The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre

The butterflies get in for free,
like the Queen, ex officio.
For bankers it’s a hundred quid
per slick Savile Row carapace.
Same again for their plus guests,
cocooned in crushed silk Gucci,
thrilling to every sip of Moet
and the quadrille of canapés.

We follow a late Red Admiral
through the Fiorelli trelliswork,
over the Swarovski fountain
jetting Perrier and rose petals,
to the Fragonard tribute swing
that put the W in horticulture,
styled by the crimping, pimping
manicurists of Bulgari.

Circling the Prada ha-ha,
we alight in a cash-scented glade
cooing with fresh bonuses.
Here they will raffle gilded tickets
to paradise, Wagner and the moon.
A locker room of matey autographs
will be auctioned, faked by agents
in limos speeding between deals.

And it’s all for Race Horse Rehab.
Watch the Oligarchs take the lead,
past the Hedge Fund boys by a Rolex,
snapping up Lord Coe’s lucky shorts
and a small village near Cambridge,
before the pheasant shoot with U2
goes to the Emperor of Tat,
on whose sweatshops the sun never sets.

The air, swollen with generosity
now bursts in thundering ululation.
A Saxon thane shaking with battle-axe
stumbles from the shrubbery.
“Fukka!” he snarls, like he’s lost his keys
before hacking through the buddleia
to the juice bar where gap year waiters
smoke their final cigarettes.

Shortlisted in the 2014 Live Canon International Poetry Competition

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The Narrow Man

Yes you’ve seen him
Reflected in shop windows,
Conducting on roundabouts
Or at the other end of a pint,
Always just finishing up.
The hiss of roll-up in a gutter
The lip smack and glass slam
And last ever betting slip
That’s the Narrow Man.
Shoes from the RSPCA
Belonged to a fatter man
Whose life was tragically creased
Just above the toes.
His jacket could well be mine
From a few personas back,
Brownish with lapels that curl
Like bacon – and too many teeth
All looking for a new home,
With a DA so slick it was planned
By Professor Quiff of Ted University
That’s the Narrow Man.
Then there’s the story
Of the floral tribute at the war memorial
Replaced by a set of new spanners
And chirpy Betty from the bakery
Who went out and bought a vase
From Oxfam for all the roses.
Guess who likes a sausage roll?
That’s the Narrow Man
Some say he just disappeared
While sipping Lightning from a can,
Sideways on, between two buses
That’s the Narrow Man.

Published in the 2014 Templar Publishing Anthology “Skein”