They’re colour blind

so won’t ever appreciate your dress sense

and will never be able to drive;

they don’t live very long,

chocolate kills them,

they can’t talk

and so in this respect

a budgerigar is better;

they lick their bums in public,

will love trees,

the floor,

anything that doesn’t move,

the legs of visitors,

you can’t go on holiday,

there is always the possibility

of a dog do

in a train station foyer;
you have to pick up their poo
in a small plastic bag,
which must really confuse them,
they’re smelly and dirty,
would beg bones
from a dug up skeleton,
would bark at the sun,
Beware of the Dog
they’re GOD written backwards
and when they die,

I hear from my uncle in London

and my uncle from Hungary,

it’s like losing

a member of the family.

They’re colour blind
so won’t ever appreciate your dress sense
and will never be able to drive,
they don’t live very long,
chocolate kills them,
they can’t talk
and so in this respect
a budgerigar is better;
they lick their bums in public,
will shag trees,
the floor,
anything that doesn’t move,
the legs of visitors,
you can’t go on holiday,
there is always the possibility
of a dog poo
in a train station foyer,
you can’t leave home
without a
small plastic bag
and when they die,
I hear from my uncle in London
and my uncle in Switzerland,
it’s like losing
a member of the family.

Bath Plug

May 24, 2012

And this morning there is the same irritation
at the landlady’s removal of the bath plug,
and the bath chain and the hot water bath tap.

Twice a week, I fill up the bath with the shower
and use the plug, I bought from Wilkinsons.

Creep

May 24, 2012

And all the things that creepeth
Creepth more at night

And all the cats that howl
Only howl at night

And all the things that scurry
And drip, and rustle, and blow, and itch

God bless this garden
And all that creep in it.

May Day

May 22, 2012

Mad May in my English garden,
10 green roses are making for the sky
,
weaving up through established honeysuckle
,
Damocles-ing the wrong way round.

Mad May in my darling garden
,
dragonflies are in the sink,

crazy paving’s running riot,

the daffodils are on the blink.

May Day, May Day –
the washing’s climbing up the walls,
there’s something creeping
in the midnight undergrowth,
the stars are flashing morse code.

Wisteria’s hysterical.

Geraniums are late

The snails are thriving
on a tenacious border.

Next doors cat is hunting chicks.

Mad May in municipal offices.

Mad May in the red brick pool.

Mad May in the dentist and the doctors.

Jubilees and bunting rule.

May day’s come and gone unnoticed,

the House of Lords have brushed their wigs,
the cabinet have sent a cut

to the Queen, for her to read.

Hollihocks in the high street hustle.
Ivy stalks the job centre queues.

Mad May in the admin department
,
building asylums and slicing schools.

Mayday, Mayday, but the marching’s over,

Syrian civilians are exploding from cars
,
the King of Bahrain is eating cake,

the Tyrant of Swaziland’s playing cards.

Mayday, Mayday, but the marching’s over,
the government’s been weeding poverty
the usual suspects, single mothers,
the sick, the lonely, elderly.

Mad May, Rule Britannia.

Parliament’s hung
.
The garden grows.

Mayday, Mayday,
my tiny house

glows in it’s driveway,
Mad May, Mayday howls.

2nd Draft

May 20, 2012

Mad May in my darling garden
17 roses are making for the sky
weaving up through established honey sunkle
Damocles-ing the wrong way round

Mad May in my darling garden
Phillip Glass is in the sink
Crazy paving’s running riot
the daffodils are on the blink

The wisteria is hysterical
the geraniums are late
the snails are thriving in the shrubbery
next doors cat is hunting chicks

Mad May in the municipal offices
Mad May in the red brick pool
Mad May in the dentist and the doctors
Jubilees and bunting rule

May day’s come and gone unnoticed
The House of Lords have brushed their wigs
The cabinet have sent a cut
to the Queen for her to read

Mad May in the highstreet hustle
Mad May in the job centre queue
Mad May in the admin department
Building asylums and closing schools

Mayday, Mayday, but the marching’s over
Syrian civilians are exploding from cars
The King of Bahrain is eating cake
the Tyrant of Swaziland’s playing cards

Mad May, Rule Brittania
Parliament’s hung
The garden grows

My tiny house
glows in it’s driveway
safe with it’s roses.
Mayday howls.

May 20, 2012

It’s mad May in the English garden
Phillip Glass is in the sink
Crazy paving’s running riot
the daffodils are on the blink.

the wisteria is hysterical
the geraniums are late
the snails are thriving in herbaceous borders
next doors cat is hunting chicks

Mad May in the municipal offices
Mad May in the red brick pool
Mad May in the dentist and the doctors
Jubilees and bunting rule

May day’s come and gone unnoticed
The house of Lords have brushed their wigs
The cabinet have sent a cut
to the Queen for her to read

Mad May in the highstreet hustle
Mad May in the job centre queue
Mad May in the admin department
Building asylums and closing schools

Mayday, Mayday, but the marching’s over
Syrian Civillians are exploding from cars
The King of Bahrain is eating cake
the tyrant of Swaziland’s playing cards

Mad May, Rule Brittania
Parliament’s hung
the garden grows

My tiny house
glows in it’s driveway
safe with it’s roses.
Mayday howls.

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May 10, 2012

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Grandfather Poem

May 9, 2012

Man made of land and oil and parchment,
Man made of tin and maps and Romeros,
Man made of ink and contracts –

Man flecked with Mexican Ambassadors:
His Grandfather served to the Court of St James;
His father, Joseph, his mother, Josephine.

Man made of candles and rosaries,
Man made of monks and suitcases, 
Man made of languages:
French, Arabic, Swahili; English.

My Grandfather served in the Sudanese Government
In the final years of the British Empire;
Post colonial, pre the exodus,
My Grandfather left, before the collapsidus, 
My Grandfather moved to Basrah, Iraq. 
 
My Grandfather worked for Persian Petroleum,
Pushed a pen, on an Arabian oil field.
My Grandfather listened to oil through a glass.
My Grandfathered wired for black gold bars.

Man made of cocktail hours and tennis,
Man made of cucumber and lettuce.
Man made of armies and men on elephants,
African Nannies in white cloth aprons.

Grandfather, Grandfather, Department of Commerce,
Zambia Professor, University of Singapore,
Grandfather, Grandfather, Kuala Lumpur,
Professor of Accountancy, Institute of Swaziland.

His Father, His Father, importer of feathers,
Made rich on plantations of sugar and fetters.

His Father, his Father, South African Ostriches
Hung up and dyed, like trophies, or hostages

Grandfather, Grandfather, the family motto:
‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’

Grandfather, Grandfather,
My guilt edged mortgage –

My basement,
My brickwork,
My stained glass view.

Grandfather, Grandfather
oh promenades
oh ivory towers –

Grandfather, Grandfather,
our National Health.

Eh shah eh nigh
el hey hareem.

Grandfather,

I lift up mine eyes to the hills.
From whence cometh our help?

Grandfather Poem

May 6, 2012

Man made of land and oil and parchment.
Man made of tin and maps and Romeros.
Man made of ink and contracts.

Man flecked with Mexican Ambassadors:
His Grandfather served to the Court of St James.
His Father, Joseph, His Mother, Josephine.

Man made of candles and rosaries. 
Man made of monks and suitcases. 
Man made of languages:
French, Arabic, Swahili; English.

My Grandfather served in the Sudanese Government
in the final years of the British Empire;
post colonial, pre the exodus,
my Grandfather left, before the collapsidus, 
my Grandfather moved to Basrah, Iraq. 
 
My Grandfather worked for Persian Petroleum,
pushed a pen, on an Arabian oil field.
My Grandfather listened to oil through a glass.
My Grandfathered wired for black gold bars.

Man made of cocktail hours and tennis.
Man made of cucumber and lettuce.
Man made of armies and men on elephants,
African Nannies in white cloth aprons.

Grandfather, Grandfather, Department of Commerce,
Zambia Professor, University of Singapore,
Grandfather, Grandfather, Kuala Lumpur,
Professor of Accountancy, Institute of Swaziland.

His Father, His Father, importer of feathers,
made rich on plantations of sugar and fetters.

His Father, his Father, South African Ostriches
hung up and dyed like trophies, or hostages

Grandfather, Grandfather, the family motto:
‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’

Grandfather, Grandfather,
my guilt edged mortgage

Grandfather, Grandfather,
my carpet, the telly

Grandfather, Grandfather
our national health

eh shah eh nigh
el hey hareem

I lift up mine eyes to the hills.
From whence cometh our help?