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Sep 2021 · 331
Doodlebugs & Jitterbugs
Chris Slade Sep 2021
Night raids on Salt End
were legendary… It were a
giant chemical works with ship docks,
silos, storage tanks, fuel dumps,
an ideal 'drop off point' for Gerry…

But Salt End plant’s night raids
on Hedon Road
weren’t gonna daunt our lot,
they lived a mile or so down the lane to Preston
and seemed unafraid of gerri’n shot.

But they built a shelter across’t main road
in a field… On the outside It were a haystack
within the walls, six foot thick… proper beds
on hay bails to the front and back... cosy.

Down the middle was a ‘lounge’ with chairs,
lights, a radio - electric run from’t big ‘ouse
It’s better than being at’ome our Charlie used to say
For the eldest (and the architect) he’d not much nowse.

Me mam (then 19) told me she bussed it into Hull
“****** the Doodlebugs” She needed Jitterbugs…
and they still danced at City Hall.
******* to Gerry and his mates.
Margie & her pal René,
dauntless, they had a right ball!

Last Bus to ‘Withernsea’ from town
dropped her off at the junction
by the Speedway on Hedon Road.
Just as her way was lit by fire bombs - all about
when Gerry dropped his final unaimed load
Maybe ack-ack’d sort him out.

She was 2 miles from home… every few seconds another blast.
Scuttling …dodging whistling incendiaries,
running fast, whippet like…
any second could’ve been her last
anything too close she’d have to jump in't ****.

She couldn’t mek it t’t shelter or house so picked
the coal shed - instead… threw herself down
on coals…noise lifted - silence dawned… all clear
heavy breathing - not hers -  she wan’t alone
What if it’s one of them - a downed ***** airman.

Nervous, terrified more like she let out a little shudder
a gentle cough… to test her nerve
“Is that you Margie?… You daft ******!”
It were brother Tom… He’d been t’t Nags Head
and he’d run the opposite way from the village instead.
Sep 2021 · 231
Brown Paper Folds
Chris Slade Sep 2021
We lay oblivious to the world outside
wrapped in each others brown paper folds
a parcel of tightly sealed emotion.
The warmth, the moisture… the dawning, yawning
the fawning, a rekindling of last night’s unfinished passion.

But you broke the spell, you pulled away.
Too eager to start another ****** frenetic day.
You left me wanting more… I wanted forever!
You spared me just 30 seconds more.
For me it’s more than just the physical thrill -
I wanted a whole lifetime of what we could do together.

It wasn’t anticipated or planned…
but that first day when you accidentally touched
my hand as I left you… we kissed for the first time.
Elated I skipped, jumped and punched the air...
Slow Mo - No guesses as to how long I hovered there.
I knew where this could go… yeah,
and I leapt ahead in time and saw how thing’s would be
after I picked you and you (thank heavens) picked me.

Time passes slowly I know -
but that was more than 50 years ago.  
And we still give each other tingles…
I'm not known for lovey-dovey stuff - but just this once!
Chris Slade Aug 2021
He shares my house…
the mouse.
It’s not the way I planned it.
It’s indiscriminate about where it *****
he eats the corners of all the packaging
all polite protocol he’ll ignore…
I’m afraid from now on it’s down to rodent WAR!

I’ve tried the humane ways
a friendly, humane trap that sits there days
and catches, zero, nothing, zilch, nout
so now we’re getting the big guns out.
I’ve got a set of Little Nippers
So powerful that when they go off
they fly and spin but sometimes
that’s often before they get their snout in or leg off!

He’s skilful, wilful, sneaky… But he does like Peanut butter
so I smear the hair-trigger of the trap with the stuff
and leave it where I’ve witnessed his faeces trail
So I know he’s been around when he’s nicked the bait
the trap still left active… So I’ll put that down as a fail!

Next time you little *******!
Chris Slade Aug 2021
With the benefit of hindsight
it should have been me…not him.
with the benefit of hindsight
I’d have better teeth - Oh yeh, and be slim…
and, with the benefit of hindsight
that chap that drowned needlessly…
well, he’d definitely have learnt to swim.

With the benefit of hindsight
I’d have tried harder in maths
With the benefit of hindsight.
my classmates would’ve shown respect
not just scorned me with laughs.
With the benefit of hindsight - we’d be IN!
we wouldn’t have lost on penalties
we would have had a ****** rip-roaring win!

With the benefit of hindsight
of course you’d all do your best
approach tasks with vigour verve, and zest.
With the benefit of hindsight
we’d all show true-grit, determination… vim
With the benefit of hindsight
I would have been smarter not quite so dim
What chance a little bit of foresight?…
Jul 2021 · 213
Now then!…
Chris Slade Jul 2021
A Yorkshire Lads' Night Out...

Are you theer?
Aye, I am, well, I’m near…
Puffin’, ! How many effin'
steps to get here?"
I said “now then!”
He said “reet!”
“How are you?”
He said “reet…Aye neat!”
“Ar thee?”
I said “Yeah!”
“Tha’s alreet then!”

I said “sha we gerron then?”
He said “Aye…
Me stomach thinks
me throat’s been cut
and Ah'm as dry as uz
father's back ginnel…
Let's av that sup.”
Eh… That’s a reet good drop”.
It should be it’s from
our dad’s own shop.

Tekkin' in the best view in With
we supped and enjoyed the sunset view
ower’t town & sea from lighthouse top.
Aye, T't Keeper's a mate a marn!
I said “I think I’ve had more than you.
So he’d  another big-un to level it up!
“I’d say we probably
drank a tad too much”…
cos we staggered a bit on’t
way back home.
“We’ll that were gradely…
“Al si thee then” he said “stay well”.
Aye he said “an you as well!”
Jun 2021 · 206
Chris Slade Jun 2021
The angst, the bile…
the true confessions, the lies
Hey this’ll make you smile…
“We have been working night & day
to keep the evil pox at bay”…

“No!”…You didn’t & you don’t,
you brief a learned stooge
who’s too polite to contradict
and he too sidesteps the truth - huge
apologies… but in fact I know
a source, a whistle blower
a real grafter of course - he’ll tell ya’

He sees beneath the radar,
sees what’s really going on… and
spills the beans at a crucial time
to expose the ******, the excess
the subterfuge, the slime, demi-crime
and BAM! he’s out - because, although
you’re the guilty one...

You’ve also got the clout,
the power to contradict and flout
the rules, the under-funded crawl-out
you scurry metaphorically to
dodge the fall-out. There will be more…
you whinge - but later… I promise.

Hide behind some positive PR
some smarmy spin to cover
your tracks, hide the mess you’re in.
Paper over the cracks…A new Royal Yacht,
a wedding… more cake anyone?…
Smile for the camera darling…
But time will catch you…
Tick tock… watch the clock.

Choose your time when dice should roll
to call the poll…while you’re
up they’ll be down, whilst the good
outweighs the bad… now, quick - SPIN!
Am I too near the truth?
Do you seriously think
we’re all taken in?
Stop the world I want to get off!
May 2021 · 137
I’ve Made an Appointment.
Chris Slade May 2021
I’ve made an appointment...
Ooh, better put on a special shirt.
Oh yeh, and a tie.
Don’t want anybody
getting the ****…
"Going anywhere special"
I was asked?
No...only down the council dump!
In the UK it is now necessary to make an appointment in order to take household ******* to the local recycling depot... Seems quite ridiculous! That's the Covid lockdown for you!
Chris Slade May 2021
Ahh the brilliantine years,
the curled up collar
and the shiny knees
of a five year old…
The hand knitted jumper.
The sparkling eyes of

The “don’t know what’s
coming next”,
and the sparky hopefulness
of youth without
the knowledge of the
the things that can
catch you out.

And they will… and they did!
But what do they say?
It’s all character building stuff.
The rough, the tumble…
the haughty outplaying the humble…
Well, not if I’ve got
out to do wi’it!

This latest lark that’s
bringing us down… It’s *****!
What Brexit hasn’t ceremoniously effed up,
Covid has comprehensively shat on.
But “Iligitimii nil Carborundum”...
that's what my old man would say…
That’s Latin for "don’t let the ******* grind you down!"
I just say “eff it - Let’s get on!”
Apr 2021 · 101
All Titties & Tats
Chris Slade Apr 2021
She was provocative,
a slapper, all botox, **** and tats.
Lived life on the edge.
Never showed her nicer side
always wanting a bigger, better wedge!

She met her latest bloke on-line,
a bouncer from the pool.
Got a Phd in fighting *****…scrapping!
Never let ‘em see you’re rattled
just moody, muscly, strapping.

They make a handsome pair
she with her scraped back
Grimsby facelift; tight hair, nose ring, tongue stud.
Him? A tattooed tear on his cheek
straight back, full height, flex; thinks he’s looking good.

‘Cut along dotted line’…dot-dash inked around his neck.
If your name’s not down you’re not comin’ in
But if you’re a looker - well, what the heck?
I run the door - In fact I run the place,
always prepared to be persuaded by a pretty little face.

Wages don’t add up to much so, punters’ll oblige
got a nice line in scanning cards, cloning, fakin’
and spending other people’s money on ‘out’ that I can sell.
The job dun’t pay that much you see, so what the hell?
Claiming? What if I am? Any road - how could you tell?

We make a tidy sum, the two of us, just the same
and if we need some extra there’s allus 'the game'.
We love each other right enough a match that suits us both.
but we drift into ‘***** and fleece’ to score a few more quid.
It’s a sordid, morbid low, low life - when you lift the lid.

He turns..."You want some mate? Nah!… I didn’t think you did!"
Mar 2021 · 344
Another Virtual Funeral!
Chris Slade Mar 2021
Saying that final goodbye to a loved one,
it’s always been poignant and sad…
But recently it’s joined the online,
the surreal… the quite mad!
The scrolling photo’s on the crematorium wall
have always been more suited to the social media bag
than what, until the digital age,  had a more…
mediaeval...churchy, tag.
Cheers and farewell to Gran, Sis, Bro, Cuzz, Mum or Dad
can now be done without anything at all being said…
Or even, if you’re just a friend or a really distant relative,
long haul, away, abroad... or, just sitting up in bed!
Two funerals in a week... both online - initially bizarre - now assuming the norm!
Feb 2021 · 275
Chris Slade Feb 2021
An older lady…No mask… arsenic and old lace
scuttling along…so I think to cross.
Just to give her more space.
“I haven’t got it…” she shouts, full bore, almost in my face
“No… but I might have - you just don’t know.
There’s no point in you having a go!”

“I’m wearing a mask to protect both of us
so I don’t know why you’re making a fuss.”
“I told you I haven’t got it… so you can just get stuffed”
Whoa… a minute!… Who’s rattled your bars?
Would you like a mask. I always carry a spare?
“You can just *******”, she said “ ‘cos I really don’t care!”

She’s the one who waves her stick at cars
and picks imaginary fluff off her coat…
So she needs to be looked out for… looked after.
Next time I’ll be on the look out. I’ll take special note
maybe go round the block the other way.
That way I won’t upset her; she’ll have a better day.

I know this situation is affecting everyone
in every country all around the world.  People get tetchy.
But that’s no good reason to abandon reason.
It’s rough, it’s tough - and even good manners are
sometimes not enough… So make time
for others who can’t make the best of things.

Best accept we’re in this for the long haul
because that’s what it’s going to be…
For a generation at least this will be
the way we have to live… balancing
breathing freely against economics,
against promises of socialising in the sun…

Then - No Fun!...No Frolics

Against drip-stands, ventilators and fears that run
deep into our county, our country… our world.
Here she comes again… “I ain’t got it, I ain’t got it!”
Good for you girl!
Chris Slade Jan 2021
It seems I’m a flash in the pan man.
Too many dreams unfulfilled.
Always swimming against the tide.
Things I know I should’ve done.
I’m procrastination personified.
Bold ambition killed…

An attempt on Ben Nevis when Everest
was maybe what really I should’ve done…
Doggie Paddling (in training of course)
off Littlehampton beach
might not make you dance & sing…
If Channel swimming, you now realise,
would have been a better thing….

So, “Could do better” was always the
school report mantra.
“He’s definitely got it but doesn’t
think he needs to try…and yeah,
he’s Knocked it into Neutral,
he’s cruising, That’s what they said.
But why?
He knows it - but never shows it.

Not so much brought up
as dragged around - it caused tears…
Uprooted every two or three years
as, parental careers, the opportunities
might dictate…ever upward so we moved…
We did move around a lot, but no long stays
9 different schools - all approved.
always the new boy… Too many first days.

But fresh starts open doors; broaden the view.
I’ve seen more new schools than most folk do.
Vistas afresh. Unfamiliarity the cue…
to learn anew…the local geography or
new dialect… “Eh up lad are you reet?” begets
“alright mate? And, you’ll fit in fine if
you speak the language! So round here, as ever,
I landed…with my best Southern ‘posh’…
a plummy… “Hello, how are you?” to the letter…
Yeah pretty good… but could do better!
'Twas ever thus! I was graded at 2% in my Maths Mock 'O' Level... I think because I got my name right! Distinctions in English and Art... So I was ecstatic!
Chris Slade Jan 2021
It’ll be Monkey Gland and Fake Tan,
shoring up the US of A’s yesterday man.
The Donald will haunt us, taunt us, every day
from his new media stream…down Mar a Lago way.
Regaling us about how, had things gone more his way,
the whole of those in HIS world…well folks,
they’d have had a much, much better day!
“Friends you’re gonna see what a terrific day we could have”

He may not have stopped ‘the steal’ that day
and, though the GOP elite might have started to peel away,
coming clean, identifying with the Democrat way…
“Losers” He’d say! That’s rich is how it’ll seem!
“Cheats, liars, fools”, he’ll add… They’ll wish they’d listened
stayed on the ‘winning’ -  ‘***** grabbing’ team.
The Don’s backers, the redneck’s choice
those back-woods good ole boys, it was their voice…
that tipped the scale last time.

Now it may not be easy - pulling back from Seven Million down
But he always thought it could be turned around.
It’s amazing what the promise of a contract or two will do.
Yet getting down to the real nitty gritty,
it don’t stick with those who’ve got integrity.
Some of those, the rioters, on the Don’s  side
they’ve only ever voted twice…
once in sixteen and then again in 2020
That used to mean excellent vision huh?!
“I think you’re just funnin’ with me there boy!”…

The new administration will tire
of his interference. The new regime,
now with all the clout, will be criticised
for wanting to take him out…
‘cos he’ll just be a thorn in their side
Let’s just squeeze the ******…
Get back on the right track Jack.
There is no going back.
Those who ain’t so fussy, don’t object
to the kind of mind that will stoop
to grabbing people by the *****!
His words not mine…
Get used to better times…
All of a sudden the future’s lookin’ just fine!
When I wrote this I was amazed to find that Monkey Gland is a well known cocktail! Back in the day (my day) it was an Elixir for a longer life extracted from a monkey's ******* - I know that DT is Tee-Total but in any event he deserves one or the other!
Jan 2021 · 101
Chris Slade Jan 2021
I’ve been given some of that Haiku
But I said if I was going to sprinkle
out on my soup I’d go no further
than maybe a bit of parmesan…

Oh no, that’s meso isn’t it?
Anyway! It’s not part of god’s plan
Loaves & Fishes was his thing!
That’s his take…anyhow I’m not a fan!

****** it!  That’s four lines…
and it’s only supposed to be three!
and (snort) it doesn’t rhyme…
Well, as you know, that’s just not me!
Chris Slade Jan 2021
No Funeral.
No Wake.
Just get me down
to the Take’n’Bake.
When they’re done
sweep me into a bag or box
and scatter me wide.
Bits here and bits there
I don’t suppose I’ll really care
or notice where I am.
Places I’ve lived, loved and ventured.
Views that I might have seen
maybe from times when I’ve been
younger, fitter, when health was better.

No funeral means
No awkward reunions
between unmended siblings,
the kids, where a bit of a do
would spoil the day.
And, because it’s MY death,
and it would have been MY day
we’ll just leave it. It'll be better that way.
So none of those daring, glaring
or sympathetic looks.
The disappointment is well in the past.
Do what comes naturally
when I’m long gone. I hope it works
I want no part of it - nor ever did.
But obviously it irks!

But anyway that’s not the only reason
there should be no fuss.
Fuss to benefit not one of us.
I’ve been spiritual, but not religious.
I was parentally shoe-horned into church
but probably wouldn’t have bothered at all
if it’d been left up to me.
I'm happy to like one and all and,
if I got it back, that means I got it right

Being an atheist or agnostic
doesn’t mean you’re a bad person…
It just means you’ve thought it through
and come up with a different answer
than most of the Sunday shufflers,
those who might not question their motives
but just be in that groove. I say Live & Let Live.
What is it THEY say? Be nice to everyone you meet
on the way up… because you never know
who you might meet on the way down!
That about does it. Keep the info sparse.
Always leave them wanting more...
Hedge your bets, cover your ****!...
And the meek shall inherit the earth
If that's OK with the rest of you.
Me? - Ce’st la vie.
No Funeral, No Wake... Just get me down to the Take'n'Bake'
Jan 2021 · 77
FaceBook - Shame Faced
Chris Slade Jan 2021
I’ve got a ****** virus!
Corona? No, no - not that one!
That would be better; that might pass.
And I do emphasise ‘might’.
No! Some ****
has hacked my FaceBook Page!
now that is proper *****!

He…It must be a ‘he’,
He sent a message to me
pretending to be a friend.
And… that means that all my
real FaceAche pals, well,
the rest of us.
they will get it too…
unless, of course, they suss
that it wasn’t really me,
and ignore it! It’s a knock on…
this also travels round the world,
just like the real Covid thing…unfurled!

My apology is sincere and for the best…
Steer clear - stay safe - stay at home
and accept my brand new friend request.

Don’t worry about this hack - you’ll be pleased to know
that this particular one was over a year ago!
Jan 2021 · 90
New Year Heigh Ho!?
Chris Slade Jan 2021
Jan One - a new year eh?
2021…bodes a new and brighter day!
Well I don’t share your attitude
your chattitude… You’re delighted?
Well I for one can’t get excited
Can’t support the enthusiasm
It’s just another exhalation spasm…

TV - reception crackles
It’s Boris again to raise your hackles.
“Stay at home be safe, but here’s the thing…
We’ll still have fireworks so come on out
let’s still shout… rejoice and sing…
Mixed messages - seems to be his big thing!

But no! See sense - stay at home, lie low,
heigh **! Give the left overs another go.
Keep your distance
by far the best resistance…
and stuff your fireworks… Heigh ** BoJo!
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Beware of false friends... Especially politicians!
Chris Slade Dec 2020
I’m Coming for you Bob...
To Hull & Back...
to Carver’s Just for the Mushy Peas!

As a little lad, I think on a Sat’day morning, we’d go

to a market somewhere, was it on the docks?

Asked our Brian, he’s smart, he said it were... I thought - he’d know.

...After all the mooching, the tugging, the shushing, the rows
and all me mam’s “where’s he gone nows?”

If I stuck it out long enough wi’out gerrin’ a clout,
we’d sit inside, or sometimes out,

of a blue striped tent - and I’d eat mushy peas.

There might have been chips,
 there could have been fish;
Mam always had fish,

Brian, would have had a pattie... well, he was 12(ish)

Not sure I’d even have known about patties all them years back.
But anyway peas is what sticks in my mind…

and all down the front of me jumper...or sometimes on me mac.

They say - if you haven’t been to Carver’s
 you haven’t been to Hull.

Well Bob... I’m coming back!… And’ll
when I was digging mushy peas
 with my fork back in Fifty Three,

it were your Grandad, (also Bob) would have been serving me!

Cheers! And, I know it's cheeky - but - Can I have scraps wi'that?
Carver's was a big thing in Hull - probably still is. They even had a big stall at Hull Fair
Chris Slade Dec 2020
“I see he’s still going round with that *******!”
"Who’s that?"... "Santa Claus!"…
We laughed - My dad was such a wag!
In my thoughts every Christmas Eve …
after creeping unseen he’d wake us at 6am
shouting “He’s been, he’s been!” And he had!

Even when we were older and
the ‘cat was out of the bag’
Christmas never lost its lustre for my dad,
even at eighty five.
He’d start his shopping in Summer
by mail order… and make sure
each year was just the same…
Keeping the spirit alive.

Terminally ill…he even wrote to Micki,
my wife, and asked her in a note…
“As I won’t be here next year
here’s a box of stuff”… he wrote…
“Dish this lot out to the family with all my love
… and tell them to look up,
I’ll be smiling down from up above!
Lots of love!”
Chris Slade Dec 2020
When you’ve swept
the last frozen pea from your freezer…
and you’ve made the last batch of tallow candles
from the beef dripping of your last big meal…
and the already flickering light dims
and finally goes out…
You’ll just be scavenging from dawn
till dusk for sustenance...
And there's not much more about!

You’ll hear stories - word of mouth
‘cos the telly doesn’t work anymore,
of someone seeing the last truck
rolling North out of Dover…
All the diesel’s run out that used to power
the ferries and the trucks.
That last lorry was waylaid by looters…
But it was only carrying toilet rolls anyway!

Boris Johnson’s twitching figure still hangs
from the newly erected gibbet at Tyburn.
There will be a queue…
The next to step up and face their maker
Gove, Patel, Hancock or Raab…
“No, no… after you” being herded…
by refreshed & re-enrolled Hell’s Angels…
like Ravens and Vultures after a plague…

Amazon will be down to just one staffer.
He’s waiting for today’s single order -
from a techie in the Hebrides.
One who has built himself a generator from fuse wire
and washed up plastic waste.
He’ll be after a PS5 that runs on his private solar energy…
He can use it for 10 minutes each day after sundown
order before sunset - be ready - in haste.

I won’t go on… but you get the picture.
And, yet…In spite of life being a
well choreographed ****-show,
living & breathing...
(slowly…because you’ll use up all the Oxygen)
well, it still remains popular!

Happy New Year folks!
Dec 2020 · 714
Arrested Development
Chris Slade Dec 2020
Arrested development,
life on hold.
Investment deterioration...
High Street trade goes cold.
Can we have our ball back mister?

Progress halted;
ambitions run dry.
Ineptitude personified
So up goes the cry…
Can we turn the clock back?
Lorry parks overrun,
trucking overspills,
paperwork’s not valid mate,
shortage at the tills.
Unemployment running rife... go on...
Can’t we just have another run at life?

Too many negatives
converging all at once.
Should’ve delayed departure
Covid, Brexit… Extend the talks!
Ineptitude • Handbrake turn before the exit?
No! This is like a yellow box so no!
Do not enter unless your exit’s clear!
Can we have our ball back mister?
Can we turn the clock back?
Can we have another run at life?

Too late goes up the cry… you’re disaffected.
Should’ve been better informed
by the people at the sharp end;
the people at the top…
Ever felt dejected... 1- 2 - 3 - 4...
take it from the top! No!
Can we have our ball back mister?
Can we turn the clock back?
Can we have another run at life?

Sorry say the throng…
we didn’t really mean them
to get it THIS bleeding wrong!
Politics again!
Chris Slade Dec 2020
We ain’t sending Christmas cards any more!
We’ve done the list and that’s it!
Oh no!…There’s another one just dropped through the door.
You approach it gingerly like an unexploded bomb
Cautiously wondering “who the eff is it from?”

“Oh no! It’s someone who’s not on the list… the *******!”
Or, an older relative who doesn’t ‘do’ computers....
“We don’t do computers!”...
And so it bounces off them this ‘losers’ two pronged attack.
like getting one in the post and not sending one back!
But we definitely ain’t sending cards any more!

Can’t they just send an e-card, maybe one of those Jacqui whats-her-name jobbies...
with floating fairies, sleigh bell sound effects and ****** labradors too.
Or bang off a picture of Santa on FaceBook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram…surely that will do.
Oh no they’ve got to go the whole nine yards.
Even if they buy ****** Poundland Cards
there’s still the cost of a ****** stamp! That’s extortionate too!
No… Sorry… actually not sorry...
We ain’t buying OR sending cards any more!

We’ll donate to charity instead - that’ll be us…
It’ll be cheaper and a lot less fuss.
Sponsor a neglected reindeer, maybe a redundant elf
Or yeh…better still - rescue a pup.
One that WAS just for Christmas then just got chucked.
For me this Christmas mail-out is over - the game's definitely up!
Or really… if all else fails…we’ll just buy next year’s supply
in bulk from the January sales!
In truth we will probably keep on sending cards and just reduce the mailing list as people 'fall off the twig'... That way eventually all that will be left will be the youngsters who either do it on line... or not at all!
Dec 2020 · 122
Cinders @ Christmas,
Chris Slade Dec 2020
...but NOT of the Pantomime kind!

Alan & Gus - unruly cousins of mine…
Bold, naughty boys: brothers in arms!
They would fight, squabble
cause widespread mayhem.
Anything but sublime, rarely calm.

My Auntie Nellie, their mum, she couldn’t cope
their behaviour would often drive her nuts...quite mad.
And Uncle Charlie?  Well, you’d never want to witness
the legendary temper he had...Not nice.
He’d even boxed my ears once or twice.

Anyway, it was December 10th when the boys went out,
He wasn’t in - so they took Charlie’s prized car for a spin…
No licence, no test, no insurance…Nowt!
Well, for 12 & 14 year olds, this was so very, very far out,
…on a limb I mean.

Quiet roads only, of course!…only lanes beyond Preston.
A bit icy like. And Alan overcooked the corner at Lelley
and finished up rolling into the ****…
Proper upside down it were - all four wheels pointing up in the air.
…You can see it was not going quite how they’d like!

So…It was getting dark when the car limped back home,
dents and scratches, all oil, mud and slime - hard to hide…
Charlie saw them drive past t’front room window…
and he met ‘em out in’t yard… Only one word was spoken,
like a maniac he screamed… “INSIDE!”

Punishment back in those days was stern
a leather strap… across bare buttocks
That’s what you’d earn…6 times…
and another if you dared flinch.
Ironically that was the bit they found easiest to bear - a cinch!…

But the bag o’Cinders instead of presents on’t best day o’t year?
That’s what really hurt… Not even chocolate money or an orange!
AND… being made to wash the car every week for 12 months…
Pocket money cancelled… so, not a scrap of good cheer…
And neither one of ‘em drove a car again till their 17th year!
All true and back in the day... Cinders at Christmas was a real threat... I don't know if it was just our neck of the woods or worldwide. Ooh but we were good in the run -up to Christmas!!
Nov 2020 · 147
It’s that good!
Chris Slade Nov 2020
We’ve been married 50 years.
But in fact we are both still around 25!
It’s that good.

We giggle and laugh
and yet neither of us has said anything…
it’s that good.

I read your mind and you read mine…
It’s that good…
It's understood!
Chris Slade Nov 2020
At this time of my life
I find myself wearing hats…
I’m not happy with my head you see,
In short, being able to see it
it just doesn’t thrill me.
Not through those depressing, disappearing strands.
So it’s that time - It’s hat time!

Hats are warm, comforting things;
take it off and, for a while at least,
it feels still there - a phantom hat.
Not quite as spooky or worrying
as a phantom arm or leg - after that
severed limb thing, but right there!
It really is that time - It’s hat time!

My Grandma Lamplough,
that’s on my mother’s side,
was an avid knitter of things to order,
She was even a freelancer for Jaeger…
matinée jackets, mittens, cardies, pullovers
But in later days mostly just tea cosies.
If there was no immediate customer in mind…
“Everybody needs a cosy and one size fits all”
she would say… and anyway,
commissions were rare for cosies back in the day

She’d wear it boldly herself
with handle and spout slots front & back, proud
She’d start the next one and announce
to every visitor right out loud…
”Hey…Do you want a cosy for your ***?
Mr Watling, the milkman, he had quite a lot!
But then he showed up every day!
A quart is it Mrs L?… and yes, I WILL have a cosy today!

Me? I’ve never fancied a toupee, wig
or go in for a Bobby Charlton tribute gig ….
I’ll be happy just to settle for a beret,
news boy or Fedora… to hide the offending pate
and avoid the comb over till a later date.
Meanwhile I’ll maybe settle for Grandma’s cosy special?
My Grandma was a cosy knitter extraordinaire!
Nov 2020 · 211
Branch Line Closure
Chris Slade Nov 2020
A Down the Railway Rhyme!

I walked the line
to where the steel once ran.
I walked the time line…
Where the rail gap clatter
gave way to wild bird chatter.
Where commuter crush
became deer grazing in a siding’s hush…

Wild flowers, weeds & shrubs
flourish where the occasional sleepers lay
and the odd rail cleat on the track bed ,
remind us where the rails once led,
till those who govern these things said…
Too expensive!…No more the train.
Let the trucks & roads take the strain.

Today… Nature’s Food Chain
replaces yesterday’s Freight Train
Wolf’s Bain and Wart’s Ease
instead of strap hanger’s
carriage squeeze…
meant kids would sit on their mother’s knees

Today there’s a diving Sparrow Hawk
where once 3rd Class picked up on small talk
and 1st was treated to business ‘squawk’.
The river & passing pastures have seen it all;
rail trade that kept a town alive
gives way to help the wildlife thrive.
John Betjeman meets Pam Ayers and I doubt either would have been very happy... But I don't hear anyone complaining!
Chris Slade Oct 2020
The fabric of our society is slipping.
It’s so transparent you CAN see right through.
We’ve got a posh yob thinking he can do the leader’s job.
He knows he’s *****, that his detractors are right,
and he should throw the towel in right now.

The algorithm’s not the only thing that’s ******.
our future’s definitely been well & truly chucked.
the wrong people are being knighted
the proles are being slighted and
we’re being seen as a laughing stock round the world

it’s the blind leading the partially sighted,
where the grass roots need just  to be united
and who is it who can handle that job?
Not anyone from this current motley mob?
It’s not pretty… It’s downright ugly!
The UK seems to be losing ground on all fronts... A narcissistic leader who didn't want a job with so many problems - some of which he helped create is wriggling and on the ropes.
Chris Slade Oct 2020
That young man in the photograph
Of course it’s much more poignant now he’s dead.
Alive there was always hope… some promise.
Some light at the end of the tunnel to make things right.
But now the obituary, the eulogy, the excuses,
the anguish, the recriminations, the blame game,
the ‘if onlys’. None of that will bring him back
for another run at life.

So best get it sorted.
These are real people, real lives, real ambitions
we are dealing with… This is not a rehearsal.
This is not a project or a thesis in your sociology degree.
This is a young hopeful's life. You’ve badged it hope ‘less’.
Now it might just be a failure for you, a pause in your career,
but it’s a bereavement for his mum, his dad, his grans, his grandads
and most of all, I always think - for me!

I am looking down - now that I’m up here…
Well it’s too late for me - but please spend a bit more time
getting IN when you feel I’ve locked you OUT.
I was confused, abused, a user, a drug abuser who felt befuddled…
needed to be nurtured, encouraged...metaphorically cuddled!
Unless that EARLY MORNING TOKER can kick the skunk
and what often follows it down, then we will just keep going…
round and round and round.
My grandson is in a spiral of drug abuse... shuns help because another joint is easier and more enjoyable and amenable than well meaning counsellors.
Chris Slade Sep 2020
Friday night, half five. Offices, factories,
fish docks, shops’d unload…
Pan-stick applied, lippy, slap, fresh scent…
ancient Brits in finest 'warpaint' woad.
Oxford Bags, double breasted jacket, 10 ****,
Brilliantine and Brylcreem.
The Hull to Withernsea train stood ready
with a full head of steam.

The preened, the pummed - the chancers, romancers…
loves young dreamers, the loved up dancers - .
Laden with laughter, the Friday night
‘With’ Special lurches out of Hull…
15 miles of glistening steel…
an escape route from the drudge, the cludge,
to ‘Crazy Night’ chances of a naughty weekend.
It’s anything but dull…      

Paragon to Scullcoates,
Southcoates & Marfleet
the carriages already full to burstin’
and the wackiness awaits.
Hedon Speedway, Rye Hill
and Burstwick trundling by…
Hedonists through Hedon’s Gate
sleepy Patrington, Hollym… With!

Piling off the platform toward digs
and guest house fun, stuffed weekend bags…
A thruppeny bit to the sack truck boy
and one of your precious ****.
We’re carousing down the street,
half the city must be here
and the feeling… well it’s reet!
Gagging for a beer - but first…

“Ooh, Mr & Mrs Smith is it?”…
the landlady asks with a knowing wink.
Bags in, **** out - into The Alex  for a drink…
before tripping to The Queen’s and 'Crazy Night!'
Tuppence and a jam jar (don’t ask) gets you in
and it’s mayhem - out of sight!
What a din! Lively band, cheap drinks… what a night!

Girls giggle in gaggles,
dancing round their bags…
The lads... a beer, a laugh, a leer
and passing round the ****.
The whole of Hull turns out in our With
on a summer’s Friday night.
1935… the town’s throbbing…
will it, ever again, see the like?
One of my dad’s many ‘businesses’ when he was in his teens was wheeling bags from Withernsea Station to the ‘digs’, guest houses, that people stayed in on ‘weekenders’ away from Hull… He used to make it all sound great.
Tuppence and a jam jar? Back in the day I suppose a jam jar was currency! They used to get supplied back to the bottling plants! Those were the days - Before today's recyclng!
btw… The Withernsea locals call their East Yorkshire seaside town ‘With’.
Sep 2020 · 195
I Ain't Your Voter!
Chris Slade Sep 2020
It’s bad enough being governed by tossers
but those who might lie about what they’ve
done to prove they deserve their title;
changing diaries, blogs and saying, well
we didn’t get the e-mail…No, honestly - no note!
Well listen to me you tosspot - you ain’t got my vote!

Politicians who don’t take steps to deal
with crises on a Friday - but put it off till Monday
‘cos, well, it’s the weekend - and we don’t do weekends…
Well, I know I’m not even a cog in the wheel…
but I AM a voter… and, you posh-boy procrastinators
whilst your **** points downwards - No sir!
I ain’t your voter!

If everything’s unprecedented, exponential - non essential
that just means you failed… your eye wasn’t on the ball - you bailed!
Countries that tumbled first surely that put the writing on the wall.
That should have given you a clue - but no - not with you.
Cobra? Err, sorry couldn’t do the first five…
Shame mate - ‘cos half of those that died might still have been alive.
You ain’t got my vote!

So how can you do it? What? Well, make amends!
I’ve got a good idea -  why not work weekends!
And, while you’re at it why not just own up
to not coping very well. The Game’s up!
And, after you’re voted out next time
just go to hell! You ain’t got my vote!
Is that the door?… I’ll get my coat!
I've tried hearts and flowers and wandering lonely as a cloud and other ethereal stuff... None of that works for me. Maybe it's because I didn't get into poetry until later in life... Been round the block witnessed too many idiots pretending to know what it's all about - and only when it's too late finding out that they should never have put their hand up!
Chris Slade Sep 2020
We were at it like a couple of rabbits back then…
Eating salad I mean! Trying to lose weight!

Laying off the *****… keeping up the exercise.
press ups till you’re dizzy, can’t see straight
And look at them rippling thighs!
Never having a lie in or getting up deliciously late.
But running on the beach early doors, increasing the heart rate.

Heart and lungs that’s the thing - get a proper sweat on!
So good? Yeah! A crafty beer? Well maybe - but please, don’t let on.

The odd indiscretion is OK as long as it doesn’t show.
But the day of reckoning’s looming again and they’ll all have to know…
And in spite of all your calorie counting and life becoming a blur.
On the scales (these 'ere must be wrong) you’re just the same as you were!

Come Friday…”Christopher has had another good week everyone; he’s lost 6 ounces!!”
Daily exercise? Look at them rippling thighs!!

But I’ve done me best I’m on rice crackers with lemon zest
three times every day… I’m exercising… she’s criticising
And I’m worried I’ll waste away!
"No" she says… "your love handles haven’t disappeared.
Until they do it’s more of this and less of that.
And…you’re too shagged out anyway!"

Weight Loss... I don't give a toss!
Do you think if I stop drinking beer and just have red wine... Will that do?
Sep 2020 · 859
Sorry I left so suddenly!
Chris Slade Sep 2020
I’m sorry I had to leave so suddenly that night.
And even more sorry to know that you had the shock
of finding my ’not wanted on the voyage’ body.
The useless carcass I left behind.
That shouldn’t happen to anyone,
to find your lifeless partner by your side…
That’s how you’d see it anyway.

But me? I’m off now into the wide blue yonder,
never to return. Not as you knew me anyway.
These are the rules I’m afraid.
Apparently some people do come back.
****** Spiritualists & Clairvoyants… They make us all,
up here - seem like part timers.
Not that I wouldn’t… But it’s complicated.

There’s a kind of apprenticeship,
a protocol to follow…There are still rules
even in death. There has to be a trade off.
No pain… no anguish…
And, you can just dip in and out of your old
family’s life - PAs… Personal Appearances.
That’s what 'Head Office' calls ‘em

Pacifies the loved ones that you are settled.
In the dying mode of things that is.
Really what you’re doing… as a soul,
is waiting for a suitable donor body
then you're born into a new family!
That's the way it goes!

To end on a lighter note… Kind of makes you wonder
why there aren’t more child prodigies around…
Maybe only the smartest ones make it back! Who knows?

All that knowledge gone to waste… Just saying!
I write from the other side of death... not the hearts and flowers... but the looking back on life and the the 'still living' from the 'other' side!
Chris Slade Aug 2020
Ted Slade was a Communist, an Atheist,
a Realist, a Pragmatist. All the ‘ists’…
Even as you’d see from his poetry…. a perfectionist.!
So, right to be bitter now and then,
about how the so called maker made him.
I’m right there with him on that.

How can there be a superior being… The Big ‘G’
The creator of all things living and breathing
when, he dished out the proletariat’s grand life plans…
The stoop, the damaged flesh, retracted blood and bone,
the twisted hands.

After he’d fixed the sun,
the moon and the stars
and the creatures of the sea,
he made man in his image… his own
the likes of you and me.
But Ted picked up a duff one,
an already beaten body.
Spine twisted, lungs restricted.
Unfit for purpose - ****** up.

Like a life jacket with a puncture
If he had jumped overboard with it
he would have drowned.
He’d picked up the parcel in the warehouse
that had already hit the ground.
One that shouldn’t have made it beyond quality control.
If he’d had a hand in a design that was plainly odd
he would have chosen the super deluxe model for his starring role
So he just ignored everybody else’s God
Just got on with the job…
And as such, scored an even more brilliant goal!
This is about my cousin Ted from Hull ... who, at about the age of 6, was diagnosed with severe Kyphoscoliosis - a complex curvature of the spine ... So he didn't believe in God. Ted still, without formal education till the age 12, was accepted at university at 15 ... Bsc Hons. Metalurgist, Marketeer, Internet Wiz, Programmer, and Latterly, of course, a Poet. As you do!! Ted Slade: 1936 - 2004.
Chris Slade Aug 2020
I looked in the mirror today
and said to my reflection…
"We need to talk!
Have a word,
this is getting absurd…
You’re a mess…
you’re overweight,
those lines on your face
they used to be straight
now they’re wrinkly.
The stoop,
the brewer’s droop
It’s not good.
Your best intentions
are misunderstood.
It’s about time to diet…
go for a run,
not a fun run!
Stay quiet
lay off the *****.
Instead of post lunch
having a snooze.
You’re bloated,
Out of breath,
permanently pooped
It’s got to stop!
You’ve got to start
giving a ****.
You must start
conquering it!
Stomach in,
chest out
shoulders back
pack it in,
stub it out,
looking like a
geriatric lout!
’Snot funny…
cut the grin,
this lethargy’s
doin’ you in.
Get closer… focus
just behave…
You can start off by
having a shave!!

He's a harsh critic - that bathroom mirror! Little *****!!
We need to talk about presentation in a distorted world where things matter!
Chris Slade Jul 2020
Dean's found a pebble on the beach today
a warning of a meteorite coming our way
it shows of their route from the planet 'With'.
in the constellation or 'Urn' -
sent 6 million years ago to the day,
just letting us know they’re on their way.

It's a prophé 'See' - It’s all to do with our own growth,
our development from the primordial slime
and to miss their arrival would be a crime…
So get down to the beach for about teatime.
Tell them when they turn up - and before they exit
they’re just in time to help us eradicate Covid & Stop Brexit!
Dean Wilson is a performance poet who collects pebbles from Withernsea & Tunstall Beaches on the East Yorkshire beach (UK). One of them looked like a route map from outer space! No really!
Jul 2020 · 73
Wonder Weather
Chris Slade Jul 2020
Sun scorched.
Wind blown.
Rain drenched.
Gale wrenched.
Breeze buffeted.
Blow dried.
Desert fried.
Drizzle cried.
Sometimes you
wonder weather!

Tornado torn.
Monsoon mashed.
Sleet slashed.
Snow blind.
Mist covered.
Fog bound.
Hail & Hearty...
Hurricane Higgins!
OK…Cyclone conceded.
Weather warnings
seldom heeded...
Wonder Weather!
Chris Slade Jul 2020
Metaphorically, of course,
I sometimes trample
on a decent poem just by reading it!

My voice, my inflection,
my intonation,
my lack of rise and fall
my now softer ‘half crown’,
more southern counties accent
than the ‘built in’ Yorkshire of my birth
or the adopted Brummie of my youth…

These things conspire to
make the strung words:
a nonsense of the pile of ascenders,
descenders, serifs
and punctuation marks.
They’re irredeemable in that pile by the door.

It’ll take more than a Pritt Stick
to re-assemble them into the
voice I once had or want to have
Not needed on the voyage…
Jul 2020 · 86
News About Your Ticket…
Chris Slade Jul 2020
My ears were ringing
and my head felt like it would explode
“We’ve got news about your ticket”
Could be the big one… The Mother Lode!

What extreme luck… I thought, because I’d phoned
the lottery complaints line yesterday… No honest, I did.
To say I seemed to be locked out of my Lotto account
and I’d just topped it up with 25 quid
(That’s a loss not a win!)

Anyway, if nothing else, and I can’t play any more
I’d like my money back… so what’s the score?
A real bloke asked my postcode… first line of my address
Don’t panic he said… no need to get angry or stress.

Well, after a lot of confusing stuff,
inside leg measurement colour of eyes… “Enough!”
he said, “I’ve got the griff. I have the info…
You’re good to go - check it out - go on’n have a go”…

When you’re on the line and being asked to type,
push buttons, you know you fumble, stumble - right?…
well, it’s 115Million Quid tonight
So I was all thumbs… but I hoped to get it right…

So, my helpline buddy was still on the line,
I clicked… Euro Millions • 2 Lucky Dip lines • 
Friday • One week - yep I’m in!
“Thanks mate, you’ve been great.  Okay?”
“All the best, good luck for tonight”… I heard him say.

Dreaming about what an omen that had been
I just felt I was due for a win…
And, yeh…Next morning I had a bit of a fright
I'm checking my e-mails to see what might
have happened overnight
and, amongst all the usual dross and *****, was one…
News about your ticket tadaaaa!

Nervously…’cos I WAS… nervous, I clicked to my account
I felt my heart skip a beat…so many futures on hold…
only to move to the next page and then be told,
Congratulations! You got 3 numbers right… Oh dear, well I thought... nifty
and you’ve won the princely sum of 7 pounds fifty!!!

That’s another fiver down the *******!
Lottery!... My dad promised me just before he died that if I kept doing his numbers he'd make sure they'd come up... No good pa! It ain't working!
Chris Slade Jul 2020
Campers that Camp
Parkers who Park
Clampers that Clamp
Players who Play
Dampers that Damp
Breakers that Break
Stayers who Stay
Sneakers who sneak
Lovers that Love
Layers who Lay
Dreamers who Dream
Day Dreamers who Day Dream
Flouters who Flout
Shouters who shout
Pouters that pout
Wreckers who wreck
Screamers that Scream
Reamers that Ream
Redeemers who Dream and Redeem
Screamers who scream
Creamers who make cream
Streakers who streak
Readers who Read
Bleeders who Bleed
Tearers who tear
Shearers who shear
Sharers who share
Darers who dare
Carers that Care
Trenders who Trend… That’s trending
Menders who Mend... they're mending
they’re Fixers who fix!
They’re Doers who Do
Not Doubters that Don’t

Senders who send’a
a’ huh huh huh!
Thank you very much!
I haven't go t a clue what prompted me to start this... I'm usually quite pragmatic and write about real things, real life and not the 'ethereal'
Chris Slade Jun 2020
Sent some flowers the other day
to a friend who’d lost life’s loves,
kith and kin, too often
over the years.
Loves & Lives Lost,
too many fears realised…

Birthdates after death,
death-dates after life
they concertina together
to cause concerning days, weeks,
months. And, commiserations come in
in a flurry sometimes and amplify the hurt.

As time rolls on it's strange
how anniversaries come in bunches!
Just for the moment it seems that all
the good things are in the past…

But let’s look forward to warmth,
comfort and re-assurance from
memories of friends, family,
partners and loved ones - at last.
Jun 2020 · 100
Lockdown Flock Running Amok
Chris Slade Jun 2020
The lockdown’s knocked down!
The sheep have escaped.
They’re running amok
in an indiscriminate, confusing flock,
flaunting the rules
looking like fools
spreading envy in a frenzy
not to mention the plague.

Stoppit… or else - you’ll coppit!
We're all fed up of being locked down... but THIS has not helped mankind - so be kind- stop it!
Chris Slade Jun 2020
Picture the scene… a TV company boardroom.

“OK we have a problem”…

Oh no! - Corporate gloom!

"Thank you for turning up everyone… Listen in.

The opposition has come up with a winner.

Celebrity Pooch Walks with Alan Carr. I know…

But Gary’s got an idea - go on Gary…”

Here’s a synopsis…

It’s called ‘Celebrity Snoop Dogs’

We strap a camera to a dog’s back

and send it through a famous person’s cat-flap…”

“Sorry to stop you there Gary.

Although I recognise the merits -

and you may have it right…

But that one’s on Channel Four tonight!”
Reality TV has stretched credibility to breaking point... And can you believe that there are TV 'personalities' (I use the term loosley) who get involved... It must be for the money. It can't possibly be because it's prime time quality viewing!!
Jun 2020 · 190
It’s a Sign of the Times
Chris Slade Jun 2020
Blessed are the sign makers
for they shall do overtime
social distancing notices
and warnings galore…
means extra work
for those who hope to inform.
Reflecting the changes
in a mixed up world…
There’s serif, sans serif, cursive,
leaded, kerned, font smoothed, curled.
Helvetica, Univers, Futura & Gill
Classic fonts urging you -  Stand Still!…
Don’t cross that line…
Follow the science… Divine!
Do the 2 metre 2 step
the 1 metre Shimmy…
The retailers are back
saying Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.
Women want to shop…
Blokes just want to be blokes
and stand outside!
It’s a sign of the times folks…Stay Out!
However many trades hit the economic wall
the signmakers & writers out there, they’ll outlive us all!
Blessed are the sign makers!
Some people have been doing very well out of lockdown
Jun 2020 · 331
My Father's Day!
Chris Slade Jun 2020
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 quite 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! That was us!
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 2020
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 2020
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
Apr 2020 · 198
Coastal Erosion, Withernsea
Chris Slade Apr 2020
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 2020
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 2020
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!
Apr 2020 · 74
Stir Crazy?
Chris Slade Apr 2020
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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