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Chris Slade Mar 2020
A fishing rod for Brian… wow, of course! A definite must!
He’d been banging on… can I, can I, can I mam…aw… just
like a broken record. So he got one - just because he fussed!
So the mantra switched… "When, when, Mam, when can we go?"
My mam and dad, always busy in the shop, so they didn’t know.

And me dad, he'd never been fishing in his life though.
His own dad had died when he was twelve - so no,
he’d not been shown the ropes: but how hard could it be?…So
":OK, we’ll go down to the pier or the harbour in Brid.
Anything to shut him up." And me? Well I wanted to go and so - we all did!

We’re off in our Austin 10… “Are we nearly there yet dad -
are we nearly there?
Bait, bait, we need some bait where will we get that? Where?”
“Shut up, sit down, button your coat up and I will get you there.
There’ll be a shop a bait shop - AND I, I will bait the hook!”
You, pain in the ****, don’t touch anything - all you CAN do is look!"

We parked, got to the pier, unpacked our stuff - just as it began to rain.
My brother was still whingeing, my dad was seething… Brian WAS being a pain.
The wind blew, horizontal rain. The worm fell off the hook. Dad, annoyed, put it on again.
“Can I do it Dad?” “NO!” This was the moment, the one that we all hoped would be…
the next best thing to catching a fish… The cast!
When my old man threw the whole effin' lot in the sea!
Chris Slade May 2019
The Avro Vulcan, a majestic big old iron bird, sublime,
was to do a flyby for just one memorable last time.
Maybe with a jet fighter or a Spitfire on each wing, who knew?…
Unthinkable to miss it… almost a crime.
Thousands turned up every year, always a great day out -
but this year would be special, there'd be no doubt.
The last flight of such a legendary plane made it essential…
So, after the flyers’ break for lunch, the crowd filled out.

The entry fee to occupy the field was heinous. 25 quid!
That was for adults - and a fiver for each kid.
So, many more than those that paid, sat happily outside pubs.
Others found shelter in the perimeter’s trees and... kinda hid.
Now, to see a Vulcan fly anytime, anywhere, was magic…
She was a Leviathan of the Cold War,
that held players in the planet’s power games in awe.
And this would be her last time doing the rounds on the air show circuit -
Seeing this locally was hard to ignore.

Mark (a nephew) was a window cleaner by trade.
A regular, down to earth, happy go lucky guy.
…Saturday comes and the kids all voted "McDonalds"…
“A Happy Meal!” they’d cry.
He said that was fine - they’d all go after he’d nipped over
to the airshow to watch the Vulcan fly.
No idea whatsoever, of course, that just by going to Shoreham
just 5 miles away, for half an hour or so… that he might die.

He told his fiancé he’d only be an hour or so…
be back in time to take the kids for a burger and, "NO!"...
He wouldn’t stay. He was the only one in the family
who was bothered anyway…so he wouldn’t ****** up their day.
So, in haste, because apparently Chicken Nuggets & Fries
was much better for the kids than a load of old planes,
he cranked the best out of his bike along the 27 and,
once at the lights by the Sussex Pad,
he pulled over to the kerb to watch from the bushes.
Good view? Well not bad!

Andy Hill was a flyer of many years. His weekday job,
flying for BA.Taking holiday makers, business folk, transatlantic in Seven Four Sevens...
A flight deck maestro, soaring up, just under the heavens.
He’d done Shoreham loads of times… it was exciting, exhilarating... almost sport, his game!
He was off the hook,  became an ace. It gave him that 15 minutes of fame!
Free to thrill - a hero! Standing out from the crowd with every daring step. His aim!

He wasn’t just a petrol head… this bloke had aviation fuel in his blood.
Adrenalin on tick-over. Nought to 60 in 2.7 seconds with 22,000 Horsepower under the hood.
He left Epping full of fuel, just 90 miles away, so in two ticks he was with us, fully loaded and, the weather? It was good.
First up after lunch at half past one… he streaked across the crowded field.
Over and out and up, up, up… Little did the spectators know that Andy had forgotten he was flying a Hunter…
He thought it was last year’s aborted routine in a Jet Provost… The one they'd stopped part way through being, too risky.

"He’s not gonna make it… I can’t look!" There was a hush… a nanosecond’s silence and then the rush,
the whoomph that said it all… that hush! The ground shook!
And the eleven - plus others injured - went up in Andy Hill’s very own fireball!
No, of course, Mark wasn’t the only one to die that day.
Ten other ‘innocents’ left us in pretty much the same way…
Maurice, Dylan, Tony, Matthew, Matt, Graham, Mark R, Daniele, Richard & Jacob.
Mark T, our Mark, had the distinction of having two funerals, not just the one…
More remains were discovered, analysed and found to be his!
Even after he’d…already well... ‘gone’.

The injustice that eleven spectators or just passers by should die
when the survivor, the off target driver, who sped too low from the sky, should, after a suitable pause in this ghoulish game, be exonerated and not take any blame.
Well it’s all sort of things… It's ridiculous, pathetic, obtuse, a joke… who do they think we are?

But the great and the good deliberated, scratched their heads and worked hard to make everything look ’right’…
Tolerance for the bereaved to grieve, platitudes, condescending attitudes, a memorial service.
Thanks - genuinely - to the emergency services… Not just a little buck-passing… But the public often judged them. Arsing about - to cover their corporate backside.
They can’t insult me (or us)… intelligent people have tried…

Andy Hill was judged to be not guilty of 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
But he claimed he blacked out in the air, having experienced ‘cognitive impairment’ brought on by hypoxia … possibly due to the effects of G-force…. Of course!
The 11 were either hit by the plane or roasted in a fireball caused when the jet flew too low and too slow. But if it wasn’t Andy’s fault then whose was it?

Surely this can’t be the end of this travesty of justice!!

BUT, there IS a new memorial to the dead. And, trust’s a good one too…  The best that money can buy - and that anyone can do.

But there's is also a very bitter taste, still today…
that somehow... just won’t go away!
This is a bit of a saga... But I think it's worth it...On August 22nd 2015 there was a disaster at Shoreham Air Show, West Sussex... on the south coast of England and eleven people died. A loop the loop, too low and too slow. The pilot lived and recovered from his injuries and was found not guilty of eleven counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
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 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!"
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.
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!
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 Mar 2020
It started out as a spelling mistake but turned into a poem about petty crime…

A smattering of temptation as you wander through the shop.
You’re certain no one’s seen you, or caught you on the hop!
The carousel of cameras scanning overhead.
If there is a wazz up there watching someone outside would have said.
You’ve popped the bag of sweets (a test) into your hood
so time for the big one…the single malt, the triple filtered ***** or the brandy
That looks good…Handy!… I’d give ‘em an asbo!

Make the punishment fit the crime…no custody, no doing time
for anything so puny. So, lifting from a shop’s not attracting attention
and mugging the pension from a careless granny wouldn’t even get a mention.
If you’re lucky… it’d just get ‘em an asbo!

Inner Cities spawn organised gangs with distractors, dippers, lookouts,
And millions spent on security, surveillance, radio networks…to confound the canny louts
It all gets added to the cost of goods, hits the pocket of the shopper
and when the deal goes down it’s just the ineffectual copper
who passes the gangs on to the courts… just to get an asbo

The system isn’t coping the prisons are full of proper crims & the rest think it’s a game.
We need a dis-incentive, a deterrent something to put them off their aim.
with technology in our lives today like that electric control collar for dogs
Well, this’d be a way to confound those who set out to do us ill…
an extension to the tag but with extra skill… a kind of super asbo

Since I’m slightly to the right of Atilla the ***…

So… there should be a new E-procedure to deal with crime that’s just called petty
like an app that sends a message to the ankle tag when someone sets out to be a lag
and, when their bad deed is done, and they’re divvying up the loot
the tag tightens cuts the blood supply and amputates their bleedin’ foot!
In the UK one of the punishments that law courts can hand down is an ASBO - anti-social behaviour order
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 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 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 Mar 2020
Jack brought his ‘work’ home after that first day away…his Trojan!
a 22 foot van chassis on the kerb, in Cottingham, outside, that first night.
And Mrs Ellis, number 49, moaned about her front room’s loss of light.
Bud, fascinated, transfixed, sat up front, jiggled with levers, switches and gears.
"Steady on lad… calm down you’ll ****** up the settings,
here, turn that off, flick this switch, push that button. Wow… *******, the roar!
Be careful, ease your right foot off - he shouted - No! No, don’t push it to the floor!"

"Now then…foot on that one, yeh? That’s the clutch. Now push the stick top left.
Ease your left foot off… no, no gently, slowly, else you’ll **** it"…
“******* Jack, we’re moving’ what’s next, what’s next?”
Jack crouched behind the driver’s seat and shouted step by step…
“Ten to two! Hold the wheel tight. Go on, left foot on… stick back… Yep!”
“Foot off, more gas on the right. That’s it. That is it! Tight left lock.”
They were off… along the road - left, left and left again round the big block.

“Go round again, go on!” Jack shouted”. Turn right this time just here, slow down.
“Let the engine tek the load.”
and, instead of just skirting the houses
they were off down the Beverley Road.
No cab, wind in their hair and not a ****** care.
The trees, with wind filled cheeks, and enraptured shrieks
all the blurred green whizzed by…
Bud was driving. He was actually driving, at fourteen!
What a feeling?!

“Mam… Mam… I even double-de-clutched!…
“Did he Jack? Did he?  What is that anyway?”
“Aye Mam, he did… He were just gradely!”
Bud often told me about his early driving experiences...
Maybe it’s why he was so tolerant when, whilst he was at work, I took his car out on the roads around our house in Birmingham when I was only twelve.
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!!
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 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’.
Chris Slade Dec 2018
(A Tribute to Ted Slade - poet, 1937-2004)

This new friendship. This journey on which we were just setting out.

How will we work it now you've...well...gone?

It was going so well. That's the way I saw it anyhow.

It had only been a year - we two - back in each other's circle...

Same planet - different orbit. Though I'll never know now what your thoughts might have been..

This 52 year gap in our 'acquaintance', for that's all you'd ever say it was
it closed at dad's (your Uncle Bud's) funeral - as he leapt 'on-flame' to the ether.

He didn't half want to go..."Why don't they just let me slip away?"
And then it was you I wanted to know amongst those finger buffet scoffers.

Those ribboned aces never knew that Bud just kick-started their Lancasters and 'Spits' at Leconfield and Liberia.

Bud's morphine muted passing proved positive, and thankfully at last - 

(he might remember now) - he helped kick-start too this belated kinship between us.

Jack would have been pleased about that...(Bud too I know)

"a good trade" he'd have called it. "I'm knackered anyway".

I was always curious about our respective dads - they only ever sent Christmas letters. No love.

Bud gave me a book  before he swapped "heaven's hopper" for the "take & bake".

"Eer-yar" he wheezed...this is more up your street than mine..."

"Yer what?..."Poetry?...No... I can't make head nor tail of it. Like Shakespeare...Where's me glasses?"

and, with that ,the "Last Arm Pointing" welded that closing gap between us tight shut.

I read 'Mystery Tour' to Bud...about Jack's 'motorised passing' and he cried. So, it was up his street. after all.

Your words filled me in on distant memories...made solid.
Missing chunks I'd seen but never written down
Of Withernsea and its winter isolation

of Jack, his life - and how it intertwined with yours.

I've not found too much yet about Phyllis. Is there a darker story there? Who'll tell me now?

Your final work, tireless as ever, from your New Malden 'crow's nest'...

was steering your second collection to print...and then...

Your literally-literal Mugs and Sweats - flying off the shelves of a California warehouse.

Disabled? Pah!  Why should they ever know the what & why behind the who and when?

Your 'disability'...would only 'publicly' let you down if your trike sustained a puncture in Richmond Park.

"Hi Cuz...Where do I go to get mugs and sweat shirts printed?"

And then, whilst I was looking through directories & old invoices,

you whizzed across the earth on the wings of your laser guided mouse.

By the time I'd got the phone numbers of long distance, half remembered contacts -

you had designs submitted, distribution and royalty deals sorted and were planning the next big thing.

Your freehold on the planet was the web...your very own super-short cut.

Who needs invalid cars when you can 'fly digital'?

You were a lover of the dub-dub-dub which loved you back in floods.

Now, even when your body has deserted you - it still throws us pages and pages - of you - and about you.

The Noddy Holders and Wes the Western Gun-slinger, pale by comparison, they'd envy your PR knack.

Instead of trying to phone, (these heavenly BT - or is it ET-connections often end in wrong numbers)...

and, because a lot of the time talking took it out of you, I'll keep writing like I did before.

Replies would be good. But I often used to write out of turn anyway.

So yes, things could get a bit one sided...forgive me if I 'go on', and... you don't!

But I'll keep writing to and read the answers in your books and old e-mails of the family's past.

Cheers Ted...Lots of love Chris (Cuz) Slade.
Ted Slade was a published poet with (for a sufferer of severe kyphoscoliosis) a stellar career. Only started school at age 12... Qualified for Uni at 16. A metalurgist at Filingdales after graduation (so, a real 'propellor head')... He switched to Head of Marketing for the Portuguese Tourist Authority (as you do)...An Atheist and Communist, his last job before dedicating to poetry was as PC Network specialist at Kingston University...On retirement he turned his attention full time to Poetry and founded We lost touch big-time and only met again in our 60s (mental) and found we had so much in common... except I was and never will be a propellor head!
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 2019
Back then - as a lad he picked up his millions from his dad. He’s Trump.
Yeh - Dad made millions… passed one on… he picked it up and started the run -
Need to make a zillion? Just watch this - be rude about people take the ****.
Buy a bit of land - build a casino - use slave labour - treat em like dirt - we know,  in Atlantic City, It’s a dump…

Moves On. Stamps on the meek makes ‘em squirm - He’s Trump.
Do something naughty - Oi - we saw yer - I’ll cover it up - get a good lawyer.
Loves the limelight can’t get enough… **** Star? Can’t tell the truth...makes up stuff
One rule for me - one for you… Fancy a slinky bird will she *****? Fancy a ****?

Say you didn’t do it - who’s to know… He’d refuse a pardon to an innocent on death row. "I’m Trump".
I’m a bit special and Life’s a doddle… Havin’ it off with a Slovenian model (or two)…
Yeh…fancy a broad grab her *****… I’m up for President and obviously I’m not fussy.
And, behaving like a total ***** house doesn’t stop you from reaching the white house… He’s Trump.

He won the nomination and the election - power makes him nuts, gives him a cerebral *******. He’s Trump!
Smarmy? Yes…but in charge. Yes! Barmy! So I won’t let gay people join the army.
Immigration control Law and order?… won’t let Mexicans cross the border.
Heavy malice aforethought and negative intent. ******* I’m the President. "I’m Trump!"

Thinning hair - Tonsorial arts…let it grow… swirl it - coiffe it - spray it gold, spray again with ‘hard to hold’ - "I’m Trump!
In the wind it unfurls and makes him look like a ****…but he has the answer - the baseball hat…
And the cap allows him to carry the message… Making America Great Again!…impressive!
The permatan the orange strangulated hues… completes the picture, ties the noose…  Internationally - Bit of a chump.

Sociopathic with a personality disorder. Narcisist!…Doesn’t drink so he can’t be ****** - But He’s Trump.
Tell a lie, a big one - deny it. Most sensible people wouldn’t even try it - but he does.
Whatever you think… and it’s been said, he eats big Macs whilst he’s in bed - Tweeting!
How does he do it? What a nerve - a shining example to the people he should serve… They could be going to do ‘the dump’

Foreign policy? …ask the Pope… He summed it up in a glance…NOPE! Putin ‘NYET!” Macron ‘NON’. No go for Trump.
He insults the press corps at home and abroad…It’s fake news this - fake news that - read the message on the hat!
“Impeach… Impeach” some folks cry… “**** the lot of you it’s do or die! I ain’t going down without a fight” -
So, after all the brickbats, guffaws, jeers and jokes… He loses it… lights the fuse… That’s all folks! That was Trump!

Trouble is he could take a lot of people with him! And he will... He's Trump!
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.
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 Mar 2020
Elsan! I know… it sounds like a sun-kissed Spanish Beach doesn’t it?. El San!
What it is, is a make of chemical toilet. In the old days, we called it The Can!
In the yard behind a Yorkshire farmhouse… your fate & your poo - was sealed!
Grandma Ellen’s WC was the best advert for crapping alfresco out in the nearest field.

But, in a corrugated shed… a plank seat on a galvanised bin with a cranking handle.
Always best visited in daytime ‘cos after dark you’d need to take a candle.
And, when you’d achieved your goal in there… and it was past your time,
you cranked it and your extrusion disappeared in the primordial slime.

It was not a reader’s loo… No time for catching up wit’ Daily Mail.
although the paper was held neatly to the shed’s timber frame with a trusty, rusty 6inch nail.
It was cut into handy squares.  And almost without fail, you’d start to read still sitting there
and, when you got into the words, readable in the gloom, they were cut off just above the tear!

No, you’d just want to get out quick… The Jeyes Fluid scent would tend to make you gag,
It didn’t even allow my cousin Alan time for a crafty ***.  And monthly, according to occupancy,
Uncle Charlie did the job he’d said he’d never fancy, that of struggling toward the field
to empty the contents. Ironic really that after Uncle Charlie and Auntie Nellie died
the next owners plumbed their new one - up to the new fangled mains inside!
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!
Chris Slade Mar 2020
There’s an early morning toker on the beach.
Can’t go home. His dysfunctional family’s out of reach.
The puzzle’s finished, he’s just a left over piece that doesn’t fit.

He’s a jigsaw piece without a place to go.  A conundrum
for social services, nice charity workers, who fail to know
how a seeming misfit’s mind works and what makes him tick.

He can’t engage with team leaders, “stupid bleeders”. They make him sick.
He’s due back at six… got to be clean - no blow, no skunk, no beer.
He’ll blow numbers and he knows it and it’s clear

They won’t let him sleep in his own bed tomorrow night…
He’s persona non-grata ‘cos every time he’s out he skins up… It’s *****!
He hates the rehab in the hostel, but can’t cope on the outside.

Catch 22 at 20 it’s a cul de sac…Everything he does is wrong… It’s all utter cack
He says he’ll top himself… people can’t see the real him, says he’s not off the track.
He just needs love, warmth, support, reassurance, guidance, a family, a job… He don’t wanna go back.

Another day… cold and driving rain. There’s an early morning toker on the beach…again!
Actually he’s been there all night - his family’s out of reach. He’s still, not moving. His pupils have no shine.
“Alright mate… are you OK?” Oh **** - He’s sheet white, still not moving… Dial 999.
Chris Slade Jan 2019
Don't be frightened if you hear me at the door...or even if you think you see me at the window. Pretend it's a trick of the light...or another one of those bumps in the night.
The spirit is strong and, I'm finding, quite playful in its first few days, weeks, maybe months... whilst waiting for another 'mission'.
You know...finding my feet - or maybe wings?

But I'm not likely to phone. E-mailing was not my thing! And texting? You’re kidding! I was not a big fan!. All that predictive stuff...If you’re too quick it ends up nonsense...all wrong...not for me.
But I will be sending messages through the wind in the trees or maybe the surf on the rocks and sand. Wherever we walked together listen out for me there. I've always felt that I'd be able to do that.
You know...whilst finding my feet - or will it be wings?

And always, from now spiders out with a glass and a card...
take care not to squash their legs. You never know what happens next. And, anyway, another time, but long ahead I hope, it could be you. Although, I always fancied I would come back a human - like this last time round.

Being me was good. And they say, know...out there...
that you go back to a time when you were at your best.
For me that means being younger, fitter - So, a wander on a sun warmed or breezy beach. A Salsa dance, or this Zumba lark...or doing a painting. I liked that...
But IT... You know...I’m looking forward to finding my feet, my wings. may see me - out in a crowd, or walking along a country lane, incongruously between villages.
I'm already working at appearing for longer and for being more than just a familiar, fleeting, scent or smell. Until I get the calling to make a full life of it again...I'll maybe pop in and out of your life (to let you know I can) ...just in an incidental, experimental kind of way; but then only from time to time.
It's quite tiring...You know...finding your feet...your wings.
I first wrote this after my Dad passed on and there were some experiences that were difficult to explain which gave me comfort to know that he was OK... on the other side. Pathetic? I can understand why people would think that.
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!
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 Mar 2020
There’s a bedsheet on a bush, at a roundabout on the A259

’graffiti’d’ with “Happy Birthday Colin • 65 Today!”…

And, whilst, yeah… Many Happy Returns Colin, that might be fine,

after a month of passing by every day, you have to say,

why don’t they just take the effing thing away?
Chris Slade Apr 2019
What do you reckon? I know what you’ve been thinking…
We’re on a ship that looks unsteady, like it’s sinking…
We’ve made shaky plans to be gung-** and to go it all alone…
But we’re beginning to wonder… are we heading for some kind of danger zone?…
At first we were just floating along - enjoying the passing view
And 2 years off it looked a lot easier …leaving the EU!
But there’s a waterfall downstream…and it looks like a helluva drop.
And once we get too near the edge, well, we won’t be able to stop.

The simplicity of Cameron’s ‘in - out’ referendum question dawned…
Cos, divorce is complicated.  Those who voted leave were scorned,
branded racist, or at least suffering some kind of mental disorder.
“Didn’t you stop to think about the about the Northern Irish border?” (best read in a 'silly', sneery voice).
But - back then there were 2 million Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis all walking toward Calais.
Some thought serious overcrowding problems could come our way.
Single Market,? Sovereignty? Customs Union? What the hell’s all that?
It means you’ll need a visa to go to Benidorm you ****!

Meanwhile Merkel diffused things by taking the refugees in.
But only served to rattle the bars of the **** leaning right wing.
The Spanish got all Oity Toity about us having Gibraltar.
And some of those previously unforeseen problems made Brexiteers falter.
This is David effing Cameron!… Farage embarrassed him into calling for a vote.
And, when the Remainers lost, Dave saw his chance to produce his sick note.
“I’ve done my bit”, he said “so… I’m standing down…  so who do you think should take my dodgy crown.
The Buffoon, the Backstabber, the Right Honourable Lady Home Sec?”
She, the author of  Windrush, Repatriation, food-banks, lower benefits? She got it! ****** heck!…

Hoodwinked by a government you maybe invested your life in, in all the earlier polls
Now we’ve all been tricked by a bunch of, navel gazing, self serving arseholes!
So it’s the blind leading the blind… Well, no.! Misinformed…and maybe just a bit short sighted.
And, you know, Theresa… she’ll most likely still get knighted.
But I doubt this episode will score with generations yet to come,
Deserted by this Parliamentary shambles - sitting on their hands, their collective ***.
The proletariat are cut adrift, and heading for the falls…
So we’re looking for a new saviour - someone with charisma…big *****!

Let’s look forward to this time next year… When some trusty politician re-writes our little story.
When we may be out - but far from down… Well I somehow can’t see it being a Tory…
And if isn’t Jezzer - who HAS got his eye on the prize…
McDonnel, Starmer, Benn, Tom (call me Slim) Watson? Who should THEY try for size?
And, just supposing, by chance, the Conservatives actually crack it
who, amongst the front runners there, could get the job and hack it?
Lord Snooty, Gove, Hammond…Hunt the err… Foreign Secretary,  Javid, Liam Fox (surely not!). Bojo?
With this current stay of Brexicution, for just a couple of weeks… the petition, the march, the chaos, could it still be NO-GO?…
Whatdya reckon?
The complexion of this subject - Brexit (if I hear the word one more time on TV I think I'll unplug the thing and throw it out of the window) changes by the minute so it's hard to pin it down - Here is where we're at up to this point.
Chris Slade Apr 2019
I went for an X-Ray the other day. My name was called
and after the expected delay, I heard a nurse say
Right knee? I said Yep! She said “Come this way…
Can you get your trouser leg up to your thigh"?
I said “No… these skinny jeans don’t go that high”.
“In that case” she said looking me up & down... with a frown
Pop in that cubicle… and put on this gown!

For a start…it took me ages to get these trousers off…
and force the rest of my stuff into the carrier bag supplied
and then, when I saw the gown, I very nearly died!
It would have fitted me just fine if I’d been 18 again
but the gaps and bulges in the thing were a farce...
and allowed everyone in the corridor to see my fat 71 year old ****.

I said out loud when I sat down again in the queue
“You know…I had an inferiority complex before I met any of you.
But this has definitely taken me down a notch. And I apologise about the view”.
However, inside the X-Ray room with all the techie kit and Radiographer Rob,
I felt better… The pain in my knee had almost gone apart from a distant throb.
Then he said “You’re completely safe, just lie back calm, quite still…serene”.
Whilst he clicked the shutter from the other side of his lead lined screen. (So he was alright then!)

Well, I’m home again now, hobbling about… It’s bearable (not like childbirth ladies) but not great.
I’m sitting here with my leg up waiting for the letter that will let me know my fate.
Ah yes… men and pain! There is a well know fact about the differences between the sexes.
It’s proven that, with men, colds become flu…and ailments:- epidemics… (No really!)
So, here’s the letter… Now...will it be Ointment? Physio, to transform a permanent slouch?
Or a keyhole flush with a catheter? Or - Oh no!…
For me - it’s a titanium replacement knee!… Ouch!

Somebody pass me that gown!!!
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 Nov 2019
A Bee hovers unimpeded - round the room
but for a fly it’s the Radio Times of doom!
It’s Insect Racism!

A Slow fly saunters, airborne, round the room.
A neatly rolled up copy of the Radio Times…Boom!
But... just think for a moment about your motive…”Mmmm”.
Now, a Bee is trapped behind the nets in your window frame…
you could easily wipe him out, you’ve a good aim...
But you trap him gently in a glass and slide a card behind him,
You let him free fly off - and out,
away… a proper little Boy Scout!

Could have been be a Girl Guide…
but it didn’t rhyme…
And anyway it seems, if you’re a fly swatter
and a bee leaver!
you’re an insecticidal racist!
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
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!
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!”
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 2019
They squeal & shriek as they career down the hill.
Not because of adrenalin, seeking a thrill. They don't know of the impending ‘****’.
You see, they’ve never been in the back of a truck before.
Even daylight and the cool breeze is something new they regard with awe.
But prodded, pushed, poked; overwhelming! Terrifying is what it is!

Herded into the light and across the ramp with brothers, sisters, cousins.
No more the cosy family unit, they’re now just some of dozens… hundreds!
The only thing they’ve known till now is darkness warmth and a mother’s love.
And today, at just 4 months and a day…right for butchery - and suddenly a shove,
beaten… slaughtered, packaged, marketed, eaten!

There’s no realisation that this rude awakening, this beginning, is also…the end.
Their confusion is profound… No inkling… no message to receive or send,
that this first welcome breath of fresh air will also be their last.
But, having witnessed it , I’ve decided that I have a carnivorous past…

Et a partir de maintenant je suis végétarien!
Chris Slade Apr 2019
Ladies of the Net… A warning to male adolescents everywhere…

“Hi Honey….I just got matched with your profile”… At least that’s what I think it said.
Brilliant I thought because I’m available and life round here is, well…it’s dead
“I’m looking for an experienced guy who’s good in bed…  been round the block, but not the clock…
One with plenty of experience and a huge…err…appetite…
for hooking up instead of these inexperienced boys…
They’re all excitable, probably all over too quick…
need someone with poise reserve and a twelve inch errr… Libido?… ego?
Click my pics kiddo and let’s get it on… you Stud!… Well I would!

*******! I’m overwhelmed but let’s not peak too soon…
There’s loads of stuff coming in as Spam that would probably make us all swoon.
So check it out…without fail, “eeeh!”  They’re all there - these ladies of the net - they crop up daily -
Sheila Blige… Tanya Hide… Mandy May,  Bette Sheedus, Lovinia ****…
I’m not sure if these are their real names... But - Phew -
with things like this going on round here we could all get *******!

She says she’s just round the corner, you know like Sompting, Steyning, LA (that must be Littlehampton)… Southwick…Little Haven Halt, Portslade.
We could meet in a lay-by and we’ll get laid… just an innocent little escapade.
It won’t be my fault if you miss this chance…
Just try it - I’ll handcuff you to the bed and lap dance.
Click on my pix, big boy, they all beckon.
Take a closer look at these sonny boy - now what do you reckon?

Well, you’d have to say they do look very alluring in the taster…
so why not just click...
to the next page… see the site… don’t waste-ya time…CLICK!
*******! The screen’s gone blank…
now I won’t even be able to have a __
Knock, Knock, Knock!

"Kevin!!!?"..."Mum?" "Is that you?" "Yes Mum!… Everything’s OK!… I’m just turning out the light… G’night!"
These days the temptations of the internet are many and varied... no longer restricted to top shelf magazines...It's all free and it's coming to gettya - Check out those parental controls!!
Chris Slade Jul 2019
I was a sales rep in the 70s…
selling art materials to education in deepest Wales
Back in the day those in the far West were passionate.
There were tales of fervent nationalists who didn’t like the English for what they’d arrogantly done.
scouted round for the nicest cottages just for weekends.
These were early Yuppy trends.
They invited down Drusilla, Rupert, Jacintha & Giles
and other poncey friends.
for Pims and Taramasalata and Lava Bread…
“made from seaweed’? Such Fun!

There was a spate of ritual burnings of the cottages
of the weekend renovator’s pride
It was a powerful statement of the Welsh anger at those raiders from… well, the other side.
Cottages burnt regularly caught wider attention on the international news…
so, many understood the Welsh, their hurt, their motives, their PR and their views.
but it was my job to travel the principality hawking paint to primary heads and secondary art teachers
So the nationalist bar was set high. It was their home game and mine only just features
powder and poster paint, brushes, plaster and clay… But I wasn’t daunted… no way!

It was Cardigan,  Aberaeron Primary to be precise…
That was my next call.
And I stood perplexed, staring blankly at the notice board in the entrance hall.
Until recently signs had always been bi-lingual.  
I glazed over….Today… worryingly they were just single!
All I saw was  “Pennaeth, Campfa, Neuadd Fwyta, Swyddfa'r Ysgrifennydd, Ystafelloedd Newid
So… I snapped out of it and took a guess… This Newid one… Girl’s Changing Rooms!!… I flew!
Thanks heavens nobody saw me… I got back to the notice board and re-viewed the list anew…

Thank the Lord, just then, I heard female voices as they clip clopped along the parquet
I turned nervously and said “excuse me I’d like to see the head Mr Meredith… Is he in today?”
with the sweetest smile the lady said… “Mr Mer-ed-ith? Yes I’ll have word…
She disappeared behind the door that said “Pennaeth”…
“Head” I thought! Mmm.
“Mr Mer-ed-ith would like to know if you are a Welsh speaker? “Fraid not I said… I’m from Yorkshire”.
"In that case he says Na! I’m sorry I mean No. Your company should employ a Welsh speaker to sell to us in Wales".
If only I’d been able to say “Rwy'n siŵr mai'r dyn sy'n cymryd y swydd pan fyddaf yn gadael fydd eich dyn!”

Instead I said… If you tell me where I can pick up a phrase book I’ll give it a go! Diolch am eich help, hwyl fawr!
True Story
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 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 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…
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 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!
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 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 Jul 2019
Ahh the 60s! How well I remember it…as a lad.
It’s a bit like the kids saying…“What did you do in the war then dad?”
And I HAVE been asked a time or two… “You were a teenager in the sixties...
What was it like?…” Well it was mixed… some bits good (brilliant in fact) and a few, bad.

I’d call my experiences near misses…!

At 13 I lived in Handsworth Wood (that’s Brum) went to the same youth club as Steve Winwood…
He… gangly, wearing shorts, wowed the girls in the gym as a keyboard player.
Spencer Davis, Traffic, Blind Faith,  Ginger Baker’s Airforce, Solo… A stellar career !
Me? At 15 our family moved south to Bognor…  ******…Bognor!

Actually that’s not fair - It’s not as bad as it might sound…

I peeled spuds at Butlin’s for excitable holiday hordes…
I cleared tables for Chess’ World Championships too - with Tim Rice…he got good with words…
“Doesn’t seem a minute since the Tyrolean Bar had the chess boards in it - that’s how it goes!
One of us got a job as a sales rep, the other a seat in the Lords!

See what I mean?.. Another near miss!

I went in for a talent show in a marquee near the pier
won 5 quid - bought a new pair of Beatle boots… and some keen mod gear.
Joined an R&B band and we gigged for a few years…even London… (well Kingston actually!).
Moved on to art college where things got hairy… ***, drugs and rock & roll - scary!

That might have been what I now call Brian’s Jamaican Woodbines!

A new band, a true blues band, made a real mark - without me! -
an offer came in - and it didn’t sound like the best future to me.
So I left, Chalky joined - they flew, I didn’t. Martin Q wrote Maggie May.  
guess maybe I should’ve stayed… Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Their reputation stood the test of time,
toured & played alongside the best, Freddie King, Jeff Beck, AC/DC, Led Zep.
I got my job as the rep! They toured and so did I. So, we all went on the road!
Imagine how sick I felt! Shall we say - a slight lack of zest! Yep!

I’ll just share this with you…

So, I’m standing at the bus stop in Muswell Hill, first day of work - slow traffic passing by, up the hill.
Barry, the manager, pulls up in a dandy sports car… lights at red. “Hi Man! Where to? Get in!
“Starting a new job today - off to pick up my company car”… (I didn’t know that was true)… How about you?”
“Meeting the guys at Gatwick. This week we’re doing Amsterdam, Hamburg and Berlin too! They did well, it's true, but…maybe at a cost... Loves, minds and a few lives lost!  

But this is where I usually say “**** it, I should've given it a go!”

But I said “Oh, well done that’s brilliant! I wish you well. Really well!
Anyway after a year or so another band came along and I said what the hell!
But it wasn’t the same… Different game… maybe I’d already had my chance at 15 minutes of fame.
Well, Chris Blackwell, the Island boss, said “no boys… passé… in fact a bit lame”
This is what’s happening now...and he faded up Lindisfarne. Said "now THIS is fame"!

"Meet me on the corner as the sun is going down and I’ll be there".

I’ll keep it short…Now don’t get me wrong… It’s just part of the story and I’ve had a great life.
Two great kids - 7 grandkids and an adorable, adoring wife.
(she might just read this!).
A successful career… an interesting unfolding retirement - and, well - I’m here…
and, when I look at others - it’s all been without much strife, I’m well set.
The fact is there’s so much to do… so little time…
There’s this poetry lark, portrait painting,  learning the guitar, house renovation - two at once in fact - AND anyway -  I haven’t finished yet!
Musing over the fact that I've had bundles of 'near misses'... lived in a house once built and owned by Isambard Kingdom Brunel... Adam Faith lodged with us when I was 12 and then, later, at 18 when I was at Art College with Leo Sayer... Adam picked him up as his manager... And so it goes... What's next?
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 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 Mar 2020
Never could grow a decent beard…
If I tried It’d be a bit sparse,
trying to cultivate on my face
what grows wild around my ****.
I’ve tried all sorts...hormones, unctions,
ointment, chicken manure…
(I'd heard that was good) but nothing,
it seems, quite cracks it when adding to my allure!
True story
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