Humanitarian Crisis

I worked late today
In the usual way
Then stood long for a bus
While ignoring the fuss
All the placards and song
Of a protesting throng

When the first one came full
Joined the back of the queue
‘Til I hopped on the second
No wiser, I reckoned
To pressure or purpose
That brought out the workforce

I sat in my headphones
Absorbing through eardrums
The tunes of a playlist
Unchanged through two ages
And stared through graffiti
At people beneath me

Not knowing, nor caring
What fate we were sharing
Familiar landscape blurred
Into the sounds I heard
Hopped off three stops early
Finished one journey

I trudged ‘cross the common
To see if I’d find one
More bus driver’s hubs
Standing still by the pubs
Sure enough, there I saw
Not just one, but some four

When one finally, late
Put his pedal to plate
He pulled up to the tavern
Waved me past his cabin
For NFC, broken
Would not zap my token

I settled inside
Chose a tune for my ride
But two stops, no further
We stopped in a lather
Five kids, come from school
With no change to fare-pool

Tried to board, barter, beg
But compassion was neg.
As commuters grew restless
One woman, well-dressed, stressed
Their selfishness loudly
“Eff off!” she yelled, proudly

Some gentleman, small
Added footage to gall
Thus the youths took offense
At this lack of good sense
And a row quickly rose
As his phone met his toes

While we waited, suspended
To see what might end it
Some ran for the next bus
Some added their voices
And called for policemen
To make them see reason

It took three more stops
And a call to the cops
But not one among us
Could hit on the obvious
Tempers grew heated
As workers felt cheated

Ashamed, I forgot
Or I simply did not
Check I had enough money
Available, on me
To throw them a bone
So we’d all make it home.

Generation Gap Year

Extended adolescence is
Two dudes on a skate date at six
Discussing their need
For some quality weed
While comparing the length of their tricks

With their tracksuits and caps off The Now Show
And their t-shirts ironic, profound
They both chat and rejoice
In the sound of their voice
As home counties vowels litter the ground

Not quite yet with one foot on the ladder
Are these kool kats establishment-bound
With their pals in the pub
Serving plates of posh grub
Mockney rules ’til the tools owe a round

Then they’re back pulling pints of an evening
While the board sits at home in the lounge
Pinching pennies for blow
Giving housemates a show
As the park’s still the best game in town

From my viewpoint as elderly spinster
I ignore what excites at their age
Though it seems such good fun
I’ve a hunch they’ve broken
Every bone from their knees to ribcage

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

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

Soul Searching

Arrogant egotist, seeking same
For endless argument, wedded bliss
Mutual misery, permanent pain
Violent tantrums and fucked up kids

Step one pace forward
If you think you’re hard enough
Sign the disclaimer,
A pre-nup of sorts

Then catch the bouquet
Such a poignant reminder
All lies can be pretty
While memory’s short

Her Intended

She set out to state
Though her marriage of late
Seemed as though it had hit on a rock

There were plenty more things
Still in scope of her dreams
So divorce needn’t come as a shock

Thus her offspring she sat
Minding this friend, or that
While she sought a new father-faced fib

Stepping out with a crew
Of the less well-to-do
Who could all see the cut of her jib

But no fellow she met
Could enchant her own set
So she one-by-one cast them aside

For intent in pursuit
Of less forbidding fruit
She, convinced the world must take her side

Simply would not see sense
When it came to pounds, pence
The result too important to count

To escape from her woes
Ignored any who chose
To point out how her theory panned out