Hourglass (sand running out)

A seagull stands sentry on a groyne
steely-eyed watching kids squeal
in the splish splash of surf crash
until, on an incoming wave, they run
screaming to the shore and the sanctuary
of their castles flying paper flags.

Such disappointed faces to see
the keep crushed underfoot
by spoilsport giants.

And so it begins again,
the game of avoiding salt licks
from the cold North Sea. Cruel sea
to swallow ruined turrets
and spew out dead starfish.

The seagull, still there,
now peep show watches
lovers, as they landslide into each other
riding on shock wave thermals
dating back
from when the wave and the shore crashed
a million years ago.

He knows it’s just
sand and time
making fossilised hearts
and the crumbling past,
from grains of dune whispers.



©2007 P.A.Levy
First published by 5923 Quarterly - Magazine Dead



I’ve got a funny feeling, I think I’m being watched,
some friends tell me it’s just paranoia (they say
I’m mad behind my back), but I’ve actually seen them,

I know exactly who they are, well that’s not strictly truthful
but I’ve witnessed them in dark corners,
listening in to my conversations, reading everything

I’ve ever written, laughing through my photo album,
pouring scorn on my CD collection. So I telephoned
the council, said I’m suffering infestation.

Mechanically, a grey voice answered to inform
that having checked her records of rodents and insects
and all kinds of pesky things; she can’t find stickmen.

Stickmen ain’t on the list. So I went to the library
to do a little research. I found Mr Men, but they were no help,
and when I got home my computer was logged on,

there they all were watching stickman porn.
Yes! Oh my God yes! There’s stickgirls as well,
and as any boy scout will tell you, it’s a sure fire

way to get smouldering action, but you try explaining
randy stickmen to the Fire Brigade
as they’re dousing down another blaze in your bedroom.



©2007  P.A.Levy
First published by Word Gathering 2009


The Time of Your Life

Somewhere the sound of the ‘tick’
and the ‘tock’ can be heard.
The snapping teeth, the laws of movement,
the metal grind

enslaved into your own lifetime:
hours have their hands in chains.

To look into a mirror and witness
dying moonbeams sing such sad songs;
pass away unnoticed and are forever gone.

Disappeared into an unnerving
brittle silence, a creeping whiteness
that has no sound.

Erratic ebb and flow of agitated breathing
crashes the baseline
when a nihilistic heart beat whispers its slow rhythm
and all you hear are lamentations of your name
carved in marble; bound by ivy
to cemetery solemnity.
The face on the clock; deceitful smile.

Time is not on your side.

In youth,
gloriole of star bursts silhouetted the romantic
but now the unbuttoned moon
has snuffed out her starry glints,
and you, embellished by facet fascinations,
have false hopes blunted
by cut paste immitations.

Sing along to the choir
that levitates above your head

gravity defying.

The heavy hours. Weight. Waiting
for the veiled kiss
of the charnel house dreamers.

Something blue: your lips.
Something borrowed: happy ever–afters.

Somewhere the sound of the ‘tick’
and the ‘tock’ can be heard,
fixed on a loop under a glass domed coffin.



©2006 P.A.Levy
First published by ‘Poetic Diversity’ 2008.


Crucifuxed But Hanging On

As I approached Ely
driving through the Fenland landscapes
of regimented crops aligned on parade,
the Cathedral’s inquisitive hand reached
to probe into the empty blue sky
with boney grey fingers.

I paid to enter; awe-struck found it aglow
in a kaleidoscope light of multicoloured stories
staining the stone floor. Mortuary acoustics
echo in the sound of my own footsteps
following me down the empty aisles
following me down the empty . . .

Maybe because I’m not a pilgrim,
I don’t know,
but God wasn’t to be found,
not even infused within the smell
of stale incense. I lit a candle
to light the darkness from my eyes,
but only found the way
to the gift shop
where I bought a cheap souvenir
in exchange for a few pieces of silver
and was even given a receipt
although, as it clearly states,
proof of purchase does not equate
to proof of faith
at the Gates of St Peter.

In the garden café, sipped tea
ate a slice of fruit cake with a fork,
wasting time lying back on the green,
wearing white in the cavalier sun;
how decadent I’ve become.
An atheist with a tin crucifix in my pocket.

Under chestnut tree shade
all God’s children seem at play,
Mum and Dad unwrap
shrink wrapped sardine sandwiches.
Pour broth from Thermos flask
to plastic cups contemplating Eden.

By-laws nailed up on a notice board:
No cycling. No skateboards.
No black cats. No heretics.
No fornication. No litter.
No Papal proclamations.
No ball games on the cathedral green.
Scrawl on the wall declares:
‘the Bishop bends it better than Beckham’.

Beneath the cathedral's stoney gaze
saints caught in sunlit rays
twinkle, but they turn away,
leaving grotesque gothic heads
suspiciously watching Russian refugees
leaning against boarded-up shops
chain smoking cigarettes.
Smiles and laughter smudged to a frown
blur the long drawn day,
homesick blue with empty pockets
they mockingly stare

at a solitary bench drunk
sucking another can of Abbott’s Ale,
side by side with his radio
conversations; a battery bitter
frequency of windswept words
poor reception to sweet love songs
compressed into waves and hisses.

Or the teenage mother, chewing gum
why should she care
for romantic sentiment
when she’s out in cold nights
selling her kisses to pay the rent.
Come to that her youthful smile,
even, some would say, her soul,
all in a vain attempt to escape
the vacuous grind of Purgatory.
Just one of many tales the needle collector
gathers into hazardous yellow refuse bags
every morning.

Empty purse again; she forages through bins
at the back of Oxfam for broken toys
far away boys and girls
would consider a jinx:
land mine Barbies
suffering careless loss of limbs.
Corgi cars (nostalgic Yamato models),
minus wheels and lacking windscreens,
write-offs crashed from table tops
into platoons of plastic soldiers.
Half a relegated Subbetto team
from the days when Benny Faction
played on the wing and was great on crosses.

She uncovers jigsaw puzzles
the missing pieces are her metaphor,
and chewed books with happy endings
masticated into pulp; the fairy tale
forever after spat out like diseased phlegm.

With feigned optimism
she raises a rusty saucepan;
“there’s fun to be had if we use it as drum.”
Now he, the next generation
of the disappointed,
just needs a stick
knowing what he has to beat.
The pulse is slipping away;
Fen life flat lining.



©2007 P.A.Levy
First published by More Teeth - Magazine Dead.



i lost my virginity
on the back seat of jason rider’s
mini cooper
he was a right tosser
so these days i fantasise
it had been
with johnny depp

on the m25 i lost
my no claims bonus
going bumper to bumper
with ewan mc gregor
i think i may have left
a few scratches behind
although the paintwork
looked undamaged

at the wheel
on the road to mandalay
i closed my eyes
of having james mc avoy’s
phone number
calling him and calling him
but he never rung back
i was so ditched

from now on i’m only driving
manual gear sticks
are such a distraction



© 2009 iDrew
First published by The Toucan 2010



if i had to choose between your idea of a laugh
and having a nice long soak in the bath
well i’ve switched on the immersion heater
and bought some new scented candles

if i had to choose between your kiss
and spending a day at lakeside
trying to find a new dress
i’ll start in miss selfridges, then top shop, then …

if i had to choose between your mindless drone
and a night in on my own
with a DVD of titanic and a box of chocs
well you just can’t beat a good flick

if i had to choose between you
and a new pair of shoes
there’s just no way you’d co-ordinate
with my pink kashmir cardy



© 2008 iDrew
First published by Vanilla 2010