Musical Chères

Searching for my roots
Through old records
I pause, ears cocked
For my muscle memory
Awaiting the right decade
Simon and Garfunkel
Soothe my silences
Leonard Cohen for my
Loneliest of nights
Lucio Dalla nostalgia
Juliette Greco and Piaf
For flights of fancy
Childhood Winters in Paris
With a pianist thumping
Square-toed rhythms
Ballet port-de-bras
Watery arpeggios to mock
High arches, pale faces
Pink noses and blue lips
With Tchaikovsky diluted
We shivered on the parquet
In a sea of legs and faces
Sprung floors and tall mirrors
Threw our joint grimace
To the feeble footwork
Of the adults at the barre
Then Fleetwood Mac’s
Rhiannon echoes past
The jazz records listing
To the left of the top shelf
And as the sound swells
I raise my hands, start to turn
Eyes closed, I dance
Delighted that for once,
Nobody is watching

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Winter’s War

The season has brought with her
Blustery blows
To trail leaves and scatter
Wherever she goes

The sky with her cloak
Is soon clouded and grey
As drips thunder downward
We run while we may

With twisting and turning
She tears limbs from trees
As forestry’s mistress
Will do as she’s pleased

Humanity’s dwelling
Is breeched by a beech
With windows that splinter
As roofs start to pitch

And foam less sweet-smelling
Is blown toward the beach
For nothing we know
Is held out of her reach

While Winter enjoys herself
Cosy and warm
We huddle in blankets
And hide from the storm

Our shelters may topple
As Nature holds sway
The Earth, baked and brittle
Returned to damp clay

She turns to her Captain
Proud Weather in pride
The borders of Britain
Have started to slide

With rivers that spread themselves
Stretch their banks wide
The water soon rises
Full moon and fell tide

This world we call small
Soon unmanned and unknown
What land we had conquered
Returned to her throne

Saturday Sadness

You wanted to come here to show me off
Your symbol of success, transition
Working class no longer, toff
In all opinion, loud derision

So I sit and watch the bald patch
Slow expanding on your head
Your eyes both glued to latest gadget
Showing off your wealth instead

I sip my coffee, not as silent
As the trophy WAGs should stay
While strangers’ pallid faces highlight
All you do and all I say

There was a time, almost forgotten
By the one who paid today
I’d make you think and laughing rotten,
Lift your moodiness away.

When shining eyes met laughter lines
Two grins curved freely over cake
And sugar seemed less of a crime
With more forgive and much less take

Impious, I once held your gaze
Without the need for sabotage
Of smart phone: screen of lesser rays
Replaced your smile with time on charge

We sit and comment on our drinks
You read the news in silent thought
I wonder at these forty winks
That hold our lives to what we’ve bought

Perambulation

Surrounded by pushchairs, spoilt kids
Deep in nappy valley, Wandsworth village
Trendy boutiques flipping lids
For middle class to loot and pillage

The claustrophobia of pastel painted
Clamouring conversation-piece tainted
Opticians’ windows with ELC tat
To lure proud parents, “Daddy, buy me that!”

Averting eyes from tweenaged princess
Hide my face in coffee cup
My urge to flee a growing promise
(Get me out or I’ll throw up)

What happened to the intellect
Of parents’ educated class?
Did brain cells down aboard the jet
To twilight zone – kids’ yoga pass

For under fives and boring housewives
Mum’s career stuck in a loop
Of folic acid, UTIs
Her sex life reproductive – Super!

Men and women on the ladder
Treading upward, soon to seek
A loan for Jasper darling’s madder
School fees make them want to weep

And what’s it for, this quest for more
Advantage for their offspring’s start
In life upon a path so sure
No thinking needed, play the part

As you pass on to generation
All the same things you have been
Your name, possessions, worldly station
Nothing heard, nor said, nor seen

Gullible

We embarked upon a walk
In gentle moonlight, by the Seine
But soon we heard the fatal squawk
To put us off our path – villain!
What hearts had borrowed from the scene
Was shattered, splattered by such mean
And unromantic-minded birds
That flew above us, unobserved
‘Til covered in confusion, rank
With dripping bird lime, clothing stank
And all about us, chaos lay
The puddled blitzkrieg, green and grey

To change a Leopard’s shorts

I don’t suit spots, or rather they
Do not fit me, though garish, gay
This leopard-print lies round my neck
To warn off those whom sport would wreck
With vulgar overtones and spoil
A wilderness of threadbare toil
Nay, not to fashion can I cleave
Where company requires alleviation
Of monotony made up of rows
And rows of me.

Autumnal

I dislike moths
Such old, dusty
Sepia butterflies
That flap at my face
Crash my cupboards
Caught in a protracted pause
Betwixt the seasons
Munching on jumpers
Waving beetle-brows
Beaten from carpets and comfort
Like absent pupils
Silt-minds wandering
To sunny fields
And freedom from
All manner of sticky-
Beaked rules

Hiatus

The Ugly Thought Spider
Squats on the ceiling
Above my head
Mocking my efforts
At pest control
Weaving strings of coincidence
Swapping hunger pangs and saliva
For absent-minded insects, the buzz
Of fast food suspended
With sticky strings attached
Out of reach
I cannot swat him
Though the news today was heavy
I endeavour to ignore his whispers
Cleaving to my sanity
As he to lunch