Saturday, 1 August 2020

no Great Schism

Mehmet & Zoe
Mehmet & Zoë

no Great Schism

Friday prayers or Sunday worship what

ever noise you fill the building with

place remains a pile of stones an earth

quake can bring down

flying buttresses have been run up

god knows the reinforcements behind

ceilings vaulting over visitors

sighted or blind

Church of Holy Wisdom working Mosque

plus museum open outside call

times with drapes & lazer lights to play

find the old queen

wear galoshes Ladies put on scarves

what's the difference old Byzantium's

gone for good no emperors will be crowned

Greek Turk or Roum

twice iconoclasts tore at the walls

Roman Catholics carted off its gold

during quakes the roof keeps falling in

future's on hold

Hagia Sophia - Church of the Holy Widsom

crown a Saxon king of Albion

kick the white man out of Washington

dig Mohicans up & offer them

wigwams & land

Mehmet conquered old Byzantium

fair & square as William did in ten

sixty-six according to the rules

prevalent then

victor's justice true but who can sort

right from wrong when centuries have gone

skipping by in half the time it takes

empires to die

let them pray for only they can say

if it's yay or nay who holds the keys

forces acting on remote control

earthquakes & floods

just one point of order on these prayers

why not let the Christians have a say

after all 'twas they who put up Saint

Sophia's dome

Aya Sofya

nationalism's not a dirty word

nor's religion but what is absurd's

mixing up the two as though a pair's

ten to the third

Atatürk was right to drag his folks

screaming foul into the modern world

had they kept their Padishah on hold

woe to the fold

lambs of god or mutton dressed as wolves

holy rolling Pentecostal fires

burning in the eyes of Rasputin

other Putin

get me to a sanctuary like Mars

oops another symbol end of wars

specially if it's god they're fighting for

promise no cause

everyone should get the chance to score

highly in the lottery of life

if they've bought a ticket or sold their

cow for a curse

no war is great!

Saturday, 4 July 2020

from: unromantic ballads (chapbook)

keep it safe

if a law against

dresses slit this high were passed

could I be more hip

sitting at a bar

slurping scoops of fizzy pink

minding my own biz

when some cat comes by

businessman in natty togs

smiling what a cheek

can he take a pew

no one’s got their name on them

welcome stranger up

yours we pass the time

talking fast & drinking slow

nothing to remark

cept the old malaise

newbie wears a fuzzy face

loose about the jowls

says he’s parked his car

on a brew outside the joint

which is funny cos

nearest slope of note

would be Brownlow Hill about

half a mile inland

then he draws a small

packet from his jacket sleeve

slipping it my way

you take that from me

Honey been so fancy free

I’ll be getting off

indiscrete I lied

should’ve asked to be excused

stead of thanking him

proper cards are few

these days specially when the bars

turn away their trade

see you when I do

giving out his parting shot

so he disappears


as the afternoon

segues into eventide

still the night is young

we have sat & talked

through a horror film the bar

staff taken their breaks

happy hour has dragged

on the punters been & gone

midnight bells have rung

stay-behind begun

when a half familiar face

pops around the door

deja-vu or what

could it be some divorcee’s

twin brother-in-law

takes a pew & winks

I have almost upped & left

three times for a smoke

but obnoxious herbs

have a tendency to stink

even when they’re chewed

either that or food

but another gin my friend

then I shall be gone


conversation please

nothing heavy crass or crude

parse the port ol’ chum

never was at sea

myself cabin crew nor cruise

must be someone else

he’s calling me out

such a blooming cheek you bad

lad take that & that

gets me by the choke

whispering I’ll have your arse

cursing like a tar

what you got in there

turning out my snapper purse

finds the packet worse

sees I’ve barely ten

bob to go no taxi fare

left to strut on heels

all the way up Bold

Street & past the bombed out church

Leece Hardman curse

worst luck the Cass is

heaving youngsters having fun

keep straight on

Catherine Street & Ma

Ling’s oh giz some chips my love

put it on the tab

feet are killing me

home at last without the stash

filthy coppers ask

anyone round here

who is on the game but them

gotta have a snore

no pay with Prime!

Monday, 1 June 2020

Starbuck martyrs

to go not latte

Starbuck martyrs

take the Moby Dick

out of Pergolesi &

what the hell you got


spoiler Hamlet's dead

by the end while Romeo

goes & tops himself

Juliet is left

facing the house bereft of

life without her best

boy there is no choice

stage directions call for that

final mad dispatch


so episode one

stars attract a teenage moth

who begins to act

up though he is cute

talent stands him out he flies

through the local boards

past the hopeful hordes

clamouring on TV shows

to the silver screen

fame was made for him

Oscar just another role

he so young & all

activist as well

awesome of conviction he

pledges interest

airing precious time

mans selected barricades

such a throbbing heart

then about ten years

into living at the top

he is asked to play

Romeo on stage

all the buffs go wild to see

Homey in the flesh

filling theatres

selling out the floating world

with his struts & frets

but one fateful night

kneeling there in leotards

downs the poison draft

Juliet awakes

underneath the hero’s fat

bitter almond lips

does her best to act

natural till the curtain falls

when all hell breaks loose


people on the in

side begin to doubt at once

not the way to go

not the boy they know

but the word is just embrace


pundits writhe a field

day is had by online shrinks

YouTube comments crash

speculation soars

conspiracy theorists

see careers mapped

while the grieving few

relatives & friends stay numb

for at least a week


next to do the deed

staging public suicide

comes a bodyguard

few would know her name

family & childhood friends

comrades on the job

not the Property

though countless times she’s given

presidential nods

for a moment’s fame

who could slit their throat like that

broadcast live on prime

hostage take on self

slaughter black & white in full

colour sickening

gets ten zillion views

closeups every angle caught

nothing left to thought

just her reason why

do that awful thing on live

oughta be a crime


Sherlock Holmes forget

amateur professional

rivalry just ask

was she gay as if

lovers’ tiffs could stoop to such

summits of the heart

what we need's an app

something that'll number crunch

random into hunch

two times best of five

seven then thirteen all die

counting in-betweens


spotified from seventeen

to infinity


next to air their death

comes an athlete on the up

black & male perhaps

bi the virus goes

Sportsman of the Year a show

watched on sofa beds

cyanide no yawns

this time shockingly employed

zooming in on yeuch

let’s appoint a sleuth

someone who can represent

never mind the truth

call them Agent X

given office rides a horse

has a sidekick worse

based in London but

talks American a girl

in a suitcase case


X is pinning dots

on a map the size of France

pan to sidekick’s face

by-the-bye a hunk

name of Kuryakin why

Uncle Robert knows

finds a clue in Dan

Brown’s umpteenth upcoming book

see page seventeen

here the tropes go hay

wire-on-sea each episode

mired in foreign code

bring the writers in

knock their heads together stir

matters up you pervs

number four’s for keeps

else this series be your last

pull the plug you dig

cut to throat there’s X

making an arrest but no

dies the freakin death

cast is now a jest

suicide is back on prime

who will wear the vest

wot not caffeine

Friday, 1 May 2020

a smoking lamp

only a twit


doctors keep their secrets well as lies

few will ever tell you how your heart

rate is less than half the story beats

measured in slow

thuds’ll pump more pints of blood per min

than the flutters nothing compares weight

lifting shudders as your kettle drum

rocks without rolls

meditating medication works

too though not the auto brainwash kind

single minded at the point of truth

focus on breath

working boxers in the ring must keep

going though there’s nothing left to do

stamina will get you through the most

trying of times

fair or foul survival in the wild

makes demands that town-bred folk may miss

real adrenalin beats hot & cold

mindful is all


Michael’s girl was slim but puppy weight

meant her Terry towel bikini stretched

branding her a Botticelli wow

thought the young man

he was not her first she’d foiled the field

plucky cherub had a rugby half

coupla jokers plus a steady boyf

during her teens

wouldn’t let him use protection strange

even she surprised herself a gent

Michael said no sweat let’s take the test

me first then you

slow she liked to play & tore a strip

tongue in cheek of course you know the rest

that’s a question by the way you don’t

Peg was supine

trying every move to raise her twitch

Mike was stumped she ruled his efforts off

side oh my how pearly was her tum

baby had pride


dominatrix may take any form

Peg was not some broad in shiny boots

wielding whips to order him about

bedtime apart

Mike rebelled at first her mark untrue

letting go she told him make your choice

lover boy or former bloke he fled

all of a week

go consult a shrink or buy the book

cheaper less embarrassing but no

use psychology was negative

humans were weird

sick & sad the answer puzzled him

life consists of endless choices one

wrong decision wouldn’t change a thing

surely he hoped

love was daft & Mistress Peggy round

he a square so who’d attempt to fit

doubt into a life of selfish bliss

only a twit

a smoking lamp


Chinese lanterns eh

thousand candle power jobs

hissing paraffin

friend of mine recalls

using one at home way back

when their town was dark

of an evening five

children did their homework all

crowded round the lamp

till the time it burst

taking half his ear off

burnt his notebook too

cheap & cheerful don’t

come without a scorpion’s

tale it makes you think


populism claims

China gave the world a cold

breathing fossil fuels

eating bats & ant

eaters when they knew the risks

viruses could jump

like it’s not the first

incident but twice before

time to shame their name

now they’re buying up

half these bankrupt countries one

big conspiracy

cheap & cheerful means

sow Confucius but beware

bull in China store


don't pretend to know

who’s to blame maybe the Grinch

cheapskate or scapegoat

six of one half a

dozen to the other yeah

what goes around yeah yeah yeah

even this so-called

poem stokes controversy

Stoke-on-Trent you dig

China’s here to stay

they’re not flogging opium

fit to start a war

but you got admit

bats & pangolins ain’t food

as Confusion says

Not Yet!

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Easter Lockdown Special


coconuts are shy

only black on the outside

I’m the opposite

stopped deleting my

darkest tweets & vilest deeds

drunk to killing cells

hear me out you dumb

learn what rotten things I’ve been

from the age of five

yes confession time

you don’t want to know OK

telling anyhow

shot the Kennedys

back in the Sixties my room

overlooked the scene


I was whispering

in the fat dictator’s ear

forty years before

he was ill disposed

coulda had the jerk deposed

if it suited me

used him like a dog

guarding secret moves I’d made

undermining states

Germany came next

yes the devil is my slave

though he’s never known

worships me of old

sent his son to round you up

meet the Holy Ghost


by the way I’m dead

never been alive in fact

only passing through

iteration imp

teen a copulation clone

just a rolling stone

plain detritus dressed

up in spiky clothing best

casting me aside

but you can’t I find

out & then come round with friends

called The Communards

sitting on your bed

sure we’ll get along in time

choke like nuts on wine


Mary had a lamb

fleece so white an old man’s beard

wouldna been as weird

slaughtered it in cold

blood though butter wouldn’t melt

innocently she

sold the world its chops

gave the heart to kingpins cops

got the offal box

those who ate his meat

straight became these hands and feet

Mary was the brains

oh what fun was had

meddling with her worshippers

still they call me Lord


curses are my ace

spadework dating back at least

two millennia

Pilate sealed his fate

on my watch the boy did great

washed his hands in wine

then we moved the Jews

split their land with Arabs Druze

poor Samaritans

waited till the Romans got

faith then let some other cats

overrun the place

promises I kept

saying do this after tea

take some flesh & blood


now my China plot

jumped from bats to pangolins

in the market down

Wuhan way to score

Zoonosis my new name

old magician’s game

not the CIA

don’t believe a thing I say

look to what I do

world disruption got

loads of planets on the go

galaxies of stars

what you’re up against

ain’t no leap of faith the truth

beggars all belief


here’s the spoiler sex

reproduction is the key

I’m recycled waste

all you gotta do’s

rule me out I’m not your dude

segregate my lines

don’t get married young

wear a condom play the field

cell by cell I mean

universe ain’t bad

evil thing is sweeping thugs

under silken rugs

else you’ll get a fake

chocolate Easter Egg like me

Busg’ll rule the world