Saturday, 31 December 2016

'Under-Smoothers Pursuivant of the Summerweight Duvet.'

'Yes, Tigger tweeted that the list was out.'
'Tweeted, Piglet?'
'Oh dear.'
'Apparently Sleaford Mods missed out again.'
'What…not even Under-Smoothers Pursuivant of the Summerweight Duvet?'
'Not even that…not even a pair of Obe-wans…'
'The thing with Sleaford Mods is, they don't push themselves forward.'
'Actually, they got themselves invited to Beatrice's party.'
'Really, Piglet?  Where she cut open Blunt Ed Mumford's face?'
'Apparently.  But only on condition that they had the sword.'
'Plus any bows of burning gold and arrows of desire that were knocking about.'
'Sounds reasonable.  How did they get on?'
'They didn't.  Letter arrived relegating them to Jobseeker 10,000.'
'There must have been a reason for doing that.'
'Oh, there is.  There is.'

Monday, 19 December 2016

Nipping up the Pitbull

'Well, anyway, Tigger says he'll be submitting a tender to run it next year. Complete shambles, he said it was.'
'Sorry, Piglet, what are we talking about?'
'That…thing, that…Nine Lessons and Carols thing.'
'What happens with that?'
'Well, you know, this time of year, lots of people out there going into one of those drafty places with a spike.'
'A catheter.'
'Yes, they all pile into the catheter and then there's a sing-song and then nine ladies all called Carol take it in turns to go up the steps to that…that wooden effort…circular, you know, with--'
'Yes, each goes up in turn to the pitbull and gives a lesson.'
'Nine lessons? Take all night.'
'Oh, no, they're not lesson lessons…more, sort of, handy hints.'
'Oh, I see,'
'Yes, so Carol One, she might say, I don't know, put a layer of kitchen towel in a plastic box with a tight lid and then your salad won't wilt.'
'Well, not as fast. It'll still wilt when you're not looking.'
'Then Carol Two nips up the pitbull and says, having trouble with your odometer? Try this simple fix. Or something.'
'Ah, I see.'
'Apparently there's always one Carol who says many a mickle makes a muckle.'
'Oh, well, that's a handy reminder.'
'Isn't it, though? I mean, you might be running late, brain all over the place, halfway down the street and it's, oh gawd, where's me muckle? But never fear…'
'As if I would…'
'…you can hunt down humble mickles to an equivalent value, local rates permitting.'
'So what went wrong, then? This year?'
'One of the Carols was indisposed. They had to get someone else in.'
'True as I'm standing here or standing wherever I was standing before I stopped.'
'Well, there's a thing.'
'Yes. Festival of Nine Lessons, Eight Carols and a Trish.'
'Dear me. Well, I hope her lesson made up for it.'
'She said something about pricking out.'
'Good grief. In a catheter?'
'Pooh, I neither know nor care which receptacle she had in mind.'
'As well you might neither nor. thing…'
'Yes, Pooh?'
'Couldn't this Trish lady…I mean, couldn't she have called herself Carol? You know, just to fit in?'
'Ah, now, Pooh, Tigger says things are bad enough in their post-tooth world without making it worse.'
'Post-tooth? Is that what they're in?'
'Revenge of the Chocolatiers, Pooh. On account of tariff fluctuation.'
'I had a touch of that this morning.'

Sunday, 18 December 2016

'Elliot Street' (Saskatoon, December)

Elliot Street

Saskatoon, December.

A small clearing some hundred yards or so
from city traffic.  In another place,
a village green.  Triangular, guarded
by year-end snow, the fingerbones of trees.

My place, my country. I come here each day
to watch the snow uneven out, the chase
of fog mites in the clearing-lamp, to hear
the ghost leaves of old Augusts at their talk.

Beyond, the morning and the evening cars
hoot and fishtail through the trees, but mostly
all’s quiet as fidelity and lets
the stations of the day move softly by.

I’ve tried where the cars go.  A traveller could
do worse than happen on a space like this
where nothing’s asked or thieved, where the bitters
of time unsour and fall beneath the snow.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New Poems in Poland

Hello, three of my recent poems appear in the latest issue (#10) of Crossroads: A Journal of English Studies, University of Bialystok, Poland.  I hope you enjoy them,
Season's Greetings,
Michael W. Thomas

Sunday, 11 December 2016


'It's simply disgraceful!'
'Pooh, if I can just explain--'
'I mean, to encourage folk to sing that!'
'Listen, Pooh, if you'd--'
'Totally against the Christmas spirit!'
'Pooh, just let--'
'To deliberately, wantonly hunt down a family called Hall, who've never done you any harm, and subject them to fisticuffs…'
'Pooh, when they sing Deck the Halls, what it means--'
'Not even fisticuffs. You're supposed to redirect their lives to A & E with boughs of holly.'
'Listen, Pooh--'
'So that's physical violence and environmental degradation.'
'When they say Halls--'
'Not to mention depredation.'
'See, Pooh, to deck means--'
'And decimation.'
'Pooh, it's all about making--'
'And any other long word from a Moody Blues concept album circa 1969.'
'If you'll only--'
'And fa-la-la-la-la. What's that, then?'
'Well, that's the--'
'Probably Tagalog for "Give us your PIN number". So you won't be hearing that one from my mouth.'
'It's a lovely carol, Pooh, and it's all about--'
'Or Away In A Manger.'
'Good grief, what's wrong with--'
'What a trick to play, eh?'
'What are you talking--?'
'All those good folk, they've come all that way, shepherds, the wise men with their gold, frankincense and mulch, they could have all been at home with their feet up, listening to their Queen saying, guess what, I'm having my gaff re-fitted, sorry more and more of you are on the streets….'
'They turn up, there's a note on the stable door.'
'Note? What note?'
'Probably said "Away in a manger. Sorry for the inconvenience to your adoration."'
'Listen to me, Pooh--'
'See, no-one was looking, on go the castors, they're off.'
'I doubt that--'
'No wonder that that King Hereward got after them.'
'King who?'
'Him and his Early Years Streamline Policy.'
'I think you mean--'
'That's why they called him Hereward the Wake. All those mourning events they had to organise.'
'Pooh, please!'
'And what about the cattle, eh? Having to shove up and make room for a manger that shoves off?'
'They don't like disruption, kine don't.'
'Pooh, it's getting late--'
'Kine pine.'
'--and I'm cold. Have it your way. When Kanga has her get-together, you can just sing Jingle Bells.'
'All right?'
'Though I very much doubt if they got right-to-roam permission for all the fields they dash through--'
'Disgusting…destroying someone's livelihood and laughing all the way about it--'
'Have a chestnut.'
'Has it been roasted on an open fire?'
'Good. I don't want to celebrate the gratuitous use of few-ew-ell.'

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

'Victoria Street', Brittle Star, 39 (Nov 2016)

'Victoria Street', a new poem in Brittle Star, issue 39 (November 2016).

Thursday, 1 December 2016

'Shame': a new poem in London Grip.

'Shame', a new poem just out in London Grip Winter '16-'17.