Poetry on the Hoof: The Enemy Within. Rejoice!

From the daughter who whispered against her parents,
To the mother who refused to lie on her own unmade bed;
From the son who kicked against the traces,
To the father who artificially heightened his own sperm count;
Rejoice, for you are all the enemy within.

From the milkman who pissed in the orange juice,
To the grocer who dumped his spuds in a skip;
From the teacher who celebrated the kiss,
To the journalist who was reckless with the tippex;
Rejoice, for they are all the enemy within.

From the surgeon whose scalpels rust in peace,
To the soldier who turns his gun on his captain;
From the politician who blinks in the Sun,
To the chemist who splits the infinitive.
Rejoice, for we are all the enemy within.

Poetry on the Hoof: There’s No Such Thing as an Englishman.

There’s no such thing as an Englishman,
He really doesn’t exist.
There was never a castle, a moat, a drawbridge,
His house failed to subsist.
There’s no such thing as an Englishman,
With blood deep blue, and skin ghost white.
There’s no such thing as fists of red,
Shaking in varicosed fright.

Because an Englishman is part Scot, part Gael, part Celt,
Part Saxe, part Franco, part Serb.
He’s part Indo, part Carib, part Sino;
Part Arab, part Thai, part disturbed.
His blood is a Mishra mash of madness,
of cultures a-far and a-near,
He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going,
So he curse, he shout and he swear.

Because an Englishman is part woman,
Part he-man, part her-man, part sha-man.
Scratch an Anglo and there’s a vigorous hybrid,
In a gene pool of shimmering light;
Their bloods are the colours of mud and of sand
Their bones, the tastes of the sun and the strand;
Their tongues, taste the moon rising high in the sky
And falling rains, wash away, the tears in their eyes.

Their nerves weren’t forged in Sheffield,
But in Scotia, near and afar.
Their guts were shaped in Islamabad,
And the restaurants and bazaars of Belfast.
Their oaths don’t belong to king and country,
But to their brothers, their sisters, their cousins.
Swearing allegiance, history and platitudes
Till their shoes are glued to their feet.

There’s no such thing as an Englishman,
He just doesn’t exist,
And those who would want to deny this,
Are deluded, foolish, trapped fish.
The deniers, the nay-sayers and dandies,
Who are looking to protect their list,
Had better beware, their game is to scare
But they won’t.
The dance of the Englishman is over.

Poetry on the Hoof: Feeding frenzy (How Schools Devour Each Other)

The feeder primary school feeds
the secondary school which feeds
the universities or the workforce.

The feeder primary school is fed by nursery schools
who, in turn, are fed by child minders, nannies or parents and finally
the cradle or the grave.

Such is the feeding chain:
Each school is fed by or feeds another.
Each school is but a source, or consumer, of food, of pupils.

The feeding frenzy of schools upon other schools and upon each other
is the ecology of winners and losers,
victors and collateral damage.

Whilst no-one wants to be fed upon,
we’re happy to muscle into the feeding trough:
slake our appetite on lesser mortals.

Give Us This Day: a Toast to Artists Knowledge (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

Knowledge of the first kind
is the stats, the dates, the measurements.
The what, the when, the where.

Knowledge of the second kind
is the interpretations, the rational analysis of observable events.
The scientific, analytic, predictive.
The regulatory, the politic.
The how, the whether.

Artists knowledge is knowledge of the third kind.
Sensory and sensitive,
Intuitive and imaginative,
Magical and miraculous.
Generating meaning and stories
which bestow ownership of knowledge of the first kind
and give purpose to the knowledge of the second kind.
The what-if? The why? The If-not, then why-not?

My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to the knowledge of artists.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here.

Poetry on the Hoof: It’s not Shakespeare’s Birthday

Its not Shakespeare’s birthday
But the anniversary
of his death day.
What is there left to say
About a writer who made generations sweat with dismay
About their innate inability
To comprehend the way
The people parleyed
In those days?

His iambic pentameter
His turns of phrase
Were well made
Worthy of praise.
But why would those, lazy in their attention,
Who failed to be swayed
By his ornate writing display
Useful during  great state occass-ions,
Ask, does he really matter any more?

The doubters do not have much say
About his undoubted reputa-tion
That much cannot be doubted.
Was he gay? Many ask
But this is not the question to ask of Mr. Willy the Shake.
No, we should use his death day
To celebrate his poetray
And rhyming capabilities
Which put the rest of us to shame.

Poetry on the Hoof: Best Excuses (dedicated to David Moyes)

The dog ate my homework,
I didn’t have time,
My shirt didn’t fit
I thought it looked fine.

You said it was Tuesday but it was in fact Thursday.

I forgot to get up,
The battery was flat,
I didn’t know you had to ask,
I didn’t know life was like that.

I turned up on time but my friend had disappeared.

I expected something harder,
I expected something easier,
I expected some advice,
I expected to be looked after.

I expected something in ice or at least its equivalent.

I couldn’t put the heating on,
The switches wouldn’t switch,
The rails didn’t hold the weight,
The plane seats just made me itch.

The lines forgot to get in line and you lot gave up at that point.

It was the wrong kind of leaves,
The wrong kind of rain,
The wrong kind of snow,
The wrong kind of pain.

Someone said that someone left the cake out in the rain so I panicked.

The brief was too tight,
The brief was too wide,
My trousers didn’t fit,
My shirt hadn’t dried.

The stains got into my blood stream without asking permission.

If only if only if only if only,

We could have made the paper bigger,
We could have been given more time,
We could have had a budget,
(You should have taken mine)

If only if only if only if only,

We could have been so much better,
We would have been, had we known,
If it wasn’t for extra-terrestrial forces
We would have stayed at home.

If only if only if only if only.

Poetry on the Hoof: This is a Hypertext Poem.

Here is a hypertext poem

Click on the shiny blue links

Shining like micro-lighthouses

follow the links
another open page
Choose 6 words or phrases  from that page
And type them here:
And before you know it
And here
You’ll wander a
And here
Veritable forest of
And here
Meanings references
yet more links
yet more pages
And here
It’s easy enough
You can do it at work
But don’t shirk
Your responsibility for
Opening pages
Generating meaning
Constructing references
Connecting links
Making yet more hypertext sense
And here:

Poetry on the Hoof: On the one hand this, on the other hand that

On the one hand this,
On the other hand that,
On the one hand chit,
On the other hand chat,
Every move you make
You see your face again,
Every way you sit
You seat yourself in pain;

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
shadows on the wall
smearing you flat,
Things ain’t straight
things ain’t right,
there ain’t no answers
any time of night;

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Sitting on the fence
Is making you fat;
It’s a superhuman effort
to forget your own name,
But every time you stand up
You shift your weight in vain,

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Your questions wrong
Your assertions mute,
Answers don’t stick
Opinions dilute,
You agree to agree
again again again

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Don’t eat too much
Don’t get fat,
Don’t worry about the kids
Don’t fester away,
At the end of every night
Is another long day

On the one hand this
On the other hand that
You’d bail out your life
At the drop of a hat
It’d be so much simpler
If you stuck to your guns,
Keep your convictions
Blank those shuns,
Ignore the loudest voices
Spurn the angry frown
Insist on your choices
Throw your weight around

On the one hand this
On the other hand that.
On the one hand this
On the other hand that.