The Ballad of Nancy Stokes

Clouds rolled in, all over the small town.
The air alive with the smell of chip shop grease and cheap aftershave.
Saturday night, alive and loud.
But not Nancy.
At least not by the end.
Down in the canal.
Left to be found by old Mrs Clarence, off to the shops on a Sunday morning.
Her small dog Terry, sniffing at the banks where poor Nancy rested.
Her head covered in an old carrier bag.
But that night before, she’d dressed up to the nines.
No Tesco tiara threatened her styled hair.
Scraped back with moose and anticipation.
For the dancefloor awaited, and the eyes were wet.
Leary sockets soaked in her moves.
The jostles and gyrations of decade old motions learned to entice.
To ensnare.
Those oiled men, with receding hair.
The smell of socialisation and modernity.
Nancy left her friends, who’d found Jesus in the bottom of a vodka bottle.
And in the stall of the toilets which stank of desperation and piss.
Where sticky kebab hands soiled their jeans and youth.
Where Nancy went, nobody knows.
But they left her some of her clothes at least.
Soaking in the green waters of the canal.
The old Robinson factory looming over her grave.
Passer-by’s flicking cigarette ends into the water, sizzling near her empty soul.
Not knowing she was there.
In the sludgy brown surface.
Where Mrs Clarence found her.
Nancy Stokes. The 40-year-old girl who loved to dance.
But never learned to swim.

Nuclear shadows

You cannot unwind the clock in my skull.
The ticking over time that set the world ablaze.
Who knew the day, when the sky darkened.
And fate eclipsed our shared heart.
Those running for cover.
Scattering like pebbles on a beach.
Lapped at by a sea of hatred.
I cling to the groceries in my hand.
Fruit, dehumidified in my grasp.
Turning to mummies like the bodies nearby.
Burnt in an undignified splendour.
What escaped hell that day?
Let loose by righteous souls who knew better.
A holy war into the mouth of the devil.
As the fire crinkled in the sky, it burnt down upon us.
Imprinting my soul into the pavement where I stood.
Nuclear shadows.
Snapped like the sun shuttering.
God, turning his head away.
God, with tears in her eyes.
The light of an age, swimming around those that twinkled inside.
But how soon those lights were gone.

Kill the moon

How dare you illuminate and steal my heart.
You glisten there with your tide of treachery.
Luring many to the edges.
My heart was strong, yet you broke it apart.
Forcing the pieces to drift in their gravitless state.
You are a thief and a liar.
For the light you shine is not your own.
Stolen and reflected from the sun.
One that gives much warmth and life.
You are cold and capricious.
Showing different faces to all below.
Keeping your dark side at bay until it’s too late.
I wish to break free, to kill you completely.
Or at least break away from your orbit.