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Simon Piesse Oct 2021
I lay on the counter:  
A coiled snake.
Are you here on holiday?
Matted clumps of hairs sprouted from every angle –
Part yeti, part buffalo.  
Adil put on ‘I am the One and Only’.  
Hope you don’t mind the music?
Adil grinned and then lunged forward, picking me up off my perch.
Where are you staying? Butlins, yes?  
Adil was really making an effort, here.
He swapped me for the electric one, bumping around on his face, as if I were in 007’s Moonbuggy.  Preparing the ground.
A dislodged crumb dropped like a stone from his top lip.
Crank, crank on the chair.  
Head back, please, Mister Bond, bit more, perfect!
Foam mushroomed onto the brush and, with it, Adil turned his face snowdog.  
Temperature ok, boss?
Still, nothing.
Adil crooned the chorus:
‘I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be.’

He shifted his weight on the chair, breathing heavily.
Eyebrows tensing, Adil plunged me into the molten water.  
With my exposed side bristling, I engaged the north edge of his chin and went for it.  
Did I slice through his Adam’s Apple?
‘Don’t tell me I know best
I’m not the same as all the rest.’

The pop beat kept me going.  
I carved out furrow after furry furrow
Till all his skin was as pink as a baby’s bottom.

Sweaty and weary, now, Adil held me in his left hand and, with his right, flicked the chair round to face the door.

A girl in a dress stood there, holding a bright red balloon.
Is that for you, princess?
No, it’s my uncle’s. It’s his birthday today.  

The air was rose water and streamers.

Thank you, my dear.
Thank you so much.
Thank you.

‘You are the one and only you.’
This was inspired by my first ever wet shave in a barbers in Redruth.  The barber didn't speak so I re-imagined the scene from the perspective of the wet razor.
Simon Piesse Oct 2021
To Ed  

What child were they
When piercing squeal
Grabbed the foreman by the *****?

What child were they
When putty tears
Smeared and blobbed
On the sheeting?

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
Metal **** makes decent scar
That keeps the girls’
tongues a-wagging.

‘Always heed the ‘Keep Out’ signs,’
The stony man booms at the boy;
‘I told you not to wander where
Granite pavement yields to digger.’

Years ago, that child, was I and
Diggers now are doors and roofs;
Then here, one day, my own boy falls,
And blood comes oozing from elbow.

Running from
The construction pit
The thrill of sand and truck
But, how should I, with damaged tools,
Be the  
Grafter Dad
He’s seeking?
This recalls an incident from my childhood when I was playing clandestinely on a building site and went running and crying in search of consolation...
Simon Piesse Oct 2021
Open and Shut
Open and Shut


Binary yesterday



The network is pregnant again

Open and Shut
Open and Shut

This is an ode to hope, to travel and to poetry on National Poetry Day 2021!
Simon Piesse Aug 2021
My undercarriage hangs open,  
Evacuees swell my bony fuselage 
To occupy their seats. 
My rubber legs skirt   
The char and ash of little fires, 
Fires that burn in Helmand. 
My jumbo wings buzz into life,
Before the clock ticks down. . .
This poem was inspired by the plight of the Afghanistan people,  who have been abandoned by the West and by their feeble attempts to airlift out those that fought alongside them.   I was also thinking of Kafka in the metamorphosis of the aeroplane into a fly.   Comments most welcome!
Simon Piesse Jul 2021
Walk in familiar slippers
Walk when walking’s spent
Walk on hollow highway
Walk in a birthday dress
Walk under frigid stars
Walk with ancestral song
Walk with right
Walk with wrong
Walk in spite
Walk in pity
Walk in the backstreets
Walk in the news
Walk in borrowed city

Home is leaving
Home is a journey
Home is coloured pencils
For a distant classroom
Home is a wilderness
Home is an army
Home is inquisition
Home is another way
Home is a haven
Home is a promise
Home is a rose bed
Home is tomorrow
Home is hard
Home is good

Simon Piesse
This poem is inspired by the continuing ill-treatment in thought, word and deed, of refugees in the UK, notably children.
Simon Piesse Jul 2021
No service to all westbound destinations due to flooding . . .

At Ravenscourt Park, it rained apocalyptically.

Then, God said:

‘Let go of point-to-point.

Paddle properly, like you mean it.

Hear the gentle song of the hummingbird.

Sip the sweet cup of the orchid.

Steer clear of the piranhas that are possessions;
Swim away from the caiman, who can drag you under.  

Take it stroke by stroke.  Do not splash about.

Go with my flow.

When your meanderings meet the mighty ocean of my love

Be ready.

This is just the beginning.’
Simon Piesse Jun 2021
Clotted-cream tongues
Cathedral hulls
October’s chop
Out to get
Lifejacketless him
Cityboy him
Neither’d gone beyond
His breezy smiled
Awrigh’ my lover
Up to their eyeballs they’d got now
No chance now to break
The awkward ice
Outside the breakwater
Never ought’er  
Hunker down
Turkeyland yelled
Ride the swell
Cradle orphaned beef
And if you don’t  
Incubate the rough
Earthed nests of wine-drowned potato
And proper job swede
And if you don’t
You won’t make it


Never take’em to sea
St Anthony’d decreed

But Master Herd, he hadn’t heard
And he’s too emmet to question.
This is a poem from my next collection, focused on Cornwall
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