Friday, 13 January 2017

We'd been for a walk with the dogs.

We'd been for a walk with the dogs.
Pub lunch, late Sunday afternoon.
All easy, all good.
Passed you, sitting on a bench,
by the church.
Head slumped.
Slurring your words
(insulated in my car)
and drooling.
I didn't mention I'd seen you.
Drove past, drove home,
to my little two up, two down.
Home to tea,
home with the dogs.
And you still sitting there,
Sunday afternoon pissed.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Later Than I'd Hoped

The traffic was at a standstill on the A38,
so I turned off and took the back roads into Birmingham.
It was already later than I'd hoped,
and I still had to go into town
to exchange christmas presents,
then get to Maple Dene to see mama,
before heading to the airport and flight home.
The back roads turned out to be longer
and busier than I'd expected.
Through Sutton Coldfield, past the hotel
where my dad did his shows,
past the turning to Sutton Park,
where my brother made me dive off the boat
to pick up his weights from the bottom of the lake.
Into Erdington (where I took my driving test),
past the turn for Oscott, and the cemetery
where my Babcia, and my brother,
and my dad and aunt and uncle
are buried.
Back onto the A38 at Spaghetti Junction.
Aston Hall on the right, where we used to go
with Mama and Mietek,
to walk his alsation in the park.
On into the Bull Ring, old roads and new roads,
past what used to be the Mercatt Cross,
(where we watched Fashion play,
and drank underage), and,
missing the turn for the car park,
through chinatown into Hurst St to park
up by the Hippodrome.
All changed, and all the same.
Later than I'd hoped.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

This is what it is to be alive.

This is what it is to be alive.
A dog barks. Traffic.
Rain falling gently, consistently.
Still December afternoons,
a quietness over the world.
Skin porous and ready to absorb the world.
Alpacas in a field.
A small hand in yours
as you walk down the road.
This is what it is.
Skin erupting in blisters.
Small things in small spaces.
Someone remembers you.
A hospital bed.
Alive takes many forms.
This is what it is to be alive.
Heart beating at 4am in the dark.
The dog pushes her head under your hand.
A bottle of wine on Friday night.
This is it, this is what it is.
Colouring pencils in a small child's hand.
A wooden spoon stirring a bowl.
Family around the table.
This is what it is,
and this is what it is not.
To be alive, absorbing everything,
sucking it in to the soft centre,
churning it, burning it
turning it around
and then shouting to the rooftops
THIS is what it is to be alive!

Monday, 21 November 2016

At the end of my pencil there's a box

At the end of my pencil there's a box
and in the box sits Dog.
When I don't know what to do,
I open the box and ask Dog for help.
I might be bored. I'm bored, I say to Dog.
Why don't you draw a map of the world,
Dog might say.
I don't know what the world looks like,
I'd reply, and he'd say
that doesn't matter. Just think of
all the countries you know,
and make up shapes for them
and make up a map. So I do.
And when my dad hits my mom,
I open the box and say Dog
I don't know what to do.
And Dog says RUN. He says RUN
as fast as you can to your room
and hide before he remembers you're here.
No one else can see Dog, or even the box,
but i know he's always there
when I don't know what to do.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Rosehip Syrup

Today, I made rosehip syrup.
Found out, by chance,
that Babunia made rosehip syrup too.
That my brother remembered the taste.
I picked the hips in my garden.
An old hippy at heart.
Rosehips in a bowl.
Something the world doesn't need any more.
Silver threads through the decades.