’re skint) day
It’s Cameron being a (k)nob day
Oh hang on that’s actually every day

It’s writing a poem for National Poetry Day day
An I-don’t-think-that-that-really-scanned day
A not going quite as I’d planned day
And a hope-that-you’ll-all-understand day

It’s May in a flap with a cat day
A ‘tear up the Human Right’s Act’ day
A loan sharks and crooks “let-us-prey” day
The long march from Jarrow again day

It’s a Middle East peace is a myth day
Another if-only/what-if day
It’s a what was I trying to say? day
Is it really that time of the day? day

A “hang on while I just feed the fish” day
An everything’s-starting-to-drift day
It’s our mother’s birthday (hooray) day
A 'big hug for the people we love' day

It’s RIP Apple’s Steve Jobs day
And thank you for all the iPods day
His advice- live as if it’s your last day, so
Be bold and creative and happy- today.