Showing posts from September, 2018

Shoes on the Bank of the Danube

This poem was written after visiting the memorial in Budapest It was conceived by film director Can Togay, he created it on the east bank of the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer to honour the people who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. (Wikipedia)

Ruin Pubs Budapest

A short poem about the unique ruin pubs in Budapest. Definitely worth checking out. My favourite is Szempla Kert. It consists of many adjoining eclectic rooms all decorated in differing style...all quirky. Y wife’s favourite room was the chemistry inspired one...that you can see above. Beer could be had in conical flasks. Ruin PubsBooze, beer and broken houses
An atmosphere altogether uniqueAttracts night owls to their inner hallsEccentric decor adorns the wallsGraffiti, uniquely, not out of placeIn other lands, seen as a disgraceHere the atmosphere is electricSenses stimulated , quite eclecticMusic, magic, mayhem and madnessPulsating beats with a little brashnessArt, entertainment fully expressedDown in the ruin pubs of Budapes

What if there was no reflection? 

A poem about how we are obsessed, in today’s society, about self image. This poem explores how different it would be if we couldn’t see ourselves.

One More Lost Argument

This dark poem tries to reflect in a small way the pain endured by someone with mental health issues. Clearly not autobiographical, but elements are drawn from some of my darkest times.

Honeymoon Home

This poem was written following our visit to Elvis’s honeymoon home in Palm Springs. We had an amazing tour with only two other guests. We were able to sit on Elvis’ bed, see his bathroom and the pool in the back yard. At the time of our visit the property was up for sale. There was a danger that it could be bought by a developer who could knock it down. This would be a real disaster. Hopefully an Elvis fan buys it!

Three Amigos

Last night I spent a good couple of hours with my good friends Peter and Martyn. This reminded me of a poem I wrote earlier in the year about friendship. The pub you can see the two guys sitting in is the Rat and Ratchet in Huddersfield. This is a great micro brewery pub which serves great ales all “Rat” related. I think you can see Martyn drinking a brew called Rat in me Kitchen. Huddersfield is a good place to go for a real ale pub crawl.

Just Lying

Life beginsJust lying  Occasionally cryingThen crawlingSometimes bawlingFirst steppingConfident walkingHesitant runningStart cycling Stabiliser removingWobbly riding Long bikingSchool sports competingExams takingSome even passingUniversity startingDegree completingA bit of travellingWork commencingSerious datingMr and Miss right engagingA fairy tale weddingKids conceivingGender revealingBaby showeringPainful birthingLovely christeningFirst birthday celebratingWatch them growingSchool startingSchool leavingUniversity startingUniversity leavingKids marryingGrand children birthingFamily outingStart hikingThink about retiringFinish workingIncrease holidayingA bit of gardeningBack starts hurtingHips need replacingIncrease use of zimmer framingLegs stop walkingNeed supportingNo longer steppingMemory fadingFeel like bawlingStruggling crawlingJust lyingThen dying. 

Battle of the bulge

My life has been one big battleA battle against the bulgeWeight up and down since antenatalAlways wanting to over indulge 
On savoury and sweet thingsOn crisps, cakes and all Greggs bakesOn fish and chips and chicken wingsOn Indian curries and strawberry shakes
Never a healthy salad in sightNo nuts and seeds and stuff like weedsNo I like fried stuff all dripping with fatFulfilling my unhealthy comfort needs
So to compensate I have to runAnd run and run and run and runSome days it’s horrible certainly no funBut with all this crap I’m eating it’s got to be done
I keep saying to myself one day You won’t be able to burn off all those cakesAnd people will look and sayIf only less ice cream cones with flakes
Then as I wobble around the houseNot being able to do muchBut to watch tv and lay on the couch With food being my only crutch
I think to myself I’ll have to make the changeTo reform from eating oh so unhealthyMake the change and forever exchangeThe salad for the sweet and savoury


Flying high, high in the skyPeacefully watching the world go by When without any warningSomething quite alarmingI came over rather queasyPretty crap rather uneasyBeads of sweat on my browThe cause I know not howIn and and out of consciousness I was suffering serious distressCabin crew instantly alertedAs were passengers medically learnedTo my assistance they flockedTried to assess tried to predictWhat was causing the issueA solution for me to commit toDehydration was the diagnosisPlenty of water a positive prognosisThree water bottles laterStarting to feel much betterTo the wonderful people I metI will be forever in their debtThat I stayed alive On flight UA935

Couch to 5k

“It’s no good” she saidI will have to lose some weightAs she struggled to get out of bed“I want to have abs toned and tight”
There’ll have to be a stop to slobbingDoing nothing much just eating“Why don’t you take up jogging?”She thought I must be joking
“I’ve heard of couch to 5k”“A programme to help people like you”She looked at me laughed and said “no way!”“I’ve never been a jogger, it’s something I simply don’t do!”
Time went on she tried to resistBut I kept on naggingReally tried to persistPointed out the sagging
Several slaps laterShe gave in relentedAnd laced up her trainerTo a test run she consented
The first stage, a gentle walkTo get all loose and warmed upOut of breath no need to talkThe moaning started I said “wassup?”
“I can’t do it it’s just too much effort”“You haven’t started jogging yet”“Bugger off my legs are starting to hurt”“Come on love let’s build up a sweat”
I said trying to be motivational coachIf looks could kill I wouldn’t be writing thisI think on reflection was the…

Birthday Wishes

Every year on my birthday I get cardsMessages from friends, kind regardsSo what did they tell me this yearLittle ditties to fill me with cheerWell apparently “today’s your day”To have a brilliant time...hip hip hooray“Chin chin it’s your birthday “Have a splendid day”That card was fineDidn’t need to think about the rhymeBut on this day I’m “never too old”To do what? I’ve not yet been toldBut according to friends it’s going to be “Another Year Full of Adventure” you’ll seeEvidently some think I’m special even whenIt’s not my birthday..they need to think againBut my wife thinks I’m her best friendBut I really do think it will dependOn whether I’m doing my little choresLike doing the pots or mopping the floorsMy mum thinks I am special and wonderful To be so perfect can be so dullSome cards are left blank for creativityI guess they can hide their negativityAnd so to the last card so long had I waitedFor another birthday wish, slightly belated. 

Stop Chewing Dear

Take out your chewing gum dearI thought it’d be perfectly clearThat to chew when serving coffee or teaSo rigorously that we could easily seeThe bit of gum going round and roundSurely this bit of advice is not so profoundIt’s simply manners and customer serviceTo pay us the respect, simply stop chewing So that I can stop thinking about pursuing Another place to goTo drink my macchiato.


Bones creakingArms swayingLegs steppingMouth breathing Body achingPace increasingChest heavingStride growing Steps increasing Rhythm smoothingBreathing settlingSpeed enhancing Route coveringPride developingToughness improvingHeart beatingHeavy breathingEnd nearingFinish completingPride burstingGreat running

LED Street Lamp Rant

They’ve changed the lamps in our streetThere used to be an orange glowWhich lit up the path where you wanted to goBut now there are direct white beamsOf LED light, a good idea at first it may seemSaving the planet, now that must be a good thingBut these create sinister patterns, rather frighteningAs you walk along the paths alone at nightWho know whose lurking in the shadow that mightJump out and cause you grievous harm I don’t want to create unnecessary alarmBut please give us back our lightSo we can safely see at night. 

Growing Old

I am fearful of growing oldSo old that I can no longer liveNo longer independent, controlledIn a vegetative state where I outliveAll my friends, my wife, my generationUnable to run, walk or even crawlA parasite on the tax paying populationWhere each day I fear of an inevitable fallWhere no one cares whether I live or dieJust a burden to everyone around meAll I can do is stare aimlessly into the skyTry to remember when I was wonderfully freeWhen I had all of my life in front of meWhen joy came from laughter and funThe touch of my beautiful wife LesleyWhen there were so many dreams to be doneI am fearful of growing oldI guess this is a good thingSo choices made now can be so boldAllow me to be positive to everythingEmbrace life live it to the maxEnjoy every moment every breath I takeDon’t be afraid of heart attacksSoak in every second make the odd mistakeI guess I should be ultimately gratefulThat I have lived a long enough lifeTo be fearful of actually growing old. 

Carefree Summers

This summer reminds me of summers pastWhen endless glorious days seem to lastI remember lazy days, the ice cream manThe excitement when we could hear his vanPlaying tinny tunes to attract the hoardOf children who’d buy what their parents could affordI loved a 99 topped with sprinkles and syrupThere were no worries that we wouldn’t burn upThe calories as we didn’t know when to stopPlaying energetically outside until we’d dropI used to have a neighbour, a friend called MarkWe used to play tennis until it was darkWe dreamed of playing at WimbledonCompetitive maybe but lots of funSomehow in those days we were not afraidOf the sun in whose heat we endlessly playedThose days were carefree, happy and simpleA wonderful memory for me to rekindle.

Silent Running

Silent steps forming imperfect imprints With wind intermittently blowing in the hairGentle movement avoiding the sprints How far to go I really don’t careThe isolation and peace is deafening With breathing constant like a metronome tickingA clear focused mind is beckoning There’s no space for conflict no politicking. One step after another time passes discreetlyAsking no questions expecting no answers No worries in the world if only briefly With rhythm played out like well drilled dancers  Oh how this experience moves me so deeply. A feeling of freedom an experience to preachOf running free ecstatically alone on the beach.

Buckingham Palace

I’ve watched this place from afarBut standing there was bizarreAn almost surreal experience Once secretive, quite mysterious
But now I was standing thereWith fellow citizens to shareThe magnificence of Nash’s splendourBreathing in the history, a surrender
To the pomp and ceremony Which stand firm a testimony To our country’s Royal lineageParaded on such a glorious stage
Rembrandts Canalettos and Rubens Previous monarchs immense contributionsTo the Royal collection there on showPriceless pieces of art to bestow
But this is not a stuffy museumA rotting place, a mausoleum But the beating heart of our nationEmbracing the traditions of this generation
And every generation beforehandSome may not agree I understandThe value gained from the royal familyBut here on that day the real fantasy
Lived out by all those present, wide eyedCould not help to have a warm feeling insideOh how I wanted to dream and reminisceThat day in the State Room of Buckingham Palace.

Missed Sunset

Life’s too shortTo be self absorbed To be self consumedTo feel feel regretFor failing to noticeTonight’s sunset.


The briefing made it loud and clear That we would have to persevere To reach the summit, the iconic O2To witness a simply stunning view
I’ve got to admit I didn’t like the harness muchGave me a wedgy, too tight on the crutch The walking shoes completed the kitAnother reminder it would help to be fit. 
We made our way up stairs to the startThe gradient of the walk, a flutter of the heartHooked on the line we started the climbGingerly making progress not looking for a time
Step by step the vista magnificently appeared All our fears melted away, disappearedCanary Wharf majestic in the sunlight Seen at its best from this amazing height 
At the summit we were unshackled, let freeTo take in the view, pose for a selfieIt felt amazing, it felt like homeTo be on top of the Millennium Dome.


I think I suffer from ADHDAs my mind wanders about you seeI try to live my life in the momentBut rapid thoughts in my head preventA simple line of sight to see to concentrateOn anything for long. I know this doesn’t exonerateMe from any blame for poor judgement Or for not finishing tasks or being reluctantTo take responsibility for my actionsOr my occasional unexpected reactionsThere are some benefits that I can seeMaking quick decisions based on what I foreseeADHD though can be so tiringThe brain always engaged perpetually firingI would like now and again to have a blank mindTo relax and to discover inner peace and findThe reason for my tiring resistance The purpose of my chaotic existence.

The Handbag

There’s one place left on earthWhere no one living has dared to goWhere deep in the recesses anything can lingerWhere black holes look on jealously There seems no order to what lies beneathAnd although open is very much a shut caseWhere prying fingers face corporate punishmentAnd the thought of a foreign body being insertedBrings instant derision and has to be averted At any cost if you value your lifeYes there’s no stranger place than the bottom of the handbagThat protectively belongs to my darling wife.

Men’s Toilet Etiquette 

What is the protocol of a urinalWhen there are only threeDo I pee in the middle oneOr do I choose the far left Or take the far right optionWhen every other one is takenDo I try to squeeze in betweenAt the danger of nudging another Creating an unwanted sceneAnd what is it with blokes with beltsWho proceed to fully undo themIs it so large that they need the spaceTo position their massive manhood in placeWell all I know I’m tell you nowFor them to finally finishDo up their belt and leave the WCIt takes a bloody eternityNo good when you’re busting to goWhen stood patiently crossed legged in the queueNow there’s another bugbear of mineWhen you get a multi-taskerAble to hold Percy in one handWhile texting on the phone with the otherHow do they do it, I just don’t knowIf it were me I’m sure I’d lose controlAnd miss the porcelain and dribble on my toeSometimes you stumble across a shy oneWhen all the urinals are freeThey scuttle into the trapsAfraid someone will see their willy..perhapsSo thi…


It’s no fun when you get a puncture on your bikeIt’s a bloody inconvenience of which I don’t likeHissing away laughing in your faceThe bloody bike, it’s a terrible disgrace
It doesn’t make it easy with its tricky derailleur My frustrating failure very poor behaviour By the time the wheel’s off I’m up to the eye ballsIn black oily muck, when a passer by calls
“Do you need a hand” “No Thanks”I repliedPride before a fall, I was dying insideThe tyre decided it didn’t want to departFrom the wheel, so I couldn’t even start
To repair the stubborn thing at firstBut some elbow grease and I gave it my bestAnd all of a sudden the tyre gave way...passed my testOut came the inner tube all limp and apologeticGetting annoyed with this seemed rather pathetic 
Soon the new one was eased into place Ready to be pumped my saving graceWith some more clever dexterity the wheel was back onAnd the battle against the bike I’d finally won. 

The Prefab

They were only supposed to be temporaryAfter the war a structure to house the homelessWith an inside loo seen as rather contemporarySome may say that they were soullessBut to me the Arcon on Arcon DriveWas an oasis of fun when I was about fiveI used to stay with Grandma and GrandpaPlay football on a field at the back not farI would run in the garden round and roundPretending I was a train making a whistling soundI remember sitting at the table on a big wooden chairEnjoying mince and mash, a dinner beyond compareThere was no central heating just a gas fireTo go to the freezing bedroom I had no desireIn summertime I would watch with wonderAs grandpa tended his tommies and the occasional runnerI loved the prefab the house for the massesEven if they are viewed now through rose coloured glasses.

The Breakfast Buffet

Now I don’t class myself as a greedy personHowever when faced with a breakfast buffet feastIt doesn’t need any persuasion any coercionTo turn into a five course hungry beast
What is it when confronted with the temptationAt home I’d just have a bowl of porridge But on holiday I’m tempted to eat a small nationTo be honest I’m not sure where I find the storage
I often eat two big chocolate muffinsA bowl of Kellogg’s cornflakesNever mind the repercussions Some bread and cheese some creamy cakes
Some fruit to make me feel healthyA couple of donuts woofed downIn the corner hidden from prying eyes quite stealthy In coffee, tea and orange juice I drown
When the sun comes up at the beginning of the dayAnd confronted with the breakfast banquetI need self control and find a wayTo say thank you very much and politely decline it.

Wasting time

I made a big mistake this morningTo press my iPad on switchBecause without any warningAll best laid plans I had to ditch
First Facebook drew me inWatching other people boastAbout daughters playing violin Or husbands burning toast
Instagram then beckoned meJust asking to be pressedAnother follow for a wannabeInvoluntary action...couldn’t resist 
Time moving on time to read the Twitter feedReading some dross gave me the humpI could do without, certainly don’t needMore inane posts from Donald Trump
Time passed on another morning wastedOnly saved by the nagging of the wifeMy iPad threatening me to be updatedAnd the ridiculously short battery life

Block Paving

Cleaning my front drive block pavementIs not my kind of fun or entertainmentI’d spent weeks watching the weeds ignoringThe task that I knew would be so boring
So today out came my pressure washerTo clean separately each block right properWith the powerful machine in my hands And all the energy that it demands
Each block separately needed addressingOh god such tedium simply quite depressingSplashing the muck all over my feet Bloody hell I wish I’d got concrete
Buzz buzz buzz went the spraying machineAs hard as I tried it wouldn’t quickly cleanSpray splashing up windows and wallsOh god my beautiful clean glass she bawls
The vibrations totally gave me the jitters As a mass escape by the hiding crittersTrying to avoid a certain deathMore dramatic than in Macbeth
At last the job was finally doneHow can anyone see this as funSo here’s to a few precious months whenI’ll have to start the bloody thing all over again!

The Spirit Of Chartwell

The Spirit of Chartwell, a majestic craft Weaving a course through the Douro A resplendent vessel with a royal history Embraced by a few fortunate travellers Enjoying the natural beauty as it unfolds before them High in the hills terraced fields Soak in the summer sun Waiting for their time to come, to deliver their bounty Of grapes growing patiently on the vine  For artisans to use their inherited craft To ferment into perfect Port wine  An experience such as this can cleanse the mind A reminder of what’s important A recalibration of human spirit  Where there’s no limit with whom we can connect A life enriched with new friendships  Simple pleasures of good food and conversation A time for well earned relaxation  It will be a sad moment when it is time to say farewell  To the like minded folk Who traveled together aboard The Spirit of Chartwell. 

Bowel Scope Screening

Today that dreaded moment arrived
And thankfully I lived, I just about survived
My bowels were the focus of the attention
A camera up my bum did I fail to mention

The purpose of the procedure, big C screening
Which required an enema to do the cleaning
Can’t believe that folk enjoy this as a treat
Pay for the experience, make their life complete

Nothing glamorous at home poking
A tube up the bum with my wife hoping
That her involvement would be kept to a minimum
Wasn’t keen to insert it further up my bum

A little squirt and all was done, just needed a little fermenting
Time stood still until it was time to spend time sitting
On the bog until the concoction did its trick
The end result like a waterfall, all over quite quick

Next step was, hold on tight, and off the the hospital
Hoping and praying that I wouldn’t lose my bottle
In the waiting room I sat down nervously
Seemed a long time sweating profusely

Soon it was my turn, silently walking to my fate
To be told by a nurse the proced…


It happens every Saturday
A rag bag collective of runners
On a non work day quite early
All walks of life from lawyers to plumbers
Gather to do their weekly 5K
Now I’m not judging, don’t get me wrong
The bodies on display all shapes and sizes
Some chubby and short some lean and long
A pooch taking its owner for a spin
A mother clinging onto pram and baby
Waiting patiently at the start line to begin
There’s the obligatory announcements
With cheers for visitors and first timers
Three, two, one and all the contestants
The good the bad and the beginners
Are off on their circuitous journey
There’s the sprinters who rapidly set off
Their bravado doesn’t deter me
Overtaking them later, I’ll try not to scoff
Then there’s the kids who have no right
Their little legs rapidly running
At the third lap to be out of sight
A great achievement quite stunning
Then there’s the mothers meeting
Three portly women walking side by side
No deodorant needed, certainly not sweating
But get in my way that I c…