Friday, 21 September 2018


I was in an airport last week flying to Madrid. Airports, these days, are non-smoking zones-thankfully. As I was sat having a drink my eye was caught by the furtive actions of a man at a nearby table. He was vaping from an e-cigarette. 
He inspired this poem.

In the Airport Bar

with stealth he draws on the silver tube
suckles the comforting vapour

his furtive eyes alert me
to his transgression

exhaling is more problematic
a shallow breath of steam

pity and annoyance mingle in my head
I keep my my addictions in line

iron hand on their necks
for now
People watching can be lead to some interesting poems.
Here is a revision. Thanks to the Secret Poets for their constructive feedback.

Poem for C

Given the economies
of supermarket squash
and the cheapest of vodkas,
it had always been
how much could he drink,
in the shortest amount of time,
to keep ahead of blacking out,
to avoid the grey dawns
when monochromatic migraine
immobilised him in a space
where he could do nothing
but relive it all over again.

I met him in the fragile truce of sobriety
he called his jigsaw days.
He placed his pieces
into shapes that just might work,
into patterns that had eluded him on the drink.
Some events, he confided, never end,
so you have to find different ways of getting on with it.

You can read the first version here
What has gone is the tongue twisting description of the hangover. Though to be honest I have read the poem at a number of events and I managed to deliver them without slipping up. But less is definitely more. 
If you can find a group or a person you trust to offer constructive feedback you work will improve immeasurably.
I played Fairport Convention's second album recently, it's an old favourite, here's Book Song.
Until next time.

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