Archive | February 2016

The Great British Dream

So you were wrong

about the skies getting clearer

because the people above you

built ceilings to your ideas.

But they don’t disappear,

they become memories;

The ever-present shadow

of who you were meant to be.

You try to move on

and you try to change,

yet every minute that passes

just feels the same

because you were wrong,

this world is not for you;

It’s designed for the suits

who want to sell to you.

So you forget

about times you smiled,

the times you fell in love,

and laughed out wild.

There’s a height to happiness,

reserved for a select few,

and our ladders are too short

to enjoy the same view.

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Camping

Outside there is a tent

where mummy makes us sleep;

“Let’s go camping, kids!”

dragging out our bed sheets.

We are noisy little boys

and mummy can’t stand

when we fight and we shout

in front of the new man.

So we camp in our tent

made from bed sheets and pillows;

No matter the weather,

we camp in rain, wind or snow.

It’s naughty to tell friends

about the tent and where we keep it;

Teachers can never know

About mine and mummy’s little secret.

The hole

So where are we now?

It’s hard to see

if there’s anything left

here waiting for me.

Trying to look past

my next warm beer

at what needs to be done

to make a change this year.

Eat healthy, stay fit,

quit everything that kills;

Move on, get a job,

develop management skills.

And today doesn’t end

until she texts me back;

It doesn’t end, it won’t end,

until I’ve smoothed out the cracks

Which have formed in my mind

and stopped it working;

Forced numbness all the time 

which stops me hurting.

So where am I now?

Left outside your home;

Sad shapes against the sky,

Standing within myself, alone.

Offside

A cheeky wink and a smile

Four pints for a score;

The beer’s always flat 

When it’s rammed to the door.

Pushed up, pints up

pressed into my chest,

craning my neck out

to a view that’s best.

Watching the game

with roast peanut fingers

next to the toilets

where piss-air lingers

At the back of my throat

because I open my mouth

so I don’t nose-breathe 

until I scream and cheer out

Because my team has scored –

no wait, it’s been disallowed –

Fuck off, I say, 

to the chorus of the crowd.

A fight breaks out

between a pisshead and his dog

so we all have to leave 

and wade out through the fog.

I return to the flat,

stacked cans and a twenty deck,

and think about all the goals

which haven’t been scored yet.

It’s another day, another loss

and it’s hard to see

if there’s any way out,

any way to break free.

Daddy’s girl

Daddy was sleeping

In the kitchen today;

So we dressed ourselves

and we were on our way.

Mrs Taylor asked why

our shoes were on wrong;

I went all red and shy,

Tying laces takes too long

and we were late

and there was no car

to take us to school,

to take us so far.

And still, and still

I wonder for awhile

if dad is still still

on the kitchen tiles.

I hate needles,

but daddy is brave

he makes them stay

all locked away.

Once I got one

stuck in my tongue,

and the doctor asked me:

Is anything wrong?

I went away for many years,

crying and confused,

giving empty hugs

and feeling unused.

But now we’re back,

and separate no more;

So, no, Mrs Taylor,

Daddy is not sleeping on the floor.

The bad boy

I was a bad boy today,

the teachers are right

because when it’s home-time

I always start fights.

The walk home is long

because I walk the long way

because the door won’t open

Until mum is awake.

I’m ugly 

because my clothes don’t fit;

They’re old and sticky

and smell like shit.

My hair is messy

and sometimes dirty

and this is why 

all the big boys hurt me.

And if daddy is home – 

well, dad’s never home –

but if he is,

he’s on his phone.

He moves through the house,

not smiling or talking,

eyes on anything but me;

Just texting and walking.

Yesterday, I was angry

and I don’t know why; 

So I swung my arms about

because it’s naughty to cry.