Futile Is As Futile Does

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I’m sorry I worry.
I’ll stop it tomorry.



A Big Me Up

No poem today, just gratuitous self-promotion: if you are in the Stockport area next Thursday evening (the 13th), come see/hear my one-woman poetry reading. It’s only an hour long but it will be packed with opinions, silliness, embarrassing subject matter, and some clues as to what makes me tick.

The event is part of Stockport Arts and Health Week, with the focus on how personal experience feeds into art. Tickets are free but booking is essential.

Here’s the official blurb:

Arc’s first ever writer in residence Linda Cosgriff will be taking us back through her career and travels through a retrospective selection of her work. There’ll be time for questions, chatting, and Linda he will have copies of her book “Hormoanal” available to buy. Arc’s Creative Writing and stop motion animation exhibitions and The Gallery Cafe will also be open.

I have worked with Arc (Arts for Recovery in the Community) for about six years; it is a fabulous mental health charity, doing great things.


Okay, if you read this far, you deserve a poem:


Promoting family and friends –
that’s fine.
But myself?
That’s where I draw the line.*

*That’s clearly not true;
but what could I do?
It’s a blushing face;
or talking to space.

Supremely Irritated (With Good Reason)

Note: please excuse the spacing. Our internet is down and I’m typing this on my phone, which adores double spacing and can’t be persuaded otherwise.

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I’m tired

I’m always tired

I’m weary

I’m often weary

I’m exhausted

I’m so tired of feeling exhausted

Is it age?

Is it health?

Is it ennui?

Is it me?

No, I know the culprit

I know what bears the guilt

That’s why

I wanna slap ya

Sleep apnoea


Another poem from Gill Lambert’s Summer Retreat workshop. I also managed a serious poem about domestic violence, not suitable for this blog.

If My Imagination Existed

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If my imagination existed it would be
a prison cell
a seventies’ tower block
a barren womb
a medieval dungeon
a zero-hours contract
a call centre
the inside of my vacuum cleaner
the underside of my bed
a dirty window
a divorce
Bleak House
obsolete technology
Madame Bovary
my fashion sense
a winter flowerbed
a summer drought
the Kalahari
a summer safari
the first day of school
a litter tray
dark chocolate
a ready meal
a split fingernail
conceptual art
a frozen monitor
a factory farm
a puppy farm
a knacker’s yard
the end of the rainbow
a cheap ballpoint pen
a yawn
anywhere that anyone who moves to Hollywood leaves
rocket science
my purse
the last time I drove a car
my adult children’s home bedrooms
next week
a badly-written romance
TV movie-acting
Easter eggs in January
my diet

What Bill Could Not Stand

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What Bill could not stand was to sit too long
When Bill sat too long his bum went numb
His back would crack
One foot give up
His knees would creak
His eyes would leak
He could not speak
His will was weak
His shoulders felt like boulders
Legs expressed discontent
And his ears feared folk nearby
If Bill sat too long he would cry
I’m going to die
And that’s no lie
Please tell me why
My life passes like molasses before my eyes
It has been so dull
My accomplishments: nil
My hope was all
A good night’s sleep
And a belly full

Of nice things to eat
If my life was a song
It would be a dirge
And so I urge each person here
To take stock of their personal career
Look at your lives anew and let them be ballads
Ditties and hymns
Weird jazz rhythms

The can-can
The cha-cha
Catchy ad jingles
Country music – no! Never! Pay me no matter
For we all know country songs end in disaster
Be a pop song
A rock song
An indie tune obscure
Be any kind of music that makes life feel like
Instead of a death march
That sad, sad lament
Don’t be like me
This man leaving life soon
Whose music is wrong
Not even a song
But an elegy to emptiness
A requiem to wretchedness
My music was wrong
My music was wrong

These were his thoughts
When Bill sat too long
So here is the moral
(Excuse if I shout)
Don’t be like Bill
Get up
And walk about

If I Can’t

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If I can’t blow bubbles in the bath
though I’m over fifty-five
what’s the point in being alive?

If I can’t puddle-jump in the street
soaking my feet
I might as well admit defeat.

If I can’t pull conkers from a tree
as I skip on by,
I might as well die.

If I can’t kick through piles of leaves
as autumnal winds blow
I might as well let go.

If I can’t muss up virgin snow
just because it’s fresh and there
it’ll be time for a wheelchair.

If I can’t accept that age is of the body
not the mind
have me confined.