Ms. Lucy Wellington
I’m a hefty queen.
I’m seldom obscene.
You wouldn’t believe
The things that I’ve seen.
As I shuffle and prance
In a kind of slow dance
The movement of my fat ripples,
Puts people in a trance.
My hand gestures are floppy.
The way I eat is quite sloppy.
I entered a drag contest and
Renamed myself ‘Poppy’.
It’s so good to be free.
But this isn’t about me.
There is a certain barrier
Which only I can see,
Erected, I believe, somewhat erroneously
Across the divide between generations
That even in the glitter and the
Lasers and the dry ice there are
Frozen moments and a real hint
Of the inertia which dwelt
In the places where I lived a happy
Some stains wont wash out.
Layers of artifice become permanent.
In the summer heat it’s history groans
And the river kicks up a hell of a stink.
I’d sashay down the High Street
If I could, but there are market stalls,
It’s such a drag, high heels
On cobblestones, heat wave.
It’s a drab little town
Where everything’s brown
Living by the motto
‘What goes up must come down’.
He’d seen the outback, the jungle,
The cold northern tundra.
She stayed at home,
And once she’d seen ball lightning.
When he came home from abroad
She waited with his twin brother
At Brize Norton, with binoculars,
And she was almost arrested for spying.
(During the war his mother
Had let a fire’s embers burn
After dark, and she too was
Almost arrested for spying).
They visited his brother
A rainy Sunday, taking the bypass,
Spent the afternoon eating sandwiches,
It all seemed so very urban and
Suburban and faintly old fashioned.
It all seemed right.
It all seemed normal.
Pouring rain on the drive home.
Inexplicable traffic, perhaps
There might have been an accident,
More likely roadworks.
Where are the emergency vehicles?
The ghost of a place
Or else its spirit,
The endless and the ending,
The moments beyond.
He’d seen the world, she’d seen
And in the driving rain
They both witnessed,
Inches apart in their seats
The miles between them become
A man with a quick temper
A man with righteous anger
Never served anyone well.
You draw in the darkness,
It feeds on the obvious.
There are extenuating circumstances.
You might hurt someone.
If the procedures a re
Ever so slightly out of sync,
It’s rumoured that you always
And this makes your counterparts
Too afraid to question your judgement.
That’s the rumour, any how.
Yet I feel for you and I
Believe that there has been an injustice.
It’s all so simple to blame
The man who appears as if he can take it.
Poem of demons
There are many demons.
Not all of them are bad.
Some of them are fluffy
And they tickle.
Some of them dance and
Sing little tunes.
Some are mere capers,
Some of them blink because
The sun is too bright.
Some of them just whisper
One word over and over,
Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.
Some of them patter you on the chest
And make you feel ever so good
And fill you with butterflies and love.
But they are demons
For the memorial.
For the deprived.
For peace in a world of noise.
For the actual.
For the inexplicable.
For what some would call the inevitable.
For the sheer bad luck of it.
For the sublime.
For the storms that blow in occasionally
From the south west.
For the stark
For the strange
For the sightseers and
The morbid and
The curious and
For the sense of it.
For the consequences.
For the wounds which heal but never do.
You recovered well from your meeting with the Ambassador.
It must have been a shock
But the fellow was awfully rude!
Whenever you stumble
You get patched up in no time.
It’s nice that these little things
Can be so easily forgotten!
There will always be unfortunate ghouls.
You were as handsome and as worthy as your brothers and sisters.
Many of them suffered minor spills
Yet managed to fulfil their lucrative careers.
On the most part you always found someone
To keep you level.
You looked like a bandit, wearing a mask.
I see you in old photographs.
In some of them you look distinguished.
In most of them you are waving your flag,
British born and bred!
It’s hard not to think of what happened next.
You responded to the
And ghouls emerged from the rain.
West London Rain
When I was a kid I loved it when it rained
Because it meant I didn’t have to go out
And run around the playground.
When I got older the feeling remained
That a wet day was a special day.
We lived in a house on a hill overlooking
The whole of west London.
The motorway sodium lights would kind of
Smear through the rain
And I’d feel ever so safe and cosy with
My writing pad and the radio tuned to distant city jazz.
My parents were not keen on extreme weather.
They were outdoor people,
Dad with motorbikes,
And Mum with her incessant gardening.
Everything was happy, though once
They saw something in the murk.
I reiterate, everything was happy.
When it rained it rained, and when it thundered,
Mum said that the storm was following the river
And wouldn’t harm us
And Grandad spent most of the time in his corrugated shed,
With the rain pummelling tinny on the rusting rusting roof,
And later on I’d invent with words in much the same manner,
Mostly when it was raining, finding my own rhythms.
Only now I’m old enough to understand
That when storm fronts move in,
And the clouds lower,
Bad things can sometimes happen.