A Listing Dilemma

Disinclined to reward them
With negative attention
For however deplorable
Behaviour may be

They’ll achieve all their aims
In one act of plagiarism
If we target campaigns
For our followers to see

Ever wondered why shopping centres
Book Z list celebrities
To cut gros-grain ribbon
In the product-sodden rain?

It’s a given the manager
Is not a die-hard fan – no fear!
His interest’s financial:
Exploitation of a name

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Plagiarism

A victimless crime?
While we all crave exposure
One misquote may damage
Hard-won reputation

Some treacherous friend
Being tempted to borrow
Takes more than their share
Of a direct quotation

And fringes of Property
Law have been parted
The ingress unwelcome
Or even unknown; see

The date-rape distinction:
Consent – was it given?
By author or agent?
If not – Oops! That’s blown!

For all you’ve acknowledged
Original sources
You’ve copied and pasted
What was not your own

If you’re lucky, a tap
On the wrist and it’s sorted
Resist and be damned
‘Tis The Law, don’t you know?

Over-achiever

We set ourselves up for failure
Disappointment a welcome guest
Waste time in procrastination
To feather our barren nest

And trying too hard, fall shorter
Than each unrealistic goal
Until trying at all seems futile
Just digging a deeper hole

It’s time for a new perspective
A reality check, if you will
See your life as a total stranger
Might, and spit out the bitter pill

For life is no bed of roses
On that we may all agree
But there’s merit, nay, even distinction
In enjoying the little achieved

Insubstantial

Falling in love again
With another dream
How inconvenient
Soppy and obscene

Too many crowded rooms
Longing looks and sighs
Corny lines and flat champagne
And twinkles in our eyes

Falling in love again
Old enough to know
How much is fantasy
What little truth we show

Yet in advancing age
Imagine how we try
We sip our drinks and steal a scene
And go back home to cry

Falling in love again
Should have learnt by now
Too many handsome men
With troubles on their brow

Cast caution to the wind
And settle on a cloud
We see the signs and pass the time
Conduct affairs out loud

Falling in love again
So sensibly we dance
Let Nature take her course
Avoid the path of Chance

Filled with the emptiness
Of knowing that we can’t
We’ll somehow warm to loneliness
We dare not risk our hearts

Driven

Your face is a poem in the orange light
The frown creasing your features is a map
Dreadlocks form a waterfall of past thoughts
Kissing your cheeks like the memory
Of long lost loves and campfire songs
When your moonlit stumbles shone
An aphrodisiac for the would-be-hipster
Craving the coarse touch of a real man
Tonight finds you alone, a mere vision
Bobbing along in the cab of a van
To the comforting tones of The Wailers

Tea and sympathy

I noticed the smell
Before seeing the man
As he first tried it on
With the girl by the sign

I kept gazing at trains
Sipping watery sludge
Barely conscious of movement
Of space, sound, or time

With my chilly feet aching
And feeling the burn
Having finished a shift
With the B.M.D. gang

And put up with the tourists
Mind set to ‘return’
In the crush and the waiting
Victoria Station

I wanted my pj’s
And something to scran
A reprieve from the knowledge
Tomorrow is Monday

A moment’s escape
From the hellish élan
That rises responding
To transport on Sunday

I sighed at his gait
As he soft-shoed along
Cursing hard-hearted kids
Under-dressed for the winter

His t-shirt encrusted
With layers of pong
That would shame to a beak
Even Marble Arch scroungers

He lurched to a halt
Far too close to my skin
And launched into his spiel
To upset and impress me

I felt little more
Than the usual pain
At the series of tricks
He employed just to press me

And tiring of lies
Moaned in flattening vowels
As he tried to appear
To be pitied before me

His simple demands
I did meet with a smile
Giving coin for some peace
That he hence might ignore me

But trotting away
The reprieve was a short one
I swayed on my feet
Craning necks to evade

In the hope they’d announce
Platform numbers for Sutton
No more on my journey
Might I be waylaid

The very same man
Rose, a vision before me
To launch the same dialogue
Over again

I tried to divert him
He strove to ignore me
“Just gave you a pound
For a tea!” I exclaimed

The man seemed offended
And told me more stories
His life had been hard
He was hardly to blame

A single commuter
Of kind disposition
Would hardly stand out
In the crowds of the day

His ‘few pints’ that evening
A hint at the blinder
Awaiting what money
I’d chosen to pay

As much as I might like
To give to the guy
Little hoping for comforts
Unknown and less useful

He steadfast, refusing
To catch at my eye
Made his bitterest mouthfuls
Taste much less than truthful

I listened again
To the tale he was spinning
Not worthy of one
Born to charity’s curse

But all I could offer
Returning the favour
More sympathy, tea
And a haven in verse

The Bigger Picture

What care we for overview?
When all we know is what we do

The world appears in shades of us
So we ignore all others’ fuss

A protest march, injustice breeds
As others encroach on our needs

Their savage greed disrupts our day
We see their problems in our way

And grumble at their selfishness
In keeping us from work or rest

Our vision filtered as through cloud
For our own voice shouts twice as loud

But when we notice present threat
Do in our turn cause them regret

Reversing roles to stand our ground
Until the tables turn around