Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oats and Desserts

This is the last in a trilogy of call and response poems, inspired by the work of Amy Rainbow, to whom I am indebted:

Oats- by Amy Rainbow

I met him when I was working
In a greasy spoon cafe
He said it was fate that he’d met me
That things often turn out that way
That just when you’ve given up looking
You could meet the girl of your dreams
And the woman you’ve searched half your life for
Is right on your doorstep, it seems

He was funny and drop-dead gorgeous
Called me flower and angel and pet
He asked for my mobile number
But Siobhan said to play hard to get
And Joanna said don’t trust a trucker
They’ve a woman in every town
Take your time, take it slow, get to know him
To make sure that he won’t let you down

He came in twice a week for his porridge
And he did have the gift of the gab
But he swore he was ready to settle
Was too old now to play Jack the Lad
His sweet-talking charm won me over
And I said I’d go out on a date
But there’d been some delay at the depot
So he got to the pub an hour late.

We got on like a house on fire
And when it was time to go home
He insisted on coming to my place
Didn’t want me to walk on my own
So of course he came in for coffee
And he ended up staying all night
Then he asked me for porridge for breakfast
Cause he knew that I’d make it just right

He told me that I was his soul mate
That the bond that we has was unique
That he wanted to make a commitment
Could he move all his stuff in next week?
And oh, how I loved all the cuddles
How I swooned at his dreamy blue eyes
He assured me he’d always be faithful
And he promised me he’d tell me no lies.

I liked having someone to care for
And I did all I could so he’d stay
Did he washing and cooking and ironing
And I gave him his oats every day
He told me that I was his princess
So I treated him just like a King
But he gave me no silver to speak of
He was saving it all for a ring

When they offered him long distance haulage
He called it a stroke of luck
But I started to miss all the cuddles
As he’d sleep overnight in his truck
It’s not easy to hold it together
When your partner’s away half the time
But he swore that if he could he’d be with me
And he vowed that his heart was all mine.

Siobhan said that I deserved better
With my looks and my rains and soft heart
That he treated me worse than a doormat
Disrespected me straight from the start
He’d have cut down his shifts if I’d told him
But it wasn’t my place to ask
So I’d lovingly cook him his porridge
Send him off with his oats in a flask

Then this woman rang early one morning
Said she had something urgent to say
She told me that she was expecting
That my Jack had been playing away
I felt sick with the humiliation
Oh the shame of it oh the despair
Through the whole of our eighteen months courtship
He’d been getting his oats elsewhere

Siobhan said she had seen it all coming
And so did my boss and my folks
They said it was weird and unhealthy
The obsession he had with his oats
That’s the last time I fall for a player
My heart’s battered and tattered and torn
I shall give up on men altogether
And I’m going to marry Siobhan

Oats and Desserts – by Gary Longden

I met her when I was driving
At a greasy spoon cafe
I had my routine of pit stops
A different one for every day
Love had never been very kind to me
More nightmares than the girls of my dreams
But the new girl Jane smiled as she poured
Offering more than refreshment it seemed

The haulage game is notorious
For waitresses giving you the eye
Playing with honest men’s affections
Even though there are plenty of fish to fry
Joanne and Siobhan teased and giggled
As they tossed my breakfast hash brown
I played it cool and collected
So tired of being let down

I always have liked my porridge
Jane would give me just a little bit more
I buy it regularly each morning
She would wink , well you know the score
Flirting teasing and chatting,
Invariably making me late
So I vaccumed my cab specially like
Before we went out on a date

She was pretty and funny, a bit of a laugh
And when it was time to go home
She said that she was frightened by the dark
So we walked back together and not on her own
She loosened a few buttons as she asked me in
With a knowing look and a lustful grin
Next morning when I left unwrapping our coats
I departed as a man who had already had his oats

We shared the same interests ,
The same music the same bands
And when she kissed me gently
I was putty in her hands
She was sexy and tactile
The sweetest of fates
She liked Marvin Gaye
And we became soul mates

Her domestic routine was quite curious
Formica surfaces always wiped down
With vinegar and salt sachets perfectly placed
Paper napkins placed carefully around
Her housekeeping was quite excellent
But there was a problem , it was just that
Although a goddess in the kitchen
Her hair always reeked of stale fat

The foul aroma was quite overpowering
The stench it irritated and irked
So when the boss asked for volunteers
I opted for long distance work
Yes the long nights can be quite lonely
A test to stay faithful and true
Particularly when I discovered that on night stops
Siobhan had started to work too

Siobhan said that I deserved better
With my looks and my brains and soft heart
That Jane was mocking me behind my back
And had been right from the start
She said that she had a plan
That backstabbing inevitably hurts
And that although Jane was alright with oats
She was the best with desserts

Ringing Jane , she disguised her voice
The betrayal was too much to bear
How desserts had then led to afters
And now there was a little one there
He felt sick with the awkwardness of it
Choosing between them , it just wasn’t fair
Yet throughout the last eighteen months
He’d been getting his oats, everywhere…..

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Thick and fast
Ever whiter
Till all trace of man simply disappears

The frozen lake
In winters tight vice
While children slip and slide in abandon

Sags heavy
Heady aroma intoxicating
As diners wait in anticipation

Under green fir
Wrapped tightly with care
Torn asunder in joyous excitement

The Shepley Lion

Stalking as it has done for millennia
It prowls the warm Pennine hillside
Evading human eyes

Scourge of ancient homesteads
His cunning admired
His strength feared

From Birdsedge to Holmfirth
They talk of him, and the Golden Cradle
Buried in Round Wood

Where the circle of the dead lies
Waiting to give up its secrets
For a price

Patrolling at dusk, in the shadows
It is a price none are willing
To pay

It is said that some evenings
At the Cask & Spindle
Its growl may still be heard

A warning to all who seek ancient secrets
A reminder of forgotten powers
And the past

Still, the Shepley Lion
Has us
In his thrall

Friday, 11 November 2011


It was the perfect ball
I knew it from the moment it left my hand
As it arced towards the batsman’s crease
Spinning, whirring – ever closer to its destiny
Neither his eyes, nor his bat, could reply
So it seemed
Before his stumps shattered
The bails billowing in the still warm evening air
Our hands reached skywards in exultation
The umpire’s finger rose in confirmation
I thought, when we are all dead
Heaven will feel like this
And it will have one hell of a good cricket team

Outside the Courthouse

Splenetic rage consumes
Contorted faces

Revenge retribution
Lifts angry fists
In time

Other’s sad misfortune
Drawing them in

Distant deeds far removed
Behind double doors
Seem close

Bared teeth hissing
Hate in lazy

Guilty turned out to be
An apposite

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ras Mohammed

Absorbed in amniotic languor
Opaque brightness fades
In descent

Only the sound of my own diaphragm reverberates
Tolling in deathly rhythmic

The Dunraven sprawls, spent prone
Tears gouge mortal wounds

Entering her warm currents pulse
Doors ajar, passageways call

With one kick she is gone
In a burst of bubbles

And in heady exit
A crescendo of life cries