The ***-bellied Mercedes squealed
As Meursault withdrew and
Marvelled at the flames
Like marigolds on Ritilin.
'Raymond would have no reason not to admire this act.'
He stopped by a shimmering sea of Ubers.
The scrape and drawl of siren made no impression on him.
Leaking smoke reminded him of
Snow White’s Cottage
Where he had taken Marie when Lucie was born:
The place where he would go out at dawn to chop wood.
He liked the way her roses played
With the restlessness of children.
Then he thought: 'if only mother could see me now.'
Inspired by Camus' searing sense of injustice in The Stranger, which I'm studying with my class at the moment and by the riots in Bristol, UK
It’s beautiful, Beta
Such beautiful flowers there
Excellent place, five star hotel-kind of
You don’t want to know how high it was
Such a kind man helped me come down
My legs were hurting too much Bita
That gadi no good what did I tell you
(lips spin into jalebi smile)
Whole new world open up,
Baaji so tired
You would not believe me, he did it didn’t he
Yes, took Baaji a lovely cuppa tea
Just the way I like it
You know I didn’t have no cake because of my medications
(cheeks go RAC orange)
I must go there again Beta
Book it for Baaji
(cheeks go coconut burfi pink)
Written on our summer trip to the Cotswolds only to break down and be taken by RAC breakdown lorry to the hotel
You and me
Me a scallop
You a lark
You a grin
Me a chasm
You and me
You and me
You and me
You the poet
Me a mastiff
The doctors said you weren’t allowed
To see Mum in her final hours;
It wasn’t safe to will her on
Nor wet her lips with stolen snow
In case the virus you’d bring in
Might claim asylum on the ward.
Behind her mask Mum couldn’t tell
The story of her party trick:
Apple Pie with packet custard
Baked to death and turned to cinders,
Fed to Dad with stoic humour.
No doubt it’s best you hadn’t seen
The carnage of the resus room
The febrile pumps of hand and nail
The gasps of good-intentioned strain
That reached a pitch at ten to three
And then from shrill went monkish silent.
On Barn Hill snow is falling thick
The Gaderbrook is filling up
The numb routine the porter starts
Now takes disfigured life away
And Northwick Park can breathe again.
Forty yards from Haribo Heaven,
They took flight,
Mocking the clouds of traffic:
Faster and faster,
Faster and looser,
Faster and freer.
But then the Saxon ground
Came out in revolt,
Their covenant with gravity had been violated.
All sound was muted.
Heads struck at thirty-three yards;
Backs cracked the soil at thirty.
In his heart,
It was her finger that he felt,
Arching over the G string of her violin,
Like the neck of a flamingo.
After the sound came back,
Would she play a gigue or a dirge
This ignominious moment?
When her sullied, muddied, mossy eyes looked away from him,
To her, had he become a lesser man?
Faster and faster
Faster and looser.
Had she now glimpsed a father’s struggle
To piece together what he thought he knew?
Inspired by a lockdown trip to Northala Fields
All units from Tango Charlie 2
Urgent assistance required:
1x IC2 male: white surplus tie
Tomb of the unknown solider
Heron gowns swipe
1x nurse in attendance
Rose hair Bisto heart
Male unresponsive nurse giving kiss of life
Cindy Crawford dorm
Tango Charlie 3 be advised
Epaulettes flurry Jerusalem Chamber
West Door now open
Dignitaries' B minor fugue
Poppy air bite
inspired by my friend who fainted and was rescued by a nurse at 11am during the minutes' silence to remember the war dead in Westminster Abbey by the tomb of the unknown solider.
Said the gull to the Helter Skelter:
‘Did you know, when the oak was felled
You would, one day, delight a girl
With raven eyes, who’d lost her way
And wound up starting fires?’
The gull went on:
‘Did you know, when the oak was cut
This wayward girl would grab your mat
To climb the stairs of our own prayers
To outshine all the spires?
And, did you know, when boards were made
A dusty offering to the lathe
You would, one day, tease out the sap,
The wildwood sap within her bones
Confounding all the liars?
So, you should know, when planks were bent
Twisted, slotted, primed and painted,
That this lost girl would one day jump
Up higher than high flyers.'