Insomniac

I stayed up hanging on the line last night
My eyeballs were putting up a terrible fight
With my lids defiant and the screen too bright
Skin so itchy in pyjamas, something wasn’t right

With the tablet scrolling, tapping black on grey
Skimming lousy fan fiction ‘til the break of day
Guilty pleasures to distract me from this state of play
Knowing all too well what he would have to say

I’ve been lounging round in bubble baths to help me snooze
With late night meditating, self-hypnosis, pills and booze
Relaxation seems an ever more elusive muse
Necking Nytol, chugging camomile but no good news

Been a long time now since I couldn’t sleep
Keeping busy, feeling dizzy ‘til the clock goes beep
Waking dreams so crammed with thoughts that slither dark and deep
Just keep walking through the daylight feeling ready to weep

When your brain won’t slow and your ears won’t close
And you’re feeling sort of coldy from your head to your toes
No hot toddy makes you noddy, as the restless grows
Squirming prone beneath the duvet in your sleeping clothes

But the minute you stretch to find your feet again
He starts complaining in his sleep and clutching at your hem
As his snoring fills your senses and you pray for REM
You’re still stuck playing teddy while you count to ten

Sick of sheep that wander wooly through your neural net
As you lie caught between ‘it’s bed-time’ and ‘not-breakfast-yet’
Swearing blue streaks in the curtains trying to forget
It’s been an hour since you last visited the cabinet

Essential oils to make you sleepy getting in your face
With the stink of lavender all over the place
Singing whales offend the cat but buy you no more grace
He steals the pillow, sprawling fur in every inch of space

When the sun comes sneaking through the soggy dawn
You’ve given up on any rest; just put your knickers on
Stumble downstairs grumbling looking pale and wan
Bag grabbed, you’re lurching to the bus stop with the zombie throng

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Blame it on the boogie monster

Being a bitch
Will rarely make you rich
Get your drinks for free
Or your hard nose hitched

Though you’re sharp of tongue
It’s just a way of life
When self-censorship’s
No longer worth the price

Being a bitch
Is not a binary thing
So ‘Find your on/off switch’
Commands are hardly helping

How may one help improve
The mood of all we boff
Without the question, ‘Hey
What was it pissed you off?’

Battle of the Bands

‘What does music mean?’ I asked
The day you demanded to know
Which bands I liked,
What songs I knew by heart
What right I had to hold you?
The darker tones you rationed me
Those reserved for seduction
Sent delicious spinal shivers
As you so righteously accused
Me of musical treachery.
Standing in the rain by the bus stop
People looking us up and down
We stood like strangers, past-less
Wild hair blowing across your glasses
Peering into my face to try to
See how I might fit into your
Careful constructed fantasy
Defiant in your metal tee and boots
I smiled at your adherence to these
Uptight social conventions.
Unblinking, I considered my response
As if there were a wrong answer
Forming on my tongue.
I knew your little lover’s heart
Was restless, wanting to trade bedfellows
You were so obvious, waiting
For my careless chosen gift
Lovingly bestowed by
Another doting devotee of
Bad boys in black jeans;
A perfect excuse for you
To end whatever strange
Fantasy we were living.
I could see the angry words
Taking final form in your
Deep brown eyes, watch you
Later, sat in the comfort
Of your local haunt, The Bush
Surrounded by bandmates
And potential conquests
Younger and dumber than I.
‘She just didn’t get me, man’
You would say, accompanied by
An obligatory eye-roll,
Well-rehearsed, and all
Would sympathise
Pouring cheap words and
Libations. ‘Drink of us’
While First Year Goths
Bat heavy lashes and
Casually bounce off the beat,
Showing their interest.
Alas, the musician’s daughter saw
All this and still felt minded to foil
Your planned escape with a trick.
Ignoring her eidetic recall
You didn’t know how to respond
To cry or to laugh
As I sang all your favourite tunes
Word-perfect, as always.

The Joker

Seamus said he dug with his
But I am less of farming stock
Frustrated by the daily mis’
My pen prefers the short, sharp, shock
So taking from old movies, scenes
That better fit my present snit
I’ll borrow Action from my teens
While nib’s still sharp – I’ll stab with it.

Examining Results

For once, I don’t know what to write
I’ve spent so long on call today
Informing others’ diktat soundbyte;
All my thoughts have flown away
Abandoning ‘mid dullest prose
And figures fed statistic’ly
Capacity of rows and rows
Of unexamined history
I’m homeward-bound and wish the best
To all whose numbers came to list
May you stand out among the rest
And never know this mill needs grist
I’d lend you wisdom of my years
If I were still bent on belief
But knowing such pearls find no ears
Would offer senses such relief
As may be had from silent smile
Of stranger truth than may be said
For soon enough you’ll have your milestone
Broke by others’ heavy tread

On Sustainability

The gremlins are back
And they’re kicking up trouble
Destroying the systems
We need to survive

Too small to stay solvent
When things start to crumble
It’s all on my shoulders
The fate of the tribe

I watch as the ringleader’s
Scurrying forward
To see where the holes
In defences may lie

Such old infrastructure
And lack of investment
It’s hardly surprising
We’re going to die