Margins

I write in the margins
because I used to live there
an oddity, an anomaly, a correction
wasting valuable space on the page 
until the margins became
too tight to breathe in
too tight to survive in
so I leaked into the rest of the page
sharing my words with others
finding friendship and love.

I write in the margins
because the margins made me.

———

Thanks for taking time to read my poem. I hope you enjoyed. Why not take time to read some of my other pieces?

Take It Easy

Paul

Celebrating Being Published in Daily Drunk!!!

I’m so happy to share my news!!!

I have been lucky to be selected to be published in the Daily Drunk for my poem ‘The Off-Vengers’. It’s a poem based on if the characters from The US Office were cast in the roles of some of The Avengers.

Check it out using the link below;

Hope You Like It,

Paul

Answering Doors

Opportunity rasped
repeatedly at my door
knuckles bloodied, bruised and broken
until they were incapable
of knocking again
I chose to open up
once silence fell
with head bowed
I took it’s palms in mine
and healed sores with words
Why didn’t you answer ?‘ Opportunity asked
and in my mind
the truth was told
– ‘there are far more deserving than I‘.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. I hope you enjoyed it. If opportunity knocks, always answer because it may take you to places you could only dream about.

Take It Easy

Paul

Great Grandad Grandstand

I remember the things I learned
watching Grandstand on Saturday afternoons
at my Great Grandad’s house
like the rules of snooker, darts
and horse racing
how to pick a winning horse out the newspaper (look at the jockey)
sound like Woody the Woodpecker
how to use a mangle to dry out clothes
still steaming from the old washing machine
I found that snuff tobacco was minty
and cured a sniffle
that I preferred my squash diluted
and scotch eggs and ‘black bullets
are the food of kings
The most important thing
he taught me and many others
           – was kindness.

Although Grandstand Saturdays came to an end
I still keep what I learnt
sacred in my mind and heart
except the food
I eat that.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. A little letter to my Great Grandad who used to have me round when I was a kid.

Take It Easy

Paul

Morning Fishing Trips

A September Saturday in 1995
the four a.m. sea air is salt-sour
silicate sand shimmers
under the after-midnight-blue canopy
the waning moon a spotlight
on discarded worm skins

I dig since I’m the youngest –
because even morning fishing trips have hierarchies –
success arrives after ten minutes
of shovel and scoop
we loot the fresh bait
they can wriggle all they want
we own them now

we march in early morning muteness
preserving our energy
until we can cast off
and pour ourselves a flask-coffee
topped with a nip of whisky

destination reached we pick our spots
wisely or not
our rods are set
with hands stained with dying worm-dye

waiting for the first ripple
or bend of pole
the craic is quiet
about the things men like to talk about
as dawn passes over us

an hour passes by
then three of five rods
begin to quiver
the ancient part of our hunter-brains
spike our natural instincts

we let our rods sway
luring in the line tenderly
then reel rapidly
drawing in a decent-sized pollock
the crack of the baton
gives me the first of a few fish
caught before the nearby B&B’s
serve their breakfasts.

After some further success
we head back to the van
our shoal are all fair sizes
my pollock glimmering longest in the bucket
but hierarchies exist
and I may get landed with a small plaice
but where there are hierarchies
there are rites of passage
and it’s the first fish i’ve caught
so I get to keep it

I also get to gut all the catch
my fumbling numb fingers
dyed crimson by dead fish
find their rhythm
and I’m proud to be
on the first
rung of the hunter’s hierarchy.

I used to go fishing in Northumberland regularly, this poem is about when i first started out, I was 12. One of our neighbours took me with his friends, it was always a great experience.

I hope you like it.

Take it easy

Paul

Birdsong

Instead of sleep
in the early hours
I sit and listen to the
siren song of the starlings and finches
at four am
they gather on the dew-kissed fencetops
when the delicate new day
is climbing from grey earth
to sherbet-pink sky
and I wonder what’s to come
in the next 19 hours
before my head hits the pillow
because – although most days are the same –
like the dawn chorus
everyday is different.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. If you want to read more, please explore the site.

Take it Easy

Paul

Pre-Dawn Swimming

As teenagers
we swam the river at 4 in the morning
the cold pink pre-dawn watched us flail
our underage drunken legs unsteady in the calm water
feeble attempts to wash away the taint
of cheap vodka, value cola and sleeping bag sourness

we were like calves
breaking away from the protection of our parents
arrogant and unwise to the world we thought we knew best
but even the young Shorthorns upstream had more sense than us
because they knew better than to bathe in others shit

I don’t know whose idea it was
for all of us to jump in fully clothed
probably Dave’s – he was partial to a plan
– and vomit
he was a puppet king of sorts
living in the shadow of the castle

we were a sight
walking the back lanes to drip dry
crumpled kids carrying crumpled tents and crushed up sleeping bags
stumbling home without words spoken
the only sound heard was the clanging of dragging pegs and poles
chittering out a slurred morse code that forces a gang of grins
a simple message
– ‘Same again next week’.




Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. I love hearing your comments and feedback.

Also feel free to share.

Take it easy,

Paul

Question The Campaign

Meeting Minutes for Monday 1 March between CEO  & Head of Campaigns

 “What’s our campaign this week?”

“Maybe – tackling food poverty?”

“That’ll raise the charity’s profile and brand, yeah?”

“We’ll use some vloggers to tell people how to eat and budget properly and create some hashtags, perhaps?”

“How about telling people to use Food banks?” 

   “Do you want to spend big on this campaign?”

“No, No – I’ll just get the PR team to send some free stuff to the vloggers and buy their weeks shopping how much do you reckon that’ll cost?”

        “We’ll tell the vloggers they’re ambassadors for this campaign, they’ll love that and a week’s shopping and some of that promotional fairtrade stuff lying in the warehouse, total outlay under £1000?” 

“Sounds great, can you make sure we get the social media team and the vloggers to add the JustGiving links?”

         “To the food banks?”

“No to our charity, we can get Legal involved to get a disclaimer put in so we can say a percentage of donations will go to the Food bank can’t we?”

“Of course, just wanted to make sure, should I give you the metrics in a couple of weeks?”

That’s great, so is that it?

Meeting Minutes for Monday 1 March between CEO  & Head of Campaigns

“I called you in just to ask for the final metrics for the tackling food poverty campaign?”

“Bit of a success. We raised just over £3million in the past couple of weeks, once we get the gift aid revenues from HMRC, that’s £4million and we’ve had tonnes of clicks, likes, and retweets, we were even trending on Twitter, how much should I transfer to a food bank charity?

How much did it cost in the end to run?

“All in all £1250, PR decided to use a ‘premium’ grocer. I watched one of the Vloggers videos, a bit preachy about organics but they prepared a Katsu Curry with Sticky Jasmine Rice only £7.37 per portion, can you believe it?”

How about we give £100k? 

“Sounds good, we’ll tackle food poverty again yeah?”

“Yeah it’s a good little earner and I think we have done the Food bank charity a favour, don’t you?

“Sure?”

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. It is an experimental piece. I hope you enjoyed it.

Take it Easy,

Paul.

Weekends At The Club

Quid in the jukebox
The Jam, Bowie, Queen, Elvis –
Presley – not Costello

grass-green baize
torn and twisted in places
twenty pence a shot
free on Saturday afternoon
when it’s a fiver-a-man tournament
winner takes all
no chalk for the cues though

footy on the telly screens
piracy definitely
we don’t complain
it’s the best pint in town
and they do pork scratchings

they’ve got a bloke
who does runs to the bookies
backs himself to return the betslip
in under 10 minutes
he gets a drink either way

the old gagdies tell tales
of when they worked the shipyards
or some down the pits
they shake your hands every time
theirs brittle –
scarred with hard graft
and union strikes

sometimes it gets rowdy
when the domino crowds in
accusations of cheating
to win a 2 quid pot
it soon settles down
like the best pint in town.

*******

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, inspired by weekends and evenings spent in the social club in my hometown, which are an important part of the North, unfortunately declining in recent years. If you get the chance, pay one a visit, and sign up with them depending on their membership requirements.

Take it easy,

Paul

What Is A Fire Without Flame?

a dispassionate mound
of glaucous ash
the warmth lost
ready to die out
at any moment

or rather

a scattering of embers
the reminder of warmth
we shared
when flames flickered in frivolity
kissing and caressing
kindling and coal
when white,gold and ochre
danced
as strong as they could 
for as long as they could
to the gentle chaotic rhythm of crackling
shades of silver in the hearth
silently whispering
Live Life Like The Fire.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem and are having a great day.

Take it Easy

Paul

Image courtesy of Canva.