Poetry Blog by Gray Nicholls

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Wolfgar Miere on Count the Stars (Sun, 22 May 2016 05:20 pm)

Tony Hill on Count the Stars (Sun, 22 May 2016 08:50 am)

Tony Hill on Count the Stars (Sun, 22 May 2016 08:49 am)

Andy N on Count the Stars (Sun, 22 May 2016 12:01 am)

Harvey Williamson on Rail replacement bus from Manchester to Bolton (Sun, 23 Aug 2015 07:24 am)

Gray Nicholls on Rail replacement bus from Manchester to Bolton (Sat, 22 Aug 2015 08:05 pm)

Gray Nicholls on Heading towards 50 (Sat, 22 Aug 2015 08:04 pm)

Graham Sherwood on Heading towards 50 (Fri, 21 Aug 2015 01:12 pm)

Tilly on Looking back in Anger (Wed, 4 Mar 2015 07:44 pm)

Jackie Phillips on Looking back in Anger (Wed, 4 Mar 2015 03:29 pm)

Count the Stars

counting the stars
he opens up the window
pouring for inspiration
inbetween breaks

severing sleep
from pale shades of dreams

crossing bridges
over the moon

twisting feelings
from memories

walking barefoot
in naked thoughts

fathomless in
the midnight breeze.

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Too Old

 

I know I’m too old for you

With your wild, blazing eyes

And swishing hips.

 

Too old for you

Despite what your friend says

Who sits next to you.

 

I know you’re too wild for me

As you dance across the clouds

And I walk in the shadows.

 

You paint the town

All colours of the rainbow

While I often struggle

To stay on my feet in the ice.

 

You a...

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Waiting for Nancy (Book) now out

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A somewhat revised version (i.e. - a fair bit improved i hope) book version of Waiting for Nancy is now finally out,

A copy can now be bought from http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/gray-nicholls/waiting-for-nancy/paperback/product-22502540.html?ppn=1

Or get in touch with me directly and we'll work out the price from there.

A new sequence which i think will form Book 2 'Sel...

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Love of Chips

I love eating them
With brown sauce
And red sauce
At the same time.

I love eating them
With mustard
As well as a good splashing 
Of beetroot
And gravy on-top. 

I love eating them
In Custard
Jelly and ice cream
Although of course 
Not at the same time.

I love eating them
In my living room
My kitchen
And on my stairs. 

I love eating them 
While brushing my teeth.

I love...

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Your Best Friend

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The first time I met your best friend
And her husband
I can remember telling you
At the end of the night
I thought they were weird.

I can remember telling you
Their accents were strange
And I can remember telling you
The way she looked at you
All night like a cat on heat
Was weird.

The way they kept avoiding
Questions about where they worked
And they both laughed
At my terrible p...

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Rail replacement bus from Manchester to Bolton

Speaking volumes with their eyes
Before the coach had even left
Let alone hit the motorway

Stabbing words echo deep
Petering on a seat
Tirelessly moaning spray haired

Oxidized in seconds
Climbing walls in a closed space
In a language not yet wrote 

Microfilmed in barely suspended anger
Snow like in a silent explosion 
Observing just one thought 

Just one sentence over and over
...

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Heading towards 50

Heading into my middle 40’s
When once my 50’s
Seemed a eternity away
Now stares me in the face
Like a door half open

Welcoming change after change
From middle aged spread
And an ever increased line
Of meds and tablets

To a constant recollection
Of stories when you were younger
Leaving you reflecting afterwards
Whether some happened the way
You say they did

Half baked in irony
...

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Hung out to Dry

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Altitudes unfigured

Adroitly measured

Doubling in the distance

 

Peering into scenes

From ancient books

 

Ripening in prophesises

Trespassing on our future

 

Buried under bent grass

 

Hung high even now

Even in the shadows

 

Creaking into silence

Like going out to your own funeral

Left out to dry.

 

 

(For Michael Gove - wrote after readi...

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Chords of Aberration

An new poem of mine 'Chords of Aberration' has been published on Andy N's Ghost Story II blog.

It's stirring stuff this blog

http://ghoststoryii.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/part-xv-and-guest-poet-10-chords-of.html

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Acceptance of a poem

Hi Guys;

I do have some more poems to share, but have spent the last week or so writing a poem for Andy N's Ghost Story II Napwrimo Project, which he has just advised me he has accepted

I've seen the two prologues on his blog (http://ghoststoryii.blogspot.co.uk) and this looks like it will be a great project.

More details about this can be seen here - http://ghoststoryii.blogspot.co.uk/p/...

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Looking back in Anger

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Shorter and shorter
my poems fall out
less obviously nowadays

spelling out their messages
less clearer

more mysteries
and less obvious

freelancing through
life

no longer
looking back at things
in anger.

 

 

(For Sarah)

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Waiting for Nancy (XVII)

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Untraced in the darkness
Of bloodied roses
Over the next two weekends
My footsteps
Launched arrows
At various birthday dos,

Raw from realignment
Copped led
Pretending to be a tram
Ina turmoil of movement

Losing myself
In the acoustics
Of tender fingers
Lost in clenched fists

Polishing words
Falling through dust holes
Bottled up in hazelnut emotions
Of the birth of another re...

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waiting for Nancy (XVI)

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Dead leaves surround
a piece of paper
on the floor
like fragmented words
untraced in darkness

squeezing out
every emotion of my feet
shaking in vibration
dislodged in cramp

scrambled in distant thoughts
of a house viewing
I had just done
after deciding I wanted
to move on,

and a birthday do
I was looking forward to
the following day
whispering like the ghost
of Christmas fu...

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Waiting for Nancy (XV)

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Drenched in Christmas bells
And the stench of hot dogs
In a overcrowded Christmas Market
Our 15th meet up
Came three weeks later
And two after getting dumped
(long story)
across the road from
Manchester Cathedral
Where after a row
With an now ex friend
You rang me up saying
‘I’m off to a Piano concert,
I’ve got a spare ticket’
Diploidic across the silence
Knowing I was crushed
Be...

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Waiting for Nancy (XIV)

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Dancing around half empty coke bottles
Chiselled in shadows
Our 14th meet up
By now spinning into Mid November
Was laced in a glow of happiness
Of reconnecting with old friends
And awakening new love
(with your encouragement of course)
covered in a glow of happiness,

bubbling in my emotions
fashioned in marble
cutting a swathe with excitement
from her home in Bacup
throughout all of...

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Waiting for Nancy (XIII)

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Protecting their own
At least 100 of them
Cycled off from St Peters Square
Like a goose leading their flock
Away from water
But instead dressed up
Like ghouls

Vampires

And zombies

Working in tandem
Shaping each wheel
With a burp
Instead of a beep
Across a river
Of closed shops
And boat like trams

Waiting in a different way
For the current to drop

And your text to 
Say ...

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Waiting for Nancy (XII)

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Totally unexpected
Our 12th meet up
Some weeks later
Was among the stress
Of a first play read out
From my play collective
In a half empty theatre
Lost among the shadows
Filled with apologises
Which didn’t quite go to plan,

Needling truths
From fragmented lies
Among unreliable narrators
And witnesses of a brutal murder
Which was then followed
By a deeply

Deeply

Unfunny
Comi...

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Waiting for Nancy 11

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Flu riddled
You cancelled our 11th meet up
With half a hours notice

Scratching down the phone
Like a chipped needle
On a record player

Skateboarding between
The truth and lies
Brick-edged across St Peters Square
With the tram lights
Spot lighting on me
Truthing the ground

Leaving me stood there
Alone in the rain. 

 

 

(11th in a ongoing series)

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Waiting for Nancy (10)

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Half chopped off conversations
Cover Piccadilly Gardens
With an mechanical ambience

Blown across ice cold breezes
Under tram tracks
And across newspaper racks
In Tutsy’s newsagents
Opposite
The bus station

Twisting meanings of
Badly sun rock and roll songs
And conversations with
My brother whose train
Was stuck near Stockport
Train station
(also running late),

Frustrations of...

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Waiting for Nancy (XI)

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Sinking into a silent likeness
In the mist
Our 9th adventure
The day after the 8th again
Should have been
A lovely afternoon walk
Across the Roman lakes
In Marple
Near where my second girlfriend
Lived many years ago,

Should have been
A lovely train ride
All the way down
To Marple
And through Romiley
Where I would have relayed
My infamous stories
About the old forum there.

Sho...

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Excuse Poem

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Of course it wasn’t me
It was him
Moon faced
With cat eyes
In spotted pyjamas,

Captain Scarlet like
Arguing with the bus driver
When he tried paying
For a £2 fare
In 5p coins,

It wasn’t me
Arguing with the driver
It was legal tender
All the way
Til the inspector arrived

Then the police

And his four mates
Appearing like vultures

Then more police

And other bus travelle...

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Waiting for Nancy (VIII)

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Drowned in soft sax
And broken Indie Metal
Our 8th meet up
Should have started off
As a walk around
Beautiful Marple
But ended up at night
In the city centre
At their food and drink festival,

Brushing hand in hand
With all kinds
Of un-usual tasting
Irish hot dogs
Laced with two different
Variations of Mustard
I hadn’t tried before,

And Thai food
With waitresses
Who didn’t kno...

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Waiting for Nancy (VII)

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Top heavy in Irish Stew
From an amazing gig
The night before
My arrival to our 7th adventure
Was delayed with Cathy’s younger cat
Deciding it didn’t like Extreme Metal
And ran into the other
Resulting in World War 3
Round the back of the TV, 

And me getting to the bus stop
Minus my bus pass
And heading back into the flat
To walk into Round 2
With both of the Cats
Spitting at each o...

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Waiting for Nancy (VI)

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Laced in strips of a noir film,
Timewarped into the centre
Of 21st Manchester City Centre,
Our 6th adventure began with
A staring confronation
With a hated ex boss
From a job I won’t even put
On my CV
Across St Peters Square
Who I think would have said something
But realised out of that place
I would have likely lamped him,

Then two policeman trying 
To stop a tramp licking coffee
...

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Waiting for Nancy (V)

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Our fifth adventure
Was more of a journey
Of when we arrived together
Almost on time
From different directions
Rather than one of us arriving
Over a hour late
And heading into my band’s next gig
Like a tag team
(even though it had become 
just good friends
by that point
which neither of us minded).

This time I didn’t have
Any bus crashes near
Piccadilly train station
Caused by lu...

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Waiting for Nancy (IV)

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Fourth time
Although the journey was fine
Although I had to run
Like a sprinter across
Manchester Piccadilly
And had to almost leap
Across the escalators
To get to the train
My health wasn’t.

My chest wasn’t fine
And kept rattling
Every time I breathed
Too sharply
Passing through
Salford Crescent
And my eyes
Kept running like
A river.

My nerves weren’t fine
Re-reading my pie...

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Waiting for Nancy (III)

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Waiting for the third time
Hints at problems getting
Out of work
 
Or a flat tyre
On your bike
Which banged like a bullet
Down Oxford Road
And got oil
Up and down you
Almost changing the
Colour of the your pants.
 
A half hour asleep doze
After a early finish
Which turned into two hours
 
Your neighbours cat
You are looking after
That decided it wanted
Feeding you l...

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Waiting for Nancy (II)

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First time it was my shorts
Covered in blood,
Next time it was mis-matched shoes
Which I had put on without realising
They were completely wrong
And Cathy’s bus pass
Instead of my own
Which caused the bus driver
To look to me strangely.
 
First time it was my mate
Who was leaving his wife
Of 12 years
then on the second 
Rang me up again
To say he’d cheated on her again
With another...

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Waiting for Nancy (I)

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Wandering around Marks and Spencer
Until you meet up on a blind date
For a pair of pants
To replace the ones
That you discover had
Blood staines on from
God knows when can
Be a thankless task.

Bumping into a work colleague
Who has been off sick
For ages and ages
And ages
And looks totally pissed off
Spending the next twenty minutes
Slagging off nearly everybody
Can be a thankless ...

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The Weather ruined the rest

Don’t remember much
About my first holiday
Apart form the fact
It never stopped raining
And we ended up stuck
In my Uncle’s Caravan
Playing cards
While our father and mother
Barely stopped arguing.
 
On my second
We took our dog with us
Only for the poor thing
To get that upset
It didn’t stop messing
When the rain started
Rattling the caravan
And ...

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Days

Three days since you told me you love me
And two since you kissed me on the cheek.

Four since you rang me up accidentially
And six since you tripped over your cat in the kitchen.

Seven since you kicked me out of bed over my snoozing
And eight since you set your toaster on fire.

Five since you misplaced your keys blaming me
And yesterday since you swore at the Postman
Yelling into the...

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Words repeating themselves


I knew what I was doing
All the way out of the door
Until I tasted the moonlight
And felt the snow 
Dripping off my shoulders

Picking my way through
The empty seats
And the sea filtered breath
Of the older couple
Sat at the back of us

Curved in reckless abandon
As first the attendees
Tried to stop me
Then both of the security
In unaided shock

As first my throat
Then my stom...

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Imaginary letter to older self

Dear Gray;

When you are 60
Will you still listen
To the same crap music
That annoys the hell
Out of most people
But still leave you
To headbang
While stood up
On the bus
No matter what
Everybody else thinks

 

And still wear
Those t-shirts
That look like
They are held together
By bits of invisible tape
And should have been
Thrown away
30 years ago.

 

Dear Gray; 

Will ...

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I can be horrible if you like

I can be horrible and tell you
tons of dis-tasteful things
if I am a cruel or vicious mood.

I can tell you tons of wicked stories
of what I used to get up just 
to make you blush dark blue
as the night sky. 

I can tell you some of my legendary
sexual cock up's 
which i have still have some
of the bruises.

I could tell you about my superglue
and ambulance van story
or the time i ...

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Take this bill

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Take this bill
And toss it
Into a river
Until it spins
To the bottom
Like a washing machine.

Put it on
A one way journey
To Australia
To watch Englan
Likely lose the
Ashes once again,

Or curl it up into
A little ball
And kick it
Underneath the table
So it rolls into
The gutter (hopefully).

Bite it in half
(or swallow it if you can)
And say some random dog
Came in off the...

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Don't take your Elephant to School

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Don’t take your elephant
To hospital
And tie it’s ears outside
Into the bicycle rack.

Don’t take your elephant
To hospital
And encourage it
To steal other patient’s food.

Don’t your elephant
To hospital
Let it sleep
Let it roam across fields,

But most importantly
Keep it away from Tarzan
Who’ll drive them crazy
Like Harry Potter
Rewritten by Stephen King. 

 

 

(Not r...

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elephant

Surviving Christmas

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Surviving Christmas last year
Your eyes changed colour
At the end of it
Underneath the lamp
Near the window,

Counting sheep

Breathing half submerged

Mirroring the quietness
Of the road outside

Except for the memory
Of that last drink
Scattered on the floor. 

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Strange Love

Yours was a strange love
that went beyond all kinds
of acceptable boundaries
and normal taste.

Yours was a strange love
that involved so much kissing
in the rain
I am surprised I never
got the flu.

Yours was a strange love
like Snakes and ladders
minus a dice
and replaced with a pin
you may pull off
Blind Man's Bluff.

Yours was a strange love
full of kinky mis-adventures
und...

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Share my Umbrella

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Leaving you stood in the snow
I almost turn around
And shout you
To come and share
My umbrella.

Almost clear some handspace
And almost pull out
My spare pair of gloves
In the middle of
My bag

And almost take
My little black hat
Off my head
As a symbol of
My endless love.

Almost pull my scarf off
That makes Tom Baker’s
From Doctor Who
Look like a pair
of earwarmers.

Almo...

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If I were a proper poet

If I were a proper poet
I would write in Shakespearean
And constantly refer to Larkin
Every other line or so.

I would write poems
Far more angry than Plath
And show Hughes
How he should have wrote the Crow.

I would walk in the Sally Gardens
Every other lunchtime with Teats
And hug Tennyson as he crossed
Backwards and forwards on the bar.

I would give the Owl
And the Pussycat a m...

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What next?

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Now the demonstration
Where 50,000 people
Rained the streets of Manchester
Has been regulated
To a sentence on Page 21
Of the Daily Mirror
WHAT NEXT?

 

What of those
Whose benefits have?
Been cut because
Of the Bedroom tax
And are straying
Closer and closer
To the breadline
Or worse
WHAT NEXT?

 

What of my friend Cath’s daughter
Who while wait...

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Regarding the BBC's lack of coverage...

Regarding the BBC's lack of coverage at the Manchester Demonstration during the Protests at the Conservative Conference in Manchester during September 2013


Would the recent, peaceful demonstration
In the middle of Manchester
Just before the Conservative Conference in Manchester
At the Manchester International Centre
Got more coverage by the BBC
Instead of a minor side story
I...

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50,000

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50,000 faces lined the streets
From Deansgate to Whitworth Park.
 
50,000 socialist workers,
Greens
Communists,
Mothers
And disabled all lined the streets.
 
50,000 marching the save the NHS
Protest against the bedroom tax
And cuts in everything
From trees to jobs.
 
50,000 people protesting against
Having to community work everyday
...

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Coastlines and laughter


his sketches of the blue coastlines
was like a disaster film
done on a none indie budget
in miniature.

 

his sketches of the coastlines
contained a mood
like an acoustic
version of autumn
stripped back
so the leaves were only
half dead and the branches
half mangled.

 

his sketches, so pure and
blind it was obvious
he had nothing
...

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coastlines

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