Last Chants Saloon

Here we go, here we go, here we go1
Danny’s at the wheel2
We’re here, we’re there… 3

Is this a library? 4
My garden shed is bigger than this
It’s got a door and a window
My garden shed it bigger than this 5

We forgot that you were here 6
It’s nice to know you’re here… 7
You must have come in a taxi 8

You don’t know what you’re doing 9

He fell over 10
You’re going home in a Pompey ambulance 11
It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle! 12

Is there a fire drill? 13
We can see you sneaking out 14
You’ll never make the station 15

Taxi for Carter 16
Bye-bye, bye-bye 18

Who ate all the pies? 19
You...! 20

n.b. NaPoWriMo April 2022 Day Thirty prompt: Lines from other poets. Well artistic licence applied here – feeling de-mob happy, tbh!

Sources: 1. Crewe Alexandra, Gresty Road, 2022 2. Fratton Park, 1980s 3. Various 4. Sheffield Wednesday, Hillsborough, 2022 5. Shrewsbury Town, The New Meadow, 2018 6. Plymouth Argyle, Fratton Park, 2016 7. Luton Town, Fratton Park, 2017 8. Accrington Stanley, Fratton Park, 2015 9. Cheltenham Town, Whaddon Road, 2022 10. Wycombe Wanderers, (Too many times to mention). 11. S*********n, Fratton Park, 1984 12. Most match days. 13. Tottenham Hotspurs, Wembley, 2010 14. Peterborough United, London Road, 2018 15. Brighton & Hove Albion, Fratton Park, 1976 16. Sunderland AFC, Roker Park, 1995 18. Tottenham Hotspurs, Wembley, 2010 19. S*********n, St Mary’s, 2010 20. For Graham Poll, Referee playing as the 12th man for Arsenal in his last match at Fratton Park, April 2007.

CLP 01/05/2022

on love

evening under lights
immaculate pitch gleams green
passing conversation


n.b. Stuff yer super league.

CLP 12/04/2022

About One in Two Hundred Thousands

Late evening, I walk past the guildhall
pride of place epitomised in stone
Victoria's solid figure set glum-faced
stares unseeing across the city square
Did imperial majesty not make you happy, ma'am?

Ahead a space, where a big block stood
reduced to its foundations with civic care
floor-by-floor removed
kitchens, bathrooms, lounges
down-to-earth homes now grounded

This rebuilt city shifts again
from its 1940s shattered remains
to quick-fix accommodation
to divided houses with doorbells arrayed
too many people in too little space

Concrete defences fight off the rapacious sea
While two hundred thousand people relax
By turning up the television volume
To hide a woman's screams
On screen that's entertainment
as for her, reality bites

I hesitate and turn
Which street? Which low-rise?
I cannot locate the source of pain
Someone surely must be closer
Police already called to intervene

I walk on clinging to my timely rediscovered belief
in love-thy-neighbour
myths of Blitz-spirit community
the local friendly British Bobby
under mocking seagull cries


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twelve prompt; something small. Here the possible odds of somebody doing the right thing in time.

CLP 12/04/2022

on the island

caught against a wall
colour diluted by headlights
fox trotting through town


n.b. Foxes in Portsmouth scavenge by night, gulls by day.

CLP 06/10/2021

August viii

crisp sun sharp blue heat

this southern sky long since missed

now untouchable


CLP 14/08/2021

On Water xx

sorting through shingle

picking out perfect pebbles

stones skimming off waves


CLP 28/04/2021

On Water xv

green brine of Pompey

no shallow mirror of sky

depth of character


CLP 24/04/2021

On Hope

Why are we waiting?

All the band’s friends are here

No one else will come.


n.b. Ah! Some parents have arrived, perhaps now we’ll have some music. Dutch Criminal Record were the main act. I enjoyed the up-tempo, high-tone guitar work and snappy bass with sympathetic drum accompaniment. XTC / Orange Juice for the 21st Century. Nice.

CLP 13/03/2020


Three roads, one railway

Cross Hilsea Lines to Hampshire

But we’re happy here


n.b. The connections from Portsmouth to the mainland are limited. For those travelling by car the road connections can be a source of frustration; for the residents a source of pollution. Standing traffic is commonplace on these often congested links.

All the train services to Portsmouth must cross the bridge in the photograph. Portsmouth is well-served by rail due to its history as the home of the Royal Navy, (a legacy of Henry VIII).

The proximity to seawater creates an interesting rust colour-base for the rail crossing.

I discovered a few footbridges on a recent walk around the north edge of Portsea Island, but I stayed on board, not having my passport to hand.

It will not be difficult to isolate this city if the Government contingency plans for a possible Covid-19 epidemic are implemented, but I cannot see how it would work for London, for example.

CLP 02/03/2020

Break Up

Totally cut up

Dismantled, stripped naked, boned

Empty vessels. Ssssshhhh!


n.b. Breakers yards at the top of Portsea Island have operated here for generations and although on a smaller scale than during the post-war period, it is still fascinating seeing a ship taken apart.

CLP 01/03/2020