Poetry, mainly nonsense but not all.

Ode to a Travelling Man


As I fit the final items in my case, a sadness comes upon me,

As if I’m packing not my clothes, but my emotions.

Knowing that the part of me I save for you

Must be put away until I see you once again.


I know that when I reach wherever I am bound this time

I’ll open up my case and out will come an emptiness,

A desperate sense of loneliness and loss

That will probably drive me to the hotel bar

To drink in solitude; not belonging where I am.


Then, not having the tongue to talk to those assembled there

I’ll head back to my room and lie in bed in brooding contemplation

To think of you and I and what we should be doing now.


And, at end of day, when I return to my hotel,

The pathos of the night before comes flooding back.

I open the wardrobe door and all the lonely feelings hiding there

Envelope me and drive me from my room once more

To anywhere; the streets, the bar, a café; anywhere

That I can see others happy;

And I hope that part of their happiness

Will rub off on me, fortify me

Until I can share real happiness with you, at home, again..


Why am I doing this?  I should be there with you

Living our lives; loving, sharing, being.

Not drowning in my cups, in some foreign hotel room.

I give you me.

As I lay sated yesterday

I heard a voice, “Thought for Today”

Talk of a man who having travelled far

Found the love he craved for here at home.


I feel the same, like I have thrown

An old pack in my wardrobe;

Which now I rarely touch

But just find comfort knowing that it’s there.


That’s my past life, it’s not baggage

But an old friend that I can call for help

If ever I need to; to give advice

And straighten out the things that sometimes cloud my soul.


I feel cocooned for the first time in my life

Knowing that you’re beside me

And that I don’t always need to talk;

Knowing what you’re thinking’s how I feel.


As we go on together, growing closer yet;

Now and then I think about my pack

And know it too is thankful that

I’s job is done and it can rest

Aback the wardrobe snug and dark

Secure in knowing that it’s contents now belong

In the hands and heart of one who’ll care

And who will keep the future of it’s friend

Wrapped as tight as that old pack has in the past.


So bear me well, my darling one,

Yours now the carriage of my love

My hopes, my feelings and my dreams

Are yours to share.


I can’t make head nor tail of love,

It arrives unasked and buggers up your life,

Like a gnat, buzzing around your head,

It’s a disease, confusing all your senses.

It makes you obsessive, possessive, irrational,

Disrupts the way you run your life,

Takes over when you just want order

Peace and focus.


The real thing is hard to find

But if you do, when you feel ‘this is it,’

Those all-consuming desires,

Passion, jealousy, fear, all of life’s emotions

Course through your blood, your brain, your heart.


Some say that true love is peace and contentment

Just being close brings serenity.

But that ain’t love,

It’s just acceptance of your lot

Having let yourself be ground down,

You make a hopeless wish

For all to be perfect. 


Love is not like that.

It is a dread of being apart

A need to see and talk

Though often this leads to resentment

As you crowd each other’s space.


Can’t live with you, can’t live without you,

Would willingly murder you,

Is how you feel, and some have and gladly done the time.

Crime passionnel it’s called in French

It exists, I’ll vouch for that.


You don’t want to be controlled,

You feel trapped,

Sometimes you run away from it

Just to feel

More miserable

Than you ever have in life.


I can’t make sense of it,

But thank or curse Eros,

Or whomsoever fires the barbs

That entrap you more firmly

Than a retiarias’ net

While the trident of attraction, lust and fear

Pierces your soul, killing rationale

More effectively than any gladiator could.




It’s God’s greatest gift,

Or greatest blight,

I don’t know which.

I only know it’s got me,

Gripping tight,

Never letting go,

Never giving peace,

And I thank him daily

That he has chosen me for this

And chosen you for me.


For this is love,

I’ve never felt it before

Always ran scared.

But now I feel as if

At last, after all these years,

We realise that we are blessed.


And from here on

We’ll revel in our love.

But never let’s forget

The nurturing years

The pain, the anguish, the fear

All catalysts cementing the bond

That has been forged for us

And can never be torn apart.

The Rolex


The Rolex that he bought in Singapore and wore in thirty lands or more

Often during times of war, is wrapped around his Grandson’s wrist.

He knows only his Granddad, the old man who taught him how to use his tools,

In the garden shed while Granny cooked some food.  But Granddad was young once.


They’re all stood inside the church; his wife, his daughters,

His grandkids, many, many of his friends.  Those friends

Have seen too many gravesides, lost too many mates of late,

And crave that there’ll be aeons more before they’re screwed down in their wooden crate.


I was with him when he bought that watch in Sembawang,

Proud as Punch, he showed it off, and me as jealous as hell.  A Rolex Submariner,

The bevel black and shiny.  Now there’s no enamel left, the years have chipped it off

Leaving it as shiny as the medals on his box.


Its provenance is long and proud; Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf;

And there were other conflicts fought before he beat the the jeweller down

That hot and sweaty afternoon. And when it was bought we went next door,

Into the Harbour Lights, and toasted its purchase with a Tiger beer or two.


His grandson will never know the half of who his Granddad was,

But we know, we grew up with him, went through his torments, were beside him

In bars and deserts and jungles, it didn’t matter where

As long as we had friends around to laugh and to share.


And now he’s gone, but only in body, and that as worn as his watch.

But his memory stays and makes us laugh and cry and brings back many tales

His grandson won’t be told.  These are soldiers stories, not for family

But for those who were there with him, wherever it may have been.


It’s strange, but an old worn Rolex won’t lose its value, is worth as much as new,

And this one’s unique, with its wealth of stories from all around the world

Half of which would never be believed by those outside the exclusive club

Of which he was the Boss.  But they’re true in all their unbelievability.


Rolex watches now are worn by tennis stars and such, fit young men or film stars

As a sign of achievement and success.  But they knock a ball around all day

And know nothing of the stamina and guts it takes to patrol for days or weeks

No shower or a beer at end of day, just a hard and stony grot in a wadi somewhere.


We had our beers as soon as we got back, too many usually,

Fought the Redcaps, or the Paras if we could, acted like they’d trained us to be.  But

Underneath we yearned to wear our Seikos, Rolexes and Omegas to a fancy bar

And then we’d look with scorn on the mere mortals drinking there.


When we are asked if we knew him, we’ll say, ‘Oh, yes,’ and smile a smile

While we stare off into the distance.  ‘Oh, yes, we knew him well.’

‘What was he like?’ they’ll ask.  ‘He was one of us,’ we’ll reply

While, ‘You haven’t earned the right to ask,’ we’ll think.


The Mysterie of Tonsolitititititis 

I’ve been ill for a week or two

And I ain’t writ nowt, so that won’t do,

But I’m jotting now ‘cos the mood I’m in

Is enhanced by a shot of Penicillin


Three days later…….. 


It’s three days on, and me throat don’t hurt

The penicillin’s worked, me loins bin girt

‘Cos I’ve two weeks of life to catch up on

I’ve got to draw and write and sing a song – (or two)

General English Class 3


I have to go to school in a while,

Play hale-fellow-well-met and nod and smile,

When all I want to do is sit in the sun,

And write and draw and scratch my bum.


This morning I’m teaching GE3,

I don’t like them and they don’t like me,

They hardly know their ABC,

So I’m going to teach them defining and non-defining relative clauses, which are an integral part of sentence structure and which are also very difficult and confusing.


That oughta fix the little bastards!!



There’s a nightingale singing outside my flat,

He wakes me up, but he don’t know that,

So I’m thinking of hiring out a cat,

To hunt him down and eat the t**t!!! 


( I’m not really. I like him singing at all hours of the night, sometimes ‘til sparrers. Sometimes he sings during the day, but if he thinks he’s getting time-and-a-half for that he’s sadly mistook. He even sings in the rain, but he ain’t singing at the moment, when, as you can guess, it’s raining. Now it appears as if the footnote is longer than the poem, so that’s one for posterity. Or in the posterior for the critics who will write reams dissecting the above jewel when I am a famous pote and pontificate over what is really only a bit of an observation.)


Mormon Boys

There’s some Mormon boys in the flat above,

On a mission, preaching about God’s love,

But their cistern leaks and drips and drips,

And drives me to the Devil!!!