The Many Haiku’s of The Newt


Its competition
Not cronyism
According to Cameron

Meanwhile Pratt Halfcock
Was enjoying a drink
With Barman and Cameron

Health Secretary
Caught out at least twice
Spending to much time drinking

This is my complaint
We are much too interested
In this family

We put our beliefs
In castles and fairy tales
That disappoint us

Year following year
Invest in nobs not people
Anus horriblis

(15.4.21 both sets written during the week of the Cameron lobby scandal and the nation’s 8 days of mourning for Philip – too busy with birthdays to commit to blogging)

The Newt’s first monoku:

Conspirators insist illuminati exist; Philip doesn’t

Not feeling too bright today
His lights have gone out

His racist tongue stilled
By obsidian reaper
Snuffing out candles

Dear Liz, Never mind
I don’t mean to be unkind
But I just don’t care

Tell BallsJup his speech
About this great nations’ loss
Doesn’t apply here

(9.4.21. A series of haikus called ‘The Duke Is Done – Turn Him Over’ written on the day Prince Philip’s death was announced)

Hostage to fortune
Death count, economic loss
Shielders pay the cost

Health and beauty
Customers have to wear masks
Defeats the object

(7.4.21. Racing towards release from lock down the new normal BallsJup presents as cautious, doesn’t want to promise it will all be over by xmas or that we’ll do well to get away with 20,000 dead forgetting the costs have already been paid. The Newt is also amused about the health and beauty rules not that he needs any).

His racist ramblings
Mouths misogynist
Trumpian oratory

(1.4.21 BallsJup doesn’t agree with all of the findings in a govermental report on race which is said to be racist and celebrates Britain’s involvement in slavery, We presumes he has his favourite bits).

Wave your flags of red, white, blue
Tease those refugees
Traveling high seas

To find shores like these
Full of broken promises
To its own people

End food poverty
Stop children facing the same
Foreigners to blame?

So shelter beneath your flag
The one you’re waving
At those you stole from

(25.3.21 Some fuss about some tattered rag on the morning following Priti Patel’s hardline brutality)

If royal family
Provides shelter for paedophile
Archie best stay gone

Cameron lobbies
Sunak. Planting his size 9
In BallsJup’s black bog

Proves no one is best
No one is better
The Tory Party corrupts

Have a second home
Take a holiday
It’s the Stanley Johnson clause

(23.3.21 Maybe a last view on the Meghan saga – some hopes. Some people ask would Cameron, the weak maleficent, who handed 50 grumbling tories Brexit, have made a better prime minister at this time than BallsJup. His lobbying puts him in the Boris bog who wants to make sure  his Dad is ok).

Respect from the Newt
Rebellious lizard-like
For one of his own

Fitted with a new lizard heart

Go home to palace
To oppose the WOKE
The scales fallen from our eyes

(16.3.21 Prince Phillip goes home after MOT month in hossie) (MOT = Mode Of Transformation)

BallsJup has announced
He wants to keep women safe
So he’s staying in

(13.3.21 BallsJup previously reported to the police for domestic abuse now wants to keep women safe)

Madame Guilottine
Viva La Revolution
Off with Royal Heads

Ask BallsJup to talk
Racism and Mysogyny
He’s expert at both

The power of WOKE
Reveals the hypocrisy
Of institutions

Enough to drive us
Bleeding heart liberals
Right off our heads

(11.3.21. That interview fall out keeps on giving but for anyone to think that BallsJup should give us a talk on race or sex is preposterous given his record)

Oprah’s interview
Montage of Daily ‘hate’ Mail
Spreading racism

Harry’s announcement
Phillip wasn’t the racist
At least not this time

Harry’s previous
Employment, killing arabs
Not really racist

The royal family
Anachronistic breeders
Keep the blood line white

England. Racist state
Inhabitants vote Brexit
Keep the germ uns out

Keep the germ uns out
Harry’s nazi uniform
Swastika arm bands

No Meghan comment?
Is that because I’m racist?
Careless disinterest?

(8.3.21 The Royal Family described as racist institution. Quelle Surprise)

Coffee for nurses
Half a cup for the strangers
Living overseas

(8.3.21. Reflections of Tricky Sunkcacks Budget. Cuts to the NHS and International Aid)

He Doesn’t Count, Like We Do

BallsJup full of beans
One twenty four thousand dead
Do not feel too pleased
You are a self centred fool
Can’t possibly care
Only you matter its true
Useless waste of time
No one believes you
Tory Twatman of the year

(4.3.21. I’m told BallsJup was saying he’s full of beans having given up cheese and chocolate and he’s as fit as he’s ever been. Well good for him. Don’t cry no crocodile tears for the bodycount fool)

Unclever wordplay
Who needs Yemenis
With Sauds like these

That’s what BallsJup said
When Foreign Secretary
Unclever wordplay.

(2.3.21 Yemen in the news this week and words come back to haunt BallsJup)

Killer pesticides
Attack honey bees
With government permission

All for sugar’s sake
Promoted by industries
Obesity win

During health crisis
Where diabetic victims
Fall prey to Covid

Start to think things through
And prioritise the bees
Then claim you are green

(28.2.21 Countryfile report on Wildlife Trust legal challenge to gov’t decision to bring back outlawed pesticide. BallsJup’s green credentials questioned again)

Back to his school desk
Too old, Too fat to sit at
Has he learned lessons

Science gave a shield
Halfcock took an axe to it
Hacked giant pieces

Flammable cladding
Recommended for Grenfell
By a company

Tories privatised
Into a money motive
Red blue on blue hands

(24.2.21. Yesterday The Newt heard BallsJup talking shields after doing yet another promo from a school desk. Meanwhile in a more serious non promo setting a company man says privatising his agency inspired profit motives. The implication being tories care about money but money couldn’t care less).

BallsJup gets it right
But we hold reservations
History Lessons

(23.2.21 BallsJup’s roadmap out of lock down is encouraging but he’s made so many mistakes we cannot be over confident or afford to praise him in the slightest)

Criminal classes
From Whitehall to Westminster
Law makers/breakers (delete as appropriate)

(22.2.21 Media finally catching up with fridays legal decision. The secretary of state acted illegally.)

Don’t care about trees
Tories put their money first
Shruggers not huggers

(19.2.21 ‘Shruggers not huggers’ seen in letter to Guardian. BallsJups green credentials in doubt)

Roadmap. Sneak Preview.
Sacrifice…. British People
Stammer. Blah. Blah. Blah

(19.2.21 Stop Press. BallsJup’s Roadmap leaked here)

Duster in his hand
Now he’s cleaning chairs
Prime Ministers new duties

Says he’s like OJ
What he doesn’t know
Is OJ only killed one

(18.2.21 Ballsjup visits Cwmbran Vax Centre and disenfects chairs for the cameras. Phoney and knowing as fuck)

Todays’s Guardian
Talks of Newt Counters
Ballsjup’s green credentials

Doesn’t have any
Only says he does
Counterfeit green warrior

HS2 Problem
Eleven ancient woodlands
Digging protestors*

(17.2.21 The Newt re-engages with environmental issues. *as in liking/double meaning)

Hashtag PPE
Conservatives cashing in
Money for old tropes

Look the old school tie
Is smelling very corrupt
Did you go to Eton

(17.2.21 Recent reminders of corrupt practice early in the pandemic / BallsJup giving to his friends)

She won’t take the knee
This woman dealing race cards
From the Home Office

She’s not BAME enough
From a house of privilege
Married to whitey

Once upon a time
“A Paki in the playground”
She heard all the taunts

Now she has changed
Illegal immigrants afloat
She will keep you out

(16.2.21 Priti Patel wouldn’t take the knee and thinks BLM protests are dreadful)

(15.2.21. 60% covid deaths, disabled people, people with learning disabilities 6x more likely to die of covid than any other group. Add this to deaths associated with Universal Credit and you have to wonder).

newtSupport the front line
Where NHS Workers work
Never trust a tory

Health care, social care
Consult disabled people
Voices  must be heard

(11.2.21 Pratt Halfcock makes another move on the NHS. What he’s talking about has to be addressed. Disabled People have been stung for many years on the distinction between health and social care. Hear our voice. Never trust a tory).

Go on holiday
Don’t plan your holiday
Stay where you are go

Van Der Leyden has balls
Admits to making mistakes
BallsJup is a cunt

(11.2.21 Tory holiday confusion, EU clarity)
Makes no apologies
For his corona measures
Who’s he talking to?

(Tory) Libertarians
Promoting rights to freedom
To kill all others

(Pratt Halfcock on passing quarantine rules 12 months too late)
When a liar speaks up
Gives glib assurances
Should we  believe him

Elbow pushing idjit
Nudge nudging around UK
In orange hard hats

Hard hats and white scrubs
Blue tie, his shirt sleeves rolled up
On NHS wards

BallsJup works cameras
It beats thinking about things
Making things better

(8.2.21 I’m sick of seeing BallsJup doing publicity rounds during a pandemic)

The vaccine grabber
Dirty grubby hands reach out
Full of tattoo-ed lies

(8.2.21 News last week slowly filters through. We have bought more vaccines than we need. Others are going without. Its a pandemic Fat Chops. That means world wide. Close the borders).

Job Centre waiting
Take responsibility
As you say you will

(26th Jan 2021 Covid death toll tops 100,000. Johnson says he will take full responsibility)

Major BallsJup rides
Into Olympic Village
Get him on his bike

Investigate this
Print civil service report
Could he sack himself?

(12.01.21 BallsJup breaks local Covid restrictions and its ok but not for everyone else getting fined by the police)

Oven ready deal
Its time to talk some turkey
More gobbledygook

(Xmas eve Major BallsJup seems to have struck a deal of sorts)

BallsJup looking sick
On phone to Von Der Leyen
He has no chance there

(14.12.20 Staged photos of Ballsjup making phone calls make Newt consider BallsJup’s famed proclivities)

Tail between his legs
For fucking up the country
And spawning bastards

(11.12.20 Major Bozza BallsJup is shunned by European leaders who can’t deal with those they can’t trust)

When you cry Halfcock
Which of the 60,000
Names do you grieve most?

Do you know the names?
Do phantoms visit your dreams?
Do you have the list?

When the dead visit
Talk about their families tears
Do they forgive you?

As Ballsjup’s Patsy
Have you felt the weight
Of all the people crying?

(8.12.20 Matt Hancock cries on TV on day of first vaccination. He has reason to)

Christmas is coming
Holiday planning
A chance to kill off more plebs

Look over yonder
The cavalry are coming
Kill more indians

Appointed cowboys
To stockpile our PPE
From rags to riches

(25.11.20 A busy week for BallsJup. Caught out favouring friends for contracts, confusing vaccinations with horse soldiers and then coming up with plans to ruin christmas)


19.11.20 Scottish polls not good for Boris

He’s not very quick
Some argue he’s a bit thick
He’s been slow again

(1/11/20 Come Thursday estimates say Lock Down will be 17 days late costing lives. Speed of Boris Ball’sJup’s reactions a common criticism)

Ms Patel regrets
Immigrant deaths by drowning
Sends out a gun boat

(2 adults and 2 child immigrants drown in the english channel)

Spot hospital soap
Branded for Brexit leader
Called Gojo. Bojo?

Rebel Northerners
Take failing BallsJup to task
So go Bojo now

(20.10.20 Newt sees funny hygiene product on news and reads it as a sign whilst Ballsjup deomstrates bullying stance to the north and a business association. Not a good sign in a leader)

Signs of leadership
In Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Not tory England

He’s still on his feet
Standing firm just like jelly
Next BallsJup wobble

(14.10.20 Firm action across the union. Tory describes BallsJup as standing firm)

Two points short this plan
This three point plan of the Major’s
Fails clarity test

Two points short again
These three tiers from BallsJup
Fails strategy test

What’s he playing at
Coming out with more nonsense
Flakey TV coup

(12.10.20 BallsJup presents old Covid plan as if a new plan)

Whilst in the shires
A housing algorhythm
Is causing despair

The lords and ladies
Of would be country houses
Are now asked to share

They who had it good
Are eco warriors now
Fighting Wringneck’s blight

Its a pretty sight
These tremourous tory knights
Viewed from this Newt pond

(11.10.20 Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Grayling oppose ‘Build, Build, Build’)

Fiend Ugly Patel
Sending migrants overseas
More boat rides ahead

Fiend Ugly Patel
Described as nasty bully
Where’s the inquiry?

(2.10.20 Ugly Patel makes the news on grounds of policy and behaviour)

He’s not behind you
Panto dames oh no he’s not
He prefers real farce

Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks
Talks of government contempt
Inside Parliament

(30.9.20 two minor stories that some might dismiss; Panto dames campaigning for arts funding and the speaker accusing the government of contempt)

Get it right Ballsjup
For Christ sake don’t get it wrong
Don’t go mis-speaking

Show some common sense
Show some common decency
Newt asks the wrong man

(29.9.20 Boris speaks to prove he hasn’t got a clue)

Halfcock’s test and trace
Loads of capacity if
People don’t use it                      9.9.2020

Rats love sinking ships
No respect for protocol
Laws go overboard

Tory way revealed
“Limited and specific”
Feed the hungry rich         (Ballsjup’s top lawyer resigns as gov’t prepare
to break international laws 8.9.2020)
Tony Abbot is a sign
Of Ballsjup’s respect
Two misogynists                                         5.9.2020

Domi Rob insists
On full investigation
Putin running scared

Explain that away
Your Domi Rob now demands
Today straight away

We must hear true words
It so goes without saying
That’s how it should be                  (Raab and Novalny Novochok case 4.9.20)

Pillockson’s beating
Took place at an enquiry
Ofqual did him in                                                      (also 2.9.2020)

They, the BBC
And Ballsjup demonstrating
Black Lives don’t matter

Sing Rule Britannia
Sing Land of Hope and Glory
Imperial shite

Fascists learn their lines
Their classical renditions
The Blues have their night          (The BBC bows to Ballsjup 2.9.2020)

A very low risk
Is not one Ballsjup would take
One for the people                                     (back to school/work 1.9.2020)

Sixty four million meals
At £10 per meal
1 hefty tax bill

Paid by working class
To support middle class spread
More hefty waist lines

War on obesity
Traced to chicken at Nandos
The Ballsjup meal deal

Meanwhile back at the food bank
The poor stand in line
To be called scroungers                       (The last day of the £10 meal deal – 31.8.2020)

Our Dope and Worry
This cringing embarrassment
Our Prime Minister                (Rule Britannia/Land of Hope and Glory furore 25.8.2020)

That fat trampling man
In a rare flower meadow
Did he pitch his tent

Landowner charges
He didn’t have permission
To defile the land

What Ballsjup assumes
Through entitled sense of self
Bad news for nature                         About Ballsjup camping holiday 22nd August 2020

(5 haikus on the political class)

Sorry mutations
Who can’t give opinions
Risk saying nothing

Toady up to leader
Easy sets at question time
A shameful turn out

The opposition
Are wilted through division
And smaller numbers

Ask proper questions
Ballsjup only lets you have
Deeper frustrations

Lie on pool bottom
Fomenting revolution
Our time comes one day                                                                20th August 2020

An external threat
By the name of Pratt Halfcock
Compromising health

The Newt celebrates
Another tory u turn
Ballsjup flips then flops (potential chorus)                                18th August 2020

Public Health England
Conservative MP’s Wife

Whiff of corruption
Disinfecting corridors
Of fetid power

Of NHS coming to
Health centre near you

Raving Pillockson
Calibrates algorithms
A night of long knives

16th August 2020

Changing the death count
Manipulating figures
Makes Ballsjup look bad

This is what we learned
At school today about maths
It doesn’t add up

Ballsjup makes the grade
Hard for children to obtain
He’s such a waster

13th August 2020

If you get things wrong
Confidence in governance
Leads to recession

If you have no job
And money is very tight
Cut back  on spending

Ballsjup’s message is
Get out now and spend, spend, spend
To whom does he talk

Chancellor Nutsac
Who gives to those folk who have
Not to us who don’t

12th August 2020

A comparison
This is safe This is low risk
Are these two the same                    (Ballsjup announcing return to school as a priority)

Keep the pubs open
Ask people not to visit
Close the schools and pubs

Then open the pubs
To feed the economy
Stay away from school

September return
But we may have to close pubs
Let us know later                                                          (Tory commitment to clarity)

World beating system
A calculated failure
Risking many lives

A Spanish spike
Results in travel advice
Many months too late

Blue border contol
Quick cross the English Channel
Ugly welcomes you

This Ugly Patois
Planning welcome committee
For channel migrants

A new improved border force
Is like the old one
A bit more hostile

Ugly is checking
The hostile environment
Can she puncture boats

Ballsjup goes legal
His big chance to change the rules
Send the blighters back

Ugly on a boat
With private photographer
Making bad pictures

10th August 2020

Jenrick is Wringneck
Growth, Renewal, Protection
Planning levels change

Growth is a green light
For an attack on the Newt
Without protection

No social housing
Rip up planning permission
Wringneck’s way forward

Newt renews his pledge
To fight, observe and comment
Watch out for Wringneck

Wringneck took money
Its been well documented
Ballsjup allows it

Rape and corruption
Defining this government
Is this what we want?

Conservation News
A beaver on the Otter

Is allowed to stay
In friendly environment
Without a passport

6th August 2020

BallsJup is away
On another holiday
That man hates to work

5th August 2020

BallsJup will deny
Closing the borders
Would have made us all safer

4th August 2020

Do not underestimate
BallsJup’s achievements
Pushing up death rates

Forty Six Thousand
Do not underestimate
BallsJup’s achievements

3rd August 2020

Liar. Pants on fire
This is a symptomatic
BallsJup condition

31st July 2020

Nicola Sturgeon
Talks too much for the Tories
North of the border

That Major Ballsjup
Hardly works at all for us
South of the border

28th July 2020

Dominic Raab slow
Slow, Slow, erm! not quick, slow, slow
Slow Dominic Raab

Grant Shapps is in Spain
England’s loss no Spanish gain
Boring no score draw

26th July 2020

Robert Jenrick moves
People towards slum housing
Using PDR
(PDR = Permitted Development Rights)

Anti-Vaxxers Nuts
Deploying negative words
A skill of BallsJup

BallsJup looks obese
On an obesity drive
With ten pound tokens

24th July 2020

Give Chris Failing Job
Intelligence committee
We are dumbing down

21st July 2020

The Newt is quiet
Today, watching and waiting
Looking for BallsJup

From the Newt pond 17th July 2020

He makes May look good
Who made Cameron look good
How low can we go

Tories expect you to work
For fewer pound notes

Both from the depths of the Newt pond 16th July 2020

Crest resisting waves
Of great BallsJup turbulence
Whilst boldly surfing

From a deeper depth of the Newt pond 14th July 2020

The Newt will create
A great Newt Modeled Army
Combat destruction

With our crest and all
We will survive that BallsJup
Heading for a fall

Both from an even deeper depth of the Newt Pond 12th July 2020

Disrupting the great newt’s pond
The Great Newt stirring

From the deepest depth of the Newt Pond 11th July 2020 / Up the Newts

The Newt exists because BallsJup doesn’t want him to.

The Newt stands against tory deregulation harming the environment

The Newt is very vengeful. BallsJup started it. BallsJup will get it.

BallsJup came into being when he called someone ‘Captain Hindsight’. Thus earning the moniker Major BallsJup. He was previously referred to has Boris Johnson.

Other characters are making an appearance; Prissi Nutsac (Rishi Sunak), Ugly Patois (Pritti Patel), Robbing Wringneck (Robert Jenrick), Raving Pillockson (Gavin Williamson), Chris Failing (Chris Grayling).

The Newt writes haikus because the haiku focuses on nature and The Newt has his own nature.

BallsJup The Newt Is Watching you

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Photo Challenge; 10th March 2021

The photo for this challenge is graffitti and poster found on a canal bridge in Green Lanes, London. Look and respond. Leave your poetry here or on the facebook link. I will repost it later on my other blog on Disability Arts Online

Morning Love

Every morning, morning love regenerated
By your morning snores and early morning breathing
And morning chores and birds dawn calls, I’m tea making
Before lying down again, beside you, kissing

And every morning, a morning chat of the dreams
You had whilst sleeping snug beneath the white duvet
Taking rest and time before the day that now starts
Every morning, morning love regenerated

I take the time to be so quiet when boiling up
A plastic kettle, hot tea, hot lemon, stirring
Storms in spotted cups, my hushed, shuffling steps disturbed 
By your morning snores and early morning breathing

Then I try to take the time to listen to dreams
And then find the words that make you laugh and giggle
Before I bring you round once more to all of these
Our morning chores and birds dawn calls, more tea making

And I tell you how the morning has looked to me
Whether its grey or sunlight or barely noticed
A wall poster announces; to live without your love
Before lying down again, beside you, kissing 

Richard Downes


Circles of my mind
Revolving, Revolting
Silent and private
Locked in the jail of my thoughts

Revolving, cycling, re-cycling
Black mist and black fist rising
Gurgling, churning, spitting images

My friends look and see placidity
Where is the key to let it free?
Must be in the small ads
Nope, no ad
Let me be

Tony Beckingham

The Revolution Will Not be Advertised

The Revolution will not be televised
By wise left to centre allies
Wisecracking side kicking allies
Of fat cat money spinners
With alibis
To incentivise
The Right to Far
Barring thinkers who despise
Cognoscenti’ elitist frothy bite sizable
holders of the Left in franchise guise
Lies rise – we rise – they despise
Incentivising flies in the ointment
Stuck on the fence

The Rev will be revved up by
Right On Revs
Marginalised margarine slippery
Slimes of the crapitalist kind

Meganalamaniac perpetuating falsehoods
Shodding trod feet of hundreds of years
Definitely televised – Gil gorrit right
Scott Heron defined it will not be televised
Nor will it be advertised
Justified by rectifying bluster

Always a loser and it’s usually the user
Of ‘right’ consumed by snake oil charmers
Embalmers of the free!

Wendy Young

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Love Haiga

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Photo Challenge; 12 Horse Shoes

Its a cold January in London town. A smattering of snow points to a whiter, brighter day soon gone. And all the poets are sleeping or at best just turned off and not responding to this photo.

May be an image of brick wall

So, this is my lone response for now. Perhaps the Poets of the blog-o-sphere are still wakeful.

The Unlucky Number
A damned twelfth month surrounded by darkness
Offers up the hope of winter solstice
The coming of longer days and sunlight
But January holds a look of doom
Born no doubt in stiffening November
Where bodies pile up on pyres burning
Guy Fawkes we still have this government and
A damned twelfth month surrounded by darkness
These numbers too big for the Exchequer
Which like Whitty and Valance likes a graph
Of mountains going up as we go down
Offering up hope of winter solstice
The shortest of days, four before christmas
The word of Boris is go, celebrate
Fornicate, transmission is everywhere 
But here comes those longer days and sunlight
Their lives are going out on the front line
Where twelve days for twelve apostles and Christ
Turn to five, then one for stuffing turkeys
And January holds a look of doom
A late entry from my regular poetic companion, the astounding Wendy Young
 12 horseshoes hang

 Which Horseman of the Apocalypse ceded his steed?
 Must be pestilent one - Spawned 2020’s seed
  Pawn in the game of life’s machine
 To cull  generations
 Like war  - like AIDS – like tyrannical despots
 Yet look on the bright side
 12 lucky symbols
 Nailed to a wall – it may not fall
 All for the want of a nail the shoes were lost
 Cinderfella left in riposte or a notch on his bedpost? 

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Photo Challenge for the New Year

Poets were challenged to respond to this picture for inclusion on this blog and in many months to follow inclusion on Disability Arts Online

I was keen to use the picture as a prompt for the three poetry forms i’m currently practicing: cascade, chanso and cinquain. Results below.

Incidentally the pic was taken by my good friend Victoria.

Mystery Hill (A Cascade)

We step towards the future
From a past we leave behind
Mindful of each other’s time
Upon life’s long winding path

2020 fading fast
The year running out of days
We take deep breaths and inhale
And step towards the future

Hand in hand the hill we climbed
Our highs so very high
The lows ahead still to come
From a past we leave behind

You in red and me in blue
Our hair still long blowing free
As we approach twenty one
Mindful of each others time

We stride on the downhill side
Pick up speed as time passes
Slowing down towards the end
Of life’s ever winding path

Friend and Magical Woman, Elinor Rowlands was quick off the blocks with this:

A childhood clothes me in red, an opening out of a forest, we are spat out down the hill, a walk down the hill, to the town, to buildings and homes to cul de sac. The bus doesn’t come this way, the bus stops earlier then turns round. The red dot 🔴 followed by the blue vastness of my mother, of Sheila, of cloudless sky but the sky above their heads pales under the mist of true life. And the hills roll on and on and the homes built by moles, and the mother and her hands in mine; and the stomp stomp of shoes and click of heels and it hasn’t rained in days. My ponytail in rhythmic passing sways, and the days and the days of this. Is what I’ll remember, is what I’ll recall, when lying in wait of the rapid storm, outside. Outside.

Followed closely behind by the ever spouting poetry form of Wendy Young who for good measure through in a revised edition. Editing is fab.

Planets aligned
Signed the final card
To end this
Maligned year

A year for many
Too tough to take
Though some would say
Their ‘wake’ ended
Mended or broke relationships
Tipped over the edge
Bled from boredom
Yet some woke
Spoke their truth
Succeeded unchained from chattels of tortuous journeys
On packed buses
Destination a broken down office
Of chattering masses
Limited creativity hemmed by lack of energy
Fraught from the day job
Robbed of a joyous night out
When work won out
To zoom gigs
Self discovery
Of inner art unknown
Realising to be solitary at the end of the day
We walk in the air
We stride mud in freedom
Hold our own hands
Remember mothers and others
To face the coming year
To know right now is meant
To know this is fate
With our heart intact
We are not alone💚

So the path these walkers take invoke time and aspects of childhood whilst acknowledging where we are right now in history

Mystery Hill (A Chanso)

Water pistols drawn at dawn in summer
Put away long before winter solstice
Hold our memories on the higher tor
A plan drawn up for the mayday mummer

This scheme determines who will prosper still
The young, the old, sick and tired of virus
Taking risks we burn our votive candles
Then decide our position on the hill

And then take off to run with fun or fear
We metamorphosise beneath full moons
The evening air cut by mallards and loons
Bats flick at the sky the wolf man is near

The day that time way back fading faster
With words and actions night time takes away
Like old men littering waste paper floors
With forgotten names of minds disaster

But we do not forget the way we feel
The ruts we stood in for the turning wheel

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Looking for Evidence

Merton Centre for Independent Living seem to have acquired a taste for group workshops and collaborative works.

Whilst I was at Merton, possibly in years 2 to 6 of their longer existence, I worked in engagement and one of my better themes was developing membership groups. We looked to our roots to grow our tree and the good tree barked. This seems, in my absence, to have been supplanted by Craftivism and Chat, a project that brings the work of the membership into the organisation in many different ways.

It has been my pleasure to contribute to this 4 times in 2020. Two workshops on values, a shared workshop with Merton Libraries during BBC Book Week and a performance of spoken word which was recorded and can be seen here.

The spirit of collaboration can also be seen from two poems that came out of the values workshops which sneaked their way into their newsletter and which wait to be reinforced as a book of poems based on the work of the workshop participants – apparently funding is forthcoming. Until then the two poems act as some evidence of the work inspired by workshops.

I have control and I have no control – A poem by Disabled People at Craftivism and Chat

I have control when I feel secure
I do not have control when I appear demure
I have control when I am in the kitchen cooking
I do not have control when my electric wheelchair needs pushing
I have control when I am making dresses and lost in design
I do not have control most of the time
I have less control when I am with other people
I have more control when I am by myself
I do not have control when I am in hospital due to my health
I have control when I feed my cats meals
I do not have control after I pay my bills
I lose control when my day does not align with my to do list
I gain control over my chair through my joy stick that I twist
I have no control, what the hell am I doing here?
I have control when I am driving my car
I have no control over my noisy neighbour
I have control when my deliveries come on time
I have no control when people call me
I have control over who I let come through my front door
I have no control over my money
I have control and I have no control
But, having control is important to me.

Connected vs Disconnected – A collaborative poem by Craftivism & Chat Attendees

I am connected to the planet, to Merton CIL, to friends, to climate change and even to Boris.
I am connected to a spirit, that you cannot see or feel or touch, by my human spirit that is the very
essence of me.
I am connected to the present through my past.
I am connected with love.
I am connected to my family, friends and Merton CIL by talking.
I am connected to this earth by the force of gravity.
I am connected by warmth, and emotion.

I am disconnected from reality now that virtual reality replaces it.
I am disconnected by fear, vulnerability, and confusion;
I am disconnected by education and by ignorance, by being disinterested in other people.
I am disconnected from the blood that runs through my veins.
I am disconnected from my friends and family whilst in lockdown.
I am disconnected from myself, severed connections within my head that may never repair themselves from years of trauma inflicted all that time ago.
I am disconnected from reality by anxiety.

Two very different workshops with very different people showing very different outcomes whilst using siilar techniques

I was proud to discover the pride and prominence given to these works through their publication in the newsletter.

Anyone wanting to know more about the workshops should ask for Charlet Wilson at Merton CIL.

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Searching for Poetic Responses

Time for your poetic responses to a photo. Prize will be inclusion in my personal blog and much later on Disability Arts Online.. I can’t remember the occasion. Too sozzled?The photo shows me sharing a celebratory drink with one of my all time favourite people, Sedley B.

I’m sure this is something most poets can relate to.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Richard Downes, people sitting

The theme seemed harder than i thought it would be so i slept on it and can now present my contribution.

The Bubble

I hold firm to the bottom of a glass
Born in defiance of gravitys pull
Carbonhydrated compressed into life
Through mother tube with millions like me

Millions gayer, thousands and thousands
Not stoic, flippant, less willing to resist
When lifted from tables first shaken then stirred
I hold firm to the bottom of the glass

A glass clinked with words like cheers recited
My friends rush upward pulled to the surface
To see what the fuss is about but me
Born in defiance of gravity’s pull

Oxygenated I feel a lightness
Of touch inspired to tickle ruby lips
Guessing her kiss is all I was born for
Carbonhydrated compressed for short life

I let go to rise through hops H20
To feel the joy to hear sounds of laughter
Finally I’m free at last to live and die
Freed from mothers tubes with thousands like me

From Wendy Young

Chin chin we clink
Our vessels, we link
Cheers cheers, here’s
To the present
This moment in synch
Not knowing the future
Instinctively laughing
Like there’s no tomorrow.

From Michelle Baharier

Cheers….my dears …..beers my dears …sing a song …drink along …..celebrate my dears

From Debbie MacNamara

Who were we then
As effervescent as the bubbles in our glasses
Warmed by the sun, alcohol, our laughter
A moment in time that stays with me
When now we are hostages
We celebrated our freedom without knowing it
We will be free again

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Current Poetic Flavour

Some of you if you have been following my page The Many Haikus of the Newt will he noticed my recent thievery of images in support of my ongoing campaign against Major BallsJup and his hirelings (Boris and the Tories.

This is just to confirm I usually prefer to provide my own imagery and my own words so without further ado….

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two poetry workshops

Zooming back to the London Borough of Merton where my mate CW looks out for me.

She’d recommended me to Merton Libraries for 100 Novels in association with the BBC’s Book Week.

The reach of the beeb is world wide. Participants from Oz, the Phillipines, Japan. Some good poets and as always excites me; a newbie who excelled and found she had the poetry gift. London was well supported by a diverse group of women – men not in attendance. Wonder if that was just coincidence.

Anyway. Learning:

1) Before zooming in i was talking to a mentor who asked if i had a zoom facilitator in tow. Yes. CW. I hadn’t really realised from groups i self facilitate and spoken word gigs how important this is. CW was great.

2) As an intro i’d organised a collective reading of Dylan’s Desolation Row due to the intense literary references. Set it up as a little competition. How many literary references can you spot. CW and i agreed on 22 though there are probably thousands of people crawling through that little ditty. So many people hit the skids on Desolation Row. The white board is no good for scrolling long word documents. Prepare a Powerpoint instead and use new screens to break up the verses. The readers get a good view of whats coming that way.

3) First time i’d presented a workshop on the theme of books. I have a programme structure that adapts to the subject at hand.

4) Don’t worry about poets leaving the zoom room. We have busy lives. They probably only came to see what they can get out of it in time permissible. Its a free service. No harm done on their side. Also as useful as zoom is i find that some of us can’t access it that well. I work with a lot of disabled people and there are access issues for zoom to resolve. (Incidentally UK Disability History Month kicks off this month. For a useful insight into access visit here).

5) Oh yes and something i had not been doing on zoom was laying down the law and outlining what people could expect from the start. It didn’t matter on this occasion but there was another group i facilitated later and it really did matter. You can please most of the people most of the time, some of the people some of the time but not everyone’s a winner.

So back to the place CW and I met for workshop 2, Merton Centre for Independent Living (MCIL). Nothing went wrong. Nothing to learn. I’d fixed the structure. Something interesting happened though.

The theme this time was Connectivity. Connectivity is a MCIL value. It has a wider meaning than MCIL define. If you think of it in terms of covid time we are isolated. We need each other more. Some of us are good at reaching out, asking for support from friends, family, others. I’m not and neither are a lot of my fellow disabled people. We get used to excluding ourselves from a society that seeks to exclude us first. Just something to think about there. To get back to the workshop and the interesting thing.

Given the theme I wanted to show how poems connect too. How one idea leads to another, how a poetry form can work to reinforce the ideas and give shape to someone’s thinking. This meant i needed to be more instructive than i normally am. Going through the process particularly where people struggle might struggle is a dilemma in itself. But i kept to the plan, i instructed, went back to instructions and ultimately won.

During this a participant told me she thought i was a good teacher. Bit of a gobstopper that. I always hated teachers or at least found them hard to love. Further i’m not someone who seeks praise. But it did make me take stock of my qualities. What is it i bring as a trainer, a facilitator, a leader. I may have to make a list of those things one day.

Hope followers enjoyed this aide memoir

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Elegies, Requiems

So I called for entries to my latest photo challenge which I found on All Hallows Eve subsequent to attending a zoom memorial service for a friend.

I struggled with my own response. The form I used too jaunty for its content and having to learn new words for my rhymes. Still here it is

Melodic Lament

Those we love do go away
Lock down to save their bodies
Don’t sing those sad threnodies
Those we love do go away

Lock down to save their bodies
Walk beside them every day
Keep them sprightly keep them gay
Lock down to save their bodies

Walk beside them every day
Tell them how much you love them
Treasure them like diadems
Walk beside them every day

Tell them how much you love them
Let them hear your sweetest words
Don’t just keep them for the birds
Tell them how much you love them

Let them hear your sweetest words
Those we love do go away
Tell them this All Hallows Day
Let them hear your sweetest words

Those we love do go away
Lock down to save their bodies
Don’t sing those sad threnodies
Those we love do go away

Tony Beckingham was quick off the mark. Deadly like a Dodge City Six Shooter.

Hank strolled past the other day
A merest wisp of tall grown hay
He floated down to Highgate Hill
Looking lank and sounding shrill

Short and yet complete. He also offered up this; “The second stanza started…

As I was walking past St Pauls
Boris grabbed me by the….

“so I abandoned all hope of any more inspiring ideas at that point”. Feel free to support his stanza with a comment.

Wendy Young, local queen of poetry scenes says; “I concur with my mate” ande

The ones we love do go away
Yes her blood is in my veins
I am an abstract of her dna
But my howling to the moon
My pleas of forgive me
My sorrow at your lack of life
When in your bones was passion and delight
Bemoans my walking day
My terminal life
I wish was in the ground with you
This existence gets wearier and wearier
In this season
My face in the wind
Hoping your spirit will bring me in
You died like Poor Jenny at 75
How fucking ironic it was a song i just found
When you left
I ran round Wapping
Before i even knew
Two month later you were gone
My guilt my shame my fucking stubborn spirit
Inherited from you
Our 3 penny opera
Your death my blue
Nearly 30 yr on
Will never go

Highgate Society Poetry regular Christopher Mangen replied in short clipped pithy stylee

Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends – An Acrostic

Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Thick as thieves like a hot toddy,
Even if in soul and not in body,
And let’s not restrict this just to some,
Friends and lovers, nay everyone.

If you find the acrostic as hard to find as i did its in the initials of the strange title.

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I Am All Stories; Gone Again

I am all stories is an arts project I am taking part in. It involves a creative journey in envelops. You should look it up. Seriously.

Documenting the journey.

I opened my first envelop on a sad day in a sad environment where sad news was being shared. Inside the envelop a scrap of paper read; ‘The smallest bravest thing. Create from this’. With anguish being wailed the thought crossed my mind sometimes the bravest thing is to smile, to bring laughter. Pat Nicholls was someone who bought love and laughter into any room she stood in. Even her grim messages where shared with a glimmer of something worthwhile.

I wrote a poem. Poems are my stock in trade.

I Am All Stories; Gone Again

A red envelop marked ‘with people’ containing a prompt, “The smallest bravest thing”. Opened whilst Thelma was calling Jean to say Pat Nicholls had died.

There were many tears in the blue room
Created by Alexander Graham Bell
Where once there was worry
Where once there was care
Where once there was anger
Where once there were different tears
Tears of laughter created by a Barrow Girl
Selling winkles on a stall in the old East End
“Wat’cha Cock. Wanna a scoop” words she never said
So young, so young, so blonde and smiling
So young, so young, so large and loving
Then came silence in the white room
Created by antagonism lying between lovers
Who once were close
Who once meant everything
Who once were something
Once in love with one another
Other lovers look into the other’s eyes
In the crumple of a duvet in old north London
“Wat’cha Cock. Wanna sandwich” Words she never said
So then, so then so long a time ago
So then, so then, those times not now
Followed by more quietude in the blackness
Of a blank mind dissolved by death of friendship
Where once there was love
Where once there was laughter
Where once there was trust
Where once there was care
For lovers and friends and one another
Separated by time, by mind, by distance
“Wat’cha Cock. Wanna meet, chat” words she never said
At the end, the end that came quickly
Quicker than her pained oath to fight
And now this once we’re gone
And now this once we’re gone again
And now this once she’s gone
And now this once we’re over.

Then I took a photo
i am all stories; gone again

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