I didn't know Byron had a car..
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by Mary Cresswell



Ozymandias In Orange


“We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head,
 the crown, the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,”
 archaeologists said of the new discovery. (Guardian, March 2017)


I have no lips and cannot speak a word

upon my head, a crown of course of gold.

Half of what you say I sometimes hear

a jagged bit of what you are I see.


In my breast I store each random thought,

no obvious connection with my head.

You thought you’d gotten rid of me at last

but I’m here and keen to drag you through the mud.


Time to raise me tall upon the sand

strew crepe paper garlands at my feet

let imagination fill the pitted gaps

let my word be heard as absolute.


Tell me, you who watch with such disdain,

whose name will last longer, yours or mine?




a line, (a short blue one)



Lord Byron To His Car Dealer



You said the race was going to the Swift

and thus I purchased. Now I find that I’m

cast loose in deepest suburbs – bloody miffed

and no garage in sight. I haven’t time

to argue. Will you kindly stick your shift –

replace this hulk with something more condign.

This night was made for demisec and nookie –

not stuck here, trying to start your damned Suzuki!




a line, (a short blue one)



The Pied Pipers Of ...


A motley of ratcatchers appeared on the tracks,

with the best of intentions to cover their backs –

“The township en masse to the party has come

to make predators pay for the evil they’ve done.”


First down were the cats: they showed them the door

with yowling and howling and flailing of paw,

and now that they’re shot of the bulk of the mogs

the world’s much improved for them and their dogs.


On the next night they collapsed in exhausted relief

but then heard the scratching of scrabbly feet

as all the roof spaces filled up in a trice:

one side with rats, on the other side, mice.


Out came the bait, peanut butter and yummies

what predators need to fill up their tummies.

Then the roaches attacked the largesse that they found

as it covered the walls and the gardens and grounds ...


Death to them all: to explosions of slugs

and elsewhere the amplifications of bugs

and god knows what else – so even the rocks and

stones of the city were dripping with toxins.


The ratcatchers stopped and were quiet, perplexed

wondering what to exterminate next,

and the answer came: “With minimal bother

we’re set up right now to knock off each other!”


So they poisoned the farmlands and murdered the streams,

nurtured infections and colonised dreams;

neighbourhood heroes kept making new messes,

while big groups (as always) excused their excesses.


When the whole of the planet had nothing to lose

it sank back into primordial ooze

to wait for a spark like the big bang of yore

to start up the whole damn process once more ... ... ...




a line, (a blue one)


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