An ode to Darts

Nightly pub-sport spectacle.
Like rhinos line astern gripping tungsten spears.
Chunky-reaching cheek-wobbling darts.
Beer belly a-quiver overhanging too wide tee shirt unsolicited stomach glimpse darts.
Spherical hysterical measures out in trebles.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Cocky oche-jockeys crafty cockneys dressing sloppy.
Sports-upholding team mate-scolding beer glass-holding.
Carpet shuffling fart-muffling comes away with nothing.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Double-chaser bullseye-maker opponent-hater third-rather.
Forefinger fling-flourish free-form darts throw panache.
Board-seeker tip bounce wire hitting kerplink.
Unlucky, Trev.

Thud. Thud. Kerplink.

Great big belly-man darts-land Leviathan takes a stand.
Meaty meaty clap-hand (nurses darts like baby chicks),
Arrow-flinging darts board-singing double-trimming
Guess who’s winning?

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Trophy-doting low-score-gloating show-boating local scrote
Boozy-wobbling woozy-toppling lazy darts-fling treble twenty
Bar staff aghast, darts stars laugh, fast darts dance, last chance,

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Last game, the same again, self-same blame game.
In the team lean, seeming so keen, trophy a gleam, he’s a darts machine!
No pain no gain, no gain, no fame, oh, the shame!
Sudden-death shootout, league-topping bullseye-aiming,
Thud, pretty nifty, scores a fifty, more’s the pity,
Geddin my son quivering tentative there the dart itself hanging like a
Swan so graceful in its beauteous flight betwixt chubby
Sweating fingers slow-mo revealing the under belly wobble
Suspended in mid air aerodynamic like the philosophic truth
Writ large straight into the exact centre of the board!

Unlucky, Trev.
Unlucky, Trev.
Unlucky, Trev.

See you all next week?

Poem : A true story

I don’t often write pieces about true events, but this is one.


Two complete nobhead amateurs,
Bemused by shuttlecock shenanigans,
Intent only on fun,
A modicum of sporting pride,
The promise of a burger
In the pub over the road,
Having a laugh in the
Provincial leisure centre.

I must admit I’m winning,
Beating him as I invariably did,
Being such a sleek and agile sportsman,
Muscly, well proportioned,
The badminton bat an extension of my
Actual psychology,
You couldn’t get anything past me.

We didn’t take it seriously,
Like the time, accidentally buying
Different strength shuttlecocks,
Watching them sail over the other three courts,
Only once, our first game,
He sat in the changing room afterwards,
A towel over my head as he uttered
Just the two words.
Well played.

I serve. He misses. We laugh.
I serve. He misses. I laugh.
I serve. He misses.
His racquet whips the air,
Hits at nothingness.
I serve. He hits it.
Whacks me in the face.
He laughs.

He serves. I hit it. He misses.
And so it goes on, I’m like a
Badminton gazelle, my muscly well-toned legs
Able to counter any attack.
He serves. I whack that mother.
Ooof, right in the goolies.

Deep in the game, now.
I am about to serve,
He lifts up his tshirt, wobbles his
Spherical beer belly, shouts,
Mesmerising, his stomach gyrates and convulses
Like a crocodile trying to upchuck a half digested zebra,
It completely puts me off my serve,
And as a scream rings out from the next court,
He laughs as I go to serve again.

She runs across our court.
That’s put you off again, hasn’t it?, he says.
We both laugh and i try a third time,
But something isn’t right.
A man, on the court adjacent,
Is on the floor.

He’s hit the desk, stone cold dead.
I run over, as do others.
He lets out a groaning grasping breath.
A hero from another court begins CPR,
While I run back, phone for an ambulance,
Fingers fumbling in the jacket I’d
Slung over the net post,
As if subconsciously anticipating this.
The first aider arrives.

We can’t stay here, I whisper.
I push the net post,
Then we go and sit in the changing room
Where we might philosophise,
Wonder if it’s the way he would have wanted
To go,
That badminton was all he lived for,
Trying not to think of
His family.

You never know when life
Might suddenly cease.
And we were having such a good time.
My face still ever so slightly stings
Where the shuttlecock hit it.
I can still hear his last breath.

Your belly, I tell my friend,
Would’ve been the last thing he’d seen.
He smiles.

The game is obviously a forfeit
And one changing room locker
Will remain closed for the end of the day.

Poem (People Keep Mistaking Me For Tom Daley) 


Got mistaken again last night

For Olympic diver Tom Daley.

That’s the third time this week.

The classically handsome features,

The tanned, toned physique,

That winning smile,

Just like Tom Daley.

A lot of people have said

We could be twins.

Coming out of Morrissons with a

Supermarket trolley,

Some yob shouts from the bottle bank,

Tom! Tom! Tom!

Tom Daley! Tom Daley!

It’s Tom Daley!

Swimmer bloke! Trampoline swimmer bloke!

Tom Daley! Divey swimmy divey divey

Swimmer bloke!

From the tv!


Tom Daley Tom Daley Tom Daley Tom Daley!

He then peered at me closer and said,


In the coffee shop,

Flapjack please and a decaf cappuccino 

The barista above the steam gurgle machine

Says, half heartedly, ‘hon haley?’

And I say, what?

And she says, 

‘hon haley? hon haley?

and I say what?

And she says,

‘hon haley.

Nothing, nothing

I thought . . .

Sitting in the coffee shop

Avoiding eye contact



Tom Daley is one of my favourite athletes.

This is because of the way that Tom Daley dives.

Tom Daley climbs up the ladder and then

Tom Daley dives off of it and Tom Daley

Hits the water and then Tom Daley swims to the side

And Tom Daley climbs out of the pool.

You could buy Tom Daley an ice cream and Tom Daley

Is the sort who would say thank you for buying me

An ice cream because that’s the sort of person

That Tom Daley is.

I dreamed that he came round

And we chatted about Professor Brian Cox

And now his to shows, informative as they are,

Might be half an hour shorter

If he didn’t speak



The cat wanted to go out and

Tom Daley volunteered.

Come here, Kevin, he says,

Come here.

The cats called Kevin.

Sometimes people mistake me for

Professor Brian Cox, too.

I’m not Tom Daley

But if I was I’d probably

Wear a false handlebar moustache

In public

In case someone dropped their handbag

Into a river or a harbour

And a call went up among the throng,

‘Is anyone here an Olympic diver?’

Another invitation this week

To open a summer fete.

Just wear your swim shorts, the email said,

So we can put pictures in the staff magazine.

They thought I was you know you.

I’m fed up that

People use me just as a sex object.

Turned on the tv last night.

Diving championships,

Happened to be on.

Just in time to see Tom Daley

Clambering up for another

Rocket ship from the springboard.

And the commentator said,

‘And now here’s something different,

It’s performance poet Robert Garnham’.