LEADERS - not followers

Friday, July 31, 2009

Darkness, Patronize, Weakness


For Three Word Wednesday

Deceit of Darkness
Patronizing promises
You are my Weakness

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For Totally Optional Prompts


As jasmine-fragrant shadows ride the breeze
I gaze into the star filled midnight sky
As deep and dark and fathomless as time
Or any frozen ocean that exists
On any planet; any galaxy
Contained within the vastness of the night
Sound effects – nocturnal chorus chirp
In digital surround sound stereo;
A rustling; almost imperceptible
Amid the trees and unkempt undergrowth
…The only clues that I am not alone
…That other life has walked on planet Earth


If tomorrow comes
It will last but a heartbeat
The stroke of midnight

Saturday, July 25, 2009


For The American Sandwich


Well I woke up this morning
body aching
and my head in a spin.

Said I woke up this morning
shaking memories
from under my skin

Can’t take it too much longer
‘cos your mind-play
is a game I can’t win.

For NaiSaiKu Challenge?


See it and ignore
Hear it spoken and forget
Hear it spoken and forget
See it and ignore

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Google You/Swine Flu/NaiSaiKu

For NaiSaiKu Challenge?

Discover yourself
Better - go Google yourself
Find out who you are
Swine Flu bout hoo-ha
Go gargle yourself better
Recover yourself

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cradle, Perfect, Snare


(A Song)

It starts raining - Outside
I start hurting - Inside
And although I’ve tried
To hide the tears I’ve cried/denied

You can see through - My lies
When you look in - My eyes
You’re so wise you realise
The guise I prize/despise

It’s a love/hate - on/off - yes/no - circumstance
I blow hot and cold - You admit/deny romance

Opposites attract
It’s a well-known fact
It’s a mystery why we adopt this stance

Is our freeze/thaw take
The mistake we make?
As we learn the lessons that’s how we’ll advance

It’s still raining - Outside
You’re still hurting - Inside
And although you’ve tried
To hide the tears you’ve cried/denied

I can see through - Your lies
When I look in - Your eyes
I’m so wise I realise
The guise you prize/despise

It’s a love/hate - on/off - yes/no circumstance
You blow hot and cold
I admit/deny romance

How do we compare?
But you put me in a deep hypnotic trance

Not a PERFECT match
An unlikely catch
We both know the value of a second chance

We don’t count the cost
Of a fortune lost
We just pay the price…And get on…with the dance

It stops raining - Outside
We stop hurting - Inside

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spontaneity, Planning


And Sunday Scribblings - Where in the World.

(Snapshots from July 6 2009)

Along the road to Nonsang
Coach connection from Khon Kaen
Life-blood lining lakeside route
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Fire-house, Hospital Police
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Shopping, Commerce, Industry
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Getting used to it by now
Sugar cane, rice, banana
Cattle cluster in clearings
Gazing, grazing – Amazing!

Nonsang in ninety minutes
Road-side read-out register
Determines driving distance
Sixty six Clickety-clicks

Packs of hounds at Ubol Rat
Dominate the dam – Damn dogs?
Meanwhile, minutes march on by

Afternoon activity
Dampened by daytime downpour
We pull up to watch rain dry
‘Try not to blink – You’ll miss it!’
Ankle-deep becomes bone-dry
In the twinkling of an eye

Navigating neighbourhoods
Teased by tricky traffic lights
Fast bus flies past slowcoaches
Swerving, speeding – Soon be home
Destination – No distance
Nonsang in next to no time

Chauffeur’s shell-suit, shocking pink
Some say he’s a lady-boy
Long hair, lipstick, jewellery
Mok says ‘Just a fashion phase’

Nonsang ‘city’ limits near
All aboard are in good cheer
Gang of guys gesture greeting
Pointing-out ‘Farang’ – White Man
Shouting, waving, laughing loud
One eating ‘Farang’ - Guava
One drinks ‘Lao Khao’, smokes ‘Ya Soob’
Rice Liquor and Cigarettes
Chews ‘Mark Farang’ – Chewing Gum
While another fills his face
Munching ‘Man Farang Tort’ - Chips
Only one has been abroad
Once went to France – ‘Farang Set’
First time out of his ‘Moo Ban’
Never been anywhere since
That’s village Isan for you
Rice-farming communities
‘Don’t have time for nothing else’

Nose to tail - literally
Mad dogs hog the road – Road dogs?
Making for the market place
To scavenge scraps discarded

Makeshift market stalls offer
Tea-time treats to tempt all tastes
Fast-food fancies, Isan-style
‘Somtam’ – Papaya ‘Pok-pok’
Over there, the daily catch
Falls from flash-flood fishing nets
Over here, a group of girls
Scratching an honest living
These are the real-life ‘Spice Girls’
No time to 'Zig-a-zig aah!'
They specialise in chillies
‘Phrik Kaeng’ provides ‘Girl Power’
(Hard Chillies – Know what I mean?)
Also ‘Phrik’ – ‘Chee Far’; ‘Yoo-Ak’
And best of all ‘Phrik Khee Noo’
(Reach Up To The Sky Chillies;
Sweet Peppers – That pack a punch!
Rat-Shit Chillies; aptly named
I believe some like it hot!)

‘Long’ arrives, and loads us up
Drives us home, the final leg
Six more clicks to Ban Huakua

Through the gates and garden green
All that grows is edible
Tamarind and Mangosteen
Coconuts and Papaya
Pomegranate and Mango
Orange, Lemon, Durian
Chillies, Ginger, Lemon Grass
Banana and Pineapple

All around us; fields of Rice
Now bathed in scorching sunshine
Thirty seven, in the shade
The hot season is April!

Family reunion
Been gone from March to July
Tonight we’ll have a party
Changnoi, Diamond, Mok and I

Not History

For Monday Poetry Train Revisited


You never talk about it
Nobody knows about it
Untold pain behind the smile

When you’re asked about your past
You want to change the subject
‘It’s not important’ you lie

Everyone must be thinking
How convenient to say
‘And the rest is history’

The rest is not history

The rest, of course, lives and breathes
And dwells within heart and mind
And will remain forever
A most unwelcome squatter

So you never mention it
Because you can’t stand the pain

No, you’re not in denial
It’s for real and you know it
The only trouble is though
Once able to admit it
And face it, speak about it
Openly acknowledge it
Then you have to re-live it
Blow by agonising blow
That’s both the physical ones
As well as the mental ones

The rest is not history
Will never be history

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's all foreign to me

For NaiSaiKu Challenge?


ผม พูด อึก ครั้ง หนึ่ง
ใน ถ้อย คำ คุณ เข้า ใจ ได้
ภาษา ต่าง ประเทศ ?
อุปสรรค ภาษา
ภาษา ต่าง ประเทศ
คำ พูด ผม เข้า ใจ ไม่ ได้
พูด อึก ครั้ง หนึ่ง ครับ

Phom phoot eek khrang nung
Nai thoi kham khun khao chai dai
Pharsar tarng pratet?
Pharsar tarng pratet
Kham phoot phom khao chai mai dai
Phoot eek khrang nung khrap

I’ll tell you again
In words you can understand
A foreign language?
A foreign language
Words I cannot understand
Please tell me again

FOR The American Sandwich


I was dreading the judge’s verdict, convinced I’d made a huge mistake.
My worst fears were confirmed as I was disqualified from the contest.
“A Chip butty is NOT a traditional American Sandwich”


For Sunday Scribblings
And Carry On Tuesday
'We think we know the ones we love'

'Plans don't always work out the way we envisage
Sometimes they get in the way of those of others.


Father had a painfully acute
Understanding of occupation
And the scope of its consequences

His home country having first of all
Been occupied by the Right wingers,
The Fascists, who entered from stage left,
And subsequently by Left Wingers,
Communists, who entered from stage right

Another time and another place?
A temporary situation?
A one-way ticket out, to the world
May have been a physical escape.

Brutal mental torture, however
Continued, sadly, ever after

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


For Three Word Wednesday


Gush – delight; Drip – sulk
Hypnotic influences
Matching mood thresholds

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



For The American Sandwich

Through the door, a pair of rimless glasses frames a smile that hides a scowl.
The stench of authority, a perfume we don’t care for, fills the air.
And that face, angled to suggest concern; condescends, patronises.



For NaiSaiKu Challenge?


Seventy seven
One hundred and fifty four
One hundred and fifty four
Seventy seven


A Durian from the garden - honestly.
Photo by Kanpirom Srisongnang.


For TOP – Random Stuff

We were eating seventeen we bought from Thom’s Place (1)
On the corner where the Princess kisses Greame (2)
We considered six or seven in the Claremont (3)
Lights out twelve catch us forty and a dream (4)

Six black mice guide a carriage through the rust storm
To ensure on-time express delivery
Blinking lights, durian sherbet; confusing thoughts
Waking up in a panic – WHERE ARE WE?

From thirty three it’s seven on the forty one (5)
You can do it in about twenty five (6)
From thirty two it’s five, but it always takes two (7)
Get two fifty, then get one-o-five
Or get one-o-three, perhaps choose one-o-nine (8)
You’ll do the job in fifteen or twenty (9)
You’ll never be stuck if you’re coming from the south
If you do it by bus there are plenty

*Metrolink* will get you to the centre of Town
Then buses south will go down Wilmslow Road
Don’t get too relaxed, you know it’s only a mile
So check out all the landmarks as you go
**Refuge Assurance clock, now the Palace Phallus
Past the Universities and MRI
Whitworth Art, The Curry Mile, then any right turn**
And the land of M14 meets your eye (10)
Cocktails are now being served. Today’s special is:


The order:

“Durian Sherbet
Agitated, not disturbed”
Best drink of the day!

The ingredients:

Puréed Durian
***Home distilled ‘Isan’ Lao Khao***
Sun-dried chilli flakes

1 - Number 17 on the menu (Chicken Chow Mein) at Thom’s Fish Bar
(an unlikely name for a Chinese take-away)
2 - The junction of Princess Road and Greame Street
(I think it should be GrAEme, but everyone says CREAM anyway)
3 - Six or Seven in the Claremont – 6 or 7 pints of Holts Bitter in the Claremont Pub.
4 – In bed by midnight, forty winks (sleep) and dream
5 – 33 (M33) is the post code for the town of Sale, 7 miles away, 41 is the bus route
7 – 32 (M32) is the post code for the town of Stretford, five miles away, but it’s a two bus journey
8 – 250, 105, 103, 109 are all bus routes
9 - Buses are frequent so the journey only takes 15 or 20 minutes
*-* - Metrolink is Manchester’s Rapid Transit System/Tram Route
**-** - The Palace hotel used to be the Refuge Assurance building, its clock tower is a huge Phallic symbol
You pass Manchester Metropolitan University (formerly Manchester Polytechnic) as well as Manchester University itself, Manchester Royal Infirmary (among other large hospitals) and Whitworth Art Gallery, before hitting The Curry Mile (rows of shops), most of which are Indian/Asian/Halal restaurants
10 – M14 is the post code for Rusholme/Moss Side, Manchester, UK

***-*** - Isan is the north-east region of Thailand - Lao Khao is Rice Liquor

Monday, July 13, 2009



For Monday Poetry Train Revisited

Do you remember bath night?
How scary was it for you?
Embarrassed at having to expose
Yourself to your giggling siblings?
Worried mum might rub shampoo
Into your delicate eyes?
Doesn’t bear thinking about
Does it?

Long before central heating
For most people anyway
When the immersion heater was
Too costly to use every week
You know…back in the sixties
Only telly was black and white
Everything else…dismal grey
And cold

Pans of water on the stove
Condensation scaling walls
Steaming up the kitchen windows
And clinging tight to the ceiling
“Use towels to carry hot pans
Not the clean ones – they’re for kids
Who must also be spotless”
Of course

Kids in two’s; mum gets busy
Using scrubbing brush and soap
Setting her controls to ‘severe’
First two boys, bright pink in seconds
Rubbing shampoo from their eyes
Clutching towels for modesty
And shivering themselves dry
Bath night

Sunday, July 12, 2009


For Sunday Scribblings


I’m lying on my favourite beach
Soaking up sun rays, breathing in scents
My three best friends are absent this year
Due to other commitments

We’d holidayed here in Ninety Six
I remember it like yesterday

Each morning we’d awake to the cry
“Surf’s up – grab your boards – let’s play!”

Never a surfer, so I’d decline
Though I’d promised to give it a go
In truth, I was scared of the ocean
And dangers that lie below

Closing my eyes, I go back in time
Reliving those moments of magic

Trespassing on happy memories
Images, dark and tragic

Suddenly, my worst fears were confirmed
From beneath the surf, Kraken rising
And twenty subterranean beasts
Intent on terrorising

Panic broke out on the crowded beach
As sunbathers scramble caused mayhem
I tried to warn my three surfing friends
Of monsters, out to slay them

My pointing and shouting were in vain
My voice wouldn’t carry that distance
Oblivious to blood-thirsty beasts
They offered no resistance

I could do nothing for those at sea
‘Natural’ disaster, so They say
Dismembered body parts washed ashore
On that fateful, fatal day

A backpacker sits down beside me
He’s travelled for years, I don’t doubt it
“If it’s your first time at this resort
I’ll tell you all about it

The beach is great, and the night-life rocks
But not as good as it used to be…
…You should have been here in Ninety Six…”

“I was…just now…you woke me”

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gloom, Kneel, Transparent

For Three Word Wednesday

Prophets of doom and gloom
Kneel and pray to their god
Transparent hopes and fears

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


For The American Sandwich

Eggs is eggs, or so they say, but you could eat them boiled or have them fried.
You decide, from poached, scrambled, omelette, even barbecued on skewers.
Perhaps you should try six of one and half a dozen of the other.

The Other Other Half

For NaiSaiKu Challenge?

She’s not his sister
But she’s his sister’s sister
Makes her his sister's sister
But not his sister

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love's Me Not?

Posted to Three Word Wednesday
and The Naisaiku Challenge?

Nothings whispered
Promise me the love I yearn
Loves yearned for broken promise
Whispers 'Nothing's sweet'