The Epitome of Evil

you must think we were born yesterday
a charade of saving a country from evil
lies to your people and the world
you send your young men to die in vain
but not a Nazi in sight
just the bombing of innocent people
children dead, blood on your hands
a theatre, school, a nursery
a baby just 23 days old

your people can see right through you
afraid of democracy you arrest your own
you could ...

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The Angler

The Angler

the tranquility of a lake
the power of a swollen river
the sound of a trickling stream
places you will find the angler
in search of freedom
the catch of a chub, roach or bream
a trout or even a salmon,
oh well, it costs nothing to dream

even on quiet days
when the fish don't show
on the days you haven't caught
time to be at peace with yourself
a chance to sit with your ...

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Unprecedented New Year

Unprecedented New Year

New year's eve
up early, the heavens have opened
snow for a change, somewhat unprecedented these days
global warming, climate change and all that

only one thing to do
an early morning walk in the park
I love the river, especially in the fresh snow
got to make the most of it

thoughts for the new year, unprecedented
time to reflect on a year like no other


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Pastor Mick

Pastor Mick

It's winter, it's cold
on the streets of East Lancs
the homeless and penniless
queue, dejected at the food banks

behind terraced house curtains
families cower and shiver
they can no longer survive
on the rations they've been given

on the wrong end 
of the haves and have nots
and on the wrong end
of job losses and benefit cuts

the hard times they knew
have taken a ...

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Coming up for air

Coming up for air

coming round from lockdown slumber
rising fast almost gasping for breath
that drowning feeling

heavy head, heavy eyes
more autmun rain
shields any chance sunrise

this is the first time I slept well tonight
the radio chats on each time I wake
left on for company in the dark

stark realisation that it's time for work
another eight hours in solitary
don't get me w...

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Bard Company's Little Read Book

Dear all, if this is up your street, the poetry and music band I'm in, Bard Company with other poets Ian Whiteley, Gordon Zola and Tony Kinsella, has released a lockdown book to help pass time in the current crisis and it's out now! We couldn't tour to promote our new album 'Raising the Standards' so we thought it best to do this! It's packed with 64 pages of poetry, humour, articles, biographies ...

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Enough is Enough (bigot with a bible)

Enough is Enough (bigot with a bible)

Centuries of oppression
the murder and harassment
of those with black skin

A lifelong battle
Some of us will never understand
in our privileged white skin

In a world where a race
is second class
In a society where their needs
always come last
They’re fighting for change
and they want it fast
They’re sick and tired 
of the lies that are cast


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The end of the world as we know it?

The end of the world as we know it?

Early hours, I check the clock
A vivid dream has woke me up

Bizarre times, now par for the course
Yes, I‘m not dressed up, and I’ve nowhere to go

In a couple of hours it’s time for work
It’s like groundhog day, but in reverse

A bit of breakfast, watch the news
No daily commute, no traffic queues

So here we go, it’s back up the stairs
No need ...

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To you, who gave everything...

To you, who gave everything…

To you, with your empty words,
hollow promises and lies
To you, who ignored simple orders
to stay at home, just stay inside
To you, who scam the vulnerable
exploiting their struggle and plight
And to you, the perpetrators of abuse
the fear you create, is all we despise

You gave nothing, absolutely nothing 
In our darkest hours, this tragic time

But to ...

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God, grant me the serenity

God, grant me the serenity…

I watch in fascination
as the clouds pass over the moon
Then I watch in disgust
as another life is ended, all too soon

I listen to the wind
like a train it courses through the trees
Some hope it’s a wind of change
but sadly not all, they’re already on their knees

I enjoy the stillness
of the calm before the storm
But that calm and the following storm

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Under attack

Under Attack

Cities falling silent, towns growing ever quiet
I haven’t felt this eeriness for a long, long time
Like the malevolence during the riots
Under attack 
From something we can’t touch, smell or hear
Something we can’t see
Feel the apprehension in the air, everywhere
It’s tangible
Turn on the news, growing ever more real to you
Growing ever more real to me
A micro-organism es...

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Rise Again

Rise Again

I never thought that I would see the day
Friday 13th with a sting in it's tail
Torrential downpours reflect my mood
After all, no-one likes to admit they've failed

Incessant rain flushes working class votes
down the River Tonge, and well beyond
No-one knows anymore
exactly where they belong

This Socialist industrial heartland 
built on mining, cotton and steel
We though...

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Give me a country that cares

Give me a country that cares

Give me a country that holds it's head high
Give me a country that still has some pride
But make it one that loves it's neighbour
Whether they vote Tory or Labour
No matter what the colour of their skin
Their sexual preference or building they pray in

So don't talk to me withyour patronising words
Wearing the mask of someone who cares
Don't talk to me like...

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Just for a moment...

Just for a moment

We sit
On a cliff, on the north Somerset coast
We’re overlooking the Bristol Channel to South Wales
We eat, drink and talk
We try to work out where Cardiff, Swansea and Barry Island are
We wonder if those in Wales are doing the same
It’s easier at night, when their lights shine bright
The Sun is blazing down
Welcome but untypical for an English bank holiday
Kids are c...

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The Only Band That Mattered! - a tribute to the Clash

The Only Band That Mattered!

This is a public service announcement
Without guitars! - But how they still ring in my ears
The first time I saw the Clash
a memory frozen in time, after all these years
with Mikey Dread on the 16 Tons Tour
the lights went down
cue Ernie Tennessee Ford
we charged over the seats
I've no idea how many rows
then the lights come up
to Safe European Home!
The ...

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It's OK, NOT to be OK...

It’s OK, NOT to be OK…

Sometimes, it hits you 
right out of the blue
No escaping that feeling,
that feeling of dread
No matter what you say, 
no matter what you do

When that grey day turns black
When there’s no turning back
It’s like there’s nothing to win,
but everything to lose

The lights go dim
The walls close in
You think that it’s no-one else
but you…

We might not under...

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Divided City, Divided Land?

Divided City, Divided Land?

In hope, the Peace Bridge spans the majestic Foyle
Although the sectarian divide is plain to see
Since our time there, it's difficult to imagine
the tragic events that hit Derry City,
or Londonderry depending on your allegiance if any

The death of Lyra McKee, on Good Friday of all days
has rocked the city to the core
The loss of Lyra, a child of the peace pr...

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They were only saying their prayers...

They were only saying their prayers

It might have been the other side of the world
and people I'll never know
It might have been folk I'll never meet
and somewhere I'll never go

But the tragic news this morning
hit me like a train
Innocent defenceless people
mercilessly slaughtered again

They were only saying their prayers
just going about their lives
Another attack on humanity

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The kids are alright!

The kids are alright!

It could be global warming
It could be global greed
But it took the kids to make a stand
To highlight our planet’s hour of need

And the cries went up of truants
How dare they defy what we say
How dare you leave school early
Come back now and stay!

What for? The kids said
Something needs to be done
You grown ups aren’t even bothered
But there’s a battle to be...

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Grenfell Falls Green

Grenfell Falls Green

Another minute’s silence
Seventy two seconds to be precise
One second for the loss
Of each precious life
Please join me for a moment
To remember those beautiful lives…


As day turns to night
Grenfell falls green
Green for Grenfell 
Everywhere to be seen
Grenfell, once a green field
Now the tower is green

Green for peace
Green for love
Green for solid...

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A Brief Moment in Time

A Brief Moment in Time

Behind the wheel again
for the daily grind
up early for a good start
in the eternal rat race
Natalie Imbruglia's 'Torn'
plays on the radio
the sun shines over the valley
melting a frosty land
I feel good

news headlines announce
the death of Stephen Hawking
the chancellor threatens 
a withrawal of copper coins
Russia warns Britain
not to mess with a nuclear...

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While the Salvation Army Band Played On

While the Salvation Army Band Played On

It could have been the 1870s
You’d be forgiven
For thinking it was a different time,
Hymns and carols playing
While the poor folk wait in line

While we rush around Christmas shopping
Wrapped up in our 
'Not a minute to spare' lives,
Those who have little or nothing
Cower in doorways out of sight

No feeling of Christmas spirit
No festive che...

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No Surrender

No Surrender

Another battle, another day
From afar, she seems to go
Happily on her way
What you don’t know is
She’s doing her best
To cope with incessant pain

With remarkable courage
She’ll give it a go
But the hurt is something
Only her Fibro buddies
Will really know

On good days it’s bearable
But incredibly, she’s been called a fake
Unsympathetic ignorance
From those whose b...

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This is the heart and spirit
Your hate filled eyes will never see

You can try all you like
But your sinister plans will fail
All you've done is made us stronger
Your world of evil will never prevail

You attack helpless children
You kill and you maim
But their deaths and injuries
Will never ...

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Please shake my hand...

Please shake my hand...

I don't know it it's just me
these days things hit me hard
overcome by waves of emotion
too many close to me
have left this world too soon

Maybe we'll meet on the other side
maybe those dark days will help me see the light
maybe, just maybe

Puts things into persective
I see conflict all around
the world imploding
in an undercurrent of hate

None of us is...

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New Book - Bolton Calling!

Delighted to announce that my second book is finally out! Bolton Calling! - titled as a proud Boltonian in respect of my home town, my last poem being the tribute. There's a couple of other references to Bolton, in particular Ghosts of Rivington Moor in there, but also some other tributes to Ian Curtis and Joy Division, and the Wigan Diggers!

There are 40 poems, and after overcoming that diffic...

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Bolton Calling!

Bolton Calling!

Working class folk
From a working class town
Bolton calling
Loud n’ proud!
Northern folk
Bolton, Lancs
Got a BL postcode
Not Greater Mancs!
Built on industry
Built on diversity
We could be a city
Now we’ve got a university!
Work town, boom town
A famous cotton town
Hear the machines
And and the steam engines sound
Samuel Crompton
The Spinning Mule
Ian McKellen 

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Peterloo - Two Hundred Years On

Peterloo - Two Hundred Years On

Almost two centuries ago
and the struggle hasn’t ended
the battle of St Peter’s Field
not the peaceful one intended

A right to vote, a right to liberty
freedom from oppression
freedom from poverty

Come and join us said Hunt the orator
but seen as the trouble cause, the instigator

Over sixty thousand strong
gathered in their throngs
and why wouldn...

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Camp Glasto!

Camp Glasto!

I could still hear the music on the breeze
As the Pyramid stage lights faded
I didn’t think I’d get much sleep
Yeah, this camping lark
Ain’t what it’s cracked up to be!

I suppose I could have picked somewhere quieter
A mountainous retreat or coastal haven
The biggest festival in the world
Was kind of asking for trouble

I’m in an English country garden
But there’s no w...

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It took decades
To realise it’s significance
In two short days
So many met their fate
In the battle of Jutland
Many still lie in the murky waters
Where their ships went down

Ear splitting shelling
Death by shot or drowning
Over twenty ships lost
So many lives was the cost
Germans perished a hundred score
The allies more than thrice more

Over two hundred ships had clashe...

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Diggers of the World Unite!

Diggers of the World Unite!

We are the Wigan Diggers
In Winstanley's ideals we believe
From the North of England to St Georges Hill
Heads held high, hearts on our sleeves

This Earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
Not just the money making fat cats
Who don't appreciate it or care

Like the Levellers and Diggers before us
We must protect and defend the land
Against ...

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A heart as big as Syria - a tribute to Alan Henning

A heart as big as Syria

It always seems to happen at this time
Must be the time zones across the world
I can’t sleep, I get up in the early hours
And someone has lost their life
A member of the Paparazzi
A soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq
This time an aid worker
A taxi driver in fact

He left his home at Christmas
Leaving family and friends behind
Not to worry, there’ll be others to ce...

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The nearly was man

Staggering, stumbling
Faltering, fumbling
Muttering, mumbling

Last time I saw him
He was heading into town
He looked the other way,
crossed over, now a loner

I’d spoken to him before
Not making much sense
But in a way I understood
He talked of better times

Times of running the show, running on self will
But with the high life he rapidly went downhill
The times he nearly made the...

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Rock n' Roll Love Poem!

Rock n’ Roll Love Poem!

Just like Chuck Berry
We can Rock n’ Roll
Like Tamla Mowtown
We can dance with soul
Like UB40
I’d love you on the dole
And while I draw the line
At Spandau Ballet’s Gold
I want you

We could sing and dance
From pole to pole
Like Neil Young
You’ve got a heart of gold
I’m a fan of your coconuts
Like Kid Creole
Yeah I’ve got to have you

Like a rock ballad

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Snakeskin Sid!

Snakeskin Sid!

I once knew a man
called Snakeskin Sid
I knew that he didn’t
but he said that he did
Well who the hell do you know
who played for Real Madrid?

Oh you know the type
in his Ford Capri car
A Gin and Tonic
at the end of the bar
Hitting on the girls
but never getting far
Trying to make out
he’s a football star!

He had trials for United
but failed the test
He starte...

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Blame it on the Poor!!

Blame the Poor!

You say you love this country
Then help it live and work
Because right from where I’m standing
It's going from bad to worse

You’ve spent the untold billions
Now you have to fill the void
But don’t worry about the fallout
Take it from the unemployed

You could try taxing all the companies
Who haven’t paid for years
But we know if you scratch their back
There’s a fai...

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Burnden Disaster 1946

Burnden Disaster 1946


They were only going to the match

Bolton versus the folk from Stoke

Cup fever gripped the town

Fans flocked down

Over eighty thousand of them

Burnden Park, home of the Wanderers


Excitement in the air

The war was over

No-one knew the terror afoot

Gates shut as the ground filled to burst

Some climbed in over the railway embankment wall...

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Cotton Town

Cotton Town


‘It’s grim up north’

I heard him say

The old man knew

he’d worked in the mines

since the beginning of time


‘Salt of the Earth ‘

is what my mum said

‘Where the motorway is cobbled

and they still point at aeroplanes’

said others

- but with a grin

we take it on the chin


I can only hope she was right

she used to s...

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It's the Music that Matters!! - A Poem For Sophie Lancaster - Never Forget X

It’s the Music That Matters!


The Metalhead strums his air guitar

The Indian man sings while playing his sitar

It’s not the colour of his skin

- It’s the music that matters!


Panpipes in the mountains

Music in the fountains

It doesn’t matter where it is

- It’s the music that matters!


Synthesisers and Electropop

Strut your stuff and bop till you drop


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It Just Ain't Gonna Happen!!

It Just Ain’t Gonna Happen!


Like Bono becoming the next Pope

Like Glastonbury without any dope

Like the Dingles washing with soap

Oh well some things you live in hope

But I doubt they'll ever happen!


Like inflation rates going down

Like a cheap night on the town

Like Elvis Presley being found

Or Jedward making a decent sound

It just ain’t gonna happen!



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Ghosts of Rivington Moor

Ghosts of Rivington Moor


On a clear day from this windswept range

your eyes can see as far as the coast

and the mountains of North Wales

in heavy rain they can see little worth talking about

blindfolded by a dismal blanket of cloud


Centuries ago these hills were ablaze

warning of invasion from foreign lands

it’s pike still stands in solitary recogniti...

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Manchester Ritz

Manchester Ritz


Manchester Ritz, the glam n' the glitz

dancehall days, it's a ballroom blitz!

sticky carpets, sweaty armpits

see her dress, it just about fits

have a dance, or prop up the bar

glittering balls, a dancefloor star

see that girl, I can see her bra

watch her move, she's the best by far

sexy girls, crazy drunken nights

low cut tops, minis...

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growing oldersociety alcohol

Appointment with fear!

Appointment with fear!


It's that dreaded time of year

Appointment with fear at nine

Receptionist knows I'm worried

she remembers the drama last time! 

I'm dragged kicking and screaming

into the cold clinical dentists den

from that deathly waiting room 

Why the hell am I here again?


I stand there ghostly white

I pause, I think he knows I'm scar...

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Singing Loud and proud!

Singing loud and proud!


It's Saturday's game

we go away on the train

spirits not dampened

by the torrential rain



Arrive on their patch

like lions in a pack

sometimes attacking

sometimes attacked



Moving on together

that tribal mentality

I know its not right

but it is the reality



Finishing our beers


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Punk's not Dead!!

Punk's Not Dead!


Times were hard

it's 1976,

Labour's Britain

smashed to bits,

what no jobs?

my hopes are sunk,

I know mum

I'll become a punk!


Hippies are out

we need something new,


and sniffin' glue,

no Elvis, Beatles

or the Rolling Stones,

so long boys

here's the Ramones!


One, two, three, four


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