Sunday, 2 October 2016

Chose to Ignore

The world turns and turns, and I
reach out and choose to ignore the shit.
Choose to pretend I have a choice.
Choose to pretend my jam making
and seed planting matter.
Choose to believe the people I know matter.
Choose to believe in what I see, not
what's written in my bank balance.
Choose to believe worth is what a person is,
not the salary they earn, or the bonus they make,
or the clever deal they're party to.
Choose to believe in a field. In a sky.
Choose to work and work and not give in.
Choose to pretend it's who you are that matters,
not who you know.
Choose to keep trying. Choose this world
that turns and turns, and I
choose to ignore the shit.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

A Room

There was a room
looking out on a hilly street with no trees,
on the first floor of a dilapidated Victorian house.
Big room, tiny kitchen, shared bathroom.
Coin feed meter on the landing.

I thought - white, pretty curtains,
square table with a cloth and two chairs in the bay.
A bed that could double as a couch.
Pictures on the wall.
A vase of flowers.

mattress on the floor,
chocolate brown walls, uneven and patchy,
the old dirty curtains left at the windows,
tv on the floor, everything on the floor.

Chaotic. I should have run.
But I stayed.
Paddy and John throwing stones at the window at 3am.
Getting up early to cycle to school.
Arriving with a birthday cake with thirty candles.
Making it home. Familiar chaos.
Slipping into it without thought.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

1982 Rehovot

I was in Israel. And I did sing
"Hava Nagila", and danced,
and held hands with Kibbutzniks.
And I did pick oranges,
and grapefruit, but really,
they preferred the boys for that job.
And I did wash the old people
in the old people's house,
even though I had no experience,
just boundless enthusiasm.
And I did work in the synagogue kitchen,
although the old men shouted at me,
told me off for mixing food groups,
(I didn't understand a word.)
And I did look after the children,
in the children's house,
changed nappies on four year olds,
hugged toddlers, sang to babies.
And yes I did drink neat vodka,
supplied by the kibbutz,
with free issue orange juice,
taken from the tap in the factory.
And I did try to meet kibbutzniks,
even though they did everything they could
to keep us apart from THEIR young people,
in case we contaminated them,
with our western ideas, and western ideals.
And yes I did go camping at the weekend,
on the organised trip, in the jeep with army seats,
and camped in some desert,
and watched the nurse from Liverpool
get drunker than drunk, and disappear
into the dunes with first one Israeli,
then two then three.
And I did spend too long on the beach at Ein Gedi,
and I did get sick,
and I did find that this counted for little
in the kibbutz.
And I did work again, after I got better,
serving tea in the old people's home,
until my time was done,
and I could travel on up North to Haifa and Galilee.
And I did learn a lesson, or maybe three.
Sunbathing beside lake Galilee.
Before I came home.