Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fairy Tale Football. For the MK Dons, their staff and fans

For the MK Dons in celebration of their 4 - 0 win against Manchester Utd.



Fairy Tale Football


This is why we love football;

For ninety minutes fans can dream and

sometimes, just sometimes the stars align.

A club by some much maligned

turns hero for the night, does everything right

plays with pluck, rides their luck

and in a pressure cooker environment

watch football royalty unravel before their eyes.

As surprise!


For one night Cinderella went to the ball.

The United defence became ugly sisters

as the duckling Dons turned swans;

became the little pea that will give

these princesses many sleepless nights.


This is why we love football;

When the worst results

make the best stories,

Past glories: forgotten.

Star names trade blame and shame

as Karl’s Giant Killers

deliver a thriller

we hadn’t dared to imagine


The shock, not in the beating of them

but how big a beating they took.

So, in the best tradition of Norwegian Commentator hyperbole,

we take this one opportunity to say:


“We are the best in the world! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten Manchester Utd, birthplace of giants. Steve Coogan, Terry Christian, Sir Alex Ferguson, The Happy Mondays, Max Beesley, Rachel Riley, Olly Murs . Can you hear me? Your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!”


So this fairy tale chapter closes

on a game of triumph and regrets;

A night the Dons will always remember,

one that United will hope to forget.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A little poem for a great smile.

So, I'm taking a trip and unusually for English service industries, someone stood out for delivering good service. So here is a little poem. I tried writing more but it didn't feel right. 

Keep writin' and recitin'

Mark x

Poem for the Meet and Greet girl.

It takes a special kind of something
to smile and mean it,
at five thirty in the morning
in a fake American diner in
a real English airport
she has it. 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Day 30 of 30. Another April full of new poems completed, but there is a sombre edge to this achievement, as it has been announced today that Bob Hoskins died yesterday. Today's poem is a small tribute to his work 

Best wishes


Bob ‘Oskins.
The working man’s actor.
he played the rock hard,
many a crook
unforgettably, even
sidekick to Captain Hook, Smee
in, which out of respect should now be renamed

He was the Long, Good Friday,
tart with a heart’s body guard in Mona Lisa
for which he very nearly became Oscar ‘Oskins
He was Edgar J Hoover and Benito Mussolini.
It seemed to play the big bad men,
you called the big little man,
the grouchy, gravel-voiced, gruff
diamond in the rough and he shone.

And now he’s gone,
missed and mourned
always handcuffed to one role,
as he was Roger Rabbit
Jessica telling him, in that voice 
she was just drawn that way.
Goodbye ‘Oskins.
Forever (Eddie) Valiant.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


A late post for this poem as it has been a busy day  but I have come to this version of the poem in three sittings and I am really pleased with it. That may all change when I look at it in the morning.

One more day to go!
Take centre stage songbird.
From its soft and warming sleep,
sing the sun into the sky.
In glorious reds and golds, sweep
the night away. Puff the chest
and warm the throat,
set music free in  
mellifluous notes
to fly as you do,
like Charlie Parker bebop;
airy, circling  riffs combined with
complex melodic lines that don’t stop
until the song is sung and the day
settled into its favourite chair.
You’d swear notes still hang like sparklers
traced in the memory of childhood air.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Scrunchy Lunch: A poem for children

A children's poem today has come to mind, so I've written it! Imagine a rhythmic "crunch, crunch" underscoring the words.

Best wishes


Scrunchy Lunch
Squashed banana and cornflake sandwich
Homemade for my lunch

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.

Banana for energy and vitamins
Cornflakes for the crunch.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.

It’s a very scrunchy sandwich
As loud as thunder when you munch.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
If you try one, you'll love it
Trust me, I have a hunch!

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Squashed banana and cornflake sandwich
For my lovely lunch.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Gulp. Ahhhh!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Lead in the Clouds (27 of 30)

Lead in the clouds
Somewhere, from a classroom,
in the north-east of England
last millennium, (God, I feel old!)
fifteen pounds per square inch
surfaces through the sea of
long-forgotten-remembered-forgotten facts.
Today that atmosphere tall column of air
feels three-fold the force,
leaden skies owning their name.
Bones struggle with a denser gravity,
muscles murmur complaints
a bruised brain puts on hold.
These thankfully infrequent days,
naked lunches triggered by news headlines,
raw reality leaching beneath protective seal.
How to call some men human,
not collapse under the weight of sharing
pace, oxygen and species.

Saturday, 26 April 2014


Mother Nature,
you old Mistress of the palette,
of tones and shade, tinges and hues.
Colours that are enemies you
convince to cosy up and blend,
to lay down their arms and
exploit the best of themselves for
new neighbour’s benefit and both shine.
How much we can learn.
In the crowd scenes, your genius is autographed.
A rabble of colours, ready for riot and
desperate for attention, petals exploding
as if live grenades on every sightline.
A hundred distinct voices shout “Green”
in their own accents from the background.
Oscar-winning primary colours give their best
yet afterwards you can’t name them,
every blade and branch, stem, leaf and display counted.
I get lost in the looking sometimes.
See painters for the thieves and
plagiarists they are. Limit my vocabulary
to three words:
wonder, glory and awe.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Day 25 of 30 Perfection Strikes When Least Expected

Perfection strikes when least expected.

He knows this is the to-the-nanosecond
instant he falls, but can’t be sure if it is because:

1 The angle her head is inclined
   as she looks up from the desk.

2 The way she undrapes her tumbling
   curtain of hair in one unthinking, fluid sweep.

3 The opalescence of her baby blues
   or the fact that for now, all she’s looking at, is him.

4 The baby pink tinge catching fire in her cheeks
   illuminating her face like a Russian icon.

5 The intake of breath he imagines sounds exactly
   like an angel’s wing folding.

6 The fact he’ll never tell her because
   sharing will spoilt it.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

This be MY verse. Day 24 of 30

So, a late night thought turned into this overnight.

This be my verse.

From nowhere, the smell of sharpened pencils,
him in the waiting room workshop,
Kenneth Williams in full flow on Just a Minute.
Now and again, indecisive light
reflects the likeness of him shaving.

How different and too like
each other we were
becomes misted in the memory of pre shave lotion,
ever-reliable present for Christmas and birthdays.

That phone call.
An undercut silence,
pregnant with love and judgment

conjoined twins no surgeon could separate,
the vocabulary of both Portia and Shylock
danced tangos on your tongue,
even you uncertain which would spill out first,
like a clattering of red wine,
ready to indelibly soak into our spirits.

I was the last son still to believe
you had thought.

Finally a direct question and I would not lie to you.
The phone lines hung lower that day,

two hundred miles of disappointment
sang the long journey south,
the politest word you knew for betrayal. 
No pride in me, except for my service.

Your truth like revenge, served cold,
grated raw, vinegar for dressing.
You never were a talker.
The one way phone calls would fox GCHC,

thinking your half of the transcript missing.
Only now do I see and understand
this was our entire life and yet,
and yet and yet,
knowing all this;
still, love.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Birthday Poem for Will Shakespeare

Today we celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare. Here is a little celebration of some of his quotes and thoughts.

Also Happy St George's Day!

Where there’s a Will
To celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare
If you’re looking for a leader
If you’re feeling lost
Follow Bill is my advice
You won’t find Love’s Labour Lost
There’s no need to be tongue-tied
If in a pickle or a pinch
Just make a virtue out of necessity
And refuse to budge an inch
Don’t act more in sorrow than anger
Just recall your salad days
Make yourself a tower of strength
Even if you suspect foul play
If you think it’s about high time
The game is up and truth will out
Remember All’s Well That Ends Well
Ignore those traitors known as doubts
If you’re more sinned against than sinning
And our hopes have vanished into thin air
Don’t suffer from green-eyed jealousy
Insist on play that’s fair
Enjoy The Comedy of Errors
We choose to know as life
Don’t make Much Ado About Nothing
We all live in a fool’s paradise
They say a sad tale’s best for winter
But tis better to bear the ills
This message may not be As You Like it
But be the beacon of the wise. Just follow Bill

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sonnet for Sanity

I don't often write sonnets, so here is a rarity.

Mark x
Sonnet for Sanity
Is it my turn for the remote control?
To pause the world to catch up, figure out
what is going on or at least patrol
the tumbling avalanche of white out
we call news these days. That data rich haze
of background static that leaches, preaches
in strident tones, the clothes to wear, the plays
to see, crowds the mind but never teaches.
Let’s unplug for a day, a month, a year.
Find a place of tranquillity and heat,
where running out of books is all we fear.
No clocks or calendars, just earth’s heartbeat
to regulate the hours, live in a blaze
of Monet sunsets, in our dying days.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Poem 21 of 30 Birdsong

If heard on the radio,
you’d think the sound effects department
had overdone it, setting the scene of a country park.
Yet somehow in the open air,
it seems perfectly balanced;
treble, bass, rhythm and counter-rhythm
underscoring the walk.
Cacophonous but distinct voices
blend in harmonious chaos
weaving dissonant melodies
into a tapestry of sound.
I sit on the bench, eyes closed
oblivious to everything
but nature’s song, trying to learn
the vocabulary of birds.