December 01, 2005

December Poem of the Month

in the bleak midwinter

by the rich guarded

of cotswold

and a blinding sun
through bare trees

and the jagged saw
of a dog at the gate

i wonder
what my pilgrimage
to an indian summer
a half world distant
taught me

about this track
of unchanging england

wrapped up in compliments,
temporary as tinsel,
a feast that goes cold,
a santa that never
really delivers

as i slide

down my frozen hill
of ignorance

on slight city shoes
made in ahmednagar

towards a painful

cranham, glos. dec 24 1994

Like Mocks, this is coming out in my new book at the end of March 2006. I hope all my readers have a blissfully happy and contented Christmas but if not, take solace in this throughly typical Western materialistic money-rich time-poor post-Christian let down. Give me Hardy's The Oxen any time...

November 01, 2005

November Poem of the Month


Huddled into football hats and scarves
In their desk terraces,
Stoned on cold and boredom
With fifty two minutes still to go

And nothing left to write about or remember,
Our examinees shuffle and stare
Like a grim crowd at Norwich City
Waiting for a goal that never comes.

In the roof of this breezeblock leisure dome
Propellors flap like aircraft that can't fly.
In one corner, two heaters nibble a glacier.
The floor - a parky one - is marked for badminton

But not for inter-desk ice hockey
As we clatter across it dispensing paper.
And this long siege itself mocks everything - Barbarossa,
Frozen Storage... everything except exams anyway.

January 5 1998

Mocks. The sad thing about this surrealistic caricature of a modern comprehensive is that not one word is fictional. You couldn't write it - but I have to work there!