Poetry Blog by Joe Williams

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Beno on The Headingley Taps (13 days ago)

Don Matthews on The Headingley Taps (14 days ago)

Joe Williams on The Headingley Taps (Sat, 24 Nov 2018 03:20 pm)

Don Matthews on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 03:45 pm)

Don Matthews on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 03:40 pm)

Jezer Urena on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 03:28 pm)

Taylor Crowshaw on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 02:35 pm)

Don Matthews on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 02:27 pm)

Don Matthews on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 02:22 pm)

Trevor Alexander on Limerick #8 (Fri, 12 Oct 2018 02:19 pm)

The Headingley Taps

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Another fourteen boys,
another fourteen pints
set down on another wooden table
on another busy day.

Another brood of hens,
another fairy bride,
drinking halfs and bottles
of I can’t decide,
and I’d better take it easy,
we’ll have cocktails later,
and no, I’ll get these.

There’ll be hundreds today
just like them.
Hop-licked strollers
on a big day out
that might be once in a lifet...

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Limerick #8

Said the chicken, ‘Dear egg, I have toiled
with that question in which we’re embroiled,
as to which of us two
was the first, me or you.’
The egg remained mute. It was boiled.
 

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Rehearsal

I rehearse in my mind
the words I have to say.
I’ve written your lines too
to sit between mine,
in the hope that you won’t
stray too far off-script.

I need to tell you something.

Perhaps you’ve worked it out,
though you haven’t said a word
about the new shirts,
the late nights at work,
or the weekend away
with friends I’d never mentioned.

No, you don’t know her.

Maybe you’ll ...

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Aggie's Legacy

Great Aunt Aggie always insisted
she didn’t want a fuss for her funeral.
‘Just chuck me in a skip,’ she’d say,
so when she died, peacefully at home
at the age of ninety-two,
that’s what we did.

Disposing of a body in this way
is frowned on by the authorities,
as we discovered two days later,
when the law came knocking at the door,
asking questions.

‘We’ve nothing to hide,’ we said.
...

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Oyster

I am the fisherman
who plucked you from your bed,
an oyster in its shell,
closed up against the world.

There is darkness in you,
a single grain of sand
that broke in long ago
and burrowed deep inside.

I do not know whether
you took that intruder
and sculpted it, shaped it
into a perfect pearl.

Or chose to ignore it,
denied its existence,
allowed it to remain
untreated, infecte...

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I'm In Love With Keeley Donovan

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I’m in love with Keeley Donovan,

weathergirl extraordinaire.

I love her figure-hugging dresses,

cheeky smile and silky hair.

I love the way she can’t stand still,

rocks back and forth, sways side to side.

I love the fact she’s just a very

tiny little bit cross-eyed.

 

I’m in love with Keeley Donovan.

I hate it when Paul Hudson’s on.

I’ve sat through half a boring h...

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Killing the Piano

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We tried to save you with small ads.

Free to good home, must collect

but nobody called.

 

We tried schools and churches,

community centres,

but none were prepared to accommodate you.

No room for the past,

no use for tradition,

and each back turned

was another key condemned.

 

Once we dragged you a hundred miles north,

and later a hundred back,

my faithful ...

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Street Food

When the new restaurant opened its doors,

the words on the window read Street Food.

 

I asked if the food was cooked in the street.

They said, ‘No, it is cooked in a kitchen.’

 

I asked if the food was served in the street.

They said, ‘No, it is served at a table.’

 

I asked in what way, could they say, this was street food.

They said, ‘Get out of my restaurant.’

 

...

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Making Rome Great Again

‘If you make me Emperor,’ Hadrian declared,
‘I will build a wall in Britain,
from the west coast to the east,
to keep out those marauding Scots
who come to steal our sheep.’

The partisan crowd roared in approval,
but the left wing press were less enamoured
of this charismatic campaigner.
He came, he saw, he’s bonkers!
was the headline in the Mercury,
while the Herald ran with Emperor Mad...

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The Prettiest Girl in the Co-op

You were the prettiest girl in the Co-op.

You said it yourself, to the lad on the other till,
when I was in the queue.
You were just messing around, of course,
flirting a little, perhaps,
but it was true.

You asked me once, as you scanned my sausages,
if the sun had gone down yet.
You said you were starving.
I told you it hadn’t, and knew what it meant -
that a couple of drinks in th...

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Mrs Sorensen Said

Mrs Sorensen said

Ruby’s not here today

and asked if we’d seen her

since yesterday home time

or knew where she’d gone.

We talked about how

it is very important

to tell a teacher

if something is wrong.

We talked about how

keeping a secret

is sometimes the wrong thing to do.

 

Mrs Sorensen said

Ruby’s not coming back

because she has died

and if we are...

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Your Revolution

Whatever happened to your revolution?

You’re working for Barclays, you’re up for promotion.

Back in the eighties you’d rage against Thatcher.

This time next month you’ll be regional manager.

Congratulations, you’ve made it in banking.

You’re queen of the high street, your CV’s outstanding.

How does it feel to be part of the team,

in the faceless, exploitative, corporate machin...

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Black Ball

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‘He’s won it already,’ Dad had said

the previous afternoon.

He’d always hated him.

‘Boring ginger git,’ he’d said,

as the score went seven nil.

It hadn’t helped that in eighty-three,

the one time he’d had tickets,

the ginger had finished Thorburn

before he’d even got to the theatre,

and all he got to see

was Reardon playing Spencer

for nothing but beer money.

 

...

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The Poet Won't Buy You a Drink

The poet won’t buy you a drink

Don’t request it

Don’t suggest it

Because the poet won’t buy you a drink

 

It’s not that he wants to refuse

If he could do

He would love to

But the poet won’t buy you a drink

 

It’s not personal, please understand

Don’t feel rejected

Or neglected

If the poet doesn’t buy you a drink

 

The problem is purely financial

Ther...

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InterCity 125

I didn’t foresee

That carriage B

Would alter my life

In such curious fashion

 

And who even knew

That the 10:52

Could ever have been

The scene of such passion?

 

We entered the station

To great consternation

Our deeds were the subject

Of much speculation

 

But I don’t regret

And I’ll never forget

The good times we had

Before privatisation

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Old Fred

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They know what he drinks

and that he likes it in a glass with a handle.

 

They know he never comes in on Tuesdays.

 

They know where he sits,

and how all of his stories

have changed over the years.

 

They know his kids and grandkids,

although they’ve never met,

and on the day that he doesn’t show up

they know who to call.

 

 

(Originally published in t...

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drinkinghalf moonpubs

Haiku #220

Close the door slowly
Be quiet as you’re leaving
And turn out the lights

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2016haikunew year

A Song for Europe

In fifteen eighty eight the Spanish navy came to fight

To claim the crown King Philip thought was his god-given right

Now millions of us fly to Spanish islands in the sun

The wars are long forgotten, the Armada is long gone

 

So sing for Europe, sing for peace, and sing to make amends

Let’s raise a glass of sangria to all our Spanish friends

 

The French are nearer neighbou...

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brexiteuropepeacepoliticsreferendum

Brontosaurus

Brontosaurus, welcome back

When young I thought you were long dead

But later heard you’d never lived

That was what the experts said

Thunder lizard, once you roamed

Jurassic ground beneath your feet

Then gone, removed from history

Written out, obsolete

Now they say that Marsh was right

And your position is restored

The bones are yours and yours alone

No more a mere ...

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archaeologybonesbrontosaurusdinosaurjoe williams

Four Limericks

As it is National Limerick Day, here are four limericks of mine.

 

Limerick #1

I murdered a woman named Stella

Her body is kept in the cellar

My alibi

Says I wasn't nearby

So it must have been some other fella

 

Limerick #2

A marathon runner named Mark

Went out for a jog in the park

He tripped on a log

And fell on a dog

Whose bite turned out worse than its...

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