Thursday, 30 December 2010


Granny, Christmas 2010

We've got a coloured vicar now
He's ever so nice
We see him and his wife
Out riding their bikes.

Was it last Christmas
We went to the service?
I haven't been since.
And we don't
Get the church magazine
Any more.

Steve and Fiona called
She said something about
Selling the house, or -
I'm not sure.

I haven't sent
Many cards this year
I've lost my list.
Denise moved it,
I think,
When she was last here.

Anyone for a drink?
Coffee, tea?
We have a cup
Before bed,
Don't we,

And biscuits?
That's it,
Help yourselves.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Luke's take on yoga

When doing yoga, I apparently resemble a frog in most positions.


'Are you stuck?'
'I'm doing yoga.'
'You look
Like a frog.
Is that one called the frog?'

'This is child's pose.'
'Child's pose, that was;
This is downward dog.'

'You still look
Like a frog.'

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The People Who Hide In The Bushes

Continuing the games theme.... Tonight I played Scrabble with Suzie, Charlotte and Emma. (Good game girls.) Then I turned down a lift in order to walk back from Diggle to Delph. Charlotte was fairly worried I'd get got by The People Who Hide In The Bushes, but luckily I was fine. And I even made up a poem on the way.

A walk home

Crunch, crunch, crunch,
The snow
While my silhouette
Shrinks and grows
In front of me.

Occasional cars
Dash people indoors
But I
Would rather be out here
With the harsh air,
The view
Across the valley,
And those two
Horses I saw earlier today,
Still standing
In almost the same place.

I'll be ok
There's no one hiding in the bushes.



I played Things last night with Liz, Cat, Rob and Louise. Kier did his usual lurking-in-the-background thing, popping out to 'socialise' just as I emerged from the bathroom.
Kier: Did you do a poo?
Me: No
Kier: Yes you did, I can smell it.
Me: (Splutter) Liiiiiiz, Kier's making me feel uncomfortable. Again.

ANYWAY. Things I've lost: My favourite gloves.

The Lost Gloves

I had these amazing gloves
And I lost them.

Actually, someone took them
From the ladies
In the Old George
(Borough High Street)
When I,
Took them off
To have a wee.

They were greeny-
Turquoise, stripey,
Long and fleecy.

They were a present
From my mum

And I mourned
Them by moaning
At length
To anyone who'd listen

And rejecting all other handwear
As not long
Or warm
Or turquoise enough.

In fact, I think I know where
I could get another pair,
Pretty much the same.

But instead
I think I'll leave them
As an abstract,
Unattainable ideal
To which no subsequent pair
Will ever
Match up.


Thanks for the risotto Liz! (It had peas in.) And Kier, I honestly didn't.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Cushions: Mum's response to my response

I just read the cushions poems to mum, and before I knew it, she was off making up her own poem, without even realising.

Cushions: Mum's response

Some of my cushions
Are decorative,
Like on my bed.

And I've always got one
On my rocking chair.
I think it's because
It would look lonely
Without one.

Some of my cushions
Are silky and slippy,
Which can be quite

But I wouldn't be without them.

They're just always there,
Aren't they?
I can't sit without one,
Have you noticed,
I've always got one?
Not on my tummy,
But here,
By my side.

By the way, what mum actually said is, 'Some of my poems are decorative.' I assumed she meant cushions, but it's quite nice to think she was talking about poems the whole way through.

Cushions: a response

This is a response to Phil's cushions poem. Because we are SO hip and happening that we spend our time discussing our experiences of cushions and then writing them down.


Even though you are lumpy,
Old and ugly,
I still hug you.

You are not really mine
But I've grown
Used to you,

Can't quite settle down
Without you
Tucked up on my knees,
Hugging my tummy.

You don't care
If I'm tired,
Feeling dumpy
Or low
When I slump
On the sofa.

You just absorb
Some of my warmth
And give a little bit back.

And yes, yes I have spent the whole day indoors, on my own.

My new hero

Travelled up to Manchester from London yesterday. Took a bit longer than expected, but I discovered (and fell a bit in love with) JANE.


'Good morning,
This is Jane,'
Her voice came,
Warm, reassuring,
Through the tanoy.

'I'm your train
Manager today
And I'd just like to say
I'm very sorry for the delayed
Departure of this service.'

Which was caused,
She explained,
By iced-up
Tracks at Clapham.

'Tickets please!
Though I do feel skanky
Asking for these
When we're running so late.'

We'd not long got going
When frozen points
Caused further congestion
At Wapping Junction.

Jane tried her best
To outline the situation,
Her voice full of empathy
For her passengers' frustration.

She sympathised,
In Northern tones,
With those
Who'd mistaken
The train's destination,
Providing information
On the best routes
To Glasgow Central.

And she condoled with passengers
Who should by now have been on cruises,
If only BA had bought enough de-icer
For their flights.

'I do hope you'll all end up
Happy this Christmas,
And I can only apologise.
This weather really does
Mess up
The train lines.'

We slowly
Approached Rugeley,
Where engineering works
Had overrun,
Then took a diversion
Past Northhampton
To avoid icicles in
The Shugborough Tunnel.
('I promise,
Jane said,
'This can't get any worse.')

She was right.
And at last
We passed

The last of which Jane announced
A few minutes in advance,
Keeping us updated
(As ever)
On her status:
'There are two passengers here
Who are rather drunk,
And they do want Stockport,
So I've just got
To go and rouse them.'

Thanks Jane.
You were amazing.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

One good thing about the tube...

Escalator kissing

She seemed

She was pretty,
She got him

She fitted easily
Into his life.
(Their respective heights
Were just right
For kissing on escalators.)

But then
He realised
She was one of those people
Who borrow things
And never give them back.*


*This is a joke. I do give things back.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Hello! Who are you then?

It's the Christmas holidays : ) Off to Saddleworth tomorrow. Won't see Phil for a bit so here is a poem featuring him. But mostly it's about ME.

Hello! Who are you then?

You know how
When you meet someone new
You can tell you
Really like them
When you keep bringing them
Up in all your conversations?

(At The National Gallery,
Looking at Renaissance masterpieces,
I said,
'Phil draws...')

You can also tell
Because you do the same thing
When you're with them
But about yourself.

Trying to fill in
As much as possible
As fast as possible
By spilling out
Random anecdotes
From your past
Of immediate relevance.

'We used to always
Go to France...'
'When my grandparents
First met...'
'That's so
My grandma
Lives in Coventry...'
'At my friend's
Stag party...'
'I'd love to go there...'
'When I was last in Tanzania...'
And so on.

So really
You get to
Meet two new people
(One of them is you).
Oh! You can say
So that's
Who I am,
That's the way
I talk
And laugh
And these
Are my formative

How interesting.
Hello me
Who are you then?


Wednesday, 15 December 2010


I've been feeling like I've got tonsillitis. Or possibly laryngitis. I don't have any poems about my larynx. However, I do have one that features my tonsils.* (I've been waiting for a way to crowbar this in... Almost makes up for having SUCH a sore throat.)

Just a check-up

I could sense 
Your shape:
The unmistakable white shape of you,
As you prepared 
And then approached
While I lay,
Wordless, waiting.

You came closer
Then slowly
Bent over
To check for cavities
In my lower molars.

Your moustache twitched
As you chipped
Away at the plaque
Encrusted on the base of my incisors
You were chipping away at my heart.

My tonsils flirted with you
Slightly swollen red harlots
Inflamed and 
Unashamedly pulsating
In glistening nakedness.

‘Any problems?’ you said.
‘Ungh ungh ungh,’ I replied.
As saliva dripped
From my loose, impotent lips.
(You didn’t
Wipe it off.)

‘Take a rinse,’ you whispered.
But the taste of you
Stayed behind.

*While the tonsils in this poem are based on real-life tonsils, the context is entirely fictional; my tonsils have never, as far as I'm aware, flirted with any dentist, moustached or otherwise.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The mess...

I wasn't going to post anything today but Sally's just emailed to say she's enjoying my poems, hurrah! So, this is for Sally.* And also for me.

The Mess

Don't let the mess
Depress you,
I said.

And don't think you need to impress
Me (or anyone)
With a tidy room
Or a tidy life.

It's OK
To be messy.
And if you have the time
To clear everything away
That's not
A good sign.

The mess is benign.

I've just done that thing where you look too closely at a familiar word and it becomes absurd. Messy, mess, mess, mess, messy mess, messiness. Gahhh!
*Not because I think she's messy! I just like her and I also, separately, like this poem.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

(I have)

Look! It's Sunday, and for once I HAVEN'T written a depressing poem about feeling depressed on Sundays! Instead, here is one about fruit:

(I have)

Have you ever been
By a nectarine? (I have)

A lusty, juice-bursting invitation to sin,
To sink
Your teeth in,

Pierce its delicate skin,
Send sweet streams
Down your chin.

Best not to offer it to guests
Unless you've tamed it first,
Chopped into decent, mouth-sized chunks

Hide your sticky fingers
(When no one's watching
Lick them clean

Friday, 10 December 2010

Secret soup

Phil just admitted, I quote: "The extent of cooking of the vegetable stew first time round means that when re-heating from frozen, it's pretty much soup."

I knew it.

Secret soup

He said it was a stew
But I knew
All along,
That it was in fact

Because Phil LOVES soup.
He 'eats' it daily.
He enjoys spoons,
I assume,
And dunking

So I knew
As he added more veg,
'This is just chunky
Soup!' I said.

But no, he replied,
It's stew.
Now let's leave it to soup
- I mean stew -
In the juice
For a while,
Until it's blender
- er, I mean tender.

Whatever it was,
Was delicious

(It was soup).


I wore these today

New Trousers

So I've got these new trousers
They're green
And tapered,
Kind of like jodhpurs
(Very 'in').

They accentuate my bum
And come
Up to where waistlines used to be worn
Back when mum
Was younger.

They're good for cycling,
Ready clipped-in
Round the ankles

And they make me feel thinner,
I think.
(They do make my bum bigger,
But it's really
My tummy
I worry

Well, ok,
So I may not have the figure
To really pull them off
But fitting in
(In them, not in fashion)
Is the main thing, I reckon.

And size 12 is alright with me
(Who wants to be a 10?)
So thank you, H&M.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

I heart... cycling

Got a flat tyre today. Rubbish. : (
I wrote this on a day when I was feeling happier about my transport situation...


Thank goodness for cycling
In London
At nighttime.
The city,
All lights,
So pretty.

Later the better:
Clearer roads
Clear my mind.
Known routes soothe

And views
From bridges
Make me stop
And look
For someone to tell or show

Then aloud to myself,
"Too beautiful, too much"
And off I go.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

In memory of The Lost Bag


'I've got a safety pin
In my pocket
Do you want it?'

Is what I could have said
But instead
I just stared
At the large hole
In his bag.

I really did have one,

Also true.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Because Phil has a blog and now I want one too! Also, like many other people I feel the need to validate my own experience by constantly updating my status. Except currently, this means writing in a notebook that no one else reads. So this is like my notebook online. With some of the more depressing bits removed (I'll try to keep my poems about feeling rubbish on Sundays to myself...)

See, this poem is about a duck! Ducks aren't depressing, right?

The quay

I cracked one eye open
Like a dragon
Guarding gold
Was it the phone?

It was a duck
Doing an impressive imitation
Of a phone.

4 Dec 2010
True story.