I Live Over There
Past houses where spouses are spitting at children
and satellite dishes are marks of distinction;
where villainous vermin shadow-box curtains
and takeaway cartons bespatter the gardens;
where nobody bothers to pick up the dog shit
while stood on the pavement twittering gossip
and stubbing their ciggies on steps without polish,
deploring the darkies and ordering curries
and voting for parties that all sound like Tories
then falling asleep to the new bedtime stories.
Past bungalows where 999 has been rang
for Cornelius Hawkins has let himself hang;
the neighbours come round to hush the dog’s yap
at the rope in the loft to which Con was attached.
The TV was left on but nothing worth watching.
I wonder what dogs make of men hung like washing.
Past knickers and needles and knives in the back
down the alley that leads to the railway track
where Malky the Alky in a flash of insight
had laid himself down between the train lines.
The train passed straight over and Malky survived,
some people just cannot do anything right.
Now they’ve got a new plan for stopping a topping
and drivers sound horns when approaching the crossing
as a warning of sorts to those bent on dying
and a curse to all others attempting a lie-in.
Past the park that the council desire for allotments;
the football pitch now has but one set of goalposts.
Bureaucracy’s moved them to state its position:
the residents draw up another petition.
A perennial game of attack and defence
over cabbages, peas and a faded green bench
by the burial grounds where the dead cannot rest
but be shuffled around to make room for who’s next;
before the barb-wire surrounding the wood
that’s a small tuft of hair on a balding man’s head,
and it’s soon to be shaven, the signs indicate,
for my local estate is a cancerous pate.
Oh, I do it disservice, I’m all bile and jaundice,
tomorrow the snow will have smoothed every surface.
The earth will resemble a different planet;
one I’m able to visit if not quite inhabit.
Copyright © Raymond Miller 2015
Ray Miller is very old and has too many children. His poems have appeared in Prole, Antiphon, Message in a Bottle, even The British Journal of Psychiatry.