Translations by Google

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Joan Leslie Rawson (Nee Godwin) R I P

Joan, I didn’t think your leaving would matter at all.
It’s been so long since we last communicated.
You were always there, in the back of my mind
… a distant someone that I never tried to touch or talk to.
And now I can’t, because you left, I doubt it was voluntary.
The last time you made me cry was just before we separated.
After 30 years together, yeah … I shed some tears.

But last night was different, our son made me cry, but it was your fault.
He told me you had left, and I was totally unprepared for that.
I imagined you always being “there”, not just a memory, but something tangible,
Now …and too late as always … I realise I should have tried to retain your friendship.
I can’t explain this feeling … it’s not like I am going to miss you, it’s just …
a vast emptiness that opened up to absorb the tears Mike and I shed together,
an engagement of images churned from within my shocked brain cells and
damn it - sorrow, loss, confusion, sadness – I can’t explain it?!

However, I have to say goodbye, albeit from a distance.
No kiss on your forehead, no gentle press of your folded hands
I fell out of love, but never disliked you, so from me to you
“Bye for now … Rest in peace sweetheart”

2015 01 12
A cry for help

A cry for help is
a desperate thing,
sometimes  unheard.
Silent screaming in the night
cruelty is absurd.

It may be unspoken
an action or a stare
a cut, a bruise
or someone’s shorn off hair.

Cruelty cultivates hatred.
That cry for help
needs understanding.

Someone to be there

Cruelty is a lone stalker



Softly now and melt away, the pain begins to dim,
Softly now the fog surrounds, she wants to be with him,
Softly for the passage of time, the wind upon my face,
Softly for the emptiness of a long ago embrace.

Softly now for precious things, the fragile and the frail,
Softly as the touch of snow, that melts upon the dale,
Softly as the candlelight, that flickers round the room,
Softly as I hear my heart, boom, boom, boom .

Softly is the hush of night, her breath upon my chest,
Softly as the touch of silk, my hand upon her breast,
Softly in the dawn of day, she’ll take my breath away,
Softly when the petal falls, her name you’ll hear me say, softly, softly, softly

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mobile Pussy

I see her
ride past
then stop.
She dismounts
the Honda, a
plastic bag swings
in time with
bouncy footsteps
and tits.
A red floral
hairclip blossoms
on flowing black hair.
She enters his gate

One hour

she exits,
crumpled bag
under her arm
less assurance now
as she checks
the buttons
on her white blouse
adjusts her breasts
and stumbles
just as she
reaches her bike.

I wonder
where the hairclip is.

She rides back
past my garden
and waves.
Home delivery
Thai style.

The next thing you know
she’ll have a
four digit call number
and a sexy logo

a stylised
naked pussy cat
riding a Honda.

2010 11 24

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tonight I'm drinking Heineken … hic!
then, I had some others … slurp!
I make a toast to Mom and Dad, … hic!
then to my three brothers. … slurp!

Decide I need Jack, … hiccup 1!
to set me on the road, … hiccup 2!
if I keep going on like this, … hiccup 3!
I’ll be drunker than a toad. … hehehe!

Now I’m propping up the bar … burp!
my winds caught up with me. … burp!
Oh bloody hell, and cross my legs … fart!
I need to go and pee. … burp, fart… whoops!

Stagger to my left, … giggling!
sway to my right, … still giggling!
I think if I fall down, … giggling even more!
I’ll be here for the night. … Nearly … piddling!

There’s a stupid smile upon my face, … grinning!
my hair’s askew and all, … smiling!
Leaning hard against the sink, … squirming!
and trying not to fall. … got it!… ahhhhh!

Oh what sweet relief … oh yes!
now I need a hug … oh yes please!
I got rid of all that beer … oh yes please another!
but forgot to pull the plug! ... joking of course!


Monday, November 2, 2009


I always thought that life in the fast lane

Was intended to portray the better side of living

But something struck me deep the other day

Some people in the fast lane live in a different way.

Black African roads crowded with traffic

To use Nigerian slang a traffic jam is a ‘go slow’

Vehicles stretch for mile after humid mile

It’s not often you’ll see a driver smile.

Transport battles side by side no inch given

Horns blaring even when there is no chance of anyone moving

Decrepit buses carrying bodies crammed inside

Some place to go, but no place to hide.

Young boys and old men - roadside hawkers plying their trade

Running races between the clogged up lanes

Trying to sell you anything you might need

Propelled in their quest for the cash that will feed.

There is another type of predator out there too

The roadside thugs who will rob and kill

Don’t expect others to extend their assistance

Life is too precious; you’ll be killed for interference.

Other inhabitants frequent the highways too

The maimed and the poor beg at your windows

Legless men on wooden boards with wheels

Can move faster than the traffic shouting their appeals.

Woman and baby both dressed in stinking rags

Wander aimlessly between the cars, eyes stareing

Baby is sucking on an empty breast, no nourishment there

Nobody seems to give a damn and nobody seems to care.

Life in a Nigerian motorway fast lane is not a picnic

People seek to make a living, they want to survive

Driven on by despair and a life that is miles apart from our own

Geared into poverty where hope for a better life is unknown.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Our daily bread

Some days my compassion I do dread

Especially as I go for my daily bread

When I go to the bakers, the best in town

It always gives me cause to frown

The beggars are there outside the door

Just the same as the day before

Both are crippled, both are lame

They’re here every day come wind or rain

Thousands must pass through the baker each week

The begging business is very sleek

There is nothing to give and no need for fashion

Their work is performed on your compassion

For Market Positioning they get top score

If I had more points I’d give them more

The phantom dagger is sunk to the hilt

As they make their strike against your guilt

A Business Strategy that’s hard to beat

They catch you there, right there on the street

They’ve no overheads and no rent to pay

And who can levy taxes on what they make every day?

Their Business Development is not very hard

The baker’s reputation is their key card

No need to keep stocks standing by

The beggar’s customers have nothing to buy

It’s very obvious and very plain

Both have suffered a great deal of pain

For After-Sales Service give them ten from ten

I know they’ll be there when I go again

They won’t ask as you step from the car

Their approach is more sophisticated by far

They know you are here to buy some food

If you ignore them after, you’re bound to feel rude

The begging’s not open, it’s more succinct

As they come to know you, it’s usually a wink

An outstretched hand to bid you Good Day

is always there to take your money away.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

Is what the Lord’s Prayer says!

Give the bakers beggars their daily bread, is what I say

And, Tony, try to do it with a smile .. every day!

Tony 13/May/2001

An African Miss

I can’t forget the grace, I can’t forget the face.

Surprised at the impact you had on me,

from deep down in Africa you rose

a daughter of your people, and how it shows.

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Who are you and who are your people?

Brilliant smiles with hearts in the roots of this land,

the Oyibo comes and marvels at this place

but not all of us are wah-wah face.

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

You sought me out after much palaver

and talked to me with no wahallah.

It’s great to hear the words you chatter

but call me Oyibo Pepe once more

and I’ll give you qata – qata :o))

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha…Inoniyegha Misan

Tony 18/08/2001

Explanations of the words used in this poem. The spelling might be off target here ...

Oyibo = White person

Oyibo Pepe = Old White Man

Wah-Wah face = Ugly

Palaver = Bother

Wahallah = Trouble

Qata-Qata = Huge Trouble!

Inonyega Misan = Inonyega Misan a name – surname/family name first!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Street Food

Street food

Characters and symbols,
mutant matchstick men,
march across the building
in strict neon formation.
Cantonese advertising
lures you to unique
street food venues.

Fish flap
in capture tanks,
the sound of patting
a baby’s wet bum.
Take your pick
and latex gloved hands
make a crane grab
look immobile.

Cherry tomatoes,
small red gobstoppers,
offset squid bodies
that leak black ink.
Congealed saliva
of Swallows
stirred into bird’s nest soup
with a bamboo cooking brush.

Spitting woks,
pelican pouches
filled with garlic,
mushrooms, carrots
spring onions and broccoli
all sprinkled with
Chinese white wine.

Deft fingers
separate noodle strings,
a silent pliable harp.
Sculptured watermelon dragon
threatens with
breaded lobster claws.

Ying and Yang of

Cantonese food,

and life is perfect

if you’re Cantonese,

... but tonight, I’m not hungry.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Retribution cocktail

Retribution cocktail

I take my
retribution cocktail,
at six o-clock
every morning,
and Omega 3 supplement.
A Doctors’ solution
for a body that’s seen
the world,
and over indulged
in what it has to offer.

Roasted joints of meat
eaten Henry VIII style,
torn apart by hand
with no side dishes.
Wine and beer
by the gallon
and cigarettes
by the carton,
have all been
contributors to my

Now, there’s perverted pleasure
in maintaining
daily charts
that tell me
what my body is doing.
The ups and downs of
my existence plotted
on a computer screen
bears resemblance
to the turmoil
of my excesses.


Monday, October 12, 2009

My breakfast sandwich

My breakfast sandwich

Whole meal bread, lightly toasted,

a sliver of butter slowly melting

into crumbs of the future.

Green, crinkly lettuce a

foundation for a feast.

Beef pastrami with its shimmer

of pink and tinged transparent blue

surrounded by speckles of yellow,

red and green seasoning that

falls away into cling film as I lift it.

Sliced white onion, thin circles

of eye watering taste that grow

smaller and smaller towards the center.

Juicy red tomato, pulp and seed

exposed, dripping, mouth watering.

Each layered one upon the other

awaiting the peak of the sunny side up

egg whose golden yellow yolk will burst

and flood.

Crystalline white salt, a peck is just enough.

Finally, the Prince of Herbs, black pepper

ground from the mill to dust as garnish.