THE SAD MAN WHO LOOKS AT PAVEMENTS WHILE HE SHUFFLES ALONG SLOWLY
Some mornings I see this old (must be) aristocrat
wearing a long green coat, formal but almost accidentally camp,
with one neat pleat between his shoulders,
Underneath, a waistcoat and a watch chain
dark bushy eye brows, a frowning face that used to smile,
Tufts of wiry hair on his cheekbones
He shuffles along
sometimes near his block outside the station,
sometimes in the park,
sometimes accompanied by a Thai woman in her fifties,
(I imagine them as a couple when they met, he 45 her 25)
but always not speaking, sadly looking at the pavement.
Imagining that he is somebody, but he has forgotten who.
I thought no more of the infinitely sadman who looked at pavements until
I saw him on the telly.
He was being interviewed on Newsnight-
If they needed an out of touch Lord to interview to prove how redundant the House of Lords was, they had done a good job. Well done that researcher but it was a bit cruel. He IS an aristocrat-
he called himself a maverick. He wouldn't look at the interviewer, he wouldn't look at the camera, he hid his eyes behind his eyebrows as he looked down. no-one had told him how to behave on camera. No media training. He told his story to the studio floor
He said he wants to get elected back into the House of Lords to pass a bill to prevent something happening again that happened to his great grandfather in 1891, when his family got made bankrupt.
He was a hereditary peer who was demoted from the House of Lords when they reformed it in 1997, a monarchist, chairman of the Monday club for 16 years, ostensibly a total fascist and evil man.
Or the sad man, who looked at pavements and shuffled along, he doesn't seem maliciously evil,
but is a very silly harmless elderly aristocrat,
who had spent his life messing around, anachronistic, out of touch, out of his depth probably manipulated by devious right wing politicians, who liked him because of his looks and ancestry.
And then I googled him and found a newspaper article from about 5 years ago - he'd married a beautiful blonde Russian women writer who burst out laughing when he stood up at his wedding reception to toast the queen.
So thats why this old man, a descendant of Charlemagne, (we all are apparently) now spends his time shuffling along looking at pavements.
the boy sincerely thinks that everything he does is rational of course
but he don't realise
how visibly his willy drives his every move
how stir crazy seed steers his moves.
in the land of this bloke,
where only one thing can be,
wifey, nimbly and subtly,
nudges the naive, the brittle,
buffets and bends it gently
into agreeable pliability,
and accepts the protection offered
by his big bluff unthinking gruffness
to which she chooses to always agree.
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
In her house
She had a cupboard into which things did just go
Things that could not be thrown out, they belonged in the cupboard,
It was cupboard full of things unfinished, unneeded things undecided things,
Into the cupboard they did go
The cupboard was never sorted
It was full til bulging,
So full that sometimes the door would just pop open, and things would fall out only to be put back in and the door pushed shut
The house, incidentally, was always immaculate
we were drawn together
attracted like magnets
you told me
I told you
tales of woe
we listened to each other
we heard each other
held each other
we each let go
and, not wanting each other's load,
repulsed like magnets
we sprang apart
It was rush hour and many pedestrians had poured out of suburban trains and as I looked at them I saw that there was one person in the crowded street with an umbrella up.
I looked up to the sky - it was grey and the clouds were drooping it was not raining, but it might and who knows in 2 minutes it might rain and the person with the umbrella could be the only sensible one there but right now he was the loonie
THE ONE AND THE MANY
The argument between the individual and the mass even invades my early morning walk in the park;
Is it the lone daffodil that bursts into flower ahead of all the others that is the only miracle;
Or the thousands of daffodils, now still green and small
that will flower at the same time
Making a big yellow carpet;
that is the bigger miracle?
The one or the many? Intelligent de...sire
It's the green fuse that drives the flower as Mr Thomas said;
Whatever our politics
white hair, white little dog
Hands clasped behing her back
holding the lead
deep in thought
always wearing black
I say hello and she looks up and straight though me to beyond,
I turn round to see what she is looking at, there is nothing
And I wonder
what did I do ?
Is she blanking me?
or is she just somewhere else?
as she walks her dog in the park
The sun is actually warm to day.
Tentative T-shirts attempt to bask
and pale arms and
Legs may redden goosebump or get brown
depending on the still chill breeze and skin type
It's all bit like a tourist brochure
there are so-o many people
with so-o many cameras
ONE FOR SORROW
A magpie and a crow sat on adjacent branches silhouetted against grey sky.
The magpie flew away and the crow stayed
3 PAUNCHY PELOTON POEMS
1. LYCRA, MIDDLE AGED BIKERY
Some mornings ago I,
out of bed at dawn,
left the house and went to the nearby park
I ambled and stretched
And kicked leaves and stared at squirrels and got calm but,
as I left the park and its stunning early morning light,
I was jolted out of my reverie
by a sweaty paunchy peloton sevenstrong in lycree
perched pon expensive bikery
grunting by at speed.
There’s nothing wrong with paunches – I have one
There is nothing wrong with middleaged men- I am one
There is nothing wrong with lycra – I’ve got none
There is nothing wrong with cycling – I love my bike and don’t own a car
But when paunchy middleaged men in lycra
on bykra, jump red lights at a
pedestra crossing without looking - well really
I think I’ll … I’ll… er
Get myself a hi visibility jacket
I want one now and er …some lycra
Then I’ll be loud and energetic and visible
2. LYCRA MIDDLE AGED BAKERY
Sponsa emblazoned across their blue Lycra clad bods beneath anoraks, they leave the bikes outside
And like their bloated stomachs,
the middle aged cyclists have absconded
from the now bloated peloton a hurtling round the park and snuck into the bakery
Cos they’d prefer not to manically cycle in Lycra
they’d rather and its more pleasure
to have a cuppa and apastry and a banter at their leisure
onna sunna but chilla Sunday morn
The pretence at getting fit stopped with the lycra and the stomach and the bikes stacked outside
LYCRA MIDDLE AGED BIKERY 3
This morning, a cold morning,
as I crossed the road via the pedestrian crossing round the outer circle,
the light changed just as I approached the crossing,
green light for me, so I did not have to break my stride,
but a red light for the traffic,
so a paunchy peloton, 18 peddler strong, cycling close and fast
came screeching to a halt to let me and two other pedestrians cross the road.They glared, snorting road rage