Primark on a Saturday

Primark on Saturday is my idea of hell
Trip Advisor reviews of Primark Oxford Street
warn us not to go
for Primark it would seem
is everybody’s idea of hell

It’s Victoria Station in rush hour
People cutting across each other’s path
It’s the Ikea of the clothing world
Manic, daunting and where’s the exit?

A rugby scrum, a babble of different languages
Shopping carts on wheels
Children diving under racks
Clothes displayed too high to reach

People grabbing, reaching, queuing, stressing
Teens with headphones, bored and sulking husbands,
ladies in saris and bin bag burkhas
and wanton women scantily clad

Everything sold at bargain bucket prices,
shapeless crumpled garments
loose threads, hems hanging
Just think of who made them
On a dollar a day

I’m stressed, I’m sweating,
It’s as hot as an inferno
Where’s the escalator?
Where’s the changing room?
Where’s the God-damn exit?
Just get me out of here
I’m not a celebrity
And if I was I wouldn’t shop here

Poem: When I Think Of You

Poem: When I think of you….

When I think of you I think of that first date, your smile and the easy way we spoke
Your back to the midday sun, sipping shandy in the early evening, wanting that first kiss as the moon made a milky pathway across the sea.

When I think of you I think of tea in Rye, Alibi in Hastings, photo poses at Dungeness. I think of trying on hats at Camden Lock and a Santa Claus party in Leicester Square. I think of walking through bracken in the Ashdown Forest and sauntering along the beach. Many hours of Kodak reel.

And then when I think of you the happy memories start to fade, replaced by a cloud, visions of you at the machine, the place where you go to destroy your future.

When I think of you I think of the passion between us
Costing no money, only time and emotion
Kisses on the beach, carefree as teenagers

When I think of you I think of late night munchies, Maltesers and Baby Bels
Your head nodding to ‘Personal Jesus’ except that he can’t make miracles for you

When I think of you I think of your second date gift, a love song CD and the third date gift, a loaf of homemade gluten free bread, so simple and inexpensive.

When I think of you I think of your slim figure
Long legs, trim waist, no evidence of middle age slugging into the picture

When I think of you I see us making love, I see you sleeping next to me like a corpse, your hairy back, your hands as dry as alligator skin

When I think of you I hear your words on replay, ‘for whatever reason’ a phase you often used, along with an array of overused adverbs and texts littered with question marks

When I think of you I think of your desperate situation
Your life in one room, a foldaway bed and change in the meter,
a cupboard of Food Bank produce, prepared at any moment to gamble the roof over your head.

When I think of you I think of your cheeriness despite your lack of dosh
Your hopes and dreams dashed, fed into a machine

When I think of you I think of my lucky escape sucked into the vortex of your addiction and all that might entail, a tide of money flowing away like the Red Sea leaving us both destitute, my kids hating me and me hating myself.

When I think of you I think of the level of self-destruction, a pitiful situation that consumed our every thought and conversation, no money verses money, both situations causing you so much anxiety

I remember the day that I found out about your addiction, scrolling right back on Facebook. I wonder how long it would have taken before you ‘fessed up.

I think of your dating profile, a web designer you told us women, and your Facebook profile an entrepreneur, fabricated titles littering the ether, the person you wanted to be

I think of all the women you’ve dumped days before their birthday, all the women who’ve dumped you days after their birthday. I think of all the empty Valentine’s evenings there must have been, but all I remember is the beautiful Christmas we spent together and the sweet necklace I’ll treasure

I think of your fickle love, one weekend telling me how committed you were, asking what would it be like to live together, days later telling me this wasn’t real love

When I think of you I think of 8 happy months in the main
But most of all when I think of you I wonder what will become of you…

Poem: Teenager

Poem: Teenager
If you let a teenager
do just want they like
all you do is drive them away

If you let a teenager
do just what they like
all it does it show you don’t care

If you let a teenager do just what they like
You set no goalpost, no leading light

If you let a teenager do just what they like
coming in all hours, eating when they please
you give them no direction, carte blanche
to do just as they please

Brexit March

Poem: Brexit March
They came in their droves
The BBC said hundreds,
We knew it to be thousands
Gathering in Carlisle Place
Heading onwards with their flags

The toothless of Tintagel
Tattooed of Tring
Smokers of Sunderland
The battle cry goes up

Activists of Acton
Drinkers of Doncaster
Merry of Margate
Unite today

Highjacked by the Right
They demanded free Tommy Robinson
And chanted we want Brexit now
Get out with no deal is better than a fudged deal
The White Pendragons and other Far Right groups,
They give us a bad name
For we’re still a welcome country
Blacks, whites, gays and everyone else
All we want is to take back control
Otherwise anarchy will stalk this land

Bathed in June sunshine
St George’s flag on their backs
They sang the National Anthem
on the corridor to the seat of power
Brexit’s on the brink
Yet there’s a paralysis of Parliament

Give us our Brexit
and give it us now
We made our cross
We didn’t vote a £40 billion trade making loss