Invitation

Thanks for the invitation.

It’s really very kind.

But there’s this thing I have to do

I hope that you don’t mind.

Of course, I’d love to do the thing,

That’s where I’d want to be.

It’s really so unfortunate

That I just can’t be free.

 

Thanks for the invitation.

I wish that I could go.

It’s just that I’ll be busy

So, it’s a solid “no”.

I’ve got to hem my curtains.

I have to wash my dog.

I’m pretty sure that that’s when I’m

Upholstering a log.

 

Thanks for the invitation.

I’ll see what I can do.

I absolutely really want

To spend some time with you.

I’ll definitely be there

If I can find my shoes

And if there’s nothing vital

That’s breaking on the news.

 

Thanks for the invitation.

I wish I had the time.

The second week in August

Is when I take up mime.

But please feel free to visit,

Just text me on the day.

In case by some coincidence.

I’ve had to go away.

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night music

if i could sleep, i’d miss the night-time’s hum,

the distant rattling railway train,

the rolling empty tin.

i listen to this urban symphony

till light.

 

if i could sleep, i’d miss the thoughts that come

to gallop through my restless brain,

or settle down within.

that’s why i do not ask for sympathy

tonight.

Crow

There’s a crow on the horizon and it’s calling for you,

Can you hear its black wings flapping as it flies the whole night through?

You know it’s going to find you and there’s nothing you can do.

Just lie awake and wait until your time.

 

There’s a crow heading inland and it’s calling your name.

It’s burdened with a problem and it’s giving you the blame.

And when it tracks you down your life will never be the same.

Just lie awake and wait until your time.

 

There’s a crow upon your pillow and it’s laughing at your pain.

Its powerful unblinking stare is driving you insane.

You really want to run but know you never will again.

Just lie awake and wait until your time.

Heatwave

You can tell when the weather is pleasant

By the horrible presence of knees.

And the definite lack of deodorant

In the scents that waft in on the breeze.

There’s a ban against using your hosepipe,

The heat causes rail delays.

The weather man tells us it’s scorching

And predicts it will swelter for days.

There are photos of girls in bikinis

In the newspapers and on TV.

Everyone’s saying it’s hotter

Than the mainland of Spain’s going to be.

You can tell when the weather is warmer

‘Cause the shops have all run out of Coke,

And the neighbours are out in the garden

And you’re smelling their sausagey smoke.

You can tell when the Brits have a heatwave

As they’re telling you how they can’t sleep.

How the air in their room isn’t moving

It’s enough to make anyone weep.

It’s not that it’s much of a problem,

At least, not one that’s likely to stay,

Since glorious weather in Britain

Rarely lasts past the end of the day.

Bigots

I don’t believe that I will ever see

The world that I had hoped would come to pass.

As long as people let the bigots be

Then all their bitter thoughts will just amass.

While any look down on their fellow men

Then how can we expect a real peace?

The world will tear itself apart again.

Perhaps this time the killing will not cease.

Until such time as none are left alive

Or only those with means enough to hide

Beneath the battered soil where none shall thrive.

Which of us would be on the losing side?

The ones who strike the hardest in the fight?

Or those who try to do whatever’s right?

Silent Song

She sings in silence,

Note by note.

Mute melodics,

Soaring free.

In time, perhaps

She’ll find her voice

And sing her song to me.

 

She can’t remember

Her own voice.

Perhaps she hears it

In her head.

In time, perhaps

She’ll find a way

To bring it out instead.

 

She sings in silence,

Lacking words.

Her music playing

With no rest.

In time, perhaps

She’ll end the song;

It may be for the best.

The Mystery

From the edge of the park I see

The railway bridge and the Georgian row.

The rugby posts catch the setting sun

In a wooden frame.

The people walking by

Don’t see me where I stand,

Melting into the worn brick.

That suits me fine.

Sounds fly in from every side,

Even above, from the birds and planes

And swishing leaves paint a wash

Over the harsh clatter.

There used to be swings here

A lifetime and a half ago.

Tarmac and swings and laughter and fear

On the Mystery.

Cool

I’ve never been cool,

And I never will.

I wouldn’t even know where to start.

My clothes are not chic,

It’s often been said,

But I don’t ever take it to heart.

 

I don’t have that air

Of artistic style

That cooler people seem to exude.

And when they decide

Who to let in their clique.

I’m not the type that they would include.

 

My hobbies aren’t those

Admired by the hip.

My pastimes are decidedly tame.

There’s daytime TV

Or Radio 4,

And Scrabble is my favourite game.

 

Don’t want to be cool,

It wouldn’t be right.

In fact, I’d say it would be absurd.

I’d rather be me,

Transparent and drab,

But mistress of the 7-letter word.