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Harriet Cleve Oct 2016
He was a horse of a man
equestrian you might say
Hi Ya Horse!  would call
as he cantered along his way

shirt three buttons open, tattoo on his chest
blinged medallion stallion
a breed above the rest

of course he was no stallion
his looks were crude and bland
larger in **** pocket, nosebag in his hand

his mane was long and full of dirt
it never  saw a rake
yet still he thought that he could flirt
I know, for pity's sake

still and all he loved to hear
Hi Ya Horse! called out
hoping for a filly at the other end of shout

one day, not paying attention
look out Horse ! cried out
he walked in front of a speeding bike
and knocked the cyclist out

nor did Horse recover
amongst that steel and blood
for when they finished treating him
he would never now be a stud

he was a shadow of a man
timid you might say
Hi Ya Horse! they'd call
as he looked the other way

yet  in his mind he'd still recall
his former glory day
Hi Ya Horse! would echo
as he limped along his way.

they shoot horses, don't they ?
Harriet Cleve May 2019
The lepers of poverty remain uncured

untouched by affluence

or the lining of Jesus's robes

untouched by society

by me

by you

in our fear we turn our eyes

the disease has spread

we tip toe through the colonies

then wash our face and hands

it is time for a light lunch

we have an appointment with Pontious Pilate
Harriet Cleve Jul 2019
Marlo was a poet deep down to the marrow in his bones.
Yes, his vocabulary was crude and expressively challenged.
Only one guy knew his secret. The nerd from apartment 3b.

'Right' said Marlo to the diminutive Dave.

'You are going to write my poems for me! Or you are dead meat!'

Marlo was a Skinhead from Bromley and well versed in the art of bone breaking, skull smashing, soul destroying, and doling out harrowing hidings to the likes of young Dave.
He could swing a mean chain with the best of them,

'What about your Doc Martens? My job is to polish them isn't it?'

'Don't be a smart ***! Marlo said

'I just found out you write poems and they're not bad'

'Now you will be writing mine and embellish the words to sound like me'.

'No one will believe it Marlo, you will be a laughing stock!'

Marlo lifted Dave up to his face and took out a razor blade.

'Don't ever say that again or I find a new boot polisher'.

'What is the poem or poems about?' replied Dave in a choked voice

'The Skinhead life and it's merits' said Marlo placing him down

'What about 'the Tao of Skinheadism?'said Dave

'What the hell does that mean? Are you having a laugh?'

No! No! This is what I mean. I need to write the poem with you.

Okay! Marlo shouted

'I have an hour free tonight! One hour and you better be on song!'

'I'm meeting the lads to collect the money lenders stash'

'Will you be using a pseudonym?'

'You cheeky *******! How dare you? What does that even mean?

Marlo went red in the gills and prepared to give Dave a going over.

'It means a fake name so no one knows it's you!

'You know till you get famous and people discover your talent!'

'Ohhhh' okay then, we will talk about that and all'

'Now stay here till I get back and get those boots polished'

'I want the purple shining!'

Marlo walked out then and Dave had a nosey at his book case.

There amongst the ******* magazines was a well worn book.

'My time in Cell block 19' by Nailer Thomond

Dave saw some scribbled notes then.

'I don't believe it?'

Here were a number of poems and Dave sat down to read them

They were the work of a pyscho and shocked him to the core.

Suddenly the door burst open. It was kicked in violently.

'You! Marlo you ***** **** *******!

'You're coming with me!'

Dave was dragged out screaming 'I'm not Marlo!'

'You lying *******!

Ten streets down Marlo was kicking in another door.

'You're behind on payments, you *******!'

The screams were horrific as Marlo worked his stuff.

In his mind he looked forward to that hour with Dave.

'After I finish with you, I guarantee you will never miss a payment again'.

Ten streets down, Dave was forced into a car and poems were the last thing on his mind.
Harriet Cleve Aug 2019
I've had my fill of pig swill

said the garrulous pig to the blathering black dog

Have you now? exclaimed the drunken cow

looking menacingly at the bloated snorting sow

Aye! Enough of the swill said the tired old dog

What we need now is porter and grog

fine wine too! fine wine! roared the swine

a hen in the corner, ******, gave a cluck

I've had enough so I don't give a   look at that!

what? Look at what? squeaked three tittering mice

drunk on their saki and barley and rice

Over there by the chair is a dancing brown bear

drinking Harvey wall bangers and n'er a care

How dare! How dare he not pass the bottle

We'll twist his neck and give it  a throttle

Now now! said the rat echoed by cat

Enough of that! No need for that

I've brought you all a share of my dream

A bottle of sweet Harvey's Bristol cream

Hurray! they all cried and drank through the night

everyone of them sozzled not a sober in sight

That's where we leave them with smiles on their faces

all getting on famous then going home to their places

The Moon looked down and then told the Sun

All the animals went mad! Drunk every one!
Harriet Cleve Mar 2019
His teeth were false
but so was she
her tear-dropped gentle sob
his flashing smile concealed from her
a gurnied gummy gob

He wore a wig
but so did she
not just for satisfaction
she had to stack the odds her way
the laws of sweet attraction

His words were lies
but so were hers
she only wanted money
he told her he was stinking rich
she said she was his honey

He lied about his love for art
she told him he was great
and all the while she sized him up
to be her wedded mate

Many times she held his hand
many times she cried
said she lived for only him
and would until she died

That fateful day he told the truth
he had to let it out
she hit the roof and blew her top
began to scream and shout

'You lying swine!'
'I gave my all'
she uttered in a sob
his jaw dropped then
and as it did
revealed  his gummy gob

His teeth were false
but so was she
she lorded over men
they both threw out their ghastly wigs
and never met again

Yes -.his teeth were false
but so was she...
Harriet Cleve Feb 2019
Once from a big, big building,
When I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows
Would smile at me and call.

And in the hard wee gardens
Such pleasant men would ***:
"Sir, may we touch the little girl's hair!" —
It was so red, you know.

They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.

And out of all the windows,
No matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me
And make me compliment.

There were a thousand windows,
All latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows,
When we went back to town,

The queer folk put their faces,
As gentle as could be;
"Come again, little girl!" they called, and I
Called back, "You come see me!"
A great poem by Edna St Vincent Millay
Harriet Cleve Feb 2019
always remember

you are a lump of coal

in a world full of coal mines

whose purpose is to fuel the engines

of indifferent employers

who harness your fire

your glow

your life force

in a cauldron of deceit

then stoke your ashes

away from the flame
Harriet Cleve Nov 2019
Life happens

poetry helps
Harriet Cleve Jul 2018
Baroness Penniless stripping for your art

creaming up your body like an apple ****

tomato bras and candelabras that's your dada art

take a side, not suicide, looking for your place

don't be a *****, be the **** descending staircase

Duchamp, your champ,  your ready -made not taking any chances

A sheet of glass and your fine *** declines your *** advances

Marcel, Marcel, I love you like Hell, take me to your mountain

we will not stop until the top and there I'll find my fountain

Marcel, Marcel, can it be true, the thief is here what will we do?

Forgotten like this parapluie am I by you

Baroness Elsa von Freytag- Loringhoven Mother of Dada Art

sitting in the jolly inn playing out your part

Berlin, Berlin and there within the forming of a ylem

you end your ways and count the days in a pyschriatric ayslum

Baroness Penniless stripping for your art

creaming up your body like an apple ****

tomato bras and candleabras that's your dada art
Tribute to Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven founder of Dada Art
Harriet Cleve Nov 2019
In the dense scrubland of a Guayan jungle

my girl Beryl cuts a swathe

larger than an Indian Elephant

no bigger girl God ever made

once she stared a rhino down

kicked a vulture out of town

took on skinheads, chains and all

smashed their heads in, what a doll

Beryl writes me every day

she's heading home this coming May
Harriet Cleve Nov 2019
Four women stared at the shoes.
Only one could afford them. Only one wanted them.
Only one needed them.

The fourth woman would steal them.

Beryl Masterman glared at her competitors in the plush carpeted showroom of Sothebys on Oxford street

Her eyes were transfixed on the three women. Seething with rage at the sight of her great grandmother's former diamond studded heirlooms on ****** display in a gold gilded glass cased monstrosity.

Beryl was a beautiful woman possessed with delusions of grandeur.
Her family's fortunes were lost when the ***** industry collapsed and the Chinese authorities nationalised their properties.
Barely escaping with their lives they had  made a valiant attempt to smuggle arms into the Congo in the hope of securing a lease on a diamond mine in the Transvaal.

This scheme  too was fated to collapse but not before forty extremely precious diamonds were discretely sewn into the hem of Great Aunt Sarah's wedding dress.

It was a small step, no pun intended, to get a cobbler to purpose build a beautiful pair of diamond studded shoes. No one knows what price he was paid or if it covered the cost of his funeral two days after the shoes were handed over.

The Mastermans were a ruthless lot and each generation had an intelligent matriarch at the head of the family.

Beryl was trained in the ancient art of skullduggery, hand to hand combat,profiency in wrestling and was an expert with a rapier.

All her skills would be called upon in the events about to unfold.

Only once had Beryl come close to death. Making a mad dash across check point Charlie she had unleashed a full ammo clip when her sten gun misfired. The startled guard, a brute of a woman with the fists of a boxer cut Beryl's face with a nasty uppercut. This immediately caused her nose bone to destruct and the blood flowed unmercilessly.

Provoked by this savage attack Beryl lunged into a full tilt roundhouse and caught the guard on the side of the head causing instant death. Five other guards shocked at her reactions failed to act and Beryl made it to safety. This would go down in legend although it was the least of her exploits.

Hitting thirty eight now she still had the legs of a glamour model.
Six foot six and a beer belly to match the bar flys in any American city. Yes, she was out of shape but once committed to a cause was known to get into fighting shape in rapid order.

It's true that her mishaped nose took away from her looks slightly but even at that men stopped in their tracks at the elegant gait.
Men were known to duel at dawn for her affections.
No one ever really captured her heart and had they known her scurrilous background they would have backed up the bus a mile before she boarded.

As Beryl cased the room and took note of the exits and fire escapes she noticed a small man looking at her. It might have been an innocent glance but nonetheless his body was found an hour later in the Gentlemans privy with his head shoved and smashed into a ******. The look of horror on his mutilated face was a sight the coroner to this day has never forgot.

Beryl was on a mission and it was essential to get those shoes.
Her fake passport and identity were in her handbag and a hotel reservation booked in South America. Tonight she would steal the shoes and three women would lie dead in their hotel rooms.

One man would be given the task of solving the case. Detective Harry Horsefooder would need his full faculties to bear down on the culprit. As Beryl's plane took off that very night his body was found torn from limb to limb in the backroom of a cheap hotel. He never got a chance to fire his weapon. His eyes were gouged out and his wallet was missing.

Scotland Yard were now on the case. The trail would lead them all over the map of South America.

In a hotel in São Paulo Beryl lounged across her bed. Smoking a Cuban cigar she figured out her next move.
Perhaps she would get the next flight to Cape Town.
The shoes were going back to Africa either way.

Beryl gazed in the mirror and looked at her reflection.
The belly was getting harder to lose. The make up not quite as good at camouflaging her broken nose. A couple of teeth were getting loose in her head but by God she was still beautiful.

A soft smile traced her countenance but even as she relaxed another woman was on her trail. An enemy from the past.
The incident from Check point Charlie was about to reignite.

A KGB agent wanted to apprehend Beryl. She had orders to bring her back to Mother Russia. Belanka Stavros Lettrovnass was on a flight to Sao Paula.

Belanka looked at the photo of Beryl her handlers had given her.

'What a fat ugly looking *****' she thought.

Already she was underestimating Beryl and this would have fateful consequences for the KGB's best undercover operative.

Beryl averted her gaze from the mirror and sank back a Black Russian. Stretching her torso across her bed she thought to herself

'I will get the Masterman fortunes back. Or die trying'

Then she closed her eyes and slept the sleep of the just and righteous.
Beryl's exploits will follow soon.
Harriet Cleve Nov 2019
Billy Bunter looked in the mirror.Two years had passed since he left school. Greyfriars school for young gentlemen had finally made a man of him.

Back then he was an obese, corpulent, extremely fat boy. He had survived his education. If those beastly young men who bullied him mercilessly could see him now.

Billy had turned eighteen when he left school and had found employment in a small back street power-lifting gym.

A good head for figures had landed him a job running the accounts. It was here he met an old man, William Wilson, who took him under his wing and trained him in the art of nutrition and body building.

Incredibly  Billy lost the weight rapidly and discovered he was an athlete. All six foot seven of him was a lean, muscular, lithe physique.

Wilson was a fellow Englishman with a mysterious background. He was an old man and yet looked remarkably young. He became a mentor for Billy and would play a significant role in the life of Billy Bunter.

War had broke out over Europe and Billy enlisted in the British army. Now he was private Billy Bunter of the Queens Own 17th Hussars. One more proud glance in the mirror.

'If ****** wants Old Blighty that badly he better have an appetite for a lion.
We will show that old rotter a thing or two!'

Just then his fellow new recruit, Thomas Cowardman walked in.

A sleek young man of equal height to Billy, Cowardman was an officer and Billy was assigned to be his batman.

'Steady on old chap!' he said

'Your first thoughts will be to ensure I survive this war, Bunter!'

If even a hair of my brylcreamed head is knocked out of place it shall be you who is to blame! Understand Bunter?!'

Billy had met his type before in Greyfriars and knew how to handle him.

"Yes sir! If you get the honour of a Victoria Cross it will not be posthumous'

'That's the spirit Bunter! said Cowardman

'Glory and honour for England and all that, eh?'

'That's it sir! Billy responded.

'Look here sir, I have made you a brew of your favourite tea. Earl Grey sir'

'Good man Bunter. Now remove yourself from my quarters.
You are beginning to annoy me old chap.
Is that a smell of body odour I detect?
Go on and scrub up wont you?
It wouldn't be seen for me to have an unhygienic batman would it?

Billy was as fresh as a new dawn and had only taken a shower. He knew Cowardman was setting out his place in the hierarchy.

'Good idea, Sir!'Billy said.

Suddenly a young woman knocked on the door.


Yes? said Cowardman

'Private Bunter is required immediately by Major Wilson'

'Well Bunter, hop to it!'

Billy left the room and Cowardman was alone with his thoughts.

'What in God's good name do they want with an ignoramus like Bunter?' he thought.

'Well, what of it. If that bufoon Wilson wants a word with Bunter I will worm it out of that moran. Billy Bunter? What in the name of all that is unholy. Billy Bunter.  What kind of a peasant is he?'

All these thoughts ran through him. Lifting the cup of Earl Grey he gently poured a slug of gin into it and sipped it back.

'I hear he went to that decrepid grammar school with Caruthers. Greyfriars! he snorted with derision. What has become of the empire?  A sneaky chuckle emitted from his pale thin lips.

Greyfriars? Bunter? The Empire?
What a howl.The flower of England is it? Haw haw haw!

Chapter two: --------------------------

'At ease Bunter' said Major Wilson.

'Sir! Yes, sir!

Two other men, in civilian clothing,  sat beside Wilson. One of then wore an eye monocle.  He glared at Billy as though he were an insect beneath a microscope.

A serious looking fellow in a pinstripe with an elegant handlebar moustache.

The other chap was a rugged looking man. His eyes pierced Billy's with fierce intensity.

'Well Bunter,  who would have predicted the war eh?'

'From what I hear sir, Prime Minister Churchill read their cards from their very beginnings.
'Odious vermin' I think he called them. Rightly too sir!  The jackboot of **** Germany will not stomp on England's fair fields if I have my way sir!

'Excellent Bunter, well said old fellow!'

The two men in civilian clothes remained silent.

'Now to business,  Bunter'

'You are here because I have made contact with the War Office'

'I have met directly with Churchill himself'

'Before I say another word you must first be sworn into the Official Secrets Act'

'These two gentlemen will speak to you in detail once you have done so'

In that moment Billy Bunter became a covert agent in the Secret Service.

His mission was explained in full detail.

'Now, old chap' said the monocled gentleman.

'Your role as Batman to Officer Cowardman, an unfortunate appellant,  is a cover only.

'We, along with our Czech friends, have decided to take out, that is, assassinate Reinhard Heydrich'

'You, Bunter, will be a part of the assassination team'

'As will Cowardman whom we shall speak to next'

'You will be sent to a secret military base and given full training in weaponry, spying and hand to hand combat'

Billy Bunter was shocked to the core. Here he was, a Greyfriars graduate about to explode on the map of History.

'Congratulations, old chap!' said Wilson

'Now go and get Cowardman.  Do not say  word until he is briefed'

Billy returned to Cowardman's quarters.

'Your presence is required in Major Wilsons office Sir'

'Is it now?'

'Polish my boots old chap and have them gleaming when I return'

Cowardman looked at Billy with disgust.

Perhaps I am getting a new batman he hoped.

Cowardman knocked on the door of Wilsons office.

'Come in Cowardman!'

The door of History opened and **** Germany were in for a rude awakening.

Chapter three : following soon-------

At ease, Cowardman. At ease'.

'Yes sir Major Wilson'

'Has Bunter said anything to you?'


'About his meeting just now'

'No sir'

'Good. A fine splendid fellow'

'What do you think of him, Cowardman'

'If you don't me speaking candidly Sir?'

'Go on'

'Well Sir, I feel he is insufficiently educated to be an officers batman.  His diction and vocal inflection are to be desired. I fear he is cannon fodder and to continue with that phrase perhaps a loose cannon.

'Anything else Cowardman? '

'If I may sir request he is transferred elsewhere.  After all isn't it beneath my station, an Oxford graduate, to be subject to the dregs of society'.

'That will do Cowardman'

'I will ask you to keep in mind that your Country is at war. Any man willing to shoulder a rifle is deserving of respect.
If Bunter dies in this war, his patriotism is no less than yours'

'Do I make myself clear, Cowardman?

'Sir! Yes Sir!'

Cowardman's guts were churning. He knew he had overstepped his position. Wilson looked flush with anger and was red in the gills.

'I have chosen you Cowardman for a dangerous mission. It may be that you do not survive it such is the nature of warfare.
I believe though that you will survive it'

'I believe further that Bunter is the reason you will survive'

'I know character when I see it Cowardman. You may yet redeem yourselve in my standing.

'It is because you speak German as good as the Fuhrer that I have chosen you. Also you are an educated man and you will be ideal in the circles of the upper society of the *****. You are going to Germany, Cowardman'  

'Now, before I say anything further we must first swear you into the covert agency.  The official secrets act will be applicable'

Cowardman's face blanched. He felt his stomach churning and a nauseaus feeling crept into his gut. This was horrible news.
He felt he might pass out.

Was that buffoon Wilson out of his ****** mind. The fool!  An old **** who had drank at the deep cups of life. While he, Cowardman, a young man only starting out.
This couldn't be happening.

**** Wilson! And this war he thought.  **** Bunter too!'

The room started to spin.

'Sit down old fellow won't you?'

'I can see you are bursting with pride at this opportunity to bring honour to your country and your family name'

'Well done old boy!'

Wilson poured a scotch on the rocks for himself and a plain sparkling water for Cowardman.

'Your good health, Cowardman!' said Wilson

Cowardman was seething with fury. He was sworn in and briefed about the mission.

'Good Christ! Are they mad?  Assassinate Reinhard Heydrich?  ******'s man with the heart of iron! In **** occupied Prague.
It's a suicide mission he wailed inwardly.

Those Nazis were tough mother ******* and enjoyed the killing.

By God, he thought, Bunter will suffer for this

'I will punish him for the hell of it' he thought to himself

'Now Cowardman, remember Bunter is a batman as a cover only. You are both of equal rank in the old boys network.  You know how it works'

'Yes sir'

Cowardman was raging. 'Outrageous! was what he wanted to scream.

'When do we set out, Bunter and I, for training Sir? '

'You will be flown to the training camp in a Hawker Hurricane.

'How exciting is that!'

'A Hawker Hurricane Sir? '

'What did you expect, Cowardman?'

'A Spitfire perhaps Sir?'

'Splendid! Splendid! guffawed Wilson

'The fellow has a sense of humour after all'

The room exploded with gales of laughter.

Cowardman tried his best to put on a brave face. But bravery and Cowardman were polar opposites. He was trembling at the prospects of flying into the training camp let alone **** Germany.  

'Bunter, he thought,  you will be my body guard old boy' By God you will make sure I get out with my skin intact'

'Dismissed till nine a.m Cowardman'

'Thank you Sir for placing your confidence in me'

'Not at all my boy!'

Cowardman left the office with his lily white liver in his cowardly throat'

Even his footsteps felt sorry for him as he paraded down the hall back to his quarters.

Chapter four - to follow

A nod to Charles Hamilton and George McDonald Fraser
Harriet Cleve Dec 2018
there is a hill today where gravestones once gathered

shouting out names to blameless Gods

where gravestones gathered in whispered songs

when winds were silent and listened close

Beneath that hill that cradles ghosts

only bones can tell the truth

in the beginning was the word

in the end was the grave

let your prayers take flight and land where they will

I am alone at rest on that hill

blame not the Gods who ne'r gave you breath

It was a man promised you there was life after death

there is a hill today where gravestones once gathered

then gathered their words and all went away

I have rested a moment and while I there lay

the bones just below me wanted to say

let your prayers take flight and land where they will

for we are here still beneath this dank hill

blame not the Gods who ne'r gave you breath

It was a man promised you there was life after death
who will shine on the Sun in its darkest hour?

place a trace of light upon its countenance

hold the hand that warmed our hearts

farewell dear friend

You were all of our days and respite from night

the hope in our lives

a bright fragment in a drab world
Harriet Cleve Jun 2016
Stretched for miles was a meadow of yellow buttercups standing three feet tall
all their petals open to full throttle like propellors on an old airplane ready for take off
in an airfield looking for pilots to sail them to the heavens speaking in a language only
the wind could understand as it blew soft amongst their wings looking to achieve
terminal velocity while the drone of their engines filtered my senses as we took off to the skies
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
'What are you going to do with us?'

'Do with you?'

'Well, well, well! we have a thinker amongst us?'

' You will do what we tell you! We will do the telling!'"

'We will do the kicking!'

'We will do the thinking!'

It was late afternoon. Three young boys had wandered around a low wall of an old delapidated graveyard. Unwittingly they had uncovered a lair of drunken skinheads. Cider bottles lay unceremoniously strewn about the tombstones. Cigarette butts grew from the soil in abundant numbers. Some of the headstones were scorched from the flames of a bonfire; burning near a shrub where the roots spread like crippled arthritic fingers coming up from the dank soil.

Tom looked in terror at the features of the face on which the mouth threatening him was offset to a broken nose. He recoiled at the sight of the teeth in that cavernous filthy mouth.

One of his teeth were capped in a putrid yellow veneer. His lips thin and vicious. The vaccuous look in the skinhead's eyes were evident of drug abuse. His face was skeletal and close to death.
Suddenly Tom was struck across the face by a sovereign ringed fist.

The blow knocked him to his feet and it was all he could do not to cry out in terror. He received a kick to the side of his head and his mind reeled with the conviction he was about to die. He was pulled to his feet and lifted to the face of his tormentor.

'You scummy little *******!'

'What are we going to do with you?'

'You and your mates are going to build a den with all the debris about you. Start collecting them broken slabs and bring them to the fire!'

A roar of laughter came from the bonfire.

Five other skinners looked on in hallucinatory amusement as Ned Marlo gave the eight year old kid a kick up the ****.

All this time young Tom's friends Martin and Robert watched as Tom was further brutalised and got a frightening going over.
They were terrified and mute with shock. It was dusky now and a cold breeze chilled their tears which poured from their horrified eyes.

Getting slowly to his feet Tom started gathering old stones and slabs.

Dates stared back at him from the headstones.

William Crawley  died 1882
devout husband  - succumbed to typhoid
God have mercy on his soul

Tom would die in this very graveyard. He was sure of it. The skinheads were out of their heads on drugs. One of them had taken out a razor blade and was waving it in front of Robert.

Now it was dark. A moon watched intensely from a point so far away it was powerless to intervene.

Peering up from the stoney ground in curious wonder were the eyes of a very large rat.

Then more eyes as if they had come to witness this horrible scenario.

Instinctively and with great courage for a young man, Tom grabbed them in his arms and hurled them at the startled skinners.

Then he ran for the gap in the wall as if his life depended on it.

He ran and ran and ran like the hounds of hell.
Martin and Robert ran like prize Olympians behind him.

'Come back you little *******!'

'You shower of *******, come back!'

Still the young boys ran and even the Devil would not catch them in that moment.

The grave of William Crawley suddenly subsided and Ned Marlo fell into the typhoid ridden abyss.
Harriet Cleve Dec 2019
I fear for my mind and an eye that is blind

once I was young and I was Carl Jung

walking in shadows across valleys of death

where I met

Archetypes and long held gripes

smoke billowing from old mouth pipes

like a London smog and thick dense fog

prohibiting the collective unconscious from being conscious

choke-smoke break-broke a demons back

sidetracked from neurosis and numinous complexes

Was I mad to protect and project my delusions?

Only if the rain in Spain was insane

handing umbrellas to slithering Suns

to protect my cranium from uranium

Yes I was a mad genius on the brink of sanity

proscribing from the lunatic fringe

Unhinged and unheralded

solutions to the answers to existence

a pied piper taken out by a ******

a new beginning  has begun

So long Carl Jung

the hand of Freud or fraud

is nowhere near the mind of God

Nor are you or your motley crew

If Jung is God then all is lost
Harriet Cleve Jul 2018
that was the year of chasing butterflies

down yesterday's roads where lopsided iron gates

flung their welcome arms open

brushing the wings of painted ladies

that was the year of chasing sunsets

down yesterday's skies where callous clouds

swallowed the sinking Sun

dripping shadows on the Crimson ladybirds

that was the year of you chasing dreams

down yesterday's fields where glorious green grass

stretched for miles and we were new age pioneers

rolling our wheelchairs across the plains
around a coke-fire lit like a rush-torch of the kind you might see on a grey stone wall of any Kings castle in old England, gathered a crowd of calloused and cold knarled hands greedily grabbing the heat from the stoked coals gouged from the eyes of an English mine.

It is the hands that betray the men. Countless men hardened by the sting of many cruel winters; their faces testimony to extreme hardships and desperate lives.

Hands that have swung picks into a terrified stoney soil or whose firm grip lashed the earth with shovels till the splinters of the handles sank their vengeful teeth into flesh, ripping the nails from oblivious fingers.
Men who laboured for a miserable wage and whose hands built a new England. Whose shoulders buckled under the load of the hod and whose feet scaled the scaffolding of progress for a future their eyes would not see.

Around the circumference of the coke- fire they gathered like warriors amongst carnage on a battlefield where it was uncertain whose side has won the conflict. Breath from their mouths gushes out like smoke from a dragon slain in slaughter and the fire spits in their faces in defiance.

We do not know what dreams they carried or if their thoughts sought expression in the form of words from a pen stabbed on rough paper.
There must have been poets amongst them whose verse lay silent in their hands and never left their hearts.

Yet I see their poetry. It is here in these buildings and industry of England. The flames leap into the frosty night sky heralding a victory cry. These are the men who lived and died as unsung heroes. Let these words be their song.
Harriet Cleve Jul 2018
Courage and his old friend Coward

hand in hand felt quite empowered

off they went from tower to steeple

amongst the land of broken people

they climbed amongst the highest fears

sailed the deepest darkest tears

weaved amongst the dreadest schemes

faced down nightmares, took on dreams

Coward hoped they'd do some good

in the land of flesh and blood

He didn't feel so terrified

now that Courage was by his side

they walked in wars and abject terror

hoped the world would see its error

Sometimes they got a glimpse of peace

yet many times that too would cease

Centuries passed and Courage cried

'You can't say we haven't tried!'

Then Coward's knobbly knees would settle

deep inside he'd find his mettle

In the land of broken people

beneath the towers and lofty steeple

Hope came home, it may seem absurd

holding hands with his old pal Word

Off they went to home sweet homes

Writing letters, posting poems

Off they went from tower to steeple

holding hands and healing people

Courage and his old friend Coward

hand in hand felt quite empowered

off they went from tower to steeple

with Hope and Word to heal the people
only your pencil cared for you

that conduit to a tormented brain

a writer’s dice crash landing on paper

looking for a six in the alphabet

it was your poems that hated you

for abandoning them to the mercy of indifference
Harriet Cleve May 2019
Cuthbert Cutknife was a peculiar young lad. When he was nine, his mother toughened him up for Grammar school.
Veronica, his mum, was as hard as nails and came from a dubious parentage. Her peers said she was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. It was rumoured that her ancestry was vintage thuggery.
Some even said her great paternal grandfather was a pirate. This would account for the affluent lifestyle her family enjoyed.
Whispers were in circulation that she was a military trained former assassin; assigned to protect her Majesty the Queen.

Either way, she was one tough mother. Cuthbert was a nancy to the naked eye. Demure in appearance and manner, he looked as soft as melted marshmallows in an autoclave. A skeleton had more flesh on it's bones than he did. His voice was girlish and his gait effeminate.
This made him a target through the years and was the cause of many a bully's demise. Cuthbert was deceptive in his masculinity but he was a hard ******* and a vicious, malevolent streak ran through his veins. He had just turned sixteen and was enrolled in Grimshaws Grammar school for young gentlemen. This was a boarding school notorious for bully boy pupils and bully man teachers. Education was secondary to survival and the worst of young men excelled in the art of debauchery and villainy; which were on the curriculum.

Cuthbert was 'welcomed' on the first day by the headmaster, a nasty piece of work, Master Whipfrenzy. A young **** was at his side, Tom Thompson, and given instruction to settle young Cutknife into his form quarters.

Thompson didn't beat around the bush. As soon as they were out of sight of Whipfrenzy, he pulled Cuthbert into a side room where seven young lads were waiting to give him a hiding.

Thompson started the ball rolling and lashed out an unmerciful
kick at Cuthbert intended to destroy his manhood. No sooner did he do so than it was countermoved by Cuthbert by a concealed flickknife. Thompson's leg was sliced open like a side of bacon on an eager chef's skewer. Shrieks of terror followed at the rapid response of Cuthbert and all seven lads ran for their lives.

In shock Thompson wailed as his lifeblood was pouring out in torrents. Skilled in the art of battlefield wound surgery, Cuthbert applied a tourniquet and waited for the scattered lads to return with the authorities.
Between the tears and fears for his life, Thompson was subjected to a few well placed boots to the kidneys by Cuthbert.

'Spread the word around Thompson'

'Anyone taking me on better be carrying iron or steel'

'Next time one of us dies and I don't fancy your chances of survival'

Thompson bawled his eyes out and the blood poured and poured and poured.

Footsteps came scurrying down the hall in panic and no one could believe what happened.

'He looks like a girl?'

'Are you sure it was him?'

Cuthbert had arrived and Grimshaws Grammar school for young gentlemen was in for a rude awakening.
Harriet Cleve Jul 2018
the butterfly lives and takes each day

they know not of tomorrow

each moves their *** and sits on grass

for them there is no sorrow

Amongst the trees and earthy bees

they exercise no power

content, no rent and time well spent

dancing with a flower

they flitter and they flutter by on dainty gentle wings

care not about or think about what the next life brings

it's enough to live and breathe the air and savour every hour

How I 'd love to be like them and dance with every flower
Harriet Cleve Dec 2019
We are not illuminated beings with a dark side

we are dark beings with a shadow of illumination
Harriet Cleve Oct 2019
Dear Louise

So sorry to hear your pet elephant went on the rampage through your front room. I know you treasured that antique vase your great grandfather pillaged from an ancient tomb in Cairo.

Try not to worry about your crushed shoulder blades. You were never too fast on your feet. Elephants can outrun an Olympian when they decide to get going.

I understand the insurance company refused to entertain any associated damage as contrary to the household goods act 1783.

What a pity but to be expected eh? Anyway what possessed you to turn on Wild Safari on a Sunday afternoon. That 85 inch telly is like a window into Africa. No doubt that elephant thought he was one step away from the Savannah.

Well done and full kudos to the grandad on the Honda 50 who went in pursuit of that magnificent creature. What a heroic gesture he attempted in overtaking your pet and waving his arms in the air.
A brave but futile attempt. You might want to know he was picked up off the ground by a rapid response ambulance. First reports say he will live but will be restricted in his mobility for at least two years.
The Honda is a write off and his family are none too pleased.

Anyway at least the Zoo are happy with their new acquisition.

Your elephant has settled in nicely.

I know you are anxious to get a replacement pet to keep you company. Maybe now is not the right time for an anaconda.

I will drop by next Sunday and drop a few grapes into you.

All my love

Harriet Cleve Apr 2019
Well, well, well, Dimitrious

here you are, your neck in the noose
time is up, poor cooked goose

look now who holds the rope in hand
the drop is deep and dark and

for you, Dimitrious the scourge

did you not scent the danger?
the baby in the manger
the quiet handsome stranger

look how the blade grins

it's appetite whetted

it will starve, Dimitrious

nor will it slake your blood

the fibres of the rope kiss your neck
such tenderness in that sweet embrace
well, well, well, your eyes now well
I can tell
your bulging eyes beg


not today, Dimitrious

let us share our scars beneath the stars
of Hell
may the Devil embrace us both
our sins will not purge
nor will you scourge


for the drop is deep
the rope is long
your neck is strong
What is wrong, Dimitrious?

what is wrong?
Harriet Cleve Oct 2019
Dear Mrs Kong

Your son King is doing extremely well in the film business.
We expect his latest role will be a block buster.

Please ensure you manage the payment fees wisely

King is unlikely to be offered another role as his appearance will undoubtedly type cast him.

Best regards to Mr. Kong.

Jack Warner

Ps. King was an inspired name. I am trying to get funding for a new spy movie 'The gorilla who loved me' and an action movie 'The gorilla who would be king'. Much depends on the latest fad for Gorillas in a leading role. Tarzan also being considered however Johnny Weissmuller upset at not being the king of the Jungle if King appears as a cameo. Will keep you posted!
Harriet Cleve May 2019
'Well, tough kinaski ! as they say in hell-hole heaven'

'kiss my lily -white *** and whinge about it some place else"

'while you're at it, wash your eyes out with bleach'

' Things you seen must've wrecked your head'

'What's the matter, lard ***?'

'You dumber than you look?'

Steam rose in swirling menacing clouds from the kettle.

'I told you before if you mouth off like that, I ain't gonna take it'

'You back cheeking me, *******?

'No Ma, just sayin back off is all'

'Back off?'

'Back off, is it ?'

'I'll give you back off and a boot in the **** for good measure'

Anto knew he was in trouble.

His Ma lashed into him and gave him a punch in the left ear.

Reeling from the pain, he looked at the back door.




Anto grabbed a fork in desperation.

'I swear to God I'll have your eye out!

'You nasty little *******!'

'Take a fork to your own mother, would you?'

Anto lunged in terror hoping to side step his Ma.

The front door was his only escape.

Too late, his face was battered to a pulp

'For Christs Sake, Ma!'

Grabbing Anto by the scruff of the neck, she flung him out the front door.

Anto was reeling from the punches and staggered out of the house.

His belly was hanging out of him from hunger.

One day, he swore to himself, one day.

'I'll show them, I'll show them all'

His nose was gushing and his breathing was laboured.

He wanted to cry but what was the use of that.

The sun was shining. A blue sky met his eye.

'**** it! he said

'**** everything!'
Harriet Cleve Jan 2019
' It is winter now!' cried the Doppelgangers

a withering wind cut their faces, shaping their features till they replicated the human.

As they emerged from the wilderness of antiquity they went their separate ways armed with the seed of iniquity.

One hundred beasts of the Anti-Christ set out in a deadly march to the homes of their identical faces. The first of the many to come. A vanguard from the vaults of hell eager to settle the Earth.

One hundred humans awakened from a nightmare and stifled their screams as each saw a living reflection at the foot of their beds.
In the same instant a hand was placed upon them and the intake of breath from the beast inhaled their very being until nothing remained except the doppelgänger.

Each night for thousands of nights to come the Doppelgangers came and settled into humanity sowing the seeds of destruction and made their way across the globe, across all the political and religious divides ensuring the wars would continue and the blood would shed and hatred would find its place.

Finally it happened by stealth layered upon stealth that the human was extinguished and hell reigned on the Earth.

The Doppelgängers waged war upon each other taking pride in the traditions of the human and in their blood lust remembered the pithy religions they had cast aside. The religions of division which had become tribal and adversarial pitting man against man.

The Doppelgangers laughed and held reign on the Earth.

Thus it became and thus it would always be.
Harriet Cleve Mar 2019
On my way to Mandalay the pilot dressed in drag

he put me in a pink rose dress then offered me a ***

I took a puff and sure enough a smile lit up his face

tangerine clouds soft not loud were in our flying space

pretty Kings such sweet things were walking down the aisle

they sashayed as they swirled along looking very royal

lipstick hipstick very slick sticks dangling in mid air

the pilot's name was Willie Dame - not that you should care

Up above no push or shove everything's a howl

all the make up all the fake up is loaded with a trowel

every dress I must confess is picked from a hen nights rags

all the brights all the tights look good on all the drags

You might think the plane is pink - well sorry you are wrong

it's a garish hue a soft silk blue it's emblem is a thong

on my way to Mandalay the pilot dressed in drag

When I arrived more than alive I suffered no jet lag

All the Queens and all the Kings and all the things refine

are yours to try when next you fly with royal Drag Queen Airlines
Harriet Cleve Jul 2019
To all those skinheads who purchased our boots

especially the British, it's you we salute

with a holler and yeller, the cry of a brute

you kicked many arses, such are the youth

Are you even a skinhead if you don't wear our gear?

a pair of old sandals would not instill fear

practical men's shoes? no one gives a hoot

A foot doing the kicking needs a Doc Martens Boot

Some of you skinheads are now in the ground

Dr Martens left sitting in the 'lost and the found'

I've heard the eulogies, some quite profound

'He loved his Doc Martens!' 'His shoe choice was sound'

For all of you skinheads those boots are your passion

though some of you wore them only when it was fashion

that cherry red smooth with its fine yellow stitching

looked great on the tough guys and the girls who liked *******

We sold the most boots in that Great  London City

where the boot boys are ugly and their girls are so pretty

shining their boots off the nitty and gritty

to the arses they've kicked, we extend our kind pity

So thank you dear Skinheads for all you have done

raising our profile while you had your fun

wearing our cherished 1460 boot

'God bless you Sweet Skinheads!'

It's you we salute!'
Harriet Cleve Oct 2019
If you drop the t

you can only dry your ears
Harriet Cleve Oct 2016
Earth's last book still stands
Stonehenge like
Relic of a former age
In a distant museum, Galaxies away

Excavated by other beings
Space archaeologists
Deep from the charred soil
Of the Black planet
The once healthy blue now diseased
Obliterated in a nuclear flash
Earth'slast snapshot
Undeveloped Polaroid

Earth's last book still stands
A curiosity  of an extinct species
Viewed by a reverent assemblage
Gazed upon in awe
Evoking pity and wonder
Stimulating thought

For the ****-sapien
Who took pleasure
From the written word
Gone now
Unharnessed passion for knowledge

Yes! That last book still stands
In distant lands, distant stars
Beneath it lies an epitaph
'Excavated from planet Earth
Remnant of the atom splitters
Destroyed by unbridled knowledge
They were not ready'

'This artifact is evidence that the ****-sapien
Showed some promise'

The assemblage moves on
To the next exhibit
Extraterrestial tears softly falling
For the book, for humanity
For the hands that once held that book
And the mind which inhaled its contents
The Oxygen of life now extinguished

Earth's last book still stands
Stonehenge like
Tombstone to Humanity!
Harriet Cleve Jan 2019
here on the edge of a precipitous edge

you have the edge

a marksman's blinded eye

holds me in your sights

I have retreated far too much

that is enough for you to know

ceded too much ground

a dire descent is my next step

pull your trigger

let me fall

sharpen your heart on a blunt stone

let it beat to the count of your parasitic pulse

you are dead and just don't know it
Harriet Cleve Jul 2019
In a strange coincidence of fate, Lancaster Pilot Henry Cavendish was teamed with his former boss from the Semperit tyre factory.

It was Henry's job to train the rookies before flying into **** Germany for bombing raids. Now he and Slaughter were on a mission. Slaughter's first.

'Never thought we would go to war, Henry'

'You never told me you were an accomplished pilot'

On and on went his former boss rabbiting on about the good old days in Semperit.

Henry just grunted a few empty responses.

'Well you were a busy man Mr Slaughter'

Henry recalled his time with Slaughter. It was a terrible memory.
Gruelling hours to meet the demands of production.
That was fair enough but Slaughter was a malicious bully.
Many times he called Henry out on the workshop floor and humiliated him. The names he was called. The loss of his dignity.

'We met our records and filled our time sheets eh Henry'

'Now keep it quiet and take control of the plane while I look at the maps' Henry responded.

'I will watch the instruments so don't worry'

Just then heavy flak straffed the Lancaster

'Jesus Christ!' screamed Slaughter

'Keep calm! We are within target range!

The bombs were dropped and Henry glanced at Slaughter

'Look down below! The heart of Germany'

Suddenly Henry pulled the plane up and deliberately hit the override for Slaughter's ejector seat.He would settle his score the hard way without any remorse.

Slaughter didn't know what happened as he shot out of the aircraft and up into the sky.
His face was a picture of confusion and fear.

Henry looked at the skyline then and saw a Messerschmitt  looming in.

The plane was straffed and caught fire.

An explosion sent the Lancaster plummeting to the ground.

Henry hit his ejector seat and escaped the fireball.

Landing on the ground in a farmers field he looked around.

He knew instinctively despite his position he would survive the war.

He felt it in his gut.

Meanwhile Slaughter landed in a city heavily fortified with **** shock troopers.

'Hande Hoch! Hande Hoch! Schweinhund!

Slaughter looked in shock all around him.

Adolf Eichmann got out of his car.

'Take him to my quarters! Schnell!

Henry looked across the expanse of this beautiful country.

His compass was intact as he set out to plan an escape route.

Sitting in Eichmann's office Slaughter looked around him.

Two guards looked at him.

'Look at him! Eichmann will soon humiliate this English filth!
'No dignity will remain in him after his gruelling interrogation'.

The guards laughed and Slaughter struggled with his thoughts.
Harriet Cleve Oct 2016
It's old now, Rock & Roll

an antiquity from an other age

waiting  to be excavated from the cretaceous period

its bones lying there among the ruins

deep in the bowels of the Earth

like a forgotten Tyrannosaurus Rex

Once it shook the Earth

No one shook it like Elvis
Harriet Cleve Dec 2019
sometimes the sky belongs only to you

the birdsong is your song

there is only you and an infinite world

a landscape transcending time

a sun that rose in your youth still breathing life

there in the summers of the past a hand is waving

It is you with a smile on yesterday's face

All will be well

this Earth is yours

embracing your existence
Harriet Cleve Oct 2019
On the outskirts of the outskirts of a far flung place

close to the edge of a precarious precipice

if you look very closely through your microscope

a very delicate fragment from the curled edges of a parchment

is just about discernible

It states and I quote

'I have seen no one in this vicinity for over three centuries

what I would have given to meet a fellow neanderthal

the ****** homosapiens are proliferating like no ones business

I fear for the planet and the demise of intelligence' End of quote

That is the only documented evidence to indicate that the sapien was the harbinger of a dumb downed society.

It gets better

On the outskirts of the outskirts of an even further flung place

in a cave in a ravine northwest of uncivilisation

there is a formula etched on the wall

purported to be written by an opposable thumbed chimpanzee


and I quote

'Tomorrow I will unleash the plutonium

the dinosaurs will not know what hit them' End of quote

Incredible as it may seem the cradle of civilisation can be traced back to the furthest flung places on the surface of the planet.

You just have to know where to look.
Harriet Cleve Nov 2016
Foxy Sal, Femme Fatale
had brains no man could match
six foot tall, what wherewithal
if caught she'd be a catch!

Articulate, "let men wait!"
" I'm worth it " and she was
fragrant  scent, heaven sent
cerebral with a cause

Dressed to thrill, a strut to ****
you should have seen her gait
body language said it all
those  petty men can wait

And wait they would, as well they should!
for Sal was quite the belle
a powerful mind  those men would find
the things that belle could tell

Many the guy would give it a try
many would pit their wits
many the heart was crushed by Sal
many she left in bits!

Foxy Sal, Femme Fatale
had brains no man could match
six foot tall, what wherewithal
if caught she'd be a catch!
Harriet Cleve May 2017
no two firing squads are the same

dripping rain flowing down your collar

on a  sour shelterless street

will finish you off

on a callous cold night

in a warm translucent city

the stagnant light from a rancid computer

under the glare of the office police

for eight endless hours

sitting in a spineless chair

till your brain melts like crippled ice cream

your pre frontal cortex dripping

through wasted eye sockets

will finish you off

the sandbags piled up

behind your back

a wasted muttered prayer

offered up for your soul

no two firing squads are the same

only the dying is constant
Harriet Cleve Jan 2019
"The exploits of Sir Harry Flashman VC as he tries to outwit Michael Collins, assist the notorious Cairo gang, avoid ****** Sunday,charm the Irish ladies, and escape with his skin intact.

A nod to George M Fraser!

Old Harry Flashman stood in Dublin Castle as a monocled spiv eyed him cautiously.' You'll do your duty, sir, by God you will ! or you'll be handed to Collins and his murderous crew of ignorant paddies. His Majesties Government will disown you and abandon you to your fate, if you betray your colours and turn Turk. It will be the gallows for you, as it was for Casement, if a treacherous bone in your miserable hide breaks bread with the enemy. I can reveal to you that one of our agents, Jameson, has just met his maker in Glasnevin Cemetry. Too close to Collins, **** it!, he must have dropped his guard. That won't happen you though, Flashman! You are going undercover, and you'll have an excellent cover story too. Lloyd George wants that despised Irish Organisation infiltrated and destroyed. You will be watched closely by my dear friend Hoppy Hardy. A finer fellow you won't meet. He has kicked some green arses I can tell you, and would we had more of his kind! ****** fine fellow indeed.

I could only stand there, blanching, and my guts turning sour listening to that drivel. I was no spy and those ****** potato eaters were on the warpath! Give them the ****** Country, I thought to myself. Old Harry couldn't give a **** if they flew a Green Flag over Buckingham palace or paraded their colours in Winsor Castle! The Irish had their Irish up and had the Country in a state of terror, and Flashy was to be a go between for King and Country?
I wanted to retch and felt nauseous at the thought. Even as I stood there nodding as my cover was being presented and my arrangement to meet Michael Collins outlined, I could only think of that poor deluded fool Jameson.Lying in the damp soil of Glasnevin Cemetry, of all places!
A bullet in his head and chest for his troubles. Flashman, my boy thinks I, you will shake hands with the Devil and won't be leaving Ireland in a wooden overcoat. Even as that idiotic spiv spoke from his safe leather chair, I was working out my departure plans and Collins could go to Hell. As usual though, it never goes to plan for Old Flashy. I stepped out into a cold November chilled night air as Christ Church cathedral rang its bells. A gun was cocked and an Irish brogue said' Into the side street, nice and easy friend and we'll have a little chat, won't we? My innards churned and I looked for an out but I could see I was well accompanied.

Now Gentlemen, what will we talk about? said I as my mind raced to collect my thoughts. I felt I could brazen it out and was ready to blow my cover if I could save my skin. 'We'll do the talking, friend!' were the last words I heard before I was violently coshed on the head and relieved of my wallet.

When I awoke Hoppy Hardy stood over me and I was safely quartered in the Royal Barracks. My head pulsed with pain and Hardy was rabbiting on. 'Well done Flashman, you held your nerve old son. We had our eye on you all the time old boy! I wanted a taste of your mettle although i didn't expect a blatant attempt on you so soon.Our sources tell me you enjoy a violent engagement with the enemy. Good news for you, the paddy who coshed you is in the next room.'

'We know he's an agent for Collins and you missed all the fun of the shootout when you were unconscious. Come on and have a look at how we run things here'.

As we entered the isolation room, I saw they had given the prisoner a good dose of the discipline stick and the blood trickled from a severe head ****. At least the ******* had a headache to match my own I thought. He was in a bad way and Hoppy gave him an unmerciful boot to the nether regions and let out a scream, which put the fear of God in me immediately. 'Once again you Irish *******! What were you doing breaking curfew with an unauthorised weapon! Who gave you that weapon? This was followed by a stinging slap to the prisoners face. This was pointless in my view as the fellow was clearly incapable of response after the boot he received. It made me think I was in for the same treatment if the Irish boys adopt the same was all I could do not to flinch as Hardy unleashed a flurry of blows on the unconscious rebel.


Charlie Dalton was in a rage as he spoke to his brother Emmet. ' One of our lads, Frank Fagan, was taken last night! We were following an English lad, and his bearing was suspicious. A right cocky one parading the streets like a Lord of the manor. We had just coshed him and were about to take him to Crow street when Hoppy Hardy and his thugs made an appearance. We had to shoot it out but Fagan was captured.
Emmet listened and stunned Charlie with his response. 'Fagan's a traitor and has served his purpose for Hardy. Wouldn't surprise me if Hardy kills him with his own hand and dumps him in the Park.
' What are you talking about? Emmet! Would you listen to yourself! How the hell do you make that out ?
' Because I told him ' said a voice and in walked the Big Fellow himself with the bearing of a bull and the shock black hair combed to the side. Michael Collins stood in front of the brothers.
' The Brits are playing silly buggers again and a new agent is in town! I want all our boys to keep a close eye on him and no one harms a hair on his head till we find out more about him. Let's play along with the ruse. I understand his real name is Flashman. The pride of the British Empire. A British Lion is it? We'll make that boy roar when we know more.

Fla­shman was handed a Brandy and Hardy toasted ' Your good health old Boy! and broke into a big guffaw of laughter. Flashman didn't like the black humour and swallowed hard and racked his brains for his next move.

The Cairo cafe on Grafton Street was my meeting place with Captain Gunnery who was instructed to walk me around Dublin and introduce me to the City. I could see his nerves were shot and he had the fear of the demented in his eyes.'Welcome to Ireland, sir, he whispered. Watch your back at all cost, trust no one, and treat every approach from any of the natives as a potential threat to your life. 'The Irish are a shrewd lot,as dangerous as a cornered rat.They are also experts at holding a grudge. The mood is treacherous since that failed insurgency in '16.We made a ***** of it executing the ring leaders.The massacre on North King Street is still sour in their mouths.
Cozying up to the Germans after all we did for'em. What did they expect?

I could only nod and wonder if I wasn't already marked for a ticket to the next world. '

'Anyway, we're going hunting now, Gunnery said then, and you and me will be dressing up for the party.'That's right, he whispered with a haunted look in his eyes. 'We're donning the Black and Tan gear and raiding the Mansion House tonight.'

' Are you having a laugh? I blurted and looking every bit as startled as a nun inadvertently walking into the gents. 'We'll be well numbered, said he, and give those green ******* a taste of hardship. I gave him my best manly look ' Do me a favour old boy, walk me to this building, on Dawson Street you say, and let me have a look at the battlefield beforehand eh?

I needn't tell you, dear reader, that I wanted to examine the terrain and take a mental note of my escape routes while I still had my faculties.
Just as we were leaving, a good looking middle aged woman, who I thought was giving me the glad eye, bumped into Gunnery and pulled a gun on him.
No words were uttered as a loud bang floored him immediately and he was on the ground with a gaping hole in his chest. She gave me a look and pointed the gun at my manhood then suddenly redirected it to Gunnery's head and blew it to kingdom come! As cool as you like, out she walked.
I made a run for it and the stupid ***** thought I was trying to get a hold of her. I could se she pulled the gun again and aimed to take a shot at me. ' Sweet Jesus ! I cried and as I made a dive for it, I felt a God Almighty sting in my ****.' You ****** *****! I passed out, as you can imagine with a bullet in your rear flank and still I knew I would be seeing that little ***** again.

A passing patrol of Auxillaries marched down Harcourt Street on their way towards St. Stephens Green. Looking down, from number 6, Michael Collins observed them closely. He knew two of them by sight and smiled to himself.
' Go back to Blighty lads, while ye still can'. Across from him were three members of the Squad; his chosen gunmen for assassinations. Three of his twelve disciples, although he had many more in reserve. **** McKee, looking every bit the revolutionary, with his long leather coat, heavy moustache and proud bearing stood facing the men. He was a Finglas man from North Dublin and Commander of the Dublin Brigade.

' Well ****, said Collins, who took out Gunnery? Who put a gun in that lady's hand?, God bless her! There's not a man here with the nerve to pull off a stunt like that. Find out who the officer was who chased after her and got a bullet in the **** for his troubles.We believe it was Flashman'. A burst of laughter broke out among the men.' Well we may laugh lads, but I believe that gun-woman is an agent for the Brits.Gunnery was a becoming a loose cannon.He couldn't keep his mouth shut.' Didn't we know a raid was imminent on the Mansion House because of him!' 'His own mouth sealed his fate. Let that be a lesson to ye! '

'Now, he said to Liam Tobin, get cracking and find out who that woman is. We could do a girl like that ourselves and if she's still in the Country then I want to meet her.' Yes ****, we'll get the background. I am off to Crow Street now to check our intelligence.

'Intelligence is it ? said **** What about that officer Flashman? Who the hell is he? Why was he with Gunnery. The word is he's no weasel. He took after that Gun-woman quick enough. Flashman, what kind of a name is that? 'The Brits must think we're right gobshites altogether naming an officer Flashman. Let's keep our eye on him closely! He's in the infirmary in Kilmainham. Maybe we can pay him a kindly visit and see he's settling in. Another laugh broke out amongst them.

Right **** said Collins. ' Let me see the list of names we need to eliminate and take out that picture of the Cairo gang. 'Take a good look at lads, we'll be sorting those boys out soon enough. If Lyoyd George wants Ireland that bad then let him see the price he's going to pay! Ireland's not for sale and we won't be tenants in our own ****** Country!


' I was lying comfortable, all things considered, in my hospital bed with the nurses swooning over me. Incredibly that ***** did me a favour. Witnesses reported how I gallantly chased after the assassin without a thought for my safety. Even Hoppy Hardy had called to my bedside and said as much!
'Well done, old chap! Another feather in your cap eh! A pity about the location of the wound though. Don't fret, the official report says wounded while pursuing the enemy.This means you will have to lie low for a month at least. Did Gunnery, the poor *******, mention the Black & Tan uniform to you? He did eh! Jolly Good!

Now Flashman, you are going on vacation to the Rebel County Cork! I knew a chap like you would dive on an opportunity like that. The Irish have formed ' flying columns' and are taking the fight to us in that treacherous City. We'll teach them about ambushes, by Christ, and you Flashman will be right in the thick of it.

I smiled faintly and looked at Hardy with an anguished expression.
'If you don't mind Sir, I'm feeling a bit drained and your news is most welcome. Do you mind If I close my eyes and rest a bit?
' Forgive me Flashman, I've been inconsiderate old chap! You take a rest and have a speedy recovery. You'll need your energy for the Cork campaign!

' **** it already! I thought to myself.I don't need this reckless boys own mentality and nuts like Hardy putting me in the front line. For God's sake, I've never even been to Cork! What did Hardy say? Rebel County!
I felt sick to my stomach and turned over in my bed. I litteraly had a pain in my ****.

Down in Kilmichael, Co. Cork, a young man named Tom Barry was putting his men through their paces.
A nod to George McDonald Fraser creator of the wonderful Flashman books.
Harriet Cleve Sep 2018
Frank the Butcher knew his meat
no ifs or cuts about it
'Lovely day for walk!' he would call out
when his neighbours pet pig
was out and about

Watch his poor little trotters!
he would shout with a snigger
the grin on his face getting bigger and bigger
'He must love you to bits!'

Yes! Happy as a pig in mitts

His neighbour, disgusted, the very next day
shouted 'Pigs are loyal pets!
but to his dismay
Frank the Butcher looked his way
shouldering the carcass of Aunty May

The pet pig's Aunty I meant to say!

Her mouth on a meat hook
sliced down her full belly
Pet piggy was shocked!
his knees turned to jelly

'Look away luvvie! his owner said then
as there in the window was his brother Ben

The pet pig's brother that is and his cousin Ken!

Pet piggy was oinking with fear on his face
then ran like a demon far from that place
'The usual Tom? Pork sausage and spice?
'Rashers and bacon, yeah that would be nice!

The neighbour was fuming, still to this day
Frank the Butcher is heard to say
'Where's the little piggy that went on his way?'
did he wee wee home or just go astray?'

'I hear lambs make such lovely pets
'Better than dogs or a ***** old cat!'

Frank the Butcher was nasty like that....
Frank the Yank is out of his senses

give him crap there’s consequences

danish accent eloquence’s

drinks black coffee with thugs and fences

here’s a nice girl no one knows

blue eyes two eyes broken nose

gin glass lard *** pal in tow

what you reap is what you know

Mama Cass can kiss my ***

California’s smoking grass

wide awake her eyes are screaming

winter’s days are not for dreaming

Uncle Sam is still uploading

building missiles for exploding

when in Rome recite a poem

Alabama  home sweet home
Harriet Cleve Apr 2019
today, I hung a hangman

no hood around his garrulous head

his knees trembled

his voice shook in a shocked throat

'Have you measured the drop?'

No! I replied

'My weight! You have taken it into your calculations?'

No! I replied

'My height, for Christ's sake, you have allowed for it?'

No! I replied

'By whose authority do you carry out this heinous deed?'

'Let me see the Queens counsel! I am innocent! he screamed

'You have spoken your last! I said

His eyes screamed 'Wait! Wait!

In the plummet, in that murky depth he dropped

the rope uncoiled for an eternity

till it snapped taut

his body swung like a broken pendulum

hypnotically settling to a staggered still

his tongue, swollen purple, burst from his garrulous head

it wanted to speak

there was more to be said

more to be heard

an attentive audience it craved in it's final seconds

it was silenced now

that voice

which never again will speak

for I had hung the hangman
******* looked with bulging eyes at the planet just visible in the star plains ahead. His neural-scope zoomed into the surface and confirmed his gut instinct. It was no time to contact his base and confirm the sighting. ‘Observe before commitment’ were his orders but the hell with that. Glory first was his creed. That and money and neither were for sharing with cretins.

Very subtly and with great precision he landed his craft just on the crest of a mountain and checked the nitrogen levels. All was well and within the range of his brains nitrogen- survival index.

His synaptic rifle was in his hands already. A brilliant piece of instrumentation that fired an electron charge which neutralized the amygdala and neo-cortex of all known species in the nebular complex of Neural Nineteen.

Still, ******* was light years from Skylon 15; his military base in that complex.

What if it didn’t work? The old ruse of an alien from space was enough to frighten some civilizations on other planets. He smiled when he recalled the first time he kidnapped an Earthling. It was priceless and the commander roared with laughter when he brought the captive in.

The Earthlings brain had short-wired with the shock. Way too small in capacity to be of any use to the scientific community. A primitive species whose very existence was a mystery to them. What good was a small brain in this universe?

If it had not been for that then Planet Earth would have been considered for an invasion.

Yet here he was now and staring at a different species.

They dwarfed ******* by a gargantuan figure. Their heads were ****** enormous. If I can only get one he thought.

He considered his position. Their heads were huge and yet their bodies were way too small to carry them; so it seemed they moved at a pace slower than Earth’s snails. What kind of a skeleton could support that weight? They moved in herds.

He was overthinking now he realized. Just shoot the ****** thing.
******* looked through his sight and fired a round.

The target reeled over in shock and looked up at ******* with rage.

That’s when ******* realized he was in a vulnerable position.

All of the herd suddenly gathered and instantaneously became one.

All of the heads merged into one unit and centipede -like ran at him with the speed of a demon possessed.

*******’s first instinct was to fire off the nuclear neuron destroyer but this would contravene his orders.

Overthinking again. *******’s survival instinct took over and he cursed himself for getting too far from his craft. He ran like blazes.

Hurling himself in he closed the hatches just as a monstrous head was closing in perilously near.

Hitting the power extreme- acceleration button he took off in the nick of time.

**** it! This would set him back big time. Now the cranial giants were alerted and would be on their guard. It frightened him to recall the intelligence in the eyes that had focused on him after the failed shot.

‘Dumb creatures my ***’ he thought. Someone in Command would get a tongue lashing over this.

How in hells name did they merge into one creature?

He made his report.

I have found the planet of the mythical large cranium creatures.
There are huge herds of them and we have underestimated their intelligence.
They can merge into one being at will. The synaptic rifle is useless.
Visual recording successful.

******* waited for a response from Command. Had it not been for the visual recording he would have been accused of drunkenness and dereliction of duty.

Still he thought ‘perhaps I will get a hero’s welcome on return?’

‘Overthinking again, *******’ he thought. ****** overthinking again.

Then he set his altitude for a megamillion metres and looked into deep space. It was beautiful. As far as he knew he was alone.

Unknownst to ******* a craft had pursued him; with a Cranium headed giant at the wheel.

******* had become the hunted.
Harriet Cleve Oct 2016
Elegant, poised, ten metres high
backward take off, gentle sigh
coordinates  set, aligned her vector
now midflight, defined her sector

girl in transit, margin narrow
approaching target, archers arrow
sudden  impact, sweet immerse
pool of prose, soaked in verse

mind in motion, brain engage
drenched to skin, wet turn of page
fathom deep, deeper still
enraptured reader, held at will

time held still, hours pass by
language head rush, highest high
full on contact, no reverse
girl in transit, soaked in verse
Harriet Cleve Mar 2019
*** Gat Gongo despicable cur
held court on the High Seas
Black Flag - black heart- black deeds
a *** **** if ever there was one
'twas *** Gat Gongo!

No ranks,but blood banks on crimson decks
death threats and black sweats and odious beasts
scurvy swine sauced on wine and spirits
all rabbled and gabbled as one
All hailing '*** Gat Gongo!'

well they might, for thick in the fight
*** Gat Gongo hurled his hate!
grabbing  fate by the throat and glared
into  the souls of those whose cutlass
cut deep into his flea bitten skin

Opening the veins of vengence
and the veins of ****** retribution!
still the crew cheered their Captain
'*** Gat Gongo!' *** Gat Gongo!

Around his neck a bead of teeth
pulled  from the beaten foes
rancid and rotten, pride of his ill- gotten deeds

the long coat he wore was hideous green
adorned with the tools of his trade
sharpened  knives like deadly wives
his favoured deadly blade

One demon- dark, and treacherous night
the  heavens opened up and all hell let loose!
thunder claps, incessant rain was leashed upon the decks
*** Gat Gongo!' I've come for you!
The Devil shouted out- then waited

*** Gat Gongo  black with rage
pulled  his deadly blade and engaged  in battle
the Devil grabbed him by the throat
smashed his mouth with a *****  blade

gashed all his teeth and as they spat
gathered  them up from spit and blood
that  deck a ****** spitoon
adorned  around his neck and shouted
*** Gat Gongo! Your soul is mine!

Yet *** Gat Gongo hurled his blade
sank it deep into his foe and lurched
grabbed  those horns and wrestled hard
till both fell from the deck
swathes of waves enveloped deep

No sight nor sound was seen nor heard
save from the men left on the deck
screaming *** Gat Gongo! *** Gat Gongo!

As they sailed to Hell!...
Harriet Cleve Sep 2019
God is not a mirror

you must look deep within yourself

to see His reflection
Harriet Cleve Feb 2019
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real *******, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
A great poem by Maggie Smith
Harriet Cleve Dec 2019
The Sun didn't feel like shining when I lay sick in bed

no dog placed beneath my feet, to burn with when I'm dead

even though I pulled the curtains and stared up at the sky

the Sun didn't feel like lighting and preferred that I should die

So die I did and two days hence was buried in the clay

the Sun came out and as it did some were heard to say

'Oh look at that !' she would be so pleased; her having loved the Sun

to see it shining in the sky when all her days were done

the Sun didn't feel like caring when I touched her in the sky

she calmly took my hand away and preferred that I should die
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