Tony's Poetry

Here are twelve of my poems which seem to have been the most liked over the years. There are over 130 poems in all, written between the ages of 16 to 62 – most I can’t bear to even read now because poetry is raw emotion innit, like? Hope you like them.

FLAILING

Near the top of Mount Etna
You glimpse
How dwellings are stolen
How waves are irresistible
We can only flail and stare

Hubble, bubble, boiling broth
Of oil
Pouring trouble on everything
Everywhere
We can only flail and despair

The vines filibuster into the gaps
Fertile
Beneath the roars and screams
Neither cleansed nor washed away
We can only flail and tear our hair

The Isle of Wight – Festival of Life 1970

(In 1970, when I wrote the first drafts of this, I didn’t know that Hendrix & Morrison would die soon after. Neither did I know that The Who’s searchlights would be the stuff of rock legend. I didn’t write about John B Sebastian, Tiny Tim, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell being the stars or Kris Kristofferson being booed off by 600,000. In the ‘arena’, with all the fences pulled down, we existed for three days on a few Ski yoghurts and the contents of my pipe. Security, safety and medical services were bizarre too – a few Hells Angels and what we could do for each other. Yet, all I could see at the time were colours.)

Blue, yellow, green and reds
Tents
A festival of lives
Scorned for being there
For forgetting
And for giving

Green, pink, grey and oranges
Flags and badges
Their own society
Of love
Weather, hunger, thirst get lost
In togetherness

Yellow, brown, black, white and pinks
Skins and faces
All can’t stop smiling
Freedom
I’m an intruder sharing a toy
That will soon be broken

Peace through laughter and song
Such joy isn’t legal
Some like spoiling the fun
No chance
Inside
Stuck for days
Constipated
Outside now and hurting
Watching glowing embers
Die

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TWINS

My year at Beverley Grammar School
Had twins
Two of ‘em – boys
Big friends of my doubles partner
He married their sister
We won tennis matches by lobbing
High into the sun
We’re all 63 – ish
When I was 16
Fell in love with a twin – girls
Never knew which one
At Butlins – girls
One week isn’t enough
They all say that – boys
My fave twins work at Kings Cross
Articulate and attractive
Women
Looking after twin elevators
Always there
Preventing accidents
I love the twin on the left
The twin on the right is moody
I keep going left
Right, makes my day
Up and down – laughing inside
Floating on air
Always a big smile
Hers and mine
Usually a wave
Sometimes she beckons
Of course I go
Sometimes I hide behind someone
Or a sign
Just to see if I’m spotted
I am
She looks out for me
Nods in recognition
I nod back
Twinkles her eyes
I can’t do that
And smiles
Ooh ‘eck – twins eh?

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