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I still think in-sync with the ceremonial intro.
Even though its reduced to unclaimed brick,
I visit naughty corridors and assembly halls
decorated in sports equipment.

After showing off my award,
I ***** out candles
and bolt that horse to a new port village
where clubs buried in earth
begin to dent
my naivity.

But tweed remained fashion.
A collage of uniform, green fields and tennis courts
resembled my life in the trench.
Words like 'posh' and 'snob' were the only examples of difference

until I became a witness.
Discovered homelessness
meant vagrants. They
became as common as a boxed sandwich.

Everybody has their own intoxication of choice.
Bargain of choice, newspaper
of choice, where Brookside
is a crossword answer
filled whilst feeding mallards
white bread in the park.

Writing that
makes me the biggest hypocrite of all.
I grew fond of plays. Began to write poetry.
What would they think of me?
A **** football match where the ref cost us the game
still pumps through my veins,

I assure thee.
That left ventricle breathes here too.
War has never been declared
but the battles have existed since
before Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.

It's estate versus estate.
As much as I'm up for a fight,
history won't change overnight -
especially in an election,
selfie posted
or status shared
with a handful of friends
who actually voted.

Living in the middle of Common-
wealth is a lonely place.
But there will be a hotel monopoly of vacancies
built on my mediocre grave
if I acknowledge the better
or lesser sort
themselves. After all,
I ate processed chicken breast
and ignored politics myself.

Perhaps now,
it's time
to act like the squirrel.
Barks become growls, become
quacks, become
the fool
again.
Poem #30 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. The closing poem tries to explain the class division theme of the collection and how I can move forward.
Alfred Edward Housman wrote about this county from London,
we smoke pipes and drink pints to honour the scholar's story,
which can be checked out the library, former learning quarters
of an explorer named Charles Darwin, who sits in grey outside,
despite leaving town in adolescence, returning from Galapagos
to The Mount, where my parents met in mental health sickness,
gave life to an original species that theories would have hated,
like Robert Clive, who earned his knighthood by looting India,
cried in parliament, now we want his stage ousted, his house is
next to the cottage where I sleep restless because myself and
a few other Shropshire lads failed to escape, even after studying
centurion debates, athletic form and getting serenaded by greats,
where are the names of those who rose from minimum wage?
Poem #29 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. This poem addresses the issues and themes in my collection most directly - namely, the class division.
Four kings rode in with strings and skins to bring salvation to me on the streets of New Year's Eve. My friend would lend contents of bookends that induced solutions to a common teenage problem. I became incepted and indebted to the greatest escape artist, plus drowned-out voice who talked me through the agony of lonesome pains. Though association fades, those days still replay in heavy bass, or on the screaming face of a DVD case. But when handshakes are met with drunken compliments, it makes me question what it all meant. Veins no longer contain baselines or nets because the rent doesn't even cover travel expense. There are hotel pillars in a lake up town, tacky Christmas decs have been taken down, while two Jags are parked up outside dad's house. The nice-eyed lad, Welsh running track, smiling dancer and security-defying chap in a flat cap keep me from collapse. As the album dies, benign podcasts thrive. Franchise rise, repeated lines, gym life, energy drink lies and paper bag highs make laugh-cry emojis hard to find. With Wi-Fi or offline.
Poem #25 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. On not fitting in.
Punters only buy into words
if they believe there’s worth.
I’ve been begging for buyers
before premature birthdays.
Let earth spin unaware –
never questioned its axis.
Hid from the anxious parties,
continued chewing table cloths,
then choked on the spike of a train stub.

Not much value in a decade thrice lived –
standing on the coast in yesterday’s underwear,
a teenage busker sits between hip-hop legacy
as new marble faces arrive in constant rotation.
I’m waiting for my estranged brother dance,
who ran out on me despite his free diary entries.
Desperate for reunion. Bitter for the jives lost.

I’ve stepped further than I ever pictured
but I’ll never walk away from the stalking wolves.
Cubs are warned but continue to ignore all advice.
Lions that scrap with the pack tell me to enjoy the plains.
So I forget the bites and burn this poem in my future face.
Poem #24 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. Coming to terms with getting older.
Body clock set to Vienna day trips,
walks atop the white cliffs of Dover,
avoiding sunburn in Roman forums -

only here it's flexed bare chests,
belly buttons pierce snail trail hair,
while tattoos sweat through skin.

Discount ***** hangs on booming breath,
headache-inducing marijuana stench
crawls up nostrils from inside pockets

like a chef advertising to the streets
via an air vent. Craving cartoon fantasy -
empathy in the world, even for humidity,

as we wait for a break in proceedings,
I pray the thunderstorms bring fresh relief.
Poem #22 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. Reminicsing about the 30-degree heat I've experienced whilst being stuck in work and UK lockdown.
a cup of coffee

i’ve downed

to drive me around

university deadline cliff edges

and slowly through

the sounds of revelry

sits barely sipped

stomach still

churns as the chirps

burn open curtains

in the back of a Fed-Ex truck

thoughts stacked and scattered

in boxes battered from brakes

stuffed like a dead otter’s corpse

placed behind museum walls

chasing a beat

that only hits

after leaving these streets

choose to drink in the quiet

a peaceful corner of the riot

bus exhaust monologues

carry me through Europe

help me fall in love
Poem #21 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. Unpacking the relationship I've had with early mornings.
Molly Hughes Sep 27
I turn on the news
Scroll all day on my phone
The first words on my tongue
Are how can this be so

I walk down the street
And see those without homes
I ask once again
How can this be so

I hear people talk
Of our great country so bold
But still the words on my tongue
Are how can be this so

The people with power
Spit on those down below
I cry out the words
How can this be so

Those around me are bleeding
While their pockets grow
I beg them to tell me
How can this be so

The whole world is on fire
And still we work to the bone
I get tired of asking
How can this be so

They would fall from their perch
If we all threw a stone
The system is broken
That I do know
My theory was written on the other side of town.
Eyes that had only watched the world through
a single pane of glass, found reflections all round.
Where I used to see grey, crisp formations of cloud.
Even in the house, blocks of door painted one colour
were replaced with dreamlike figures cutting cake.

Anyway, yesterday a man wearing a Union Jack
flag on his waist and sleeve told me his worries.
Five or six cars parked, eight or nine bedrooms
lying cold and lonely while in the south of France.
To lose count of the windows in one's life, I thought,
as he asked me about the proletariat. Luxury indeed.
Poem #16 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. Inspired by a conversation I had with a neighbour.
I've never once met the devil
Although I've felt his presence
Inside my cavernous skull
After torch extinguished
A couple of licked fingers
Linger in smokey darkness

I've never once met the devil
But I believe I've seen him before
Among dust in the history books
Captured in stills on a film reel
Hollywood crooks misunderstood
The good die when earth is shook

I've never once met the devil
So how will I know I've found him?
Will weapons be pointed?
Will garments be square?
Maybe I'll test the milky waters
See which army drowns me there
Poem #10 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad' assesses evil and darkness in the world. Originally inspired by Nigel Farage.
Mushroom promises swell into existence,
flim-flam miracles,
pristine plump “truths”
when uttered, swelling proud
alongside peach-keen
endorsing smiles

But the treacle of decay acts quickly
so even the casual observer
sees the rot before the ink dries,
smells rank mould,
and we decry ad infinitum
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