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?!’


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

A Better Life

A poem inspired by newspaper stories of modern day slavery.

She wears a surgeon’s mask
To graft beneath the glare
Fourteen hours at the task
While passing shoppers stare

Threading eyebrows, buffing nails
It’s hardly a fresh start
Housewives sharing sad tales
Won’t mend her broken heart

A mattress on concrete
Is where she makes her bed
Other's heads at her feet
Twelve cramped inside a shed

Wanting a better life
Borrowing on the chance
She could be Ernie’s wife
But he just wants her to dance

The Twitter Tide

Stop picking fights on ‘the Twitter.’ Do something good. Pick up some litter

I swipe and browse and take my pick
Decide whose views will make me sick
I’m wary to take the right side
I must swim with the Twitter tide
Hate the Mail and slam the Tories
Attack Fake News! Made up stories
But what really do I achieve?
In a world of lies, make believe
Shouting down the mentally ill
Bully and bend them to my will
Amplifying the needy, bored
Cut them down with my moral sword
Follow the mob, know what to preach
On my own terms I’m all for free speech
(Don't live online, picking fights on Twitter
Do something good and pick up some litter).