The Shanty


​Maverick Mustang Manuscripts 

The Story Teller                 ​ 


The Kick Inside - A Reason to Write


'Garlic & Guinness'

Self Doubts

I always thought I wrote poetry;

But obviously didn't.

From the libraries of the lobe,

Filled with the references of rhetoric,

Came the volumes of verse.

I wrote reams,

But the words were worthless.


A walk on the wild side


I moved to this town,

But I soon found there was no place to go;

Came the dark of the night,

I was lost, and all alone.


I was told of a place where,

For a price;

People like I could go.

Thought I'd do myself a favour,

And go and see;

But when I got there,

It was just a facsimile.


Not all are limp-wristed,

Frail and weak;

Not all take mincing steps,

And are openly called 'freak'.

Some are strong,

But gentle and kind;

And the only real difference,

Is the state of their mind.


Every man is gay,

To some degree,

They must be;

To walk into a public urinal,

And covertly show the world;

That which many claim to be,

Their prize possession.


The bonhomie of the pub,

The camaraderie of the barrack room;

The awe of the terraces.

The extent of our relationships,

Are merely a point of view.

Some are more involved, than others;

That is all.


A quote from Quentin


They ask me,

From where do I get my inspiration?

My visions of sublime reality?


'A lifetime of Being '... is my reply.





I don't care if the sun doesn't shine;

I don't care if I am walking the line;

I don't care 'cause you aren't mine;



You said you would be true;

But now I have found you were cruel;

But you won't play me for a fool;



There was a time when I believed in you;

Even with all you put me through;

But you're not the person I thought I knew;



So I am going to live again;

Maybe find some special friend;

Then what you did won't matter then;



Girl, I wrote this song for you;

So you would know just what,

I've been going through;

But I won't ever cry over you;



The Illustrated Man


Some called him, 'freak',

For openly inviting public critique,

Of his fabulously illustrated physique.

But he is not so unique.

Merely a strutting peacock,

Soaking up the summer sun

On some far distant shore.

Nothing more.




Et tu Brutus?


Amo Sappho,

Amas Homo,

Amant Plato.


Eternal Triangle


I love him,

You love her,

They love each other.




Love labours, lost.

Lost love, labours.

Labours lost: Love.



Thoughts on Thursday the Fifth


I had to be There,

Hence I went;

Out of Politeness.


I wanted to be Here,

So I came;

Out of Desire.



Everyone's a Critic!


To all those hecklers in the crowd,

Who sometimes shout when I read aloud;

To them, I have but one thing to say;

This time pals, you didn't have to pay.

But believe me, there'll come the day,

When you will.

For then I'll be famous,

And the price of bacon will be considerably higher;

For a pig is so much harder to catch when it's a flyer!


Eternal Triangle


I love her,

She loves him,

He loves me.




I love her,

You love him,

They love each other!


The Woodstock Witch


The Woodstock Witch,

Some say she's a b**ch!

She wildly rides the skies,

From her perch way up high;

Much to the amazement

Of all those passing by.


"Who the hell is the Woodstock Witch?"

People said;

"Looks nuffin' loike it,"

People said;

"You must be off your bl**dy 'ead!"

People said;

"How can it be?"

People said;

"I just can't see..."

People said;

"It's only a f**king tree!"

People said.


The winsome witch,

Caused the Wind, to rise,

It blew and it blew;

Then under her spell,

They all too,soon fell;

The wily Witch of Woodstock.


Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder.


School Play Days


School Play days,

I remember them well.

Proud parents preening

Their infant prodigies.

Gone are the days

Of remarks like,

"Johnny sang very well, didn't he?"

Or "I'm so glad Mary remembered her line".

Nowadays it's Tristram, Abigail and Brooklyn,

With their personal voice coaches.


Love is.....


Love is ....


Bringing me that fresh bath towel, I'd forgotten.

When I'm in the bath.

Hand-washing my dirty smalls.

Ironing my work shirts, every day.


Clearing her hairs out of the shower trap.

Kissing that mint-strewn, fat soaked face;

After she's eaten breast of lamb.


What I see in her eyes,

Every time in the morning;

When she awakens


Walking Watton Road


Walking along the Watton Road,

In the wind and the wet.

Going past Harwood Park,

So dank and so dark.

My whole posture

Is one of Pain.


Shuie ( A salute)


Who gives a damn that the charges were fixed?

Who gives a f**k that the all white jury weren't mixed?

Who gives a hoot, and what would it figure;

Just put it down to the fact that he's another black nigger!


They're letting him rot now

In their living hell,

Out on an island somewhere.

With nineteen other 'brothers'

Sharing his cell.


He got bad bronchitis, and needed a bed;

But all he got for his pains, was a bust-up head.

Shuie made but two mistakes.

The first was that he was just born black;

The second one being that he dared to talk back.


Couch Potato


This is me.


Just sitting here.

I don't laugh anymore.

I don't cry anymore.

In fact, I'm not even sure,

I am still breathing.


Being a vegetable,

I probably photosynthesize!


Very Michael Cainesque


"You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" - Charlie Croker (The Italian Job)


A man died today.

Thirty-five he was.

He lost his head

When a gas bottle blew up.

Or was it,

The other way round?

Either way,

He didn't make a sound.

And they do say

That his feet never touched

The ground.


Hard Sell


Sign in the window:



"You have somewhere else?"




"You are giving them away, maybe?"




"I would need another kind?"




"This I knew, from the street bottom."


Thank God, it's Friday!



Conspiracy in Rhymeland


Humpty Dumpty never fell.

He knew who'd put Pussy in the Well.

And rather than let him live to tell,

They pushed him from the Wall.

And made it look like a fall.


Humpty's girl,

Judy Muffet,

Was dining at their favourite bistro, 'The Tuffet'

When she got word that she would be next

To end up dead.

So when they espied her, and tried to sit down beside her.

She just got up and fled.


Little Jack Horner,

Who was sitting alone in the corner.

Saw what was happening but he never said.

He just acted dumb,

And started messing about with his thumb.

In his plum pudding instead.


It am a ramblin' poem


dem ting he say,

he no write dem.


dat white boie talkin'


it no come out like dat

when 'im sez dem tings,

'im jist put dem down.


he jist tink stuff.


me 'ave no skoolin'

so me write

wot me tinkin'


when me write it down,

it me wey, man


me experimentin'


it mek it difficult

for white boi'


it am a ramblin' poem

'im no know

tings we knows.


when me write me stuf

me knows

wot i's tinkin'


Beach combing


One may comb

Coherent thoughts;

When walking alone,

On an empty beach.


The sea's insistent,

Eternal cadence,

Dulls the cutting edges

Of Fear and Doubt.


Until they are,

As smooth

As wet, shiny stones

On a rocky shore.


With this also,

Comes a sense,

Of ephemeral sojourn,

On this planet.


Hot enough,

To extinguish;

Desire or Ambition,

Only a bitter-sweet

Awareness remains.


That all fires,

Must die.

Which makes their

Present flames;

All the more



Desolation Row


In surroundings familiar

The unexploded bomb

Continues to tick, for now

Words of solace

Read in unreal times

Reflect the desolation

Of Donna Nook

In the land of the bombers

Peace is declared

While overhead

The wings of change beckon.


A Close Encounter of the Fourth kind


Shintu taberus instermaun

Yarbarato insterman garmana

Onawa contes moran

Yarhaw fno sorman

Ginta seeama yousta

Donja arma setus

Karsta flma seark

Shintau stermus umsta

Sharme kuntanie sifma

Istus marma infansa

Cousa yousta instam

Sasau nonma sarta

Karsta langa sortma

Sosta noma soretatae


* Footnote - As many are aware, a close encounter of the third kind, is a meeting with an alien life form. The fourth kind is alien poetry. It is read from right to left, starting with the last letter, wherein one finds the metre. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with Zxarftriousn dialect, this particular poem translates thus:


Jack and Jill went up the hill,

On the pretence of finding water.

Jill soon came quickly down;

As Jack tried on something,

He shouldn'ta orta.


Reflections on a modern day Holocaust


It's sixty years to the day,

Since Auschwitz was closed.

It's a month to the day,

Since the waters rose,

And orphaned so many

In Asia.

My heart goes out,

To the survivors of both.

Blair promised millions in Aid;

But he spent billions on bombs,

In Iraq.

Josef Mengele would have been proud

Of the Tsunami;

Ethnic cleansing

At a stroke.

Nations devastated,

Generations decimated.

Economies ruined.

And, oh yeah, there was a flood;

In Carlisle.


Autumnal Days


A gaggle of geese

On the wing;

The flock flying

In tight formation.

Heading south, to flee

The winter winds.


Pheasants foraging,

In a field, full,

Of corn stubble.

Paddling in a puddle;

Formed by yesterday's rain.


Pigeons perched precariously

On high wires.

Attempting aerial acrobatics.


Marauding magpies,

And bandit rooks:

Robbing robins,

Of tasty tit-bits.


An audience of arachnids,

Watch and wait

On woven webs,

That wave in the mistral wind.


Sitting on shards,

Of silk-like gossamer,

Shimmering in the light

Of the watery sun.


Anticipating a final feast

Of flies, and other such flying things:

Before the famine-like fast of winter.

When total dormancy sets in.





It must have been!

Lying there, with his head all bashed in.

Couldn't have been anything else.




"Not I," said the Hound;

"I made not a sound of my characteristic baying,

When I espied his lifeless body.

Out of respect, as it were,

In the light of his untimely slaying."




"Not I," said the Wind:

"I blew the Last Post over the body, all tattered and torn;

Seemed fitting, somehow."




"Not I," said the Rain:

" I cried when he died, and wept so much;

That the children played in the puddles left by my tears,

The next day."




" 'Twas I," said the Car:

"I came from afar, much too fast, it is true.

I had Rabbit set in my sights, transfixed by the lights.

Trapped in the glare of my steel-eyed stare.


Fox, always an opportunist, thought his cunning;

Was more than a match, for my fast running.

With feet normally so fleet,

He thought he could cheat me of my prize.

He was wrong, and so were you!"


The Coroner's verdict was Death by Misadventure,

Whilst of an unsound mind.


Thoughts on an early morning


As I rode along the Watton Road

This wet and windy morning,

My mind travelled back,

To better times.


And I realised

What I really missed

Was the meeting of the minds

With my mate


On his way to work.


Thoughts II


Another God-given day,

So full of promise,

At the outset.

Has finally passed me by.


And what did I do with it?


But it helps ...


You don't have to be gay,

To be beaten to pulp:

But it helps.


You don't have to be black,

To be arrested for 'sus'

But it helps.


You don't have to pop pills,

To be harassed by the ' fuzz'

But it helps.


Don't look back


I looked at her a thousand times,

But never saw her once.


She always asked me,

But I never answered.


She always talked,

But I never heard.


So she left.


Now all I see,

And hear:

Is Her.



Banking Failure


There are tanks

On the streets

Of Albania.


The people are rioting

Because of the failure

Of the state banking system.


They trusted the politicians

And their policies

Where did that get them?


Now there are guns

In the houses

Of Albania.


In rust-bucket boats,

People are trying to flee:

Trusting themselves,

To any vessel that floats.


There are many bodies

In the sea,

From Albania.


The passing of the apple tree


For fifty years and more

It has stood there

Giving shelter and subsidence

To a multitude of feathered friends.

Seen the comings and goings

Of many summer suns

Weathered the winters.

Had its fruits and leaves

Succumb to the Fall

On many occassions.


Bird song


Learn to write your hurts

In the shifting sands of life.

Where the sea of forever forgiveness

Will wash them away.


And carve all your blessings

In the stone walls of rememberance.

Where the ravaging winds of time

Can never erase them.


Poetic Licence


'They espied the angelic hosts,

And were sore afraid'....


Or in plain English,

We scared the s**t,

Out of the shepherds last time,

And haven't used

The wings and sandals approach since!


Kitchen Blues


I changed the oil in the chip-pan, baby;

I changed the oil, yeah.

I changed that old oil last night;

I really did change that oil, yeah, baby;

But it still don't feel quite right.





I can't remember who,

Asked me once,

"Does your girlfriend Spit or Swallow?"

"She gargles", was my reply.


Jack's Revenge


Porcine pig

Hung on a jib,

Swinging sideways.

Lord of the Flies,

With eyes, still in,

Reviewing the road rage

He was provoking.

Slit from fore to aft,

Hoisted by his own petard,



The Weakness


It had never happened before

True, he had been many places.

But never on the floor.

So hard did he hit it

The repercussions were felt

In the sorting shed next door.

The further discovery

Of the gaping gash

Had him whacked up on warfarin.

Poison to rodents, that gave him life.

And daily filled with fortified foxgloves.




Harold Shipman is dead,

Or so the text message said:

But you can never be sure,

Can you?


Spawn of Hell,

Thought he'd be safe in his cell.

But I knew they'd find a way,

To hang you!




Oh, to be on that plane,

Bound for Spain.

Sipping on an ice-cold beer,

Instead of sitting stagnating here.


"And by this Sign, .....

So shall you know me! "


"Remember this, Sire,

And use the information well.

For they plan to kill my Liege"

So spoke the Lady of the Lake.


" 'Twas the Vessel with the Pestle,

That bore the potion that was Poison.

And it was the Flagon emblazoned with his Dragon,

They did fill with the brew that is True.


But the serving-wench did slip,

The platter fell to the floor

And did crash on the flagstones there.

The Vessel with the Pestle was smashed.

Shattered into a thousand shards.


Now the Flagon with the Dragon,

Contains the potion that is Poison.

And the Crystal Chalice,

That was procured from the Palace;

Holds the brew that be True"