Poetry, Uncategorized


sunset pause

Are you feeling sad inside

Like nothing’s going right?

And ‘though you’ve tried so many things

You cannot see the light?

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


Sometimes you feel so out of reach,

Like a needle in a stack,

One grain of sand upon the beach,

A pebble in a crack.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


Open up your tired eyes,

You’ll see your star’s still shining,

And maybe then you’ll realise

You have your silver lining.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


Serendipity will pick you up,

Like a penny off the ground.

While now it’s feeling all fucked-up,

Your luck will turn around.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


You’ll find the wave that rocks your boat,

The wind that blows your tree,

The salty brine that makes you float,

The love that sets you free.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


Nobody can steal your heart

If it’s safely locked away,

You’ll only tear yourself apart

If you tell the pain to stay.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


New gifts wash in with every tide

To fill that aching hole

Live the journey, enjoy the ride

And open up your soul.

Just stop.

And breathe.

And smile.


Let your beating heart be stilled,

You mustn’t go too fast,

Precious things take long to build

If they’re going to last . . . . .

So, stop and breathe and smile

And make it all worthwhile.






Poetry, Uncategorized


So, lovely readers, this is a QUATERN.  What’s that? A sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains.  It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. Strictly, there should be 8 syllables per line, but this time I’ve stuck to metre instead 🙂


Ever since the baby was born

She hasn’t kissed him once,

Wallowing deep in self-pity and porn,

He flounders in the dumps.


She’s hardly looked his way

Ever since the baby was born

Will she make him stay?

Between freedom and them he’s torn.


No work and overdrawn,

She doesn’t care a bit,

Ever since the baby was born

His life has turned to shit.


Spends his days just watching telly

Feeling depressed and forlorn,

Drinking beer & scratching his belly

Ever since the baby was born.

Poetry, Uncategorized



Winds blow in from the Zuider Zee

Showering leaves from the golden tree,

As we sat on the stoep of your canal-side house

(Around the corner from the Rembrandthuis),

Sipping our koffie as bikes pedalled past,

Warming our hands on the steaming glass.



The sweet, familiar smell of weed

Wafted along on the autumn breeze

Past towering façades with stepping gables,

Taking our time at coffee shop tables,

Exploring this city of carnal pleasures,

Winding canals & artists’ treasures.



Those redolent visions live just in my head,

The waterways speak to me instead

Of furtive infidelity:

These streets hold no memories of you & me.

The windmills and bridges, the cobblestone view

Now spoiled by cuckolded thoughts of you.



Is she sitting upon your stoep

Sipping her koffie?  Am I the dupe?

What small secrets do you share

In the gabled house with the winding stair

Beneath the tree with the golden leaves

Blown by winds from the Zuider Zee?

Poetry, Uncategorized



Let me into your bright morning light, 

to bask before your naked white,

through the transient space of dawn,

to the end of night where dreams are born

and take you as my sybarite.


Drown me in your milky gown

upon your cotton eiderdown,

and soak me in your sleepy cloak

I breathe, & feel my senses spin,

the musky smell of snowy skin.


Entwined in plaited hymns

our alabaster limbs

are mirrored in opacity, 

frail in their transparency.


Two hearts,

their counterparts,


As through our pores their beating goes

a drumroll of carnal blows.


I’ll take you up to cobalt skies,

Can you see it my eyes?

Or feel it in my touch 

Of fingertips and lips – 

this blatant, latent lust?


So here I am, defences down, 

(you’re smiling at this amorous clown)

but this truth can set us free,

let me be me, and you be you 

we’ll find our equilibrium true.


Let me give you prurient highs

of infinite sapphire hue,

dreamy cerulean blue – 


A blissful blur of happiness

beneath my raw caress –

I’ll take you to the stratosphere

like some seductive puppeteer,

if you’ll just let me into here.


This could be our paradise:

just name your price –

Come, come my dove,

Your love fits me like a glove

My soul is bared

no longer scared

nothing spared.


You’re the one,

It’s done, 


Let me in . . .


Just let . . .


Just me . . .





Poetry, Uncategorized

Da-daa! Winner of the Bradshaw Books Christmas Poem Competition:


santa and the snowman

Beneath a haze of milky ways

And through the midnight blue,

Where solstice sunrise pewter rays

Pierce the wintry hue,


There stands a lonely figure white,

Tears run down his cheeks,

Trying hard, with all his might,

To stop defrosting leaks.


Christmas over and mercury rising,

As drops drip-drop to the floor.

Forgotten and slushy, it’s hardly surprising,

At sunset he’ll be no more.


Giggling girls and boisterous boys,

Happy hands that built him,

Now occupied with brand new toys

As twilight skies grow dim.


On a frosty breeze the sound of bells!

A golden sleighing sound

Of muffled hooves and Christmas spells

That light the snowy ground.


Here comes the Real Santa Claus

To rescue melting man –

And take him North before he thaws,

In his reindeer caravan.


With mirrored puddles all around,

As gently as he can,

He lifts the weeping snowman

Off the soggy ground


And tucks him safe inside the sleigh.

And then our cheery hero

Bellows, ‘Ho! Ho! Up, up and away!

To the land where it’s far below zero’.


Reindeer flight in the fading light

On the soaring, starry sleigh,

Towards an inky North Pole night,

Beneath the Milky Way.



Poetry, Uncategorized




I’ve got my crumble baking loot:

Purple, ripe and juicy fruit.


Apples blown down from the tree:

A yummy steaming pud for tea!


Make the most of autumn fare –

Soon the hedgerows will be bare.


For these chutney baking days,

We give thanks for summer days.


Sloe gin, jams and plummy pies

Our tummies bigger than our eyes!


As swirling mists are blown by strong

And squally, rolling ocean storms


Earth’s kind harvest warms us up,

Soothes our souls and fills our cup.



Poetry, Uncategorized


(With a little inspiration from Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 – 1861)

How do i love thee? Let me count the ways:
Silver, shimmering seaside days.
Summer sunshine happiness
In a floaty, cotton dress –
Lying on a beach in a state of near undress –
Feeling sun-bathed pebbles press against my chest,
Plunging into sparkling sea
Cool and deep and blue and free.
Greasy, garlic, blushing shrimps
Licked off sandy fingertips,
Toasting golden ends of day
With a dripping glass of Chardonnay.
Oh, let me count the ways
I’m happy on these sunny days.

Poetry, Uncategorized



Our dearest, darling Emmsy-tot

Who was that silly clumsy clot

Who spilled the scalding supper pot?

Your limbs were burned and got too hot

As beastly flames they upped and hopped

Upon your lovely legs and bot,

Over arms and toes they got,

It must have really hurt a lot!

Sat upon your Gertrude’s cot,

All bare-naked, ‘sans coulottes’

And slowly getting bottom-rot.

Through smeary tears and dripping snot,

Theatre, dressings, ouchy what-not,

You’ll feel it’s all a heap of rot,

But in time the pain will be forgot –

We’re awed at all the strength you’ve got.

For you we’ve got a real soft-spot

And think of you a mighty lot.

Despite the current grizzly-grot

You burns will matter not a jot

When you’re the brand-new Queen of Swat,

A cute & cured Nairobi sex-pot,

Cruising in a swanky soft-top,

Or lounging on a rich man’s yacht

Having won the Sweepstake Jackpot

And grooving to a funky-foxtrot.

I would send blooms and wine, the lot

A choccie cake and tea in a pot,

But dipsy ditties are all I’ve got –

So I’m sending you ALL the love we’ve got,

Knowing you’ll soon come out TOP!

Poetry, Uncategorized

In reply to Spike Milligan’s ‘Granny’


After that wild and windy day,

Just as Spike predicted,

Gran had been blown clean away,

And the parson’s rightly livid.


The cussing vicar’s near to tears

As the old dear rattles past:

Her petticoat around her ears –

His congregation aghast.


The spire had toppled off the roof

And Fanny’s wig was gone.

As if he needed final proof

Of weather going wrong!


And here’s the original, one of my all time faves:


by Spike Milligan

Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up nose as well, I fear)

All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)

It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!




Poetry, Uncategorized


Poetry, Uncategorized


my friday night


Although I look old and past it, right,

I still look forward to Friday night,

and trying to recreate the magic

(at my age, some would say it’s tragic)

of when a boy would try to kiss me,

left me feeling like a princess, see?


In my time I been called a slag,

my skirts are short, I dance round my bag,

inside there’s a couple of Durex Play

(best be prepared, if I get my way!),

my purse with this week’s benefit,

a Smirnoff mini, just for the hellavit,


and half a pack of Marlboro lights.

My legs are bare, I don’t need tights,

dimpled thighs will look OK

under a layer of San-Tro-Pay.

Badly bleached and sort-of grey

Hair held firm with cans of spray.


To my Nan I made an oath,

to show some leg or tit, not both,

Nor to date with more than one gusset,

remember my brains are my finest asset,

and classy girls, not too chav,

always ask for French Cab Sav.


Brains are good, but I’m afraid,

they don’t help you to get laid.

Made-up to trade-up –

Chucked-up then fucked-up –

this attention-seeking whore

will strut her stuff about the floor



Off comes the nylon lon-jer-ray,

discarded, ripped, it’s had its day –

legs akimbo, what a sight,

the sickly orange urban light

makes her thinning hair seem blonder.

On the back seat of his Honda


the grunting of the spotty lad

makes her feel a little sad.

Granny wouldn’t like her style –

to be wanted for a while –

it’s not like asking for a lot –

anyway, it’s all I’ve got.


Later on, I’ll feel alright.

My boozy, floozy Friday night.

Poetry, Uncategorized



She loves those hills of rolling green,

And the barren parched-grey scrub:

That rust-red earth makes her dream,

Along a simple clichéd theme,

Of people dancing hand in hand

Across her ancient, sun-drenched land.

The golden beaches fringed with palms

Where people sway with open arms

To the rhythm of the sea

From today until eternity.

Her snowy peaks in cobalt skies

Will echo sounds of happy cries,

Of children dancing, always free,

Free from tribal tyranny.

Whirling, twirling, love as one,

Smiles beneath the yellow sun,

Or laughing in the rain,

And setting free the pain.

Poetry, Uncategorized


pooh and piglet

They’ll never hold his chubby hand

Or hear his little cry –

He was picked by fate’s cruel hand

For the nursery in the sky.


They’ve lost their little treasure –

It’s hard to comprehend,

Sorrow without measure

And hearts that might not mend.


Every tear his parents shed

He’ll see from up above,

Tucked in his celestial bed,

And know that he was loved.



Poetry, Uncategorized


spring equinox


For a breath in celestial time

There’s perfection in Earth’s symmetry:

Harmonious in her parity,

Poised in obliquity,

Rotating on an even keel

And balanced on the level.


In the solar system’s mystic reel

She spins with solid certainty:

No degree of axial tilt,

Spherical stability,

Along ecliptic planes

And perpendicular poles.


At our doors the springtime knocks

We welcome light and buds and flocks.

Yin and yang, ebb and flow

Give and take, die and grow.


While in another hemisphere

Many thousand miles from here,

A reverse autumnal equinox

Affirms this biannual paradox.

Poetry, Uncategorized


Verse-tly I must apologise

For the lack of rhyme & balladry.

My mind has been prosaically blank

So I haven’t written lately.

There’s a couplet of reasons

Why I lost my quatrain of thought,

That creative efforts came to naught,

But they don’t matter, septet

To say I’m back in stanza-land.

And what really meters now

Is to wish you a lyrical day:

Happy World Poetry Day!

Happy World Poetry Day

Poetry, Uncategorized


moving house


IF I were a snail

I’d pack my shell

With clothes and books

And toys as well.


IF I were an elephant

I’d pack my trunk

With utensils and crockery

And wine un-drunk.


IF I were a pelican

I’d pack my beak

With lamps and candles

And old antiques.


IF I were a koala

I’d pack my pouch

With carpets and paintings

And my nice red couch.


BUT humans aren’t adapted well

So I have a cunning plan:

I’ll use my brain, not trunk or shell,

And hire a Transit Van.



p.s. I’ve been gripped by a serious case of procrastination: writing poetry when I should be packing boxes 😉


Poetry, Uncategorized


pussy riot

Dancing girls up rise & shock

Chanting anarchistic rock.

Miniskirts and balaclava,

Anti-government palaver.

Why did Putin put the boot in?

We thought he was the dancing sort.

Pussy Protest came to nought:

Prezidentsky Spoil Sport.

Protest ‘n’ sing is not his thing,

Freedom of speech, is out of reach

For the girls who strut their stuff

Upon the altar, it’s enough

To make the Kremlin’s boss see red,

He’d rather hear Tchaikovsky instead;

“The light-of-lime is all mine,

Sorry girls, you’ll do your time.

This carry-on’s beyond the pale –

You’ll rot away in Moscow’s jail.”

Poetry, Uncategorized



Do saol, do turas.*


Along the beach of life

You’ll come across

Precious diamonds.


Sometimes the silver

Edges of your world

Will cast you sparkle,


Reach and pick them up,

Hold onto each one –

These are golden treasures.


Grasp glitter when it comes,

Time’s tide is fickle

And fleeting fortune fades.



This poem was inspired by the generosity of my special Irish friends.  Thank you, girls.


* Irish: your journey, your life.

Poetry, Uncategorized


Old Habits Die Hard


That Celtic Tiger you thought was dead,

Replaced by the Rat of Recession instead,

Still echoes in the repossessed pads of the glitterati

Who’ve tightened their belts, but do SO miss the party.


Judged by mini-breaks and brand new cars,

They compare their lives to movie stars.

Competitive consumerism is alive and well:

In the Ladies room of a well-known hotel


Friends compete and, oops, drop names

From underneath their blow-dried manes,

“Santa’s bringing an iPhone 5

To dear little Cosmo, he’s only five!”


Wholeheartedly agreeing that aging sucks,

Admiring Botox and tummy tucks,

The horror of having a wrinkled face,

Un-plumped bits or hair out of place.


The pressure to stay looking twenty-three

For at least the next half century,

Plastic surgery’s on the rise

No-one’s beautiful in her own eyes.


Can’t afford to buy food for the larder,

But she’ll still buy the bag ‘n’ shades from Prada,

Homemade facials & DIY blow-dry,

Designer ‘vintage’ from the bring-and-buy.


Moet’s made way for Prosecco,

Lidl and Primark now the way to go,

Not a whiff of Versace anywhere,

Still wearing her Laboutins from last year.


The Bank is spoiling all her fun

By cancelling her cards one by one,

And negative equity in varying themes

Haunts her sober, daytime dreams.


She’s eighteen months been out of work

But loathe to sell her sporty Merc.

Luxurious habits are hard to kill,

But don’t underestimate her will,


In her smooth and hairless guise,

To face Generation Spend’s demise,

And confront her braying creditors’ chorus,

Looking skinny, tanned and gorgeous.


© Alex Barton 2013