Out walking in London town on a beautiful summers day, many folks out enjoying the weather, and many buskers enjoying the folks, there are varying talents, some drumming, some playing the guitar and singing, others have no talent, but still need the money, so simply ask. Then there are the surviving gypsies selling lucky heather, who knows if these are gypsies or if it’s just their shtick.
An old gypsy woman offers me some heather, and I refuse, she looks annoyed at this rebuff and says some words in strong accent I do not pick up on, so I say ‘Ok I’ll take the heather’, she tucks it into the pocket of my shirt, it curls out over the hem to say ‘sucker here’, I thank her, give her a pound coin then turn away and head across the bridge.
London is mostly cabs, buses and bikes now, all other traffic scared away through lack of parking and congestion charges. I stop and look to the river, many boats are bustling up and down, the wheel in the distance carries tourists high over the river, my mind wanders, I step to cross the road, a bus bears down on me at a vast rate of knots, before I gather my thoughts a cab has taken a chance and cut across the bus, the bus smashing into the side of it, halting its progress to this dazed fool. Damn, bet that cabbie wished he had some heather.


Strictly speaking the rose has a prickle and not a thorn
but thorn sat more comfortably when romance was born
passion, caress, desire, temptation and others besides
they sat in gilded self importance when prickle arrived
he snuck in the room all quiet to chance
but they gave prickle a sideways glance,
saying ‘Off to the silly room with wiggle
and pumpkin and pickled underpants,
you have no place in our room of romance.’


I have never understood the culture of the dare, perfectly reasonable people will do all sorts of stupid things through just the provocation of three innocuous words, ‘I dare you’, somehow believing that whatever is said must be carried out, some mystic power may otherwise catch up with them for not for filling the dare. Jump here, eat this, poke that, all things the darer dare not do themselves. I found a way to break the spell with two magic words of my own, fuck off.


Driving along the motorway
I spot movement
a wing flapping in the corner of my eye
life on this endless dreary grey tarmac
but no,
the bird is crushed in to the road
the wing’s flaps are only
at the will of the wind.


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