Categories
Poetry

The Display

remember that time you had fun
watching the fireworks fly
rivers of light flowing across the sky
whilst a tower of kindling burned nearby
well aware the scent would wrap around your clothes
inhaling the ashen smoke through a crimpled nose
sipping hot chocolate
with friends by your side
watching people queue
to gorge on something fried
those were great times
and the photos we captured
show sincere elation
like the one that caught you laughing
when someone shrieked at the shrill
of a rocket in ascent
an excitable reaction that you’ll never forget
and the time you wrote expletives
with a sparkler in the air
and people were frowning and you didn’t care
but now you’ve joined a group on Facebook
whose culture is to cancel and signal their virtue
I know this is a display
and I’m really sorry for you
that you’d rather be passive and see the world in grey and beige
than admire the spectrum free of echoed rage
banning the possibility of fun
when you’ve already flew close to the sun
and enjoyed the inferno on your face
is a bit of a hypocritical disgrace.

It was you who once told me
the reason why fireworks will always be fun
and bonfires welcome
is what they represent
the overthrow of control
by those who have been oppressed
so rather than call for a blanket ban
add some fuel to the fire
and inhale the memories of fun
washed in smoke.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem inspired by the rise of cancel culture and hypocrisy.

(Image adapted from Jamie Street via Unsplash)

Categories
Poetry

Duality

the eagle
majestic predator
wings spread across the sky
hunting for sport
talons longing to decapitate

the eagle
despot scavenger
frenzied eyes darting
fervently gorging on forsaken carrion
talons longing for liberation from the earth

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem.

Take it easy & stay safe.

Paul

Categories
Poetry

Autumn’s Blanket

the bronze leaves
are tenderly hurtling
to the forest floor
a patchwork quilt of
misfortune and malaise
sewn and laid
by rattling clunking gusts
the ash, beech and birch
succumb
to their own stark beauty

This poem was originally published on my Instagram/Twitter to celebrate National Poetry Day

Thanks for reading.

Categories
Poetry

An Early Date

A cornflower sky
littered haphazardly
with spluttering wispypearls
housing an effortless sun
watched over us
as we dangled and dropped
twigs of beech, ash and elm
into the dawdling waters below
our knees planted
porous
on the sandstone bridge
absorbing some of it’s history
our eyes followed
the branches ferrying
along the river
stroking and slapping
against limestone and basalt
we were quiet and thoughtful
wondering where they’d end up
wondering where we’d end up
and although sometimes
silence can be deafening
on that day
the silent moments we shared
only spoke of our serenity
with each other.

Like the river
we’ll continue our meander.

Categories
Poetry

Sports Mixture & The Sun

I was 11 years old
buying the Sun
on behalf of my Dad
anticipating
50p worth of sports mixture
with the change

a boy
i recognised
my sister’s age
7 years old
trying to buy
20 Silk Cut and 2 litres Cider
on behalf of his Dad
struggling
under the weight
of expectation

a man
40-ish years old
trying to provide
for his family of 6
a newsagent
eager
to please his patrons
to be welcomed
into the arms of the community
his journey long
from Bangladesh to Britain
via marriage and military service
looking a blend of bemusement and sadness
at the boy trying to buy
cigarettes and alcohol
who he turns away from his counter

a man
50-ish years old
reeking of addiction
to tabs and cheap booze
storming the shop
firing slurred slow
deliberate insults
and asking
do you know who i am
irked by the response of
yes a thug and a bad father, we dont sell alcohol and tobacco to children
it was then I witnessed
racism first hand
shock absorbed
in my young brain
stood like a hostage
the tirade continued
the threat of a firebomb
to the newsagent
and his family
the smell eventually leaving
when he couldn’t achieve his demands

me, a boy of 11
buying the Sun
and 50p worth of sports mixture
with the change
apologising
for someone else’s actions
that I didn’t understand
receiving a wink and a sad smile
I ran home
to deliver the newspaper
and the news of what happened
to my Dad

My Dad
then in his mid-30’s
a butcher by trade
the sight of violence and blood
known to him
sat stoically on the sofa
listening to my recap of events
crinkling the pages
between fingers
stained with ink of
yesterday’s news
providing words of wisdom
be kind to those who deserve your kindness scum always rises, but it always ends up skimmed and discarded, remember that, learn how to recognise and skim out hatred and you’ll be alright
followed by
can I have a couple of sports mixture
I gave him the bag.

————-

This poem is based on a shocking morning trip to the Newsagent just around the corner from our house.

Most of the time there was a real togetherness in our council estate, but on rare occasions, a sinister underbelly came to the fore.

Thanks for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts,

Paul

Categories
Poetry

The Fishermen

early morning
with the light muted
the sky still
a patchwork of slate and coal
they set sail
favours asked
of Pontus & Poseidon
hoping they are heard
over the wailing gulls and terns
they yearn for a return
to bountiful days
and bulging nets
of catching shoals of silver
in their pastel gilnetter
on the North Sea
once brimming
with fish glistening
just below the surface
when the Captain and his Crew
were daring
wide eyed wanderers
braving thunderous waves
and caressing calm waters
beating their adversaries
to the best loot
today they’re older
grizzled and weather-worn
with eyes the colour of their quarry
wearing woollen hats and neon overalls
they only dare to dream
of a fair catch and a fairer price
hoping to stay afloat
in a sinking industry.

——————————————————-

This poem is inspired by the hardworking fishermen who work the North Sea. Once a booming industry in the North East, sadly it has declined over the past 20-30 years.

——————————————————-

I love hearing your thoughts or any feedback you may have.

Categories
Poetry

Time Travel

Taking a carefree stroll
through an inviting burrow
of oak, ash, cedar, elm and yew
I allow myself
to talk to the trees
and travel through time
the history stored
in trunks and roots
is phenomenal
whispered secrets
shared by the world
filtered through canopies
of bronze, emeralds and golds
could fill all the libraries
in all the world
woodland sentinels
silently observing
passers-by
witnessing the same
litany of mistakes
made by multiple generations
the main one being
that your present
is already your past
and the future is now.

This is something I’ve learned
by talking to trees
while travelling through time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem, inspired by wandering in the woods and listening. I’d love to know your thoughts.

Categories
Haiku & Shortform

Haiku for Autumn

To celebrate the arrival of meteorological Autumn, here’s a little haiku.

leaves crack underfoot
honey-gold and warm bronze hues
autumn’s first rewards

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Categories
Poetry

Home

I felt at home
in Copenhagen
at winter’s twilight
under the glow
of warm vintage lanterns
our breathing visible
through knitted woollen scarves
the air was kissed
with scents of
cinnamon, clove and citrus
the nearby sounds
of mirth and merriment
interspersed with delighted
roars and screams
from the roller-coasters above
warmth came
from holding your hand
and the chewy crunch
of sweet-spiced almonds
while opulent flakes of diamond snow
fell graciously
each one uniquely dazzling
lining our pathway
already a vivid spectrum of technicolour
we sat on plastic and pine stools
dropping kroner into the palm
of a great Dane
and laughed with love
as we tried to make wooden horses
gallop to the end of a straight line
taking our time
appreciating life
as it’s meant to be.
Together.
That’s why
I felt at home in Copenhagen.

Categories
Poetry

Atoms

It’s important
to remember
the same atoms
that felt
silent rapturous awe
at the big bang
stared with intense curiosity
at the dawn of time
that bathed
in the liquid gold
of countless stars
embraced the purity
of moons
and appreciate
the endlessly evolving
elegance of the cosmos
the same atoms
that built
and inspired
the greatest minds
and put words into quill, ink & pen
the same atoms
that are architects
and demolishers
are in all of us
and everything.

We are all
the planets and their chaos
the stars and their fury
the moons and their melancholy
we are universal
we are infinite
we may feel different
but really
we are all the same
atoms.