Saturday, 20 July 2013

Owed to Stafford (Not an Ode)

I owe you Stafford for the days spent gazing 
in awe at all the stuff in your museum,when I was 
barely tall enough to see into the cases.
I owe you Stafford for the dentists at your old 
infirmary, who sorted out my crooked teeth
by fitting me with braces.

I owe you Stafford for my reward for being good,
for Knickerbocker Glories at the Pop-in Cafe,
which was next to The Top of the World.
I owe you Stafford for Saturdays with scruffy types on 
motorbikes, and afternoons in the Stafford Arms, 
a formative experience for a girl.

I owe you Stafford for Marks & Spencer’s 
Childrenswear and Lingerie- my first real job 
in 1975, for me a milestone year.
I owe you Stafford for your county as, wherever 
I decide to live, my heart will always be 
in Staffordshire.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Some Journey

 The taxi driver sang

 wordlessly, tunelessly,

 to the smell of sweat
 and cherries

 Passed by a bedraggled man

 holding words in black and red

'Don’t go to Hell' they said,

'It is a Place of Torment'

 The taxi driver muttered

“wasn’ goin that way, anyway”

 carried on his journey

 and his humming