Bairns bring themselves up too sharpish

I NEED, not want, a babby in me arms.
 Summat to rock to sleep.
 Depend only on me,
 nowt and nubdy else.

 First steps when it starts.
 They abandon thee. Gone,
 soft sup on thee tit. Only tha fellas
 grubby gob and hands like shovels.

 Give me a pramchild.

 Every lad I’ve been with,
 I’ve had a child by
 to say you love them.
 Gis thee summat to look after,

 while theys bugger off to pub,
 or footy or out fishing.
 And babbies don’t answer back.

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Let Me Quick Dive White

turbulent eddies,

 preened with copious oil, heavily waterproofed
 so wild silver flows easily past my streamlined body,
 strong legs and feet
 pinion rocks under and above.

 All black, but for a white bib:
 a dinner suit with white
 serviette draped from the collar,
 ready to dine the fresh meat river.

 Do not give me stillness:
 stagnant, silent, dead.
 I need bright, loud, lively lilt

 so muscle winged, flaps over
 my nostrils close, eyelids feather
 as I submerge. This strong short bill
 tumbles pebbles, sorts morsels

 beneath them, wings fly against torrent,
 anchor me at the bottom,
 fastened with my feet, fight my own buoyancy.
 No need to fly up and plunge in,

 I use momentum to immerse.
 walk into maelstrom,
 until under, barely make a wake.

 At times I splash in while flying,
 or jump in from a rock, too,
 and float on my belly,
 with wings spread like oars.

 I revel.

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My Robot Skin Forgets Thy Softness

At least me snout works,
 I can smell tha cherry lips,
 and strawberry perfume.

 When my old bod got weak
 and fell down more un stood up
 tha had me swap to this robot job.

 with “flexible skin-inspired touch sensors
 as store tactile information,
 like haptic memory”
 or some such, as manual said.

 Few decades on, this damn grip
 dunt know its own strength,
 damages stuff like fruit,

 your skin smells of strawberries.
 I used to be able to
 remember it soft,
 but “softs” only a word,
 with no memory
 of what it meant
 or means.

 My skin stored
 a handshake from another bod,
 their kiss, their hugs.

 It forgets now.
 Squeezes too hard.
 Hurts thee, and I can
 do nowt about it,
 ‘cept keep away from thee.

 Robot doctor has it

 “Your skins pressure-sensitive layer no longer
 detects changes in electrical resistance
 when force applied.”

 Usual doctorerly claptrap.
 Wants us to spend more cash,
 us can ill afford for the cure.

 It’s touch-memory loss.

 I squash a lot of fruit.

 I can’t touch thee.

 Bloody tear ducts work.

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When she shops

she chooses the item
 at the back of the shelf.

 “Not been tampered with”,
 she says.

 Always puts items
 she does not want
 back so they stand
 awkward, or on wrong

 “Keeps them busy.”
 she says

 Always buys presents
 for friends and family
 from the Pound Shop.

 “Better value than
 posh, expensive shops.”
 she says.

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full of earth baths

Raindays, sleeted,
cemetery full of earth baths.
Worms have et us up.

If tha can’t see a hole in a ladder,
 thas bound for t’eternity box.
I dint see hole.

Thas nowt like a decent cup
 of scandal water to set thee right.
An this heavenspit’s mild
as hell on a gavaunt.

I were well kitted out,
 carrioncase threads,
 tailored fleshbag,
 fine leather trotter boxes.

Now, fully dressed in worm cases,
 in this cold bath of earth,
eternity box now mulch,
 I wish to rise up this dark ladder
 to walk again in a spit of light.

To have an athanasian wenches accommodate
my beard-jammer in their aphrodisiacal
tennis courts, their best part.

To see the devil,
sup sumgullion, rotgut,
old man’s milk, take a mother’s
blessing, and lush it up.

 Afore all this I munt jigsaw together
yon scattered blood splash
and sinew game of worm cases,
plant grub and squirrel meat.

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…from to…


evercrash of waves put me
 on the untouched shore
 I crawl because i don’t know
 how to walk this grain.

 Now I would say tumbled waves
 are fletched like an arrow constantly
 turned to ensure its flight straight
 and unencumbered by splinters.

 Later I staunch blood, remember
 the now of the sun then, too bright,
 too warm in this comfort blanket.

 Now I would say I was slippery
 as bladderwrack or between thighs
 of a woman heated by want,
 and hungry but not for food.

 I leave it to the ocean
 behind me that flickers
 with sounds some of which
 i understand but the waters

 less and less drag me back,
 push me to drygrain land.
 I must find leafshelter
 in the arms of mothered soil,

 in the limbs of the trees,
 beneath the coddling leaves,
 a fallen tree stump helps

 me stand. I break a branch
 test it does not break with my weight.
 I stand free of the stump. Upright.

 Now I would say my skin
 lost its sheen, became sticky
 as the green blood of plants
 that trap food with their leaves.


upright, you can see further,
and in the sand prints
of your own feet, and others,
smaller, differently shaped,
Now you would say these are scratches
on pages, distinct signs in a forest,
or plain, each holds itself a tell, a map,
of sense and season and root.
smooth your hand over gnarled
stick of then that supports your weight
when you stride forward to follow
the beckoning of others tracks,
inhale the freshness from the waves,
that tastes salty to your tongue,
the sweetness from the inland trees,
and smaller flimsy coloured leaves,
and a bitterness, a stink gets stronger,
as you trace the tracks other
than your own go inland, broken
leaves. How many feet does it have?
Now accused of techno anomie
because you refuse others access to your senses,
your avatar still in the forest, on the plain,
walks without aid beside the everwaves .

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Your damned anthropocene

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”

 as Stewart Brand said, and you agreed.

 O, your presumption did not account
 for the delicacy of flesh and bone,
 the death wish of the human soul,
 even in this supposed transhuman age.

 You had an impact on my future,
 I’m not sure I forgive you.
 There is your clear signature
 in the fossil record , an observable
 sudden decline
 in the abundance and diversity of plant
 and animal life. Perhaps we should
 define your time from here.

 Did it start when we traced your pulse
 at the start of the Industrial Revolution?
 Your carbon-dioxide pulse that underlay
 what you thought was global warming.

 O, your dreams to guide mankind towards global, sustainable, environmental management. How could you see
 the juggernaut was unstoppable?

 And as we move our minds
 from this body to that,
 we do not lose the terrors of being lost,
 the night sweats of our own death.

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…her hobble

happened after she ate her Christmas Dinner resting her knees on her daughters stone kitchen floor
 as not enough chairs at table…

 “It’s proper for the kids, Christmas, int it.” she says and rubs her knee…

 “your badly.” says ex miner flatcapped Kyle, as he takes a break from sawdust
 and dismantle of wardrobes
 and drawers, folk drop off in his entryway
 to stoke his coal fire, as he pops into town betting shop “Am only doing Irish lottery”, he shouts and she wishes him luck of the Irish.

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dead end

My life began in a cul-de-sac
 and shall end in one, no matter
 how many streets I live in, there
 is no way back into mam’s womb,

 not that I would want to return,
 as I breathe and feed without her help,
 outside of it, and walk back home
 from her grave when I have tended it.

 Inhale her Chanel No. 5, and hear
 her play Fleur de Lis on piano,
 and her shouts of “Paul, Paul”
 up the stairs in the cul de sac.

 It seems a circular return, it isn’t,
 last breath is not a circular one,
 it exhales the light and colour.
 My life ends in a bag bottom.

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