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Chris Slade Jun 21
I visited my old man when he was just a coupla’days from death.
He looked serene as I walked down the ward…
dozing with a satisfied, benign smile - like he was still glad to be alive.
He opened one eye when he ‘felt’ me arrive
“Now then”... He said… “this Morphine… It’s ****** brilliant stuff.
I tell you what - if I’d known how good this’d make me feel
I’d ‘ave been a right ******! I can’t get enough!

What he’d actually said… had been…
“If my mother’s milk made me feel this good
I’d never have been weened!”
I know… Not the most pleasant turn of phrase.
But come on - just an old guy - at the end of his days

“So pa..Eighty Five? What do you reckon?… A good run?”
"Well, apart from the great depression and 2nd World War…It’s been fun".
but I’d have been a lot happier if your mam hadn’t gone before.
What’s the point without her to balance me out…
She’d ride shotgun, map read on trips out, and we had laughs galore
We were a double act, Morecambe & Wise, Little & Large - Margaret & Bud!
So now I’m right fed up of being on me own…it’s no good - I don’t like flying solo - alone.
Being on my tod in the day, well that ain’t so bad
but come the evening the loneliness - it’s driving me ****** mad.”

“And now there’s all this *****”… He points at where the tubes go.
Like this…What’s it really all about? there’s just - well I don’t know…
You should be able to choose when it’s time to end - time to go.
Not hang around rudderless without your best friend.
I’ll be off in a couple of days then you can get on with things
not hanging around - worrying about me… and he was right.
Just tweak that dial on the drip stand and… I’ll shove off,
circle around and choose a new place to land…
Don’t worry - There is such a thing as reincarnation you know.
So, see you when I find me feet…hopefully - in the afterglow!"
Chris Slade Apr 23
There’s a phenomenon; happens at night.
Apparently it’s a lot to do with
the turning of the earth
and bedclothes… You know?
Both the duvet and what I call
the dog barrier! That’s an old throw.

Sure, I have to believe what I’m told.
But every night there’s a real fight
and amidst it I do try to keep hold.
… But every morning it seems
I wake up shivering and left out
in the cold…

I mentioned it to 'the others' in a gentle
and incidental kind of way.
The dog wasn’t bothered.
He was busy having HIS day.
And my missus, with no remorse,
said glibly, and probably without thinking...
"It’s the centrifugal force!"

So there you have it!… The duvet I mean… Or rather you don’t!
Time for separate rooms
Chris Slade Apr 21
Politicians, when questioned, who begin their answer with “So”... Those who waffle when questioned and yet they clearly don’t know.
Juggling “ums”, “erms” and “aahs” when struggling to avoid the truth.
It alienates, infuriates and generally makes those interviewed sound unprepared, uninformed, dense, almost uncouth.
But that doesn’t stop them!

The nation’s thirst for updates demands Government be contrite. Approaching difficult situations, yeh - but ours, dropping ******* left & right.
It means an address from a hapless minister almost every night.
Each department must have top aides quaking in their boots
because the media correspondents, incisive, sharp, erudite and firm
shoot tricky questions, deliberately, to make the politicos squirm.

It shines a light on what the country needs... clear thinking, logic common sense, honesty, truth, stealth and less guille.
Not subterfuge, not **** covering,“let’s dodge the bullet” style. Certainly not ten grand extra for having to work from home.
But sharper more contrition, put yourself in our place for a while! We want to be reassured, buoyed up, not consumed with bile.

You get more support and sympathy if you just tell the truth!
A poem based on the UK Government Press Briefings during Covid-19.
An awkward time
Chris Slade Apr 18
Ted Slade • (my cousin)
Withernsea, Holderness, East Yorkshire

Last night the sea ripped the beach from its bed.
We heard the screams
but know too well not to interfere
in these family disputes.
In the morning we gathered to look,
ghouls at a death,
the sea at our feet, calm,
sated, gulls riding at anchor on it shoulders.

The meadow’s gone the same way,
yard by yard, year by year.
Now the house sways on the brink.
When he saw his rose bushes
scattered down the cliff, Jack cried.
Finally we moved out when
the garden shed was launched
one winter’s night.
Very Important Persons
brought their sympathies,
and went away nodding.
Perhaps we’ll become little islanders.
Though surely not.
... New Atlanteans at least.

Ted Slade • 1939-2004
From Ted's book 'The Last Arm Pointing'.
Chris Slade Apr 17
When the skylarks would warble hover and sing
at about a hundred feet, high on the wing, and we…
on a heat clicking Sunday between Salt End and the sea,
well we knew - just from the ozone, on the breeze
that we’d be off …a shimmering heat haze convoy of old crocks,
Bud, Margaret, Brian and me to Tunstall,
a diminishing, mystical land of sun, sand, sea - and tumbling rocks.

But it wasn’t just us…it was a cavalcade - motors galore.
Uncles,  Aunties, Cousins, Grans, Grandads and more
in Austins, Morris’s, Vauxhalls and Fords,
And a big old Rover wi’them wide running boards,
a motor bike’n’sidecar with Maurice, Denise & our Val
to wring the best from the day a’la Plage de Tunstall’…

The beach crackled in the heat…
if you walked too slow it’d burn your feet.
and our Dads, our ‘civil engineers’, built a brick oven and in a
giggling gaggle… Mums cooked a real Sunday dinner.
Kids’d run back & forth to the sea and back
buckets & spades, hacking big holes and shots in goal,
cricket with fallen rocks for a wicket and,
after pudding, burying drunken dads in the sand.

Heavy, wet woolen cozzies, sand in groins,
...changing in turn, under a soaking wet, gritty towel.

“Don’t dry me with that, Ow! Buddy hell - watch my sunburn.”
Then, all back in the cars, for our return
into the sunset and driving away.

Chaffing sore shoulders.

Chuffing good day! - yeah…Parfait!!
Memories of an East Yorkshire childhood. Let's hear it for Tunstall.
Chris Slade Apr 15
Let me get this straight, it's 1914.
Arch Duke somebody or other
gets shot in Sarra-******-Yavo…
And Austro-Hungary declares a
war on Serbia? So?
We, within no time…
and in the blink of an eye,
the whole bleedin' world
goes to war!..Why?

I had a great Uncle. He WAS great!
A proud Yorkhireman, by chance,
gets blown to bits in a trench
on Boxing day, in France!
Just a day after watching a sodding
football match... Our lads against
the bleeding Germans
in No Man’s Land… No way!?
Yeh? Yeh! On Christmas effing Day?

Am I going out of my mind?

“But, there’s worse to come…
“the ****** Germans won 2-1…!”

And get this, right… where I live now,
the great and the good
played a hunch…back then.
“I know we’ll give our fighting boys
a send off.  A slap up lunch!!…
So the Mayor, Civic Officers
and Councillors
waited on the squaddies’ tables.
To gee them up.
And so it did!
“Good Luck” bellowed the bulbs
outside the Kursaal Dome…
After the Brown Windsor,
the Mutton and Plum Duff
and, as if the ignominy of the call to arms,
wasn't quite enough...
it wouldn't just get tough
it became obvious; downright plain,
that many of those worthy Worthing men
wouldn’t be coming home again.

That’s the trouble with war… It's a killer!
Chris Slade Apr 9
I’m feeling a bit ‘other worldly’
like you do coming out into the light
from the dark of the cinema
in the daytime obviously…
Or that first few steps after
taking off your roller skates…
Remember that?

When, in your head,
you’re still gliding, sliding
rather than stepping
and stumbling.
I’m starting to miss the
contact of others.
Those I wouldn’t maybe
normally see anyway.

How mad is that?

But it’s the knowing
that you CAN
even though you CAN’T
… Don’t want to
that’s what’s important.

I’m looking for closer hugs
rather than distant nods,
smiles, waves or shrugs
Looking for the WILL
rather than the WON’T.

Looking for the SHALL We?
rather than WE SHOULDN’T!
the COULD rather
than the COULDN’T.

We’ve all just got the
LONGING to meet
rather than just having the
THRONGING to beat.
We all have a yearning
for normality and
I’m worried about
losing my personality
I’m ready for the great outdoors
not lockdown laws.

I’m starting to want to go to
places I haven’t been for a while
even though I might not have
enjoyed them when I did.
I’m reminiscing
as well as just ‘missing’.

I think I might be a bit crazy
….Stir crazy!
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