Not Flowers

This thing that happens 
before runner beans;
a disobedient scarlet
searches for a way out
choked in black flies
and the tragedy of bees
and everything focused
on metamorphosis
like this orchid tenderness
was the caterpillar part–
a small beauty, lost
in a larger reckoning
and they are still,
not flowers
when they fade
the way that roses do


 You say, ‘It’s over.’
And I think you might be talking to the fire
As it sighs and curls, and falls asleep,
In the cradle of charcoal and tender ashes
And I try hard not to notice  
How roughly you kick your boot
Through the soggy, amber leaves
And the clagging mustard of rot
And the flat, leather mushrooms
And the beaded cobwebs
And the forgotten acorns
And the ring of pale feathers
And the cruelty of moonlight
And the meaningless sorrow of tiny bones
And the relentless smell of mildew
And the misery of all the crawling things
And all the sticks and all the stones…
And in the car park
You drive away too quickly
And don’t wait for me 
Or the unexpected fox
Caught too long in the headlights.

Krampus – the end

Two lengthy hours later and it’s all cleared away 
There’s no sign of the suspect or of his sleigh
Four men and a laptop have been transferred
And no one is talking ‘bout what has occurred 
Dan’s report is erased to sidestep a scandal
Then the room is sealed shut with an advent candle
And all of the cards with their seasonal slogans
Get turned to confetti in controlled explosions
But lessons were learned on that strange Christmas Day
‘bout Santa and reindeer and the meaning of sleigh
From next mid-November they’ve cancelled all leave
And there’s no room for merry in their Christmas Eve
As for officer Dan, he now works at the Met
Searching out weird stuff from off of the net
But the way it gets handled just seems awful tragic
Coz where’s the fun in anything if you take away the Magic?

Krampus pt.4

Then officer Dan gulps down some caffeine 
Produces the list that they found at the scene  
‘You know, Mr Santa, I’m sick of these games,
what shit will we find when we check out these names?’
Well, the suspect he slams his fists on the table
Says, ‘Don’t piss me off with your Santa Claus label.
You call something ‘nice’, you foster polarity,
then mess with the rules like bullshit’s a charity.’
In a jingle of sleigh bells he’s out of the cuffs
Pins officer Dan to the wall by the scruffs,
‘See, lists are like wishes, best mind how you use them.
They’re hard to undo and most mortals abuse them.’  
Then he slaps on his belly and roars, ‘Ho-Ho-Ho.’
As the room gets all jumbled with reindeer and snow
And he leans in real close, pulls a pen from Dan’s pocket   
Writes the word ‘Naughty’ on the wall, by the socket


Krampus pt.3

Two hours later and the tech squad are there
Using their face recognition software
A suspect is spotted just ten blocks away
A man with a sack, some deer and a sleigh
Cops take him down in a sinkhole of sirens
Flashing their torches and several firearms  
‘Are you gonna come quietly?’ a policeman yells
Over squalling alarms and rusty sleigh bells
The suspect just smirks as they unbuckle Prancer
Flips them the bird and refuses to answer
So he gets escorted on down to the station
Thrown into a van with a fearsome Alsatian
He’s stuck in an interview room with no view
And given a list of the things he should do
Police officer Dan sits down with a flurry
Says, ‘Kidnapping children’s the least of your worries.
It’s unsociable hours on the solicitor’s fee
And we’ll need a fresh copy of your last CRB
Your resident permits are rather unclear
And I hope for your sake they’re domestic reindeer
Then there’s the matter of carbon emissions
And the use of a sleigh in adverse conditions
Police officer Dan he leans back in his chair,
Says, ‘If you’re doing Santa, then what’s with the hair?
There’s more on your kneecaps than grows on your head
And that fur on your jacket don’t look like it’s dead.
There’s no judge on earth’s gonna grant you some bail,
and there’ll be quite a queue for your presence in jail.’  


Krampus pt.2

Young Toby McManners is gaming alone
Slaughtering his friends with a Fortnite drone
The Last Man Standing is within his grasp
When his door slides open with a terrible rasp
‘Do not disturb!’ he screams all ironic
But Disturbed has a list, and his name is on it
A flip and a trip and a slap round the back
And Toby is swapped for some coal in a sack
Mum hears a thump while she’s scrolling on Twitter  
She drops off the feed in a flurry of glitter
Storms down the hall and discovers the scene 
A GAME OVER tag flashing up on the screen
And a sack full of coal where the poor boy got took
She bites back a sob and updates her Facebook
‘Toby is missing,’ she types all red eyed,
‘it’s a sad day for sure, but at least he’s outside.’


Krampus pt.1

#not for Christmas, but for life

It’s late Christmas Eve on Winterbourne Road 
The snowfall is crisp and shockingly cold
When up on the rooftop of number eight
A scrabbling wind knocks some ice off the slates

And from out of the darkness rides folklore and fear
In a pale, wooden sleigh with six ghastly reindeer
He steps onto the lawn in a slithering mist
Then flicks a wry smile and pulls out a list

He checks on it once and stops by a name
Takes a glance ‘round the street and checks it again
Then he shoulders a sack, leaves the reindeer untied
Kicks down the front door and heads on inside

He picks up a scent like the stuff of nightmares 
Gives a self-assured snarl, and bounds up the stairs
His breath is all primal, he’s covered in lice
He’s not on the hunt for a kid who’s been nice