National Poetry Day – Heads Down

In celebration of National Poetry Day, here’s one I wrote earlier, whilst still carrying out a daily commute on the train, inspired by the ‘poems on the underground’ series.

Heads Down

We slow, with jerks as the station approaches.

The carriage creeks, a baby cries.

The doors shriek their opening.

Into our faces cold wind flies.

Maybe that’s why our heads shift downwards.

Eyes seek out the path of our feet.

Fingers grope for screens and phones.

No one shares warm words or smiles that greet.

If only courage took us rather than indifference.

We’d talk to people and laugh as we commute.

Find comfort and warmth in classless groups.

And make time fly along the route.

So now I pledge, when I travel by train.

To talk and laugh, to smile and share.

To listen to buskers…comfort silent sufferers.

And end each journey with a new friend there.


National Poetry Day – Smiling at Strangers

It’s National Poetry Day, and as I look forward to an autumnal walk this weekend, I am also looking to coming across friendly folk offering smiles and hellos as we pass.

Smiling at Strangers

Like leaves that have fallen from the same bough

That meet in clustered embraces about the root

Guided by wind and season, we are the same.

Sunlight and streams beckon us to visit and stroll

Alongside, beyond and beneath, we meet.

Here among the grass of meadow and swaying bough

Our paths cross for the first and last of times.

Sudden moments of unexpected union

Seconds to share a spirit of wonder

All whilst out for a little wander.

Smiling at strangers, a fleeting greeting

Amongst ramblers, walkers, uncounted unknown friends

A sign we know why each is here.

Even though we do not know from whence each has come or go

To know that to be out and about under sun or star

When compared to indoors, is better by far.


Unfriendly Bombs

Occasionally I will dabble a little in poetry. And on Wednesday, after watching the documentary Racing Extinction¬†and hearing the news that the British parliament had voted for air strikes in Syria, I dabbled. I was perhaps feeling things were a little bleak and the world was just teetering on the brink. For some reason I couldn’t get the words of John Betjeman’s ‘Slough‘ out of my head, and went to work.

I realise this blog is meant to be about monsters and bogeymen. But the more I think about it, both can probably be found in Syria right now. So perhaps this isn’t quite so out of place as it may appear.


Come unfriendly bombs and fall on Syria
Might as well join this hysteria
Mark it as a disaster area
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Evil doers barely in their teens
Lost hearts, lost lives, lost lands, lost dreams
Lost minds, lost breath

Mess up the mess we’ve all talked down
Reduce to rubble a once safe town
And replace with new enemies of the crown
For twenty years

And get that man with darkened skin
The likes of who must never win
We’ll never hear over all our din
Their women’s tears

And smash their chains but keep the yoke
And smash our economy in a single stroke
Let them become our dirty smoke
And make them yell

But spare the ones who’ve had it bad
This is the action of a stinking cad
It’s not their fault that we are mad
They’ve tasted hell

It’s not their fault they do not know
We dismiss their plight on radio
It’s not their fault we made them go
To bury their dead

And talk of court and words of liars
In wrecks of burnt out cars
Those who daren’t look up to see the stars
But bleed instead

In labour camps they do not dare
Speak out to us as in we glare
And dry their eyes to match our stare
And silence their wails

Come unfriendly bombs and fall on Syria
Get it ready for the next era
This is a case of mass oblivia
The earth exhales.

War & Peace