Morning Tide

The coast. Refresh your mind. Or eat your bodyweight in candy floss and play air hockey as if your life depended on it

Boat trips. Hold on for a fast ride
Catch the turn of the morning tide
Castle turrets adorned with shells
Periwinkles, oysters, mussels
Lilos. Fruit pastille-striped windbreaks
Frying donuts. Frothy milkshakes
Terriers chasing tennis balls
Umpire Dads making dodgy calls
A cutting sea-wind. No one cares
No work, no worries. Minds elsewhere

Ninety minutes

I exorcised a few demons from school games lessons and experienced the joys of Association Football

A man dressed as a cup made from baking foil
A groundsman flicks his fag, rakes it in the soil
Fans gather under a corrugated roof
Chanting that the full-back should give it a hoof
‘The Liquidator’ crackles form the speakers
Strikers line up to blast shots at keepers
Raffle tickets are sold. Queues form for the bogs
Bovril is sipped. Fried onions scooped on hot dogs
The whistle blows. Managers roll up their sleeves
For ninety minutes at least, the fans believe

Garage Flowers

She deserved better than garage flowers on Valentine’s

Lifted, dripping, from the bucket
Carnations wrapped in cellophane
Stalks and browning petals for his Mary
With kisses on their anniversary
Cut-price, stickered, diesel-tinged. It’s the thought that counts
Snatched from a garage forecourt, all of it amounts
To biting nails and wondering, counting the hours
She gave her a life to a man who gave her garage flowers

Padded (Valentine’s) card

On the eve of Valentine’s nothing says true love like a late-delivery  post-pub card

Tripping out the pub, last orders, Valentine’s
Beery-breath, ketchup on tie and undone fly
She won’t have waited up. He’s still got designs
Scrawls ‘luv’ with a bookie’s biro. Decent try
He slots the padded card under her pillow
She keeps her eyes shut, pretends to be asleep
He prods. She stirs as outside it turns to snow
They snuggle up, spoons. She laughs: You’re mine to keep?!’

Pantry

An absence of pantries to hide in may have future psychological implications for today’s youngsters..

Toppling towers of Tupperware
A dark place to hide for a dare
Among Christmas cakes wrapped in foil
And racks of carrots caked in soil
Fray Bentos. Five Pints and ginger beer
If only you could quell your fear
Nibble some cooking chocolate. Wait
The bead curtain moves. It’s too late 

Granddad’s Bathroom Cabinet

Clearing grandad’s house. Those objects left behind that say so much…..

Shaving brush. Talc. Cossack hairspray
Rusting blades have seen better days
Christmas bottles of after-shave
Coal tar soap. Brylcreem for his wave
Cracked mirror, where he’d stand and stare
Steel comb with a strand of his hair 

Cross Country

The dreaded school cross country run. Pain, humiliation and mediocrity in off-white sports socks….

Games lessons. Frosty afternoons I’d detest
Being forced to lap the common in a vest
Micro-shorts chafing and trainers completely soaked
‘Get your arses moving, girls,’ shouts Mr Oakes
Breaking puddles, ice-water jets up my thigh
Stumbling, second last, determined not to try