Archive

poetry

This was meant to be a performance piece. But, well 2020 happened. There’s nowhere to perform…

I don’t write poetry

As you can see

All that ‘Iambic Pentameter’

Just isn’t for me

I did. For my degree

Write a poem or three

But now I don’t write poetry

Can’t get my head round rhyme

And splitting ideas

Across lines wastes my time

I prefer to write prose, free flowing and loose. I break up my sentences. To short. Sharp. Fragments. To make my reader. Breathless. To show pace. 

Or I write long, detailed, sentences, with lots of sub clauses, so that the reader has to concentrate, or to slow down the pace, to hide the murderer’s identity in a clause so complex the reader has forgotten by the time they get to the end, and has to read to the reveal. 

I can start a new paragraph with a new idea, not just when I’ve hit the beat. 

Then another one. Which jars, because it’s incomplete.

No I don’t write poetry

As you can see

Well, maybe the odd Haiku

Cos I understand

Five syllables, then 

Seven in the second line

Five more to complete. 

© Chris Johnson 2020. 

I was hunting through some old music and lyrics from a band I played in some time ago. I wrote this blues lyric for the lead guitar player who suffered badly with hay fever.

The pollen count is high, and I’m feeling very low
Yeah, the pollen count is high, so I’m feeling very low
My head is dull and aching
Wherever I go

I’m loaded up with drugs, but they aren’t even that much fun
Loaded with lots of drugs, not even that much fun
Still, at least they’re cheap and legal,
I got them from my Mum!

I sneeze, wheeze and sniffle, hate my life when I’m like this
Sneezing, wheezing and sniffing, Man I hate when I’m like this
Wish the pollen count would drop
So I can stop this sniff sniff sniff!

The pollen count is high, and it makes me cross
Yeah, the pollen count is high, man this is so crass
A couple of months and I’ll be better
But then it’ll be Christmas

(C) Chris Johnson 2008

 

I miss the old St Pancras

Hiding in the archway from the rain

The darkness, walls embedded

With the soot of a million trains

 

The newspaper stands’ patina

The noise, deisel fumes, dust

‘Lend us 50p mister?’

Seats all plastic and rust

 

The new station is clean and tidy

Well policed, welcoming, smart

But it’s lost some if its character

And replaced it with modern art

 

I miss the old St Pancras

The gritty, noir place of my youth

Today I closed my eyes on the platform

And returned there for a moment or two.

 

I was lucky enough to be in London on Thursday, a trip I make periodically for work. Whiling away some time waiting for a train I tried to recall the ‘old’ St Pancras, the one I remember from exciting trips as a teenager and early work trips. The poem pretty much wrote itself over a coffee.

(c) Chris Johnson 2018

Rain rattles against dark window panes.

Commuters curse as buses splash legs.

Late workers empty city centre car parks

and complain to themselves that traffic’s still bad.

The city empties for a moment, awaiting the time

when the action starts again,

at night when all is dark…

 

In corners, secret meets and dangerous buys;

drugs, sex, weapons – all available for a price

if you know where to go, if you know who to ask

anything is available in this night time town.

A different economy, a different world,

The nocturnal, the lost, those working by choice

at night, when all is dark…

 

A bell splits the night, synthetic sounds.

Scalding coffee gulped down with under-done toast,

bleary eyed bus passengers on mobile phones

take back control of the city. These streets

fill with the ambitious, the busy, the well dressed and keen.

For the next ten hours or so, the nocturnal sleep

until night, when all is dark…

 

(c) Chris Johnson 2016

 

Thanks so much to Michelle for the prompt and title for this poem.