Poetry Blog by Paul Waring

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A Tale of Two Sandals

Grandparents see future kings in small boys,

promise trips to boating lake and forest

worlds away from the flat above shops 

 

Away from bone-dry August air

heavy with discordant dog barking, raised voices,

kids' screams and throaty open-back buses

 

Like the one to Ilford Market which passed

by broken teeth of war-bombed buildings.

Nan bought sandals from a man weari...

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A Dog's Life

 

he talks to me as if I know

I just tilt my head

give him the eyes

 

thinks I'm his best friend

all I want is a long walk

a few wees, a dump

 

a sniff around lamp posts

bushes and trees

quick catch up on the news

 

he has to read that paper 

he's just bought 

or sit watching TV 

 

thinks he's in charge

but you don't see me

picking up after ...

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Bitchin' In The Kitchen Sink Drama

entry picture

unrest in the kitchen had

been brewing for some time

a pongy cloth waiting to wipe 

the smile off surfaces 

and behind closed doors 

not a fluid ounce of cupboard love.

 

a storm in a teacup 

saw the kettle let off steam

as a mug flew off the handle. 

the bin, as usual, talked rubbish

mixing it with the blender -

the one with the short fuse.

 

a knife's sh...

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minds under arrest

they chart choreography of lives

learn the mechanism of moves              

then wait to bring thunder clouds

to storm and force doors 

at the dark side of dawn

with barking mouths and feet

 

it's in their dna to examine 

and remove the fibres of yours

distilling essence for clues

from nooks and crannies

 

they scour sinks for germs

from scrubbed hard drives

...

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Begging For Time

I wrote this months ago but it seems appropriate to post today after Colin Hill's 'Jesús the Everyman' poem.

 

excuse me, can 

you spare a dime

for this old boy 

long past his prime?

 

At ninety six

I find that I'm

still reaching out 

to beg for time

 

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That Thing We Call Nostalgia

Stepping into the parlour

I smell the oak of the dining table

That reads like a collection

Of days, crumbs of conversations

Aromas of smoke and laughter

With tears of life and death.

 

The grandfather clock recalls

The order of Sunday lunch at two.

Pops, puffing his pipe at one end, 

Dad at the other, me spectating

Banter like centre court tennis

Punctuated by t...

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The Politics of Billy Liar

no-one could tell from his face 

and his body language never, 

I mean never, gives him away

 

he's way too schooled at staying

cool and too long in the tooth at 

being economical with the truth.

 

strictly speaking his pants should 

be on fire and his name could be 

Billy 'bare-faced' Liar, a lying 

 

baa-baa baa-sted who craftily pulls 

the wool over people'...

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Only The Lonely Hear Górecki

only the lonely lie wide awake 

 

staring through windows

in the Great Bed Of Ware 

 

wondering and wandering

boulevards of broken dreams

 

walking backwards through time

searching for love in a crowd of one

 

wearing hopes that don't fit

a symphony of sorrowful songs

 

and ache like empty cases

dragged around deserted airports

 

a black box of pa...

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Gossip's Arrow

someone somewhere 

has been saying

something about somebody.

 

someone's had too much

to say for themselves,

toxic words put into

other people's mouths 

 

that will spread 

like 'flu to every 

somebody else 

whose loose lips 

spill words like pub drunks.

 

someone is going 

to trip over 

a wagging tongue

and set free a cat 

from somebody els...

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Going Around In Circles

autumn came again to deliver

the last rites, stretching

the shedding skin of summer

into shadows that spelt death.

 

but you already knew, sensing 

the earth's thirsty need 

from musty baked breath

whispered up on parched roots

 

and seeing with eyes that 

could stare down the sun,

the emasculation of rays

mocked by morning mist.

 

so, too, a blanket of...

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Fibs And Secrets

nanna told me I was found under 

a bush and kept a straight face,

and even though I thought it was

a fib, I couldn't bring myself to say.

 

then Mum told me about the tooth fairy

and I was fooled two times after I found

a sixpence under my pillow in the morning.

 

but next time I stayed awake counting sheep

'til my eyes hurt and when the door opened 

and someone ca...

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On Nights

darkness draws the curtain of night

from a palate of bible black ink

painting clouds of bats

into corners of the sky

to suffocate the light

until the canvas dies again

to narrow the cornea of shuttered eyes 

pulled by moon magnets towards sleep

that place where memory knits the wool 

of day from patterns of time spent 

spinning experience that stitches

fibres of me...

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Drop The Rope

drop the rope

in this tug-of-war

there is no hope of victory

 

you won't pull it to ground

you've tried long enough.

your battle has become

a Chinese finger trap

you will only succeed

in hurting yourself.

 

the time has come

to rest your anger

it looks tired now

put it to bed 

and let it lie.

 

 

 

 

 

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Supermarket Space Invaders

itchy feet began to squeeze

into my size 8 shoes intent

on propelling me 

out of the way.

 

standing so close behind

their impatience felt like 

fire breathing down my neck

as arms with three-fingered

hands thrust past my open 

mouth to whisk away the last 

two chicken and pesto paninis 

from the shelf, heavily discounted

at a bargain price of £1.79 each.

...

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Undress Rehearsal

zoom in with closed eyes 

etching fine details of skin 

features, exposing fabric-

coated limbs and organs

to be explored, forensically.

 

record. save. stop. freeze 

frame magic moments 

at the mercy of the pull 

of sexual magnetism.

 

rewind. pause. play. retrieve 

images from a drive of stored 

urges of unrequited longing.

watch. review. delete. review.

...

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Here's The Sting

dive out of bed on a duvet day

to go a-wandering

away from your comfort zone.

 

do these things in order:

put your worries in the wash

drink two too many coffees

skip the organic muesli

fill up on a full fat fry up  

then go...only don't leave 

without sensible shoes and 

clean undies (you never know).

 

follow the route I gave you,

1hr 42mins should do it...

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Eggocentric

entry picture

my shiny wrapper

hides a gossamer thin shell

of oval ego

the self-centred sick yolk

of albumenandwomen 

who seek attention.

 

you're looking at me

on the shelf, thinking

oeuf, oeuf, oeuf

love, love, love.

 

and I'm thinking

me, me, me

it's all about me, not you 

and I'm chocolate enough

to eat myself, if I have to.

 

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Queen of Camden

entry picture

the streets of Camden still mourn music 

royalty, the queen who lived too much,

soared too high, near to the scorching sun 

where only the mad and geniuses fly.


and twenty seven arrived too soon, 

before your time but time enough to tattoo 

yourself on hearts and minds. On that day

I heard the legend of Sarah Vaughan cry.


and wandering into Stables Market I hear 

you...

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Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling

entry picture

hitting the ground

on Cooper's Hill

a nine pound round 

of Double Gloucester

rolling around and

bouncing down.


and here come

the chasing crowd

flailing arms

stumbling, tumbling

somersaulting

some falling under 

the stampeding herd.


it's hurtling down now 

seventy miles an hour 

flying past perilously

close to spectators  

as ambulances race 

...

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Being Someone Else

I'm wearing

someone else's smile

teeth that don't fit 

in this mouth 

that can't speak.


I'm not OK. OK?

don't ask me anything else 

because I'm not myself

I don't know why,

I couldn't say.


I'm striding 

around town, out of step 

in someone else's shoes,

laughing clown's feet 

that don't fit my mood.


I'm driving 

someone else's car

on the wro...

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Jazz Notes, Harlem 1950's

entry picture

smoky underground sounds

of free spirits of the street

fill the Harlem air.

it's improv, it's in the pocket

hands, fingers and mouths 

breathing life, it's the

birth of the cool,

cool notes of jazz.


drum lays down the beat 

that pumps the bass 

that drives the rhythm

Miles and 'Trane free-blowing

blowing out blue note

messages to the street. 

Monk in ful...

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Days Like This

on days like this I find myself

seeking things I will never find,

locked inside the circle of a shell snapped shut.


on days like this I avoid 

the rotten teeth of the crowd 

who bring dread to the door 

and keep me stranded in a lake of bed 


where I lie dressing and undressing your ghost

sketching the outline of your smile in paints

that drip, drip and wash away 


...

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Felling Us

your will, of course, would 

eventually do the work 

driving a wedge between us

edging deeper into the


splintering cracks, slowly

revealing the tumour

that digested the bark

of our rotting timber


and sensing the end, an 

accumulated intent added 

weight to your will with 

exaggerated swings 


and staccatoed slashes 

of blades that finally did 

the fel...

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Spaghettification

space travel can bend you out of shape

so wandering too close to black 

holes would be a big mistake

and if you fall in feet first 

tidal forces and 

gravitational 

gradients 

will 

make

elasticity

of 

your 

plasticity 

 

and 

stretch

you

vertically 

and 

compress

you 

horizontally 

until

you

resemble 

spaghetti

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A So-So So and So

just when you think you know yourself

life can creep up on you, the unwary,

to reveal a new persona that stares back

from the mirror at your disbelief, now


that you're normal, a mere mortal, no 

longer edgy, racy or extreme, eyes 

lacking twinkle and sparkle now

average has been bestowed on you


your confusion will wonder where 

you were when the change occured 

an...

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Stalker

drifting past unnoticed 

my heart beats a path 

in silent steps, following


hanging around your space

this place and that, slipping 

in and out of view, waiting.


sideways, casual glances

give no clue of my intention

to inhabit you, inside

where your energy burns 


I'm going nowhere 

nowhere without you 

in my sights

waiting my time

preparing for someth...

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Enigma Variations

all that is and could ever be

but never will be constantly

presents itself as a teasing

reflection of permanency


hidden deep beneath the inky

brine of the unknown, down

where the currents of time

write intricate patterns


of possibilities and fate

that carry life like a tide

somewhere, anywhere

but nowhere for long

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From Out Of Nowhere

they warned us 

it was coming


okay, I thought

this time 

I'll be ready 


so I waited

and watched

and waited

 

but there was no sign of it

 

until 

the moment

I turned my back


and suddenly 

there it was


out of nowhere

back from hiding

who-knows-where

 

and there was I

again agog

cleverly out-witted 

by the cunning fog

 

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Memory Thief

entry picture

in the cold light of contemplation

the past slips in and out of focus

from cubby-holes of consciousness

hiding the known from the knowing


dropping hints that tease the tip of 

the tongue with a taste of familiarity

and no more, laughing at our futile

attempts to fill the recollection plate
 

with titbits, the residue of memory 

traces pinched by thieving magpies

of...

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The First Of The Rest

you can wait so long that time begins

to stalk you like a shadow that slowly

envelopes and suffocates your being.

 
when it came, I felt the full force of

disconnection as a tightly clenched 

hand pulled me up roots and all.


detached and vulnerable to the elements

I wandered, walking the winds of change

until hope and expectancy breathed again. 


returned and embedde...

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Terminal Zoo

entry picture

Bedlam's enclosures echo

from trolley wheel thunder,

packed cases of the pack

in the jungle of unearthly delights


herds roam the manic

maze of terminal zoo

gazing, grazing and lazing

now duty-free, with one eye

on the gate that signals escape

from voluntary detention 


alpha males indulge in feeding frenzies

as females seek scents 

and food to placate the hys...

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Nan Was My Nigella

Fanny Craddock, the TV cook of the 60's, was 

too posh to appear with a Player's Weights 

ciggie perma-glued to her lip-sticked lips,

but not my nan.


Standing on a chair next to her in aromatic

kitchen fog, I eagerly absorbed the commentary 

from the side of her mouth like a microphone. 

Although we were in Dagenham not Chelsea, 

Nan was my Nigella, only 50 years early.

...

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Mona Lisa Musing

entry picture

It's all about perspective. For example, the 

imaginery landscape behind me, in Leonardo's 

mind, served as a counterpoint to the enigma 

of my reserved posture but, to me, it looks

incongruous.


And they call me La Gioconda, meaning jocund, 

but I assure you I didn't see the funny side, sitting 

for an eternity on that rickety pozetto armchair.


And although he envisaged...

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Insomnia

turn and turn again

spiral down deep

beneath the earth's 

dark musty sheet

plough the frigid soil in vain

for space to plant 

the root of sleep

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Inevitabilities

entry picture

That winter had teeth sharper than

butchers' knives, enough to make

walls shiver inside paper coats.

Honestly, it was that cold.


Why ever did you think a featherweight

Hillman Imp could fight a blizzard 

all the way to Anglesey that night? 

An early knock-out was inevitable. 


Opportunity came knocking in a 

snow-white anorak, arms wrapped 

tight as a straightjacke...

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Not Quite 8½

entry picture

it was one of my Fellini dreams


I'm Guido or somebody 

and you're one of his lovers,

Carla maybe


anyway, you're all over me 

like a cheap suit


clinging tight like Chanel perfume

wrapped around me like a silk scarf

getting closer than briefs

slipping on and off like sheer stockings

wearing me like a hat


but then you notice 

my two left feet 


and 8½ l...

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Emergency: Creative Hiatus

entry picture

I've lost my way

my insight has disappeared

out of sight

hiding somewhere in this rut.


stale ideas coat the air

like bad breath,

my imagination 

is not fertile any more.


the lights have gone out

on my creativity,

I can't find any words

to fill the page.

 

I'm just staring in the dark,

hiding under blank sheets

on an empty bed

until somebody wakes...

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The Taste Of Lisbon

entry picture

on sardined sea-brined air I taste Lisbon's

rich past from the Tagus that still aches

with saudade and melancholic cries of fado,

a story of men yearning to conquer the whole of

the sea. Sorrow sheds tears, and from above


a millefeuille of sea-facing structures hides 

the graffiti of grief behind blue-tiled facades.


below, shards of light reflect like glass

from intrica...

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Assive Smoking

entry picture

sycophant seekers please take note

swallowing praise can harm the throat


and getting lots of verbal bungs 

ultimately affects the lungs


breathing smoke can lead to choking 

- know the risks of assive smoking 

 

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Mr. Bumfrantic

entry picture

he had a sticky-out bottom and

a forward-leaning posture like

Groucho Marx and Max Wall.


50 if a day, he couldn't half move,

speeding past our window, you'd 

swear he was on a skateboard. 


at Lloyds Bank, behind the scenes, 

sheet of A4 in hand, going full pelt,

he was normally too preoccupied 

to recognise me paying-in.


instead, looking at his back, all I 

c...

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Largin' It In Later Life

entry picture

nobody wants to be ordinary any more, 

especially not pensioners like nan and grandad,

they're dead cool like us now.


none of nan's mates have crap phones, no-name

trainers, tiny teles or carpet in the lounge, and

wouldn't be seen dead with grey hair. Grandad's

in his element, he calls them his 'dolly birds'.


and they're out in town, day and night, designer gear 

and pe...

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Mrs Fox

entry picture

I must be honest,

for someone so cute

you're very sly

but, then, strangely shy 

and extremely sensitive

(I bet you could hear a fly fart)


you're so aloof, and

unsocial, like the hours 

you keep, you really do 

keep yourself to yourself.


I've seen you 

slinking past my window

en-route to root about

with dark adapted eyes.


dressed to kill, you

cunni...

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a glimpse through the side door of paradise

I was a fatality waiting to happen

unable to resist the temptation

of getting too close to the flames 


I walked blindly into the path

of fast movers on love's freeway


you found me

a twisted wreck of torn limbs

and breathed life into my broken soul


your bodhisattva healed 

my haemorrhaging heart

and re-tuned it 

extracting sweet notes from its core

like a s...

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Breaking Bread With The Dead

entry picture

if I could share one single

word with you


if I could add one single

ounce of light to your life


if I could be one single

crumb on the plate


then all of this was not in vain

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The Heart Of The Matter

entry picture

I sensed you knew it was time


I circled you long enough

before making my move


striking stealthily

taking you swiftly down to death

my marksman's precision

using razored teeth 

honed long ago

on prey more elusive than you


standing over you

my prize

I begin a ruthless dissection


ravenous, blood-drenched canines

clinically tearing you limb from limb

c...

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write, edit, re-write, write, edit, re-write

entry picture

I write and then edit

I write and re-write

my battle with words

is an unending fight


I wake and write notes

so I'm up half the night 

but then in the morning

it still seems like shite


the words on the page

feel too loose or too tight

so endless revision is

my everyday plight


I re-do and re-edit

until it feels right

then when its finished

I dance w...

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A Descending Depression

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a dense air

a blurred vision

a shrouded perspective

a clouded judgement

an engulfing chaos

 

my mind was a fog


a descending depression

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just a small boy

entry picture

just a small boy

swathed in night's silence 

weaves dreams of innocence


worlds away from

the nightmare that

will break apart the 

completed jigsaw of his life 


watch him 

jolted awake by

the noise of familiar voices


see him 

out of bed, bleary-eyed,

moving unsteadily in blackness

 

.........."mummy, mummy"..........


look at him 

at the top of the s...

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Enough Is Enough

entry picture

"that's it," she said, "enough....I'm through"

- she's had her fill of making do


she's sick to death of putting up 

with nothing but a half-filled cup


dropping out of going without

she thinks it's time that she got out


resigning from the daily grind

she's leaving drudgery behind


this friend of mine at last is free

to seize her opportunity


she's off to Greece...

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An Exquisite Hand Job

entry picture

as soon as she saw it she thought

"I must have you" 


he smiled, nodding encouragement


transfixed, she reached out and 

took in hand the striking beauty.


with delicate fingers she explored 

its perfect form, the fine details of

its proud head and the smooth 

textured body of this archetypal

depiction of manhood.


even more certain now, she thought

"I simply m...

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