Three Score and Ten


The early years


When I was born in 1954, fresh from my warm-womb foetal purity

The white supremacists still ruled the roost, still lynching with impunity

And Senator McCarthy was still at his trade, strutting with senatorial immunity

But in Brown versus Board, the Supreme Court ruled, against a racially segregated community

And Billie Holiday released her ‘Strange Fruit’ lament, a tragically haunting ingenuity

Meanwhile, the French got a whipping from Ho Chi Minh, in a battle for Vietnamese unity

But I was in London, screaming at the top of my voice, with my new-born insecurity.


In 1955 when I was one year old and experimenting with some pre-ambulation

Rosa Parks was heroically taking her stand, against Southern racial segregation

And Martin Luther King was coming to the fore, with some serious civil rights agitation

But Uncle Sam crept into Vietnam with some typically nasty aggravation.

And Albert Einstein had reached the point in his life where he would make his very last calculation

Meanwhile I was furiously fighting tooth and nail, to get my fair share of parental adulation

Read More…

Alphabet Soup

Welcome to the letter A, an ambitious letter that makes new links

I think of ‘Apeman’ by the incorrigible Kinks

And ‘Abbey Road’, a Beatles classic that rarely shrinks


Or ‘Alien 3’, Sigorney dodging every Xenomorphic bite

And ‘Angel Heart’ to give all souls a devilish fright

Or Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amistad’ for a heroic anti-slavery fight

Then ‘Annie Hall’, for something frothy, something light.


Or ‘Apocalypse Now’ could be darkly next

Followed by the chilling ‘American History X’

Then Ayan Rand’s, ‘Atlas Shrugged’, an idealistic and highly controversial text.


Of course, I loved ‘The Americans’, TV at its Cold War best

And ‘Armchair Theatre’ from the ITV, always seems to pass the test

Or ‘Apache’ from 1954, with Burt Lancaster on an indigenous quest

Not forgetting ‘Americanah’ for some real Adichie Nigerian zest.


‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, Enrich Remarque’s wartime thriller

And ‘All My Sons’, from Arthur Miller


And ‘All About My Mother’, from Almodovar

Or Mike Leigh’s, ‘Abigail’s Party’, to bowl you over.

Then ‘All Things Must Pass’ has George Harrison swimming in musical clover


Then there’s ‘Amnesia’ from Australia’s Peter Carey

And Kormakur’s ‘Adrift’ is pretty scary

And ‘Amadeus’ paints Mozart as quite contrary

Whilst Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ should make us very wary.


Jack Palance in ‘Attack’ makes a great wartime adversary

And of course, McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ should be in every library

‘Amour’ from France shows true love is never temporary

And A is for ‘Akala’ is a top rate rapper with a radical commentary

Read More…

History Lesson

In the beginning, at the dawn of time, all energy exploded into matter
And the silence of nothing was spectacularly disturbed
With a splish and a splosh and a splatter
Though this miracle has probably happened a million times before
Where perfect stillness becomes a noisy cosmic chatter.
We like to imagine we are singularly unique
All the better, our fragile egos for to flatter.
Furthermore, there may well be an infinite series of universes
Some bigger, some smaller, some fatter
But I would humbly suggest, at this point in our journey
That these speculative questions of cosmological theory,
Absolutely and definitively don’t matter.

Read More…


Ever since I can remember

And probably much like everybody else

I’ve been doing things of grand importance

Or so I tried to convince everybody,

Everybody including myself.

Doing things of great and worldly significance

Things that would enhance the very fate of mankind

But I was like a rat on the proverbial treadmill

Barely pausing to reflect or unwind.

Read More…

Plague Days

A time of plague – no time to play

When busy men and women stop their lives and say;

Will it be me? Will I be next? Why me, I hear them pray.

These are the burning questions of the day.


It’s on all our lips.

Princes and peasants and political bigwigs.

And children too.

And their parents and their parent’s parents.

All seeking to know the fake from the true.

Read More…

FIFA’s Russian Roulette

Shoot the stray dogs and lock up the gays
We’re playing FIFA’s Russian Roulette.
Vilify those who dare criticise
It’s the World Cup we’ll never forget.

Read More…

Brexit Blues

Brexit, Brexit from May to December
Brexit scheming is all I remember
Productivity rising, trade flat-lining
A time for cheering a time for crying.

Read More…

Shooting in the US of A

I’m shooting from the hip
I’m shooting with red hot lead
I’m shooting at the passers-by
I’m shooting till they’re dead.

Read More…

Monument for Margaret Thatcher

They’ve been talking about a statue for Mrs Thatcher
Remember her they called her both the Iron Lady and the school milk snatcher
Remember her she said this lady isn’t for turning
Hold on a moment, is that the sickening smell of something burning?

Read More…

Ping Philosophy

Pick up a bat if you see it
Have a quick game if you feel it
Take on the world if you dare it
If the ball comes your way then just ping it

Read More…

Ping Philosophy

Pick up a bat if you see it
Have a quick game if you feel it
Take on the world if you dare it
If the ball comes your way then just ping it

Read More…


I’ve been reading Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus – every line
And it’s got me thinking and a fretting about the future of mankind
I’ve been thinking that maybe we humans have truly passed our prime
And that Artificial intelligence is going to leave us humans far behind.

Read More…

The New Enlightenment

We’re living through a second brutal dark age
With renewed bigotry, superstition and terror.
And if you thought we’re on a preordained, exponential path of progress
Then I suspect you might be making a fundamental error.

Read More…

Jeremy Corbyn The Criminal

Blair and Bush led the West to an illegal war against Iraq
And a quarter of a million Iraqis directly perished in the inferno.
Yet Jeremy Corbyn is deemed to be the criminal
And their attacks on him continue, both direct and subliminal. Read More…


The distinction between refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants
Is as repulsive as racism itself.
The very essence of humanity is migration
Nobody wants to be left on the shelf.

Read More…

Corbynomics: TRWNBT

There’s a man going round who’d rather jaw jaw
than carelessly set off a nuclear war war.
But they call him a threat to national security.

Read More…


Heroes are people we know nothing about
I should know, I’ve followed a few in my time
Heroes are substitutes for I’m not quite sure what
And we follow them without reason or rhyme.

Read More…

Ode to the NHS

We are told that Churchill was our greatest all-time leader
Inspiring the nation to combat the marauding Nazi hoards
But the post war British voters soon sent Churchill packing
And put the Labour Party in charge of the Westminster board.

Read More…

That Damned Dialectic

From the humblest sub-atomic particle
To the entirety of the Universe itself
A remorseless struggle of opposites
Creating unity by infinite stealth.

Read More…

Table Tennis: A Love Letter

Tennis on a nine by five table
Ping pong by its colloquial name
The second most played sport in the world
The Victorians would be amazed by its fame.

Read More…

Heathrow and Harmondsworth

This is something of a David and Goliath story
But it’s certainly not as simple as say Labour versus Tory
This is a cross party story for every season
It’s a classic tale of corporate greed versus civic reason.

Read More…