The softness of folded letters

And finding some degree of similarity

Is a paradox

On this estate

Part public, part private

Partings of ways and manners

What was once important

Is smoothed over

On common ground

Where we live

Near Lovers Park

The survivor’s delicatessen

Suspended in air

Two balloons scrape our chimney

Lowry’s empty sky

There isn’t a breath

Of wind to keep us here

-they holler

We run outside

And help fold the sheets

On promised land.

Homo sapien’s last gasp

This is homo sapien’s last gasp

Upfront it leads the pack

Doesn’t care for

These new identities

All this adaptability

Homo sapien doesn’t

Recognise change

Or its own evolution

It’s lost and afraid

Grasps on to its status rock. 

Lashes out


Its own offspring

God knows

This is no revolution

This is homo sapien’s exit

A thousand generations crash

Into their own past

Witness the birth

Of its children’s child

Defined by its survival

And its parents’ inability

To recognise

We’re two different species

Fear and hope

Walking upright, forwards

Along this tightrope.

The Demise of the English Language: from Geoffrey Chaucer to Donald Trump

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote,
The drochte of March hath perced to the roote,
I’m gonna grab her pussy
Cos she’s a piece of ass.


skipping and scanning
the hydrographics
scroll the sky
a watery text
curses the familiar outlines
of Van Gogh, Turner, or Monet

Chinese whispers and inklings
vast waterlilies
jet stream like fountain pen
notes and quotes scrawl the pond
righting wrongs, scoring through
the luggage, the passports, the money

still scanning
electromagnetic semantics
overwriting vast fields of blue
correcting grammar
punctuating earth with shade and hue

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