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       'Touchingly Sentimental Booby'


  Death Bed



Life snatches your wallet, but money is blind

Free moments from past that I love to rewind

Such rays mean the world and are stored in my heart

Will be last thoughts I have when it’s time to depart

Short sighted can’t spot this, though may have money

For without single penny I am richer than thee

When I conjure these visions inspiration they lend 

To me, a most poignant and valuable friend

The heroic Carra with cramps Istanbul

‘We are the champions’ with Wembley full

Freddie in victory, Brett Lee he consoled

Kelly Holmes’ reaction when winning her gold

That break from the Hurricane, such bottle and flair 

The wildcard Goran after years of despair

Such passion from Psycho in spot-kick relief

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ giving Red Men belief

The fight from Nadal when his back's to the wall

First time I had honour of seeing The Fall

Charisma of Whirlwind 'midst heartbreak and pain

These pictures I’ll call on again and again

Companions of mine when on death bed I’ll lie

With a smile on my face and a tear in my eye 

For you are what matters and reason Earth turns

Like the Hillsborough flame your spirit now burns

Salford Love




“I can still remember when your city smelled exciting

I still get a whiff of that aroma now and then

Burglary and fireworks, the skies they were alighting

Accidents and lager cans and thinking on the train”


Roaming charming Salford, with your arm tight to mine

Felt alive at weekends but dead the rest of time

Beauty in your swan neck, your voice, arse, soft snores

 Ballerina ankles and those silky sexy drawers


Starving freezing Salford but contented on the bus

Seemed like Ewan MacColl had dreamed his lyrics just for us

Living for your eyes, sensing from a mile

‘Dirty Old Town’ will always make me raise a smile


Came the dulling aching pain,

Left your city in the rain

A single rolling tear

Showed love and loss upon a train


Then last week a dear present

Friends with her from Salford Crescent

Now feeling much less hollow

As the Happy Prince and Swallow

“In the late 19th century, psychotherapist Sigmund Freud developed a theory that the content of dreams is driven by unconscious wish fulfilment. Freud called dreams the 'royal road to the unconscious'”



Cruel Dream


At 8 I dreamt the cruellest dream

I had the shirt of World Cup team

My friends in class wore it with pride 

Strip Gazza kissed hard as he cried

That pearl-white Umbro kit was mine

Three-lions crest, striped-neck divine

And in that dream it fit so well

When I awoke a tear fell 


At 13 she was in my arms

Best girl from school lost in my charms

Peculiar that this could be

In school she’d never noticed me

I’d lugged her bags the whole way home

And to her lips was set to roam 

But as my heart was poised to sing

In distance heard an alarm clock ring


Last night in sleep I saw him there

Each face line, combed-back blade of hair

His hazel eyes twinkled with joy 

He sang Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’

And now awake it takes a while

To know I’ll never see that smile

Was with Grandad an hour ago

Don’t need Freud to say I miss him so


From time to time these dreams come round

A crueller life-trick I’ve yet found

As penny drops that next morning

Sense something’s just died deep within

So hard to just dust yourself down

When vivid dreams make you the clown

Free pass to heaven so soon locked out

Like a water mirage in a desert drought


Boundary Park



Egg carton sky spews rain that soaks

Where chill invades all gloves and cloaks

A rustic scene, northern decay

Is where Oldham Athletic play


Three tired stands and one brick wall

On building site they play football

Once fifty thousand fans did cram

Not 10 per cent now give a damn 


Steady decline from glory days

Of Royle’s men and class displays

And fine cup runs with cult heroes

These memories seem a lifetime ago


Irwin, Bunn, and Rick Holden, 

The Bovis era was golden

Barrett, Halle, Sharp, Henry

And then the king, Andy Richie


Four thousand fools now suffer dross

Morgue atmosphere and one-nil loss

The swirling rain distracts my eye

Highlight of game was half-time pie


But should these clubs ever wind up bust

In a weird way I’d miss the rust

Such history and old school charm

Must be preserved, or game’s done harm



 Heart Of The Matter



The Lord above never changed my ways

No government ever shaped my days

Compass for life pumped alone inside

Only your non-rules did I stand beside


Conquered amidst your vice-like grip

You charged my soul but at times you’d ship

My thoughts and senses to Timbuktu

Still I knew I’d always follow you


Often quiet for days on end

Life meandered then without you, friend

For without compass I could not tell

My North from South, Heaven from Hell


Mere oxygen was the least you’d give

Your hope and love coaxed me to live

Though led me down many darkened streets

You foretold life’s beauty with your faster beats


Sprint on through strong winds

March on when it rains

Only listen to the one

Who circulates your veins




      Spied Salop’s pride on Riverside just left of half way line

   On terrace stood, where Grandad would see Arthur Rowley shine

     Blue-Amber heaven by River Severn was sacred stage for show

     So raise a beer and shed a tear for bulldozed Gay Meadow


     Hit ‘Prince of Wales’, then Coleham ales on route up to the ground

     Get Wakeman chips, Hill’s betting slips, match programme just a pound

     Bovrils, crisp bags, smelt funny fags whilst ploughing through the crowd  

          Traditional ground, with vibrant sound, today not half as loud 

          Where Shrewsbury played and names were made for 97 years 

      Such ups and downs, cheers, frowns, the hopes, the dreams the fears

      The chants, the rants, the roars, applause, and Tina’s pre-match call

      And coracle Fred retrieved swans head whilst tracking down lost ball

          In second tier we’d oft strike fear into the giant sides

       This fortress saw, Chelsea and more swept up in Salop tides

         The Boro, Hammers, Toon all came and left with a defeat

       Those 80’s day’s, vintage displays with Turner were a treat

          In 94 we wiped the floor and cruised division 3

      Fred Davies side wore shirt with pride and marched to victory 

     Walton showed class, Zico could pass, Chris Withe did chicken jig

    While Tommy lynch never gave an inch, Spink’s leg had meat off pig!


       Oggy, Bates, Mcnally too, all wore the amber and the blue

     Kelly, Griffiths, Shaw and Hart, Mcginlay always looked the part

      Pountney, King and Mickey Brown, were stalwarts who excelled for Town

       Biggins, Lyne, Zimmers and Lowe disciples of Old Gay Meadow



      How blessed were we, to love Jerry?

            Our one with tender paws

          Never greedy, humour quirky

         Rough tongue but gentle claws

       Educated pallet, with a nose to match it

       Knew her cheese board more than me

           One of a kind, individual mind

              Jewell in Gold family


          Eccentricity, hallmark of she

              One off in every way

       Tripped on minties but scared of bees

            With 'Observer' loved a play

    But the greatest thing, to our house she'd bring

             For what we all adored

     Was when she rose and was YOU she chose

           To be graced by tender paws

Emma and Mal


         In Marble Arch he met the brut(e)

      Ale Tankard met the champagne flute

     Yet minor discrepancies could not spoil

      The day Noel Fielding met Jim Royle                                                                                                                   She loved his laugh, he loved her eyes

        Both shared a mutual lust for pies

      Long walks, drunk talks, extravagant ways

        The guaranteed five annual holidays


     With Prague's pilsner, Tuscan bruschetta,

        Rome's carbonara's and Corfu feta

    Came poker, whist,  snap, bridge, gin-rummy

      When Maloney lost, he spat his dummy


   Yet despite such tantrums, the odd tea cup flung

    An ill-fated trip to Hyde Park seeing Neil Young

       Less washing up, more Famous Grouse

       They bought a cat , a ring , a house!


        And today, I for one will celebrate 

         My sister wedding her best mate

      For my previous words were sheer baloney

             So raise a tankard or a flute

                To this marvellous pair

            Matt and Emma Maloney






        This food bank is a sparking place

        Restores my faith in the human race

          It's no palace and the decors old

     But these workers hearts are paved with gold


           I marvel at the volunteers

        As days are bleak and Christmas nears

      For each of them light up this scene

      Such kindness in a world so mean


       Big John gives ALL a Christmas card

      Small token but when times are hard

      It means the world, 'For me?' I hear

       A desperate man holds back a tear

      His weary eyes transform and shine

        Revert back to a childhood time

    A place of stockings, sprouts, minced pies

      A tear now leaves this poor soul's eyes


          But all too soon his eyes re-glaze

           His blissful scene cruelly erased

              By a lonely, starved reality

         Jack frost his Christmas company


            The sweetest tear I ever saw

         Fell on the Walsall Food-Bank floor

    Three bags of food against a world SO hard

     Three bags of food..... and a Christmas card







At home and in ‘awake dream’[2]

On phone in bold, ‘HAVE YE SEEN?’….


I said ‘what d’ ya mean? What’s it mean! WHAT’S IT MEAN??!!’[3]


On ‘tragic lantern’[4] nightmare see

The ‘Jew on a motorbike’[5] hit a tree

‘A Figure Walks’[6] alas no more

The ‘Hip Priest’[7]clubbed with a ‘2 by 4!’[8]


So ‘I didn’t eat the weekend’[9]

Peel session 3 my go-to friend

Just ‘lived off snacks…potatoes in packs’[10]

'Bulls-blood wine' and panic attacks


No tears left Monday morning, and I think I’ll cut my ears off…

The torture their causing me

Tuned into wireless AM show

‘Heard lickspittle southerners’[11] voice I know

He was playing a ‘hideous replica’[12]

And I had to reach for a bucket ‘uhhhhh’[13]


Today ‘y’see, I get no kick’s anymore!’[14]

From deadbeat life without The Fall

The other bands depress at will

Sadly ‘the cure was in no pill’[15]


For ‘the best groups advertise the least’[16]

 66 disciples and one Hip Priest

Who hired and fired, was cryptically inspired

Had brain so ‘totally (uniquely) wired’[17]


His like will not be seen again

Rewrote the Law with ‘slang truth'[18] pen

Left genius lyrical legacy

57-18, Smith…Mark E





1] ‘Tempo House’

[2] ‘Lie Dream of a Casino Soul’

[3] ‘New Puritan’ (Peel Session)

[4] ‘A lot of Wind’

[5] ‘Garden’

[6] ‘A Figure Walks’

[7] ‘Hip Priest’

[8] ‘2 x 4’

[9] ‘Lie Dream of a Casino Soul’

[10] ‘Crap Rap/Like to Blow’

[11] ‘Smile’

[12] ‘Impression of J Temperance’

[13] Mark E Smith’

[14] ‘Jawbone and the air rifle’

[15] ‘Athlete Cured’

[16] ‘Garden’

[17] Totally Wired

[18] ‘Room to Live (Album)’

                      OUR DAD

   1949 - Present




    We’ll never say farewell, you’re forever by our sides

    Though our ship gets tossed about and endures life’s vicious tides

      Your spirit soothes the evil storms and steers us to the bay

     Of a tranquil, golden paradise, where besides you we can lay


    In life as well as death, in the present, future, past

    Your love guides all our voyages, your heart etched to our mast

      The jaws of sharks are blunted, the pirates’ poison weak

   With rum we’ll toast we knew you and then we’ll hear you speak


   When scurvy led to cancer and our ship was stuck in mud

   We saw the courage in your eyes when spitting out the blood

    We see a handsome face now when we look towards the sun

    We see a man who mastered life before his race was run


   Now when the skies a bruise and there appears to be no hope

       Dock at 'Peaceful Harbour' with their everlasting rope

     For they are even nearer, though in body they’re away

    And tell them that you love them as the sun sets in the bay

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