Sooking Silence



quarter worth of drops

tuppence hal’penny worth of treat

small denominations

for weighted-measure worth of sweets

lemon sherberts, strawberries,

liquorice in strings

butter dainties, caramels

a paper poke of things

tempting to the tastebuds

lips purse, tongues salivate

little lads and lassies

in the corner shop all wait

taking turns to order

eyes purchase every kind

going over flavours

in the testrooms of their mind

counting out the coppers

with due care, not one to spare

fair exchange and movies

sooking silence in armchair

contentment on a Saturday

sherbert moments, MB bars

rainy days of chewing gum

watching old film stars

stocking soles and cushions

hammer horror, if allowed

choking on gobstoppers

while Fred swings Ginger round

penny trays and hal’penny trays

sugared bits of bliss

candy-coated treasury

whose sticky lips I sometimes kiss

Mick McManus, wrestling

dad and smoking pipe

everybody sucking

afternoons of sheer delight

bottled up for keeping

labelled so not lost

treasured, measured memories

all poured at human cost


Key Piece

original_four-personalsied-jijsaw-shaped-keyrings (1)


a piece of the puzzle is missing

a piece of the puzzle is lost

a piece of the puzzle has gone awol

a piece we needed the most

the edge is missing its anchor

                                                   the border is shaky at best

                                                 and all the bits in the middle

                                                     feel insecure at this test

some hands have gone on a recce

fingering through lost and found

eyes are darting in panic

a madness is doing the rounds

all because one wedge is missing

missing, I said, not spare

essential, maybe gone for a burton

we’ve searched about everywhere

some guys claimed to have found it

and we tried but they had just lied

cut off the edges and filed them

no fit unless you’re cross-eyed

others brought in a new one

we sampled but there on the desk

lay the puzzle with one portion absent

 some folk, like me, couldn’t rest

neglected, we couldn’t abide it

what waste for the want of a piece

determined we hunted and foraged

unaccounted gave us no peace

puzzles they come in aplenty

perfectly carved from the first

boxed with the prettiest pictures

enigmas inside of a curse

for all of the boxes are missing

a fragment that fits and completes

but still we build, keep on trying

never admitting defeat

scores of them lying on tables

more of them housed on some shelf

 tatty are some, unused, faded

  jigsaws a lot like ourselves

waiting for hands that are loving

determine construction from bits

hoping and praying that this time

with effort, and luck, it all fits

                                                     if lost is seen mount a rescue

catch it and guard it for free

clip it and keep it for ransom

due reward for finding the key