As anyone who’s passionate about writing (or anything else for that matter) will know, it’s very easy when “in the zone” to fall into the trap of forgetting to eat. Then, forced by something mundane like the need to have a wee you step back for a moment and realise you’re BLOODY STARVING. As this small collection of recently discovered literary first drafts shows, this is not a new phenomenon…
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring me a sandwich, thank you mum.
I think that I shall never spy
A poem lovely as a pie
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
Then you, good sir, have earned a plate of stew
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Bisto gravy like a river ran
Through bangers and mash to fill a man
It MUST be time for tea?
I was stuck the other morning and couldn’t think of anything to write, so I did some ‘morning papers’ to give myself a kickstart. This wasn’t intended as a poem – it was just random wool-gathering – but when I read it back I quite liked it. It’s not a poem yet, but probably has (whimsical) potential…
When I Was Very Small
When I was very small I held a bee in my hand.
It tickled but did not sting.
When I was very small I put a goldfish in my mouth.
My sister said I chewed it, but I think I just spat it out.
When I was very small I could recite the books of the Old Testament.
They meant nothing to me, but I liked the sounds they made and it made my mother proud.
When I was very small I rode a horse made of tin and I loved him.
When I was very small I had lots of hiding places.
When I was very small I was quite stupid, but not in a bad way.
On Hearing of the Opening of “The UK’s First Paper Straw Factory in Decades”
The paper straw
Is a sensible notion
But as plastic waste goes
Just a drop in the ocean
I must, I really must…
I must go down to the sea again
To the lonely sea and sky
But I’ll wear my hat to avoid the splat
From a seagull flying by
I must go down to the sea again
To Butlin’s in Skegness
Where the skies are grey and it rains all day
And the beach is a fucking mess.
Unashamedly mawkish this one, so if mawk not your bag look away now!
Valentine’s night so we’re out on the town
We can’t afford much since the factory closed down
So we’ve gone for the cheapest three courses around
But that’ll do for us two.
Our starters were lovely, the steaks were divine
She had a jacket – I had chips with mine
Two glasses included of sparkling wine,
I’d rather have beer, wouldn’t you?
Dessert was the third course – the cheesecake for me
She had the trifle, her favourite you see,
Then after the meal there were coffees for free!
Can’t go wrong at that price, can you?
She only ate half ‘cos she’s scared she’ll get fat
She said ‘I’m full up,’ but she always says that
I finished it for her in two seconds flat
Waste not, want not, that’s us two.
Then after the dinner they brought her a rose
It sounds a bit corny to some, I suppose,
But she’d tears in her eyes like the night I proposed
– Soft as shite, us two.
We had one more drink then, ‘I’m tired,’ she said
So we caught the last bus feeling blessed and well fed
Then we curled like two spoons as we cuddled in bed
– That’ll do for us two.