Friday, 30 December 2016

Poetry Friday 26

So 26 consecutive weeks of poetry on a Friday, that’s half a year of poetry. Not bad for a non-poet. 
Three poems for you today. All works in progress. Any feedback welcome.

For audio click here 

Silky stockings stretch
over her fingers
then slide over sleek, shapely legs.
Her black dress tumbles and ripples,
then is soothed by hand.
She dabs perfume on her neck
as she slips into her heels,
and inspects herself in the
full-length mirror.
Her eyes are different from mine.
Mine approve, admire, adore.
Hers find fault, see lines,
admonish for
the pastry at breakfast,
the skipped gym class.
And curse her mother
for the hips she inherited.
She sits on her bed and lights a cigarette;
blowing out smoke from her ruby lips
Then she checks the time,
extinguishes the light and
goes out into the night.
All the time unaware
that this secret artist
was painting her soul.

Duvet Days
A snowbound moon
bristles through the trees.
Blurry eyes grow accustomed
to the sound of the alarm.
Ahead of you is the lonely road,
just crows and starlings for company 
as the sun struggles to rise.
Here is sleepy-head warmth.
So cling to the duvet 
in the forlorn hope 
that the alarm has rung 
in error. 

It snows in Athens.
It snows in Athens;
         it snows in Athens!
I know it snows in Athens.
Because there’s a snowflake
on the end of my nose.
A snowflake on my nose.
My nose in Athens.
It snows in Athens.
I came for blue sky, sunshine.
not for a cold nose.
A nose with snowflakes on the end.
but a snowflake on the end of my nose
tells me what I now know;
It snows in Athens.

Thanks for supporting me through this project. This might be the last one, it seems a good place to leave it, but I’ve said that before.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ronnie Part 1

For audio click here 
This is a work in progress. I will edit this and play with it in the coming days. 

“Who the fuck has put this fucking song on the fucking juke box again?” yelled Big Bryn the barman.
Davey took a sip of his pint trying to look innocent, but everybody knew it was his favourite tune.  His perfectly coiffured hair waved gently as someone threw the bar door open. The smell of Chanel Number 5 told Davey it was Maria. He looked up to see her ample backside poured into the smallest pair of jeans on the planet. How on earth had she managed to get into them? Davey thought. But what he was really hoping was that one of these days he’d get the chance to peel them off.
She was followed into the bar by the lads; Marty, Johnny, and Choirboi, the smell of Embassy Number 1s drowning out the sweet perfume. Davey used to be the fourth member of the gang, but he'd be told to sling his hook when his Duran Duran obsession became too much. The lads had followed their destiny down the pit as soon as it was legal to leave school; they weren't interested in qualifications, poncey music, and flowing locks - make up was certainly a no-no. But Davey was different, he’d never wanted to go down the pit. Davey had o-levels and was studying for a BTEC at college. He had his sights set on the bright lights of Cardiff, if he could make it there, he could make it anywhere.
“Davey's in then,” Choirboi said when he heard Girls on Film playing in the juke box
“I thought I could smell perfume,” Marty said and the others laughed.
Girls on Film was just ending. It was time to go home. Davey had about five fingers of his pint left; too much to neck in one go. He took a big mouthful and put his wallet in his pocket. Another smaller one and pulled his jacket on, then a third one and was standing up.
“See you, Ronnie,” the lads yelled. Davey looked longingly at Maria as he left, hoping she'd take pity on him and leave with him. But she laughed at the name Ronnie and took a sip of her Vodka and Coke.
Davey kicked a can all the way home. The rattle of metal on concrete somehow soothing his troubled mind. He had to get out of this place. It was time to make a decision. It was now or never.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Brexit Diary

I am trying something new with this piece, it is very much a first draft. Any feedback welcome. Thank you. 

For audio click here

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2026
Brexit Day, Public Holiday, England and Wales (not Scotland or Northern Ireland)

If you had told me fifteen years ago that I would be standing on Trafalgar Square cheering the unveiling of a fifteen-foot statue of Nigel Farage, I would have laughed in your face. Well, guess where I was today. Yes, today is Brexit Day, a new annual Public Holiday inaugurated this year to mark the tenth anniversary of the people taking back control and making Britain Great again. How did that go for us again?
To mark the occasion, I was one of the thirty-five thousand lucky ones who received an invitation to the unveiling of a special memorial. We weren’t told what the memorial would be and central London has been under lockdown for the past two weeks, so no one had a clue what was being prepared for the celebrations.  
Of course, I didn’t want to go, but the invitation made it plain that non-compliance would lead to arrest and internment on grounds of unBritish behaviour; a day out in Trafalgar Square in the sunshine seem preferable to a stretch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Of course, I didn’t want to cheer either, but again the invite made it plain that all invitees were strongly encouraged to show their patriotic spirit.
There’s a photo that used to do the rounds on Facebook, (remember that) of a man not saluting Hitler when all those around him were. I’ve often wondered what happened to that man. It struck me as a futile gesture. No doubt he was arrested and shot and probably made out to be a spy or terrorist.  So, although he stood up for what he believed in, it didn’t do anyone any good, especially not him.  Wouldn't he have been better off saluting, thus staying alive and working in the resistance.
Anyway, I’m ashamed to say, I sang the national anthem with gusto, cheered when the frail figure of the queen came on stage and reserved my loudest screams for when Mr Farage pulled the chord and revealed the statue of himself.
But like Winston in Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, (on the banned list now of course), I’ve decided that enough is enough. I may not be able to show my dissent in public, but I can do it privately, and I can start with this diary. I will use this diary as my confessional, as my penance for when society forces me to do things which I don’t believe in.
I used to love London but I don’t get there much these days. So I decided to walk to Trafalgar Square from Liverpool Street ,partly for old time’s sake and partly because I hate using the Underground, the threat of power cuts and flooding just makes it damn scary. I went to Uni around there so even in its current state it brings back happy memories of the 20-year-old me, drinking, exploring, finding myself. I thought I was so grown up, I was just a little boy. I remember the bombings back then though. The Baltic Exchange and the Threadneedle Street attacks. I heard one of them on my way back from the shops and I lived eight miles away. Most of the buildings look bomb damaged these days too. The old NatWest tower is a shadow of its former self; it used to be the tallest building in the City of London, but now it’s an empty hollow shell; the wind clattering the blinds in the gaps where the windows once were. In the shadow of the crumbling tower, two kids were jumping up and down on an old Skoda singing that awful Send Them Home song, I longed to remind them they had all gone home, but you can’t trust kids. They’ll go rushing back to their dads and the next to you know the vigilantes are out looking for you.
As I came out of the City of London and headed towards Charing Cross the crowds began to grow. Men, women and children in their union jack hats, waistcoats, t-shirts.  People waved placards with Farage and the Queen and some people had some retro posters from the Out campaign. Land of Hope and Glory rang out from the speakers that lined the streets. Women and children ate ice creams while the men drank free Bomber Ale. I drank mine slowly but I longed for an Ice Cream.
I tried to avoid eye contact with the masses in case someone saw the doubts in my eyes. Do all of these people really believe in the lies we’re being fed? Do they all really believe Britain is Great again? Or are they all like me, too scared or too pragmatic to speak out? I hope it is the latter, I fear it is the former.

I’ll say one thing for Farage, he doesn’t like to hang about;they say it's security but he probably doesn’t want to spend too long away from the pub. The event was over in a flash, anthem, the Royal Brexit Day Address, Farage’s speech, a rendition of Rule Britannia and then we were asked kindly to disassemble, which I was only too pleased to do.