Parks of England

FeaturedParks of England

Pollen scented halos
float on tin music
played from under
pop-up gazebos
(providing insurance
against dark clouds
blotting the horizon).
Light dims and glares
as the sun plays peek-a-boo
with infants running
to no end.

Pram junkyards,
picnic islands;
the territories of the
green and daisy-dotted land.
Balls thumped with bass notes
in wrong directions;
Dads run after toe-poked
spheres into the road.
Trees watch from the edges;
a shallow forest leading
to suburbia, where the balls,
gazebos, children are stored.

Dogs. Oh, the dogs.
This is their land, of course.
They make the rules
and pull their clothed
owners like staggering drunks
into the deep of the park.

A man jogs past.
A bike rings it’s bell.
A laugh wins the
battle of decibels.
A plastic bag rustles
in the exhaling wind.
The daisies vibrate
and reach to leave their
grassy bed.
But they are part of the park.
May they never leave.
May England remain this
way in memories forever.

Rushed

Rushed

 

My heels clip on

London concrete.

My hamstrings strain

To increase my stride.

I slalom around

Pavement zombies,

Phone junkies,

Loitering monkeys.

 

Don’t they see?

I’m late for a meeting

With a client of grandeur.

A key player.

A major money man.

(I can’t drop the name

Due to a

Signed NDA).

 

It was suppose to be

A blue sky meeting

On a grey winters morning.

But I slept too long,

And the tube

Went wrong,

And now I’ve

Got the dreads.

 

If I’m late,

My rep will be tarnished.

I’ll never secure

Another meeting again.

Because in this town,

Time is a diamond

We can’t possess.

But we know it exists;

Out there on the outskirts,

Out there in the sticks.

 

It’s below freezing but I’m

Working a sweat;

A pavement cardio,

A sidewalk rodeo,

A street athletics show.

There’s no way I am going

To be on time.

It’s curtains for me;

I’ve sealed my P45.

 

Finally I arrive.

I collapse at the entrance,

My power-walk ending

In a muted reception.

I approach the desk.

‘Yes?’

Glared a future

X-factor entrant.

 

‘Good morning.

I’m here to see

The top brass.

The big cheese.

The head honcho.

I was delayed, but please,

Pass my humblest regrets,

I am spinning a lie

Which I hope he accepts.’

 

‘I’m sorry, sir,’

The young lady chewed.

‘The Great Man is away,

Tanning on a beach.

You’ll need to reschedule;

He returns in two weeks.’

 

London Monsoon

London Monsoon

Passing ransacked umbrella stands,

grasping newspaper with their hands.

Holding shelter above their heads;

sloshing through tar riverbeds.

 

Hailing taxis from the pale;

the diesel saviours from the hail.

Wading through the flowing street,

committed to their client meet.

 

London converted to a wet-room,

The Shard bathed in humid gloom.

Meetings start with sweaty handshakes;

small talk steams as some run late.

 

Returning home to tiny flats,

they open up the door out back,

to sit on decks and regroup,

but the garden slugs have staged a coup.

 

London mourns suede shoes:

ten thousand pairs lost in June.

Today the weather won again,

we must prepare for war,  good men.

 

But sleep well, beloved city,

for tomorrow will take pity;

the weather programme on TV

said, “Mostly sunny, highs of twenty-three.”

 

RLG

Father’s Watch

 

My father’s watch,

I notice stopped.

His movement ceased

to turn the cogs,

that spin the gears,

which move the dials,

that give the promise

of a while.

 

The watch now mine,

but still it’s stopped.

It sits inside a precious box.

The frozen hands,

my father still,

his whispered breath,

his secrets kept.

Regret, regret.

 

One day ready

to wear that watch,

I’ll move the gears;

start time again.

In good knowing,

the hour I’m stood

will come to be;

eventually.