Poetry Blog by Greg Freeman
Little Plum likes his firewater.
Desperate Dan has diabetes.
Dennis the Menace lived fast,
died young. Walter the Softy
won the Forward prize for poetry.
Hoots! Minnie the Minx is now
Scotland’s first minister.
Bash Street School’s an academy.
Plug lost both legs in Afghanistan.
Teacher leads the Labour party.
Crikey! Snooty shot himself in the foot.
Colonel Blink took over at Ukip.
Thursday 8th October 2020 8:58 am
Caught on our garden camera
some time last winter
snuffling along the edge
of a border. We exult
to see you, even though
you dig holes in the lawn,
root up inoffensive
azaleas and fuschias.
Out in the countryside
hunt, bait, gas, shoot.
Clare’s grinning victim
of the mob; Hughes
saw you safe and warm.
Bandit-face. If the government...
Tuesday 6th October 2020 5:23 pm
It’s been a bumper year
for plants bought from
or donated by neighbours
we met at the Thursday night
clap for health workers.
Re-potting, tying, staking,
feeding; rewarded by
a glut of all shapes and sizes
basking in shafts of sunlight
thrown down our sideway.
The enrichment of salads,
casseroles, stews. But is it
ever worth all that effort,
Monday 28th September 2020 12:46 pm
I thought I’d get in first,
before the Union flag wavers
and their ‘Why, oh whys?’ .
The end of the world is nigh.
The BBC is considering axeing
‘Rule Britannia’ from
the Last Night of the Promos.
They also have their eyes
on ‘Land of Hope and Glory’
to add insult to injury.
For years, and long before
Black Lives Matter, these
hoary and gory old anthems
Monday 24th August 2020 10:11 am
To: Private WE Freeman, Recovered
POW centre, Bombay, Indian Command.
“Dearest son, After all this long time,
we are so excited, we hardly know
what to do. It seems so strange
to be able to write.”
So many letters, via War Office,
Red Cross. When she heard
he was safe she sent three in a week.
“Some camps seemed to have fared
better than others. I still...
Saturday 15th August 2020 8:44 am
Picking strawberries, soft fruit caking jeans,
socks nibbled by something in the barn at night.
On a free Saturday, after Friday night revels,
accompanied by hangovers we climbed the Malverns,
all Herefordshire and Worcestershire beneath our feet.
You were a schoolmate I didn’t know too well.
I bowed to your knowledge of British blues bands,
admired your cool. We tried it...
Saturday 25th July 2020 8:33 pm
A minute’s silence
among tomatoes, baked beans.
Brush away a tear.
An old song’s moment,
broadcast in the superstore.
We WILL meet again.
Thursday 18th June 2020 10:54 am
Feels like we’ve won the league. Yet
I get so angry I want to smash things.
You know that feeling? When people
sneer on the telly, or you talk
to someone who’s been to university.
You see their lip curl, when they think
you’re not looking. Take back control!
Ain’t just the weather, I’m always hot
under the collar. Say what we think
on the buses, down the tube. Tell ...
Tuesday 16th June 2020 5:39 am
My first job. How I loved it,
maybe more than any other.
Carting crates of milk from class
to class. My gang of mates.
Returning for the empties,
bottles clinking, metal clanging.
Third of a pint for everyone.
Girls often left some.
The leftover milk smelt funny,
but I knocked it back.
Blokes going about their business,
full of purpose, learning
Friday 5th June 2020 9:41 am
Bluer with sunlight.
Less pollution to screen us.
New day still no rain.
Friday 15th May 2020 10:52 am
Halfway through the year I knew
I wouldn’t make the grade.
A freezing night in ’72,
the time of Bloody Sunday.
Tension in Coventry.
But rock and roll
can save your soul.
Johnny B Goode,
lift me from my misery.
I had nowhere else to go.
The duck walk, Nadine, Carol,
Maybelline, and that novelty
song that must have
eaten half the set.
The wolfish grin,...
Monday 27th April 2020 9:42 am
in the glove compartment.
Sparrows chatter in the bamboo
as we sip prosecco on the patio
and talk about changing our wills.
The interminable thump
of ball against wall.
I have cosseted that clematis
outside the kitchen window
with water and teabags.
Now the buds are ready
to burst open like teardrops.
But every Thursday even...
Thursday 9th April 2020 5:41 pm
I see in the mirror
my hair growing crazier,
beard becoming bushier
in sympathy. I fear that
before long I’ll be banned
from trimming either
to protect the wildlife nesting there.
Saturday 4th April 2020 11:00 am
The nearest place I know
to somewhere else.
I go outside for a change of scene
to the room we still call the garage.
Most of the stuff’s been cleared;
there’s space on the futon again.
A few of your mother’s
porcelain ladies remain,
waiting for gentlemen
to take them to the dance.
Last orders? A clutch
of your father’s prize tankards
we borrowed for the pan...
Friday 3rd April 2020 12:59 pm
These days we try to avoid the news,
the sick ministers in sweatshirts
sending video messages,
the succession of politicians
unable to provide any answers.
Today I cut the lawn, the first time
this year, and now it looks a picture
in this cold spring, despite
the moss, and scars of drought.
Tonight I spoke to our son
on the phone, and we talked
about old ...
Thursday 2nd April 2020 8:58 am
Routine is important.
A glass of red each evening
at five when the latest
government health advice
Is screened. My
indigestion is easing.
Regular, heatlhy meals together,
no dashing out in the evening.
The calendar’s just blank spaces,
just the odd event scrawled
in months ago and left
for historic interest.
And some things are becoming clearer.
Friday 27th March 2020 10:12 am
Safety in numbers. The comfort
blanket of fellow believers
who want the same thing,
have a common cause.
Moving in one direction
thrusting everything aside.
Tidal wave, feeling so strong
you want to burst. One team,
one party, one religion.
The joy of being in the right.
Danger in crowds. Infection,
contagion, breathing the same air.
Too close for comfort,...
Tuesday 10th March 2020 11:17 pm
‘Tenez bon. Nous arrivons,’
the liberators told the restless Resistance
in messages dropped from the sky.
Von Choltitz held firm, defying
Hitler’s demand to fire the city.
‘Come quickly,’ he urged the Allies.
Laval and Petain fled as Paris rose;
hundreds died before the ceasefire.
Sixty years on, our Friday Eurostar
from Waterloo packed with rugby fans....
Wednesday 29th January 2020 10:00 am
After shedding Pennine tears
they fled the rain and men of Yorkshire
to learn the sevillana
under Andalusian skies.
Angry and passionate flamenco:
the teacher reproved them for smiling.
The four-part sevillana was another matter,
something that everyone could master.
Not all Marbella expats sit in beach bars
nursing a beer, a grudge, and the Daily Mail.
Tuesday 28th January 2020 4:46 pm
The Queen (The Crown); Prince Philip (The Crown); Lord Mountbatten (The Crown); Australia's prime minister; the Soviet secret police arresting people at night (The Death of Stalin); Stalin dying of a heart attack (The Death of Stalin); Trump spokeswoman being rude to Channel 4 intervewer; Sky Soccer Saturday's Geoff Stelling; Piers Morgan; Arsenal's second equaliser against Chelsea; Boris Johnson ...
Tuesday 28th January 2020 1:03 pm
The statue leans forward,
towards the sea, arms by its side
but yearning for contact,
for reconciliation after the years
of net-cutting, rammed boats,
skippers playing Rule Britannia,
only ended when this newest
land threatened to close
the Nato base at Keflavik.
Moon rising in a purple dusk.
Waves sidle up on Vik’s black beach
as Katla shifts under ...
Sunday 12th January 2020 5:27 pm
Quick, open the curtains.
What happens next?
What’s this scene about?
Will someone keep
those children quiet?
What went wrong there?
Who missed their cue?
Doesn’t matter if it goes
tits up, it’s only panto,
something to keep out
winter’s chill. Forget
at the dress rehearsal.
The more mistakes
you make, the more the fun....
Wednesday 1st January 2020 10:58 pm