The Royal Wedding

Rachel came in a very unexpected way
her hair tied back with a big bow that
was never her style, so swell with those
shoes and the ring was something
she had sworn – no wear. Way up on a curve,
swerving, red top Mercedes soft top
dropped chassis. Purring between the lines,
slumming hot dog day, back in Margate
lavished at the Tate. Money laundered Mayfair
fetish flambés, night cap in dinner jacket
black tie. Opera in a Brut dress and a diamond
on one knee, jeez you have always looked
good Rach, but those oysters are way
slimy. Divorced is a thing and your nails,
I mean, vermillion red and one sparkled
and you thin as corn and chicken
soup. Trouble is you didn’t take over
the room, huddled there in a mouse
trap, or stretch out a cat purr like you
used to when the rum ran out. We had held
out for so much more.


Of Mesopotamia

He refused a tribute would 
not pay homage to Nineveh 
on the Tigris river
King Hezekiah of Judah

On the hill at Lakish fortified
ready bristling battlements allied 
by the kingdom of Egypt he
waited for us

By the might the power of 
Sennacherib and Nisroch our 
winged eagle we plundered 
countless cities carried off their 
people horses mules camels
oxen sheep

Hezekiah would not submit to 
your yoke now our war 
machine at his gates Assyrian’s 
show no mercy

Assault the city with mud
ramps for the engines our
archers and spearmen slaying
defenders but Sennacherib 
bravely they fight raining 
down fire and rock but no game for
our Assyrian Army

Before you Sennacherib these 
prisoners ask for mercy but
as they kneel we behead
them for our god skin
them alive impale them 
on the battlements a lesson for
them all and history 

Now they come
With the gates down

She’s Gone Girl

Crushed into a ball
Down the Tube
Against the damconcrete wall
Slipped in a heap – a last touch
A sister tripping sliding from reach
Cracked ribs
Purple bloated faces
Lumping the little ones on the lorry – like the coal man
Picked up stuff from the bundle shop
The buses disgorged the living the dead
Coming from the flix
Couldn’t get down
Couldn’t – get – down
Wet steps and a 25 watt bulb
Slithering to be hushed – –
Of course the Queen came
Of course she did
And held her head on one side
With a hat she had and a raven claw
Keeping up morale you know
Cream teas down her shelter – Ha Haw
Proper scones and jam
When they all left for Windsor fucking Castle
It was rockets they said – not seen
Fired from the park at the Luftwaffe
The mortuary slabs cold as custard
In our Bethnal Green

She’s gone girl



(In memory of the 173 men women and children who lost their lives in 1943 at Bethnal Green Tube Station where families regularly sheltered from the Blitz)