One of the darker months
The phone rarely rang
Her typewrite ribbon fresh
The keys unimpressed
Cartridge paper laid in the tray
Gathering a carbon copy of dust
Once the post was checked
Orders filed and queries placed in pending
She'd roll the chair under its desk
Lie on the floor
And sleep

Next door, under neon I sat each day
Writing out lists of prospects
From Kelly's Directory and Kompass
Industrial estate after industrial estate
Postcode by postcode
For the territory salesmen
Occasionally compiling a report
about small electrical domestic appliances
Or drafting the blurb that would sell
Slow cookers, steam irons, sandwich toasters
I turned up most days
Before the news of Lennon
I couldn't imagine

She and I spoke so rarely
I forgot her name, she mine
The thin-windowed false wall
Partitioned us
Her with perpetual weariness
Me with accumulating grief
I wonder still
What brought us together?


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-One prompt: person / job / art / unanswerable question.

CLP 21/04/2022

electricity on

strung out                  isolated
hearts insulated from shock

reconnect to grid


n.b. When it gets really cold, the power lines still buzz, crackle, remain alive. Is the danger inherent in reconnection worth the risk? Can we live without that vital spark?

CLP 09/02/2022

on time

houses for workers
became homes of unemployed
miles from anywhere


n.b. Not much going on in the old pit villages, unless you can afford a car. As you can see, not many cars, although one has an L-plate. Too many places in England have been built over the years out on a limb, so when the work goes the people become isolated.

Will the Internet and working from home technology bring decent wages back to the hills?


CLP 22/01/2022

on time

there's plenty of it
lining pockets filling cups
its the dark I hate


CLP 31/08/2021

On 2020

Memorable year

One I would rather forget

Finally ends here


CLP 31/12/2020

On Losing (24)

I realise that

England is a word I use

as much as UK


n.b. Nice work Alexander Johnson and your BXT mates – you got to me in the end too and I am part Irish, part Swedish, part Welsh and part English. The United Kingdom is history. I am proud to be a European; embarrassed to be English while The Great Clown is in Downing Street.

CLP 29/12/2020

On Losing (19)

What’s the bloody point

If it ends up in the drink?

“Go straight to Gaol do…”


n.b. Complete the well known phrase from a popular unpopular board game in words of your one has a monopoly on truth.

CLP 20/12/2020

On Numbers 22

Out the door with you!

You know it makes sense to go

home and drink alone.


n.b. …where no one can hear you scream.

Tonight I was advised that I could not sit at a pub terrace because of the weather. I could see the setting Moon in a mostly clear sky. A beautiful night to sit out with a pint, but, oh no, if it rains then I would want to go inside, I was informed and that was not allowed.

So, due to Covid regulations and the weather restrictions, I was not permitted to drink on the riverside patio. I had dressed myself with suitable clothing for an autumnal evening, with the express intention of having a drink in the fresh air. Why the Hell would I want to sit inside a pub when the heavens were on display, the air warm and a river decorated by swans ran beneath me?

And chucking out time from the pubs is 22:00 hrs because Covid-19 only operates in the dead of night, apparently. They can re-open at 05:00 hrs.


CLP 23/10/2020

Off the Street

I kept out of it

Today the echoed footsteps

Were not made by me


CLP 10/10/2020

On the Street iv

They’re disposable

Cast aside once utilised

As if elderly


n.b. Don’t let those Tory bastards get away with it.


CLP 03/10/2020