Not Going Home by Patrick Prinsloo

Not Going Home

They say they need the bed. The friendly nurse from Nigeria says I’ve had enough of the Queen’s money (God save Her) and that I should go – anyway they need the bed and so it’s bye bye baby (baby goodbye), it’s time to go home.

Home? Do they know what it’s like at home – mould in the rooms, ceiling collapsing in the underused bathroom, a teenage boy upstairs (the woman says he’s my son but that’s a lie), bailiffs knocking at the door. And thirteen year old Mandy from over the fence asking for weekly payments or she’ll go to the cops.

Here it’s clean, efficient, hot water, three meals a day; people don’t shout, swear, spit, all the time. There’s politeness even though no respect for the likes of me.

The man in bed 28 (healthy, non-smoker, monied, attractive and friendly young wife, two squeaky clean kids) has a heart transplant (triple, he says, proudly) booked for early tomorrow morning. That gives him an extra three months of hospital care.

Tonight I will swap the beds around. I could use a new heart. And not go home.

©Patrick Prinsloo

The Woman Who Swam to the Moon by Charles Heathcote

There’s a woman I know who swam to the moon;
she climbed over sea and river, over estuary and stream
heard fools call stars stones and space mud-banks.
She swam with rockets like silverfish through carpet,
met astronauts with helmets as fragile as eggshells.
Carp lead spaceships between her fingertips,
jewel-skinned beneath the brackish water, space
the final frontier.
She held the solar system in the palm of her hand,
found that planets weighed no more than marbles,
shone in the sun like cats-eyes, a kaleidoscope,
explosion of colours, supernova.
And when she reached the moon she met a man,
he thought she meant to find him, this had been a quest
and when she said she only wished to swim her way through space
he introduced her to zero gravity; and forever she will float
for once you leave the earth there’s nowhere left to run.
©Charles Heathcote 2015

Come On, Casey, Right What’s Dire – a new poem by Phil Poyser

Come On, Casey, Right What’s Dire

I’m not on Facebook, not on Twitter,

so could it have been a ghost

for – fellow gardeners, please don’t titter –

The Doors have sent me this new post?


“We know that what we say is true.

We know that we are not a liar.            

If they stop to have a brew,

well, it’s ‘cos their throats are drier.


Come on, Casey, right what’s dire.

Come on, Casey, right what’s dire.

To keep the roof up, please aspire.


The time to hesitate is through.

Just time to swallow and admire.

Later you can sup some booze,

once you’ve found an oak supplier.


Come on, Casey, right what’s dire.

Come on, Casey, right what’s dire.

To keep the roof up, please aspire”


And so it was that crumbling post

by Casey, Dave and Keith was smashed

and as they are not ones to boast,

I must make sure the news is splashed.

They’ve sweated blood (and fish and bone),

installed a doorpost made from oaks.

They did all that with scarce a groan.

That’s what I call “Allotment blokes”.


So, lads, put on your best attire

take it easy and respire.

We’ll publicise it in Cheshire,

circulate it on a flyer,

get it shouted by Town Crier.

So, Dave and Keith, you both inspire.

and “Thank You”, Casey Jones, esquire.


© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 12th./13th. October, 2015

Blind Justice – a new poem by Phil Poyser

Blind Justice
Now listen to me, people, come and listen to my rap.
Take that i-phone from your ear and that i-pad off your lap.
We may think that there is justice, that Britain’s fair and square,
but whilst we’re feeling warm and snug, I’m goin’ to stop you there,
‘cos if you’re black or Asian or live in a cardboard box,
lie in blankets in shop doorways, it’s the school of hard knocks.
Yeah, it’s the school of hard knocks and so on your house a pox
Yeah, on your house a pox.

They’ve got her on Old Bailey’s roof, weighing scales in her hand.
She holds a sword, a blindfold wears, impartial. Ain’t she grand?
But she needs to shed those scales from her hand and from her eyes,
‘cos the papers badmouth the poor and fill our heads with lies.
“They’re scroungers on benefits. They don’t want to earn their keep.
They spurn zero hours contracts. They’d rather booze and sleep.
Yeah, they’d rather booze and sleep, those expletives, bleep, bleep, bleep
Yeah, those expletives, bleep, bleep, bleep.

They come from Eastern Europe, the Slav, the Lat, the Pole
and queue with home-grown parasites to claim the bloody dole.
Whilst, decent folk, that’s you and me, work our effin’ socks off,
they live the life of Riley, get stoned and get their rocks off.
They’re busy havin’ one more kid to get our council flats
and we know that generation will be dirty, little brats.
Yeah, they’ll be dirty little brats. It’s backed up by the stats.
Yeah, it’s backed up by the stats.”
So while Murdoch and the Tory press, master puppeteers,
vomit out their headlines and so manipulate our fears,

Blind Justice stands there rigid with her back to City’s banks,
turns deaf ear to austerity when the boardroom’s saying “Thanks”
with bonuses exceeding those of football transfer fees.
But I think I saw Blind Justice cry and get down on her knees.
Yeah, she got down on her knees to clean up all the sleaze.
Yeah, at last clean up the sleaze.

© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 13th. October, 2015

A Drabble by Patrick Prinsloo

They ignored the people smugglers, made their way across unfriendly borders, memories of overcrowded leaking boats behind them.

A local man, a blacksmith maybe, or a bus driver – they weren’t even sure of the country they were in let alone what language was being spoken – found them hiding in some disused stables, didn’t turn them in, brought food and water, blankets, nappies for the infant, encouraged close friends to do likewise.

It was the priest who betrayed them, partly because he was part of the system, partly because he was troubled by parallels with a much older old story.

© Patrick Prinsloo 2015

That Night By Michael Murray

We couldn’t sleep; something somewhere
was rippling through us. Bands of sounds;
lights flashing outside in the dark, late.

So shifted the curtains, summer’s light cotton,
flecked with blue flashes. The windows, at least
had closed their ears. The whole road twitched

drapes, gaped. Lights, a crackle of noise:
police cars down the road, last house.
And tension growling in the night.

Mother, as always, reported back,
then Sleep, she said. School. But couldn’t keep secrets:
Two girls, she said. A man with a knife.

And relishing this – neighbour with neighbour:
‘Her parents, schoolteachers, are atheists.
I wonder who they’re praying to now!’

Woken that night to distrust adults,
to fear life. The scent of hawthorn, elder;
pepper of grass pollen. And adverts

that hummed romance, drifting through fields
in summer.
Two girls. A man with a knife.

©Michael Murray

Thank you Michael for sharing this wonderful poem on the blog.