Poetry Blog by mike booth

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Hannah Collins on Write Hope on Your Arm (6 days ago)

Hannah Collins on Finders Keepers (6 days ago)

M.C. Newberry on Finders Keepers (9 days ago)

poemagraphic on Finders Keepers (11 days ago)

Vautaw on Write Hope on Your Arm (11 days ago)

mike booth on Write Hope on Your Arm (11 days ago)

Martin Elder on Flat Pack Love :An Ode to Ikea! (Mon, 2 Mar 2020 10:17 pm)

Greg Freeman on Flat Pack Love :An Ode to Ikea! (Mon, 2 Mar 2020 09:32 am)

Brian Maryon on Flat Pack Love :An Ode to Ikea! (Sun, 1 Mar 2020 10:27 pm)

Brian Maryon on Grim up North? (Tue, 28 Jan 2020 07:04 pm)

Finders Keepers

And after last bleak one, I'd like to give some balance with this message of hope and love.  

Finders Keepers

by mike booth

Wednesday 4th September 2019 5:53 pm

Hide and Seek

Put fear on the list of things you should lose

With odd socks and gloves and your second best shoes.

Let regret go with burdensome guilt,

Give them away with your second hand quilt.

Composure and pe...

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Write Hope on Your Arm

Wrote this back in 2018... and its apocalyptic tone feels frighteningly relevant now.  But as I said then, I hope we can find morsels of hope and build on love and community in these challenging times...

Write HOPE on your arm!

by mike booth

Saturday 29th September 2018 9:28 am

In the recent storms and typhoons, I heard advice from US police to people not evacuating to write theirnames...

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Flat Pack Love :An Ode to Ikea!

My dear IKEA: Flat Pack Crack Up


If the cracks start to appear

If life breaks through its thin veneer

If you pine for a new idea,

Get on down to your IKEA.


In Spring time mostly this shop calls,

As couples picture their new halls

Nightlights and beanbags in its walls,

And promise too of three meatballs!


Brochure life, you shuffle through,

Bedrooms, sofa...

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Under Parrs Wood

Under Parr’s Wood

A Poem inspired by Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, as read by Richard Burton, and set on Burton Road in Didsbury…


To begin at the beginning…or the end of the road, which is a kind of a beginning.

It is Spring, and the mosque stands guard, though few burqas promenade its street or frequent its bars. Its spire punctures the sky, echoes of the old Methodist Chapel and...

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Grim up North?

The Northern Society /Grim Up North?


The Northern Club meets on t’ outskirts of town

In t’club wi’t sign fer Newcastle Brown,

T’greyhounds and whippets are tied up outside

As all things Northern are treated wi pride.

There’s chips and there’s gravy and dollops of peas

Nowt wrong wi dripping or tripe on steak pies.

No mither or scriking, no fuss and nae bother,

Just old...

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The Ballad of Brexit

The Ballad of Brexit

They’ve banned the salsa in Stretford

Stopped pasta in Heaton Moor

They’ve put a full cork on prosecco

As part of the First Brexit War.


No pizzas allowed now in Burnage,

Chopped Salami in Cheetham Hill.

Bratwurst are now quite forbidden,

For fear Krauts may make us quite ill.


Olives are spiked now in Chorlton,

 Spaghetti is banned in Mos...

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Finders Keepers

Hide and Seek

Put fear on the list of things you should lose

With odd socks and gloves and your second best shoes.

Let regret go with burdensome guilt,

Give them away with your second hand quilt.

Composure and peace can often seem hid,

Like the start of the sellotape orTupperware lid.

The loss of the key to your bike lock or shed,

 Is nothing to losing control of your head.


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F**ck It

Written in Widnes Station, in tribute to Paul Simon


I’m sitting in the railway station

Life’s meeting all low expectations

New philosophy, half full bucket

My way forward? Just say fuck it!

Don’t hold back or hide your talents

Go for life and keep your balance,

Just remember, long time dead,

Your only brakes are in your head.

Your angry chimp can’t hold you back,


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It's Not You... It's Me: A Brexit Breakup Poem

It’s not you, it’s me


I fell for you years ago, a coup de foudre,

With your Mediterranean looks,

Your art, your culture, your Latin moods.

I devoured you, from the hors d’oeuvres to the tapas,

From the fondues to the Swiss Roll.

We blended like fine wine, like Cointreau and ice.

But now we’ve got tangled, like spaghetti

Distance relationships are always nice.

City b...

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A Prose Piece...

Standing on the corner, there seemed little hope of a taxi. Horizontal rain drove into my face, despite attempts to tilt my umbrella, like a knight’s lance, against the elements.  Each car which passed seemed to chuckle as it sprayed a rainbow of shower drops onto my sodden trousers which clung to me like seal skin. Drips rode down my neck and I could feel a growing paddling pool forming in my squ...

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Specs and Mugs and Sausage Rolls


(With apologies to Ian Dury)


In this world of parties, life can be quite frantic,

But my sad old life can feel quite anaesthetic,

Some may go to clubs, I nibble a club biscuit,

Worry ‘bout my mortgage, and my broadband bandwidth, 

Some go shake their asses, I hunt for my glasses,

Some do lines of cocaine, drink coke I get a migraine,


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F*** IT

Fuck It


I’m sitting in the railway station

Life’s meeting all low expectations

New philosophy, half full bucket

My way forward? Just say fuck it!

Don’t hold back or hide your talents

Go for life and keep your balance,

Just remember, long time dead,

Your only brakes are in your head.

Your angry chimp can’t hold you back,

Best form of defence? Attack!

So watch o...

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We called them tramps in those days, dossers or, with condescending

And ironic respect, Gentlemen of the road.

For they were all men, of a certain age, certain smell,

Clutching their plastic bags, with coats tied round with string, or rope.

They walked the land, in laybys, country lanes, from King’s Lynn

To Bury St Edmunds in search of a meal, the next doss-house in which


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Poetico Ego Some

Wanted to write about the creative urge and how it relates to ego.  A bit philosophical, so Descartes' famous phrase I think therefore I am, Cogito Ergo Sum, came to mind for a title.... Not really polished yet, but see what you think...

Poetico Ego Some


I write therefore I am

What I want to be,

I read because I can

Have others listen to me.

I think I’ve found a rhyme,


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Rule Britannia?

What with all the omnishambles of Brexit, I got to thinking about what our national identity really is.  When you think about it, we have some pretty bizarre national symbols, but ultimately what does it mean to be British / English, etc?  See what you think of this...


Rule Britannia?


Our national dish is curry, true,

Our Saint is George who dragons slew,

From Yorkshire field...

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Breaking News, Breaking Laws

Breaking the Laws…


They repealed the law of gravity

They said it with such clarity

To tackle the disparity

Between total hilarity

And absolute insanity

A whole mess in entirety, 

It was all up in the air.


The law of relativity

Supported our community.

Unique individuality

Was now our top priority

Selfies and technology

Replaced our core humanity,


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Write HOPE on your arm!

In the recent storms and typhoons, I heard advice from US police to people not evacuating to write theirnames on their arms as it might be the only way to identify them.  This somewhat brutal advice inspiredthe following rather apocalyptic poem - if you look closely I hope you can find a message of hope! 


Run for the Hills


Write your name upon your arm,

On your sleeve tattoo you...

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Super Love?

Superhero Love?



She had a thing for Spiderman, she loved his legs so hairy,

Some would shriek and run the tap, she never found him scary,

The way he walked, his great big eyes, he drove her up the wall.

But he never did the dusting, in fact no work at all,


Spent all his time just on the web,

Hanging round all day.

She had to tell him all the time

Don’t touch ...

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Get up and Gone

Get up and Gone


I remember when my uncle, with watery eyes,

Told me how his get up and go

Had got up and gone.

We were looking at the framed photo of his wife,

40 years together, and now only one.

His shoulders shook, a man once so strong,

Used to laughter, drinks and quick with a quip or joke.


And I remember when I too lost sight of the sun,

My vision blurred,...

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Hi Tech Granny

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Granny Hi Tech

 My mum’s been posting selfies… at the age of ninety two!

She’s becoming all tech savvy, whilst I haven’t got a clue.

They say a dog can get too old to teach itself new tricks,

But she’s on Twitter, Instagram, even downloads from Netflix.

It all started back at 80, when the tablets which she took

Turned into a new device, a brand new i-mac book.

She logged on to...

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When Clio met Rio... For Better or Verso...

When Clio Met Rio… For Better or Verso

“You dipstick!” she said, slipping into her mini,

You went through the gears, but don’t get ideas.

Chrysler! Don’t try to air con me,

Corsa you love me, I misread your signals,

My stick shift all tingles

Never did run smooth, true love’s Corsa,

Don’t leave me to break down,

All on the hard shoulder.


She began to tire, feeling d...

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A Train of Thought

My step dad, Robin, passed away a short time ago at the ripe old age of 94.  An incredible man, he lived an incredible life, including working at Bletchley Park codebreaking during the war, putting out fires at ST Paul's Cathedral, living in Australia, India, Ireland and Scotland and writing numerous books in his role as a well respected minister and scholar.  He met my mum again after 50 years, p...

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The Slam

The Slam


They told me we would do a slam

Of odes and poems and wham bam mam

Our words and rhymes would fight it out

We mustn’t mutter, better shout!

A ittle like a boxing bout;

So off I went to start to train

Like Rocky, in the ring again.


My female rival? Well, I’d beat her,

With exercise of regular metre.

My metaphors would pack a punch

I’d knock em dea...

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Tell Me

Tell Me


Tell me, Stranger, tell me do,

What makes the world spin round for you?

What do you love, what makes you cry?

What do you hope, before you die?


Tell me, Father, plant a seed,

What path I follow, where you lead,

Give me compass, strength and plan,

To show me how to be a man.


Hold me Mother, sing me songs,

Give me rites for all my wrongs,

You g...

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When Tibbles Had Nibbles

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When Tibbles had Nibbles


There once was a mouse

We had in our house

Came over the fence

And I use the past tense



For I have a cat

Who’s getting quite fat

Less crotchet, more minim.

But still has it in him…



He pussy foots around

Look what I found!

Fluff on his claws

Spaghetti in his jaws,



His fluffed ...

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Stu of the Steps

Been working on this for a while... not sure about it really, but see what you think..

Stu of the Steps



This is my pitch, here’s where I sit

Cardboard and cushion to keep cold at bay

Down steps from the station, just half way

Gives em time to see me, reflect a bit.


Not all the way down, hanging in there

Holding my own, keeping my space

Forgotten detritus of t...

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Only One Winner

Only One Winner


He dropped a glass

On my stone floor

And there was only one winner.


She breathed her last

Was at death’s door

And there was only one winner.


He took a chance

She faced a threat

And there was only one winner.


He lived a life,

He paid his debt

And there was only one winner.


My nights were dark

The sun arose

And the...

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The Body of Life

The Body of Life


RIP Paul


Don’t hold on to the cord too long

As the casket drops back to the ground

Listen and hear the blackbird’s song

As loved ones whisper all around.


Holding on can pull you down,

Time to let go with laughs and tears.

One life so brief now clearly shown

Should soothe all worries, quell your fears.


Suits new pressed in Sunday be...

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The Shooter

The Shooter


Must be quite a kick, that feeling

Walking the corridors with power,

Knowing you have that which others don’t

Holding it close, nestling, kneeling

Taking aim as others cower

Doing that which others won’t

Taking life, paying back, being

For once the number one,

The big man, standing proud and tall

The one who sends the toughest fleeing.

Alone, just ...

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Only Connect

Only Connect


We don’t want to be alone…


But our deepest relationship is with our phone

Like a dog with a bone, checking the tone.

We swipe and we flick,, we tick and we post,

Poking, retweeting, who likes us the most?

We turn on the roast, we like and give stars,

But end of the day, do we know who we are?


This ain’t how it could be,

It’s wrong, do you see?


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Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech


One sin a lifetime

Two young too much

Three tened me father

Four who he did touch

Five said it once...

Six son I am

‘S even stevens

Eight errible man

"Nine!" said the fuhrer

Ten ding to fear

Eleven kill Santa

Tw’elves and a deer!



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May I Never

A poem about getting old... and staying young.

May I Never      

I may never rule the world with theories so fine

May never run past Bolt, smile and duck across the line.

I may never meet Mandela, Obama or the Queen,

I may never solve all wars, or stop leaders being mean.

I may never reach a hundred, run for thirty miles,

I may never help the hungry, turn their cries to happy...

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Season of Tests...

A little poem for all the teachers out there...

Season of Tests


Season of tests and sallow fruitlessness,

Pacing the aisles of shuffling fidget minds

Tapping pens and flicking rulers and the mess

Of scrunched up paper, shavings and the rinds,

Satsumas curling, yellowing skins up turned,

Ink stained fingers, mucky finger nails,

The slow stumble of old ideas new learned.


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Brick by Brick

As Trump prototype walls are assessed and my back garden wall remains work in progress, penned this little poem....

Brick by Brick

 I got some bricks, cement and sand

With water, trowel, a plotting line.

Thought of how to turn my hand

To leave a symbol of something fine.


I had my patch, could build so tall,

Keep to myself my piece of space.

I could build a monstrous wa...

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The Ballad of the Classroom



I’m going to burst, I need a pen,

I had it first, say that again!

I’m feeling sick, You got a tissue?

Watch this trick, I heard her diss you…


It’s boring this, I hate this school

Can I see Miss, I play the fool.

I always leave before the end

I just sit here, beside my friend.


I won’t change seats, you can’t make me

What ...

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You're Fizzy

You’re fizzy


You’re fizzy like an alka-seltzer

All elastic, little belter,

Plastic fantastic, helter skelter

Spacey one, you moon of delta.


Short of fuse, a pocket rocket

Soothing words just like a locket

Fit my spade you yellow bucket

My mind is full, but you unblock it.


Pack a punch, sting like a bee,

Sharp and bristly, holly tree,

Grab your rose, ...

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the Oyster Dreamers

A good friend of mine, Winston Plowes, has suggested a good cure for my addiction to rhyme.  I have taken two lines from hannah collins's poem The Bound Bird (thanks Hannah!) and used each woed as the last line of my new poem.  It is fun to try and helps unleash the imagination (or release the bound bird?!) without restrictions of rhyme.  See what you think. M x

Put pearls of amethyst beneath h...

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poetry. dreams

It is What it Is

Been struck by the number of cliches I am hearing at the moment, especially the title of this poem, so penned this littly ditty early this morning... Hope you like it!

It is What it Is…Some Well Worn Words


At the end of the day, when all’s said and done,

To be fair I must say there’s no smoking gun.

It is what it is, we have to move on,

Time passes or flies and the moment is go...

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An Iffy Poem

With apologies to Mr Kipling... purveyor of exceedingly good poems...


An Iffy Poem


If you can write and not make rhyme your master,

If you can feel and let those feelings flow.

If you can think and find a simple structure

Which builds your thoughts of love, then lets it go.


If you can find a telling rhyme or metre

Which fits with all your tho...

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The Cormorant

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The Cormorant


He stands erect, Christ like

Arms spread wide,

Head not bowed, but turned aside

A crucifixion, yet basking in the sun.

Jet black, an Angel of coal,

Feathers dripping, jagged as knives

As if tormented, haunting souls,

With icy stare and blackened heart.

He might have been forced to hold

His wings for some dark crime,

A tableau fixed, a lesson to u...

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Burning Desire

Burning Desire


He was a bright spark,

She his old flame,

And when they got together

Fire burned again.


They rubbed together for a while

Blazing hot on tinder,

Burning looks, smouldering smile

Their passion couldn’t hinder.


Soon the hot and fiery pair

Could hold it in no more,

Igniting like a flare,

The furnace began to roar.


They consumed ...

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desire losslove

Life at the Plateau

The Plateau

The view from here is calm and true

The grassy steppes stretch out of sight

From plainness slowly dullness grew

From winning I have lost my fight

Life once sharper, numbs to bland

And feet sink deeper into sand.


The uphill struggle left me weak

Fingers bloodied, grip was lost

Each ridge ahead still seemed the peak

Life was stripped, I paid the cos...

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A silly ditty... not by me!

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee.
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B

Spike Milligan

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The Swan Effect

The Swan Effect                                                                                                                                          Your slender neck and wings so clean

Graceful movement, so serene,

The purest feathers which you preen

Are what attracts the eye.


Curves and power, gliding slow,

Majestic as a river flow

Sleek and gently strong you go


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A Life in Colour

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A Life in Colour

The challenge as I rise from bed

Is turning greys to green and red.

The drabness of the everyday

Takes a rainbow, turns it grey.

The colours sharp are lit by sun.

Red, orange, yellow, new begun.

Green, blue, violet quickly fade

Primary, pastel, into shade.

A squirrel, seal, a worm, a whale

Don’t worry that they live so pale.

The tortoise carries we...

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Grave Thoughts from Above Ground

Wrote this after a visit to Southern Cemetery... see what you think.

Grave Thoughts from Above Ground


They lie so quiet in the ground

While leaves and nuts fall all around.

The slanting sun, the shadows fall

The squirrels scamper, magpies call.


The shortest stories ever told,

Their lives in stone stand out in bold.

A middle name they won’t confess

Or all three ...

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