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Monday 29 August 2022


Monday morning, feeling blue

Shake umbrella, soaked right through 

Heave a sigh and give a frown

Spy a seat and settle down 

Hear a noise and look around – 

Doggie on the Underground!

Friday evening, feeling drained

Aching limbs and woolly-brained 

Hate your job and loathe your life 

Wallet empty, worries rife 

All is quickly well again – 

Doggie riding on the train!

Day transformed from ‘ruff’ to cool

Hear it pant and watch it drool

Stroke its soft and silky coat

Canine critters get my vote!

All is groovy, all is sound 

Cos Doggie’s on the Underground

Saturday 27 August 2022

It Wasn't Easy

being a keeper. Shots flew

straight over me into grown-up nets

and once, somewhat unsure 

of the back-pass rule,

I picked the ball up. 

I didn’t live it down. 

Being a keeper meant 

lonely Sunday mornings

on outsized windy fields,

pacing the goalmouth,

spitting on my gloves.

And now, in pubs and restaurants,

at meetings and parties,

that keeper’s still waiting,

poised and alone.

The past is the goalposts

which he keeps, which he guards,

and later, in his notebook,

he’ll dive for the words. 

Tuesday 9 August 2022

And So I Write

the word LOVE in my diary, to remind myself

of the underpinning of all the things I do.

I craft the letters with a ruler,

taking great pains to ensure that everything

is smooth, straight, in order. I decorate the word

with a border and I colour it all in, in a way

I haven’t done since primary school.

I really want this word to stand out – LOVE.

The unassailable axiom; the uncaused cause;

that than which nothing greater can be conceived.

Until I realise that the letters aren’t quite even.

Some of the lines are thicker than others

and if you squint a bit you can see

a slight smudge on the page. The letter O

seems sort of squished, and although the word

is still, recognisably, LOVE, it looks somewhat

misformed, somehow. And so I carry now

this buckled LOVE everywhere I go – 

in my diary, tucked tight in my rucksack – 

and this imperfection is part of everything I do,

a bold, flawed LOVE on the pages of my days.

Joshua Seigal

(published in Masculinity: an anthology of modern voices,
Broken Sleep Books)