I’m running.

Running to keep up with the tottering pile of work….a heap of purply grey and pink polkadot and sludge-green and silver and there’s a party looming and still no frock for me, not even the whisper of a prospect of one and the invitation demands ‘sparkle’. I don’t really do sparkle but I could just manage a bit of glass dangle about the ears…will that do?

I feel a Cinderella moment…..all sorted but moi…

I’ve always felt that I’m on the outside looking in, even as a child – not quite fitting in. It often gets mistaken for aloofness. It’s not. But nothing much changes. I see it in the playground now among parents – the honed-and-manicured-sparklers, the old-before-their-timers, the intellectuals, the goths (metaphorically), the head girls…..It’s fascinating but I daren’t publish the poems which it’s inspired!

Anyhow, this one of a few poems I wrote in the summer after visiting our local lido. It’s along the same lines, sort of…


All the world’s here,

a glorious cliche.

The bikinigirl who’s here to be seen, to spot a mate or many

she’s not that fussy,

she just likes the attention

and confuses sex with love.

You can see what she’ll look like in 40 years:

the same peroxide thatch

kept free of the water in case it turns green;

the same slightly too-pale lipstick.

The same, just sagging

and brown-wrinkled as an unravelled cigar,

still trying to find someone who won’t think she’s a slut.

The two large girls who have matching tattoos

and matching engorged bodies

and who dive and swim like dolphins.

And their pale boy no, man, who’s been etched like a

fairground attraction

and whose chest is ribbed and concave and

who is helpless in their wet clutch, a plaything.

The woman on the edge who thinks she’s too big for a bikini,

who nears the water the way she nears a cake:

with a release of desire,

and elaborate gesticulation

and dives the perfect arc of smiling brown-lycra-ed flesh.

And we, the too-thin, wide-eyed middle class

wrapped in John Lewis’ finest

thick towelled body armour,

shivering among this seething life.



Filed under poems, poetry, writing

6 responses to “Gallop

  1. Ouch, your observational skills are so finely tuned…I know what group I belong in…

  2. You are one of life’s great observers, gradually transforming into one of life’s great poetic commentators. It’s all good. xx

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