Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Grandma's ghost

I guess we all have the occasional "flashback" to our younger days, but recently I had one encompassing two things that happened to me in 1980 and 1986 respectively, the first being an LSD trip (yes I was a naughty boy), the second, a visit to a spiritualist.

This random memory took me quite by surprise whilst in the middle of a totally unrelated task at work (I'm a printing assistant) and stayed with me during my drive home along with the words "I saw a strange old lady" which are the opening lines of the subsequent poem below:

Grandma’s Ghost

I saw a strange old lady, I was high on LSD,
In the armchair by the bed, she sat looking down at me,
And I felt on that occasion,
It was no hallucination,
Even though it could have been so easily
An LSD anomaly.

She was staring at me smiling; I was transfixed for a while;
I took a mental picture of that strange old lady’s smile,
Then suddenly afraid
I turned around and there I stayed
Under the covers, shaking like a child,
My thoughts running wild.

When I turned and looked again, the old lady disappeared.
I sat up, looked around, shook my head until it cleared,
But the thing that still remained
In the corner of my brain
Was the image of the lady in the chair
And her disarming stare.

Five years passed; a medium said, “I’ve got your grandma here,
She’s standing right beside me I can hear her very clear,
And the message coming through
Is she’s now watching you,
She’s been with you awhile it would appear
She says she’s always near”.

The medium told me stuff that only I could know;
Little things forgotten that had happened long ago,
I was taken in that day
By the things she had to say
Was it really true or was it is just a show?
Did grandma say “Hello”?

Now many more years later, I’m still wondering today,
If it was it only acid that had led my thoughts astray,
Were my faculties impaired
When that lady made me scared,
Sitting there and staring at me, old and grey?
Was it my mind’s disarray?

Was it a hallucination that gave me such a fright?
Or did the LSD give me some kind of second sight?
Was it Grandma sitting there?
In that empty bedside chair?
I wonder, was the spiritualist right?
Did I see a ghost that night?

Monday, 17 February 2014


Credit must go to my dear friend, Mark Feld, for the line "If I didn't have any bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all" Which I somehow managed to slip in.


Have you ever asked yourself “where have I been?
And then climbed a fence to the other side
And found the grass there not as green?
I look at you and I can see your pain
When you get knocked down and you get back up
And then you get knocked down again.
The vicious circle goes around and around
And you’re tired and tied to a dead end life,
And the daily grind keeps you down.
In a dungeon of despair you’re suffering,
And it feels like you’re living through a nightmare;
You need a reawakening.

I’ve got a good friend, his back’s against the wall;
He says if he didn’t have bad luck,
He wouldn’t have any at all.
He’s being sanctioned and he can’t make a claim
Because he doesn’t agree with the system;
He refuses to play their game.
Do you ever want to turn and leave the stage?
Rip up the old script, throw it on the fire
Start again with your own blank page?

This path we’re on is busy going nowhere,
We’ve been drudging along it for too long,
With broken hearts in need of repair.
And I’m wondering now, what else can we do?
What will it take to make us change our minds
And take a different point of view?
The answer’s not in the biased newspapers;
Propaganda’s their only agenda
And their lies mentally rape us.
The government, they say, is democratic,
But there’s more than one way to perceive things
And their way’s leaving us static.

We’ve been like zombies sleep walking for too long
And here and now is the time to come round;
Wake up to a different song.
The journey may at times be scary and strange,
And yes, it may be slow and gradual;
We need patience for subtle change;
A change that doesn’t require any violence,
Or a bigot shouting selfish beliefs
While others suffer in silence.

Like an evolution, this thing could take years;
The shedding of beliefs that are groundless,
Replaced with better ideas
Rather than the nonsense we’ve been taking in.             

Change direction today, and it may come;
A future reawakening.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

He's on it

This one, I dedicate to very dear friend, one Andrew Grice who lives in Rotherham. One of his favourite sayings is "On it like a seagull on a bag of chips". I thought it would be fun to write a poem with variations on that theme.

He’s on it

He’s on it like water on sinking ships
Like a hand on the ball nicked into the slips
Like a kiss on Angelina Jolie’s lips
He’s on it like a seagull on a bag of chips
He’s on it like a rat climbing up a drain pipe
Like a stray dog pouncing on a bag of tripe
Like mould on fruit that’s gone overripe
Like Oswald on Kennedy, waiting to snipe
Like an angry driver with an urge to yell
In rush hour traffic FUCKING HELL    
Like a convict on a bunk in a prison cell
Quasimodo on the rope of the cathedral bell
He’s on it like an actor on a West end stage
Like an Eastern European on the minimum wage
Like a sex scanda on The Sun’s front page
Jimmy Saville’s dirty hands on the underage
He’s on it like a rash all over your skin
He’s on it like a fox on a rubbish bin
Like an old alcoholic on a bottle of gin
Like an unsuspecting arse on a drawing pin
He’s on it like a pisshead on a donor kebab
He’s on it like a finger on a dried up scab
Like a hand on a Rolex at a smash and grab
Like a night clubber running for a taxi cab
He’s on it like a cokehead on a big white line
Keith Floyd on a bottle of French red wine
Like Diana on the trail of another landmine
Like a picnic on the beach when the weather’s fine
He’s on it like a kitten on a ball of string
Like a wedding guest on a chicken wing
Like a wannabe singer who really can’t sing
He’s on the karaoke singing everything
Like an England captain on his best friend’s wife
Like a psycho in a fight with a carving knife
Like a man on appeal in solitary strife
On suicide watch sent down for life
Like a fired torpedo on an enemy fleet
Like a new-born baby on a mother’s teat
Like a man with diarrhoea on a toilet seat
He’s on it like a lion on a piece of meat
He’s on it like a spy on a document
That’s marked “Top secret” by the government
Like Guy Fawkes underneath Parliament  
With a highly explosive implement
He’s on it like a gossip on a juicy tale
Like a seventy’s pop star on a young female
Like a bird in the garden on bread gone stale
Like a member of CAMRA on a pint of real ale
Like The Terra Nova on a frozen shore
Like Captain Scott on a mission to explore
Like a poet sitting down on a muddy floor
Writing accounts of the First World War
Like a thirsty man on a beer in the fridge
Like Kingdom Brunel on designing a bridge
Like a broker on a deal with Etheridge
Like Hillary climbing up a mountain ridge
He’s on it like a multi millionaire’s son
At the Bullingdon club with his flies undone
Burning a fifty pound note for fun
Then shagging a pig in front of everyone
He’s on it like a bard writing a sonnet
He’s on it like bird shit on a shiny bonnet
Like an addict needing more he falls upon it
Like a junkie on a score
He’s happy when he’s on it 

Friday, 14 February 2014

London Streets

About thirty five years ago, myself and two friends went for a drink in Brentwood. We got so drunk that we fell asleep on the train home, missed our stop, and consequently ended up having to spend the night on Liverpool Street Station. Not very nice. Especially when a poor old down and out lady sits down very near you, starts swearing and shouting out racist comments, and then does something rather disgusting, before being dragged away by two hapless policeman. Said lady figures in the subsequent poem borne of this event, as do the two policemen.

The London Streets of Ralph McTell

The London Streets of Ralph McTell
A land so rank with the rancid smell
Of a rubbish tip and a nearby den
Of broken bottles
And broken men
Round Bishop's Gate
They congregate
In one big methylated state and wait
For the soup van, cups of tea,
And a box to sleep in
All for free

Then it's down
Downward bound
To the depths of the London Underground
Where a drunken dragon
With a voice so dry
Shouts racial abuse at passers by
And as a sudden entrance to a sickly play
Two policemen appear, and she's dragged away
But the smell of urine lingers on
As the London busker sings his song..........

The London streets of Ralph McTell
Where an old man walks in a living hell
With a brown paper bag and a manic grin
Through the Sinking
Streets of sin
And as the night draws in on another cold day
He staggers and sways as he finds his way
To a rubbish tip and a nearby den
Of broken bottles
And broken men

So let me take you by the hand
And lead you away from this wasted land
Where a tramp in the gutter
Is a pitiful sight
On a cold, uncaring winter's night
We'll walk through the streets in the pouring rain
Go home on the early morning train
Far away from the filth
And the rancid smell
Of the London streets of Ralph McTell

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Haiku4alcohol(3rd person)

One day I'll learn how to post photos and stuff like a proper blogger. Meanwhile, here's another poem, written in the Haiku style with a smidgen of rhyme.

Haiku4alcohol (3rd person)

The more strong cider
He drinks the more he believes
The more he deceives

The more wine he drinks
The more easy to forget
His non self-respect

Another night drunk
And she’s telling him to stop
He’ll drink every drop

And then the next day
Restless lying in their bed
Wishing he was dead

Morning brings regret
For last night’s atrocities
Heartfelt apologies

God I’m so sorry
I’m trying to make you see
Last night wasn’t me

Those bruises she’s got
On her legs her arms her face
Reflect his disgrace

So sorry my love
I beg you to believe me
Sorry sincerely

But deep down he knows
He’ll forget all that’s just past
His remorse won’t last

It’s Friday again
And he’s opening the wine
Pretending It’s fine

He’ll just have the one
And forget as his disease
Reclaims him with ease

And she. Fearfully
Forgetfully taken in
By his carefree grin?

And so it begins
One drink followed by six more
And another he’ll pour

And all of those things
That happened last Saturday
Seem so faraway

All is forgotten
Another promise spoken
Easily broken

They drink and they laugh
And talk about tomorrows
Drowning their sorrows

And all of the while
Slowly destroying his health
Deceiving himself

He pours another
Is that a problem? So what?

You finished? I’m not

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Dead pop stars

It's amazing how many great performers are still alive lol. And long may that last. Meanwhile, here's my tribute to some of the ones no longer with us. I am presently working on getting this down as a song. I have the tune ready, it's just a case of getting Leo (my son) to translate it on his guitar.

Deadstock (Admission Free)

Are you going to Deadstock? I’ll see you there someday
When good soul’s come together, to watch the dead bands play
There’s no ticket for reservation, and no form to apply
It’s an open invitation, to the great gig in the sky

The songs they played were anthems of the time
A mark was made when they were in their prime
I dedicate this song today
To the ones who’ve passed away
Like Jimi say’s
I’ll meet you in the next the world
And come and watch you play

Are you going to Deadstock? I've heard that it’s a scream
Where a crowd that stretches to infinity, is there living the dream
The sun is up there shining and the grass is always dry
And there’s some kind of mushroom there if you’re wanting to get high

The songs they played were anthems of the time
A mark was made when they were in their prime
I dedicate this song today
To the ones that passed away
Like Jimi says
I’ll see you in the next world
And come and watch you play

Ritchie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, John Entwistle, Janis Joplin
Frank Zappa ,John Bonham, Kurt Cobain, Ray Charles , Keith Moon
Marvin Gaye ,Lou Reed, George Harrison, Ian Curtis, Mama Cass
Michael Jackson, Muddy Waters, Amy Winehouse, Joey Ramone
Gram Parsons, Ronnie Van Zant, Freddie Mercury, Jeff Buckley
Tupac Shakur, Jam Master Jay, Ole dirty Bastard, Easy E
Sid Vicious , Marc Bolan, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran
Ritchie Edwards? Pete De Freitas, Dime Bag Darell, Phil Lynott

Are you going to Deadstock? I’ll see you there someday
When good soul’s come together, to watch the dead bands play
There’s no ticket for reservation, and no form to apply
It’s an open invitation, to the great gig in the sky

Where the visuals are amazing, the sound is crystal clear
And the crowd gets bigger all the time, but the stage is always near
Are you going to Deadstock?  It’s a place for me and you
We can dance all day while the music plays and our friends will be there too

Alex Harvey, Donna Summer, Paul Raven, Jim Morrison
Bob Marley, Cassie Gains, Michael Hutchence, David Bowie
Whitney Huston, Dusty Springfield, Dee Dee Warwick, Patti Page
Stuart Sutcliffe, Steve Marriot, Patsy Cline, Ray Manzarek
Tim Buckley, Tommy Bolin, Dennis Wilson, Ian Stewart,
Robert Calvert, Roy Orbison, Tom Foggerty, Ronnie Lane
Johnny Thunders, Miles Davis, Lawrence Payton, Cozy Powell
Eddie Rabbit, Curtis Mayfield, Ian Dury, Mickey Finn, Lemmy
Steve Gaines, Richard Wright, Ronnie James Dio, Huw Lloyd Langton
John Glascock, Billy Fury, Bill Hayley, Rory Gallagher
Desmond Decker, Gene Vincent, Gregory Isaacs, Jeff Buckley
Phil Everly, Robert Johnson, Hillel Slovak, Alan Wilson
Hank Williams, John Denver, Cliff Burton, Duane Allman
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Strummer, The Notorious B.I.G.
Clarence Johnson,Davy Jones, Adam Yauch, Jon Lord
Pete Seeger, Scott McKenzie, Reg Presley, John Lennon.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

E mails to Satan

Emails to Satan

On a site for lonely souls, looking for a friend
A girl typed an email and pressed the icon “Send”.
And she attracted Satan who could easily pretend
To be a boy of purity on whom she could depend.

His responding message was a ruse sent to deceive;  
Dark intent disguised as virtue; evil make- believe.
From the picture that he sent her one might easily conceive
Of a fifteen year old boy, his heart worn on his sleeve.

A meeting was arranged, both young lovers being keen,
She sneaked out at night making sure she’d not be seen.
She wandered to a forest that is by daytime green;
At night time, it turns black, and people lurk, unseen.

She waited in the darkness as drizzle filled the air,
She waited and she waited and still he wasn’t there,
And finally, concluding after all, he didn’t care,
She headed home despondent, distressed and in despair.

There were no witnesses; none saw him when he came,
She heard footsteps behind her, the whispering of her name.
She turned and saw a man, whose face was not the same
As the boys’ in the picture, that lured her with its claim.

They found her in the morning, lying on the ground,
Her clothes her shoes her underwear, scattered all around,
The area was sealed for indicators to be found,
And she, reduced to evidence, removed post-mortem bound.

The story made the headlines and shocked us for a while,
The TV showed her face, her friendly, pretty smile.
On her lap top, so the story ran, the police had found a file,
But alas no solid evidence, to lead them to a trial.

They found no trace of Satan, who can easily pretend
To be a boy of purity on whom one can depend,
And she was but a lonely soul looking for a friend
When she’d typed her final emails and pressed the icon; “Send”.