This is instinctive art, where a visceral fusion of the human form is captured and immortalised. The struggle for identity is visible. And yet there seems to be no escape. The form exudes defiance. Can destiny be manipulated?
Trotter devours the succulent steak on his plate One of his cravings satisfied, he’s in a self-indulgent state Has an appetite for more, eats up the night, guzzles gas in his Scooby Doo Drives through the city, to a club, for neon entertainment in super stereo Occupies his usual balcony, taking small sips of Pina Colada Drinks in the delights of dancing girls, sings along to Lady Gaga Trotter taps a toe, stylish in his designer Italian moccasins Handcrafted by skilled artisans using triple layered calf skins An atmosphere so electric – simmering, steamy energy At the end of the club night, Trotter goes home alone in the Scooby Wakes up next day in his own company. Comfortable isolation Boots up his laptop, fires up his coffee maker, switches on the television Checks his mobile phone for messages, there’s a text from an airline He puts the phone on charge then turns on the grill to cook rashers of swine When they’re ready, he throws them into a thickly buttered crusty baguette Impulse informs him to be somewhere hot, he hungers for golden sunsets His walk in wardrobe has a range of luxurious, imported fine clothing A suitcase is packed, he’s dressed, passport in pocket, a plane is waiting
Tells a terrible joke at the check in desk, one that should never be recycled Wanders through duty free shops, admires the gifts, exquisitely packaged Trotter buys magazines at a news stand, to alleviate his aching boredom Flicks through, studies images of floods in Peru, then he simply dumps them Orders a burger from a kiosk. It arrives in a box, wrapped in crinkly paper Pours milkshake down his dried up throat, from a disposable plastic beaker The table at the burger stand is strewn with rubbish, it’s obnoxiously stinky He considers complaining, but visits the lounge bar instead, for a little drinky When Trotter travels alone, he finds gin and tonic the perfect companion Swimming in a clear blue sea, enjoying the facilities of a man made resort Civilisation at its best, where the fine things in life can easily be bought His plane touches down, he leaps on a bus, a short ride to an ocean paradise A memory surfaces, he recalls the Peruvian floods, Mother Nature’s malice Arrives at a five star hotel, checks in, it’s a fabulous choice of holiday home Built on green fields where not so long ago, mountain goats were free to roam A large picture window gives him a wonderful view of a sun-kissed horizon Fishermen confined to a corner of the bay, pushed aside by a tourist invasion
Palm trees sway in the breeze, punctuate the poolside, positioned perfectly Trotter sips a cocktail, eager to enjoy himself, planted at the bar permanently Sun gods and goddesses glisten as they fry themselves at the side of the pool While in African provinces, rivers run dry, and the searing heat can be cruel If those sun worshippers needed to walk miles for a bucketful of dirty water They’d hire lawyers to sue for millions. There would be corporate slaughter He considers himself lucky to be from the west where wallets can be fattened The global market overflows with money: London, Tokyo, Manhattan But when storms become savage, no amount of money can fix the wreckage He watches news on a poolside television, a tsunami causing lethal damage At the request of another guest, a waiter switches channels to a music station A televised catastrophe is not what tourists want to see when on vacation Trotter erupts, a volcano awakening, he says, ‘Hey! I was watching the news!’ Jumps down from his bar stool, a bomb blast in beach shorts, a burning fuse The guest shrugs, and replies, ‘We all just want to hear some music.’ Trotter’s rage dies, he sits down, he should be chilling, shaking off the static Maybe there’s nothing he can do about the horrors of natural devastation Picks up his mobile, finds a relief fund website, makes a generous donation
When a teenager In the seventies And out with my family I quickly got bored So, in those days Before digital technology At the social club We had a choice Between bingo And the fruit machine
Pineapples And slices of water melon Cherries and lemons And lucky sevens Spinning images Clicking into view I dropped in coin after coin And, I got lucky I won the jackpot I scooped up handfuls of change
Fast forward Several decades later I found different ways To gamble And, I became acquainted With the Arctic Monkeys Which got me spinning back in time To when I won that jackpot And put all the winnings back Into the fruit machine
I’ve seen it on the telly And I thought it looked easy That was foolish. And now I’ve learned That I’m terrible at hockey Sometimes, I swipe at thin air I play with the grace of a grizzly bear Generally, I try to keep out of the way and attempt a few tackles
And, I’ll never be able To do an Indian dribble
My feet seem to grow They seem unable to avoid the ball I give away short and long corners Then, I stand on the post A headless chicken, protecting the goal Recently, I found redemption I blocked the ball on the goal line With my stick, I knocked it away
As part of my fitness regime I’ve been going out running Usually along a disused railway line Sometimes across the fields And through the deer park Sometimes, the cows are out grazing And, one day, I had to turn back When one of them blocked a stile I couldn’t shoo it away It was a cantankerous beast Protecting its calves. Looking vicious
On another occasion, I was close to home And, at a junction, where two tracks joined A man on a bicycle, with 2 young boys Stopped to let me pass I thanked him, and said ‘I don’t believe this, I’m overtaking cyclists!’ He laughed And I ran on, keeping a steady pace Then, I heard a rumble behind me Getting closer. I looked over my shoulder I couldn’t really see him But, I knew he was there
Slowly but surely, the rattle got louder I was being hunted down By a small Terminator On 10-inch wheels, with stabilisers Those little legs pumped as he passed me And he said, ‘I caught you up!’ I managed a smile, and said, ‘Well done.’ Then, he stopped and waited For his family to catch him up I said, ‘Hasta la vista baby!’ And carried on, upping my pace a touch
I kicked on, not too far to go Rays of sunshine filtered through The trees, feeding me vitamin D Then, I heard the rumble again The Terminator was back! The rattle got louder, so I kicked on again As much as I could muster Determined to win this battle The noise faded, and I savoured a victory I finally defeated the Terminator On 10-inch wheels, with stabilisers
It’s a bit of fun. 10 very silly poems about fruit, vegetables and tofu that might raise a smile or two. This collection is the equivalent of a small allotment, or maybe a couple of raised beds, planted lovingly with poetry, to bear fruit.