Poetry Blog by Ralph Dartford
Sometimes we’d win and we’d all go berserk.
But the bubbles have burst since we left Upton Park.
Hurst, Peters and Moore, an honest days work.
Sometimes we’d win and we’d all go berserk.
Sometimes we’d lose and we’d all rant and rave.
A tear up on the terraces, give the enemy a shave.
“West Ham until I die, until I’m in the grave.”
Sometimes we’d lose and we’d all rant and rave.
Wednesday 15th November 2017 5:08 pm
And to think I was just about to complain about
the weakness of the coffee when my head turned
through the glass to witness the hearse arguing in traffic.
It was a standoff for sure. I knew this when death itself gave
up its ghost to breath beside me awhile, to show patience.
There was no rain, wind or violins. England will never be mine.
A gold coffin the size of a malt loaf, vibrating ...
Saturday 11th November 2017 4:58 pm
My love and I go fretting
after the late summer sun,
then into the dusk of the
West Yorkshire towns.
Morley, Horbury, Dewsbury.
The night turns,
but the heat sticks, releases
the musk of suburbia’s
The windows are open
and I will once again try
to speak of the years that
take their toll.
Of the boy born from the
slabs of Essex.
The long time ago.
Thursday 2nd November 2017 10:05 pm
Beside the wet kerb,
chips and doner meat sleep deep.
Friday fades away.
Taxis rear homewards,
the ambulance falls silent.
A dead one maybe.
A kiss for a wish
under the railway bridges.
That enough for her?
The town bells ringing
and a rain ceases to fall.
Starlight, moonlight now.
Saturday is here,
a guilty secret laid bare.
Sunday we’ll forget.
Thursday 26th October 2017 12:05 am
Monday 23rd October 2017 11:11 am
We will last.
We will see it through
to the glorious never ending.
We don’t flinch
or as Jack Kerouac once wrote,
‘say a commonplace thing’.
These writers here,
have held my hand
more than I theirs.
In these last minutes
there is just the
sound of pens
and Billy shouting
in the garden, again.
We are free
when we write.
We tell the truth...
Sunday 17th September 2017 7:45 pm
I am fifteen years old,
a wedge haircut before Brideshead,
a forever flicked fringe, soul blue eyes.
It’s 1979, my last summer has gone.
I am the Saturday boy
at Lilley and Skinner. Selling shoes,
pop socks and polish to the pay packeted,
the dolled up girls from the factory.
The manager, a face of a weasel
was friendly, as to be in love. Together
we would stride to the market at lun...
Saturday 2nd September 2017 4:33 pm
You told me at bedtime
of a secret land, where
planes, tanks and troops
resided, primed to kill for
our republic of Essex.
You said tomorrow the
enemy will be within
the marshes and creeks
The invasion never came
and you went bus spotting
instead. I listened to the radio,
waiting for news of war,
stocking up on mum’s fruit
and hiding beneath my bed,
until you came h...
Monday 14th August 2017 7:03 pm
Wish you’d been with me at the open window,
and that you hadn’t gone astray. We’d have
smoked rocks of crack by the open window,
waiting for the moon to come out to pray.
We could have spied on the neighbours from
the open window. Thrown weighted red gas bills
on passing cars, the open window a stereo
of traffic, off to Leeds, or maybe to Mars.
We would have kissed hard at the open
Monday 14th August 2017 9:36 am
walk in Breton,
with our hats,
in my ear
“This one’s by
Gormley”. I reply,
“Oh, I adore Moore”.
You grab my coat, shout
with a Yorkshire frown,
“Don't come it, love.
We don’t like that
kind of language,
not round here,
not in our tiny
eh Big Ron?"
Monday 7th August 2017 6:54 pm
We’re telling you things can get better,
that there is no need to worry. Because
you are not the maker of these days
and neither are we. And if push came to shove
we will stop the above clichés right now and
change this station by thought alone.
We can play you the music worth dancing to
whilst time tricks to click you backwards and
forwards, with its mission to stop a...
Sunday 6th August 2017 11:26 pm
Just off Union Square
I eat the finest pizza served
for a few dollars on a paper plate.
The remainder of the night is spent
listening to overwrought poets.
Even so, I cannot shake the taste of
‘Joe’s Super Slice’, its warmth
on my tongue, the ripened peppers
and undercooked dough. Strolling back
to the hotel, I demand more, and I return,
but the sauce is n...
Tuesday 1st August 2017 8:43 am
At Kala Sangam in Bradford
late Sunday afternoon, one singer
sits on a hard chair waiting for the other
to take the stage, tune her guitar to
the required key before saying, “Hello
Ladies and Gentlemen.” There are
moments, in a life, that linger.
These two beloved women
stand on linoleum and talk
only briefly, about the songs maybe,
how they endure against t...
Wednesday 26th July 2017 8:35 pm
Some newcomers break vows upon seeing white lines.
They roll ten pound notes that refuse to find
a way back to their pockets, but are shared,
lifted and gifted to the nostrils of strangers,
who are persuasive at plundering.
Some, can be blown free, levitate
to touch fingertips, then outstretched arms,
gathered as if puppies from the riverbank,
saved from to...
Thursday 20th July 2017 1:45 am
As we walk through the theatre doors
into the neon lit foyer, the coffee bar
where the festival folk gather, you sigh for those
other visits here, enjoying the reminiscence
and now the renaissance. Within the chitter chatter
of the twitched queue, you rummage, scraping
for notes that will give us minutes of mediation,
not, as others may think, to discuss
actors or plot devices. No, we...
Thursday 13th July 2017 7:12 pm
Sunday 25th June 2017 11:35 pm
As I breathe into this window
misting the rain streaks
nose catching the chill.
I look down and across.
A child runs this way, that way
through the graveyard.
Oh! If I only could be carried to the daisies
the creeping and stinging weeds of age.
I would hold a scythe to myself
hack at the waste.
On the glass I write,
‘All is not lost.’
Tuesday 20th June 2017 10:30 pm
on Sunday morning
an old woman
knocked at your
and had made
you a pie
of apple and
To say hello.
To calm from
loneliness and fear.
‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’
by the Stones.
pipe and oblivion
left her walking
Friday 19th May 2017 6:28 pm
Friday night alive with the metronome.
Payday peacocks say farewell to the week.
Showing our colours on Old Compton Street.
Pecking the streets of Dean, Frith and Greek.
Pubs we hop in as if penguins.
Amphetamines and Guinness.
The black on white, the white on black,
in praise of Colin MacInnes.
Dancing to music we can’t comprehend,
from New York to Mornington...
Monday 15th May 2017 10:16 pm
In December 1950
for a hair cut
and some peace.
It was as cold
at Butlers Café.
and I don’t know
If it’s true
that he also had
a big old fry up.
Some even go on to say
that when the plate arrived
the artist made a face
out of the
Sunday 14th May 2017 5:21 pm
I’ll take my heart
rip it apart
wont care that
I'll be reduced
and the shit
of a stinking
that you should
not be seen
to have touched
I am scum
I am rum
I am crack pipe
I am coke.
I am weed
I am ...
Thursday 11th May 2017 3:23 pm
We have wounds.
I tell myself this as I finger the scar on my cheek, wince at the film of it in the mirror.
Memories are blood.
I walk downstairs. The party swings like a bell and detritus reigns. There are crushed cans, plastic plates, dog ends and a burnt sausage in a wine glass. There’s an assignation in the hallway that ends in a punched wall.
My birthday party comes and goes each ...
Thursday 20th April 2017 9:44 pm
So we are driving
The usual crew:
Me and you.
We stop at Denny’s
for something to eat.
a bake and a
Troy tells me
to look in the corner.
I can’t believe this.
old and cold,
looms over his coffee
cup and reads a
I can’t read the title,
something by Bukowski
or me maybe.
I want to ...
Sunday 16th April 2017 1:31 pm
A not bright
over a city,
whilst dawn flushes
the moon, the stars.
Eyes beaded as the
march kebab meat,
chips, and prophylactic
kerb to kerb.
For Shrews and Voles
are confusing to hunt.
And as King Lear
noted of the Kite
”Look to your lesser linen.”
Thursday 6th April 2017 9:37 am
walked away from home
a long time ago.
Leaving behind friends,
clutching addiction’s book of lies
that would never pull him through.
Unaware of the revelatory
he went down those steps
and then down some more.
At the bottom he found
a place that even devils
could not comprehend.
It was a world without love.
Where blood is boile...
Tuesday 14th March 2017 10:30 am
Many of you know that I suffer from mental health issues that have in the past led me to a dark place. Things are somewhat better for me these days due to the encouragement of fellow sufferers and of course, being in therapy.
My therapist’s name is Julian. He is a nice man, younger than me, good looking with a job that pays well. He wears nice chinos and sweaters, and drives a Land Rover...
Saturday 21st January 2017 2:01 pm
Friday 13th January 2017 11:34 pm
The determined first
of January is made
for those inclined
and the ones that
have lied to themselves
I’m sofa bound
for glory days
with my own plans
of sobriety and what
passes for happiness
at any cost.
I have a big book
pillows and duvet
Springsteen and coffee
to chase the anxiety
that’s trying its best
to poison this night.
for folk such as m...
Tuesday 3rd January 2017 12:40 pm
Philip Stevens on Us! (For the New Hanbury Creative Writing Project) (Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:33 am)
Wolfgar Miere on Us! (For the New Hanbury Creative Writing Project) (Sun, 17 Sep 2017 09:06 pm)