Biting baby blues

We’re rocking teeth
More shocking news
Our shoes won’t fit
Our socks we lose

We climb as high
As we can reach
And make the most
Unholy screech

We don’t sit still
May throw our food
And roll around
When in a mood

With grabby hands
And strong-willed walk
The vulnerable
We now stalk

That thing you smell…
Our butt don’t lie
Some nose-to-mattress
Lullaby

If you want sleep
You’d best be dead
Small half-moons mark
The path ahead

And will we tire
Or do as told?
Hell no! We’re just
As good as gold!

A Little Number

Before I was born
Just a twinkle
In the universe
Of possibilities

Reflected in eyes
Both bluest grey
And olive green
Did you know me?

Or was the I of me
And mine all one to you?
My seedling promised,
But unplanned

Was a meeting of
Hearts and minds
Foretold in song
To bardic strains

Or merely Cast
Upon the plain and
Simple lines
That sprang and pranced

This two-fold dance
Of fire and ice
Your foreign couplings
Kept apart

By Mother Earth
Who did not dream
Of feelings torn
From the widening

Womb-like walls
And shallow shores
Of an underground
Kingdom

Nuts and Colonels
Carried away
With crowns of pine,
From slender hopes

To careful, caring
Tender traps in
Wadded cotton
Whose snoring sheets

Wedded Pluto’s
Darker dreams to
Persephone’s Oblivion
Before there was me

Leadership Training

Welcome dear, to the asylum
Where the grown-ups are not in control
Mummy’s out chasing a rainbow
Daddy is home but not whole

So what do we do with our brother
Who needs to be petted and fed?
Just sisters supporting each other
When parents don’t get out of bed

If you grab a hold by one ankle
Then I’ll take the other and try
To tease out the worst of the tangle
Then soap, rinse and powder him dry

I’m sorry your tummy is grumbly
There isn’t the money for S’mores
I’ll find what I can if you’re hungry
And we’ll have a picnic indoors

I guess we’re not going out playing
While youngest’s a hole in her shoe
I’ve mended the bits that were fraying
But darning the rubber won’t do

Besides which it’s no longer summer
And coats are too short in the sleeve
So even the common’s a bummer
With chilblains it’s better to leave

The exercise video’s starting
We’ll all sit together to stretch
Now reach for your toes if you’re hurting
And think of the rich and the wretch

If we can just keep it together
As family’s good for the soul
There’s almost no storm we can’t weather
To pursue an impossible goal

So try not to pick up your plimsolls
Don’t want anybody to know
If they catch a glimpse of the cardboard
When walking along in the snow

Then mummy and daddy are over
They’d ship us all out to a home
And though there’d be food there forever
We’re better off here on our own

Scotched Stereotypes

What’s your connection with Scotland?
Well it seems that I owe it my birth:
Mum met dad in Dundee.
And they later had me.
Could that be connection enough?

I’m afraid I have never been back there.
Perhaps you were hoping for more
Of a recent connection –
With local inflection?
I’m sorry to seem like a bore.

Though my parents went touring the Highlands
And they both played to Edinburgh crowds;
Spent some time up in Perth
With old friends and much mirth –
Still, I’m not sure it could be allowed.

For I never have eaten a Mars bar
That’s been battered and dunked in a vat.
I don’t fling, or toss cabers;
Quote Burns to the neighbours;
Wear kilts with no undies and that.

So perhaps you cannot call me Scottish;
More a botched-up attempt at a clan.
Though my dreams were conceived there,
I won’t be believed fer
A wee bonnie lassie o’Glen.

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

Mother’s Ruin

I had the bizarre experience the other day of being vetted by the mother of one of my collaborative partners, who seemed quite bemused to meet me in the flesh and find there is no romantic arrangement between us whatsoever. I write the lyrics, he records them. End of. This was the poetic aftermath:

Just thought I’d check you out
I worry for my son
You know he gets about
But never sticks with one

So I must do my best
As parent to my child
To sort through what is left
And stop him running wild

You seem a nice, young thing
Perhaps a little old
To be a one-time fling
Remaining pert and bold

Yet I don’t understand
You’re really not his type
There’s something underhand
I’m starting to dislike

I cannot fathom why
He still wants you kept close
When cuter girls and guys
Are thrown out over toast

Just how would you define
The nature of your part
My boy’s not yours, but mine
I hold keys to his heart

So I can lock it shut
To keep my precious boy
Far from the latest slut –
Temptations of a toy

I’m not sure what to feel
About this odd affair
You have no sex-appeal
And yet he seems to care

That I should not offend
Nor even entertain
Such notions of girlfriend
In everything but name

I guess you’re not so bad
The words are pretty cool
So sorry I seem mad
I sometimes act the fool

But promise me, my dear
Whatever else you send
Just so we both are clear
He’s mine until the end

To turn, or to lay them out well?

The spoiled child is a great burden, and one which does not know how to carry others.  The weight of the world’s perceived expectation may prove too much for those narrow shoulders.  The very mass of their own fancies may yet oppress them, and, shamefaced and fearful, they crumble, unable to comprehend the sudden power vacuum that occurs when their providers are no longer there to do the hard work on their behalf.  It is sadly our own unwitting folly that renders those we have need of, those who were born to lead us toward a better future, into lazy, bitter, faithless followers.  Something must change, or with the weight of their burdens, the blindly oppressed will be driven into their graves by those they work so hard to support.

A fighting inheritance

Give me strength, my father cried
I as a child, of course, complied,
And to his will, this willow bent,
Not understanding discontent.
But now I’m grown, his mood I ken,
I ‘get’ the strops of gentle men:
Dissatisfied with what they’ve got
Yet little work to change their lot.
I hope in future my own kin
Will know enough, not let me win,
But challenge me in time of need
And push to overcome my greed.
I know myself, I know my power,
Yet hope my kids upon their hour
Of struggle, mine will overcome
That they may triumph, have some fun.
And in old age, their wisdom find,
Choosing then to know their mind.
Not seeking ever-young to stay,
But give the youth their precious day.