Monthly Archive: October 2014


Pop to shop at Munn’s in the village
Percil, Kellogg’s, paraffin, butter, Bonio’s, a few rashers, Bryant and May, Rich Tea
Boxed up and on next Tuesday, with a nice chat with Mr Munn on the doorstep and eleven and three pence
Unpacking on the kitchen table.
Then put it all on the sticky back larder shelves.
Keep the paraffin separate under the stairs with the hoover. Matches in the drawer. Smart.

On her own
Widow? Quite young. Divorced?
Two titchy Pekes sleep on her bed.
nice woman, quiet, always smart even
Out with the Pekes, “Morning.” “Morning.” “Cold brrr eh?”
Nice thick coat in camel. Smart.

She walks all the way round, the circle, down the Rise, through the wood, up the hill, across and down again, to halfway No.15…
Every day.
Tidy garden, smart, no flowers even in summer, to speak of –
Hedges, a gate – No. 15, The Rise.

But today she unpacks
Let’s the Pekes into the back garden to run about. Smart.
The doors are locked, puts on her thick camel coat

The one she wears for walking
Goes to the cupboard under the stairs
where the gas comes in and the electric
where she keeps the Hoover and a few bits
And gets the paraffin.
Her thick coat soaks it up so that almost none of it is wasted. Smart.
She goes to the drawer and takes the box of Bryant and May matches
Her coat catches and she burns slowly, like a candle.

Tomorrow her neighbours at No. 10 remember her.
Rosalind (Ros.)

Garden birds

Lying in the backless garden headless
Warm on sun fed scratchy turf
We watched as chubby garden birds
Flew in and did turns for us.

We give them names
And whispered lives with voices
Played raucous on sloping tiled drives
To nested semi’s with gutter moss ponds.
Pouting they screamed and fanned
Neighboured each other with pecks
Cooed and keened song-flowers of love-birds
Till the sun slipped and they slept.

We lay on as the kitchen window curtain lit
And she shadowed and peeped out to us
Frail, fair, hair red, smiled to see us
We smiled back and waved
Our damp bed rose but we played on
Birds gone.

Now half one hundred on
Back on sun fed scratchy turf
We sit polite pairs in chairs with cake and that
Remembering the chubby birds
With voices that fly in turns
Despite the day, past, days, this day’s passing.

But a window shadowed curtain rests shut
And the birds sniff and laugh but can’t sing
They hang about here
Duff, Elsie, Sid, Hillier
Silent still all, with June gone.


In the bungalow down south, near the sea, with springy short lawn and a shed
In a room that should be for eating, a bed, two beds and
A low shelf, brow thick with varnish
It rests.

At night it hums darker than daytime.
Warm coils push the time along but it’s still only 9
Like me
And I must wait till
They or him or her are here to sleep near me

So my ears telescope the silence and some strains seep through
Tv people laugh
Grandad coughs his guts up
I lie taut in nylon sheets and a maroon shiny eiderdown

I know my clocks and this one isn’t right
It runs/hums without stepping, avoiding the cracks
No/. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 counting out the dark till a sandy slip of light wakes me up
Or I dip into dreaming until switched on to wake

The dining room is beef and blackberry rich with roll ups
Time is trapped by the fug. And the hum…
It burrs 9.15 past 21, 30. Fifty four. Then
Bong clock 10. Tv news strikes and vol. up

Tock. One half of one hour to pass
Grey topped voices assert against the hum but it’s louder now
No docile pussy purr it scratches, acid etching the varnish
The TV wrings back landing a fat punch
My air is knocked out and flat on canvas
I am beaten to nearly to deaf as

Grandad coughs his guts up on his way and
They or him or her are here to sleep near me.
Breaths silence the hum and I switch off.
In the bungalow, down south, near the see with springy short lawn and a shed
It will be morning and we will get a bus to Sandwich.


Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy

Hear to see

This is pretty much incomprehensible to anything other than a DECTalk Speech Synthesizer. 
If you try really hard you can probably pick out a few words from the phonetic spelling 
in Arpabet 
Frankly I would not bother as hopefully this serves as an "enticing" placeholder 
until I upload the spoken version - which I should add is taking forever to produce.
I don't want to put up a translation as this poem must be heard, 
read by a machine and not read, and heard in the head of a human.

[:np :ra 160 :pp 200 :cp 100 :dv ap 120 pr 150] (ignore these instructions to the synthesiser)

[ay aem ax t'uwrixst (`/fraxm! /W`ehl! [:ra 220] `yu kaen /pr'aabaxbliy) t`ehl [:ra 160] `ay g'ehs?] 
(this line reads "I am a tourist from, well you can probably tell I guess.") 
You are on your own from here onwards.

[hx’ay r’eh<250>z<150> kaelixf’owrniyax.] [s’aend, s’ihlixkaxn, s’ahn.] [hx’ihr tuh s`iy dhax p’iy<200>r<200>!_<200> str’eyt axhx’ehd)aend ‘awt tuh dhax ‘ihnxglixsh ch’aenel, t’uw f’ayv s’ihks gr’eyskeyl, ay aem relay<200>axbliy ixnfowrmd.] [ihts ehnjhixn’iyrd (axgehnst dhax t’ayd, dhax s’aolt, dhax sh’ihnxgel.] [w`iy aar “ao<150>l<200> hx’ihr.] [hxihm, hxrr, hxrr, aend miy, aend `iht.] [[:ra 80] miy, aend `iht. [:ra 160]] [ihts n’ayn*t’iyn ‘eytiy s’ihks, aend `ih<180,155>t<200> :np ihz w’ahn.] [miy,`ay aem tw “ehntiy w’ahn.] [ihn may \p’uh<100>sh<100>cher<220>r dh’ow.] [[:ra 200}`ay aem pr’ehpt (frr dhax r’eyn,`aol r’aept ‘ahp,l`ayk ey bf’ih<150>sh<200>,ihn gr’iy<120>siy<120> p’eyprr.[:ra 160]] [hx`iy p’uhshixz, sh`iy s’ahks (aan r’aak)aend sh`iy fl’ihp<100> flaaps, sh`iy hx’ahmz.] [fr’iy<200> (frr miy<200> _<200> /bl’uw /b’aejh, `yu /s`iy<200>.] [t’rrnstayl t’ihkaxts)aar /spr’aak<100>iytixd _<200> s’aaft, ch’iyp, aend [p’rrpel p’aasaxz.]] [‘aarsixz<100> _<200>(wihth /k’owts)aend /sk’aarvz)aend /s’aendelz.] [m’aen#)m`eyd)aend /str’ehchiy n<150>’aylaxnz, dh`ey s’iht)aend p’iy<250>r (wihth dhehr /’iy<250>rz<150> (aet miy<200>.] [r”awnd w’iy g”ow<400>, [:ra 180] m`eyd (frr w’ahn (aet ax t’aym.[:ra 160]] [ax /g’ey<200>t<200>( frr /miy, aend `iht, tuh g`eht (ihn.] [dh`ey m’aw<200>nt miy ‘ahp)l`ayk ax /k’aw#boy \tr’eyn, [:ra 200]th’rrmaxz, k’aemrrax, b’aeg, b’uhk,m’owr r’aak (frr/ hxrr,hx’aet, (frr /hxihm, aend /hxrr, b’aetrriyz, _ `aend /ih<200>t [:ra 160]] [hx’aenxixnx hx’ehveliy (ihn k’aenvaxs )fraxm dhax /hx’aendel /b’aarz. ax b’eyzh b’aaks. _<500,>d’ehk#taok v’rrzhaxn t’uw p’oynt z’iyrow)ihz r’ahnixnx.] [/w`iy aar y’uwzd tuh /iht.] [dhax t’uwrixsts t’rrn tuh /s`iy<200>.] [ _<200 , 150>wax<350 , 200>t, :np dh`ey s`ey, _<200 , 150>wax<350 , 200>z dhaet?] [may krr’owdixd ch’iyks)s`ey `iht `aol.] [_<200 , 150>’ow<350,200>, s’ow<350,200>riy. `ay<350,200> hxaev n’ehvrr hx’rrd w’ahn (baxfowr [_<100,152>d’rr<500,152>d’rr<500,128>d’rr<250,128>d’rr<250,135.6>d’rr<250,152>d’rr<500,256>d’rr<500,256>d’rr<750,203>:np] [w`iy r’ow<200>l ‘awt.] [sh`iy hx’ahmz)aend hx’ahmz, ehmb’ehraxst r’iyeliy, sh`iy wihl n’ehvrr)f’aynd iht f’ahniy.] [sh`iy s’ahks (aan r’aak) aend l’owdz dhax w’aokmaxn.] [gr’eyselaend.] [hx`iy p’uhshixz axs ‘ahp dhax b’owrdz, p’aest dhax p’eyntixd f’aetiyz)aend dhax b’ihts (axv fl’ehshiy w’ehtnaxs), towrd dhax pr’aw.] [n’aat r’ahshixnx, n’aat r’eynixnx y’eht, baht dhax \pr’aamixs /(axv, dh`ey s`ey?] [hx`iy t’ihps hxihz hx’ehd hx’ay#w’uhd, tuh s`iy dhax bel’uwnz, n`ow dr’aaps /y’eht.] [aend l’ow#w’uh<150>d tuh dhax b’oyz, axbawt tuh \kr’ay,dh`ey th’ihnxk.] [g’eypixnx, l’aefixnx, r’ehdiy tuh sw’aalow dhax w’ihnd.] [`ay f’ihl (ihn.] [dhax b’oy (ihn dhax b’ahbel, _ dh`iy<250,120>z aa<125,120>r dhax<125,120> d’ey<,120>s<100> (ax<250,120>v<100> m’ih<125,120>rax<125,120>kel<250,95>)aen<125,95>d [w’ahn<125,107>drr<125,120>.] [w`iy s’/ihnx.] [dh`ey,l’aef.] [parsrrz /b’ay (wihth l’aaliyz)aend str’ao k’aeps.] [n’ey<220>viy str’ay<200>pt sh’ow<200>rts kl’ihnx tuh p’ihnxk bl’ihstrrd /th’ayz.] [k’aofiy ‘ays, l’ihkt tuh p’iy<200>ks.] [dh`ey s`iy<150> miy<250>, `ay hx’iy<250>r dheh<250>m.] [`ay wuhd l’ayk tuh t`ehl.] [`ay aem dhax dixf’aolt v’oys.] [p’rrfehkt p’aol.] [ax b’ey<250>zh b’aaks.] [hx’ihr (aan dhax p’iyr, `ay aem hx’ihr tuh s”iy.] [`ay /r’owl.] [‘ayrrn, r’ahst)aend ‘owk, `ay hx’iyr `iht.] [aan dhax s’iy<200> s’ayd, `ay hx’iyr dhax s’iy<200>.] [`yu s`iy `ay aem /bl ‘aynd,] [d’iy, t’iy, ‘eh<170>m<100>, ‘ehf, m’ehlaxdiyz, str’ayk ‘ahp),aend `ay l’ihsen.] [hx`iy ihz /sp’iychlaxs.] [w`iy st’ihk tixg’ehdhrr.] [m”ahnxkiyz.] [hx’aenxixnx (fraxm k’aenvaxs str’aeps )fraxm dhax /hx’aendel \baarz, s’aymaxn, n’aat p’aol.] [hx`iy k”arnt s`ey<250> hx’ixm*s”ehlf, axv /k’owrs.] [‘ay /m’ahst.] [ay aem p’rrfehkt /p’aol.] [Chx`iy ihz s’aymaxn.] [ax d’uwow.] [_<500> duw<250,203.2>,duw<120,203.2> duw<120,181> duw<120,181>, duw<120,161.3>, duw<390,161.3> duw<120,152.2>, duw<120,152.2>, duw<120,135.6>, duw<390,135.6> duw<120,120.6> duw<120,120.6>, duw<250,107.6>.] [ax praxsth’ehtixk.] [n’aat ax l’ihm,n’ahthixnx pl’aestixk.] [‘ehr)aend br’ehth, m’iy aend `iht g’ihvixnx v’oys, hx’owldixnx f’owrth.] [ay l`ayk dhax s’awnd (axv may ‘own v’oys `iht s`ehz.] [hx`uw w`uhdent l`ayk /p’aol.] [p’rrfehkt.] [st’ihl.] [dhax \f’ihshrr f’owk, l’iyn)aend st’ihk.] [dh`ey,_<250>w`eyt.] [r’aadz)l`ayk axnt’ehnaxz tw’ih<150>ch<150> tuh dhax k’rraxnt, t’aot, dh’ey w’ey<200>t /t’uw<300>.] [w`iy<150> p’ ae<250> s (b’ay<400>, _ ax hx’ahmixnx, r’owlixnx, s’ahkixnx, s’ihbelaxns.] [[:ra 100]/aw’tsay’d (ihn, /baxhxaynd gl’aes. [:ra 160]] [[:ra 100]/b’eybiy gl’aes b’aobelz s’iyrd s’ihndrr t’aa<200>f`iy), aend bixn’aenax r’aak. [:ra 160]] [m’awthfelz dhaet ch’aep yrr t’aonxg.] [[:ra 120] ih’nsay’d ‘awt (baxhxaynd gl’aes)aend, [:ra 200] t’uw, f’ayv, s’ihks, gr’eysk`eyl p’iyks)aend spr’ey. [:ra 160]] [dhax w’ihnd n’oyz dr’aaps.] [dhax b’oy (ihn dhax b’ahbel, ihn dhax ch’ehr, aan dhax p’iyr, ihz p’uhsht p’aest.] [sh`iy, sh`iy, hx`iy, hxihm,`iht.] [[:ra 140] pr’ehs st’ahd ‘ahp (wihth ‘eh`giy k’aalrrz ),/towrd dhax \pr’aw. [:ra 160]] [fr’aegmaxnts (axv \f’ahn<100>fer<200>, n’aw fl’aet )axgehnst dhax spr’ey.] [w`iy /\l’uhk, sh`uhdent st’aap t’uw m’ahch ‘/ehniy#wey.] [ax hx’ehltrr sk’ehltrr st’iymz)aend /s’ihn<200>xks.] [/dh`ehn.] [`iht spr’eyz t/aa<200>psay<200>’d /daw<250>n _ v”rrtixkelz /naw.] [dhax k’aenvaxs s’owks `iht /’ahp.] [`iht ihz /r’eynixnx.] [w`iy l’uhk (towrd f’owrwrrd, wayl ‘ahdhrrz t’rrn, b’aekixnx ‘ahp (towrd t’awn.] [n’ow f’rrthrr, axks’ehpt (frr dhax ‘eybel b’oyz)aend axs.] [dhax r’eyn)p’owrz (thruw dhax sl’aets)aend (dawn.] [d “eyn”jhr)d”uw n”aat d”ayv.] [/ao<300>f dhax r”eylz, `aol (axv dhehm.] [n’ow m’owr dhaen skw’iykiy /t’ehnz.] [`ay hx’iyr `iht.] [b’oyz t’aytliy sk’ihnd, r’ehdiy tuh p’aap.] [‘owldrr w’ahnz b’iycht)aend b’ehnsht, r’aept ‘ahp)aend pr’uwft, s’iht `iht ‘awt.] [ahndrr dhax p’iyr, dhax t’eh<300>nz<100> b’aa<200>b (axbawt.] [s’ehvaxn sp’iyrz (axv ‘oyliy ‘owk)aar t’ehrixbliy kl’owz, aend dhax b’oyz b’aab kl’owsrr, aend p’aa<250>p, `ay hx”iy<250>r `/iht.] [dh`ehn, r’aept (ihn gr’ey w’uhliyz, w’eht, aend /r’ehd.] [st’iymiy, kr’ayiy.] [dhax t’ehn)ihz p’ahnxkchrrd, /l’iykixnx.] [may hx’aar<400>d, dr’ay<350> , b’ey<400>zh<100>, tr’ayz tuh k’aol.] [`ay skw’iy<150> k ixnst’ehd.] [s’eynt jh’aan)ihz (aan hx’aend, baht r’eh<200>d r’ahnz (thruw dhax sl’aets, [:ra 50]dawn ‘ay<300>rrn, r’ahst)aend ‘owk. [:ra 160]] [`iht p’owrz, v’eynixnx, dh`ehn sl’ihks.] [dhax b’oy<250> ‘eh<100> mptiyz.] [`ay hx’iyr `iht, aend n’ehvrr)fowrg’eht `iht.] [dhax bl’ah<250>d)aend b’oy<300>z /tr’ey<200>l<100> /aof.] [/karst /aof (frr th’rrtiy y’iyrz, dhax v’ey<230>nd p’iy<220>r<100>sl’ihps st’ehdiyliy.] [dhax g’eyts<100> _ r’ah<200>st /sh’aht.] [dhax l’ae<200>st sl’ae<200>ts /r’aa<250>t.] [ihn t’aym f’ay<300>r<100> s’ihndrrz dhax’owk, aend dhax s’iy \b’oylz /r’ah<250>st [\r’ehd.]] [axnxk’ahpeld, ‘aar b’iht hx’aenxz (aan.] [w`iy st’ey<300>.] [w’ehl, way n’aat.] [d’ey<200>njhrr ‘ax<250>n’sey<200>f str’ah<200>kchrr.] [/Koynd’eh<200>mnd.] [aend `iht /sh’awts.] [t’uw<300> b’ae<300> d w`iy st’eyd (aan aend w’ey<150>’ tixd, baht `ay k`uhd hx’iyr, aend s’iy, dhax s”iy, fraxm hx’ihr.] [dhax f”ay<200>r, m’ihst axs.] [n’ow#bahdiy ‘ehls st’eyd.] [axs’yumd l’aast.] [t’uw b’aed.] [aar k’aofiy<100>kr/’iy<250>m<100> p/’iy<220>ks _ <200> dr/’ihp, baht st’ihk f’aest.] [hx`iy p’uhshixz, sh`iy hx’ahmz, sh`iy fl’ihps, aend dhax b’oy (ihn dhax b’ahbel l’uhks ‘awt.] [aend p’aap.] [ay aem ax t’uwrixst (`/fraxm! /W`ehl! _`yu kaen pr’aabaxbliy)/t`ehl, `ay g’ehs?] [jh’ahst (ihn k’eyz, _<500,>d’ehk#taok v’rrzhaxn t’uw p’oynt z’iyrow)ihz r’ahnixnx.] [aend dhax t’ehn)ihz n’aw f’owrtiy.] [layk m `iy.] [`ay hx’iyr tuh s”iy<300>.] [st’ihl hx/’ihr.] [`ay hx’iyr /`iht.]

Chemo café

Chemo café

A delicate me, skinny me, nearly held by the arm
she kindly asks me…as we travel…
My stick her soft click and slip along at a considerate pace
we chat nicely passing by…

Until we pop into
a café cluster of undressed limbs and jackets
trolleys of packets – sugar shakers
every which way they sit up and read and doze and chat too while
signal sentinels dish out liquor
and she attends them and
she helps me into
a comfy chair Dettol fresh wiped
my place and a towel and pillow
“Lovely” a meringue folded under the hurty bit
“That’s great, thanks a lot”
Radio 2 is tuned and light
we wait for our bits or wait…
to check our order is just so

By my chair, my trolley, my packets, stripped one by one
over there lemon drizzle over bare cold caps
intimate with women and men sharing, dripping tips
warm soaked to elbows
towel dry
strapped my limb-bare arm bedded on a pillow
“Yes that’s fine.”
Taped tapped the liquor pops in
in for 30 mins…

Our chemo café is full now
No sticky sicky stuff, just throth, biscuit light
Buzz tickle the whispered hums
We joust and jostle our lightest stuff
No regard for the hard stuff
All good health and hearty

30 mins up.
I am untapped now and she can straighten up.
Time to wrap up.
“Bye, see you next week.”

Station Woods

Station Woods

Jean wee’d in the road opposite the station yard by the wood – station wood, I watched out that no one came. Especially BB.
Then we went and and slashed through stingers with sticks until we had pink bumps all over and they were flat. The leaves are wet and doggy lets lie in them – we did and then dug nose down to the leaf mould snorting out loud. I buried her in leaves with just her face out and stretched between her as a log. In between us grew red hot tips of buried fruit so poisonous – we pressed them for BB.
Out and about, we mucked and ducked and slogged through our leaf dams and ditches welly boot filled up deeper now, we could lay out a safe home with green furred tree roots and plaited creepers and dirt, and servings of bit soup and bark biscuits, we played at secret things behind the backs of lonelys with dogs on leads but not BB
he could not have a dog. Beside us ran a road, narrow enough to almost jump. Jean said jump I jumped and so she jumped her knees dented with grit mine too. A car or two to scuttle from blushing with fear for nothing just for hiding too much more anxious weeing in the road opposite the station yard was just coal and coke – old sleepers tarred men and we weren’t allowed in case of BB.
Then we found a crab. Pink too and whole hard shell. A monster big one. A dead tea we supposed. Chucked out for fun in a dustbin one of two that had grown while we were gone. We could have it. A pink secret for our home in deep. Like a star. Armour legged and clawed a weapon against BB. We let it be.

Her bench

Her bench

Our party stretched out ambled the path
dog trod dozy and hot
twenty or more of us daisy strung together
cousins, fathers, neighbours, sisters, children
buzzing with light chats and field flies.
He leads us in his shuffling suit and stick
Hush-puppy cork sandals and M&S
by the fields and up the hill to her bench
where we pause in awkward clumps
he sits first, alone now, looking through
a view she knew best, to her.

Back past to pictures, framed here
Kodak green, yellow with time, young
sprung with straw and sun and tea in cups in the garden
she poured the years here and there with
trips to Bromley sometimes by train
treats like coffee in Costa or new navy slacks
going to the sea or a cake or a library book or a record
of singing. She who loved this place.
We took turn to perch our flesh summer dressed
On her bench
Then we left her with him.



For dinner

The smell of stomach
Stomach full of gravy curds
Soaked in bicarb lumped milk-yellow and sick with thin lamb fat
Our slip slop swede boiled up in scuffed melamine by Mrs Grevitt

For pudding

Martin and I would swallow the prune stones down
Counting them down perched around the plate
Sucking them down like rough tadpoles
Coughing them up for fear of Grevitt

Clearing up

Jesus tacked on a fireplace on a mountain on a negro on a dinosaur
Lording it with red Grevitt
Spying my plate for illegal smeared scraps
My pockets filled with gristle and string beans and scummy orange sponge
Martin ate his


Alice wouldn’t eat hers and Miss Grevitt struck
Alice sat with her plate at her desk in the playground while we sat in inside
and watched and she didn’t cry ever and didn’t eat that shit.