The Sacrifice Tree

Submitted to Popshot Magazine for consideration June 2010.

Nosey, 19, creeps down the road,
Avoiding neighbourly eyes.
Dumps her dog-eared Mills and Boons,
Genuflects and sighs.

Foreign, 45, left a box of plates
As broken as his heart.
13, laughing, hauled a mattress
And didn’t wait for dark.

Noisy, 92, gave two half-used pots of whey protein
Gone in record time;
Found one mangled bass guitar
And a Hedera helix vine.

But in daylight we pass each other guiltily.
That salvaged sofa sleeps trackside, a squat for moss.
That reclaimed bike (the fixer-upper) is the shed’s unwanted pregnancy.

Though I’ll never forget the day,
I found two drunks at play
On an abandoned piano.

Looking for distractions: found Jesus

Surfing the cracks of face for something to do I though I’d chat to my and see if anything was up with the folks. She asked me for some ideas for a poem she had to write for school. Being bored I said I’d do her homework for her. The topic: Christianity. We toyed with the possiblity of expressing the internal struggle of today’s youth when choosing the Lord over knife crime but went for something much simpler instead. I give you: “Looking for Jesus”.

I was looking for Jesus whilst shopping one day,
Not over the hills and far away,
But in aisle 9, behind the frozen peas,
I thought I caught him crouching on both knees
tying up his sandal-lace,
a look of embarrassment across his face,
to be caught out shopping, and this the Sabbath too,
but on closer inspection it wasn’t true.
Just a man of a similar colour and build,
looking to see if his product was hand or machine milled.
At the checkout I thought I saw another glimpse,
a messianic whisp, obscured by a purple rinse
then someone bumped into my trolley
and he was lost amidst the beeps.

Later in the car park,
grey rain falling, engine wouldn’t start.
I swore and I cursed,
my freezables were thawing, I needed to depart!
The clouds divided,
some rays poked through,
And I thought
YES! JESUS, this must be you!
But NOT ONE resurrecting sputter,
so I sat and mourned my melting butter.

And it’s only when I’ve eaten most of my supplies,
that the blasted recovery van arrives
To tow me home, where I slump and turn on the TV.
Guess who’s there staring right back at me?
In footage from a war-torn town,
I can glimpse a thorny crown
and washed downstream by a natural disaster,
Yup, there’s our one and only lord and master!
He’s not hide’n’sneaking in some household nook,
or folded in the pages of a pop-up book.
No. He’s ont’telly!

I do wonder if my publishing it on Facebooks means she can’t pass it off as her homework anymore. Oh well. We’ll I’m bored and want props from my peers. Maybe YOU would like to write one for her too?

Waxy Pan, Hot Dog Man

Waxy Pan, hot dog man,
Stained string vest with overhang.
Women in the streets they sang,
Hey Waxy! Love your greasy tan!

Searching tops of night bus stops, 
He hunts for all discarded drops.
Morsels to be reconstituted,
Ground and chopped, with oil diluted.
Debris from double deckers flung,
Pasties, crisps, to name just some.
Scavenging each kerb and alleyway,
Down tunnels where the buskers play.
Leftover crumbs from city slickers,
Some tipsy tart’s discarded knickers.

Waxy Pan, hot dog man,
Abattoir inside his van,
Children in the streets they sang,
“If he can’t cook it no one can!”

Could make this meat of mystery?
Drunkard’s sick and tender louse,
In cauldron mixed with eye of mouse,
Wing of pidge from Nelson’s hat,
Fleas pinched fresh from sewer rat.
Rotten corpse dragged from the Thames,
What flavour to the mix this lends!
Then scarf of whore and shoe of tramp,
With onion sizzle by street lamp.

Waxy Pan, hot dog man,
Rejects no meat from creed or clan,
Hippies in the street they sang,
“Prime minister? I wish you’d ran!”

And when there are no precious scraps?
He takes his net to hunt out cats!
Pouncing with athletic skill,
‘Tween roof and ridge, pane and sill,
Of London’s shops and nightclub venues,
This inventive chef of tourist menus.
He sets his cunning moggy traps,
And swoops upon these furry wraps.
Just admire the job he’s done,
For cats in town, I’ve not seen one.

Waxy Pan, hot dog man,
I hear not everyone’s a fan.
Terrorists in the street they sang,
“Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!”