I have been writing since I can remember, but its only the last few years that I have considered myself a poet. This coincides with my performing poetry at various gigs, and the changing political climate which, I feel, demands we speak out on socio/political/arts issues. Hence I have supported Labour party benefit gigs, and other 'peace' events with a group of local activists, primarily Stand Up To Racism. I am a member of Coachhouse Writers, and read regularly at Permission To Speak, held at Claptrap, Stourbridge. I was also invited to give a reading for Arts Foundry at this years Wolverhampton Lit. Festival, and performed with Coachhouse Writers group as part of the festival. My seminal influence is Bob Dylan; though Whitman, Wilde, Eliot, Ginsberg, Kwesi-Johnson et al. are all in the mix.
THERE’S A SHOTGUN IN THE CELLAR It’s harder than you think to disappear, To lose yourself, then reappear, with no trace of why, Or what went before. You can get lulled into a false sense of security, Become blasé about the little things; Like never answering the phone when it rings. There was a shotgun in the cellar, wrapped in hessian sack, I took it out a while ago, intending to put it back. When we first came here, I had some grand idea of self-sufficiency, You know, living off the land. When you live out in the country, everything’s a risk. The weather can turn and set you back. Few people know of this old dirt track. There’s a shotgun in the cupboard, no one knows it’s there. It’s well concealed in a cubbyhole, underneath the stairs. The old shoe box has three cartridges in it, lubricating oil, And a special tool for cleaning the breach, High up on the top shelf, out of reach. You can’t be too careful with a child around. I have more time on my hands now, since my last little venture failed, But the summer has been glorious. This is a special place to be when the sun rises over the river, Early in the morning. But things can change without warning. It’s like that when you’re on the run; you never know when they’ll come. There’s a shotgun on the table, my wife and son are in bed. The neighbours said they heard a truck backfire 3 times, Or it could have been poachers, after rabbit and partridge. I can feel warm steel from the barrel as I load the last cartridge; The smell of gunpowder on my clothes. We left before daylight, nothing unusual in that. It’s not a 9 to 5 existence around here, People come and go at the strangest of times; Mending fences and digging holes. There’s a shotgun on the kitchen floor, how it got there, no one knows 2019
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