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Ralph Dartford

Updated: Sun, 24 Nov 2019 04:18 pm

Contact via WOL


Current book, ‘Recovery Songs’ published by Valley Press. Available at Waterstones and other fine bookstores. Also at Amazon here: Recovery Songs Or from me directly for £9.99. No postage for WOL members. Available for live performances. Email me at X


Soul Boy I am fifteen years old, a Sebastian Flyte wedge haircut, a forever flicked fringe and soul blue eyes. The year is 1979, my last summer has gone. I am the Saturday boy at Lilley and Skinner, peddling plimsolls, 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 lunch, searching for records from Detroit. I would be given cake, asked about birds, and have you ever seen London at night? The manager said he would take me. There were relentless questions about men. Marvin Gaye at the Royal Albert Hall, I sway from the balcony, two Pale ales tall, singing along to What’s Going On? Confused as he touches my thigh. Its a shame the last train has gone, oh my. But they do a nice breakfast, and I’ve got a bottle. Some cans and fags right here in my satchel. He rises over me and I grip the sheets, paralysed by bad breath and hate. Outside the hotel room, the noise of machines. Inside, the silence of rape. I’m fifty three years old in the therapist’s chair. She explains the conflict between my Dad and I, but my mind was taken elsewhere.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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keith jeffries

Mon 15th May 2017 23:00

Hello Ralph, I have only been on this site since the beginning of March. This evening I discovered you. I have spent quite some time reading a number of your poems. You write with blatant honesty from the depths of your being. Some of what you say really touched me to the quick. I shall be on the lookout for more poetry from you. Thanks a lot. Keith

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 21st Jan 2014 16:23

RD - thanks for the kind reply to my comments on
your latest post.
I was very young when discovering the work of
W.S. Gilbert, and his genius for coupling words
never left left my memory. Indeed, I understand
he also inspired wordsmiths like P.G. Wodehouse
and Cole Porter. Not bad examples to keep in
Best wishes for your own work.

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winston plowes

Thu 22nd Jan 2009 00:09

Hi Ralph. There is a variety in style and some real gems in your posts on this site. Just spent a while looking through them. Do you get chance to go to any WOL nights? keep posting Winston

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