Animal

The party was mostly a blur
I saw smoke out from ears
Christmas cabinet spirits taken
Wasted on ignorance
I spin around the room
Or the room spins around me
Basins capture fallers
Trapped, with faucets dripping
Drowning in melodrama
Young actors perform skits
With farm firearms, aiming
At passing cars. The loud bang
Rings in our ears, energy
Peters out like a fading bulb
Dawn chorus lulls us
To sleep in the barn
With our fellow animals

Animal

Power

Backseat driving on narrow lanes
Hedges pruned to keep the tunnel
Vision focussed on the greyish gravel
Headlights on. Rabbit caught
By hungry predator, a late night snack
Can’t make out the culprit
Through the dirty windows
I press my foot down, as if I control
The brakes. Fearing we may
Lose control on a corner
Holding onto the front seat
Headrest, pretending not
To be frightened by a man
With all the power
In his right boot

Power

Anywhere

Feel free to dismiss
The modern approach
I take to community space
Neighbourhoods weep
At my disinterest in
Wasting afternoons. People
I’m not acquainted with
Sharing local stories
Old wives tales of
Grandparents that never
Set foot outside a
5 mile radius till 1995
And that was only
To visit the new hospital
To die.
Forgive me, but the
Constant I seek is
Greater than the home
Or area I reside in
I hoped we would see
Eye to eye, but I’m
Just as closed off
In changing my view

Anywhere

Carving

Benches are stoic ever-presents
Tree surgeons come and go
Children’s hoppy drinks, grown
Men watch their dogs piss
Blow a smoke ring skyward
Listen to the distant doppler shift
The whoosh of speeding traffic
These lost evenings, spent drunk
On each other’s company
Giddy laughter, friendship as
Feeble as the daisies heads
Picked off one by one
Keen stencilers carve our names
With keys, a preservation of
The lack of responsibility
To anyone but ourselves

Carving

Amateur

It’s hard to tell once on
The train to Birmingham
Whether it changed anything
Seeing a multiracial society
Kids running across bustling streets
The sights and smells differ
From quiet, sterilised streets
Amateur gardeners knead out
The weeds around a small plot
Of land. I’m bored just watching
The intricate backbreaking toil
I could remove the signs from
School gates, take what disruption
I can get my hands upon
Lice crawling on bare skin
Escape, not yet an option

Amateur

Place

Your Dad’s fists didn’t
Stop her running her mouth
Cross parts of his anatomy
“Shut it”, he’d warn
Just another mother
Bearing a responsibility
To bring up his children
You might think a woman
Has a place, and her male
Friends are a threat to what
Little self-esteem you have left
Misunderstanding, that a woman
Can be more than just
A smiling observant.
Jealousy, and rage
Insecurity between the temple
Between providing a home
And growing a life of your own
Taking on the easier targets
Proposing to leave bruises
While she takes your name

Place

Beaches

At night, beaches wash away
Moon bathing students
Adults wearing sunglasses
Townies showing disrespect
To the calmness, to the quiet
Stopping at petrol stations
On dark, twisty country roads
Pissing regardless of foliage
Yelling at anyone walking
The sleepy town streets after 1am
Where bars close at eleven
Rolling up my jeans to the knee
I’m wading towards
France or Ireland
Geography hard to recall
After a skinful of lager
Light breaks through
Someone drives us home
But not before, we leave
Our Mark in the sand

Beaches