Monday, 8 August 2011

A poem for my Grandma

My dinners over Grandma’s,
banquets fit for royalty.
My plates piled high, food scrapes the sky,
she really spoils me!
Then after tea, five-year-old me
and Grandma will duet.
It's ‘Uptown Girl’ by Billy
or a Carpenters cassette.

From tot to teen, there’s always been
my Grandma – always there.
Trying our best to win ‘Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire?’
We’re phoning up Chris Tarrant
(though he never phones us back)
We’re millionaires in laughter
from day-break ‘til skies turn black.

The Phantom of the Opera sings
to Christine, ‘All I Ask’.
We’re off to Manchester, see
Peter Karrie don the mask!
We write to Peter Karrie
(though he never writes us back)
But still, we won’t forget
his smashing chandelier attack!

From teens to twenties, now thirties,
through times happy and sad,
My Grandma’s faith in me’s one of
the greatest gifts I’ve had.
No calls from Chris, no letters from
The Phantom, these I lack.
But Grandma’s always loved me
and I’ve always loved her back.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Should I Hand In My Homework?

Walking to school, I hear a crack...
A dragon bursts out the tarmac!
Its scythe-like claws tort for attack,
its drool-drenched jaw hung wet and slack.
No beast will eat me for a snack!
I have no muscle (no six-pack)
but I've the brains that dragons lack.
I trap it in my math's book! WHACK!

Although I know I'm no hero
I *did* defeat a dragon... so...
I raise my math's book, cheer 'BRAVO!'
Should I hand in my homework?
Should I hand in my homework?

Of course...
Dragon's trapped between these pages.
Must keep this book shut... for ages.
Don't unlock these paper cages.
Please don't unleash dragon's rages!
Teachers... aren't wizards or mages.
Think they're smart... but they're no sages.
Sir just snorts. I hope he’ll gauge the
danger trapped between these pages!

'Sir!' I yell, 'Don't look below
my math's book's cover!' (now aglow
as from inside dark smoke rings blow!)
Should I hand in my homework?
Should I hand in my homework?

‘Without a sword, without cross-bow,
without kung-fu or tae-kwon-do,
with just my book I caught this foe.’
Should I hand in my homework?
Should I hand in my homework?

My teacher says, 'What nonsense. Right,
you gave the whole class quite a fright.'
He takes the book. Its spine burns bright,
pages smouldering fiery light.
'Please stop!' I cry, 'Look, I'll rewrite
my homework, please, I'll do it tonight!'
He opens the book... Dragon takes flight...
devours Sir in one sharp bite.

Teachers! My moral is more than implied.
Don't wish to corrupt, don't mean to misguide,
but when marking homework keep caution applied
for there might be a dragon... waiting inside!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

What's That Smell?

I have a cat. He's small and thin.
Bright ginger fur covers his skin.
His name is Dillen. He's my pet.
My playful, cheerful friend... and yet...
I fear wherever Dillen goes,
for every man will hold his nose
and all the women go beserk
when they smell Dillen's bottom burp.

Wherever he goes, people yell
at my poor Dillen- 'What's that smell?'
But I am too ashamed to tell
the truth as they shout 'What's that smell?'

At first, your nose he'll gently tease
with just a whiff, like mouldy cheese.
It gets worse than old football boots,
the stench that comes when Dillen toots.
Like bad eggs rubbed in sweaty feet,
sour milk dripped on rotting meat-
you'll hear no sound, the stink grows steadilly.
Dillen's trumps are silent... but deadly

Wherever he goes, people yell
at my poor Dillen- 'What's that smell?'
But I am too ashamed to tell
the truth as they shout 'What's that smell?'

One night, I couldn't sleep. I saw
a rainbow pour beneath my door!
Then in mid-air... saw flowers bloom!
Fireworks burst... in my bedroom!
This was no dream. This was no bluff.
This magic soared from Dillen's guff!
He's been a wizard all along.
Like Harry Potter... but with more pong.

Now Dillen knows many a spell.
Can teleport and fly as well!
Let's tour the world! This show will sell!
A shame he can't dispel the smell...

Now one last truth you might find tragic.
Not all our botty coughs are magic.
In fact, some people act aghast
if you let rip a trouser blast.
I can't believe some folk can't cope
think it's a crime if wind is broke.
It's normal, natural, not obscene.
We've all got gas- even the Queen.

So I'm not shy if people yell
when Dillen's trumping 'What's that smell?'
Magic or not, I'm proud to tell
the truth when they shout 'What's that smell?'

Friday, 6 May 2011

My Living Document

My Living Document

4am parched,
mine marches on paper legs, tramples detail,
runs over its own mistakes again,
runs in circles, spiralling.
Parasitic bloated hungry,
mine is a vampire cannibal draining its own neck.
Stamping new ideas on top of old,
past thoughts bleed between present ones.
Now feels forever.
Mine jibes sour stories it promises tomorrow will unfold.
I’ve paper-cut eyes and fistfuls of scribble
that can’t punch through even the lightest doubt.
Gasping. Straining its leash.
This brittle cover can’t hold mine down anymore.
It tears ahead of hands, rips through pride and pants.
Its inky print stains you. My mouth says sorry.

Help me keep its wet, jaw pages tight shut.
A black blob butterfly waits inside, cackles all night.
How can I sleep? I’m wide-eyed beside you
wrists clenched, fingers spiralling.

Yours, in a dream-hammock over your head,
returns to your brain as you wake.
I wrestle with mine ‘til it knocks me out cold.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hero "the handsomest nose in the galaxy..." short film of my WIZARD poem, 'Hero'

Friday, 4 February 2011

First draft of poem from workshop at Contact

Brain gone tidal.

Ideas rising,
salty memories,
an inspired foaming at the tip.
A brain wave.

Thoughts come crashing down,
prepare for impact,
all hands on deck,
hands ready to write,
hands to document this torrent of inspiration pending.
Get ready!
Thar she blows!


No thick burst of ice water,
not even a hint of sea mist,
Not even a vacuum or gulf of space,
beyond space,
space imploded,
there is nothing in my head

and its weight is killing me.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Imp or Giant

Sat there alone, I saw this...
In the bar's safe corner where no one else sits,
away from the giants, their laughter like grit,
away from catty dwarves’ cruel chitter-chat-chit,
away from wafer thin willo the wisps
fingering magazines between vodka sips,
I chewed my shaking nails like half eaten bags of crisps
watching this cackling, barefoot Imp.

I watched it. Barefoot. Waving round its shoes.
Acting like it invented feet.
Cackling up to the jukebox din
through the crowd so thick with their talk so thin.
No one even gave it a glance.
Sheltering behind my fat finger mask
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two- one- breathe’,
turned my ears away from its barefoot beat.

Imp flitted forward, cheeks and teeth,
elbows jabbed a staccato jig.
Too wrapped up in its own bare feet,
Accidentally... knocked over
...a Giant's... full



Giant's face... engorged.
Cherry red... eyes glaced.
Lager danced down his mountainous shirt,
rumbaed to the valley of his lap.
Giant’s knuckle hair rose like spears.
Imp- bare faced- had no fears.
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two- one- breathe.’
As my fingers hugged my beer I felt myself freeze.

Drenched and deranged, Giant leapt with a roar,
slammed down fists, a fight, or more
and Imp... waltzed away,
oblivious... free.
Seemingly unseen
grinned relentlessly.
The crowd hadn’t flinched, their natter bobbing along.
Giant sat down. The night sailed on.

‘One- two- one- two’ still could see
Giant's massive muscle, Imp's barefoot glee.
In my safe bar corner where no one else breathes
the air got sticky like someone spilled the breeze.
I thought, ‘One- two- one- two-’ to ease
as I bit nails deep, tasted them bleed,
Panic attacked on the count of


I would do anything to be bigger
or smaller
than me.