spitting it out

she talks of anxiety

& mental illness

coming on

how she hopes to get by

without falling

into that steep dark hole

& I’m listening

I always do

even if my mind is wandering

to times

I hadn’t a clue

what the next day would bring

more hunger more pain

no money blues

the times where I learned

there is no referee umpire

to even up the game

make play fair rules

& getting up

to fall over again

was all I could do

to mark the days

Hungry

back when she fed me

out of date food from her mothers’ shop

boxes of snacks battered tins

& I was grateful for that largesse

& now

I visited her about a year

before she died

took her & her deadbeat man out

bought drinks & a meal

he snuffled it all right up

king for the day

later she apologised

for his appetite

manners or lack of

& I reminded her the beggar

there once at her door

oh that was different she laughed

you made me feel good about that

but this…?

maybe I said one day he’ll wake

get out there in the world

find the thing he loves

become the man he once was again

& all she did was sigh

& later at her funeral

he sat with me

telling me how like me he was

& I had to agree

we did both love the same woman

healing

I’d been searching

always for something

could heal me

hoping to find

the cure for this itch

might give me

a little peace

of mind

& she came in

foxed me with her beauty

promising everything

had that smile

of riches to come

like she knew my hunger

could get that job

over & done

& instead took

whatever she could

leaving me behind

thinking at least

I’d had my healing

until just maybe

the next time

a sweet smile

on a pretty face

could get that hook

swung on a line

Make sumthin’ happen

days of kicking the streets
riding from this place to that
sitting on kerbstones
passing the hat
dredging pennies for bottles
staring at the girls walking slow by
thinking one day I’ll be able
feeling the dig in the ribs
from one less meal passed
living for laughs with friends
all broke in much the same spaces
waiting for something someone
to happen make it all true
as we worked with busted tools
on our broke down
bikes, lives, loves, hearts & hours
there was nothing yet had frightened us
everything was just passing through like
tinny music from a cheap radio
soundtrack to slow hours thinking
what where could we go next
would we ever make it to?
& if there’s one thing we had
we could always share
was next to nothing
as that at least was free
I don’t see those faces anymore
hold their names
in my mind or life
its enough I remember
sitting on those hot kerbs
letting summer slip by
not a care to be had
making nothing happen