Five Years

Memories of the unemployed back streets of South London

where mattresses and settees leaned against garage doors in need of a lick of paint,

railway embankments housing birdsong and small flowers

cut behind the back gardens of semi detached thoughts blinkered by televisions.


I walked those days away doing everything I could

not to be taken on by the next registry department,

or find myself being successful in an interview

that I refused to prepare for.


Where do I see myself in five years time? I asked myself as a joke,

and now that I’m here I can tell you that not much has changed.

Still in and out of work, still waiting for the big wave to break

as the waters of my writing gather into secluded oceans of hope,


The problem is I find it so easy to keep it inside,

where the idea of writing being work is still just an idea.

I can spend hours at my laptop

convincing myself that Im applying for jobs in the city,


but when I take to the streets,

and the neighbourhood watch inform me about the perils of staying at home

and thinking up another story, I shrug and tell them I have my own security,

safe in the knowledge that I am locked into my poetry.