loves pushing the ‘pram

she got babies now

got her a man

loves pushing the ‘pram

parading those kiddies around

he goes to work she says

comes home does what he can

& I’m smiling hard

thinking glad behind my eyes

I made my escape

got out while I could

while she got what

she always wanted

& he

like me

is only a part of her show

now she got babies

she’s got her ducks in a row

cries in the night ‘why?’

my neighbours have dramas

they don’t need no tv show

they fuss they fight

the cussing is a delight

I record it for giggles

let all my friends know

lately she’s taking to beating

hits him with a broom

pots n pans food gets thrown

all about the place

spatters the room

the cops come haul him off

she sits on the front steps

beats herself around the head

cries in the night ‘why?’

I came up beside him

down at the grocery store

erm y’know fella this stuff

she does is abuse yeah?

& he stared me right down

told me to mind my own business

walked off all in a huff

& the next time the cops came

duckwalked him out in cuffs

I raised my glass high smiled

I see you’ve got a handle on things

& when she cried out why?

I told her you know baby

you ever thought of buying a tv

getting your drama kicks there?

& you know she told me

to fuck off

or she’d call the cops

there are some people you can’t help

right there

how I told it

soft piano slide

I let you down

not being the man

you wanted me to be

& your version

techno blast

I was a rotten beast

foul to the core

though I did my best

not calling out names

telling stories

about the shitty stuff

you got done

you beat me black & blue there

sharp sneaky sucker punches

& I don’t hold higher ground

just a dirty mirror

I can peer into

not see the sainted one

just a fella living day to day

looking for the sun

while you paint the backdrop

any way you want to

& to be true

I wanted to be gone

& to be true

I felt my people

wanted me gone too

one less mouth to feed

more cash for the booze

but where to go?

loving the sun the beach

the mountains lakes

green meadows blue skies

so many places

where to choose?

& knowing nowhere

could now be home

setting out for something

to be always alone

never settling here

wanting to be over there

somewhere else with you

the least

times stood with you

side by side at the bar

& my world

outside unfolding

falling to pieces

knowing you had my back

not that we talked deep

of these things

though I knew

what was going on

with you

& likewise you knew

& when I did talk

I felt your ears to be true

friends through & through

& now you’ve gone

the great pub in the sky

or the dive bar down below

they asked me to speak

there at your funeral

to talk of who you were

& I believe you’d understand

when I told my stories

tried not to mumble

falter in my feelings

tell of the gentleman

friend hero I knew

feeling

it was the least

I could do

wandering the weeds

looking out for cops

cruisers going slow

finding the right moment

jumping into the weeds

finding the right place

off the main trails

behind a high prickle bush

setting up for the night

sleeping bag pillow just so

different from when I first came

staying in cheap motels

drifting the nice b&b’s

that’s the problem

wandering with others

they need the things you don’t

though they say

I got me simple needs

the truth is they hunt

the feel of safe

& this country is not that

for wanderers seekers

vagabonds down livers

poor folk surviving

amongst the weeds

we called the road our own

we used to drive

when we had things to talk over

both facing front

watching the world slide by

no phones no tv no music

only the rhythm of the road

listening with the ears

our eyes watching for other things

the rules were easy enough

say what you got to say

no response for a minute two

to think over what was said

how you felt about that

no pots crockery to throw

no desire to crash into a wall

just understanding the other

was there to communicate

no offense no hurt no wars

the unexamined life

I was waiting on the corner

we were gonna go do things

& you were late

as ever

& I was early

as ever

being bored

I was cloud watching

listening to the birds

anything to stop clockwatching

cursing our behaviours

as this old fella

in his electric buggy

came toward me

he bounced off the corner

to cross the road

& I heard him mutter

fucking road

fucking dips & fucking bumps

fucking state of it

a man has enough to deal with

with life as it is

& as he passed out of hearing

I could hear the litany

of his path

to understand properly

the idea

the unexamined life

is not worth living