Alan Gibbons

Diet
Mum
Hardly
Eats.
In
Fact,
She
Is
So
Thin,
If
You
Turn
This
Poem
Sideways
She
Will
Probably
Vanish.

Pin
Our
Teacher
Got
So
mad
His
Head
Exploded.
You could
Hear
A pin
Drop.


Jottings

The SAT sitter, By Alan Gibbons

 

Said the sad SAT sitter

To the man in the corner,

Her dad:

I'm sad.

Why? Dad asked.

I'm sitting the SATs.

Then the SAT sitter explained

That

Instead of reading,

Instead of painting,

Instead of swimming,

Instead of explaining

Herself

And a world of things

Beyond,

Instead of asking,

Instead of imagining,

Instead of guessing,

Instead of dreaming

She would sit

Revising

For her SATs.

She told the whole story,

How she would do a pre-SAT,

An optional SAT- yeah

Right!-

A fun SAT (sic),

A preparation SAT,

A mock Sat,

An after-school-club SAT

And finally

A just-to-see-if-you're-ready-

To-sit-the-SATs SAT.

Then the man in the corner,

Her dad,

Looked at his daughter

And shook his head.

The truth is, he said;

You've never sat sadder

Than a sad SAT sitter.

Lemon
Dimpled,
Waxy,
Soft,
Tangy,
It makes me wince.

Bacon
Reddish,
Crispy,
Crunchy,
Salty,
It teases my taste buds.

Hope
Hope is white, almost colourless.
It tastes like a snowflake on your tongue And smells like a raindrop on a rose petal. Hope looks like the space where love has just been standing.
It sounds like the shudder of your own breathing.
Hope teases.

Kenning
Wave skipper,
Ocean racer,
Earth strider,
Storm rider,
Head cleaver,
Blood bather,
Odin fearer,
Armour shearer,
Raven master.
Guess who?
A Viking.

Kenning
Face-twister,
Stair-stamper,
Computer-hogger,
Long -scowler,
Fridge prowler,
Spot-squeezer,
Sibling-teaser,
Sometime sulker,
Guess who?
Your teenage brother.

My Dog 
My 
   dog 
  ran 
       like 
            a 
              mad 
         thing 
                     all
                         the
                             way 
                                    home 
   where 
         he 
             ate 
                 my sister's 
                                homework. 
                                Good dog!
			

Teacher and Me
My teacher,
that's MY teacher,
the one I'm stuck with,
not the one I choose,
you understand,
my teacher said:
sit up in your seat,
straighten your tie,
watch your capital letters
and
FULL STOPS,
don't look at me
in that tone of voice
and
finally,
why oh why,
do you never
ever
SMILE?

 

Nightmare
So bad
I woke up crying.
So bad
I felt depressed all morning.
So bad
it left me
with a sick feeling
that put me off my dinner.
So
bad!

I wonder why I can't
Remember it.

Epitaph 1
Here beneath this clay
I lie, one Marcus jones.
No more will I see the light of day
All that's left of me is bones.

Epitaph 2
Here lies Polly Cell.
She came to a sticky end
RIP

Epitaph 3
Here lies Humpty Dumpty.
People say he was cracked
But that might be a bad yolk.

Epitaph 4
U.N. Dead
Here he lies deep in the ground.
A word of warning
- Don't hang around!
Rest in Peace
(maybe).

 

Homer

Heavy
Outsized
Man
Eating
Ravenously.

 

Fire

Flickering tongues lick
Into the inky night
Roaring itself hoarse,
Effervescent with flaring life

 

First day at school
With
My heart
In my mouth
I steered
My way
Through
The thirty-a-side Football
To a corner
Where
Stood among
The
Crisp
Packets
Until
The whistle
Blew
Me
Into school.

 

Last Day in School
The streets are frozen
In remembrance of chatter.
The caretaker stands
With his scoop and bag sighing
Over the last crisp packet.

November 6th
Rain dimples the ash
Where fork-pierced potatoes baked
And tongues of flame danced
While rockets burst in showers
High above pointing fingers.

 

Me
by Alan Gibbons with a nod in the direction of the sorely missed Adrian Henri

Who would I like to be:
Michael Owen and David Beckham;
Arnold Schwarzenneger and Jean Claude Van Damme
McCartney, Lennon, Harrison or Starr,
With talent like that I could really go far.
Or maybe then,
I'd rather be:
Zinedine Zidane or Thierry Henry:
Ruud Van Nistelrooy or Stevie G;
Nelson Mandela or some other great fella
And, most definitely,
Last of all me.
Mind you, mulling it over,
Turning it round in my fertile mind,
Examining it carefully,
This way and that,
I quite like, quite like,
Yes, really like...
ME!

That's Liverpool
A shudder of cold
From the Atlantic,
Grit dancing On the M57 on a February morning,
Rubbish whipping round your legs
5pm Saturday afternoon
Great Homer Street market,
That's Liverpool.
A sun like a red-rimmed eye,
that's Liverpool.
Kwik Save carrier bags
Waving goodbye
To ghost ships,
Heritage trails
And cellophane-wrapped Beatles,
That's Liverpool too.
A snotty nosed kid
With a tear in her eye
And a spit of love
To wipe away the past,
That's Liverpool.

The junk Food Chant
What do we want?
Burger and chips.
When do we want it?
Now!
What do we want it with?
Ketchup?
What will we wash it down with?
Fizzy drinks.
Then how will we feel?
Big and burpy.
How long will that last?
Until we puke.
How will we turn out?
Fat and pimply with rotten teeth.
How will that make us feel?
Really miserable.
Then what will we want?
Healthy food!
And when will we want it?
Forever!

 

Santa's To Do List
Feed the reindeer,
Tick.
Load the presents,
Tick.
Thank the elves,
Tick.
Grease the sleigh runners,
Tick.
Hang out the red suit,
Tick.
Polish the black boots,
Tick.
Stow the map and compass,
Tick. Go to bed early,
Tick.
Set the alarm clock,
Tick
tock
Tick tock
Tick tock.

 

Christmas lights
Flickering brightly,
Tiny multi-coloured moths
Vibrate round my heart.

Snow
Like the crystal tears
Of an ice god, once bereaved,
They sting your red skin.

Talk
CilIa Black says: 'Surprise, Surprise'; Del Boy says: 'Cushty';
Victor Meldrew says: 'I don't believe it';
But Homer Simpson says: 'Doh, doh, doh.'

The Beatles say: 'Yeah, yeah, yeah';
The Black Sheep says: 'Bah, bah, bah';
Martin Luther King says: 'I have a dream';
But Homer Simpson says: 'Doh, doh, doh.'

The Queen says: 'One is not amused';
Tommy Cooper says: 'Just like that';
Terminator says: 'Hasta La Vista, baby';
But Homer Simpson still says: 'Doh, doh, doh.'

January
Cataracts of mist form on the window pane,
Tears run in fine traceries on the glass
While evening, a dark, spreading stain,
Oozes between the streetlamps, a mass
Of greys, blues, blacks that colour you weary.

 

Batman Cinquain
Batman,
A lean machine
In his crime busting youth,
Eats so much junk food they call him
Fatman.

 

Octopoem
A teacher is amber.
She is the autumn,
A breeze,
A cotton glove,
A comfy chair.
She is the latest news,
Your morning snack.

 

Robin Hood
Was extremely good.
Those arrows of his he shot 'em
Where?
Why straight at the sheriff's bottom!

Ann Boleyn grew rather thin
Trying to save her pure white skin.
She would have preferred to say in bed
The day she went and lost her head.

When we are free
When we are free
We will never raise our hands
Against our brothers.
When we are free
We will use our strength
Only to plough the earth.
When we are free
We will be men
By the beat of our blood
And the dreams in our minds
And no longer
By our muscles alone.
When we are free
Our blood will only be spilt
In defence of our homes, our families,
Our love of life .
When we are free.

 

Call and response

Why does the sun rise?

-to drive away the night

How does it begin the day?

-by washing its face in the dew.

Where does the darkness go ?

-into empty hearts.

Why do people cry?

-to wash away the pain.

Why do they laugh?

-because pain doesn't last forever.

What does the future hold?

-Me in its hands.

 

Ode to a mobile phone
Oh wondrous hand-held friend,
My constant companion,
My customised familiar,
How oft have you entertained me
With your ring tones, so musical, so sweet?
How many times have you alerted me
To a friend in need,
A snippet of gossip as tasty
As a super-sour dweeb?
Oh doorway to the outside world,
Oh photographer of pleasures,
Oh sender of texts,
Oh, provider of games,
How could I live without thee?
What would I ever do
With my restless fingers,
My ever-shortening attention span?

My Cat Likes to Live in Boxes
The cat from Crewe
Has got the flu;
The cat from Kirk by
Plays with his furby;
The cat from Speke
Feels rather weak
But my cat likes to hide in boxes.

The cat from St Helens
Likes the taste of melons;
The cat from Liverpool Is really very cool;
The cat from Chester
Well, he likes to pester
But my cat
Likes to hide in boxes.

Everest
Here you stand
At the top of the world.
Below you,
You will see:
Glaciers gleaming in the sunlight,
Crags and boulders,
Rock faces
As sheer as any In the worlds of ancient myths.
Here you stand
At the top of the world.
Will you ever see another thing To match it?


In a naughty kid's Pocket
Alan Gibbons

In a naughty kid's pocket
you might find:
chewing gum
(at least three days old),
a burnt match,
a chewed bus ticket,
a felt tip pen,
a toenail,
a blood stain,
the teacher's patience,
a lock of blond hair,
a mouse
- dead obviously,
my pocket money.
That's what you'd
find in my brother's pocket.

-

 

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