mama rhymes

Poetry's a strange thing isn't it? Long and winding verses thrust upon us in stuffy classrooms to powerfully verbal moments of magic that are able to resonate with the minutiae of life, love and everything little thing in between. I have loved and loathed poetry equally in my lifetime. But that's the thing about poetry - it is simply not one thing. It can be constricted by the rules of rhythm or rhyme or it can tumble freely across a page or from mouths. I am still discovering the wealth of poetry and find that when my prose becomes laboured, pencil seems to land just fine on a rhyme or not from time to time.

she creeps

she casts cages around me
laying footsteps ahead of my shadows
on every path i choose to walk
she is watching
she is there

she collides within me
confused ripples in a turning tide
we occupy the same space
she shares my eyes
she shares my blood

i believe that i have thrived
separated from her existence
more powerful in her absence
rising to my rhythm
beating my own drum
silencing her
until I falter
by the cord of her presence
and in her remembrance
i fall guilty

she creeps among my memories
lays wait in all my glories
time binding our affections
she holds my freedom

she burns my bones
March 2017

the s***t you do for your kids

the s**t you do for your kid
you wouldn’t do for anyone else
not for power and not for money
just for the sole position of mummy
twisting all your muscles out of shape
passing melons through a hole meant for a grape
milky headlights on your chest
for people to peer at while you’re pumping out your best
into this little life you thought you could raise.
Delusions of Grandeur.
Playing God, you went and created.
the s**t you do for your kid
should win awards emblazoned with your name
but as you watch your freedom being held hostage
you blink away bloodshot tears of rage
when your lazy Sunday mornings
are now spent remembering your duvet whilst shivering in a field and yawning
you have festered in soft play
and forsaken the Friday night takeaway
making sure there’s some green stuff on their plates, however yukky tasting and wilted
because the Jamie-Ella-Lean in 15 man have made you feel all guilty
but you still sneak your five a day of wine as soon as peace reigns.
the s**t you do for your kid
could have MI6 calling you for guidance
you re-read and re-read bedtimes stories through your eyelids
any shameful howling in the street, you can poker-face with a ‘nope they’re not my kids’
in the dark you expertly tiptoe through minefields of left out toys and lego
conversations about birthdays and Santa are communicated at dinner in code
you internet shop, mediate conflicts, organise birthdays parties on the loo
but if Idris ever came a-knocking, you could glam up in 5 and do that too.
we are magnificent and marvellous, bright and bushy-tailed and scrumptious
we are loved and sometimes ignored, we shout at unmade beds and still we are adored
we wish our teenagers were back in nappies and wish our babies would get bigger and sleep
we wish they knew how much we worry, love, lengths we’d go to, mountains we’d leap
i wish they known me in my hey day, younger, slimmer, funkier, slimmer, perkier, did I say, slimmer; already… I did
but I’m the me they cry and cuddle with, they squeeze and moan with, they argue and laugh with

the sh** I do for my kids
March 2017


the desire and wanton need for straight
I pressed and clipped and tucked and tightened
circles into lines
long, heated, down turned lines until swaying was achieved
the neck straight, head forward sway
that will only truly last ‘til mid-day
when rules are broken and restraints must be put in place for order to be maintained

the dream power that woke me
saw constriction break free into untamed reverie
tight and loose spring forth
bobbing and weaving, twisting up and round and wide
adorned with colour and nature
natural to be
in a domain
that is free

that is me
March 2017

The 9 days of Jane.

Jane, sweet Jane, innocent Lady Jane Grey
Content with your studies and Protestant pray.
Betwixt a posse of men plotting, marrying, dying, lording you as their champion
Thrust you to the fore preventing Mary Tudor her crown and ascension.
Fifth in line to a throne you were burdened with power
The feeble deceitful abandoned you at The Tower.
Did you wish for past days as plain wife and daughter
As you braved the block?  Was it worth the nine days?
Jane, poor Jane, unfortunate Lady Jane Grey.

 November 2016 (submission)

Boudicca vs The Romans

Boudicca stood and Boudicca said
‘The King of Iceni, my husband, is dead.
Despite my own sorrow, before you I stand
Queen of our tribe, Queen of this land.’

And the Romans they did tarry,
Watching, waiting, what’s the hurry?
And the Romans planned to rally
To take Queen Boudicca’s crown.

Boudicca mourned and Boudicca mothered
‘Til the stench of an army thundered eastward.
An order pronounced. The Will of the King abandoned,
Boudicca lay beaten, her daughters lay broken.

And the Romans they did plunder
Thieving, looting, whate’er they could pilfer.
And the Romans they marauded
To compel Queen Boudicca’s defeat.

Boudicca stormed and Boudicca steered
Many tribes to battle; full of wrath and unfeared.
Alight with rage she set fire to Camulodonum*
Her revolt had been noticed, her revolt had just begun.

And the Romans they were distracted
Crusading, warring in the Valleys.
And the Romans grew uneasy, burdened
To counteract Queen Boudicca’s force.

Boudicca battled and Boudicca bled
In burning Londonium** Romans buried their dead.
Golden torc in her hand and red hair ablaze
She fell on Veralamium,*** to the ground it was razed

And the Romans fled from combat
Bloodied, desecrated they withdrew.
And the Romans reassembled
To break Queen Boudicca’s might.

Boudicca rose and Boudicca roared
Upon her chariot, to her tribes, she implored
‘Win the battle or perish, I fight for lost freedoms,
Outraged kin and bruised body and the resolve of a woman’.

And the Romans volleyed javelins
Attacking, circling they advanced
And the Romans marched into formation
To quash and quell Queen Boudicca’s revolt.

Boudicca soars and Boudicca survives
A poisoned demise yet fierce in bronze she thrives.
Astride the Embankment, all legacy equal
A Warrior Queen is avenged, a Warrior Queen flames eternal.


***St Albans
November 2016 (submission)

the menagerie familial

the menagerie familial habitually, nightly, bind together to feast.
sunlight hours, bereft of comfort, bleed into their eventide where they crave companionship; wanting warmth.
solitary, divergent paths conjoin to meet in this domestic setting and uncommon spaces diminish within this common ground
though each will advance swiftly and stealthily to settle and to sustain.

She, having marked out Her protective space to provide, is primary and She circles Her domain.
Her vigilance is unrequired here yet She remains alert for the progeny return.
She bore them.
She raised them.
waiting, watchful She flattens peaked ears to insurgent echoes,
suppressing a throaty roar She paces fore and aft awaiting the arrival of Her metamorphic brood.

the first.  enters ahead of the others
turning and twisting and spinning curves, swooping with flourishes and finishing with cascades of revolutions
the repetition of movement is momentarily spellbinding,
the motion and the chatter and the patter and the incessant moment of each matter leaves senses scattered into shards of irritation
released from her delphindae pod in streamlined uniformity she flounders unsure, unsettled
pulsing with the clicks and ticks of time’s end she surrenders her energy
to blow holes of derision
temporarily tamed.

the middle.  meanders in fierce elegance
gently into orbit
with the burning of the sun’s glare she casts her kaleidoscopic rays throwing a wingspan of shade eclipsing others beside her
her delicate distant flutters advance with effervescent turbulence
slicing air on serrated wings whilst courting danger with predatory ease
she glides with a stillness
that proffers her arrival
to thunderous silence.

the last. a pup. unshackled bounds in exultation to
re-join her pack
rejoice in her freedom
bristling with the scent of territory
crouching with the ease of identity
she flexes taut sinews with vigour
sharpens raised senses
leaping into their enclosure
coiled in submission she attacks with affection
her feral loyalty provokes hierarchical rejection
the onslaught of howls that tear through the peace
are smothered and stifled, chastised to concede.

predictably tardy, a sullen arrival shuffles into their assemblage
primordial rage subsides with muffled rumbles like a thunder roll assembling
reluctantly genial, a grizzly reception staggers into their gathering
diminishing ire muted to bluster yielding as kinship orbs together.

December 2016 (submission)

sailing through sorry seas

My stubbornness is an iceberg protruding, rudely in the distance

any attempt to navigate round its girth would only result in lost trails
and drowning souls.

so I turn back

cowardly, outwardly shrugging bravado leaving You on the unseen side
in My cold unchartered waters
Your passage earned and paid for

yet here I sail in the opposite direction
captain of an empty vessel

March 2016

mama's days

mama bounces
mama song-ing
mama dances
mama girl-ing
mama loving
mama cries
mama speaking
mama tires
mama raging
mama fury
mama told you before
mama’s already ready
mama hous-ing
mama feeding
mama hurting
mama reading
mama talking
mama learning
mama creating
mama teaching
mama noises until mama finds peace

mama has loving eternal for my three
Summer 2016

hope finds faith

Hope?  She lay weakly clinging to the grains of the past
fist feebly raised in lacklustre
As the sundial rounded, a fissure appeared to reveal a figure releasing her arm
leading Her to step
and stroll
and stride
and raise Her head
and open Her own doors
to not amble and ramble through dead ends and dead beats
but to make pace and perambulate on Her marching feet
with Her side eye and Her cut eye
facing forward
looking onward
until She found and believed it fundamentally, obligatory, necessary
to change Her name to

London 2016

When two lives pass on rocky roads, one may miss the other for fear of falling.
When your paths crossed, you reached out in hope.
Now together you will support and guide each other on life’s journey
And love.
Congratulations on your wedding.

Speak and be silenced by beauty
Smile and be sheltered by friendship
Wake and be welcomed by passion
Live and be loved by each other
Congratulations on your wedding

Mother on your birthday
In search of strength, knowledge, grace and love
I turned and saw it all in you,

To my friend
Goodness me girl, I can’t remember a day when we haven’t laughed.
What are we going to do with all these laughter lines?

To my father
I may stumble and make mistakes in this life
And I love that it is you who picks me up to set me straight
But never judges either way.

To my son
Choose your path, shine your light
Remember to show others the way
For I will be in front, beside and behind you.

submissions to greeting card competition : January 2014

Our Dad

In this world Arnold Basil Ericson Steele may be called a great many things
Mr Steele, Arnold or Arnie, Junior, or MangoDog, (and to just a few I’m glad)
But what to the world does this one man bring
Let me share a few golden moments, with allyu, about Our Dad

To wake up as a young man in swinging London Town
To find you’ve swapped the nightlife for a dummy and some nappies
Would have had most fellas running, but not this one
He got to work and set about making his two offspring happy.

Now I’m not saying Dad was strict, actually yes I am
Do homework, no youth club, be home on time, yakkedy yak
But does he know that when he lectured on and on
We used to sing, make faces and stick two fingers up behind his back?

And when his grown up daughters pack up for uni and flew the nest
One in London, one up North, working towards their own careers
Maybe he sighed and hoped for a life of peacefulness and rest
But we both know his journies home were filled with tears

And then he drops a bombshell.  He’s swanning off to Grenada
I mean, anyone would think he had grown daughters, I tell ya
He reckons he’s ready to retire. He’s leaving Hingland for good
How selfish can one man be? Seriously how rude?

Who on earth was going to help us when we didn’t know what to do?
When things had to be fixed or solved, or when we were just children in need?
Well if our Dad was deserting us, what else could we do?
Easy...we were going to have to find blokes and get married.

But the problem was, he set the bar too high
Do you know how hard it is to find someone to fill our Dad’s shoes?
Someone who can bake bread with our names on, an omelette to die for
Then leave you to clear up the mess whilst he’s off to watch the news

A man who will watch Dr Who or Star Trek 24 / 7
Who’ll keep clothes from the 70s coz they still fit
Who send birthday cards two weeks late
And who’ll break chandeliers when he’s playing the Wii

A man who is always there on the end of the phone
To listen to heartache and problems and moans
A man who writes beautiful speeches on our special days
Someone who still has time to guide us on the right way.

You see, we sometimes forget, in life’s busy schedule
To tell him that he’s funny, helpful, and really really clever
And we forget to tell him that we love him dearly
And that we are so very very glad that we have him as our Dad.

for FantasticoDad's 60th birthday : March 2011

Bearing in mind this page works from the bottom up(!) I'm taking a little break from my old poems during National Poetry Day (week) to share this space with my Dad for a couple of poems. Thanks Dad!

Silver Sherri got in late
For her inconvenient exam date
Sauntered through the exam door
Glided across the gymnasium floor
No hurry. No fuss.
Am not running for that bus.
Dressed in silver all about
Courtesy held, she didn't shout
Handed in two mobile phones
And took her seat among the drones
Big hair, big boots, big blouse
Everybody knows she’s in the house!
Impatiently on desk she tapped
Unused pencil on her lap
This test takes an age
I haven’t written on a page
I don’t need to succeed here
I already know my future
I don’t need to wrack my brain
I’ll soon be drenched in easy fame
For I’ll be a celebrity
You’ll not forget me
Am Silver Sherri


When we meet

And you utter the common greeting,
How are you?
I will respond:
“I’m fine, it’s a long time since I’ve seen you
And you look so well“.
But you, my friends, have become so used
To superficial mundane exchanges
And pay so little attention to responses
That you fail to recognise
The obvious confusion in my eyes
Or the perplexed expression in my voice
Who YOU are?, I don’t know!
But I will pretend I know you,
And you? you would never guess.
So skilful have I become at pretence.
You would never know that
Your familiar face, which I now observe
No longer registers in my memory.
Because you know me

You will never guess

That I fake knowledge of you

I’ve become adept at deceiving my acquaintances

Damp tissues on the bathroom floor

Apples in the chest of draws

Slippers on the windowsill

Wet clothing in the closet

Make-up hidden in the fridge

Chocolate biscuits under the pillow

Teacups in the washing machine

A toothbrush in the microwave

Newspapers hanging on the door

Fragments of life’s body of memory
Like wispy cirrus clouds
That drift into focus
Then disappear
Flimsy and tenuous
Creating ephemeral moments
Capricious memories
It’s form cannot be located in time
Now a phrase to two
Then a festive moment
Soon a humorous diversion
Drifting by randomly
No episode connected to the other
All must take whatever place they can
Among the chaotic mish mash
Of transient memories
Without pattern or sequence in time
A jumbled library
Where logic has fled.
This alien landscape
Devoid of intuition and perception
Will defy any attempt at understanding
Bereft too of flowing conversation
Or simple reasoned dialogue.

I am invisible
I walk your grey drab streets
cloaked in invisibility
You look through me with White wide eyes
and do not feel my sorrow
As living ghost
I trod your carefully laid stone pavements
like your heart, it remains hardened.
I make no impression, perceive no comprehension
I shout, I scream. I shake with rage
I sing, I dance, I run and jump
but enjoy no recognition.
I observe your palaces,
your churches, your monuments,
your edifice of power; constructed with my pain
and cemented with my blood,
but you refuse acknowledgement.
In your family album my ancestors stand
the chains and whips
testify to their experience.
Torture, nooses, bulging eyes, silent screams,
echo down the centuries.
Open pleading hands, document their reality.
But today, in your prisons
I see my inheritance
because I am clad in your crimes.

THE 1990s aka life in the fast lane
A very strange and tumultuous time for me in the 1990s because I left home, went to uni, I wore crazy-ill fitting-perfect for raving in clothes, drank too much, read some amazing books, had flatmates, rode around the streets of London, fell in love, started working, realised I get depressed, made new friends, lost old friends, travelled, started wearing make-up, too risks, had a stint in hospital, saw my parents get divorced, and dived into my career. I was definitely writing a lot at this time, so this makes me think that I was pretty lonely - who isn't when they first leave home? Music is still a key feature in my writing but I can see myself experimenting with issues, structure, style; it is so much a part of my everyday. I wonder when that disappeared - because it did. I do believe at this point in my life I wanted to write; I was doing so much of it. Looking back I wish I had the know-how and confidence to have tried to get my writing published. I'm not saying I thought this stuff was particularly any good but there's a story here and maybe being driven to write and develop more poetry.. who knows? Anyway here is 90's me.

"It's time" I said "to say goodbye"
He frowned and asked me why.
I shrugged and my sigh was long
"I think maybe our love has gone".
Anger flickered through his eyes
To me, this was no surprise
For so long now, the life we had
Only succeeded in making me sad.

Years of pain, years of misery
I wondered would joy ever come to me?
But now I stand with heavy sighs
I tell myself to save him from lies.
"It's security we have, not love any more"
I turned to face my bags by the door
As if to all my fears they had the answer
"I'll see you" I mumbled "I'm not going far".

His eyes closed, I walked away
Feeling scared yet free
Ahead, a brand new day.
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
January 1990

Life's ups and downs can make you tired
They're pulling my body apart.
Promises, disappointments many
What's wrong? I don't know
It's just I sit here on my own and I'm tired.
Tired of living.

The sun rises every morning leaving me behind
The moon's silver light means nothing to me.
Season's change, months pass by
What's wrong? I can't say
But each and every day makes me tired.
Tired of living.

I need someone to hold me, hold me close
Someone who'll be a comfort to me.
Maybe a friend, complete stranger
What's wrong? Why can't I see
Why can't life be so good, then I won't get
Tired of Living.

Living in this world can be so hard
It isn't that easy in this body either.
With a mind confused and heart abused
Tell me, can it get worse?
I'm so tired, really tired.
Tired of living.
Old Corringham, Essex
January 1990

Moving at thirty miles an hour
Sun burning through the window makes me perspire.
Making a stop every half minute
Stop so long beside a river. I've go time to drink it.

Oh, this is an endless journey
But I guess I have no choice, so why the fuss?
I have no wheels to call my own
I'm using public transport. I'm taking the bus.

An atmosphere that's as wet as a mop
Only excitement is yet another stop.
The countless ads I've read time and again
Into the dirt they slowly start to bend.

Oh, this is an endless journey
But I know I have no choice, so why the fuss?
My destination's far from home
I'm using public transport. I'm taking the bus.

At last I can see the end in view
When I ring the bell, I'll start to move.
This journey is my awful plight and sorrow
But I'll be back tomorrow.

Oh, this is an endless boring journey
But I haven't any choice so why the fuss?
I'll just sit here without a moan
I'm using public transport. I'm taking the bus.
Harlow-Bishops Stortford
May 1991

As for you, you didn't hurt me at all
Despite all the crying, I forsaw the pain.
My heart was hardened, my thought were clear
Didn't you see I hated you dear?
To look at you, I was physically disgusted
I'd avert my gaze and always look away.
My eyes saw through you, my thoughts were starting
Didn't you know I hated you love?
As for you, I couldn't stand you.
Don't touch, don't look or think of me at all
My life is clear without you, my thought no longer torn apart.
Didn't you know I hated you sweetheart.

Harlow, Essex
August 1991

My mind is made up, I've gotta do something
Do something, I've gotta, I've made up my mind
Time to move on now, new faces and places
A new start and life I've now gotta find.
Movin' ain't easy
I go with the flow
'Til the time comes for change
And soon I will go.

Lately the trouble is, I've found someone special
Trouble is lately, someone special, I've found
Making me happy, feeling cozy and cared for
But now my cloud is back on the ground.
Lovin' ain't easy
What would I know?
I'd give up my world for him
Yet that's not what I show.

My whole world is spinning, I'm confused and frightened
Fear and confusion are spinning my world
Old grudges and secrets still whisper inside me
A tale of despair soon slowly unfurls.
Livin' ain't easy
Many goals have been set
But to all those who doubted
I ain't beaten yet.
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
May 1992

The rush of morning crashes in,
The sun and heat, cars and people dirty the streets,
They push and shove, call and shout,
There is buying and selling around filling the streets.
Undercover is no safety at all
Still they shout, still they sell
All they want is your money, it's not hard to tell.

The day grows hotter still,
No clouds appear so cover we seek away from the heat.
The trees provide a shelter well,
We drink to wet dry mouths dusty from the heat.
Sun bright and strong as though angry
No escape when far from shade
It saps all and energy starts to fade.

The breeze in the evening comes,
Moon arises, think and white in a pale blue sky.
And sea waves slacken
Under a now darkening sky.
Still sellers cannot be heard
A lull is felt in the air
As though they'd never been there.

Cold the night creeps upon us,
Bright starts burst through the black to watch us sleep.
Food clustered windows beckon us to eat
But bread and fruit is our fill, gets us through sleep.
We find our beds and rest tired eyes,
Hard ground, a blanket of sky.
You hold me tight and tighter still, as ever close we lie.
True Blue Hostel,, Istanbul, Turkey
July 1992

Now baby that I'm on knees
I need to know just how you really feel,
Tell me what is going on inside
Am I just wasting my time?

You're telling me that you don't know
Well does that mean stay or go?
Do you still really want me near or
Are you just used to me being here?

Has the flame gone out? What's gone wrong?
IS is all washed up in the rain?
I need to know, just can't go on
I've tasted all and too much pain
And I just want you.
Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
July 1992

Walking along a dusty road
Or resting in a strange old town
My will sinks low, my temper runs high
I feel tired, dirty and down.
Though all I have here with me
Is a photograph of you
Your smiling face brings to mind
A memory or two.
I think of times when I was young
You but a wee babe in arms
When worries were of no concern
With mum and dad to keep us from harm.
I may be far away fro you
In foreign lands I roam
But every night I've said a prayer
For you asleep at home,
Another day draws to a close
Dear Sister think of me
I may travel over sea, land or sky
But in my heart you'll always be.
Pasa Kaptan Oteli, Amasra, Turkey
July 1992

I have to admit I fell deep in love with you
You came and swept me off my feet
A smile, a touch sent shivers down my spine
Back then loving you was so sweet.
But now there's a change, what's gone wrong?
Things ain't the same any more
The times we had, have they all turned to nothing?
Given all I've got, there is no more.

If it's money that you want, now, I ain't into that
Or just to warm your bed at night, I ain't into that
Give some real love and care, truth and honesty
I ain't into selfish love
And it ain't into me.

When you need me you call out my name
I'm always there to hold you tight
If I'm down and I want you near
Yo're much too far out of sight
I've opened my love blind eyes boy
And I don't like what I see
A one-way your-way relationship, no
That ain't the way for me.

If it's money that you want, now, I ain't into that
Or just to warm your bed at night, I ain't into that
Give some real love and care, truth and honesty
I ain't into selfish love
and it ain't into me.

Take a long look at what you'll be missing
If you don't stop with all your lies
There ain't no ifs and buts or maybes
Give me a bit of respect and understanding
Or you will hear my last goodbye.
Pasa Kaptan Oteli, Amasra, Turkey
July 1992

My angel of conscience smiled and sang
"This is pure beauty, I feel so alive"
My devil awoke and disapproved
"It's too hot in here I'd rather die"
"Please, please" I reasoned "don't let's fight
Seeking the world has gotta be right".

"Don't be fooled" my devil spoke
"What's in it for yo, what do you get?"
"Devil hold your tongue" my angel replied
"Love of the land unless your wicked ways are set"
I sighed "I'm just here for a rest
It's not a challenge it's not a quest"

"The sun, sea, sky and sand, just so
Refreshing" my angel breathed
"Dust, dirt, strange languages and
Crazy customs" my devil seethed.
"Your fears" I said "I cannot blame
But what a boring world if all were the same".

My devil hesitated "I've got to admit
The change really isn't that bad"
"Mind you" angel wistfully said
"Missing home is making me sad"
"I hear you both" I comforted "And I agree
But a break and change is good for me"

My devil stretched, my angel yawned
He lay his fork down and she rested her wings
Then my devil began to stroke her brow
My angel smiled and 'til he slept, sang.
"Peace and quiet" I spoke to the stars
"A caring hand and loving voice
The best remedy by far"
True Blue Hostel, Istanbul, Turkey
July 1992

No worries I've got peace of mind
Don't care today for where I go
I've been taking it nice and easy
Just taking things real slow.
No ticking clocks, no nasty streets
No dusty roads or burning heat.
On the River Nile.

Setting sun, a cool light breeze
Plain sailing on the Nile.
Feeling lazy, all at ease
Plain sailing on the Nile.

Who cares just how long we're taking
It belongs to us the whole damn day
Here there's no such thing as rushing
We're on our slow and mellow way.
Nothing fancy, just feeling good
Feeling like I know it should.
On the River Nile.

Little wind in the fading light
Plain sailing on the Nile.
Ahead a place to stay for the night
Plain sailing on the Nile.
River Nile, Egypt
August 1992

It's been a while now since you swept me off my feet
Just your arms around me had me feeling sugar sweet
Every minute I would think of you
Seeing you would make my day complete.

Shy kisses seem like just the other day
And all the walks together holding hands along the way
Watch a sun set and rise in the sky
Before we'd even kiss goodbye
Those were the words I always hated to hear you say.

Time's moved so quickly but this all feels so brand new
Still exciting, who knows what else we'll do?
I'd follow you to wherever
What I mean is that
I'm real in love with you.
Aswan, Egypt
August 1992

The man I was loving yesterday has just walked out on me,
The man I spent time loving yesterday has just walked out on me
Said he needed a little bit of time and space
And asked me to leave be.

My hearts been aching for that man now for nearly two whole days
My hearts been waiting for him to come back for three long nights and two whole days
But I've done with all my crying, I'm waking up
To hear what my head has to say.

It said "Wake up woman, get up your feet"
I heard "Wake up girl, stand on your own two feet
Hold your pretty head so high for the whole world to see
Don't worry 'bout no doggone man, walk proud on down your street".

Folks they did whisper behind my back, shouting me down and calling my name
All the folks I heard 'em whisper behind my back shouting me down and calling out my name
I didn't pay the no mind, just kept right on walking
Got my pride, I an't feeling no shame,

Men they've come and they've gone
In and out my door
My heart's been tattered and torn
I won't take it no more.

I got up, I'm getting out on my feet
I stood up, standing on my own two feet
I'll hold my pretty head so high so all you people can see
I ain't worrying 'bout no good for nothing man 'cause he didn't care for me
Said I won't waste my precious time on no doggone man I'm walking proud, right on down my street.
Aswan, Egypt
August 1992

Just a day ago we walked together
Sharing moments we longed forever,
Goodbyes were always hard to say
The last one took my love away.
You travel still but I am home
Makes me feel, I'm all alone,
I tell myself you 'll soon be here
And in your arms, you'll stop my tears,
Thinking sleepy thoughts 'til late
Knowing for you I must wait.
Whether the day be close or not
Never a tear this page will blot.
For you safety I do pray
That a spirit guides your way,
With a weary arms you cared for me
I felt in you a love that's free.
I long for just one night with you
To hold is all I long to do,
Making all this dream complete
I'll sing and rock you 'til you sleep,
Come home to Mama, I'm watching the moon
To have you back won't be too soon...
Bishops Stortford, Hertforshire
August 1992

Just in the way you turn from me
Often makes me wonder.
Makes me wonder what you're thinking
That often makes me wonder.
What are you hiding? What don't you want to say?
That silence gives me such a headache
That silence is deafening.

Then the way you smirk to yourself
Often has me thinking
Makes me think what's so amusing?
That often has me thinking.
Why are you smiling? What is so damn funny?
That smirk really makes me angry
That smirk is maddening.

And the way you stare at nothing
Often gets me pondering
Gets me pondering on what you can see
What visions do you have? What images distract you?
That stare happens too frequently
That stare is confusing.

But then the way you hold e
Always makes me happy
Makes me happy that it's me you're holding
That always makes me happy.
How is it so warm? How is it so comforting?
That hold gives me so much pleasure
That hold is what I need.
Commonwealth Hall, Russell Square, London
November 1992

Sometimes I sit and think
When am I going to be happy?
Am I ever going to be happy?
Right now. I wouldn't reckon so.
Sometimes I sit and get angry
Right now I get angry a lot
Why do I get so angry?
I couldn't really say
But. I feel I'm always angry.
Sometimes I sit and hurt inside..
What is hurting?
Why is it hurting?
There's no answer I know.
All I know. Sometimes I sit and cry
Who made me cry? Or what?
Damned if I know
Shit. I need to cry some more
Thinking, being angry, hurting and crying.
Why? What the hell did I do?
Commonwealth Hall, Russell Square, London
November 1992

It's funny. What's funny?
The way we talk in riddles
In clues. When it's so much
Easier being me.
Just being you.
It's sad. What's sad?
The way that we constantly
Worry. Feeling so helpless.
Feeling so sorry.
It's stupid. What's stupid?
These times we get angry
Inside. But never confront it.
Just let it slide.
It's shameful. What's shameful?
The fact that we need
Help. It's just too damn hard.
Doing it all by yourself.
But then...
It's funny. It's sad.
It's stupid. It's shameful.
Fear and frustration
I've had a whole bellyful.
Why does it happen?
Who can blame?
We can show all our anger
But what would it gain?
Everything happens all just the same
I've already had too much fucking pain.
Crouch End, London
March 1993

Does he know just what he's doing?
Keeping my head afloat like this?
Does he understand at all
The effects of just one kiss?
What is it making him act this way?
Will he every stop to learn?
A breath, a glimpse, the sight of him
Causes my heart to burn.
All I need is some control
Can I just make him see
That all it takes is the greeting smile
To have full command over me.
Surely this cannot be from his own want
These actions born from his mind
Enable me to conclude
No better man could I hope to find.
My sentiments, I fear, appear in disarray
Empty words for such full passion can never do
His desire has proven temptation too much
Is it enough to say I love you?
Crouch End, London
March 1993

The hardest part is the mask. It's got
Stuck so tight maybe removal isn't an option.
It could be that taking it off might hurt.
And then what happens? The search for
Creeping on an open plain, stumbling
Through dense fog
All the time. Threatened not by truth
It's the lying that hurts.
That's what happens. Left in burnt
Countless rejections, objections, subjections. Without
Reason given why trust in this lifetime?
But it's ever so tiresome; smiling; pretending.
Leaping into social flames only to perform
Slowly a presence becomes comforting. Difficult
Introduction aside things look easy.
Then. Doubly slapped back into place.
Back to square one. It's that damn lack of
Words begin to stumble, more freely then
Retracted. Never sure just what is enough.
To hell with it. Who cares? Well it seems
Like I do and you do. So maybe that
Mask isn't that hard after all, It just takes a little
Crouch End, London
March 1993

Well. Well. Well.

It took a while didn't it?
I suppose it just got too tough
Mistaken by the silky smooth
Only to find it's all so rough.
Thought to fool me did you?
All part of one big scam
Pretending your heart was in it,
You didn't give a damn.
Do you know I bared my soul?
It wasn't supposed to be a game,
You had my time, my space, my care
Now I seem to bear the blame.
Crouch End, London
March 1993

All we do is fight
All we do is argue
Finding things difficult
And blaming it on you.

Never a quiet moment
Never a blissful night
Just a lot of picking holes
And saying things ain't right.

You and me disagree too much
You and me can't get along
Angry faces with angry words
And doing this love thing wrong.

What can we do to make this different?
What can we do to stay in love?
Why must we let it get to this?
Why must it end in push and shove?

Do you believe that it's you I love?
Do you believe you're my whole world?
Is it enough to say I can't live without you?
Is it enough to say I want to be your girl?

Can we...
Find a level to agree on?
Find a patch on common ground?
Create an atmosphere that is calm?
Only then can love be found.

Can we...
Start love again without the tension?
Start from scratch, do it over once more?
Forget the bad times and focus on love?
To heal our wounds that made us sore?

Can we...
Kiss and make up for silly mistakes?
Kiss all over to make us feel sweet?
This heartaches too much now, we've wasted precious time
Believe in the medium and in the middle we'll meet.
Bishops Stortford, Hertforshire
April 1993

Warmth oozing over my skin
My face to the cloudless sky.
Easing back onto the grass
I let the day go by.
Mellow sounds from my radio
Soul, blues, jazz and jive
Feeling lazy, all alone
What a day to be alive.
My own thoughts uninterrupted
Free to lie back and think
Bothering no-one, or them me
Into my dreams I gladly sink.
Taking all the time I need
To chill and just feel good
Moments like these are few and far
Never here when they should.
To find a spot left undisturbed
And relax so quietly
Is the nearest thing to heaven
Heaven. That's enough for me.
Russell Square, London
June 1993

Hurting words and spite did reign
We fought and cried, cried and fought.
Promoting anger, causing pain
we thought and sat, sat and thought.

Finding ourselves on unsteady ground
It's always hard to say goodbye.
In life and love, hardships are found
It's even harder to keep on and try.

Shit? Why do we? Why do we?
Fight, when it's plain to see
I love you, you love me
With you I want to be
My personal love decree:
He for I, I for he
I beg of you on bended knee
Take care of my heart, you have the key.

Picture me holding you close and tight
Softly caressing, just us two
Kissing slowly, feeling so right
Loving for us is natural to do.

Last night I dreamt we held other
And made love until the dawn.
You loving me. I cold not want another
Can we mend our hearts so torn?

Damn! Is it me? Is it me?
Cruel, with arguments so trite
One minute love, the next to fight
All the day and night
My personal love right:
Yes love with all thy possible might
But take a look at the future sights
Did the difference lie in you so white?

("written March 994 as an addition)
Bishops Storford, Hertfordshire
July 1993

When Finally goodbye I kiss you
Please know I'm gonna miss you
And if at times you're lonely too
remember this, all you have to do
Is think of me, I'll be thinking of you
Anyway I just had to tell you
That I love love love love you.
PGL Marchants Hill, Hindhead, Surrey
August 1993

Alone, tired and feeling sad
At this moment things are bad
Look to the sky and say a prayer
Think of me, for you, I care.

Happy heart peaceful mind
Things are good, people are kind
Take a minute to stop and shake
This moment with me, for you, I care.

The days can be so full of stuff
Sometimes too little, sometimes too much
Whichever, whenever, whatever or where
Reach out for me, for you I care.
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
August 1993

A bend on the road resulted on blindness
Before us, a rapturous fire
Blazing with golden and scarlet flames
Glorious hues licked higher and higher
Steamy white cloud puffed up above
Blue touch paper falls down cold
Matching treetops lined the sky
A magnificent sight to ever behold
For a moment we were lost in thought
Of hope and peace together.
We wished this perfect space in time
Cold stay with us forever
The road continues as did we
Leaving the sight with a sigh
Maybe one day we can again
Drive into a sunset in the sky.
Bishops Stortford to Much Hadham, Hertfordshire
August 1993

A burden I mean not to be
Lately it's been hard being me
Things have gone from bad to worse
I can apologize best in verse
The help you've given is much appreciated
Although I think my thanks are belated
So thank you for your time and love in '93
I hope '94 will bring happiness for both you and me.
East Finchley, London
December  1993

the texture of  silk in summer.
the colour of warmth at night.
the shape of family past.
the experience filtering through.
the painfulness cascading down.
the knowledge of love which she has.
The Face,
the index to the contents inside
The Soul,
the cover to the story inside
The Heart,
the definition to the meaning within.

Stirring low inside
It sits.
Rising up and out
In fits.
Subsiding now back down
It crawls.
Against your heart and soul
It paws.
Anger deep and 
Anger strong
Anger creeps and
Anger's wrong.

Languishing in the valley 
Of the unknown
The search for light continues,
Feeling quite alone
She stops awhile to muse.

Suddenly it's there upon her
Chilling the small to the nape,
Concrete feet that crack
Their plaster
Run into fear's widening gape.

Burrowing amongst the debris
It nests undiscovered.
But she knows it's there.

Silent under lock and key
It sleeps undisturbed.
But she knows it's there.

Hiding from the world outside
It cowers uncreative.
But she knows it's there.

Surfacing out into the open
It leads unprotected.
But we all know it's there.

Oh what have you tried to drain and diminish
To dampen, demean and delude.
She has denounced you.
Oh that which you tricked and tried to torment
To terrify, torture and test.
She will tread on you.
Oh yes you have hardened to crush her and cleave
To castigate, claw and condemn.
She will confront you.
Oh what you endeavour to shun and suborn
To sever, sap and scar.
She will not satisfy you.
For you will see the strength.

She moves within my atmosphere
Providing the air I breath
She is my mother world.

She leads along my road
Writing the signs I read.
She is my mother guide.

She lives inside my thoughts
Creating the know and how
She is my mother life.

She burns next to my light
Lending flavour to my essence.
She is my mother love.

Yesterday they kicked us
Still we were Black
Today they spit on us
Still we were Black
Tomorrow they will curse us
Still we were Black.
Yesterday they battered us
Still we were women
Today they beat us down
Still we are women
Tomorrow they will trample on us
Still we will be women.
Yesterday trials tested me
Still you were my mother
Today tribulations confound me
Still you are my mother
Tomorrow fear will confront me
Still you will be my mother.
Yesterday when you stood afraid
Still I was your daughter
Today as you stand here
Still I am your daughter
Tomorrow if you stand in need
Still I will be your daughter.
Black; women; mother; daughter
Yesterday; Today; Tomorrow
Befall what may
As one we stay
In Fear; In Love; In Sorrow.

Unsure and stumbling, stumbling
She chose a rocky path
Crazy paving, littered with crevices
And unknowns.
No signs to steer from deviation.
The dimming beacon ahead
Flickered. Flickered
Into nothing.
From blistering, crawling knees
She rose not to a guiding light.
Instead with will and faith,
She elevated from the quagmire.
Upon two feet stepping
Fast and flowing
Upon two ankles supporting
Sure and strong
Upon two legs standing
Her and heralding
The arrival of
Her passionate presence
Mother's Day 1994

(a rendition of 'Funeral Blues" - WH Auden)
 Tear up the calendars, turn off the radio
Put a stop to laughing children running as they go, 
Cancel new pop songs and strike all actors dumb
Refuse all merriment until home my lover comes.

Let flags flying at half mast read
Put on the subs, leave the A-team on the bench
Let the World Cup commence with a minute silence.

He was my QPR, my United, my Celtic, my England
My 3 point win and my League champion
My a.m and p.m my head, my heart
I thought love had ended; it has yet to start.

My lips have no purpose now; they are not kissed
What use are my breasts when he does not caress?
Comatosed in tears, no life to yearn
For nothing else matters until he returns.
Streatham, London
June 1998

The meeting of the two.
They walk into a place
at different times. And see.
See each other across an
ignorant mall and smile.
He smiles. She smiles.
Locking eyes they skate across
the floor as easy as though
magnetized.  Magnetized. A fear
baptized.  Love dramatized. Truth
realized.  They touch and touch
and touch and touch.
"Hello". The lies we tell to please
our bodies.  Her soul lies tattered
torn and shattered. He lifts
they drop they wake he sighs
she cries. "Goodbye".
The parting of the two.

It caused a problem...Not
a major life kinda problem
But still a problem.
Should I relax it? Or plait it?
Or perm it? Or dread it?
Cane-row or weave-on?
Natural or blonde?
Curly? Curlier? Natural Afro?
Straight? Straightened? How about a wig?
I left the world's wonders
I ignored the country's conundrum
I pushed away my personal puzzles
Cut the whole damn lot off.
I shave it close
I shaved it near
I shaved it bald.
And it was my decision
And I liked it
And I didn't care who didn't...
except my mum and dad of course.
But I'm sure they'll get used to it.
In occupation - University of North London, Kentish Town, London
May 1994

The meaning of life
is anything
for anyone

who's someone
with something
like truckloads of paper zeros...


The meaning of life
is nothing
for anyone
who's no-one
with nothing
at all
let alone those truckloads of paper zeros.

What do you suggest old fruit?
Change the immigration laws
No immigrants.
And those that are here?
Kick them out.



In a nation
That has no feeling
        Has no memory
        Has no peace

In a nation
Who just despises me
         Just fights with me
         Just wants me to get out

In a nation
Where you hate because you have to
                          Because you need to
                          Because you must

In a nation
Full of bigots
Full of fascist
Full of shit

In a nation
That I was born in
        And have to live in
        But will not die in

In a nation
Piccadilly Line tube, Turnpike Lane - Piccadilly Circus
August 1994

Sister, my sister, my sister
So much more than just my cousin
Much more than a childhood friend
You were my mentor and knowledge
My laughter and smiles
My world
In days gone by.

Sister, my sister, my sister
My disappearance I never understood
The visits that stopped were never explained
The hurt and betrayal accepted in time
But who to blame?
I was left confused
In days gone by.

Sister, my sister, my sister
Filling the years with our pain
In separate lives were suffered
Your troubles, my troubles much time wasted
in days gone by.


Take a walk along my lifetime
Just to see
Who I am and who I be
And if you can
What makes me "her"
What makes me "she".
I sing in no one pitch
And a varied role
I do act and play
For in this troubled world Survival of the Fittest
Is The Truth, The Life, The Way
Therefore I
Mix and Mingle
Stop and Chat
Hear and Listen
Look and Learn
Find and Study
Read and Write
Discover "I" and "You" and "He" and "She" and "Them" and "They" and "It" and "We".
I am at
          the bottom
                         of the 
because I do not matter to those who flatter themselves more important
than ME
Only to find that I am
In the minds of those who are not ME
Only to find that I solely
EXIST in lesson 4 of weeks 12 discussed by those who do not know ME
Paraded and Branded for all to see
Tentative touches, horrored stares all aimed at me

                      BUT WAIT

Is this not blood in my veins?
Is this not skin on my bones?
Is there not life from this heart?
Is there not thought from this head?

My anger boils within this cage unto fools
who do not understand my rage,
They shy away, avert their eyes, cover their ears
from all my cries which they have chosen to ignore.
But there is a score to settle and
molten metal in my mouth
will not silence me.
I too have a 'her-story'
All of my own.
Turnpike Lane, London
March 1995

No matter how early I rise out of bed
Regardless of energy used in one day
Whether I party of laze in the house
Exercise with vigour, eat like a slob
I am always here,
Sitting and Waiting
Scratching and Sniffing
Tossing and Turning
Drinking and Dreaming
Sighing and Tutting
Still I cannot master the art
Of falling asleep with ease.
Except when I'm pissed.
Dissertation week, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
June 1995

Sitting in a short skirt
On a cold wall, 
Wishing I was warm in Amsterdam.

Waiting for the man
With the hotel answer,
Wishing I was sleeping in Amsterdam.

Pricks across the road
Lewd suggestions...they wish,
Wishing I was drinking in Amsterdam.

As early as it is right now
The thought of bed rings true,
Wishing I was smoking in Amsterdam.

I guess it's been a long day
Now someone's eating food,
And he's still not here
I could murder a beer
There's a lot happening around me
In Amsterdam.

I just can't wait to be part of it.
Amsterdam, Holland
September 1995

I've thought of writing a letter
But it'd probably get thrown away.
I've contemplated 'phoning
But I doubt she'd even speak.
SHE won't want to hear what I have to say
SHE is making me pay
SHE just stays away
I just want to explain to HER

I'm scared to turn a corner
I get neurotic just walking down the hill.
When we collide I try to open my mouth
But then drop my head and keep on.
I've even turned back to catch HER
Attempt a nervous smile at HER
Desperate to make contact with HER
She fixes her face and walks away.

I suppose I could just try and do it
Ask a question when she alls
Stop HER when SHE passes
But I'm scared of the rejection.
Putney High Street
October 1995

There are three or four
Parked on my doorstep
So I step
Quickly past the doctors and the shops
Every morning. Every bloody morning.
Straining my neck
To check
The number plate.

Yet another passes
Down the dual carriageway
So I make my way
Through bushes and hedges to hide
Me. Getting sick and tired of the fear.
The palpitations
Causing shaking
Of my whole being.

I swear I saw six parked
And another two drive by
I almost cry
Driven to emotional wreckage
I sit. In peaceful obscurity only to feel
A piercing glare
And see she's there
In a car I've seen before.
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
October 1995

Crumpled love filled pages that took me ages
To write are at my feet.
My paper heart shattered in shreds lies tattered
As the ink stained wounds bleed.

Crossed out lines that attempt to define
A presence who bears a glow.
The collision of skins causing fires within
Simple words just cannot show.

He enters within the pores of my skin
To warm this shell so cold.
The pledge is made, he's etched his name
With pride upon my soul.

A day spent yearning with embers still burning
Stifled desires craves under.
In raging shivers our passion sweats rivers
We cool and link in slumber.

His love is fantasy melting with reality
A love so pure I can feel.
With heart broken wide I let him inside
Giving him guard of my key.

A thousand times I've tried to rhyme
The beauty of me and you.
In speech I've failed, stuttered and wailed
These words now set me free.
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
October 1995

It's a dump round here it is
I've always hated the East End of London
"Yeah but it's full of the common people's history"
They Say.
So what?   It's still a dump round here.
And what's more, for some stupid reason
Two boyfriends have chosen to live this way,
Which means I have no choice but to visit this dump.
And it's not just the streets.
Okay, okay I admit there is a thriving multi-culture here
Africans, Asians, Afro-Caribbeans, Irish and, oh yeah the British.
But all I think of when I come to the East End
Are the fascist, racist, Nazi, skinheads with the one braincell they share.
These who can't even keep their own house in order
Are looking to rule the world.
It's a dump round here it is.
Bus : Aldgate to Wood Green

*an afternote in 2014 - I have since savoured the delights of the East End and no longer have these views, which are reflective of my feelings on that day travelling from North to East London. It's not the same and neither am I.

I step out of the past and into today
Now passing by are feelings of fear
In you I see something that I've never known
A presence so honest and dear.

Try as I might to speak words of meaning
They end only of doubt
I want to say how happy I am
But only the wrong things come out.

I am lifted so high with you in my world
I feel so alive and awake
Can you ever forgive me for presence and strain?
For all that you give and not take.

If ever you wonder or doubt how I feel
For the truth look into my eyes
Or ask me, and trust me, believe me I adore you
For, to you, no words can I lie.
Archway, London
February 1997

To me you bring the brightest days
All fear and pain are washed away
For me you light the darkest skies
And take me to the highest heights.

In you I see a gentle man
That guides and true beside me stands
With you I feel a warming glow
That caress me softly, and strongly holds.

Between us lies honesty
We touch and we're tender
And as our trust deepens
Our love grows in splendour.
Westbury Hotel, London
February 1997

I am so          bored
                     fed up
                     pissed off          and

Then I wonder why this happens

Stop feeling so guilty, girl.  If they're there let them fall.
Then maybe it won't hurt so much inside and maybe the headaches and knots will stop.
Take them all and let them fall.
Old Kent Road, London
April 1997

Twenty one
They say
Life's just begun.

Decisions ahead
To make
New roads to tread.

Strength is needed
To survive
And advice should be heeded.

You can mend
Hearts and Troubles
So fall in love again.

Luck and prayer
Sent with love
Forever, for you, I'm here.
June 1997

Sitting here, by the phone
Where your voice has just rung through.
I was talking you
And I didn't feel a love.

We speak, then there's tears
The pain of a longing momentarily subsides
Loneliness dies
And gone are the fears.

Time forces and end to the call
Now do we part and invite the pain
Into our lives again
Will it ever stop at all?

Your voice sent light to my heart
How can I smile and laugh right now
Without you here, how?
Why must we be apart?

Sleep remains a nightly chore
Colder, dark and longer it seems
Then you invade my dreams
Tears wash me ashore.

These pretty words cannot convey
How I miss you and want you here
How...dammit, I just need you near.
Arms around me, what can I say?

These tears that line my face
Are not in vain, they tell no lies
Our love and our trust has not died
Our hearts are but one place.

For now, your voice has disappeared
Forever, your love, I treasure, dear.
Harlow, Essex
July 1997

Three hundred and sixty five days ago
Who were you? I don't know
Three hundred and sixty five days ago
We me at touched and fell in love. Don't let go.
How much has changed between us?
We're not the same as before.
Deeper in time and fading lust
Never disappearing from our door.
It takes us riding high and sinking low
Love takes us where we never knew or know.


We've laughed and had fun in the sun
And been through days without a word.
Dark days don't always bring dark nights
Love so loud we can't be heard
When others fall from the path we carry on
Time has sown the seeds and made us strong.

October 1997

It's hard to be accepted
       Exceptionally tough to join the circle.
Open when you have the credentials
       When you have the know-how.
Who gives the okay?
        The thumbs up?

Trying desperately
        Keen eager to become be-one
Opinions hurtle at top speed and
         Hurtle away even faster.
Time trial an option?
Takes too long.
November 1997

Wails Choking
sink beneath my exterior      inflate in my emptiness
echo throughout my veins.

Chastising Weapons
threatening my purpose       silence my protest
loaded in his voice.

Weakening Cries
lament my defeat              proclaim my death
borne from constant shelling.

Calm Whispers
defend my sanity          clean my system
laced with fear and fury.
November 1997

The choices I'm given
To love him or leave him
Domestize or stay wild
Sensible or bear child
Educate me or work me
Decisions I fret daily
It's eat or be eaten
I cannot be beaten.

He's there by my side
Through anger and pride
Unsure of what's missing
The past we sit wishing
It said United we stand
Sure, that's what was planned
But we cannot be tutored
For what lies in the future.

How different am I
From the 'we' before?
It cannot be written
But cannot be ignored
Oh, the hair is the same
As are the eyes
But hidden behind them
A new being lies
The smile isn't telling
What could be said?
Stop and be silent
Sing a new song instead
How long will this last
He and she ask each other
'Til one person crumbles
Or when one can be bothered.

I sigh and want to cry
To burst into uncontrollable floods
To explode with grief ridden frustration
To howl, them crumble and die.

Onto my own feet I stagger
With newborn breath in-takes easy
Stopping not wanting to focus on the day
Who am I to matter?

He'd come to my rescue
Sweeping me up before death conquers
Eager to win, his love fills my life
And ever, the strength comes through.

Only desired, to stop and breath
See and smell the beauty of living
To continue beyond me,
Undoubtedly without remorse.

Does peace lie after death?
November 1997

THE 1980s aka teenage angst in verse form

I make no apology for this bunch from the 1980s...but I've got to admit, there was a lot of cringing going on when I re-read them after 30 years. So let's set this up in case you think I was some sort of crazed child banging my head on a wall in a padded room. My favourite films were The Breakfast Club and Back to the Future; my favourite books all involved young black girls in southern states of the USA except for the whole back catalogue of Judy Blume novels; I wanted to play football for England women;  I was the only black kid in an Essex school; I listened to Duran Duran, Billie Holiday, The Sugarcubes, INXS then a whole stack of glam metal bands;  and I went through a change of swapping flourescent odd socks and ra-ra skirts to black ensembles and a dirty denim jackets. Oh and don't forget my pink NHS glasses which travelled with me right through to the next decade. I'll be honest, I didn't particularly like myself very much - teenage years are tough for lots of people, and I found solace in adventurous and teen romance novels, playing the piano, bratpack films and writing.

Is it any wonder
Why kids like us today
Turn to drugs and violence
To help us on the way of life?
Can't you people realise
That your mistakes and fun
Will burden our damn shoulders
In all the years to come?
Destroying all our earth
And killing off our friends,
Before we've had a chance to start
We'll be facing the end.
We fear the bomb.
We fear the plague.
We fear the dark
Whatever it may hold.
Is this to us what God sends?
So, is it any wonder
Why kids like us today
Turn to drugs and violence
To help us on our way
Of life?
Stanford-le-hope, Essex

Don't listen to your father,
What the hell does he know?
With his feet up by the telly
Watching show after show.

Don't listen to your mother,
She's only repeating what he says.
She's just his warming agent
When he gets cold in bed.

Don't listen to your neighbours
With their gossip and their crap.
Always knowing who's with who
And who's had a heart attack.

Don't listen to your teacher
With their university degree.
They know f*@* all about life
Books and schools are all they see.

Don't listen to those bastards
Just take a word from me.
Listen to your own damn self,
That's the only remedy.
Stanford-le-hope, Essex

I really wish you were here good buddy,
Old partner, you would have helped.
But I guess I've gotta stand on these two feet
That the Lord above provided.
Is it me or them who's doing it wrong?
Or is it just the way of the inexperienced?
I don't know, probably never will, but hey
Does it really matter?
No, perhaps not, but
I still really wish you were here.
Good buddy.
Grenada, West Indies

A long way from where you know,
Unfamiliar surroundings cover you.
From place to place, town to town,
Street to street is unknown to you.
A strange dialect which puzzles you,
New customs you misunderstood
Weighs down on you.
Like the burning sun on your back,
Unable and no longer wanting to resist the pressure,
To ignore it, you've come far enough.
It was wrong to think you might enjoy yourself.
Oh so wrong.
For now your heart is heavy, and all your dreams are
Filled with memories and
Wishes of those you left behind.
Grenada, West Indies

Just a hand or a mouth in the right place
Makes Trakina a floating cloud,
White and fluffy in lots of blue.
But it's boring, she's been here before,
Can't you think of something new?
It's getting late and she might leave right now.

Trakina, is there something sweeter
On the other side?
Trakina, come here, come near,
You should take my advice.

Night noises and heartbeats in rhythm
Makes Trakina a sailing ship,
Up and down in lots of blue.
But she knows, she's not in control,
It's different from the old routine.
She has no say and you can push and pull.

Trakina, is there something sweeter
On the other side?
Trakina, come here, come near,
You should take my advice.

Can you talk to her? Laugh with her?
Or maybe hold her in your arms?
Coffee and tea for you and me, but Trakina
Must live on champagne.

Trakina, is there something sweeter
On the other side?
Trakina, come here, come near,
You should take my advice.

It's so hard to find a loverman in this town
I've searched everywhere, I've tried to track him down.
Got a picture in my head of how's he meant to be,
He'll be my only loverman who's gonna satisfy me.

My loverman is tall and handsome as can be,
His eyes are a gentle brown, soft as ice-cream.
Long brown hair tumbling down his face
And when he holds me in his arms, he takes me to a place

Called Heaven, not up in the sky so blue.
Heaven, or touching the stars so bright.
Heaven, it's down here next to you.
Heaven, you'll make me feel so right.

When I find my loverman, I'll never let him go.
I'll stay around night and day and I'll let him know
That I love him and want him forever and ever.
Look for me loverman, we'll make music together.

My loverman has kisses as sweet as a pot of jam
I tingle at the touch of his warm strong hands.
His caress is a soft and silky sensation
My loverman must be God's finest creation.
Old Corringham, Essex

When my man walked out on me
I didn't know what to do,
I cried my heart out daily
I was crying over you.

I lost myself in tears,
I lost myself in you.
I don't want to cry no more
I'm getting over you.

Now I'm feeling stronger
Stronger than before,
Time has healed the pain you caused
Hurt's gone from my door.

If you should ever come here
Returning back to me,
There'll be no welcome part
Just a stronger woman you'll see.
Old Corringham, Essex

I got the blues, nothing's new, it's happened before.
But still, like a fool I keep coming back for moe.
My heart is so low, yet I don't know
What I'd do without my man.

He ain't good to me, I wonder if he really cares.
It used to be all roses, but now it's all despair.
My heart is so sad when he's so bad
What would I do without my man?

I cry all day, but I get no sympathy,
He ain't never around long enough to care for me.
My heart is dying from all this crying
But I couldn't live without my man?

He beats me around, yet I love him still.
I scream and shout then I do as he wills.
My heart is tired, I must be crazy inside,
I don't want to live without my man.
Old Corringham, Essex

Got a feeling deep down that something ain't right,
Did you make a mistake in the spirit of the night?
Was it a release of strong emotions that had built up inside?
Don't hide behind guilt, don't hide.

Regret takes over like some crazy disease,
But in the heat of the moment, was it a cool fresh breeze?
Guilt ain't to blame, it ain't to blame.

It all starts so innocent with just a little smile,
But I bet you didn't see the light in his eye?
And you've gotta admit you were feeling it too,
Now it' too late. Guilt's gotta hold on you.

Can you hear a voice asking why did you do it?
Does your life feel like a bottomless pit?
Can you feel your luck slowly slipping away
And I bet sure as hell you're regretting that day.
Old Corringham, Essex

De-cluttering. It can be therapeutic but also unsettling. Having a clear out can often turn into a trip down memory lane. I have always loved writing; poetry to plays to stories to articles. This was my life from around the age of 12 to... well I don't know when I stopped writing regularly; but I did, and it really saddens me as I discover innocent, angry, naive words from my teenage self, that I did not pursue a career with a pen.

So as this blog was set up to give the 3G a little insight to their mama from days gone by, what better way than to read some of my thoughts, ideas and feelings as I was growing up. Nothing has been edited - as you will clearly see, this has all been copied from scribbled notes that I have hung onto all these years!