blanket from the thrift

the woman almost gave it to me

for next to nothing

because I liked the texture

the pattern

tho’ my girl hated

the colours

heft & hues

the itchy loose fibres

the pattern

but I bought it anyway

as you do

as an independent sort

of person

at home I flung it in the washer

& being a sunny afternoon

hung it in the air to dry

as we sat in easy chairs

drinking wine & talking

& I started to notice

fibres strands tufts

gently blowing away

so much so I had concerns

there may soon be nothing left

& my girl bless

did her best

looked away

never once said

I told you so

Ned Lud

Ned is not

was never my enemy

but a figurehead

to fight for

against the rich

the powerful

forcing me you

into a 12 or 14 hour day

minimum pay

no breaks no holidays

no sickness pay

but work until you drop

bring your child in

aged 4

& if they die

they die


Ned is not

was never my enemy

even if my enemy

told me he was

been in a coma

passing strangers in a bar

been in a coma

she says

for the fourth could be fifth time

invited us in poured our beers

offered to get the cook to cook

& we listened as we looked around

her back story went on

we could see the results

witness poor decisions

writ large

on her face clothing body


all we could do was nod

hu hum here & there

learning things

not sure were for our ears

until slowly

we began to realise

she was still in the coma

we were

nothing but figments

in her bad dreams

I don’t know

my last words

I don’t know

was it a phone call?

standing on your door?

I felt we had some understanding

were just about

getting somewhere

& the next time I called

you were gone

run off somewhere (again)

& I searched my mind

while I tried to find

were my last words

unkind unfair?

forgetting for you

the world was first person first

nothing I could do

you were just gone again

there would be no care

if I was left feeling blue

& it would take me a while

to fully understand

you had done me a favour


running out of my life


we’d seen each other in the distance

as I’d made sure to make it that way

then early one morning rushing for the train

I found myself running jumping on

sitting a row or two down from her

I tried busying myself with my paper

but the hostility in her look kept on cutting through

she was staring with hate in her face

so I did what any trooper would do

I got up walked over wobbling

caught by the motion of the train

hi I saw you sitting there you ok?

& she set off with her vicious story

how I’d walked out left her alone

had refused to answer any calls

had given no answers to letters sent

& I sat mute looking at her

waiting waiting for emotion to be spent

I think you’ve forgotten I said  the last night we met

your accusations anger that epic rant

rubbishing everything I was for over an hour

shaming me in front of other people

& for a while I could take on board the things shouted

even tho’ some of it was not about me

but you your frustrations the life you lead

her eyes grew wider she asked I did that?

I had forgotten that was what’d happened

yes & that was why I walked away from you

I had become someone else other than who I was

& that made my presence not needed there

we talked a little more on other things

then I went back found my paper still uninviting

watched the scenery passing instead

at least the hate stare had stopped

but now in the silence there were little sobs instead

the tone

this madman sings


in the sadness

the love gone


for lovers departed

debts owed

& I find myself

singing along


at the hard tug

on these heart strings

& you & I know

he does this

help us get over

try to heal

move on

to better things


begin to believe

in hope

I piss up here often

a 50’s built concrete block

ten apartments/flats

all mod cons for that time

& written large in black paint

along the gray east wall:

I piss up here often

& I didn’t care a damn

about any or all of that

had got myself jammed tight

with a woman fed up

who had begun to realise

a lot like me

I wasn’t who I thought I was

couldn’t do most things

get out of bed until two

or ever find steady work

those days I wasn’t drinking

the smoke had no hold

I just needed wanted

to sleep pull the covers up

wait for the world to change

& now if anybody asks

if I know about the black dog

I nod my head slow & say

I piss up here often

vale si

just a cup of coffee

resting in the shade

out on the stones

jacaranda overhead

between places

here coming from back there

not yet got to where

spaces I was going

& as the senorita says to me

con leche?

I hear through the door

Joni’s ‘a day in the garden’

sweet horn playing low

& I’m thinking of you

while this Iberian beauty

stares at me

I say vale si

& smile

but the damage is done

a cup of coffee will not heal this

hierarchy of needs

I was a little more laid back then

the optimism of youth maybe

that things would work out

life would unfold in all its glory

satisfy me

& she was a beautiful woman

of that there was little doubt

& I had ideas on how to be with her

give & share stuff together grow

little did I know

there was to be a hierarchy

of needs

her plans versus my plans

her wants versus my easy flow

there could only be one winner

& yes I was a little slow

to catch on

so it comes as no surprise

when I didn’t follow the path

laid out simply in front of me

she did of course

let me go