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Tuesday, 18 January 2022

a poem on Tory distraction techniques (AKA 'Operation Red Meat')


Look over there! It’s a migrant!

He’s trying to enter our land!

And look over there!

It’s the BBC!

Things truly have got out of hand.

Look over there! It’s Sir Kier!

He once had a beer at his desk!

And look over there!

It’s some junior aide!

The cut of his jib is grotesque.

Look over there! It’s a paper

on ‘Levelling Up’, and it's white!

And look over there!

It's some unemployed wretch

whose presence round here is a blight. 

Look over there! In the distance!

Keep looking, and don’t make a fuss.

Yes, look over there!

Or in fact anywhere

just as long as it isn’t at us...

Monday, 17 January 2022


For two hours I’d been waiting

in the rain to collect the pills that keep

my brain just the right side

of a nervous breakdown.

As I approach the desk

the woman flips the sign. Closed.

I can feel the tears prickle behind

my eyes as I plead – just

one more, just this once.

Please. She looks down at me,

face like curdled milk, and says no.

Her name tag reads Joy.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

a little poem to prove a giggle


Darren came to school all laden

with the wares he wished to trade in.

“Buy this conker”, Darren pleaded.

“It has worth as yet unheeded.”

(Darren hoped we would say yes, but

no one fell for that old chestnut.)

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

news emerges of yet more Downing Street parties during lockdown...


When the sun is in the sky – have a party.

There’s no need to feel shy – have a party. 

Other people might well sigh

when they watch their loved ones die;

that’s no fault of you or I — have a party!

Well the death count’s pretty large – have a party.

After all, it’s us in charge – have a party.

Get the booze from the garage,

Sod the constable and sarge,

Let’s invite Nigel Farage! Have a party!

Let me top up your champagne, at the party!

So we broke the rules again – it’s a party!

Yes the plebs are feeling pain

locked in tight with ball and chain,

but their loss is BoJo’s gain – have a party!

So the mood’s intensifying – have a party!

And the mourners keep on crying – have a party!

We can say that we’re complying,

they will never twig we’re lying

and that Bolly’s fortifying – have a party!

Yes, the country’s in the muck – have a party.

Well that’s pretty rotten luck – have a party.

Yes, the rules might come unstuck

but take off that tie! Untuck!

No we just don’t give a f… Have a party!

Monday, 10 January 2022


She’s an indoor cat.

Her world lies within the walls

of our first floor flat.

She sits at the window

eyeing the birds outside,

creatures she will never catch.

Her exercise routine is walking 

from the kitchen to the bedroom and back.

She’s an indoor cat.

The rug is her Serengeti,

the couch her habitat.

Excitement, for her, is a post to scratch.

She’s never brought home a frog or a rat.

And is she happy?

Well it’s all she’s ever known.

Her whole universe

is circumscribed by our home.

Her eyes are keen.

Her claws are sharp

but she knows no combat.

Look at her there.

She’s an indoor cat. 

Friday, 7 January 2022

Freud is nothing

but a parody of himself. I’m beating

the absolute crap out of my dad, using

fists, sticks, whatever comes to hand.

My fingernails show him who’s man

as they grope for his eyeballs. He doesn’t

fight back, accepts each raining blow like milk

on his tongue. The umbilical cord is round

his neck as he tries to speak, each gasping

breath grasping for something I can’t quite

make out. But nor do I care to: the time is

now. The reckoning. My mum smiles,

feints, steps into the ring.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

new poem, and ideas for follow up activities


There’s a girl in the window. I don’t know her name. 

Her hair is all tangled. Her eyes are aflame.

She sniggers at me like she thinks it’s a game.

There’s a girl in the window. She’s there… now she’s gone.

I sit and I wonder if maybe I’m wrong.

Perhaps it’s a trick of the dusk coming on. 

There’s a girl in the window. I think I can see

a bruise on her lip and a flower (for me?)

and a palm on the pane like she wants to be free. 

There’s a girl in the window up there, I said.

But they say I’m mistaken, it’s all in my head: 

the lady who lived there is long, long since dead.


The above poem is based on a recurring image I have, of a girl's face in a tiny, high up window. Having shared the poem with your class, here are some suggestions for follow-up activities:

  • Draw a picture of the girl in the window
  • Have a discussion: Who is she? What is she? Is she real or imaginary? What is her name?
  • Do some writing from her perspective: a letter; a diary entry; a poem
If any teachers would like to do the above activities with their class, I would love to display some of the results on my blog!

Tuesday, 4 January 2022


I’m stuck in the bathroom

I’ve been here a while

I’ve not much to do

And I can’t help but smile:

I worked yesterday

Now this downtime is due 

Because my boss gave me

A day off in loo.

Monday, 3 January 2022

poem about loss etc


                          I look and see

a hole in the class where she used to be.

They told us she’d be gone a while

but it’s been six weeks since I saw her smile.

I’ve asked the teacher every day

when she’ll be back, but he won’t say.

I’ve asked my mum, who doesn’t know

and so I feel her absence grow

and fester as I sit alone.

I’m weighted down by this heavy stone.

The playground isn’t as it was.

The halls are hollowed out because

my best friend’s gone. I sigh and see

a hole in my world where she used to be.

Sunday, 2 January 2022


I found the singer

of my favourite punk band

on LinkedIn. Back in the day

he used to rant about capitalism

at sweaty live shows

the underground press

would frequently describe

as ‘incendiary’; these days

it appears he is a managing partner

at some company or other.

His shaggy mane is now replaced

with a slick hairdo that wouldn’t look

amiss on a footballer.

He’s also got three kids, apparently,

and lists cars and boats

as two of his main interests.

Whatever happened to the heroes?

Whatever indeed.