Sunday, 16 January 2011


The Pub

And then, she drove on
Amidst the uplights, street lights
Backlights, soft light
Bright light, obscured light
Incessant light
Safety lights, directional lights, warning lights
Momentarily flashing brake lights –
Disappearing Into the night

Girl in Dungarees

She never cared much for geraniums or roses
Neatly maintained borders
Trimmed hedges and bird baths
Gnomes guarding shallow ponds
Feeding tables bringing urgent life
Pastel shades
Lavender, pink and aquamarine
A palette for a verdant scene
Or watching the grass grow.
Fashion was her passion

Two Children

They did not have to be asked
No thought or movement contrived
Despite the lure of the ice cream van
And the high slide
They gave themselves for a careless moment
No more, no less
Ruffled tousled hair
Puffed sleeves and a favourite T
Childhood’s innocent serenity.

First Born

The scent of fresh flowers drenched the bed
Soft toys sat expectantly
Nurses flitted past, visitors babbled
Soft skin, warm smells, sparkling eyes
Absorbing incipient being
Grandparents doted whilst friends issued friendly warnings
Of late night feeds and very early mornings
Then when home
We three very
Sat staring, quite perplexed
The unspoken question –“What do we do next?”

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Snowman

Unmoving he stood green with envy
As the children raced about
Browned off that he could not move
Grey clouds added to his blue disposition
He wished that he could throw their snowballs back
His round head smote with a resounding thwack
He almost saw red
Yet instead remained a resounding yellow
One almost knocked the hat off a passer-by
He was tickled pink when she shouted back
Something he could not do
A scarlet woman
But the once azure sky turned ashen
Laden with fresh snow
The coals for buttons glistened in the afternoon light
A panoply of colours, now just black and white.


Her chosen dress had been off white
For a day full of shades
Emotional hues
Memories line sketched, not full
Laced together, brushed aside
Images which tether
The photograph awash with pastels and prints
A flash which was too bright
Which only served to obscure her sight
The carriage drawn by a handsome gray
The canvas of her wedding day

Friday, 7 January 2011

One Finger in Ten

The sparrows were driven from the sky
Kept aloft till they dropped dead unable to fly
The fields were tilled till they could yield no more
But grain was left to rot side by side
Along with those who had stumbled and died
Desperate hands loaded ships for a far off shore
Leaving behind those in starving convulsion
Feeding instead the Maoist Revolution

All possessions stripped till there was nothing left to give
The clothes on your back, your hair, a sieve
Logic and compassion all came to cease
No great leap forward but a lurch into despair
A nation cracking in disrepair
Where life was measured in lifeless bodies
And blood not water flowed through deserted courses
Draining what was left of abandoned corpses

When eyes could not see when right was wrong
Fifty million dead and Mau Zedong.
When one finger in ten is a price worth paying
Yet nine in ten paid in poverty and slaying.

Why Do Women Like Crap Music?

Why do women like such crap music
What is it about Ronan Keating
Whose flirtation with talent is so painfully fleeting
And what about that Matt Cardell
Nice hat- but he cannot sing very well
And then there is the dashing captain james Blunt
Who everyone can see is a talentless – ex army officer
You throng in your thousands for a Take That ticket at Villa Park
Oblivious that your desire for nostalgia and fond reminiscence
Will be lost in poor sound at an extraordinary distance
You wont be able to see whether they are four or there are five
And the queues for the ladies will make you regret you’re alive
And they will sting you in the car parks, your friend you’ll never find her
Or you’ll get ripped off by a side street parking minder
And you always love the cute ones “who cares if he is gay”
You love him for his voice “no matter what” they say
When the slow ballads come on you sway wildly to the rhyme
Oblivious to the fact that you’re swaying out of time
Jon Bon Jovi is a difficult one I like his pompous rock
But when we see him in concert you have your eyes right on his – locks
At discos you circle the wagons for a dance to “I will survive”
A pretty pointless lyric unless he was armed with a knife
“walk out the door, just turn around now,
'cause you're not welcome anymore sounds pretty lame
Particularly as you’ll find the mortgage papers are in my name
And when Rhianna asks you how it really feels
You reflect “pretty painful, when you’re dancing in four inch heels
And where does the demographic come from for Abba’s “Dancing Queen”
As from what I’ve seen
The boppers haven’t seen seventeen,
for some time.
Simon Bates “our Tune” would have died a lonely and much welcome death
If it hadn’t been kept alive by heartbroken women
Whose minds became so addled with pain and sleight that they actually think they like The Chi Lites “hey there lonely Girl or Eric Clapton’s
”you look wonderful tonight”
And I don’t get why you don’t like men with electric guitars
All that fretting, strumming ,sliding and squealing
In other circumstances you seem to find that quite appealing
And for some reason you think that pretty girls are talentless bints
Whose short skirts are quite ridiculous cant they take a hint?
Cheryl is too thin, Florence too red and Britney plainly mad
But Amy Winehouse after five bottles and a line of coke doesn’t look too bad- Because in that state Even Blake Fielder wouldn’t do it for a bet
And so she doesn’t become a fantasy threat.
It’s the songs you see, you have to listen to the songs she says
Yet when I try and listen to Barry Manilow, I have to pick up my things and simply go
Yet sometimes it can be helpful
If a girl is into KD lang as you vainly try to cruise her
It’s gone, give her up, you’re on a sure fire loser
But maybe I’ll just have to concede that each sex has a distinctive tone
And that’s why we are best making music together not on our own

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I am the DJ, I am what I play

Fading in, drifting out
It was difficult to tell whether it was a prog rock intro,
The batteries going
Or Radio Caroline sinking again
I can still remember listening in horror, and awe,
As the Mi Amigo foundered
But in the murky soup of half heard refrains
Of snatched lyrics, came a voice that spoke to me
Emperor Rosko, Tony Prince and Simon Dee
From Luxembourg Stuart Henry’s powerplays
Told me what to listen to
Caroline told me what I should be listening to
If only I could hear it

If you have never heard “Riders on the Storm” or “The End”
Solemnly introduced
If your ears have not strained into the ether to catch
The plaintif glissando keyboard of Ray Manzarek
Or the ghostly motif of a Dave Gilmour solo
Late into the evening- you have not lived.

I didn’t care much for Radio One
Johnny walker played a Birthday dedication for my Aunty Joan once
She was very excited
But apart from Alan Freeman on a Saturday afternoon
When classic rock was classic rock from the moment it was played
It never really spoke to me
Apart from John Peel

Ten O’Clock in the evening could never come soon enough
To go to bed, turn the lights out
And hear the voice
Bob Harris was past it you see
Lost in pointless, derivative American soft rock, like “the Cars”
Each band vying with the other for the title of
“ most vacuous and banal”
But John was different
He always had the latest demos from the hottest bands
Along with those from bands you had never heard of –
And will probably never hear of again
But it mattered.

I met him in a pub once before a Magazine gig
Pete and I were nervous about approaching him –
but we shouldn’t have been
He was friendly and kind – it really was no trouble
Dave Lee Travis almost crashed into my car once
At at the Hemel Hempstead magic roundabout
I didn’t like him
Not like Ann Nightingale
She sat next to me at a Who gig,
She was like your best friend’s sassy older sister
You hoped that you stood a chance- but knew that you didn’t
Still, I plucked up courage to ask her – for her autograph
She signed my ticket, I’ve still got it
Stuck to the back of my Quadrophenia album.

The late night phone ins were odd
Anna Raeburn was naughty, but nice
And I once phoned into a late night current affairs programme
He wouldn’t let me go
Not because I was the only one on the lines
I was the only one on that night I think
I also met Les Ross on a karaoke Contest panel

But he didn’t like music
Which I always thought was a bit of a drawback for a dj
He spent all evening telling me about the songs he hated
How he wanted to personally throttle Whitney Houston
For “the Greatest love of All”
(Les did have some redeeming features)
How they couldn’t play the songs they wanted to play
And half the time the d js weren’t there anyway
And each song was about audience share and product reach
And I guess that is when the music died on the radio for me

For when DJ’s risked jail, their boats sank, and records jumped
And you could hear the faint rustle of paper as the vinyl
Was pulled out of the sleeve
It still meant something to me,
It still mattered
It mattered how the latest Slade single was misspelt
Or how many weeks T Rex would be No 1
Or how long Bowies Space Oddity had been in the chart for
Because once it mattered not what you said, or who you were –
But what you played
That John Peel had discovered Joy Division- and so had you
It was a personal gift, not a marketing ploy
It neither retained you for the next commercial break
Nor were you wanted for your demographic to justify the license fee
It’s mono compression splintered into a thousand sounds,
And thoughts, and delights and dreams
And they had shared it with you,
Before smashey and nicey had swung on Morrissey’s rope
Before the video and the personal appearance and the poster
It was personal then you see.