Archive for June, 2014

June 30, 2014


I’m spickled and speckled and dotty bedeckled,

I’m spotty alotty and frickelly freckled,

I’m sprinkled with splattery splodges and splashes,

And littered with largish and littlish dashes.

I laze for whole days by the sea and the sand

But I burn like a beetroot and never get tanned.

Yes, I’m polka dot peppered, but do you know what?

I like every one and I don’t care a jot!

June 27, 2014

Summer School

Miss, Miss, we can’t do this!

We can’t do sums

When we’re sitting on our bums

In the class,

And the grass that’s outside

Is so green and so wide,

And just running in the sun

Looks like so much better fun.

Miss, Miss, we can’t do this!

We can’t do grammar

When we listen to the clamour

Of the birds,

And the words are so dull,

And wind’s gentle lull

Is inviting us to play,

Not just sit in here all day.

Miss, Miss, we can’t do this!

It’s so boring that we’re snoring

And we want to go exploring

Not just sit,

For a bit on our bums

Doing literacy and sums

When we could be running free.

Do you see?





June 24, 2014

Problems Faced by Astronauts

The loo in space is difficult;

It’s very hard to have a wee.

It sort of flows back up your nose,

And all through lack of gravity.

June 23, 2014

Toffee Sunset

If you’ve ever made fudge or toffee (taffy), you’ll know how easy it is to burn if you turn your back for a few seconds. For fudge the mixture needs to reach what is known as the ‘soft ball stage’, or the ‘hard ball stage’ in the case of toffee.


Keep an eye on it. Keep an eye on it.

And I do, as the syrup sun oozes

Into caramel clouds, melting

In a soft sweetness of sky, darkening

To a honeyed perfection.

It must be setting now, I think,

It must have reached the soft ball stage.

Any sweeter and it will start to cloy.

So I watch the breeze give its final stirs,

Until for a moment, for one brief moment,

I turn my back, and when I look again

All is black; as dark and bittersweet

As treacle.


June 20, 2014

The Ice Cream Heist

This poem is a bit of a homage to the playground chants I grew up with


Who’s that sneaking,

Stopping at the freezers?

Who’s that peeking?

Two thieving geezers.

One chooses chocolate,

One sticky toffee,

One goes for butterscotch,

One plumps for coffee.

Hands in the coldness.

Three scoops, four scoops.

What astounding boldness!

Five scoops, more scoops.

Pile it in their backpacks

(Surely there’s a better way?),

Run off down the back tracks,

Make a daring getaway.

But what’s all that dripping stuff,

In a trail behind them?

This is getting gripping stuff!

Will the coppers find them?

Run away! Run away!

Footsteps quickly pelting.

Sunny day! Sunny day!

Ice cream quickly melting!

Here come the sniffer dogs,

Followed by the vice team.

Up go their noses,

Catching whiffs of ice cream!

Dogs give a quick lick,

Evidence gets eaten.

Seems like those geezers

Simply can’t be beaten!

High five! Fist bump!

Aren’t we incredible?

Let’s check out the booty.

Oops! It’s inedible!

All that lovely ice cream

Just a pool of liquid.

Who planned that heist then?

Someone really thick did!











June 19, 2014

The Cynic’s Guide to Football

Two teams

One ball

Someone wins

That’s all.

June 16, 2014

The Mould

This one really needs to be chanted. Think the first three three notes of a minor scale, going up and down. 


The mould’s unfolding up the walls,

From down below it creeps and crawls,

It seeps in every plaster crack

In musty, dusty blobs of black.

The walls are conquered, floor to top,

But still that mouldy mould won’t stop,

It seethes across the bedroom ceiling

(Cobweb-strewn and paintwork peeling)

Then it spreads its evil spores

By oozing smoothly under doors.

Its greedy grasp holds fast your clothes,

Your stairs, your chairs, your rugs, your throws,

Until that murderous mouldy mould

Has got the strongest stranglehold

On all your house, on all your stuff,

But for the mould that’s not enough

And so the mould comes marching through,

Until it’s suffocated


June 13, 2014

A Walk on the Child Side

A toddle, a paddle, a skid and skedaddle,

A skip and a trip and a hop,

A race and a chase and a stare into space,

And a pick-up-a-stick and then stop.

June 11, 2014

Brutalism: An Elegy for the Heygate Estate

I don’t often post serious poems, but today I stood and watched the demolition of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, south London.  Although few could have described the architecture as beautiful, it was home to thousands, many of whom resisted the council’s efforts to displace them. ‘Elephant Park’, as the site will soon be known, will contain less housing and far fewer options for those unable to afford London property prices.


‘Brutalist’, they say.

Each stark and staring concrete slab

As dull as tombs. And so they grab

With greedy grasping fists the land

Where graveyard-grey the blocks still stand,

Declare (with nose in air) ‘A slum.

A place of vermin, vice and scum’.

People cry and people shout:

‘But they’re our homes! And look, they sprout

With signs of life! Our hopes! Our dreams!’

Their voices can’t be heard, it seems,

Beneath the roaring onward tide

Of all south London, gentrified.

So diggers come, with claws that grip,

And vicious jaws that rasp, and rip

Huge wounds. And in the dust and mud

The past comes pouring out, like blood.

A past that lived, a part that breathed

Within those blocks, once concrete-sheathed.

‘Look!’ they say, ‘A new estate!

It’s called a park! Move in! It’s great!’

The people shake their heads. ‘That’s nice,

But well, we can’t afford the price’.

And so their lives and loves all must

Be crushed, and crumble, fall to dust,

And where there once stood concrete slabs

Are now just holes, like festered scabs.

What does it mean, ‘brutalist’?





June 9, 2014

Writer’s note to fly, on finally getting it out of the window







Don’t try