SWEET TEA

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SWEET TEA

Every month a ritual enactment
For the rent man
Mother, floury nose and doughed-up hands,
Smiling practice-perfect
Us children banished to the scullery,
A whispered ‘don’t you laugh now’
A silent prayer
And the teapot ready
Beside the rent book.

Every month ‘good morning Mrs Moran’
Lovely day to be sure’ and
YesI will have a cup of tea, thank you’
And every month a glowing red nose,
Lit up like a hot coal.

Every month silence from the scullery
Until the day little Tommy fell off his perch
And tumbled through the scullery door
To land in a heap in front
Of that illuminated face.
And then mother turning,
The sugar bowl in her hand
Saying – much too casually –
‘How many sugars would you like on your nose?’

PAPA’S TRIBE

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PAPA’S TRIBE
The wives and mistresses
All mealy grins and doughy skins
With their ever-wet holes
And their second-hand sins
Watching as the mirror butterflies their faces
Twinned with depthless images of themselves
Wronged women staring back in anguish
Each flopped vacuously on vacant shelves
Leftovers or left behinds
None are sure of which is which
All of them are certain of one thing though;
It’s one of the others
That is the biggest bitch.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-OBrien/e/B0034OIGOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1388083522&sr=1-2-ent

SEVEN A.M. IN THE SMOKE

SEVEN A.M. IN THE SMOKE

 

‘No surrender’

The motorists’ battle-cry

Echoing through the smog and fumes;

Furiously-pedalling cyclists

Sinisterly masked

Towing technology in their slipstreams

            Legions of static transporters slowly going nowhere

Human perambulators

Reeling them in one by one

Phantom headlines flashing before my eyes;

FOUR PEDESTRIANS MAIMED

BUT HE GAINED TWO CAR-LENGTHS

 

Onwards to the asylum!

 

SAYING IT IS THE HARD PART

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SAYING IT IS THE HARD PART

 The secret is to be casual;

Matter-of-fact words can

Sometimes inflame the senses;

Not straight away, perhaps,

But later, when the hurly-burly

Of conversation has had time to sink in

 

Maybe the trick is not to be seen saying it;

‘I love you’ is such a difficult phrase

To force between clenched teeth

see more poems in my new book of poetry ’67’.
 http://www.tinhuttalespublishers.co.uk/67/

 

CLUEDO

 

CLUEDO

Courage is all it takes

To say ‘I don’t love you anymore’

Instead of all this rigmarole

About finding yourself

 

Looking back now

I can see the clues;

Stupid of me not to notice them;

The KEEP OFF THE GRASS sign

In the middle of the bed;

The HIS and HERS towels in separate rooms,

And the YOU INSENSIBLE BRUTE!

Scrawled on the bathroom mirror

(that should have been the clincher)

 

But then, love is blind is it not?

Most of all to those who are

Its one-sided recipients

taken from my new book of poems ’67’, now available as an ebook and shortly as a paperback; http://www.tinhuttalespublishers.co.uk/67/

 

CATS AND QUEENS

 

CATS AND QUEENS

 See this gawping society that we live in?

This catwalk full of nobodies

Strutting their stuff

 

Even the ‘bit’ players are gurning

To uncaring audiences

From the back of TV sets

(Hello Mum!  Look, no hands!)

 

It’s all very well for us cats                                         

To look at Queens

But these people nowadays

Will gape at anything

 

One day, soon maybe,

Women will outnumber men;

Will Queens look at cats then?

 

 

 

 

SKATING ON THIN ICE

SKATING ON THIN ICE

Now there’s a pastime for you;

Young enough not to know better

We taught ourselves how to,

And sometimes paid the price

 

We carved figures of eight

Figures of three and five too

While Hopper McGrath kicked a hole in the shallow end

With thumps from the heel of his shoe

 

But nature had the last laugh

And slid him into a clump of nettles

And the breath laughed from the rest of us

Like steam from the spouts of kettles

 

Cracked ice, grass-crunching like apple-munching

Shiver-me-timber dancing

The old farmer prancing

And helter-skelter

For the school-yard shelter

 

Nowadays skating on thin ice comes easy

 

my new book of poems ’67’ is now available as an ebook, and in paperback soon. http://www.tinhuttalespublishers.co.uk/67/