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Real Life

This is the real life
This is the butcher
This the austere knife
The hand that pushed her
These are the cuts
This is the missed meal
This door is shut
This wound will not heal

This is the teacher
With nothing to say
This is the preacher
With no room to pray
This is the healer
Refusing to heal
This is the dealer
With souls to steal

This is the leader
With no will to lead
He’s ...

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Dear Natalie

My dearest darling Natalie
I really like your style
Your tenacity defending
This green and pleasant isle
Your hard line on asylum seekers
Coming over here
Our match was made in heaven
That’s obvious, my dear

We’re so alike, dear Natalie
It’s very plain to see
Your votes against equalities
And for Voter ID
Those rights for workers, I agree
Will really have to go
And never mind the m...

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UK Local Elections 2024

Susan Hall in a ULEZ car
Andy Street on the street
Conservatives out in Blackpool South
And rare in a council seat

Sunak’s disappointed
But says that the plan is working
Meanwhile back in Rochdale
George Galloway is lurking
(Pro-Palestine but anti-woke
It’s somewhat disconcerting)

Rotherham, confusingly
Is back in Liverpool
And Coronation Street’s in Yorkshire
But Teeside’s under ...

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Rwanda Bound

His dad was Greek 
His mum Palestinian 
Born in Turkey 
He grew up a Syrian
He’s a man of fighting age 

He’s handy with a sword
He’s on a small boat
Coming over here 
Red cross white coat
He’s a man of fighting age

They stuck him on a barge 
In Portland harbour
Lobbying hard 
For his departure
He’s a man of fighting age

A soldier 
In a foreign army
We’re not racist 
To say ...

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Al-Rashid Road

In the land where Goliath once strode
With the whine of a drone overhead
There’s an air strike on Al-Rashid Road

The targeted vehicles explode
And seven aid workers lie dead
In the land where Goliath once strode

In soft-skinned transport they rode
Too easy for missiles to shred
There’s an air strike on Al-Rashid Road

Where the lifeblood of charity flowed
Good Samaritans now fear to...

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The Art of Looking Away

Dead children
Funny cats
Dead children
Our ten best hacks
Dead children
Suspicious activity
Dead children
Click here to see
Dead children
Meghan and Harry
Dead children
Are they really unhappy
Dead children
How to get an upgrade
Dead children
Review and get paid
Dead children
The great game
Dead children
It’s always been the same
Dead children
Buy or sell
The burning man crie...

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Just Another Day at Elbit

There’s a man in a factory in Leicester
Fixing wings onto military drones
He breaks at eleven for coffee
While they bomb Palestinian homes

She smiles as he hands her a cuppa
Looking up from her targeting grids
She likes it when he brings her coffee
While they shoot Palestinian kids

He waits as she blows it cool gently
And wonders if he should just ask her
What is she doing this Frida...

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Valentine's Day

A Moonpig card
A forecourt bouquet
An inexpensive bottle
From a bin end display

Supermarket chocolates
Hopefully okay
Thorntons, maybe
Or Ferrero Rocher

A desperate poet
With not much to say
The pressure’s on
It’s Valentine’s Day

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Unlucky Street

Phone shop
Vape shop 
Chicken shop

It used to be so sweet
Now it’s Unlucky Street

High crime
Traffic fine
Sex attacks
And decline

Phone shop
Vape shop 
Chicken shop

It used to be so sweet
Now it’s Unlucky Street

Fly tipped
Dog shit
County lines

High crime
Traffic fine
Sex attacks
And decline

Phone shop
Vape shop 
Chicken shop

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Righteous in his generation
He prays not for the washed away
His brilliant ship built just for him
He curses their decay

This antediluvian patriarch
Looks out just for his own
The animals came in two by two
And Noah drinks alone


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Oi, Ref!

he played the man

not the ball


studs up, hard

worth at least

a yellow card

but he’s wearing

the armband

the grimace of authority

and nothing’s

going to happen at all


raw meat for the masses

and the physio’s on

run it off, son

run it off


he’s just letting you know

the big dog’s on the pitch

and if you get a bite

then you’re doing


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Greene King vs St Kitts and Nevis

Much to Catherine and Thomas’ disgust
Ben liked keeping a slave
They thought that abolition was a must
He thought they should just behave

Benjamin liked keeping slaves so much
He purchased his local paper
And ran articles, polemics and such
About how he’d done slaves a favour

They’re much better clothed
And much better housed
And much better fed
The Herald espoused
Than your averag...

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Refugees' Luggage

They came with orders
And transporters
Souls with borders
Who are you we’re moving you
Off you go

Tentative roots in a new community
Ripped out fast with the impunity
Of cruelty to the refugee
Being Party policy
Who are you we’re moving you
Off you go

From one uncaring mean hotel
To the next uncaring mean hotel
No pleased as man with man to dwell
No fond farewell
Who are...

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Unambiguous Shoes

He wears flat-fronted trousers
And unambiguous shoes
He wears a watery stare
His sour breath hints of booze

He doesn’t like your poetry
And he wants you to know
He doesn't like your words
Your meter or your flow

With prodding finger, spit-fringed lips
His ire is plain to see
It’s not your prodding rhymes
It’s your ideology

He despairs of modern life
But is disincline...

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The King's Piss

Charlie’s struggling to piss
How did it come to this?
I should be pissing like a king
A king’s piss should be an impressive thing
A porcelain smashing
Splattering, crashing stream
In a magnificent cloud of steam
On these cold mornings
In draughty palaces

Charlie’s struggling to piss
It’s royally hit and miss
I’ve got medals, sashes and brocade
But I’ve got a trickle
When a k...

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Wealthy People

Wealthy people: those with homes
Hairy people: those with combs
Royal people: those with thrones
Nosey people: those with drones
Music people: those with tones
Skinny people: those with bones
Traffic people: those with cones
Talking people: those with phones
Double people: those with clones
Gloomy people: those with moans (and groans)
Electric people: those with ohms
Library people: tho...

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The Stalybridge Tornado

It snapped my flagpole like a twig
Our John told the news
And a tree fell on the conservatory
Spoiling all our views

A whirlwind, literally, Kerry said
We couldn’t open our front door
The lampposts were all swaying
I’d never seen that before

A tree came right through Maisie’s roof
Pulled down the bathroom ceiling
The Liberal Democrats demand
The PM calls a COBRA meeting

Chief Sup...

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The Holly King

The leaves fall in his presence
The ground hardens to ice
Shortened are the days
As long become the nights

Until the Oak King rises
When the wheel turns again
And the song of the robin
Is heard over the wren

A time to feast, to come together
To let the flames burn bright
A time to understand
Without the darkness, there’s no light

Since it turns, so he returns
When the oak leaves...

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yulewinter solstice

A Poet's Advice to Themself

Write poetry
The right poetry
You might argue
That you
Wright poetry
Or rite poetry
For the church or the crown
Or right poetry
That you found upside down
But don’t write
Alright poetry
Write poetry
That’s right

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Meanwhile in Bethlehem

In the Evangelical Christmas Church
Baby Jesus lies in the rubble
In the square, fareless taxi drivers
Form a miserable huddle
In the Church of the Nativity
The grotto is eerily quiet
In Giacaman’s Christmas shop
There’s stock but no one to buy it
In Manger Square, no Christmas tree
As Gaza is brutally trampled
In Bethlehem, in the West Bank
Christmas has been cancelled

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The Chingford Christmas Crusade

There’s a girl on a tinsel-clad donkey
Leading the Christmas Crusade
She sits on a Santa Claus blanket
The donkey looks mighty dismayed

Behind, a man rides a camel
Which really ain’t pleased to be here
Three more dressed like comedy Arabs
They seem full of seasonal cheer

A woman in a tinsel halo
Is she Gabriel in her white sheet?
One of the comedy Arabs
Has posh running shoes on his...

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The First Day of Boris Johnson's Evidence to the Covid-19 Inquiry

The dead can’t hear your apologies
The dead can’t see your sly smile
The dead can’t hear you blaming them
Like some oversized child on trail
The dead can’t see the messages
You accidentally lost
The dead can’t ask you questions
But the dead know just the cost
Of your lackadaisical attitude
Your laissez-faire approach
The meetings you weren’t bothered by
The rules with which you did not ...

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Napoleon wanted to buy them
And if it wasn’t for Elgin’s divorce
The Government might not have acquired them
At half the price, of course.
He told them that he had a firman
Although its veracity’s in doubt,
He said I’m telling you that the Sultan
Said I could take all the marbles out.
He was going to keep them in private
If it wasn’t for his divorce
Byron thought he was a pirate
And the...

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When the shelling stopped
They came for us
Come out with your hands up
A thousand thoughts a second
Tell them you're a farmer
The prisoners on farms
Seemed to be looked after
If they worked

They took us from Camp Beverlo
To Edingen, Zedelgem
Ostend to Tilbury
The transit camp at Kempton Park

Searches and interrogations
Digging ditches for new homes
Then we built the roa...

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Put Up Shut Up Britain Part Three

Banning tents

Grabbing arses

The fancies

Of the ruling classes


Who laugh

At Gaza’s epitaph

While the NF march

Past the Cenotaph


Show some respect

Dissent’s forbidden


To Put Up Shut Up Britain

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David and Goliath

The years in prison were not kind to Goliath

He grew smaller and weaker while David grew strong

His castles kicked over; his crop destroyed before him

It weighed heavy on Goliath how it had all gone so wrong


So, he stood and he shouted at the ranks of Israel

Spoke of the river and the sea, words laden with dread

David called for his sling and selected five stones

He’d set...

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A Life of Rhyme

They rhymed them right
They rhymed them wrong
They rhymed in poetry and song
And when they saw things were not fair
They’d rhyme and oft times even swear

They rhymed them left
They rhymed them right
They rhymed them up
They rhymed them down
They rhymed by day
They rhymed by night
They rhymed the flat cap and the crown

Yes, rhymed of princes
Rhymed of kings
And rhymed of more impo...

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In the kingdom of the blind
A one-eyed man is king
He wears a tricorn hat
And his right arm’s just a sling
They’ll pickle him in brandy
When his last race is run
And he’s shagging Lady Hamilton
In a pub they call The Gun

His pals in the West Indies
Are keen on keeping slaves
That damnable Wilberforce
Our one-eyed hero raves
I’ll fight him with both arm and tongue
The lifestyle he be...

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Politics For People Who Don't Do Politics

There’s politics for people who do politics
And politics for people who don’t do politics,
And the politics for people who don’t do politics
Hides behind the politics for people who do politics
Who say “You all need to understand the politics”
To people who say “It’s all the same, the politics”
While the politics is laughing in their face,
And ripping off their money to give it to their mat...

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The Bibby Stockholm

Refugees on barges
Jeering little Farages
When Britannia ruled the waves
James Bibby was transporting slaves
Meanwhile humanitarians
Are Nick Ferrari’s enemy

Refugees on prison ships
Suella’s bag of cruel tricks
Singing Rule Britannia
Let’s make you all unhappier
Somewhere there’s a statue
That needs chucking in the sea

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They All Sent Flowers

They all sent flowers

And the flowers all died

And I understood flowers

For the very first time

A gift of something dying

Gently saying this is normal

We’re all beautiful but fleeting

And this is how it goes


They all sent roses

And the roses all died

Their petals dropping quietly

One at a time

We watched the petals falling

Gently saying this is normal


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Digging Holes

They said when I was younger

Automation would be the thing

The robots would do the heavy lifting

While we could play and sing


But now I’m older and the world is greyer

I dunno who’s at the controls

‘Cause the robots are writing poetry

And I’m still digging holes

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Kings and Queens

Kings and queens are all, it seems
We need to keep food on our plate
Kings and queens and Heinz Baked Beans*
And golden carriages of state

Kings and queens are all, it seems
We need to keep us warm and fed
Kings and queens and Heinz Baked Beans
And Tory Warburtons sliced bread**

So, boo to cost of living crisis
Boo to rising staple prices
Hurrah for Charlie and Camilla
Beans on toas...

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Crowdfund the Coronation

Crowdfund the coronation
Don’t pay for it from our taxation
If you support the celebration
Then you can make a small donation

Crowdfund the coronation
But make it so that each donation
Ticks a box to just make sure
You’d rather not give to the poor

Crowdfund the coronation
Don’t pay for it from our taxation
Of which we’re told there’s such a dearth
We can’t pay nurses what they’re w...

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Willy's at the Foodbank

Willy’s at the foodbank
Polishing the brand
Stepping from the Range Rover
With nothing in his hand
Kate is in a pink coat
Willy’s jumper’s green
They’ve brought a photographer
They’re here to be seen

Willy’s at the foodbank
Chatting to the staff
Kate is sorting out the tins
They’re both having a laugh
Like this is all so normal
This whip round for the poor
With his green-jumpered p...

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Growing Pies

Growing pies, is it on trees

Or on stakes like beans and peas

Or hedgerows, just like blackberries

For us to pick whene’er we please


Or do the pies only thrive

In the shade of money trees

I wonder, will the pies survive

The discontent of winter freeze


Maybe we just dig them up

When they have grown sufficient size

And roughly slice and serve them up

With m...

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Derek Joins the Queue

Derek’s in the queue

With a bag of whisky miniatures

He’ll need something warm

To get him through the night

He didn’t think his hip flask

Would make it through security

So long as he’s not too pissed

He should be alright


Derek’s in the queue

With a plastic union jack

But flags are not allowed

So he’ll drop it in the street

A patriotic queue

Should have f...

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They Sang God Save the Queen

She used her wealth and privilege to bring an end to poverty

When George Floyd died she led the nation when they took the knee

She made the toffs stop hunting

The foxes hung out bunting

She even stopped the Tories from shitting in the sea


She used her wealth and privilege to pay the nation’s power bill

And made an NHS fit for a queen if she fell ill

She closed food banks ...

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Spaffer Bids Farewell to Downing Street

He’s thanking the dog and the cat

It’s leaving speech part two or three

The cat ain’t even his

The cat’s still got a key


He’s thanking the dog and the cat

Like the cat could give a fuck

He’s making a list of achievements

He’s making most of it up


He’s thanking the dog and the cat

The cat’s just shrugged it off

It’s his last day in Downing Street

Bye bye, ...

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I Demand to See the Manager

Someone please bring me the manager of the working class

Some of them have stopped doing exactly what I asked

And they’re forming picket lines that other people won’t pass

So, someone please bring me the manager of the working class


Someone please bring me the manager of the working class

Richard Madeley on the telly said it was someone called Marx

But when I ask who’s in ch...

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rail strikesRMTpolitics

The King of Lockdown

The King of Lockdown raised a glass

A toast to ghosts of empires past

His gaze steadfast upon the cast

Of gathered acolytes, his class

And scenes they would deny


The grape and grain of government

Authors of instruction meant

For others, never their intent

Without consent of votes once lent

Ever to comply


The King of Lockdown, slovenly

Dismissive of discov...

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Gender Neutral Toilets

There’s a gender-neutral toilet in our house
Like the one on a plane
And the one on a train
Like getting caught short in the woods in the rain.

There’s a gender-neutral toilet in our house
So politically correct
What did you expect
One or more types from which to select?

There’s a gender-neutral toilet in our house
How very outré
To piss that way
What would the second world war gene...

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Armchair Generals

Armchair generals
Firing other people’s bullets
With other people’s sons
Express sympathy
With the refugee
Who would be welcome here
If they weren’t such a risk to national insecurity
And Lincolnshire is full, says Leigh
Even if they’re willing to pick fruit

What has Liz’s dressing-up box
Got for us today?
Fighter pilot? Tank commander?
Recruiter for La Légion étrangère?
She’s unlik...

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Not If

When the cut and thrust of politics is real

When the cut and paste apologies are fake

When facts matter less than what you feel

And truth and lies are given equal weight


When “I get it” and “I’ll fix it” are a sham

When extremists are emboldened by your act

When you genuinely couldn’t give a damn

And your policy does nothing but distract


When you use your privileg...

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politicsboris johnson

COP26: 5-1 Down at Half-Time and One Minute to Midnight

If it’s 5-1 down at half-time
And one minute to midnight,
Then this metaphorical football match
Is not in Glasgow tonight.
It’s in Russia or Malaysia
Or elsewhere in Asia
Or Western Australia.
And now he’s introduced a Bond-style doomsday device
Are you guessing his advice
Is doomed to failure?
Because COP Number One didn’t get it done,
Nor did COP Number Two (’96 in Geneva).
The Kyoto...

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