Street To Street (King To Queenie) (Queenie To Canal)


Aye up, Queenie

They’ve pushed a tube
through my innards

and chucked water down it
to clear my backed up waterworks.

Heard the gurgling from 67
to 106. Mrs Heavenly

stopped pegging out
her washing to hear it,

and scarpered in holding up
her petticoat. Moments

later I heard the flush.
Blackbirds on my ridge tiles

are copying ringtones, again.
Young lad at 23 kept answering

his. His mates pissing themselves
as they supped cans in his backyard.

Heard from High your 69
had front door splintered

in drugs police raid. You’ve
often said you get high

on the fumes from that.
Might get your Victorian

terraces renovated then
you’ll be up and coming

my love. Regenerated.

Love you.



( Queenie to Canal)

Alright Cocker,

Wish they’d dig your bottom
out so you could be posh.

Have water sidling past
your windows, and boats

moored at your side.
And in summer, perfume of sweet

waters, full of dragon and damsel
would drift down my road.

And all my windows would open.

Keep your pavement clean,


PS Mrs Higginbottom’s cats had twins yesterday.


(Canal to High)
Hi High,
I know your the main
thoroughfare, like,

and been here yonks.
Right from when it were

a village, and you just
had fields for company.

Back when it were two sheep
and a goat and lots of sheds.

How d’ya get used
to your buildings being demolished?

Change, change, change. No
sooner do you get a new shop,

it closes ‘cos of austerity. Your
Town Hall is now a pub called “The Town Hall”.
No Trespassing,



I hear some concern about change.
We’re no longer covered in grime,

the fields no longer dry flax,
the heat of the bottle maker’s

does not warm our insides. Streets
have been knocked down, but,

we are still the same basic shape.
Even more estates are being built,

so we grow. New industry will come,
and go. Folk want genuine, independent

shops, not chains. Let us
accept this as inevitable.

Times of grief often usher
times of great change afterwards.

Let us take the blows, then, fill
in the potholes, remortar the bricks,
resurface the road, rebuild the walls.

Beware of the dog.



















































Letters To Each Other (Z to A)

Dear A,

Dust everywhere, since builders
elected to leave. Fetched dustpan

and brush. They say they clean up
afterwards but surfaces are covered.

I’ll be wiping them for weeks. Major
restructure always causes grief. You

pick yourself up. Look at the mess.
Heave a sigh and begin scrub

and polish. Find places where they
failed to fill in the holes, or left

jobs half completed. Of course it’ll
not be easy, but we decided to employ

them when lads in the village didn’t
want to get their hands dirty, because

they thought they were above such things.
G’s funeral was a quiet affair. Rain

kept off for once. Red, white and blue
roses from the Polish deli. Bless.

Zest for life,


PS Can’t miss grandkids charity dance tonight.

Letters To Each Other (Y to Z)

I wrote two letters to you Z. just in case.


Dear Z,

Sad news. It was hoped G

would rally under the new

treatment. It was hoped the light

would glimmer in her eyes

once more like two stars. It was hoped

I would not stand by her graveside,

delicately lay her favourite flowers

on the cold grey stone. Her son

says he will never wear his Union

Jack suit again. He says “It’s betrayed

him.” He did not want to be independent

of his mam. She was his certainty.

The rains have started again. We have

a loose tile. H says it is a faulty baffle.

The Polish deli sent flowers

and a get well card. Nicely done.

Yearning still,


PS Gonna slap that bloke with wheelbarrow coffin silly. Knock the bastard into next week.


Dearest, dearest Z,

Blessings come few and rare. The new

treatment worked. She’s in remission.

Her son, the terrorist clown says

he has lot of stuff to work through

with her. Life is not going to be easy.

He says he betrayed her trust.

The rains have stopped. Thank Christ.

We can get replace the absent mortar between the bricks

and get the askew guttering

straightened out. Thank God G

is fine, if not G as in Great.



PS Seems wheelbarrow coffin bloke

has gone.