Poet's Tea

November 29, 2004

Party line

First line overheard in the kitchen at a party.

Grin not at me from afar
Sweet lady,
Or flood me with the darkness
of your glance

But dance,
hips rolling with the shoreline drift.

Catch me not from afar
Sweet lady,
Closer, now

So we may forget ourselves
As the day begins again.

November 25, 2004

Being overheard

We split the crunchie bar
Not quite an even match, we halved the rest

This done theatrically,
for the sake of bored commuters stifled snorts.

A member of the carriage audience
Leaning with half-closed eyes against the glass compartment
Scribbling the day down, before it hid from sight.

In her, a reflection
Like our distorted images
Staring back at us, unrecognising
in the curved blacked window of the late night district line.

November 23, 2004

Slight Obsession

Today's wordy bollocks is E.E.Cummings related, as his biography is just out and I am currently harbouring a slight obsession about one of his poems (linked on the right over there) particularly the last line:

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Ode to the super-pill

Bubble-wrapped freedom
Helpful as a diary
informing which day is stumbled on
through steamed morning eyes.

You'll help me pound the concrete races too, I hear.
How appropriate;
It's on the road I am myself.

November 22, 2004

These, and other fascinating thoughts...

Pyramid Tea Bags: Does the tea taste better?

Almost alone

From an observation of a stranger on the tube.

It is impact
When I blink back
Tears on the tube.
Remarkable, how I'd remarked
On someone else - the same
Tired face and forced concentration
To last the journey,
Waiting for the sanctuary of solitude.

Early Christmas Searchlights

Patrolling the floodlit sky
Over pavements
Rammed full
Of organised early christmas shoppers.

Strip the sparkle
Throw beams to the night;
Early Christmas searchlight
Confuses rare pedestrians
That look up, when they walk in the city.

November 19, 2004

Ode to the *Straight* Chess Playing Stranger

We met in Clement's Inn Passage
Autmnal carpeted alleyway
Policed by security guards
From Tower Three

(Their mode of glee
Is to make noises from speaker
To watch you jump eight inches from your skin.)

I digress.
You'd played chess
Unable to find your way
You'd asked me for directions.

Soho-bound, you were
Off for drinks;
A friend.
"How nice", I said

"Not any sort of a gay sort of a friend" you said.

November 17, 2004

Weather Warnings

Like a lottery,
Walking through the office door.
Tropical, thick-aired climes
Or Arctic breezes
Whipping around shivering figures
Huddled at computer terminals for warmth.

I know there's someone playing these controls

Watching us

At our communal discomfort.

November 14, 2004

In all its simplicity

Through water-flecked windows
Under dimmest of light
People in London
Aboard - taking flight.
Through sodden green landscapes
Their carriage is bound
The weekend begins
With the signaller's sound.
Away to the hills
From the smoke,
From the City

Rush-hour is longing
In all its simplicity.

November 12, 2004

More Tube Absurdity

Let me explain the reason behind the fascination with tube journeys at the moment: I was generally unaccustomed to tube commuting (being a cycle commuter - far more satisfying and freee) until the whole broken collarbone/collision with car incident - so, the eery silence of a packed tube carriage is something I only experienced when it was pelting it down and I chicked out of cycling. The silence - the odd rustle, excuse me and tut - tut, trying not to catch the eye of the person you are eyeball-to-eyeball with....

This week's journeys have been a bit more refreshing though - the driver's announcement on the East London Line, some women doing acrobatics on the ceiling handles (see poem below) and yesterday a carriage-wide conversation on the East London Line, covering evening's activities, jobs and more importantly, food.

Anyway, here is the aforementioned acrobatics, in overheard conversation.

Excuse me?
Excuse me?
Do You watch Casualty?
No, no - holby city....
Do you watch -
what's his name
in holby city
he used to go out with
Rachel Stevens?
Holby.... YOU Pretending To Be Asleep:
What's his name? That one in holby city? I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME
Just call him Jeb or....
It don't matter
He walked in the pub
wasn't he givin it - large?

Watch This {swings from ceiling handles, managing a complete loop by putting feet on wall and ceiling}

Do It Again
Go on
That was such a
Bridget Jones Moment
a bridget jones moment, yeah
ha ha

{meanwhile, those below the swinging continue as usual}

November 11, 2004

To Say Thank You

I apologise
That humankind led you there;
Underage conscripts
Battling the wills of politicians
Peering from Parliament
At your remains.
Our eternal conflicts
Pull your memory to flames.
Those 'leaders' who bid us reflect
Could offer remembrance;
Adding to your grave.

This Train

on the East London Line

Welcome aboard
Sit back, relax
but keep your feet
The seats
This train is ready to depart..

November 09, 2004

Half the country hates him still

'I'm Sorry' in pictures from gutted Americans. Lots of gutted Americans. (Via One Good Bumblebee)


I do it too,
lost in some half-day
Re-thinking sentences
impossible to recall,
Re-reading words
Already trampled,
Re-viewed in dreams.
Where do they appear from?
These half-forgotten seconds -
They fade, though
like breath-marks
On the cold bus window.

November 08, 2004


I look at the news
Through fog-encrusted eyes.
I am mistaken, surely.
A hospital; a target of war?

Are you aware of Blood?
You holy politicians;
That which stains your feet
As you pace, restlessly
On the surface of the world.

November 07, 2004

Teatime in Central Asia

Teatime in Central Asia
6 hours along the timezone map
I count them along
Lines, dividing the globe into definable segments.

We sit
Drink our teas,
And convey our surroundings.

inspired by tea photo on Yuckelbel's Canon

And when they woke up, it was all a terrible dream

We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

George Bush, from Phillip Pullman's Text Lies and Videotape.

November 06, 2004


From two overheard conversations on the train and bus.

Jeans, it seems
Are on the agenda
I go bootless though,
Nothing will match.

My disguise discarded
After works drinks are done;

I'll hide till dawn
When my sleepless face,
Bled by mascara
Opens itself
In a magestical debut.

November 04, 2004

Quietly, on the tube

The absurdity.
I think,
Sandwiched between headphone rustles,
Everyone, politely,
Pretending not to notice,
eyeing the paper
Over the shoulder of their brief
Encounters with humankind,
A travelling party,
Under the streets of London.

Overheard heading to the Aldwych

[first you must picture the scene: heading up to the aldwych from Temple tube station in central London. almost 10am, the air has a slight chill about it. Two men, suited, in their early sixties, both carrying battered briefcases]

In my day, arses were half that size.

November 03, 2004

George Bush is a.... is a.....

it's defeat.

Kerry after Bush.

George in the US.

Democratic election?

split-side nation

mad red over all

he = rage.

cry: Jchelnc!*

*a gulp of horror

This poem was created from the following BBC news extract:
George Bush declares victory in the US presidential election after Democratic challenger John Kerry admits defeat.

Other poems using this or other news extracts? post them in comments.....

November 02, 2004

A Platform on Vending Machines

Some might call it
I fall for it
My snackled brain
I cannot wait for supermarket
chocolate hoops;
Sustenance awaits!
Swap fifty pence for
Warming soggy foil-wrapped

November 01, 2004

To the Station

Take me to the station
Please just take me back
I'm flustered, don't know where I am
And need to get on track.

Take me to the station
I'm running out of time
My legs have turned to jelly, but
Once there, they will be fine.

Take me to the station
Can't find my way alone
I cannot stay, must leave today
Oh please! Just take me home.