The Old SailorHe sits at the front of the bus in a scuffed leather jacket,
head sunken into his shoulders through the weight of the years.
As he talks to himself his eyebrows quiver;
coarse orange hairs sticking straight out as if attempting escape.
He mutters to himself, and shouts, and groans,
swearing and yelling and looking his reflection in the scratched window
in the eye, as if in the pub with a friend;
but there is no drink, and there is no friend.
Voice softened by age, like a rough stone by the sea,
creaking, wheezing, rising and falling in volume as he agitates himself.
Skin crinkled not like the velvet-soft cheek of a grandmother
but like cracked paper, sharp creases and folds
threatening to tear at any moment
to reveal what is really going on underneath.
Grey hair thick with grease pokes out in wiry sprigs from under
a dirtying flat white cap he hasn't been required to wear for decades or more,
bearing a ribbon with proud gold capital-lettering
shouting ROYAL NAVAL DIVISIONS to anyone wh
Dressing Up My Dead Girlfriend I always hated overused clichés. "Strawberry-tipped nipples" for example, is one which all erotic writers fall back on at some point or another, but in Mia's case it was true. Hers were the exact shape of the smaller end of a strawberry, though perhaps a little deeper in colour, and had I ever just bitten a little deeper I could imagine my teeth sinking through soft flesh, the sweet sticky juice spraying over my tongue, water springing from my taste buds as the powerful sweetness spread over my tongue.
That was the first thing I noticed as I gazed over the lifeless body before me. Those once-pink rosebuds now had a bluish-purple tinge, they were flattened against her chest and there was a small trickle of dried blood above the water level. The rest of her blood had flowed out into the bathwater, giving me the macabre scene I now viewed, Mia laying in the tub as easily as if she was just taking a bubble bath, only the water was clear crimso
PoxI'm sitting on a filthy crumb-filled carpet
full of ground-in raisins and toast crumbs
wearing a yellow hard-hat several sizes too small
and I wouldn't be anywhere else.
I've been awake all night; cuddling and singing
stumbling from one room to another, desperate
to fix it all and failing in my every effort
but I wouldn't have been anywhere else.
We play monotonously. Car goes up, car goes down
and a small commanding voice directs the action
and I am tired, so tired I don't understand the game
but I wouldn't be anywhere else.
I receive a kiss, more snot than lips, without thinking
I wipe his nose and mouth with my hands, deposit
the mess on my jeans without a second thought
and I wouldn't be anywhere else.
He cries, and whines, his spots are itchy and he
doesn't understand, can't comprehend why I in my wisdom
don't click my fingers and bring it all to an end. I fail him
still I wouldn't be anywhere else.
We're exhausted, both of us, though he hides it well
dragging me to and fro, to do
Hangin' LaundryI'm hangin' laundry on the line
in the sunshine, 'cause I can't afford the dryer
and we can't afford the fire that's comin'
to our planet if we don't watch what
we're usin', it's confusin' ain't it?
How the well-off bigwigs 'suited pigs'
can tell us to cut down while they're
drivin' all around in their thirsty monster cars
and flying up against the stars to places
where there's people dyin' for a drink
of water while they enjoy wine, and laughter.
Someone told me I think too much. I think we're out
of touch with reality. I clip the last peg in place
and see another private jet fly overhead.
I think too much, they said.
BlessedIt's gonna be another one of those
damn dull days, I guess
he says, sitting at the kitchen table
and I smile, reply
I can't express my gratitude
at having another one of these
damn dull days to spend
with you, and the world, we're messed
up, but somehow we can jest and play
out our lives, we calmed down,
no stress; he asks do I want tea?
I say yes. He puts the kettle on. We are blessed.