Essex Girl

With a Givenchy glide
And a twirl of pearls.
No one struts
Like an Essex girl.

In a Gucci gown,
With a Chanel smile.
No one compares
To that Essex style.

From her Jimmy Choo’s
To her Sassoon curl.
Just who fascinates
Like an Essex girl?

A Lancashire lass?
Comes mop in hand.
A Yorkshire rose?
You’ll obey her command.

A Geordie pet?
If you decode her words.
And them Liver birds?
They totter in pairs.

A Somerset girl?
Only tractor rides.
And Glasgow hens?
Black and blue eyes.

But a Brummie belle?
Well, I guess she’ll swear.
So, what’s it take
To make an Essex girl?

Bit of twinset charm,
Touch of Burberry chic.
But my Southend siren?
Nude! Just a rose in her teeth!

2012, October

Country Girls

‘Come scrumping fat apples in Hatfield Peverel.’
Such an offer
From Sarah Parkinson-Aitkin.
‘Kiss my rosy red cheeks, ride my sturdy wide shoulders,
And see what delights
Are yours for the taking!’

‘Come tickling shy trout in Charlton Mackerell.’
Such a dextrous finger
Has Camilla Dickinson-Knight.
‘First I will tease it, then I will trap it.’
Oh! How you wriggle
My slippy little sprite!’

‘Come filching fine cake in Monkton Deverill.’
Such indulgent sin
With Amelia Robinson-Berry.
I lung at the tart, her cravings are fruity.
She licks off the cream.
I suck on the cherry.

‘Come poaching fair game in Frampton Cotterell.’
Such bushcraft skill
Has Olivia Murchison-Vicar.
A stag in her sights! ‘Streuth! Fit to be mounted!’
She caresses the butt
Then squeezes the trigger.

2011, April

Joe Robinson

‘How are you doing Joe Robinson?
Where are you going today?’
‘To the hills, to the mountains,
So far, far away.’

‘You’ll no hear from me.
No letters, no cards.
For my road is long
And is so very hard.’

‘I shall follow the sun
And go by the stars.
My mind is carefree.
I’ll fight no more wars.’

‘So I bid you good day sir,
For I am going away.
To the hills, to the mountains
So far, far away.’

1971, August

Whaler’s Remedy

The captain raised his tawny head,
and spat an offer to his weary crew.
‘Your bodies may droop like lumps of lead,
but sail with me, let’s whales pursue.’

The whalefish blows an angry note
to its hunter, so long and wide.
With whom many battles were fought.
But yet again, the whale must dive.

A spear is flung aloft the prow,
hitting its target below the surf.
The whalefish falls, its torn flesh raw,
and sailors rejoice in all their mirth.

Whales may die, but they don’t care.
They earn a sovereign to their name.
The whales still roam, here and there.
Now and then, you see one lame.

1971, March

Lommashay Launderette

It’s so easier to get into heaven
Than it is to escape from our street.
Cos’ at the end sits an old Launderette
Where all of our harridans meet.

There’s a great big plate glass window
Behind which they all sit in a row.
All eyeballing any silly old bugger
Who’s daft enough to pass by below.

So, be it a bet, a pint or a dalliance
It’s a wise thing not to be seen.
Cos’ every old crone in Lommashay
Will know where it is you have been!

2016, January


One day I noticed
you were not looking well.
I was up in heaven,
you, somewhere like hell.
Let’s call you Mister Mistman,
you’ll be famous all around.
A mental wreck declining,
lost, never to be found.

Are you still alive?
They say you’re dead.
You’re unreal, Mister Mistman,
an illusion in my mind.
You float through the air,
you drift all around.
Someday you’ll settle
on cold, sterile ground.

Can you see, Mister Mistman?
Feel, smell or hear?
Can you talk, Mister Mistman?
Your body is wasting,
slowly rotting away.
Think, think, think,
and your mind will rot away.

Drawing circles in your mind,
plotting, scheming, lie after lie.
Imitation? Imagination?
It’s not real,
confusion – that’s your mind.
One day, soon to come,
you will die like everyone.
Fall apart, rot away,
day by day. Day by day.

Your time has come,
you sink to the ground.
Your’re dying, Mister Mistman,
disappear, you’ll never be found.
Bad things surround you.
You don’t understand.
Can’t you see, Mister Mistman?
You’ve lost your mind.

1970, June