we talked for a thousand years
as we drove across
the bitchin’ wasteland
in search of shakespearoes
through drizzle dark and dreary
in our sleazy charabang
we came to a city in chaos
that teemed with men in black
and strange little girls
just strolling along minding
their own business
through relentless rain
and a wind that bit hard
we dreamt of midnight summer
and arrived at last
to the halls of exchange
where a queue of rodneys
were just hangin’ around
the air in there was pretty thin
but we didn’t go outside
to escape heady aromas
of methane and perspiration
we had enough time
so we waited instead
for the vaunted arrival of
the four horsemen
their gaze was mesmeric
and their instruments brought
forth sound that liquefied
the crowd and transmogrified
us into a pulsating surging amoeba
forgotten words from eons past
burst triumphant from rusty throats
and we sang the anthems of long ago
and stabbed the sky with flailing fists
greying men became young once more
and sallied forth to join the affray
as the gods of strangulation
upped the tempo and demanded
the presence of the nubiles
we sweated and cried and cheered
for more with shouts of encore
until the climax rolled over us
like a Sherman tank over
a horde of sewer rats
and we were the spent casings
of its high velocity shells
we left the great hall
never looking back
and ventured once more
to the wastelands
to where we live
and where there’s
Dedicated to the awesomeness of Jean-Jacque, Jet, Dave and Baz…but not forgetting the indelible contribution of Hugh without whom much of what has come to pass, wouldn’t have.
we found ourselves as two peas in a pod -
both rejected by those we thought we loved
so to heal our wounds we’d gone for a drink
out on the town to have a laugh as friends
we went as usual to the King’s Head
full of bikers but the best pub in town
then we worked our way through a couple more
of the most raucous and loud pubs there were
until we came to the good old Red Lion
that throbbed with the sounds of a disco night
we strode headlong into the teeming throng
and fought tooth and nail our path to the bar
unable to converse above the din
we people watched and laughed with our eyes
and then, what the hell, we joined in the dance
twisting and boogieing our cares away
then we noticed two other dancing peas
who were also having a great time too
my sister, always the one to dispel
illusions that might well be lingering
laughed over at the couple and shouted
were not together cos he’s my brother
the guy laughed too and shouted back to us
hey nor are we because she’s my sister
bear in mind that I’d never met the guy
so there was no way he could have known this
perhaps the cynic in him recognized
in me the same qualities he possessed
just from that sentence my sister shouted
his random but insightful sentence was
something which I will always remember
I bet he’s had a vasectomy too
I don’t recall much else about the night
but I think I went home with a kebab
< < < > > >
Continuing my Thetford theme, this poem laments the passing of many of Thetford’s popular drinking establishments.
I’ve supped a few pints in the Plover
and sipped the odd Rum at the Rights
it used to take all day to recover
from those hazy Thetford nights.
I used to drink at the Bridge,
imbibing bottles of Brown,
but it’s nothing short of sacrilege
that now they’ve closed it down!
We didn’t have to walk very far
if for a drink we were heard to clamour,
we could have a quick one in the Star
and end up at the Trowel and Hammer.
The Angel in the market long since fell
and you no longer hear The Red Lion roar
The Dolphin flounders in financial hell
- all yesterday’s pubs that exist no more.
But the saddest sight of Thetford’s past,
is the sorry shell that was once the Anchor,
by the river where its memories cast
fading shadows drunk with anger.
These are all pubs that I recall…
These are all pubs that have closed their doors..
that will never again be on the pub crawl,
when at ‘Last Orders’ you’d be on all fours.
So now we’re left with the King’s Head,
The Terrier, Railway and the Green Dragon..
The Chase is great if you want to be fed
or you can drink and be merry in the Albion.
But my friends, the point I make is this -
it don’t matter where you get your beers,
‘cos if another pub closes, it’s not the booze you’ll miss
or the kindred souls who all shout ‘Cheers!’
It’s the cheerful greeting from a happy face
where all the people know your name;
it’s the loss of the warmth of a friendly place
that would be the real shame!
But think of the problem if we lived in Bury town..
Consider the moral and ponder it well..
that if one by one the pubs all closed down
and the last to go was the Nutshell…
As an unexpected return to this blog after a few months of doing other stuff please find below true value for for your time with not one, but TWO new poems for your persual…and not only that, you get to see and hear me read them too!!
The poems concern my hometown, Thetford in Norfolk (that’s in the UK, England to be precise, for the more geographically challenged readers).
The first, Lets SoRT iT Together, was written in support of the town’s bid to become a Portas Pilot, ie to win funding to boost and develope the ailing town centre. SoRT IT is the name of the organisation set up to achieve this and stands for ‘School of Radical Thought in Thetford’
The second poem, Thetfordian Dreams, was written a few years ago and details how Thetford used to be and my love for the place.
The video of my reading of them both was taken at a local pub, The Black Horse, on March 27th 2012, at an open mic night where I was surrounded by some talented musicians and singers and I was the only poet.
Heres the video link: Thetford In Poetry
And here’s the poems:
LET’S SoRT iT TOGETHER
Thetford’s heritage is in our heart
our blood, our mind, our soul
For together we stand, not apart,
with Thetford’s future our united goal.
The ravages of time have taken their toll
and decay has crept to our very core
as the town has lost its historic role
as business’s fold and shut their store.
Past Civic design has shown its flaw
and absent landlords care not for their ward
our lackluster precinct has become a bore
and the needs of the populace are ignored.
And then came hope.. oh how our hearts soared!
The Lady of Portas announced her Pilot prize
so SoRT iT was formed and ambition restored
and Thetford looks forward with visionary eyes.
No longer do we hear despondent sighs
or fear there’s no future for our beautiful town
because SoRT iT sits down and supporters arise
and together we’ll work to restore our crown.
x x x X X X x x x
From the Priory ruins to Castle hill
And Joe Blunt’s lane to the river Thet;
These are the places that I never will,
As a true Thetfordian, ever forget.
The place of my birth was Melford Bridge road,
In the long hot summer of sixty-two.
The sawmills buzzed through an endless load
Of timber that once, in Thetford Chase grew.
The main A-11 passed through town
And Cloverfields was but green common land;
And cars were able to drive right down
Old King street where I now stand.
Roman invaders left their mark,
Overlooking us now from Gallows hill;
A headless nun walks the bridges at dark
And the legend of the Iceni, lives here still.
Thetford has bred many men of note,
They’ve claimed their place in our history book:
Burrell for steam and from Paine we quote,
So for future pride, to the past we must look.
There’s not many a man, born so proud
Of his heritage and his past,
But I am, and I’ll say it loud-
I’ll love this town to the very last!
x x x X X X x x x
I know she wishes
she was a witch
and able to
the ether and
place them in
apparent I turn
my head and catch
she smiles first
and I say nothing
for I’ve won this
but it’s only
the start of
< < > >
Don’t tell me to remember!
I will never forget!
The phone call from
a nameless doctor,
I know what today’s date is!
Can I ever forget
his spoken words?
It’s the 5th of November..
a day we can’t forget!
I cried a lot.
We all did,
and more yet…
As still they celebrate with
sparkles after sunset..
And we still live,
and still love,
and will never forget.
RIP Dad… 29.04.39 – 05.11.09