Stereophonic Apocalypse

I had a dream last night
that Kelly Jones and the band
were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
riding over the hill on giant motorbikes
Have a Nice Day blaring from the exhausts

they stopped and signed my cd’s
as dark clouds roiled in the distance
everything was smiles
until I realised the end of the world was nigh
and they had gone

and I never got the chance to tell them
about my great unpublished novel
how Richie, Pete, Dave and Stu
all got killed in a car crash on a Welsh hill
Local Boy in the Photograph playing

as their wheels stopped turning
only the lovely Stace crawled from the wreckage
but I won’t tell you the rest of her story
you’ll have to find me a publisher quick
before the end of the world starts dawning

and I am left holding a stack of signed cd’s
watching the dark clouds come rolling towards me
on top of a Welsh hill where Neolithic men
left standing stones for me to hide behind
and write my god awful poetry

Inuits are not idiots but TV presenters are

in his shiny new sports utility vehicle
(named appropriately after an African tribe)
he slung his high performance knapsack
(named after a mountain range that rhymes)
and drove to the airport to meet the crew
eager and ready with all the equipment and baggage
a well-planned expedition accrues
high fives all round as they leave the ground
off to explore regions never before found
despite the presence of indigenous tribes (cough)
that have mostly survived quite sustainably (thanks)
“for hundreds if not thousands of years”
(your words Mr TV Presenter, not mine)
until we arrived with our first world problems
and (let’s not mention) those massive carbon footprints
leaving stains in their snow wherever we go
and tyre tracks in their sand wherever we land
and empty vacuum-sealed survival meal packets
wherever we feel the need to defecate
clamber and climb or machete our way through
with the help of low paid porters who already know
the way to discover the places they already knew
I know! Let’s give ’em new names instead of their own
like the ones we couldn’t pronounce, like Uluru
but in so doing are we not simply renouncing
those people’s very existence and understanding
of landscapes entwined with their cultural identities
that from afar we’ve been stealthily destroying
with our acid rain and global warming
and although now it’s quite possible for us to boldly go
where no white man has gone before
up fjords where the pack ice has partially melted
with kayaks and back ups and rifles nervously pointed
at polar bears hungry for some tasty white flesh
whilst the Inuit idiot grins from ear to ear
no doubt you’ll provide subtitles to make it clear
when he says the ice is broken, ice is gone
but hey, he’s nice and warm in his polar bear fleece
and he ain’t stepping foot on that dodgy thin ice
for all that you’ve learnt with your aerial drones
he could’ve told you back at his non-igloo home
over a seal burger and glass of icy cold beer
so next time, why don’t you give him or his wife
the camera, and let them tell their story
without your grinning white face poking its nose
where it no longer belongs . . .
I wonder if you’ll send him a signed copy
of your forthcoming book?
That’ll be handy to light the fire.








Val-deri, val-dera
Val-deri, val-dera
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
My knapsack on my back


they burned women in the 15th century

they burned women in the 15th century
thank [god?] we’ve moved on a bit since then
but those at the bottom of the pile down here
are still controlled by the same kinds of people up there

the Monarchs, the Merchants, the Bankers
the Politicians and Military Generals
and yes, those Old Men of Faith

with the world now taking its last breaths
isn’t it time for us to stand up and resist
their wicked profiteering at our expense
their wicked profiteering at the planet’s expense

they burned women in the 15th century
slaughtered their men too in the trench graves they dug
sent their kids under their mutilating spinning mules
all of their lives spent scavenging for the dregs

from those Monarchs, Merchants, Bankers
Politicians and Military Generals
and yes, those Old Men of Faith

with poverty rising and bombs still falling
isn’t it time for us to say enough is enough
their obstinance is alarming and offers a warning
we need a new way of surviving these oppressive thugs

they burned women in the 15th century
for thinking and dressing in ways that wasn’t ‘correct’
and yet equality now is still only skin deep
the leap of change needed still out of most people’s reach

held back by the Monarchs, Merchants, Bankers
Politicians and Military Generals
and yes, those Old Men of Faith

and yet again we vote for them and pray with them
and hope they deliver us from all their evils
and never do we once realise they’ve sold us their lies
and things haven’t changed much since the 15th century

when they burned women for no justifiable reason
made weapons and wars for no justifiable reason
kept men, women and children destitute
for no justifiable reason

Monarchs, Merchants, Bankers
Politicians, Military Generals
those Old Men of Faith

now residing in hiding behind security you pay for
on the profits from products that you consume and pay for
with your low wages and long hours that you pay for
with your health and well being in tatters and tears

they don’t give a fuck about you and your friends and families
or whether women were burned in the 15th century
or whether whales choke to death on their single use plastic
as long as their profits make them fucking billionaires

Monarchs, Merchants, Bankers
Politicians, Military Generals
Old Men of Faith

I could go on but long poems about politics get less likes
whilst short ones about moons and cats go viral
it’s an internet black hole spiral and yes you guessed it
they control you and own that beast too

subscriptions paid for by you and yours truly, the less unruly
the underclass underwhelmed disengaged underbelly
that needs to start remembering all those women
they burned in the 15th century

with the collusion and knowledge of Monarchs, Merchants
Bankers, Politicians, Military Generals
and yes, those Old Men of Cloth

the same polluted minds that lynched ‘niggers’
whose ancestors were ripped from Africa’s womb
their opiate pills that keep you comatose most days
able only to process the fakest and simplist infotainment news

this has to stop – here the poet sighs
both the poem and the rot
listen to those around you
not those above you

the Monarchs, the Merchants, the Bankers
the Politicians, the Military Generals
and yes, those Old Men of Cloth


image from


this world

this world has become
a shabby chic shit shack
with wooden words
on plastic mantle pieces
telling us this is our home
and it’s filled with our love
so you best buy into it
distressed and going cheap
this world’s not my world
I want nothing from it
no fake words of wisdom
cut and pasted consumerism
give me four bare walls
with wooden floorboards
and a shelf of worn books
shared food on the table
and in the woodland garden
birds singing their sweet songs
as we swing on the porch seat
holding hands in the warm sun
your lips on my neck
telling me you love me
that we’ll always be together
forever and for eternity
this world is our world
it’s what we make of it
but I’ll never know it
for my time is too late
the wood casket’s calling me
calling me to my fate
calling me away from
this world I wanted


with sincere apologies to Woody Guthrie . . .

seems like I’ve been here before

not one living soul passed by during the night
no tracks or traces left in this unforgiving wilderness
I search for clearings but only briars are forthcoming
soon the mist may clear and the path become visible
onward and upwards my journey takes me


at least everything is turning green
I notice gardeners are getting their fingers dirty
robins plucking worms from between their feet
the skies are widening and the air is warmer

but I know for some

darkness hangs over them still
a few more months needed for them to catch up, maybe
at least everything is turning green
that’s something

(written for someone who just wants to feel better,
who wrote on their blog: At least everything is green here)
a nod also to New Order – the fab early years post Joy Division.

apologies in advance

all them words
all them books
all them poems
never did you no good
all them blogs
all them tweets
all them posts
never did you no good

all them likes
all them shares
all them comments
never did you no good
all them photos
all them videos
all them paintings
never did you no good

all them notes
all them quotes
all them thoughts
never did you no good
all them chats
all them spats
all them emojis
never did you  no good

all them friends
all them lovers
all them followers
never did you no good
all them steps
all them breaths
all them beats of the heart
never did you no good

(apologies in advance
if you catch me crying
when the planet dies
I’ve done my bit
now I’m tired

and it’s just complicated
that’s all)

them women

them women bring water
from distant wells
them women gather sticks
make fire spells
them women pound grain
bake them breads
them women carry bundles
on them heads
them women cook meals
fill mouths with meat
them women hoe plants
grow food to eat
them women bear children
them live or die
we men hunt and smoke
and tell them lies

Johnny F

on mist in the night
from a dark corner
he brought with him
a damp lonely light
a crumpled pack
of Major cigarettes
and a constant thirst
for tea and company

the chair by the door
was his alone
reserved for his visits
with unwashed hands
the Sisters of Mercy
bought black welly boots
kept him in clothes
and partially fed

he lived on his own
in his council shed
the ghost of his brother
ten years dead
the family house ruined
land gone to bracken
a few barren cows
just him and the rats

the last of the village
old bachelor boys
abandoned to rot in his
four fucking fields
growing older gets harder
like a peat bog man
sphagnum soaked
with years of rain

a chance meeting
two weeks before
his body was found
on the road out of town
he’d bought me a pint
to the locals’ surprise
Sláinte he spoke
quiet trust in his eyes

there is a saying
that some would believe
if you see in the dawn
a hare taking leave
that death has come knocking
a spirit set free
an old friend is waving
farewell to thee

johnny f


when I was born
my mother wasn’t there
the clouds parted
I tasted my first air

when I was a child
my father chose to die
the country widened
beneath an open sky

when I was a man
my love abandoned me
the birds began to sing
setting my soul free

when I was old
my heart declined to beat
the setting sun burned
consuming me in heat

when I was reborn
my life began once more
mistakes and lessons learnt
repeating like before