Geography Lessons

We are betterer then the Swiss
cause our cheese has no holes
and they need feet of snow
before they shut schools down

We are Africans that got lost
walking on water to China
and became white because
we argued with the sun

In Russia, they make cold sores
so we have to keep curtains
ironed in case they come
and make us like the poor.

Australia is made of desserts
that kangaroos jump in
but not like our puds
as they are originals

Reach Poetry

I wished upon a star

When was that night of Christmas lights
in streets shine-wet, the splash
of footsteps, windows bright for the curious
and you, hand cold and rough
as I tasted wood smoke of fireside happiness
Our conversation as empty
as the puddles, just a reflection
that vanished as the car swished
by letting you make a joke about snow
I wanted to say ‘fuck’ but you had.

Now even the roses on the bird-cage
are plastic as the voices
that made me invisible,
like cast off toys in attics,
then dogs barking
said it was time to kiss the cross,
keep eyes cold,
like rows of your brightest books,
but outside leaves rustle in the wind
and distant birds dot across the sky
saying all that matters.

I am not a silent poet

On Finding that nothing stays Sweet

In a small Welsh town of Abergavenny,
a market was held in sight of the old Town Hall.

Being eight years old, her tears dried
by face powder and the lipstick smile,

was forgotten as the monkey danced
in fur and red cap to an old accordion
battered dull by his master’s thick fingers.

I always ignored whispers, and the sighs of told-you-so,
with made up stories that faeries made you good

like clothes from a shop, not jumble from a straw bag.
Still full of dance, I saw the toffee-apple,

brown with sweet redness, and left the monkey
as I snatched my silver pocket money coin

and ran through the vegetables:
cabbages piled high,
carrots racked on long leeks,
potatoes humped in heaps

then I turned and saw her gone, stolen like a daddy.
If I find that monkey, perhaps I’ll stop running.

Published in Poetry Atlas