Poetry Blog by Laura Taylor

Tags from last 12 months

Recent Comments

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Thu, 9 Aug 2018 10:22 am)

Big Sal on The Last Shanty (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 03:34 pm)

john short on The Last Shanty (Tue, 7 Aug 2018 10:37 am)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Tue, 3 Jul 2018 10:51 am)

suki spangles on The Last Shanty (Mon, 2 Jul 2018 11:04 pm)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Mon, 2 Jul 2018 11:26 am)

Martin Elder on The Last Shanty (Sun, 1 Jul 2018 08:09 pm)

Laura Taylor on The Last Shanty (Sun, 1 Jul 2018 05:11 pm)

raypool on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 06:03 pm)

Stu Buck on The Last Shanty (Sat, 30 Jun 2018 05:19 pm)

The Last Shanty


From packet and clipper,

from Royal destroyer,

with prayer and with hymn

and a rum-drenched Amen,                                                                              

goodbye to the matelot and captain;

so long to the boatswain and master.

We're chanting to ease up the passing.


The last one is sung in a million tongues.

Grief-soaked and lonesome

haul h...

Read and leave comments (20)



Mavis had a room

that didn’t have a name.

You did not dine,

you did not live,

it was not kitchen,

was not front,

was not back or parlour.


Mavis had this furniture

that I had never seen.

It was not settee,

was not armchair,

was not pouffe,

for phone,

or couch divan.


Mavis had this massive room

full of golden sunshine.

Floating motes whi...

Read and leave comments (2)

Snakes Don't Kiss


Snakes don't kiss.

I know this because I used to be one,

in a former life,

long time ago,

biblically speaking.

Snakes don’t kiss cos their hiss gets in the way,

and that long long tongue you see with the V?

Gets all tangled when two snakes frenchie.


No, snakes don't kiss.

But never take a bet on it,

especially with a snake.

'Cause apart from not kissing, ...

Read and leave comments (5)


Just The One


Fifty seven accusations.

Fifty seven lies. 

Fifty seven secret pleasures.

Fifty seven stolen lives.


Fifty seven invitations.

Fifty seven spiders waiting.

Fifty seven true intentions.

Fifty seven parlours entered.


Fifty seven aggravations.

Fifty seven silent gains.

Fifty seven violations.

Fifty seven acts of shame.


Fifty seven allegations.


Read and leave comments (5)


April Showers


Morning water wakes and warms,

begins the dance of day.

April showers.

Songs and flowers ricochet around the rays;

anticipating conversations, Sunday lunch, and lazing,

the nearly-finished novel she's been saving for today.

April showers.

Musk, vanilla, ginger, mint.

'Hallelujah', smoothing fruit

across her plump and freckled


Acid iron on her tongue.


Read and leave comments (3)


I Cannot Write Another


Ballads, odes, hymns, lists,

advice, nostalgic memories,

myths explored, journeys, paths,

unfinished drafts and anecdotes;

rewrote Red and other tales,

discovered prephonation,

haibun about horse racing,

comedy, and tragedy, quoting positivity,

but today I cannot do

what NaPoWriMo asked me to.


I have wrung out symphonies

from bitter fruit inside of me,


Read and leave comments (8)


Quoting Positivity




against a backdrop:

snow-white clouds.

A pointy-eared baby being

innocent and cute.

Something about dreams,

stars, sunsets, moons;

inner peace,

what you can do,


what you can do.

Lines ascribed to Buddha, Gandhi, Shiva, God,

wrongly, as it happens,

and meaningless, taken out of context.


Talismanic happiness;


Read and leave comments (9)


Ballad of Narcissus


Long he lay and looked and loved

his own sweet face,

his own sweet face.

Long he lay and looked.


Himself an echo, manifest.               

He was possessed.

He was possessed.

He had no other thought.


He wanted water on his lips

to kiss complete,                                                               

to kiss complete;

to penetrate, possess.


Read and leave comments (3)




Once upon a predictable time

(it always starts like that),

Little Red Riding Hood, aka Red,

skipped through the forest to her Nanna's.


"Don't talk to strangers" her mother had said,

so when the wolf whistled, she ignored it.

Rebuffed, he persisted,

"Pick these pretty flowers, yellow daffodilloes,

perfect for your Nanna"

then tried to sneak a paw into her bag.


Read and leave comments (6)


Sunday Morning Overthinking

entry picture


Sleepy Sunday, shopping-bound,       

half-size trolley, halfway down.

Not Big Shop, parked askew;

small blue-branded Co-Op type.

Pavement blocked, intrigue piqued:

who what when where why Big Five.



stolen, pilfered, snatched,


Sick of snotty kids?                                       

Clumsy mums, dopey dads?

On the lam,                     ...

Read and leave comments (1)


Floral Evensong


The day slept long

and the honeysuckle roared 

jaws unsewn

siren sounds for night-flight hawks

to lick her pink and yellow hollow

bring sweet syrup to her lips

to satisfy and saturate

and permeate her pollen.


Read and leave comments (5)


A Little Smash of Plaster


I bet it's still there,

a little smash of plaster

in the nicotined ceiling,

held in my memory forty-odd years.


Dad'd blush and mutter,

ramble about "safety"

as we would tell the tale for the umpteenth time,

gleefully relishing the moment.


It must have been a present.

He couldn't have afforded one from paper round or jobs done,               

and everyon...

Read and leave comments (10)




Was I away

the day they taught the rules

and regulations?

Or was I just not listening?    

Looking and not seeing?

Glazed and completely non-engaged

by talk of tactics, strategy,

positioning and passing?



Or was I feeling sorry

for my thin and thirsty pumps,

for my skinless shins,

for my tiny-skirted body

turning purple

on the winter-weat...

Read and leave comments (8)


Charity Begins At Home

(to the tune of 'The Holly and the Ivy')


There's cameras in the holly

way above the line of sight,

and a neon sign on the roundabout

"One punch can kill tonight".


Well thank you for the warning

and increased security,

I'll be double-sure not to shoplift

now you're looking out for me.


It's nice to be surrounded

by markers of your greed,

and a lack of ...

Read and leave comments (3)


Springtime at Aintree


Vultures descend on a city red and blue,

eating up the green grass.

Profit-driven fingers semaphoring odds

and the ends are as regular as clockwork here.


Runners and their riders gather at the gate,

accumulators tethered to their necks.

A sweat-streaked chestnut whinnies as she blows

and gathers up her feathers for                                              


Read and leave comments (3)


State of the Utopian Union Address

Part 1


People who slap their children in shops

will have them removed for one afternoon,

fed chocolate and pink fizzy chemical pop,

have puppies installed in their homes. 

If their violence persists,

we will ban them outright  

from smacking their kids.                               

If they continue abuse of their children,

lobotomy is the solution.   



Read and leave comments (3)


Subjects of Denial


My hair is clean and brushed and smart.

Hers is drenched and dirty.

I am wearing cosy clothes.

She is bare and purple.

I'm inhaling bluebell air.

She is breathing fire.

I am watching pixellated subjects of denial.


I am strong and tall, unbowed.

She is weak and wailing.

I am fifty years of age.

She is but a baby.

I have biscuits on my lips.

She has frot...

Read and leave comments (1)


Superseding Planets


thin and unliveable, named after war

bloody and brutal and cold


smashable bubbles of glassy cat's eyes

we played with them in the road


vast in diameter, iron-rich regolith

channels and valleys and dust


tiny parameters, sand, ash and ribbons

of ruby, virescent, and rust


hold a marble to the sky

concentrate and close one eye

supersede and disapp...

Read and leave comments (5)





the cunt,

containing curse and origin,

alive within a Twelfth Night letter from Olivia

and Hamlet's country matters,

the Dead Sea of Ulysses,

Penguin prosecutions, unsuccessful,

and the trump cards of tender Beckett wives.


In monologues and myth making,

displayed on Venus figurines,

in Dinner Party paintings,

Courbet's fevered inspiration;


Read and leave comments (4)


Not Doris Day's Armpits

(to the tune of Que sera sera)

When I was  only 12 years old,
I shaved my armpits
bare as can be.
Will I be sexy?
Will I be fit?

Here's what they said to me:

'Oh the itch the itch!

Whatever possessed you, bitch,

to bulk-buy a load of Bics.

Oh the itch the itch'


When I grew up I carried on
hacking my arm pits
week after week.
Did it get better?
Did it hurt less?

Read and leave comments (11)


Hotdesk Almanac


She keeps secrets in me.

Lifts my lid for privacy,

blows bubbles in my guts,

leaving evidence inside

with full impunity.

I am discreet



He spits bile inside me.

Hatred for his mummy

and the baby

and the way the teacher treats him

like he's soft.

He's not.

I contain his scarlet ache safely.


I display names and dates,

scratched in...

Read and leave comments (0)




This began with whispered words,

bites from shiny apples;


a desire to command, create;

a hunger to articulate intensity,

to mechanise a melody inside.


This commenced with prephonation;

tutoring of simple lips,

tentatively glossolalic.

Patterns forming,

disconnected information circling itself,

pulling at phonetic cords of morphemes


and spitting ...

Read and leave comments (1)


Advice For Free


Remember watching Motorhead

in Bingley Hall in Stafford?

The time that fella's ears bled?

Lemmy's warts,

the wall of sound,

and Philthy going mad?


Remember where we stood that night?

And how that fella, six foot three,

came and stood in front of me,

so we just moved a step along

and simply carried on?


At every single gig for years

a giant stood in...

Read and leave comments (5)


Anke Djé, Anke Bé


Soon it will be time

for feather-tailed savagery,

to shake away the confines

of nine to five monotony.

Au revoir to fettered minds,

we're gonna soak ourselves in smiles,

hollow out the hate and bile

and dead-eyed disapproval.

There'll be hugs and hands to help with vans,

and kindness, undisguised, will be our currency.


Soon it will be time

for rum around ...

Read and leave comments (3)

Wilfully Blind


He sticks the blinkers on

and blindfold, counts out the sorrows

of no one he knows.

Puts them in a drawer,

locked with a careless key,

kicking doors shut

on notions of equality.


His side of the seesaw hangs heavy,

unbalanced, biased towards

the full and sated belly.

Wallet and tongue keep close company.


Sees with one eye only one vision:



Read and leave comments (4)



Remember to look up at the stars


Not the kind who whine about their first world problems on a million different channels

always me me me


to look up at the stars and not down at your feet


and reach out to the universe with all your tiny fingertips


and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see


in a world where reality TV isn't real


Read and leave comments (16)

Celia in Silhouette

entry picture


You won't see Celia in silhouette on rebel chests,

marching over coffee cups,

diminished to an image on a tiny little badge,

on a backpack, khaki cap or six foot flag.


And you won't see Celia on key rings,

magnets, belt buckles, armbands,

black berets, red berets, playing cards or calendars,

bumper stickers, kitchen clocks,

acrylic blocks or lithographs,


Read and leave comments (11)

Happy Valentine's!


It's such a happy homely brand,

such a loving hand to hold.

Nothing says "forced adoration" quite the same

as an overpriced printed bit of Hallmark card.


Though I came in drunk last night

and all we've done is fight,

and we haven't actually spoken for a week,

this greeting card's designed to wipe out

all the battle lines and it's guaranteed

an armistice today.


Read and leave comments (6)

Valentine poemvalentines day

Not Exactly Miss Jean Brodie


I'm in my prime.

I swapped my firm and tight-fit skin

for confidence and knowledge

that within this ageing frame

lies a body of experience,

a warrior of thought

who brings her wisdom to the table,

leaves her ego at the door,

and won't descend to bitter ends.

I'm not exactly Miss Jean Brodie.


I'm in my prime

and looking back at how it felt

to live withi...

Read and leave comments (6)

On Not Wearing Purple


Sod wearing purple,

I’m gonna fake dementia.

Sup single malt in Tesco aisles

and Jose Cuervo Gold.                   

Steal Thornton’s biggest fuck-off box

of truffles, milk and dark.

Then stuff my face with Krispy Kremes,

leave fingermarks on magazines.

I’ll ride the roads in off-peak times,

rob Asdas far and wide.

A North West quest to shoplift shite

funded ...

Read and leave comments (13)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message