for Sandra Tappenden


Is Hiram married to Esmerelda? Everybody

Has somebody, it seems. I have

A headache today. In my knee.

Yesterday I rewarded myself with a sprawl

On the movie sofa. Today: suffer.

Did Joe drive Conchita to the movie?

I say wonderfully clever things about Future Imperfects,

And why I want to fall in love in Japan.

Where does Janet fit in?

I think I am not a gambler. Horses know loads.

I don't know what that means. (I am worried.

Do you love Barnaby? I am beginning to live in a fictional world

And may never get out.) The next time

You tell me all about your domestic arrangements you will need

To supply footnotes and biographical details of everyone

Involved. Yes, let's all go in the garden

And drink softly drinks. Oh, it's raining, is it?

That won't stop Josh capturing  Bethany's heart.

I can hear fireworks, but I can't see them.











There are lots of things I want to keep from the people

I'm playing with. Nurse, bring me my surgery mask, please.

I have nothing against enjoyment, as such.

Bird watching is one way. Bird watching is two ways.

Absorb the news. No, I have no idea who writes it.

All I know is to hide before the big scary man comes

Lurching along all dribbly. Then, after they've told us

The TV weather, along comes a full and tiresome evening,

As good a reason as any to procreate recklessly.




All the people who like sex a lot stand on one side of the yard

And all the people who don't care for it stand on the other side.

A few people are scurrying to and fro from side to side etcetera.

I'm up on a teetering chair trying to see out the window.




It's awfully quiet for busy. I can remember as a kid

Getting the wrong idea about strip lighting as I sprawled

In the bed and contemplated the ceiling but it was an okay feeling.

There goes a trolley but it has no cakes on it.

In trays we planted the seeds of revolt but they didn't take root

It can be frustrating waiting around for trees.

I'm only in favour of freedom

Of information if one makes allowances for secrecy.








I am still and silent as a stone at the side

Of a storm-tossed sea. The stone is, I think,

To be exact, a pebble, but even in my immobility

I admire heavy-handed alliteration for

The solace it can bring to one in need of solace

And so, sweet Sylvia, I say it is a stone.


Have I told you lately that snails are interesting?

People forget it.

What are you up to?

It never occurred to me a cloud

Could be lonely. There is usually two at least

Of them but now I just looked up in the sky

And there is one, alone. Time, meanwhile, is

Dashing by and I have to hang my underwear out

While the sun is shining, otherwise

I will have problems tomorrow, which is Tuesday.


Lavender relaxed me today. Ria looked

Her usual alluring but inside I was yawning.

I noticed a sparrow this morning pecking peanuts

Hung on a tree in one of those nut holder things.

You hang them out wanting blue tits and finches

And you get sparrows. No matter:

Sparrows are like snails.

People, forget it.


Dear Pixie Face, I wish you would send me a note.

I don't know how much longer I will be able

To sit here pretending everything is alright.

In moments of quiet desperation I have, I admit,

Had recourse to narcotics and back rubs. Then

In the morning they haul me back from the coast.

Once I was put into a box for my own good.

It is okay to be Romantic,

But not romantic.



         Martin Stannard 2005