Category Archives: Poetry and Prose

Some of my poetry and rants on politicians.

Escape.

Escapism

Michael Arnold

 

you look at

the world

and feel

washed up.

 

Outside

 

it’s raining,

you’re all alone,

the rents

due on

this peeling

dying

bedsit

and the car

won’t start.

She’s left with

the asshole

down

the hall

and left you

with

the bills

which you

can’t pay.

Then you

see a news

item

on TV

about people

drinking

too much.

 

You think.

 

If…except the

lucky few

we all live in

this peeling

dying world

is it any wonder

we try

to escape

in our own way.

 

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Poetry

The Problem With Tides

      Michael Arnold

I watch the death throws

Of a Mid – Atlantic storm.

Climbing breakers pummelling

Rocky outcrops.

Spray, high jumping fallen

Boulders, crashing

Down like monsoon

Rain, soaking

Green slimed rocks;

Soaking me.

Your laughter teases me

As it did at breakfast,

When you said

“Let’s go down to the cove

There’s been a storm.”

Why are you laughing?

I turn – in horror.

Your laughter fading

Into an angry

Foaming sea.

Why did I listen to you?

The tide comes in

On angles here;

Every cove, all the way

Down to Lands End.

I’m cut off.

I see your face

I hear your laughter

In every plume of spray

Washing over me.

Fear roots me like

A statue carved from

These ancient rocks

That will be my grave.

Then a hand grabs

My shoulder, shaking me,

Waking me.

“Come on you, if the drink

Don’t get you

This weather surely will.

Get in that doorway over there.”

It’s the blue people.

I can’t tell them

She was calling me

Again.

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October 21, 2013 · 3:43 pm

Freedom of the press.

Here in the UK, we are dangerously close to losing our free press. Something we have had for over three hundred years. In light of the Milly Dowler scandal, phone hacking, and now the piece about Ed Milliband’s father. And of course the Levison enquiry. The politicians are keen to poke their noses into press freedoms. All the bad practice the press have displayed over time is probably covered by current laws. We do not need government poking ‘its nanny state nose’ into more of our freedoms.

     A charter, Royal or not, written by politicians and controlled by politicians is a dangerous precedent. All of us have to ask the question. Is this payback time from politicians of all parties? Not because of the Milly Dowler fiasco or even David Milliband’s father. But more to do with the press exposing the politicians fiddling their expenses, at the tax payer’s expense.

     Politicians from all parties are telling us and the press, that in order to change a Royal Charter it would need a two thirds majority in both houses. No need to worry then, it would never happen. Or could it? Who is to say in the future, we might get a far right or far left megalomaniac government in power. What then? Another hundred or so years fighting for press freedom.

     Today, we are still balancing on the tightrope of democracy and freedom. Press restrictions might just tip us off the wrong side.

       

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Two new poems on the subject of war.

One of these poems is about the Holocaust, and one about my early memories of the war.

The Holocaust is something I have been interested and saddened by, since I was 12yrs old. I remember buying a book from a junk shop; it cost me threepence then. I took it home and read it in bed. Stupidly I left it on my bedside cabinet, and the next day when I came home from school it had disappeared. Asking my mother where it had gone – as she was the only one at home all day – she said she didn’t know what I was talking about. Not satisfied with this and later that evening, I asked my parents about the Holocaust and why it had happened. My mother said, “the war is over and we don’t want to talk about it, and I don’t want to hear another word about the book you supposedly bought and wasted your money on”. If you don’t spend your pocket money on sensible things, you won’t get any”. My father sat sheepishly saying nothing.

As you can imagine I was far from happy, but knew better than to argue. So during an open question lesson at the grammar school I attended, I put the same question to my form master. His reply was. “If you can’t ask sensible questions boy, don’t ask any. The other boys laughed of course. So it was up to me to research this sad, terrible part of our world history. And I have done so for the past 60yrs.

 Survivor

Michael Arnold

 

Here is a pit, I am naked.

The summer sun warms me

And plays hide and seek

With leaves on distant trees.

I feel almost sublime.

 

There is a presence here.

No-not them, they obey orders

And the Fuhrer’s madness.

 

Was that a shot? I am falling,

I experience weight.

Should I feel light In death?

No I am heavy

among copious excreta and blood.

 

The smell is wretched

Now what?

 This next poem is about early memories of the blitz.

Memories WW11

Michael Arnold

 

We were hauled out of bed

Our feet hardly touching

The cold linoleum.

Sirens wailed, a fist thudded

The door, a voice cried out

Are you all alright Mrs

Yes aunty shouted back

We are going under the table.

Be quick then the voice retorted.

 

We were herded down the narrow

Stairs, my two cousins and me.

Jenny was snivelling, she was tired.

Mum and aunty pushed us

under the dining table.

They arranged blankets on top

And chairs, seats down to secure

The blankets.
 

Any other time it would be a cosy den

Now night imprisoned us.

We were cold and frightened.

 

Then aunty heard them. 

A deep throated humming,

like giant bees with sore throats.

They were close now. Mum held me,

Aunty began to sing, mum joined in

The noise came in waves sweeping

Over us like a tide. I could feel mum

trembling as she hugged me closer.

Now we were all singing at the top of our

Voices.

‘Daisy Daisy’. ‘Pack up your troubles’.

 

The noise above was a cacophony

Of  clawing, reverberating sounds

The air thick with fear and unwashed

Bodies.

 

Then! The noise began to fade a little

And a little and a little bit more.

Auntie spoke to mum in the pitch black.

‘They missed us but someone will get it.

God help them’.

Silently we listened to the bombers

Fly away, until a calm silence enveloped

Our tiny cottage. Broken at last by the

Sirens sounding the all clear.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Street Poem

Sleeping In the City

 Michael Arnold

 

Red/blue zeroing in;

Striking

Converging,

Enveloping me like

A shroud on a corpse.

 

The ceiling cracks,

Ice – eyes wink at me.

Am I awake?

I don’t know.

 

They’re coming again

Like millions of cilia

Disguised as

Globules of sweat.

On my head

On my face

Everywhere, everywhere.

 

It’s too late!

A blue – veined moon

Laughs its last laugh

Before turning

Watery, fading into

A stage – set background

Of cobalt.

 

Now I’m awake.

6.30 am

The monsters re – wind

Towards the sun.

I still have the red/blue,

An old blanket.

The soul savers must have

Visited in the night,

Covering me up,

Keeping me warm.

 

I must return the red/blue.

I must stop drinking.

I must stop sleeping rough.

I need a place.

A home.

(c)

 

 

 

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More Street Poetry

 

It’s Friday Night Again 

Michael Arnold 

 

So… You’re two in the morning drunk.

Nowhere to go,

Clubs closing,

Taxi queues forming,

Fights breaking out,

It’s Friday again. 

 

A guy walks up

Asks to lend a fiver.

That’s Bristolian

For borrow a fiver.

If I had a fucking fiver

I wouldn’t be sat

On this bench

Musing about a bed,

Anyone’s bed.

He mumbles something

And tries his luck elsewhere;

I won’t tell him

He’ll probably get chinned

Before the night is out.

 

A young girl screams so loud

It’s like in my ear.

Another girl is trying

To get her to the taxi queue

But she won’t have any of it

She wants to dance.

Now this girl falls over.

Somehow she manages

To do it in slow motion-

I think.

She’s all skirt and blonde hair

Prostrate on the floor.

I catch a glimpse of her pants.

 

The  young guy next to me

Is trying to take a photo

On his mobile phone.

I chuckle and weird thoughts

Enter my head,

Which I just as quickly dismiss 

As dreams from the past.

 

Police sirens kick off

Somewhere near

And a fight breaks out

Between two young men.

A couple of girls start screaming

And it all fizzles out as quick

As it started.

 

My head is fuzzy with booze.

But suddenly I remember

I have a bed, I have a room.

And in my room under the sink

Is a full bottle of Chianti….

Now I can go home.

 

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More poetry about life on the street.

One in the Morning

Michael Arnold

 

You know

you’ve had enough.

It’s one in the morning,

the sensibles

have gone home

but there’s one

more place

you can try.

The bar

is in lock down,

but there’s a back

entrance

and what the hell

if you get raided;

he gets a fine

and you get warned,

or the other way round.

 

The beer is warm

the spirits expensive

and you wouldn’t

go there in the day

it’s such a pit.

You order a beer

and the barman

fills it short.

He looks at you

quizzically

and says I thought

you wanted

a topper.

You get it filled

and ask for a brandy

on the side.

 

A sister slinks

up to you, asks for

a drink

and spells out

the proposition.

It seems,

for a tenner

you can go home

with her, get a bath

and spend

a leisurely night

in her bed.

You politely refuse

which makes

her sweet mood

melt faster

than an ice cream

in the Sahara.

She calls you a

prick and picks out

a sweaty fat guy

who looks like

he’s got a tenner

to waste

and is not worried

about a months

‘clap’ appointments

after.

 

The place stinks

of sweat

and stale perfume;

so you have

a couple

more drinks

and go home.

Trying to remember

which is north

and if you

should follow

a star; any star, as

long as it improves your life. 

 © 

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