Qwerty Sonata

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Qwerty Sonata

I can hear her fingers dancing, dancing,
Over the keyboard, rat-a-tat-tat.
The tempo always five-to-a-heartbeat –
I can tell her typing, wherever she’s sat.
Her fingernails, a little too long,
A tambourine of bracelets, an octave higher,
Grounded by the bass of the spacebar,
And the leak of her headphones bringing the choir.
  
I can hear our fingers dancing, dancing,
Stretching for shift, then back to home –
The double-letter quavers, the patter of delete,
And the rhythm of return as a metronome.
But not all keyboards are tuned the same,
Staccato or reverb in stroke-length and gauge.
I like it the most when we harmonise together –
An orchestra of typists, filling up the page.

Crisp Pages

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Crisp Pages

I borrowed the book from the library, years ago,
From a casual glance.
I fell in love with her title, I had to know
What on Earth she meant.
She promised me adventure, she promised me grit,
And an epic romance.
And over a sleepless week I devoured her wit
Till my lust was spent.

I stroked her crackled spine and embossing,
And tried to read her all again,
But couldn’t concentrate my brain –
Until my mum returned her, unawares.
In later months, whenever I was browsing,
I hoped to chance upon her between the heavyweights,
And see how many readers had stamped her with their dates,
But someone had purloined her, made her theirs.

I sought a copy later, long out of print,
For a foolhardy sum –
She sits on my bookcase still, and perfectly mint,
If gone a little brown.
But it’s good to know that she’s always there, close by,
For a time yet to come.
Though to tell the truth, I’m terrified to try –
For what if she lets me down ?

Is she quite as good as I remember ?
I just recall her basic plot,
And ev’ry year there’s more forgot –
But that, I always say, just makes her better…
Can she be as thrilling and as tender ?
Can all of her details make a striking whole ?
For that’s where the Devil lurks, and so does her soul.
I think I’d rather lose her all than regret her…

Ferris Wheel

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Ferris Wheel

We both deserve better,
But we’re never gonna find it –
I know that we’ve settled,
But I kinda just don’t mind it.
I know we’re on the slide,
But we’re sliding not so fast –
It’s been a longish ride,
Neither bumpy nor a blast.
So how it is that we just seem to last ?

I know I oughta leave you,
I feel like I deceive you,
I feel you feel it too.
Yet once we’re at the top, it’s such a view !

I’m terrified to go,
But I’m terrified to stay –
Things are, I don’t know, kinda sorta okay.
I’m never gonna gush,
And I’m never gonna swoon –
So really, what’s the rush ?
I know that I will still be here in June.

Less roller, more coaster,
Less helter, more skelter,
Both tunnel and love,
Both fallout and shelter.

We both deserve better,
But we just don’t hate the norm.
Why be a go-getter
When the water is still warm ?
I feel we oughta shake up,
Into separated lives,
We’re waiting for the break-up
That never quite arrives.
And round and round, our roundabout survives.

You know you oughta leave me,
You think that you aggrieve me,
I think I disagree –
I’d rather stick it out than be set free.

I’m unconcerned to stay,
But I’m nonchalant to go –
Let’s wait another day, then, before the big heave-ho.
And most times aren’t so rough,
And you’re far the best I’ve known –
I don’t love you enough,
But I love you more than living life alone.

Traps & Loops

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Traps & Loops

I’ve got a sampler at my feet,
I’ve got a long synthetic beat
I’m strumming my guitar,
But there’s no-one on the stage but me…

It backs me up just fine,
And it always keeps in time
When I’m strumming my guitar,
But it never lets me change the key

I’m a one-man band
With my digital friends,
Just playing a solo that never ends.
And I can’t speed up,
And I can’t slow down,
So see me next week in Camden Town.

I’d love to sing a duet with someone
Who’s backing me up in analogue.
Could you syncopate me, someone,
To put some roll in my rock ?

I’d love to thrash about the stage,
I’d love to whip you to a rage,
But I’m strumming my guitar
To a hundred-and-twenty beats, inspite.

I’d love a ballad to unroll,
I’d love an easy slice of soul,
But I’m strumming my guitar
To a hundred-and-twenty beats, all night.

I’m a one-man band,
And it takes too long
To set up the backing for every song.
So I can’t slow down,
And I can’t speed up,
So see me next week in Lower Sidcup.

I’d love to sing a duet with someone,
Without the need of a metronome.
Could you be my freestyle, someone,
And let my tempo roam ?

Freestyle

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Freestyle

Love, like jazz, is something I’ve never braved,
It’s never been in my bracket.
Never been tempted, never been close-shaved –
Whatever, I’m happy to lack it.
But you demand my offbeat soul be saved,
And freed from its long-sleeved jacket –
Assuming me as crippled and enslaved,
Or thinking I just can’t hack it.
But I have all the fellowship I craved,
Without it costing a packet –
So love, like jazz, has passed me by unscathed,
In all its faff and racket.

Know your Onions

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Know your Onions

The onions always made you cry,
In ev’ry fry-up, soup, and pie –
But that’s what onions do, I guess,
They leave all chefs in such a mess.
And so you had to drop them out
From roasted duck and sauteed trout –
You didn’t trust, as master cook,
They way they always made you look.

Instead, you turned to garlic,
And gazed beyond shallots and springs –
Your eyes no longer marked by onion rings.
You tossed the cloves in thick,
Undaunted by my teasing quips –
“Is this to stop me kissing other lips ?”
Until, at once, you were gone –
You said it was to breathe fresh air,
To peel back the layers of life and see what’s there.
And yet, you linger on –
It’s been three days and a dozen beers,
Yet still I taste your garlic in my tears.

The Horticultrix

Sprintime by Pierre-Auguste Cot

The Horticultrix

She worked for the council, she mending their greens,
And their roundabout gardens and motorway screens.
She weeded their paths and she tended their sprays,
And swept up their cherries’ displays.

Her hedges were sprinkled in sloe-blossom white
As I asked if her lanes were a primrose delight.
She plucked me a buttercup, proffered with thanks –
As dog-violets guarded her banks.

We kissed to the hum of the first of the bees,
As the belfries of bluebells all chimed in the breeze –
And daffodils trumpeted Springtime unfurled,
As fiddleheads flexed and uncurled.

The teeth of the lions were under our thighs,
And they ev’rywhere shone from forget-me-not skies.
We trampled their verges, enrapt and entwined –
The daisies, though, seemed not to mind.

She showed me the places the tulips grew wild,
Aloud and ablaze, then eleven months mild.
Their flowering passion so vital, so brief –
And ashwoods were not yet in leaf.

The lords and their ladies unwrapped their white cloaks,
And the crockets were sprouting on beeches and oaks.
Our lessons botanic were daily resumed –
At least, till the mayflower bloomed.

Chance Encounter

Her Day Out by Tony Pro

Chance Encounter

Has it been so long ?
Has it really been so many years
Since last we greeted one another ?
Since we said goodbye in tears
After it had all gone wrong…?
Yeah, I guess it has been after all.
Are we about to rediscover
Why we never tried to call ?

I can’t believe it either…
I guess they don’t make years like they used to,
Back when we were foolish-young –
Of course, I never thought I’d lose you…
Never thought I’d win you, neither,
Yet, back then, I guess I did,
Until experience had stung,
Reminding me I’m just a kid.

We had some fun, though, didn’t we…?
It’s coming back – the better times,
The silly, noisy better times,
When life was there for living.
We had a good run, you and me,
Before the arguments and guilt,
Before the milk was spilt,
Before each second-guessed misgiving.

Has it been so long ?
Has it been a lifetime since we spoke ?
It all seemed so important,
And so ruined once it broke.
I guess we came out strong,
We both have landed on all-fours.
It’s good to see you, even sporting still
That wayward smile of yours.

Sprung

Rue by Rodney Davis

Sprung

Now that Winter’s easing,
And the Sun is breaking cover,
Then what could be more pleasing
Than to wake from hibernating with my lover ?
And as the sap is rushing
And the Spring is turning bold,
Then what could be more crushing
Than to hear she wants to clean-out with the old ?
We’d clung to one-another,
While the Winter held us in its thrall,
I thought she was my lover,
But I guess that April makes fools of us all.

Now with lambs in clover
And the daylight on the rise,
So she wants to be a rover
And she wants to try the Springtime on for size.
She slips out after equinox
With all the world at play,
By the changing of the clocks,
Then I know the cruellest month’s not far away.
With the first song of the skylark
And the golden tulips growing tall,
She’s off to find another mark –
I guess that April makes fools of us all.