everything is a gamble
throw of dice
there was a girl on a bridge
I passed by on my motorcycle
every Friday
for five weeks
we caught eyes & smiles
then my route changed
I never saw her again
who knows what torrid love
life, kids, homes,
we could’ve had
it was chance made us pass by
never really brought us together
it is fat luck rather than thin hope
that creates opportunity
you can hope for an opportunity
but it is chance that gives hope
& only fools bet on certainties
for where is the romance in that?

Certain girls

there are certain girls
who love you to behave badly
not madly
just that tiny sliver out of the norm
your taking liberties
with the world
gives them permission
to do the things
that they
really want
but are scared to do
they can surf in
on your verve
until the second
you step over the line
not that you know
where this demarcation lies
for if you did
you wouldn’t do those wonderful
things that you do
then they disappear
are not like that
to find
who sails closer
to their trade winds
& you thought your life
was all about you?

A select few know

There is a secret to not being hurt
it is a very simple one
hold no expectations on others
& do nothing
you have it
hold that crystal
in your mind now
go to work
do what is asked of you
& nothing more
do not engage
join in anything that looks fun
as that can be taken away
fun is a precarious whim
ask nothing from anybody
for this gives them chance
to say no
that will create pain
were they to say yes
raises expectations
& uncertainty
will they actually do
what they say
in the way you want
these things done?
stay home
refuse your neighbours
in every moment
who knows where
that may lead
let family go
for they have expectations
on you
want you
to fulfill those
need you to do painful things
care without question
attend functions
the grind of funerals
weddings, parties, baptisms
will talk of pasts, futures
your part & presence in these
& some will be more
some less favoured than you
preferences are forged
forgotten, broken
in the heat of family ties
& that can only lead back
to pain & hurt
you hold the secret now
& I wonder what
you will be
with it

Some riders

we were excitable thirteen/fourteen
strung out in a thin line
middle seats in a tiny town cinema
relying on a friend in the box office
to let us underage kids see the show
this was nineteen sixtynine
& the world was in turmoil
& tonight was to be our turn
the lights went down
the colour came up
after that the old world was over
I became chained to bikes
Kev looked to the drugs
Andy loved the music, became a roadie
Steve turned hard against became a skinhead
Rob wanted ‘chicks’ who’d do those things
& John never understood a damn thing
whenever I see the film now
it is not hard to understand the impact
on the feckless youth we were
a complete subculture
a whole enchilada way of life
we wanted all of it
every last drop
out of this backwoods ‘burb
& into the colours
out of that crowd
that thin line
demanded more
only one escaped unscathed
there are late nights in strange cities
I wonder if he was the lucky one.

He got himself

one of those store bought women
with some notion of her values
being close to his old fashioned kind
went overseas to where it was hot
met the family & thought about it more
she arrived middle of December cold
looking small, frightened & young
while he smiled took her back
to his second floor flat
they settled there together
seemed most folks idea of bliss
sure, sure, he said its not all roses
I gotta take Viagra daily she got needs
then there’s speed to keep up on walks
nightime I need the sleepers or
she wants jiggy jiggy once more again
I’m not complaining its just….
he trailed off as I looked at the lines
tracking over his face tired as is
& I’ve not been out to see the boys
my bike is sat back in the garage
while we spend the day doing the
maybe its just the honeymoon period
I offered more in hope than kindness
Mate…its been a full two years now…
I was drifting from the complaint
or was it a whine on how good it was?
& I began to think on the receipt
wondered if it said: ‘no returns’
wished him well, walked on some more
& last I heard he was half the man in size
a good exercise regime (& drugs)
will do that to you, eh?

Been looking

Been looking
not fiercely I will concede
for someone to go out
drink the bar dry with
maybe smoke something
drop something
take a long walk into nothing
dead ended streets
trees, woods, desert
not fussy on direction
& it seems all the good ole boys
are in homes
at home
tucked up
away in front of a box
& some riders never made the curve
is what comes from holding
a policy of leave behind
too slows
tap outs
if you play long
hard enough
you too
will arrive in this place
the comfort being
at least the company
is stand up

Any time anywhere

Any time anywhere
mid summer
riding out to nowhere
stopping for gas
& the woman one pump over
is staring
goes in to pay
came out with ice cream
sat there
window open
eyes aglow
different day
can you work the pump for me?
she wants fifteen
no twenty
maybe twenty five
& I keep pumping
being the nice guy
while she hops
foot to foot
blonde & nervous
over smiles & thank you’s
& I run away
quickly as I could
whatever this was
I wanted none
just let me ride
splash & go being my day
I think fondly yesteryears
when these were invitations
basis for more than hello
an anywhere
anytime man
but now I fear
the little death
will be the end of me
I fear too
I’ve become a teenage girl
its gotta be
a relationship first…

grow gills

Had me a strong woman
fine straw blonde looking girl
could drink me under
any table, any where
told me she could suck
like an industrial hoover
man was she right
had to stop drinking
from alongside her
as she sucked the air
right out of any room
just because you can drink
don’t mean you should
that’s the only time in my life
clinking glasses ended up not fun
she left me she said
for a growed up man
pockets full of easier money
I was pleased for the peace
last I heard around he grew gills
cos it was a whole lot easier
to breathe that way

Then come the days

behind the curtains
nothing but time
& come the memories
of mistakes made
some I’d prefer to see
as unhappy circumstance
forced blunders due
to lack of knowledge
rather than will
& of course
there are many I’d do
over & over again
with that same smirk
on my stupid smiley face
a couple of remberances
I’d prefer to keep at bay
hazy days lost in blue
& one or two
I keep with the lid tight
& death will deal with those


she said
this time, don’t tell them anything
like what? I asked
not a thing, nothing,
look, you tell these people
things they don’t know
then they get upset
& you…
you become the bad person
for telling them things that
they really oughta know
so they feel stupid because
they don’t know
ok, I said
I’ll try
but if I have to sit & listen
to nonsense about stuff on tv
bad politics or look at their holiday snaps
she was trying
I got that
but if i was to be here on a leash
my enthusiasm
which wasn’t strong anyway
was waning
can I at least have a little fun
& gossip about who’s doing who?
she looked at the stars, sighed long
I guess it was going to be a long night
for both of us