Poetry Blog by J F Keane

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Kevin T.S. Tan on Reality Shock (Mon, 21 Sep 2020 03:26 pm)

John F Keane on Reality Shock (Mon, 21 Sep 2020 02:04 pm)

M.C. Newberry on Reality Shock (Sun, 20 Sep 2020 09:59 pm)

Brian Maryon on Reality Shock (Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:06 pm)

Andy N on Washed Out to Sea (Thu, 15 Aug 2019 12:22 pm)

Nicola Hulme on Hardened Poets (Tue, 29 Jan 2019 03:05 pm)

Don Matthews on Hardened Poets (Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:47 pm)

John F Keane on Hardened Poets (Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:39 am)

raypool on Hardened Poets (Tue, 9 Oct 2018 07:52 pm)

keith jeffries on Hardened Poets (Tue, 9 Oct 2018 02:11 pm)

Reality Shock

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Malaysian students raised on BBC

Fables of eternal stately homes

Tidy village greens, leather on willow

Regency costumes and croquet


Were astonished to find no one

Riding horses, twanging lutes or

Reading the Book of Common Prayer

In their malodorous Bradford slum


And even more surprised to find

Grey lunar rows of satellite dishes

Track-suited, feral drug de...

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Washed Out to Sea

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Anchors away

These islands must move

Sever all ties and drift

Across widening waters


Legal, commercial, historic

Chains wrench apart

Snap and drop soundless

Into deepening tides


Aloof and unbonded

Washed out to sea

This Ghost Ship nation

Drifting to nowhere.



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Washed out to Sea

Hardened Poets

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Neither cold night nor seasonal change

on the turning Earth dismays or hampers them


Veterans of words hold fast in all weathers

Never retreating, ever writing victories


Impassioned by an urgent inner voice

They hold fast to their poetic purpose


Drawing strength from years, they fight on

Never dimmed or surrendering to silence.

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Hardened poetspoetryResilience

Cultivate Life

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The end, on the cliffs


Aberration from the destiny

Planned for them


Decisions were futile


The caves

Not one step, but many


The cliffs flash down


Enduring this moment


The contact instant


Subject in object

Object in







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Beachy head

The Master - for Carlos Ezquerra, 1947-2018

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His hand and eyes he lent to us

For almost five and forty years,

He gave us childhood, hope and truth

And visions of our darkest fears


Exotic heroes, distant times

And swirling planets far away -

He coloured thoughts and drew our dreams

And showed to us another day


He honed his subtle craft like steel

Eschewing easy, common things

And shaped through art our ...

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carlos ezquerradeadjohn keaneJudge DreddripStrontium Dog

Cloth and Club

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Bare minimum defence from ice age gales

Black frozen sabre-toothed nights

Hard scratching twigs, unwanted gazes

And chilly waters.


Sheer primitive offence for snared rabbits,

Wild hungry wolves and bears;

Vague weighty threat for rivals, offspring

And difficult women.


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Cloth and clubsabre-tooth

Five Sheets to the Wind

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Wild reassembled words fly spinning everywhere, -

Tossed thoughts relinquish a lifetime’s memories;

A distant lighthouse, leagues from here or anywhere, -

A florid ego drenched in half tautologies;

Where does he tarry now, who never came on time

To share his tangled thoughts and parodies of rhyme?


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Dave CinnamondMadmanpoet

The Void is Cast

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Whether it was going to an all boys' school,

Growing up in a religious subculture,

Having parents that didn't let you develop

Or provided no template for living


Say you are one of those guys that missed out

On intimacy in your teenage years

How do you ever recover?

Laying in bed lonely for all those nights.

Not even having dates with girls your age.

No girlfriend.

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depressionincelThe void

Missing Out

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Sneaking out at night to lie with your virgin girlfriend under the stars.

Seeing her face in the crowd at your High School football game.

Having a huge group of jock friends.


You never experienced any of that.

It's over. You lost at life.


Time to man up and become a provider.

Time to downsize and save for retirement.

Time to Gillette shave your face and become...

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Mature Student

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This is no place for old farts. The rowdy lifts,

The noisy red canteens with food that should be free -

The wide-eyed girls with cool kinetic limbs

And youths with scraggy beards - none foresee

With innocent gazes still unmarked by time

How quickly failed ambitions come to be.

Caught in the amber of youth, all neglect

The minds where distant decades intersect.


A m...

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Mature studentYeats

The Red Pill (found poem)














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Tonsil Wonderland

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Frankie and Johnny, post-War adventurers

Will go where programmed masses never dared before;

'Man, we're gonna do it! Let's live with resolution;

'In fifty years there's nothing anymore.'









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Secret Sixties

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Heavy bourgeois stone

Composed of music, Pop Art

Cult of youth, sexual reform

Love rhetoric


Hides darker truth of

Racist chants, stiff-armed salutes

Gas mimed through hissing teeth

Bananas hurled from terraces

At startled, spittle-slicked forwards


Boys raped in children’s homes

Voiceless class

Prey for the Great and Good

Gagged tight for decades


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Secret Sixties

Savour the Fall

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Outside a warm room

In some middle-class place


Tramps starve

Children drown

Economies crumble

Nations arm

Wars rage

Powers fall

People mourn

Debts mount

Rapists prowl

Fools pray

Cars crash

Victims weep

Wounds bleed

Madmen rage


The kettle clicks.

A steaming latte

Warms contented lips.

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Lattesavour the fall

Atlas Shrugged

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Withdraw consent             Let names die

Watch grass grow             Unplug connections

Miss dates                        Release beasts

Drop burdens                    Fuck whores

Tear up ballots                  Ignore pleas

Shun duty                        Waste talent

Get drunk                         Get high          

Forget things                    Go your own way  ...

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Atlas Shrugged

Vernon Hall

Eliminate bad displays, old gems and useless information.


Remove archaic paintings, drench them in petrol and set the pile alight.


Place modern art by living hands on every wall, in every space.


Add iMacs, PCs, laptops and wireless transmitters to facilitate global engagement.


Drive underclass offspring from the gardens and racists from the coffee-tables.



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Vernon Hall

Place of Power

Birdsong filled the deeps of summer. The blue sky rang with shrill excitement as golden sunshine flashed off the murky water. Many emotions filled him - nostalgia for the days before pollution, regret for the river as it was. He inhaled the unmistakable scent of damp sand, sharp and sultry. He picked up a round grey stone, remembering voices from his youth, and skimmed it over the water. Presently...

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Place of power

On the Cards

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Royal Flush:


Prep School

Eton College

Oxford University

Prime Minister.


Busted flush:



Somewhere else

Stockport Jobclub



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A for Apathy

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Are we just too lazy to stir,

toil and breed?

Too fey to strive for life,

our own and others'?

I guess we are.


So why knock immigrants?

Who else will clean our incontinent beds

when we are old and sad?

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illegal immigrants

Return of the Will

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Will lurks somewhere

in all our indecision.

A will too weak to stir

our flesh to action.

A will enfeebled

by the trials of youth.

A will deformed

by dirty songs and dreary.

What will steel the will

this world has robbed us of?


We need a war

to steel the will again.

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Years flow by

unpinned by indecision;

to study or not;

women or not;

work or not;

conformity or not;

drugs or not;

to bother or not;

suicide or not.

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Hidden Source

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Here meet the rivers.

Goyt and Tame entwine

like destined lovers.


Here beneath

classless sixties concrete

the Mersey rises.


No one sees

this source of songs,


life itself.


We hid the source

and gave our river

to the scousers.



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The Roads: Heaton Moor Road

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Pass down the road where traffic never sleeps

And find, perchance, a building on your right:

A scottish bank, as white as dirty snow.

Turn down the quiet road that runs beside,

Through leafy arbours and their dappled shades

And taste the gentle aura of this place:

A breeze serene, a blush of deeper peace.

And then the railway leaps across our path;

A gleaming scr...

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Heaton Moor Road

Kultur Kampf

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Plebeian culture wanders out and proud –

The cult of drugs; discordant music jams;

Moronic rap and savage hip-hop ‘slams’:

Unchecked emotion snarled in hate aloud.

Now I, for one, take quite another view

and give plebeian culture not a glance;

mere childish chaff born of unhappy chance,

a savage skit to which scant praise is due.

But why is it esteemed, and...

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Cod Consensus (more Myth-Pricking)

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We smelt the piles of rubbish in the street
and read by candles in the freezing dark,
we watched for Nazi skinheads in the park
and heard the moan of Britain's long defeat.
The old paternalism kept us down
in triple-binds of accent, race and creed;
and yet we thought we nurtured hope indeed,
though dreams of aspiration went unknown.
And then the old consensus passed away
with ...

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Stockport WoL August Collage Poem

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Out of the frame comes hollow art,

Fly as high as life will let you


One hug means all the world to me


Things aren't always what they seem,

Clothing as well as beauty can be skin deep.


Things tatter in dreams

Like soaked pieces of paper


A brave sun struggles to penetrate the clouds


Red stilettos on the pier

A deck chair with no pr...

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Collage poemStockport WOL

Shakespeare's Aunties (Stockport WoL Collage Poem)

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Fun by numbers; birds loom, weather threatens.

The naked jogger eyes the eagle's wings.


Walking on egg-shells

Breaks me up


Senses erotic with words

And the ghost of memory writes his name


You do it to make the story work.



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Stockport Write Out Loud


10 PM Saturday night.

Sunday morning.

On the path between the two.


- log Reference - 597 date 25th


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Little Sound (Stockport WoL Cheddar-Poem)

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A sonnet drowns in love.

Patterns in Nature cling to crystal zones:

This singular look on your face

In this time and place,

Touching on the distance but never nearer the truth


Moving wedding poem gives weight to sentiments -

A wind of change blows through the trees


Holiday antics

Away from prying eyes

Of neighbours, parents and friends;

The yo...

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collage poem

Giving (Stockport WoL Collage Poem)

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Pulse to pulse, drowning in feathers

Swept by tides of love all moonful midnight,

In the sea and sand having

A pint and potatoes with no salt,


Love is sweet whilst it travels

Close to each other and nature

Together we share time

And time in turn shares us


The pain of recognition bites

Like the rail tracks turning, turning…


Streaks ...

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Stockport WOL

February 2012 Stockport WoL Collage Poem

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Strong families keep the memory of the nest alive

Music and life lasts a lifetime,

And each cloud holds a smile


I’m cold and thinking about John Denver for a while

Listening to the tumbling words that spin

I’m on the asparagus spectrum


And what with where-withal and where-without we face

And poets, when called to hate,

Are drawn to hope and love...

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Collage PoemHateStockport

January Write Out Loud Collage Poem

Tonight is the night

These boots are made for show


Written by an indignant hand,

More dignified than mine


Thin as wire, quick as fire

Quick as swallows backward in the night


A peacution freeze

In the midnight breeze


And to that wretched end,

We sold our souls


New beginnings, novel readings

Mindless mercies



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January Collage poem

Merry Xmas to All

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The feast of Yule returns again

With glad and merry times;

The bells are ringing out for you

Their joyous, cheery chimes.

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December II - Stockport WoL Collage Poem

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Silver shadow,

Rue the falling sand


Come walk the nights with me


Poetic illness when growing,


Living and loving

Then laughing


The warmth of my love

Will keep you warm.

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Collage Poem

December - Stockport WoL Collage Poem

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Quick to temper,

Know you and me



Oh, child – open your eyes!


Stark, the herald angels pose


Clear night,


Stark crescent moon

Stars bright like jewels

In dark,




What do you see?


Think of what you don’t see

To really understand me.


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Collage Poem

November II - Collage Poem Created by Stockport WoL

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Bonfire fire implodes at the expense
Of a failed assassination attempt
Blowing piles of ashes
Signalling contempt
Green woodpeckers find green man in French tree
Green skies lying across blue hills
Luscious, swaying, sighing trees
Movement trickles, follows downward –
Movements of sound, eddying round and round
The plumed bride waves h...

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NovemberStockport WOL

November - Collage Poem Created by Stockport WOL

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Rattle, smack, tramp, clatter, splinter,
Swoosh, splat, bang, crack, glass shatters,
Safety will come if you take precautions
Sleep will come, sleep will come
Sweet music curling into air,
Floating, staying up there
The wanderer came across the winter seas
Dreams of leaving in his wanton eyes
Sun, sea, sand and sex
Whether I like...

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Read Out Loud, Monday 11th July

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Just a reminder about our Read Out Loud event tomorrow at Stockport Art Gallery in the fine creative setting of the Open Contemporary Art Exhibition. Non-regular attendees have to book a place via the Gallery (0161 474 4453). The event starts at 7.15 PM but attendees should try to arrive by 7.00 PM.

A microphone, laptop and projector will be provided for those wishing to provide a multimedi...

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Read Out LoudStockport Art Gallery

The Pit

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Some fragments:


"The Pit is such a place, where peerless deeds

Are writ with potent wyrd, and heroes wild with passion

Stake all on their steel-resolve, certain of God's grace."


"You must have drained a dog ere daring that, you cur!"

Said Loco-Man - the leader, called the Lord of Pain.

"Now heed, who has not heard the hoary truth:

We fought a fearsome for...

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