The 31 to Chalk Farm

 

Your skin is scented, clean and cool

I know I’m meant to be at school

Not on this ordinary odyssey

Years before our lives unspool

On the 31 to Chalk Farm

My arm is grazing your arm

No sign of what you’d decide to do

There’s little cause for alarm

This is what we’re doing this for:

The route starts from our front door

I begged to ride from World’s End and back

(The 31 doesn’t do this any more)

I long to tell them on the bus

That it’s just the two of us

That I have my mother to myself

I can’t recall what we discuss

We eat, you buy me a silken cap

From the window the clouds are a map

As we begin the journey home

With my head resting in your lap

I don’t properly see London scrolling by

The bus tartan imprints upon my thigh

My heart revels in our proximity

It’s fifteen years until you die

First Time For Everything

He’ll Never Be

My Shiny Things

A Ferry Story

How To Cut A Birthday Cake

Afterwards

Magnolia

A Support

The Library

It’s All There

My Heart Was Never Far Away

I’ve Taken To My Bed

Caunt

Cheap Crisps

Kerb Appeal

Not Fair

They’re Having An Affair 

Choker

Housewife

 

 

First Time For Everything

I wanted to write about you
You deserve to be immortalised
For your courage and your kindness
And your rugby player thighs
For your sweetness and your sadness
The way you neutralise regret
Your integrity gives structure
A mitigative maquette
You’re the foundation
And the skeleton
You’re the scaffolding
The roof
You douse every sullen sceptic
With your simple, loving proof

He’ll Never Be

My Shiny Things

A Ferry Story

How To Cut A Birthday Cake

Afterwards

Magnolia

A Support

The Library

It’s All There

My Heart Was Never Far Away

I’ve Taken To My Bed

Caunt

Cheap Crisps

Kerb Appeal

Not Fair

They’re Having An Affair 

Choker

Housewife

My Shiny Things

I set out my stall

Adorned with my best awning

And I set aside a tiny space in front especially for fawning

I laid out all my shiny things

Though some of them were tarnished

I assumed people would buy them if they were expertly garnished

All I had to do was stand there

As the buyers snapped them up

I imagined no-one would notice that they’d been sold a pup

But as the day wore on

My goods didn’t prove as tempting

As I planned and had, in fact, been preempting

Some people showed a bit of interest

But nobody was buying

They said I wasn’t the best advert – that I wasn’t really trying

That my offerings were ropey

When subject to close examination

So more and more of them were resisting the temptation

The crowds were thinning out

I looked in dismay at my precious stall

Hardly anyone had stopped and no-one fawned at all

That day I sold fewer of my shiny things

Than I have ever known

And when the time came to pack  them up I had to do it on my own

Poems

A Ferry Story

He’ll Never Be

How To Cut A Birthday Cake

Afterwards

Magnolia

A Support

The Library

It’s All There

My Heart Was Never Far Away

I’ve Taken To My Bed

Caunt

Cheap Crisps

Kerb Appeal

Not Fair

They’re Having An Affair 

Choker

Housewife

 

 

 

Birth Plan

I want Oxytocin I want to be induced
I want what little dignity I have significantly reduced
I want my waters broken in a ceremony medieval
I want a pessary if necessary for healthy baby retrieval
I want a slice into my abdomen I want my baby timely ripped
I want so much coursing through my system that my heart rate is dipped
I want to hallucinate that I’m a fish in a multi-coloured mural
I want to die I want to cry I want an epidural
I want a sweep, long and deep, I want pain I can’t describe
I want to vomit everything I make an attempt to imbibe
I want a feeble three-centimetre dilation and associated dystocia
I want as many people in the room as possible to observe my discomposure
I want stitches that suppurate and a wound that leaks
I want this to continue for days or preferably for weeks
I want contractions which accelerate to ferocious from fairly mild
I got all that but you know what I also got my child

Poems

How To Cut A Birthday Cake

Afterwards

Magnolia

A Support

The Library

It’s All There

My Heart Was Never Far Away

I’ve Taken To My Bed

Caunt

Cheap Crisps

Kerb Appeal

Not Fair

They’re Having An Affair 

Choker

Housewife