The boy who didn’t believe

His eyes told him tales of the truth on the page
As he gazed on in wonder at what lay before him

His ears let him hear all that came from the sage
While faithful companions took care to inform him

His hands brushed the wisdom both carved out and clear
And his touch held reminders of tangible reason

While tongue on his teeth flicked out, tasting the air
For a hint of the wind lends direction and season

But all was in vain, all fine senses quite useless
He wrinkled his nose and refused to be swayed

Afeared that his fellows might mean him abuses
He shut his mind tight and ignored all good faith

In place of his conscience mistook for conviction
The volume of ignorance over all proof

Provoking confusion and much needless friction
For stubborn and wilful his painful excuse

Respect slowly dwindled to fall by the wayside
While fatuous rhetoric ruled in its place

Contempt for authority lacking in substance
All those his compatriots filled with dismay

No lessons were learned by the boy in the bubble
Preferring his policy of Simon says

He polished the rod that he’d careful constructed
Preparing to swing to the end of his days

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

Tea and sympathy

I noticed the smell
Before seeing the man
As he first tried it on
With the girl by the sign

I kept gazing at trains
Sipping watery sludge
Barely conscious of movement
Of space, sound, or time

With my chilly feet aching
And feeling the burn
Having finished a shift
With the B.M.D. gang

And put up with the tourists
Mind set to ‘return’
In the crush and the waiting
Victoria Station

I wanted my pj’s
And something to scran
A reprieve from the knowledge
Tomorrow is Monday

A moment’s escape
From the hellish élan
That rises responding
To transport on Sunday

I sighed at his gait
As he soft-shoed along
Cursing hard-hearted kids
Under-dressed for the winter

His t-shirt encrusted
With layers of pong
That would shame to a beak
Even Marble Arch scroungers

He lurched to a halt
Far too close to my skin
And launched into his spiel
To upset and impress me

I felt little more
Than the usual pain
At the series of tricks
He employed just to press me

And tiring of lies
Moaned in flattening vowels
As he tried to appear
To be pitied before me

His simple demands
I did meet with a smile
Giving coin for some peace
That he hence might ignore me

But trotting away
The reprieve was a short one
I swayed on my feet
Craning necks to evade

In the hope they’d announce
Platform numbers for Sutton
No more on my journey
Might I be waylaid

The very same man
Rose, a vision before me
To launch the same dialogue
Over again

I tried to divert him
He strove to ignore me
“Just gave you a pound
For a tea!” I exclaimed

The man seemed offended
And told me more stories
His life had been hard
He was hardly to blame

A single commuter
Of kind disposition
Would hardly stand out
In the crowds of the day

His ‘few pints’ that evening
A hint at the blinder
Awaiting what money
I’d chosen to pay

As much as I might like
To give to the guy
Little hoping for comforts
Unknown and less useful

He steadfast, refusing
To catch at my eye
Made his bitterest mouthfuls
Taste much less than truthful

I listened again
To the tale he was spinning
Not worthy of one
Born to charity’s curse

But all I could offer
Returning the favour
More sympathy, tea
And a haven in verse

The Saga of my Youth

I kissed a shadow for too long
Then woke to find him dead and gone
Yet I was sure, in him did trust
That what we’d shared was more than lust.
Imagine my dismay to find
I was the last thing on his mind.
His photograph to me was true
But not his self, for he had new
Loves lining up around the block.
When I returned it was a shock
To find my friends had all succumbed
To charms I long had thought my own.
Deceit, I feel, to tell the truth
Was part the product of my youth;
They feed to us those pretty lies
Of love so strong it never dies.
Though for a while I felt a fool,
I wonder was it me the crueller
Of the couple – for my doubt
In his sincerity throughout?
Or am I blameless in the role
Of wronged maid by real arsehole?
Perhaps the simplest and most true:
I fell in love, but not with you.
For my love was a fervent flame
That you felt not, so who’s to blame?
I cannot answer this, my duck,
But miss your kisses daily, fuck,
I crave your scent dear, even now.
And do not dare to question how
I feel your touch upon my skin
And still I must not, can’t give in.
For you are with another. She
Deserves not what you gave to me.