Poetry Blog by Jon Darby

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Disturbing The Dead

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DISTURBING THE DEAD

We'd buy the hot pies
Vanilla slices 
Barmcakes
Sealed in paper bags with a twist of the wrist
By the young girl in the pie shop/cafe
And then 
We’d sit 
And eat 
In this churchyard 
On benches inscribed with rusting bronze plaques
One called Walts bench has the following on it
Tony waller 230963 14042015
Together forever, in brackets
A similar age to myself 

...

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The Close

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Grey bin days

Ash spilling

Sparking

From beneath

Buckled

Loose-fitting metal lids

Carried back- breakingly

To the monstrous wagon

Limping it’s way

Around the close

Like a club-footed relic
 

 

Behind the chipped

Leaded glass of number thirteen

A terrible gargoylian face

Pressed up close

Stares out

Mrs Ashall has seen a football fly over her neat ...

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Childhood memoriesfamilyfeelingsgrowing uphomeparentssecuritysister

The Dresser

From the front at least

A beautiful victorian dresser

From behind

The ugly truth

Assembled from wooden orange crates

The company name stamped

Telling of a former

More humble existence

 

Two little drawers

One at each side

Gunmetal latch handles

Age worn

From opening and closing

Hold family secrets

Make up

Lipstick stumps

 

Snaps from Blackpool ...

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AcceptanceChildhood memoriesDadFamilyMumSafety

Remembering James

He used to make this  beautiful battenberg cake

Each colour clearly separated

The dense yellows and pinks staining the sponge

Beguiling to the eye as the knife sliced through

Almondy marzipan and syrupy borders


 

We sat in the car after the church group

He told me how he’d been a chef before

And how his ex used to beat him up

A nervous man always watching his step

H...

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The Sea Dog

 

“Jon!”

 He shouts at the top of his lungs

 I scurry

Awkwardly

Through soggy sand

Tripping over sea-softened

Splitting wooden posts

In my eagerness to see what’s happened


“What is it Dad?”

“What’s happened?!”

I stop.

Puffing and panting

Squinting

Against the sun


I see him

Sat on the sand

Looking flabbergasted

Pointing away 

Towards the sea

...

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beachfondholidaysmemories

Caravan holiday

Away from the city

The town

It's 'nice' districts

And 'not so nice'

Is where I find you

And Dad

Even though you've been gone

For over a decade.

 

You'd rummage round the big market

in Fleetwood

Drink tea, coffee

Toasted teacakes

From a local cafe

Staffed by friendly ladies

With time on their hands

Got up to look like maids 

In an old Victorian cou...

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childhoodFamilyholidaysparents

Age

He nods to one side

Gives in to a few minutes

Maybe half an hour’s worth of tiredness.

In his bungalow

Time is stood still

Mid afternoon melts in through the curtains

Through the half open window.

Outside impatient young mums

Scold their primary school children for wanting to go on the swings

When they just want to get back home

And plant them in front of the tv

Wh...

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agefamilylonelyold man

Her star

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She's a star!

Ooh,int she a star?!

it gets said

over and over again

about someone who's

done

or said

something worthy of the accolade.

 

...but she really was (in my eyes)

 

rarely very angry

always willing to share her time

i'd climb onto her lap

held safe by her arm

and i'd visit woods, and cottages 

where my imaginary grandma lived

her home the...

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mothermumstarcomingoutlovetrust

Years

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Years

Stacked up

Sentinel like

A wall of defeat

On every side

Watching

Me

Microscopic me

Dictated to by giants

Running

The mouse on the wheel

No destination

A thirty year chasm is inside me

Ever famished

Its mouth is wide open

Wanting my surrender

Waiting for dominance

But......

A tiny crack has shown up

In the dam that holds back my future

...

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mouse life running aimlessly hope fresh hope

By the light of the local Spar

Eyes snapped shut in the street-facing bedroom

lit up by the light of the Spar

that floods it's white plastic windows

illuminating each passing car

 

 

In her curled up hands a faded old photo

crinkled,yellowing,torn,

but the hands,once so gentle,that hold this mementoe,

are as cold,are as granite, as stone

 

In came Sister with a meagre tea tray

barging in,past...

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care homedeathillnessold agepensioners

The Day Of Her Leaving

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the day of her leaving

 

it's a bit battered now

but I remember it when it was pristine

pages almost sticking together as they opened for the first time

faces inside

staring back

unaware of time passing

monochrome memories

 

family, relatives, confetti, suits, shiny shoes

daft hairstyles back-combed into oblivion

me as a small boy

laughing at my sister

in ...

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wedding memories family

Ocean Blue

Ocean blue

Anaglypta under

Stretched roughly

Corners creasing

All the way down

But it does the job for now

 

A couple of maritime ornaments

Add to the cover-up

A new lampshade

A wooden board with inspired sayings

These are the things that erase the former occupants personality

Making us smile

Not wince

 

Can we cover ourselves up?

Mask the lines?

...

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Cake Mix

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Lied back

Eyes staring upwards

At the Soft Cell poster

Awkwardly tacked to the ceiling

But already beginning to curl at the edges

 

The sound of crockery clattering

Gently switches me back to reality

The familiar sound of the pot mixing bowl

Rocking back and forth

As Mum beats the eggs with alarming ferocity

(No mechanical aids in sight to whizz the mix into fluffy...

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bowlcakechildhoodeatlickmix

I told you

 

I told you
In 1982
Deacdes ago now 
But you'd have none of it
When I said I knew what Eartha meant
When she growled
Hissed
Purred
"I Love men
I love men
I love men"

Didn't you think it was strange
That I enthused so much over Dynasty?
And Joan Collins
In all her finery
Strutting around like the cat 
Who'd clearly got the cream
Stiletto heels leaving a bloody trail
Of the r...

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Just In Time

 

Among the grit

The tears 

The nights spent alone

With just a screen 

For company

I almost thought I'd had it

Didn't think I'd see day again

Vision clouded by hiding 

Me from myself

They say 

If you dream you're falling 

And you hit the bottom

You're never going to wake up

Just in time 

I opened my eyes

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