We look up to our leaders
Prefer sharp suits, trim figures
Bright smiles and bicycles,
Firm handshakes, clean livers
A healthy lifestyle, standard pet
Someone you’d chat to, down the pub
Whose name you never quite forget
Who likes their job and calls it love
A man who fits the common mould
With pleasant spouse who keeps their cool
And plays at happy families
While kids attend a public school
Appearances mean more and more
We back the face that seems sincere
And hang our hopes upon the door
Reality is what we fear
They light our lives through frosted glass
The safety of the telly screen
And comforted by careful mask
We misinterpret what we’ve seen
Behind the scenes, those cogs of State
Less photogenic toil and plot
To feed the nation from one plate
These images so soon forgot


Who brings the flame to signify
That peace now lights this land
On whose sure grip may we rely
Which body lends this hand

Upon whose face the gentle glow
To light the way for all
A worthy grasp of all that comes
With populace in thrall

The backers, hip to all things good
Whose strength may awe the meek
Are striding through our neighbourhood
The streets we knew, now chic

With none to cross the undrawn line
All smiles upon each mug
And those with work they must resign
At home beneath the rug

So spread glad tidings, far and wide
The days are passing fast
We’re queueing up to catch this ride
To gawk as it goes past

High Levels of Invisibility

Another day, another merry rejection email winging it’s way across the wires to my inbox. Never mind. See if you can spot the theme for these poems…

Bruises are open to interpretation
Marks of a life lived
Without the inconvenience
Of diversion
No avoiding sharp corners
And as we bump along
Grinding truth into one another
All efforts to avoid
Lasting damage
Remain futile

I grew up under a piano
Looking at grown-up shoes
Out of the way of the weary
A quiet child, too shy
For the floating world
Of theatrical parents
I only became visible
At three years of age
When my sister appeared
Her adventurous spirit
Blonde hair, blue eyes
Loud voice
Dragged me into the chaos
Of a downstage spot
Where everything was my fault

Swirling fog furls
Around my headlights
Their beams soft and unfocused
In the quiet of a country lane
So deserted a setting
Bunnies bedded down
Snug in their burrows
Birds silent on slippery branches
Anything might happen
Out here where you can’t see
Where you might be driving
Through clouds
Your wheels barely meeting
The frozen ground
Off cliffs and onto
Sleepy railway lines
Unseasonal weather
In the chilly calm
Before the dawn chorus
Takes their cue

An arm buried
In a grimy sleeve
Stretches out
Lost in a crowd
Seeking the solace
Of friendly faces
Finding nothing
But coins

Being seen
Red circled defects
Are a validation
As glossy headlines
Tell terrible tales
Of celebrity cellulite
Beautifully bad behaviour
And once again
The publicist knows
Someone noticed them

In the spotlight
Dust motes dance a Mazurka
To an empty room

The Powers That Weren’t

It’s that time of year again when I trudge through my various bits and pieces and root out those submissions that were rejected outright or (worse) that never received a reply. Those that were written to a set theme or spec, I usually post here, as they are rarely suitable for resubmission elsewhere.

As you may be able to guess, these were written to a set theme – Power. I generally try not to over-explain my scribbles as I often feel if they require an explanation, then they aren’t finished yet, however this particular publication requested a brief introduction to each poem, so I have included these in my post.

This poem was written from the perspective of a Liberal politician nominally ‘In Power’ within the current coalition government, musing on the present state of the UK.

In Power
Feel my rhythm, see my vision
Fear the schism of this prism
All must work in culmination
Bettering the nation’s station

Tweaking noses, stomping toeses
Pack a pocketful of posies
Quick to hide the stench of rows
All long-since passed their sell-by codes

Darker glasses for middle classes
Out on arses for making passes
No more handouts for noisy standouts
Put up, shut up, we’re boss and bandits

Tailored speeches to tired teachers
Bitter leeches and lay-down preachers
Sieve for truth from the lie-buffet
Here’s a vibrant youth, let him have his say

Disenchanting, we see them panting
For what they’re wanting, and now recanting
Scrambled egg stains the ties of old
And the very dregs of the yellow fold

This poem was written about a turbulent relationship with an imbalance of power as one person chooses what is best for both of them on a whim, without reference to the other person’s thoughts or feelings.

We’re together
Off and on
Depending how light
You are feeling
That switch in your brain
Flicks from one
To the other
And once again
Here I stand
In the dark

This poem was written on a miserably cold morning, sitting at a desk in a room with no heating, trying to summon up enough energy to face the day and gazing out of the window at one kind driver helping a total stranger get a battered old banger going again.

Jump Leads
Give us a bump start
A quick start, a jump start
To be smart and hearty
A powerful party
Yeah, kick off the traces
Of car-to-car chases
I want to feel spaces
See people, go places

Half-Pint’s Positive Thinking

The best thing about a committee
Is there’s always somebody to blame
A convenient scapegoat to pity
While feeding the papers a name

And as all the ballots are secret
There is no-one to call out the lie
As you smile at the cameraman’s edit
One more face in a coat and a tie

Oh, we cannot condemn the committee
Just a small offering will suffice
Thus with humblest expressions of duty
We prepare for the next sacrifice