Poetry Blogs (2020, childhood)

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The Mound

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The Mound

 

It started way back when I was a child

One cold November night in sixty-four

Old furniture and windfall from the trees

Piled high into a mound of combustibles

 

Each year new kindling was added to ashes

That had smudged the verdant back garden lawn

Layer upon layer added to the blackened hill

That was gradually growing towards the sky

 

One year I lo...

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Cairo On The Radio

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Down the endless garden 
to a hand-built shed of wonders
and little me, sitting with my grandad
listening to all the voices
pushing through the static

What magic in those wires!
The narrow band, the wide
The squelch and the gain
The whistle and the whine
sounds I’ll never forget

The spectrum of a planet 
chattering
Such wisdom in rough fingers
so deft upon the dial
gently they’d ...

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Marketplace

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Marketplace

 

This space is like a ghost town

Trestle tables row on row

Echoing with the hustle bustle

Vendors cries of long ago

 

I held my mother’s hand

And listened to them shout

‘apples sixpence a pound

Come on get your money out!’

 

Comics stored in cardboard boxes

Toys stacked high on stands

Gleaming in the Friday sun

Just out of reach of sticky h...

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Needles & Thread

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Needles & Thread

 

I remember her sat at an old Singer sewing machine

Turning the handle in the half-light of autumn

Making dresses and skirts for herself

So that precious pennies could be invested in children

 

She made me a Lone Ranger mask

From remnants of black cloth

She had left from one of her creations

I wore it with pride and a whoop and a holler

 

When ...

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A Bell and a Boy

There's a big iron bell on the roof of the barn
that is used to call men from wherever they are:
from the fields, from mending the fences
from tending the cows in distant pastures.

There's a boy who likes adventure,
to find interesting places and things.
He likes to explore different places alone,
to go wherever he will near home.

Call him home from the forest, farm bell.
Call him bac...

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Magyk

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Magyk

 

I had a book all full of spells

Where childhood magic

Weaved its way

Between the yellowed pages

 

Where dragon’s breath

Set woodland glades alight

And lost children danced

With the frightened and the fey

 

The teeth of angry wolves

Chewed at the edges

Whilst chattering little demons

Clawed along your spine

 

Strange apples fell from wizene...

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The Pictures We Drew

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I wonder what happens

To the poorly drawn images

We keep abreast as children,

Sheltered inside our notebooks and their crinkly pages.

I envisage those pages accompanying

Balloons, bubbles and butterflies,

And the colors in them adorning

The sallow face of the sky.

I like to believe that my poorly chalked out blades of grass

Somehow appended the greenery on earth

Or th...

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My Mother's Kitchen

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My Mother’s Kitchen

 

I’m in my mother’s kitchen

It’s a Monday afternoon

The oven’s heated up the air

The buns will be out soon

Everywhere there’s an aroma

Of cinnamon and spice

An apple pie sits on the table

I’m waiting for a slice

 

A black-leaded coal fire

Does it’s best to dominate

The heat and the smells

That the baking permeates

An old fridge hums...

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Glam Rock Man

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Glam Rock Man

 

A stack heeled stomp in platform boots

Trowelled make-up and glitter suits

Feather cut hair and tinted roots

It’s Glam Rock, man,
it’s Glam Rock

 

Teenage Rampage, Ballroom Blitz,

Radio One plays all The Hits

Driving your dad out of his wits

It’s Glam Rock, man,
it’s Glam Rock

 

Jackie, Smash, Disco Forty Five

What a great time to be alive

...

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Hayloft Memories

I remember playing in a hayloft 
with older boys, daring to jump like they did.  
I tunneled alone through hay and darkness, 
to find light at the other end. 

As my memory goes back to those carefree times, 
I wonder if I tried to impress older boys 
as if they were my father.
Was I trying to outdo my brothers?
Was there a sexual element 
in body sensations in free fall in hay?  
Was b...

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Overnight Stay

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Overnight Stay

 

“Time for bed” they said,

In a front room warmed by coal fire licks

Where the red and orange and white flames

Danced patterns on the walls of falling dusk

They push, cajole, entice you to the stairs

And do not notice terror tears welling in your eyes

 

Fourteen steps up the narrow stairwell

Tracing fingers on a pale wallpaper wall

Festooned with or...

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That fateful day

That fateful day

 

I hear you coming up the stairs

The cause of all my hopes... and fears!

I know for certain what’s in store

My life ripped apart... and what for?

 

So many times, black and blue

Because the abuse, caused by you.

Sometimes scars left, never fade

Every mark you’ve ever made

 

Broken ribs, broken nose

God how many? Cos. Only God knows

Mostly...

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