Grampy

A poem about my Grandfather – “Grampy” – written for and performed at the Nottingham Poetry Festival, at the Crosswords Sue Ryder open mic night. I’ve attached the recording below on YouTube, with another poem from last night too. I’d love it if you checked it out 😀

Grampy died when I was young.
Young enough to remember,
but not old enough to know him.

He was a baker by trade, always
bringing oven-warm buns,
the three minute walk back to
his front door.

He’d served in North Africa
in the Second World War.
This utterly fascinated me,
the reality of war.
The notion of “service”. The grit.
But we never spoke of it.

The closest we came was him buying me
“Commando” magazine from the newsagents,
next to the bakers. Those pocket booklets of
heroism, jingoism. Derring do. Reality
safely sanitised into periodic pieces
where the good guys always win.

I never really cared for them –
I preferred when he
bought me “Buster” comics –
but I never told him that.
He thought I’d like them,
so he bought them for me.
Maybe he wanted to say more.
I wanted him to say more.
But he never did.

The cancer
ate through him
In those final days.
A Brylcreem skeleton.
A shadow of sallow skin,
sunk in his favourite chair.
Unable to manage even that
short walk to the newsagents,
now knocked through into the
bakery, selling undertaxed coffee.

No more Commando magazines.
No more unspoken words.

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Palindrome Poem

I read a timely post yesterday by Annika Perry on the value of, and more importantly the cost of, writing for and entering competitions – https://annikaperry.com/2016/10/16/the-cost-of-competitions/. Ironically, I had been writing a poem to enter in a competition this morning, but hadn’t checked the small print… it was only open to members. Paying members. There didn’t even seem to be an option to pay to enter this one competition – it was all geared up for monthly membership, which I’m not interested in. So, their loss (!) is your gain – I’ve included it below. Completely for free. Just for you 🙂

This is a palindrome poem. It reads the same backwards as forwards. This is the first I’ve tried…

exposed wounds
numbness
feeling without love
friendship cresting
begets attraction, expectation
beguiling touch of reality
love eclipse
supernova emotions explode
JOY!
explode emotion’s supernova
eclipse love
reality of touch
beguiling expectation
attraction begets
cresting friendship
love without feeling
numbness wounds
exposed

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/theilr/296044754

I Miss You

Lying in a strange bed
My thoughts all turn to you
So many miles between us
Even more until we’re through

I’m picturing your smile
As you read out these lines
Going over each word
Looking for the signs

You’re the fire in my head, my dear,
The breath against the ear,
That sends a thousand shivers;
Brings a solitary tear

So I lie alone and shiver
Dreaming of only you
So many miles between us
Even more until we’re through

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/109144586

The Pretty Words

Round up all the pretty words
Toss them on the coals
Watch them scream and smoulder
Bonfire of the souls

Gather up the nice words
Spew them on the pyre
Feed them to the hungry flame
Dancing ever higher

The pleasant, perky, perfect words
Shred them one by one
Confetti-cast that catalogue
Into this parody of the sun

The beautiful, buoyant, bonny words
Line up by the door
Await their fate without a fight
We need them here no more

 

I’ve recorded an audio version of this HERE

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/dream_in_the_dark_of_day/447686987

Haiku – Haunted

Strange days are turning.
Rough deeds beget dust, no more,
Haunted by my past

Rough ghosts assail me
Strange fruits turn to dust and ash
Clogging in my maw

It’s the ghost of her.
Dust turning in eve’s strange light
Rough-forms her image

I cry.

 

Written for secret keeper’s weekly poem prompt, using – ghost rough dust strange turn. http://thesecretkeeper.net/2015/12/14/weekly-writing-prompt-15/

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flickr.com/photos/garytrinity/2645250035