About Last Night

Much thanks to Andi and Cathy for putting me on at the Brewery Tap last night. What a privilege to be on the same bill as Lorraine Lucas and Joe Jones, Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner (‘Harrow Fair’). Here are a couple of things from that set that I don’t think I have posted here before.

Large Concrete Structure

The cherry blossom tells us Spring has come
The cherry blossom tells us Spring has come
There are necessary hormones, rising sap:
Come, sit beneath the blossom while it lasts.

As pretty as a picture you were then
You were as pretty as a picture then
And because you can only think of time as passing
You took a photograph I still possess

But I remember it better than yesterday
I remember it better than I remember yesterday
You beneath the blossom at our picnic
Plump with youth and promise in the Spring

Here there is memory and place and no anger
We knew no anger then
We had no reason
Rage came later, for no good reason
For no reason at all

But here there is memory and place and no anger
There were ponies
We were dare-devils, climbing trees
As high as the lowest branch

And then those shiny boots, the click and clack
You heard before you saw them
Then rage had its season

The speed of change comes quickly
The blossom grows, goes quickly
One year the picture of you under the blossom
The next an abstract of something that might be blossom
Your departure not even hinted at
Your presence not even hidden

I look for you in this large concrete structure
I take for a work of art; a structure
That once had use, though no longer
Not these days. It is labelled Large Concrete Structure
And I admire it more, these days,
Than the lovely cherry blossom in the Spring.

Time to learn to love again
Time to write about love again
So, idling the morning away
This February day
Tapping a pen on my teeth
Aware of the blank sheet
Before me, it gave me a thrill
When the phone trilled-
A legitimate distraction
You see, from action.
I pick up the phone, say Good Morning
And a voice like an angel’s says Warning
This call may be recorded
And I’m instantly carried away from my sordid
Everyday concerns
To that place my heart yearns for
Training purposes, she says. That’s all right
Say I. Am I speaking to Anthony White?
You sure are. Good; and how are you today
Anthony? I stutter I’m okay
Yes, really I am, and you?
She gives no answer, carries on Do
You know that you, Anthony, can reclaim
I managed to moan Je t’aime-
Thousands on missold PPI
Did you ever buy
This kind of thing?
Because, I can tell you, it was a sting.
Well, by now I’m getting flustered
I’m as keen as mustard
But I can’t get her attention
I should also mention
Anthony, that we’re no win no fee
I say, don’t mind that; are you free
Tonight? I could meet you after work
She says, making me feel a berk
Anthony, I’m in a call centre in Melton Mowbray
Lying through my teeth I cry No way
I’m just around the corner-
I’m a right little charmer-
I can be there in twenty minutes
What time do you finish?
By now I can hear her laughing
I say I’ll take you dancing
So I rush out, catch the train
Man, I’m going insane
I tell you, you can’t make a train hurry
No matter how much you worry
And that journey’s a lot longer than twenty minutes
In fact, an hour and thirty-eight minutes
You have to change at Leicester
An hour and thirty-eight minutes is the best you
Can do- well, you don’t need to know all that
Suffice to say she was there on the welcome mat
And it was okay. She’s called Samantha
And she’s like a panther
Though to be honest I only wrote that to get the rhyme.
Well, it’s only been a short time
Just a few weeks
But I tell you when she speaks
Okay I know it sounds corny
But it makes me horny-
She’s on accident insurance these days
Have you ever, Anthony White, she says
Had a bike accident? If so
I can calculate for you how much you’re owed
If you were knocked down on the road
When a lorry slipped its load
Or a car unexpectedly slowed
Or you ran over a toad
And we chuckle
And then we cuddle
And I’m not telling you what next
But it rhymes with next
So you see, writing these poems is okay
But it’s wise to pick up the phone some days.