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Tuesday, 29 March 2022

LAMB CHOPS

A month before he died my grandfather

ate lamb chops. Long past the point

at which politeness matters, he picked


up the pieces with his fingers, gnawing

frantically down to the bone, determined 

to get at whatever was left. And as


he lay later in his hospital bed he said

it was the happiest he’d ever been.

If only we could all receive gifts like these –


going to the unknown with only the bones;

no hint of unfinished meat; a life consumed

with gusto, its flavour truly savoured.


Sunday, 27 March 2022

MORNING RUSH

I tried my best to not be late. 

I locked the door and shut the gate. 

I jogged along then caught the bus

with minimal amounts of fuss. 


My tardiness, in times gone by,

had rendered me a flaky guy;

I checked my wrist and gave a smirk – 

for once I wasn’t late to work.


I sauntered at a languid pace

with smugness etched upon my face.

My boss, however, docked my pay – 

the clocks went forward yesterday.


Thursday, 24 March 2022

a poem for my grandpa

TOWERS


My grandpa

used to build towers

in the living room.

Stacking the bricks

on top of each other,

I’d implore him

to make it go higher

and higher.

My brother said

he cheated,

because the tower

was on a table;

all that mattered to me

was that it touched

the ceiling.



me and my grandpa, with one of his towers, circa 1990






































My grandpa died a few days ago. He was 86. He died after a short illness, and didn't suffer in his dying days. In fact, he said it was the happiest he had ever been, knowing he was going to die having achieved all he had ever wanted - to see his large family grow and flourish. He was a wonderful man, and I will miss him immensely. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

CATS AND DOGS

Through bombed out streets,

across rickety bridges,

we carry our cats and dogs


like crosses, some held aloft

in cardboard boxes, others

wrapped in scarves and coats.


As we pick out our way

through the debris and smoke

we cling on to them


and clasp them close, 

knowing we’d no more

leave them behind than


our own children.

Their breath, their hearts – 

they’re part of us, for as long


as there are cats and dogs

there’s still much more

that’s right than wrong.


Monday, 7 March 2022

Mallardy

My duck has no cure

for my many afflictions;


a medical licence 

the bird seems to lack. 


His qualifications

don’t match his convictions –  


I’ve reached the conclusion

my duck is a quack.


Wednesday, 2 March 2022

I hold you tight to me

I hold you tight to me.

What else can I do 


when enemies seep up

through the floorboards


and those cups lie

unclean in the kitchen?


Is this mess of our making?

I curve you to me


like a question mark 

and try to breathe


as you lie unanswered. 

We’re suspended – 


any second from now

the moon will start falling