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

A Lesson in Falling

In my younger years
i was always afraid
of falling down
but fear has been replaced
with a potent intoxicating euphoria
when this planetary mass of mine
descends with thunderous precision
or occasional feather-light bedlam
when cloth & skin & flesh
encounter earth
i revel in the writhing of
reverting to verticality
safe in the knowledge that
any bloomed bruises or scratched skin
will heal
but i’ll still wear them
crystalline merits of resilience
because
the euphoria of falling is fleeting
it’s the rising up
i always remember.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem, feel free to have a look around the rest of my site.

(Image courtesy Canva)

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

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
Poetry

The Barley

The barley shook it’s head
in disdain
at the nonchalant breeze
it’s golden hue
dulled
by the constant
back and forth
vibrant only days ago
it now looks antiquated
a stoop has formed
and the barley
struggles
to stand tall
so it allows itself
to be cradled
submitting
to the inevitability
of losing
it’s glorious
shimmering
halo
but the barley
doesn’t despair
because it knows
it will return
shining brighter
than before
under cornflower and magenta skies
what started as seed
will return to seed
nature is endless.

Categories
Poetry

Parisian Lessons

It’s easy to get lost
in the romance of Paris
in the mystique of Paris
you can taste it
the aroma of sweet spice
and lingering vanilla tobacco
you can hear it
seductively whispering
notes of music
and conversations
from streetside cafes
you can see it
in the architecture
both masculine and feminine
lustily snapped by tourists
as evidence
that for a brief interlude
they were part
of the city of love
but
I’ll never be that naive
because
Paris
will always be
a den of wolves
in designer clothing
to me.

Aged 8 dawdling
feet struggling
on a cobbled urban jungle
a metre behind my parents
my protectors
when the city tried to tear me away
a candy-striped shirt
greying white trousers
that matched his hair
the strength
of his rancid breath
more powerful than his tanned arms
silent screams
searing my lungs
survival instincts kicked in
a case of
fight then flight
catching up with my father
fury igniting his face
powering his legs
as he tried to chase
the man down
like a lion
whose pride had been attacked
but wolves are cowards
and hide until it’s safe to attack again.

A couple of life lessons learned.
Aged 8.
Early for some
Too late for others.

Paris is only romantic in print.
You only see what they want you to see.

Wolves don’t scare me.
Face your fears.
Cowards retreat in the face of confrontation.

I have a lion’s blood.
Family is everything.