Mediocre Town

The dawn never breaks, the sun never sets.

Dirty grey brown sky is as good as it gets.

Malevolent and brooding it hangs like a veil.

Twenty-three feet above the Arndale.

Where uncouth youth roam in packs.

Their flint like scowls as keen as tacks.

Malice and boredom forged the frowns.

On the not so bright future of Mediocre Town.


But don’t be fooled, these kids are schooled.

The Uni of Life has them prepped and tooled.

They’re by-products of iniquities den.

They’ve grown men’s heads by the age of ten.

The laws of the streets and the school playgrounds.

May the most vicious win, no rules, no rounds

The loser is downed, the cock wears the crown,

The pecking order restored in Mediocre town.


Eight fifteen AM and the shaken have stirred.

Eyes blurred, tongues furred, words slurred.

They shuffle up Long Street like zombified goons.

To form a shambling queue outside Wetherspoons.

The first drinks of the day are pulled then sculled.

Memories culled, senses dulled, tremors lulled.

Watery eyes, cry the tears of clowns.

As sorrows are murdered in Mediocre town.


A pregnant teen in her school dress

Folks say the father is anyone’s guess

She Idles by the pound shop pulling on a fag

Cheeks hollowed out with every drag

The baby in her belly forgotten, forlorn

Brutalised in the womb before it was born

Her mouth hangs open as the rain falls down

If she looks up she’ll drown in Mediocre Town


Plain Jane and Average Joe

Drink below par coffee in café so-so

Indifferent consumers make routine stops

Buying second class goods from second rate shops

Every day is ordinary, typical or everyday

For the prosaic populace living here, that’s Okay

Half hearted laughs greet a standard issue joker

In this run of the mill town where it’s all mediocre


Spoken word link below


DingleberryManchesterMiddletonPerformance PoetryPoems

◄ Box of Dark Things

Monica Lewinsky ►


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Frances Macaulay Forde

Thu 21st Feb 2019 03:43

Wow, you have a new fan.
Very clever writing, beautifully expressed.

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keith jeffries

Wed 20th Feb 2019 12:59


Welcome to WoL. Your poems and this one in particular speak of a person who is observant and thoughtful about the surroundings in which you live. You write and perform well. Accents are part of our identity and need not be apologised for. I look forward to reading and hearing more of your work.

Thanks for this


<Deleted User> (21487)

Wed 20th Feb 2019 09:51

so discriptive - reminds me of that haunting song 'Dirty Old Town'

"cant help my accent"? accents and dialects are precious, they should be celebrated, it defines the person and where they are coming from. To deny an accent is like abandoning an ancestral heritage.

I love the poem and, while I am a southerner albeit of northern stock,(Bolton) I can relate to the lack of hope so vividly portraid.

Kate G

Wed 20th Feb 2019 09:30

Sounds like my hometown. A brilliant observance of a place to which many can relate. 😁

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John McDonough

Wed 20th Feb 2019 09:14

Big fan of Dr Clarke, influenced by but not trying to emulate, can’t help my accent 😀

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kJ Walker

Wed 20th Feb 2019 09:13

It could have been about any town really, but I could tell by the way that you read it that you had one particular town in mind.
I read it before watching the video. It worked equally well as a written piece or as a performance.

Cheers Kevin

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Brian Maryon

Wed 20th Feb 2019 08:20

Cooper Clarkish-ish. I enjoyed your video John.

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lisa donohoe

Wed 20th Feb 2019 03:54

What a vivid tale told in a beautiful way, the rhythm and rhyme was amazing.

To be street smart is an incredible gift I might add,
If I was just book smart I doubt very much id still be alive today.
Their a lessons to be learnt during many stages of life.
The youngest stages hold the most power I beleive.

Great job writing this spectacular piece.
I look forward to the rest of your work.

and welcome to WOL 💕

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