Two Wood Pigeons

You were of a world
of romance and
which courted words
like perchance
and ecstasy.

Then time
with all its matter
and fact
shattered them
like glass and took
the silly notions
out of your head.

perchance and ecstasy,
I see them
sitting together,
two wood pigeons
on a wire,
and my heart misses a beat.


Bouncing around the room
like ping pong balls blown
in and out of people’s mouths,
some are left in the corner
others roll under a glass table in full view.

Those are the words
I can’t take my eyes off,
those strange words.

I pick them up.
I throw them
just to see.

See where they land
see how they fall,
see if you will catch
just one or two.

Or just watch me
pocket them
without a word.


am I in the right time
the right frame
something seems out of kilter
nothing’s plain
that’s new?
that’s now?
doesn’t make any sense somehow
I’m in the wrong place
sometimes I can’t believe
my eyes
my ears
is that my face?
nothing rhymes
nothing chimes.

City Riot*

“‘We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything.'”
~Lord of the Flies

There’s a siren of alarm on the high street: a river
island and a monsoon call,
a blur of boys and girls come out to play, their writing’s
on the wall.

You see it’s enough to make you believe what they say
about having it your own way,
rags on mannequins behind smashed glass are snatched
or thrown away.

But then down on the Estate the bins are full of posh
princesses beckoning wealth and sleaze;
and the policemen in the cities are down upon their knees;

a petrol bomb is hurled, someone goes ‘England’s shite!’
and I’m like ‘Holy
fuck, just look, they’ll be over here tonight.’

8 August 2011

*This is a parody/pale imitation of a fabulous poem by Peter Robinson called Otterspool Prom. I’ve kept some of the words and phrases of Robinson’s poem like “England’s shite!” and “I’m like.” I really like his language and the contrast between the speaker’s and his student’s perspective, but I wondered how it would go if written a few years later in a very different location – another England. You can read Peter Robinson’s poem and Carol Rumens’s excellent commentary here