Fatherly advice

(because the world doesn’t have enough nonsense sonnets…)


Fatherly advice

Fear not, dear boy, the vicious wombacat,

the drop bear nor the turgid cockenbull;

fear not, for you’ll disturb those horrors that

awaken to the acrid odour, dull

but sharp, of childish terror. Do not fear

the codger nor the turgid numbacrunch

the deadserts lying in their boggy drear

nor, close by them, the fickle justahunch.

The bloated blotto sloping down your street

can sniff the frightened out from half a mile,

avoid its wrath and likewise keep discreet

where betterarfs lurk armed with powd’ry guile

Your choice then; face the holshebbang front on or

fear fear, you’ll still be soon enough a gonner.



I was there the day Destiny was shot. She’d just come off stage, ignoring boos and catcalls. Other times I’d seen her, countless shows all over the country, the crowd had always called for more. But some time since the last tour she’d chucked in her hard-core grungy sound for more of a big band thing; country swing meets gospel. Her fans wanted angst, not hope. We wanted dark eyes and slow grind. As she skipped offstage with a wave as if the world would always be perfect, the hall fell silent. In shock. There was an explosive crack. After an initial collective gasp all eyes went to a stage light smoking, but that was just a ricochet. I was there. I was in the wings. Still trying to comprehend.  I saw her fall. I saw her look my way.

At first light

I wake you in the morning

when your sheets in swales lie

and in fens and glens of cotton

gathered, places long forgotten,

and your length the range untrodden

upon which, in rose red sky,

clings a cloud, the red sky warning

formed of curtain-filtered light,

as I wake you in the morning,

as you wake me in the night.