Poem: Idles when idle

There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.

On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.

Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.

And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.





Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.

Poem: The Broken Boat Saloon

Editor’s note: This poem is currently away on a top secret mission and will return later.

Words and art by the editor.

Thanks to a three-masted ship of inspiration:

Sophia Riley-Kobacker ** The History of Emotions Blog ** Everything2: Nick Cave’s Love Song Lecture **


 

Day of the Dead poem: Interlude Idioglossia

“An angel may weep if a twin should die”

Interlude Idioglossia (song of the twins)

Why didya haf to go, haf to go? (an leave me all alowen)
Broken-hearted tempo in the hearth (flames all aglowen)
All alowen, larlarlowen, lowen, lar lar lar.
At the Cut, pockits emty, we saw the bombed buildins
crumble, rumble-rubble, rumbba rub-rub.
Granma died in that house, royt, rumbba rub-rub,
rubbed out, smithereens, so mightily blown-up.
A Pfennig for yer thoughts me dear… Luftwaffe,
Left Bank Francs fer catacombs tours deep under Paris,
leftovers, angovers, a face as lung as Livery Street,
an all the Purple Hearts Mom cud eat –
kept her depression dowen (kept pharmacists in lifestyles
they had growen accustomed to).
Is it jus me, or is it the sadness of everything,
an everyone, everywhere, and all that’s ever been?

 

Bacon, liver, taters, carrots, loose tea, lar lar lar.
(rations is a passion for the nostrils when passin through the yard)
Lollylar, lollylar (cominyar cominyar)
Rememba Trev the horse an Joey the tortuss,
an Dandy dog an Patch the cat?
Them stillborn rabbits buried under Dad’s lawn?
(Sausages grow on trees yer know, lar lar lar)
Shellin peas, wipe yer feet on a doorstep made from a shell,
unexploded, metal, so shiny, merry Christmas from Hell.
Why didya haf to go, haf to go? (an leave me all alowen)
Broken-hearted tempo in the hearth (flames all aglowen)
All alowen, larlarlowen, lowen, lar lar lar.

 

Midland Red, daily bread, We’ll Meet Again, blackbird bye, bye,
Mrs Mills knees-up yellin: ‘Happy New Year’ to a thunderous sky.
Breakin hips, breakin words, breakin backs, breakin vows,
bustin guts, chewin gum, G.I. Joe, nylon stockings, choclit up
to the neck in muck and bullets and lar lar soldier blood.
Mom’s best mate… was seventeen…
gassed herself coz she thought she wasn’t clean.
(Or was it coz she was preggers, like?)
O so beautiful, so beautiful she was,
(an I’d cry her some tears if I had any left)
Is it jus me, or is it the sadness of everything,
an everyone, everywhere, and all that’s ever been?

 

Mom promised us a picnic if we were gud,
an pretty new dresses with matching red huds.
(lar lar lar)
The teacher never cud tell us apart in a munth of Sundys.
But school’s dun with now, royt, so cum out n play,
shake off yer unparalleled sadness
as heavy as a hundred woollen coats soaked by rain,
an the river-lung tears of angels missin their wings.
An hark now, listen to the song o the twins…
Fer the sweetest things may be heard above all storms
of the mightiest wrath (and the sadness of all things).

 

Lar lar lar, I knew you’d be waitin fer me when I came home.
Took ages dint it?
More days than I knew what to do with, if truth be known.
Did you miss me?
Is the Pope Catholic?
These colours, ay, they don’t half look gud. Shall we keep em?
(lar lar lar) to be sure to be sure.
An how many, do you suppose, twins are there in Heaven?
Why sister, dear sister, more than anyone cud imagine!
An now there’s us, together again,
Lollylar, lollylar (cominyar cominyar).


Día de Muertos. November 1st. 2018.

Words and lino cut by the editor.

Poem: The ever-growing, space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree

Words and illustrations by the Editor.

For Adam.

I grew from a seed in my garden one day
A giant Mish-mash tree with purple fruit and pink spray.
It began at fourteen inches and had such an appetite
That it ate all my tomatoes and grew four foot overnight.
The next day it rained on my giant Mish-mash tree
And the sun shone so brightly that by quarter-past three
It was bigger than my house and had scoffed my runner beans.
Oh how hungry you are, my giant Mish-mash tree!

The following morning as I tended to my flowers,
My shock and my horror, they had all been devoured.
The pansies and the bluebells and my pretty rose borders,
Chomped down to their stalks, this was so out of order!
At first I blamed the slugs then the dog then the cat,
Then I realised in my garden there was only one thing so fat…
Only one thing so portly, porky, podgy, plump to see…
My ever-growing space-consuming giant Mish-mash tree!

Its trunk I measured fifty feet, its height three thousand inches tall,
Each purple fruit weighed sixteen stone and looked like cannonballs.
“She’s a lively little grower,” my old neighbour remarked,
“You’ll need to sell your garden soon and buy a blimmin’ park!”
Pah and utter tish-tosh, how I scoffed at what he said,
But then three hours later the tree had eaten up my shed!
You greedy, gluttonous, gobbling, gulping giant Mish-mash tree,
Where am I to store my tools now my shed is in your tummy?

Enough was enough, there could be no truce or pardon,
At this rate by tomorrow I would no longer have a garden.
Angrily I shook my fist up at the Mish-mash tree,
But all it did was snigger and snort and grow another ten feet.
And then it rumbled and it grumbled and I had to act fast…
I could see it had intentions on my prize strawberry patch.
And worse, my greenhouse, full of little bonsai trees,
“You leave those tiny trees alone!” I warned my Mish-mash tree.

I rushed inside and quickly dialled
The emergency action garden line…
The botanical gardens and the local nursery…
The national parks and the forestry committee…
Gardens Weekly and Gardeners’ World…
What Garden, Which Garden and The Gardening Herald…
A tree surgeon, a lumberjack, a professor of trees…
But they all thought me mad and put the phone down on me!

And so I chanced upon a book at the local lending library,
‘How to Win Friends and Influence People With a Nice Cup of Tea’…
Well, if it can work for humans why not plants?
So I borrowed the book and took my chance!
And the very next day I approached the Mish-mash tree
With an honest invitation for a nice cup of tea.
Just him and me, in my conservatory,
And if he behaved I would chuck in a pack of custard creams!

The tree it shook with gladness and glee,
Said: “Oh I do so love a cup of tea! I’ll come, I’ll come, quite happily!”
“There’s just one problem,” I warned the tree,
“You’re far too big for my conservatory…
You’re far too big for Buckingham Palace,
And you won’t need a cup you’ll need a king-size chalice!
If only you could shrink to a reasonable size…
I’m certain you would have such a lovely time.”

The Mish-mash tree looked down at me and gave a gentle smile,
Said: “Earl Grey, Indian, Chinese, mint, green and camomile,
Are all my favourite types of brew, and I’m quite partial to a custard cream too,
So I’ll gladly shrink to a dinky thing and join you for a high tea for two!”
“Oh thank you!” I cheered. “Let me find you a pot,
And put you on my table in the sunniest spot.
Come join me indoors, we’ll drink gallons of tea,
My ever-shrinking, not space-consuming, tiny Mish-mash tree.
Drink tea, drink tea, drink gallons of tea,
Just you and me in my conservatory.”

The End

The Nutella Poem part two

Qui Est-Ce? / Guess Who?

Hypocrisy

Nutella Nigella, your Pater has audacity far thicker than blood

Mixed with water and palm oil and gathered in the gutter

Such hypocrisy to mutter about tiresome hoops

Of bureaucracy he may have to haul his arse through

Watches his nuts as he jumps, palm-oiled and bright red as a propaganda bus

That suggests money saved from Europe could go to the NHS

Oh whore-brandy, weak scarlet-mouthed rock shandy-dandy

Piss-taker extraordinaire, serpent-tongue brass shiner

Slop-deliverer of rank duplicity, Baboon-arsed quackery

And slime-lipped pecksniffery of the highest merit

Utter Cant. May your carte de séjour receive no rubber stamp

And please purchase your Nutella from the Britain you wanted

No single market nuts, free movement or customs union trust

And enough forms to fill in to make even a French person blush

(Love never ends) We’ll always be together

Together in Brexit dreams


Words by the editor.


 

Poem – The fisher and the sun

 

Editor’s note: Dear readers, this poem is away on a top secret mission and is currently unavailable to view. It should return later this year. Apologies for any inconvenience. Ford.

 


Words by the editor.


 

Poem: The Joker, the Snow, and the Beast from the East

Editor’s note: This poem is currently away on a top secret mission and will return later.

Editor’s note: This poem is currently away on a top secret mission and will return later.


Poem and photos by the editor.

Toy images by TVTA. Poster and adverts scanned by TVTA from own collection. Batman and Joker copyright DC.

Valentide

Valentide. Part I.

There is a distance. A gulf. Water, water, everywhere…

Uncharted seas treacherous as tyrants clinging to power,

Or familiar shipping lanes, precious days, favourable winds.

We navigate small islands, atolls, pause to watch ancient, mystical whales.

We dive and weave with playful dolphins, float on our backs and listen

To tales of mer-people and sea-monsters and pirate-fleets

As told to us by wise old turtles.

Once we saw a ghost ship – its crew a band of bleached-boned skeletons,

They blasted us with spectral cannonballs

Launched from the rotting boards of their phantom galleon.

We fled those shrieking ghosts and sailed on by,

Sometimes calling on deserted islands of pure and absolute paradise.

It is here, once, I saw your soul. Did you see mine?

Then one night a storm, unbelting itself and lashing us with its wet black leather.

Plunging us below then tossing us in the air – three, four, maybe five times…

Until we sank,

Became separated.

Our lifeboats were poor yet somehow sustained us. And what happened to our crew?

Some deserted us and jumped overboard. Some died. Some remained faithful.

Ultimately it was just you and me. Alone. Alone we drifted. On two different boats no bigger

Than matchsticks in the grand sea of things. Did you think of me as I thought of you?

Parched, sun burnt, salt in our hair and eyes like apocalyptic dust. We survived.

God. How on earth (or rather, on water) when I am such a poor sailor, and your captaincy

Is sometimes questionable?

But survive we did.

And though there was, sometimes still is, and maybe will be for much a long time

An ocean of distance to separate us,

Tides will always bring us together again.





Valentide. Part II.

On a bench somewhere, sometime, not long ago, someone wrote ‘I love you’. It wasn’t me, and it wasn’t you, but we borrowed those words and made them our own for just a moment. On dry land we shake off water and tuck in our fins. Retract our tails. Fold up our sails. Moored. Docked. We traipse the city and village and town, lost among others, surrounded by concrete and stone and things made of metal. They say we look small here. Maybe we do. But to me you will always be a giant. Je t’aime. Words borrowed from a wooden bench that looks out to the sea and back again.



Words and photos by the editor.

Adverts scanned by TVTA and Jaltesorensen.

Boatniks. 1970. Denmark; Moby Dick. Pif Gadget. 1982. France; Playmobil. 1979. Denmark; La Mauny. Geo. 1992. France; Sea-Monkeys. Fix Und Foxi. 1984. Germany; Canon Noir. Pif Gadget. 1979. France; Weird War Tales. 1975. US; Lego. 1989. Denmark.


 

Two poems

1.

Among Us

Editor’s note: Dear readers, this poem is away on a top secret mission and is currently unavailable to view. It should return later this year. Apologies for any inconvenience. Ford.


2.

A Deadly Stream

Editor’s note: Dear readers, this poem is away on a top secret mission and is currently unavailable to view. It should return later this year. Apologies for any inconvenience. Ford.


Words and photos by the editor