bet ya

oh no.

a non starter

and better yet

a void bet

money back

it gets harder

the going gets softer

and it so it gets harder

to stop.

unlucky losers

outnumber lucky winners

odds against, odds on

just for fun

until it’s not

a free bet that costs a lot

on the nose

each way

oh no.

What would I do

I was an open book

you took one look and read something in me

for which i am forever grateful.

I’m just a wannabe has been

born too soon for fortune;

not good enough for fame.

did I choose the wrong direction

or was I chosen by the game

in the end I can’t defend the choices I made, the games I played,

now I’ve had a good hard look in the mirror

and I’ve had a word with myself

and the only decision I can come to

is it’s time to come down off the shelf

if my life changed tomorrow what would I do

Market Drayton Lads

“We need to do something about him.”

“He’s harmless, a touch supercilious maybe, but that’s his character.  One day it will serve him and his country well.”

“Well I don’t like him, and he is affecting the other boys.”

Some teachers struggle to see the good in boys. Some teachers are right.

He waited by the headmaster’s office and pondered his future.  A boy in a black shirt walked by many years ahead of his time.  Georgian windows leaked wind and rain. Grammar turned Comprehensive and the trains stopped stopping because Mr Beeching had a better idea. 

A horse drawn cart pulled up and a ginger haired man completed his delivery from the bakery. A bakery that caught fire and changed the town forever, except Freddie’s house. That survived and tells Tudor tales without trying too hard. 

His father sent him to India.

The rest is history.


on scattered stones

with dust for bones

i look to find the words to say

how much you mean to me

and how i feel

when you are next to me

the metaphors and mystery

the painted lady history

what does it take for me to see

when you are next to me

i will embrace the swirling sea

or cross the sand with you to see

how good

I feel

when you

are next to me

forest walk

scared of revealing

a me you don’t know

inside i am dreaming

of things I can’t show

I hear words I hear music

but they’re all in my head

and sometimes I confuse it

with phrases I’ve said

what’s the point of a walk in the wood

when you know its no good

you have one shot at life

let’s make sure to do it right

future past

there’s a hole in my chest where my heart used to be

there’s a dream in my head that you’ve given to me

there’s a future together that we need to be

there’s a hand in my hand and you’re walking with me

together forever

you’re the whole of my heart you’re my destiny

you’re the dream that i have you’re my extacy

you’re the future together i need you to be

your hand in my hand you’re all that i need

together forever

The Good Old Days

empty spaces

heart races

moon beam dancing

in fancy places

loving the life the love the laugh

taking the time to turn the tap

of heartfelt emotion and life long dreams

battenburg cake and custard creams

Glamorous camping, wine induced sleep

campfire stories, songs make us weep

These are the times of our lives

memories made as we stare at the moon

This time will be the good old days soon


Late night reflections on a life defining moment

shakespearien wordsmiths and harmony spoken

my calvados glass is empty

but my wine glass had plenty

there’s a reason we medicate

there’s a reason we meditate.

it’s always been a tough life

but you just need a good wife

yes i said i do I do i do i do

The Dying Lion

I last saw Tom 3 months ago.  He’d just turned 65 years old. His grey hair had thinned on top to reveal a pink patch like a chimps arse. His fringe was retreating from his rutted brow like an ebb tide.  I considered that soon the tide would meet the arse and he would be officially bald, I told him so; he nearly laughed.

I was concerned about how he had deteriorated since we last met.  A fondness for red wine and a habit for cigarettes contributed to badly discoloured teeth inside a wide mouth that seldom smiled.  A winner on the horses would do it but, despite daily careful consideration of the Racing Post, that too seldom happened.   A predilection for real ale was liable for the paunch overhanging the black leather belt. When removed, the belt retained the shape of the paunch in acclaim to the weight it supported in its daily work. Heavy pink jowls flopped from a once proud jaw line creating a frame from which hung a double chin.  Everything rode on a thick neck and broad shoulders. Tom stood just over 5ft 8 inches tall. Before this recent illness he seemed taller.

We met at his pub on Strawberry Street.  The Red Lion had been left behind in the rush of pubs turning to wine bars or restaurants. Everyone knew the money was in the food, but the Red Lion menu, hanging behind the bar on a nicotine coloured laminated card, only touted pork scratchings, nuts -salted or roasted, crisps or pickled eggs.  Tom had been the landlord for fifteen years and the pickled egg jar could have been bought on his first day, there were three left.  The polished mahogany coloured bar with brass foot rail had heard many tall tales and told none.   At the back of the bar a shelf carried every edition of the good pub guide for the last 15 years. Tom was proud of his entry in the ‘ CAMRA Drinker’s Pub’ section, no children allowed.  He was a miserable old sod, my brother, but he kept a good pint.  

It was early evening and the pub was gloomy; a blessing as it prevented a good view of the maroon carpet. Inlaid red lions in a random pattern, jostled with cigarette burns, from an age when smoking inside was legal.  You didn’t need good light to feel the carpet tugging at the soles of your shoes.  He told me he was dying.   Ironic that a smoking ban had killed his business, whilst smoking was killing him.  His eyes were tired, resigned, no regrets and only enough energy for a little bitterness.  Soon the brown framed Guinness adverts would be replaced by opinionated art, and the real ale guides by back lit vodka bottles on glass shelves.   Shiny peanut bags on an exhausted blue cardboard sheet above the pallid till would be replaced by a white ceramic bowl on a stainless steel bar.  The Red Lion’s soul would be buried with the landlord.


clocks not for stopping

hang on to each chime

best years were stolen

baby teenagers who flee

from the scene of the crime

through rose tinted lenses

laughing lost loved ones

imagine their voices

what would they be doing

if they hadn’t gone

dancing on tables

singing old songs

living not dying

being not lying

nobody is wrong