3 – In The Garden

Poem number 3
In The Garden
The empty tree, stripped bare by thieves
The lawn now raked, the mound of leaves
And sitting in that leafy pile
My daughter with delighted smile
The sea of colour round her lap
Her little gloves, her little cap
Persuade me Autumn’s not so bad,
She scatters leaves, and runs to dad.


8 – Kinder Surprise

Poem number 8
Kinder Surprise
I opened up a Kinder Egg
A finger was inside
Not plastic, but a real one
From a person who had died
It smelt a bit of rotten eggs
The end was turning black
The bone was white and gleaming
And the skin was pale and slack
I felt quite disappointed
I’d expected something fun
But this finger wasn’t pleasant
Now its pointing days were done
So I took it to the bathroom
And I flushed it down the loo
And I’ll be writing off to Kinder
For a refund, PDQ!

78 – Deja Poo

Poem number 78
Deja Poo
Here again, it’s Deja Poo
The nappy was so clean and new
But now it’s filled with browny goo
So back we come again.
Kneeling at the changing mat
Wiping off the poo you’ve shat
We’ll be back soon, no doubt of that
Your poos are quite a pain.
But Deja Poo’s OK by me
I’m used to cleaning poo and wee
It’s part of loving you, you see
So back we come again.

131 – Daddy

Poem number 131
I was younger then, and fitter
When I’d run you up the hill
My feet flying, the pushchair squeaking
Your shrieks. Delighted, shrill.
I was younger then, and stronger
When I’d carry you upstairs to your bed
The day too much for you, rest needed
Your arms round my neck. Head against my head.
I was younger then, and busier
When I’d plan my days around your feeds.
Your eyes twinkling in delight at the sound of my voice
Your goodnight cuddles all that a father really needs.
I was younger then, and tireder
Exhausted by nightfall, sleeping little, waking soon
Your 5am cries for attention heralded another ticket for the merry-go-round
Your demands for breakfast. The way you’d always drop your spoon.
I’m older now, and weaker
There are no demands. My time is my own to do with as I please
You’re grown up and you can feed yourself
But I’m bored. I wish I still had to plaster your bleeding knees.

149 – Scared Of Mr Maker’s Eyes

Poem number 149
Scared Of Mr Maker’s Eyes
I’m scared of Mr Maker’s eyes
They’re circular, you see
Perfect little circles
Just as round as round can be
I think that he’s a warlock
Or perhaps a man from space
He’s certainly no mortal
With those eyes upon his face
So I can’t watch Mr Maker
But that scarcely breaks my heart
‘Cause in truth he’s only average –
Not as good as Tony Hart.

196 – Don’t Put Your Kid In Lycra, Love

Poem number 196
Don’t Put Your Kid In Lycra, Love
Don’t put your kid in Lycra, love, don’t make her dance and sing
Take her to the playground, love, and let her have a swing
Don’t put your kid in Lycra, love, until she’s lost some weight
Cut down on her burgers, love, put salad on her plate
Don’t sign her up for theatre, love, don’t put her on the stage
Don’t make her act for strangers, love, just let her act her age
Don’t put your kid in Lycra, love, don’t make her dance and sing
Just take her to that playground, love, and let her have a swing.

211 – The Bedbugs Never Bite

Poem number 211
The Bedbugs Never Bite
Where are all the monsters now that I am 43
And bedtime is a pleasure after one last cup of tea?
Where’s the trepidation and the fear of what’s ahead
And the terror of the eyeballs rolling round beneath the bed
I’m the one that did the hoovering, the one who locked the doors
And I know the house is empty, with no need to fear the floors
I can lie there in the silence, I can savour dead of night
Never fearing for my safety, never feeling any fright
I’m an adult, I’m a grown up, I’m too old for nameless dread
I’m too old for silly nightmares, I’ll have dreamless sleep instead
But although that’s right and proper and the way that it should be
Perhaps there’s something missing, something magic, something free
And perhaps that bit of terror at the creaking of the floor
Was a boon and not a penance, some excitement, nothing more
And the adults, all complacent, not afraid to douse the light
Are the ones who should be frightened, for the balance isn’t right –
There seems little point in living once the monster’s disappeared
Where’s the magic, or the wonder now the dark is never feared?

267 -Fading Light

Poem number 267
Fading Light
Gurning faced pensioners chew on their chips
Behind them are children with snot on their lips
Teenage girls giggle and tap at their phones
They wear too much make-up and look quite like clones
A mum with a pram struggles in through the door
The rain-cover dripping the sleet on the floor
The misted up windows, the chill in the air
The steaming hot cuppas, the damp frizzy hair
The smell of the chips and the burgers and beans
The sound of the seagulls and coins in machines
Three-thirty pm in this town by the sea
The autumn light fading on hot cups of tea
The chipped china mugs and the white plastic spoons
Eternally linked to these wet afternoons
So long ’til the summer, the winter ahead
Will creep like a sloth in this town of the dead
And yet, in this half-light, this autumn cafe
The memories will form and they won’t go away
And in my own autumn, when I start to fade
My mind will come back to this greasy spooned glade
And I’ll smile at the memory of scolding hot tea
In my England, my childhood, my town by the sea.