Harvest Traffic

that's one way to trim the nedges


Harvest Traffic

Country roads in Summertime,
Tractors bar the way –
Trailers towering with loads
Astride the hedged-in roads, all long-the-day.

Gathering the harvest in,
Kicking up the dust,
Making ev’rybody late –
Because the corn won’t wait, and so we must.

Scattering a constant shower,
Unintended sacrifice –
Stripped from golden fields,
Their yields are fattening the harvest mice.

And we shall gobble up the rest,
The bread and beer and morning flakes –
So patience, as we fume to pass,
And thank them by the glass and loaf and cake.

For that’s the price of country living,
Farmers have to move their grains –
They fuel, with slow agronomy,
The whole rural economy down twisty country lanes.



Déjà Fait

circle of death


Déjà Fait

It could be as simple and routine,
As lining-up the keyboard, square,
The practised switch to light the screen,
The pulling-up of a chair,
Or nudging the mouse, that nudges the brain –
With a ‘ho-hum, there’s that feeling again’.
It’s not even deja vu, just a mild surprise
It’s just a slow ‘oh yeah’ as we realise
That we did this very action in just this way
Just yesterday,
And we say ‘but that was only an hour ago,
Or maybe two, but not any more…’
But no – we know, we always know,
We’ve had all twenty-four since we did it last,
Our days tick by so slow and skip so fast.



Ovine Inspiration

focus photo of brown sheep under blue sky
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com


Ovine Inspiration

Barbara Blacksheep bears a name
Belonging to a shepherdess
(Or else a criminal, I guess).
But Barbara won’t play this game –
Whyever did her parents think
Her life should be a nod and wink ?

Barbara Blacksheep, twelve years old,
Is fighting hard against a path
Her name intends to telegraph.
Defiance, though, makes Barbara bold –
She won’t be traipsing downs and dales
From soggy Kent to chilly Wales !

For she’s a city girl at heart –
The only sheep she ever saw
Was supermarket mutton, raw.
She’d struggle how to play the part
She couldn’t be a wannabo-Peep
For anyone, not even sheep.

She doubts all that nostalgia, though –
They weren’t romantic spirits, free,
But serfs a meal from poverty.
Yet things have changed since long ago –
The modern herders of the moors
Use phones and drones and four-by-fours.

But then she sees a painting in a book –
A shepherdess amongst the gorse
Just leaning on her crook –
Rather chocolate box, of course,
With unshod feet and peasant’s dress
But in her eyes a knowing look
That said here was a shepherdess
That knew her pasture’s ev’ry nook
And knew her ev’ry sheep by sight
And knew she’d get them home alright.

She was maybe fifteen, sixteen,
Not much older than Barbara now –
The latter who would struggle between
Telling a sheep from a cow
Yet somehow, if she’d only end her war
Upon her name,
Then give her three years, give her four,
To give herself an aim –
And could she be that confident of gaze
To watch them graze ?

And so she got to thinking deep
About her future, taking stock –
And made a choice to guard the flock.
So Barbara Blacksheep will never lack sleep
Counting ev’ry one of her charges
As each bleats and bustles and barges.

She made herself a solemn vow
To shield her yearlings from disasters
As playing fields become her pastures –
For she’s a playground monitor now –
Her lambs aren’t sheep and kids aren’t goats,
But tykes in woollen hats and coats.




gray and brown insect on green leaf
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com



A single clap, a sudden slap,
A thud against a desk,
A backhand swat, a black-red blot,
A mid-air Arabesque.
Someone let the flies in,
Let the flies invade our day,
And now we’re exercising
An impromptu cabaret.
So jump up to that buzzing sound,
And waltz your tiny partners round –
Until we run these flies to ground,
This dance will play and play.



The accent is just intended to show that the middle syllable is the one that should be stressed.



Wish I Were There

switch off the office


Wish I Were There
I should be on holiday right now,
Instead I’m still at work
Still typing out reports that won’t be read.
I should be at the seaside
Cranking what-the-butlers with a smirk,
Then fish & chips on the prom, and late to bed.
I long to swap my bowler hat
For stetson, Panama, or fez
Instead of charting overheads
With Paul the Bore and dreary Des.

I should be on holiday right now,
Not swamped in endless work
While dreaming that I’m swimming in the Med.
I should be in a cocktail bar
With the just-met eyes of a sexy Turk,
Or a charming couple from outside-Leatherhead.
I long to be in Venice,
As my corp’rate stress unwinds –
But instead the sun is trapped behind
These beige Venetian blinds.



The Uncarved Block

stones pebbles wellness balance
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com


The Uncarved Block

Ancient wisdom always seems
To favour pure and nat’ral artefacts,
The stuff of philosophic dreams
Of unmined hills and untapped cataracts –
Yet crying for such simple ways
From modern lives of iron, wells and mills,
They lounge and think away their days,
While harder-working peers must hone their skills
To hew and dig and chop and grind,
And turn the world into a workshop floor –
To build the surplus so a mind
Has food enough to ponder nat’ral lore.



Longhold Tenancy

6 cats


Longhold Tenancy

A neighbour, it was, who alerted us,
Alerted himself by the muffles within –
Apologising for making a fuss,
“I’m no busybody, and she’s hardly kin,
That’s why it took me this long to call –
If only I knew my neighbours at all.”

I worked for the landlord’s agent, so
I grabbed my coat and signed-out keys
And hopped on a passing 220
To Fulham, above the Cantonese,
Lift not working, second floor,
With a gentle tap upon the door –

No reply, except some mewing –
So I rapped again, then risked the lock,
Announcing myself and what I was doing –
Sudden guest can be quite a shock.
Nobody home (though the stench was strong) –
It turned out I was very wrong.

She sat upon her sofa, asleep,
With two cats guarding her, agitated,
The kitchen another three cats deep,
And a sixth who snuck in while I waited,
Calico, Siamese, blacks and tawny,
Most of them hissing, all of them scrawny.

I knelt down beside the tenant then,
Gently touched the back of her hand –
The coldness a jolt, but I touched her agen,
And all I could think of was all I’d got planned
For that afternoon – all now postponed,
While windows were opened and constables phoned.

The cats were making ev’rything harder,
They’d made a mess, and were clearly starving –
I found some tins of food in the larder,
The way they fell upon it was jarring.
Flies aplenty upon the ceilings,
I fought down all my nauseous feelings.

The undertakers had taken her
By six, so careful and so unblinking.
I stayed away in the kitchen, shaken,
Stroking the cats to stop from thinking.
The PCs left the place to me,
The neighbour popped-in with a cup of tea.

“I don’t think she had family, really,
Kept herself alone, poor mite,
Except her cats, she loved them dearly –
What’ll become of them, tonight ?”
I scooped one up to work her charms,
Into his unexpecting arms.

Another neighbour took another,
I badgered the landlord to take a brace,
And one to my less-than-happy mother,
And as for the last, she’s at my place –
This job, right down to its chromosomes,
Is all about providing homes.



Breakfast in the Ruins

post apocalypse

Breakfast in the Ruins

This !  This is the time I’ve been waiting for,
When the cars leave the street and the planes leave the sky
And only the zombies are joining my morning,
While sensible people are waiting to die.

And I – I am a rare survivor,
Finally special – finally alone –
Scrabbling the rubble of civilisation
Shaking off every habit I’ve known.

I never said my fantasies were pleasant,
Wiping out humanity with barely a shrug –
But there they lurk, just itching for apocalypse –
Not some ugly famine, but a quick and silent bug.

Do I feel bad, now something is happening,
Finally happening !, to strangers I never knew ?
I’ve wished far worse in my many listless hours,
But wishing them does nothing to make them come true.

I can tell myself that this is all coincidence –
Out of my hands to cause it, or repair –
So I might as well relish the sudden upheaval
If this is our doom, then I’ll guess I’ll see you there.

But of course, thanks to the efforts of nicer folk,
We’ll probably survive this, and probably forget.
And I will be just one more drudge on the treadmill,
Still dreaming disaster to spin the roulette.



Ode to Laze

alone bed bedroom blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Ode to Laze

Lazy, far too lazy, far too idle,
Don’t ask me.
Far too needful of relaxing,
Far too dodgeful of all taxing
Action that disrupts my lethargy.
I don’t run when I can sidle,
I make sloths look suicidal,
Vegetate with pride –
So don’t ask me.



Y2 A-Okay



Y2 A-Okay

Nothing happened, and ev’rybody laughed
The calendar had clicked all four digits over
With not a single meltdown or mem’ry overdraft
Indeed, the new Millennium was very much in clover
We ridiculed the doomsayers, tarred and feathered verbally,
And claimed we’d never for a second fallen for their con –
Our tech was indestructible, whatever their hyperbole,
And got on with our daily lives as if the sun still shone.
And the calendars clicked, and on we went,
All thanks to the graft of the geeks we smear –
The lack of excitement their greatest testament.
We’re welcome.  Happy new year.