Robbie Taylor

I came to writing through therapy at age forty-eight, and, nearly ten years later, I still need it. Writing I mean. We find things in life, that are not so bad sometimes and in that discovery, we find ourselves a little, and another jigsaw piece is slotted home. Writing has also proved to me, that its the pieces that are lost that complete the picture of who we really are. There is a little bit of me in everything I write, not blood, not flesh maybe, but the bit that accepts that just because a piece of sky is missing, it doesn’t mean the rest will collapse around me.


This is my town, my town.......this is Circus Town.
Bricks built high to hold us down
red brick brown brick black brick cream
Lego brick Lego brick Lego brick dream
build and flatten and build again,
wash fields and meadows down the drain
chop trees chop sticks chop socky chop suey
green belt black belt Hong Kong Phooey
follow the yellow brick road to benefit street
visit the benefit of the doubt and the benefit cheat
big men little dogs big chips little boxes
the urban sprawl of urban foxes
scroungers loungers opportunity wasters
thirsty thieves and squirty cheese tasters
the salt in the blood of the salt of the earth
salt in the wounds from the assault of birth
family lines run on family lies
Jeremy Kyle and family ties
incest inbred intermission
look at me I'm on television
ringmaster whipmaster entertainer
juggler acrobat lion tamer
DNA tests on DIY lives
beating chests and cheating wives
punch bag punch out punch up drunk
smack crack brown and green and skunk
pop pills pop pills poptastic sweeties
fat face fat arse diabetes
ringmaster ringmaster whip crack whip
faster double portions faster double dip
deep vein deep fried deep pan sizzlers
gobble gobble gobble turkey twizzlers
one potato two potato three potato four
pitstop at the chip shop and ask for more
cook a fresh batch in my remains
coz I've got Circus Town in my veins
eat now die later live more die greater
nuclear family impersonator
tick tock tick tock bailiff's knock
broken Britain broken lock
broken lives broken bones
brand new trainers brand new phones
teenage pregnancy teenage kicks
knitted booties needle pricks
one gram two gram three gram four
rock the cradle lock  the door
midwife good life bad life thug
class clown classless class A drug
skivers divers lodgers dodgers
Union Jacks and Jolly Rogers
fly the flag and launch the ship
tie the bag and staunch the drip
learn the ropes and both the three R's
apprenticeships in stealing cars
stolen moments stolen pleasures
hold on tight to golden treasures
red brick brown brick black brick cream
dying to get out and living the dream
the price is right so come on down
for this is my town, my town,
...this is Circus Town.


I admire his poetry.
As he does mine.
We do not praise one another.
It is not necessary any more.
It is worthy enough of us,
that we correspond.
I file his letters,
as he does mine.
He has written to me, telling me about his new office,
I reported back the latest news,
concerning the guttering.
He sympathised,
as indeed I had ,
over the saga with his Labrador.

My latest letter,
informed him about the ongoing adventures of Mrs Grantham,
about how her left knee feels November,
how her daughter has got herself "mixed up” with vegetarians,
and how she broke my “I Love the New Yorker” mug.
He empathised,
replied that he had a cleaner who was exactly the same.......

I thought that perhaps he might have....


The kids not alright, the kids not okay,
he'll lie to you tomorrow like he did yesterday,
this daylight vampire with the mortuary skin,
covered in red scratchers from chasing the insects within.
He's buried silver linings and put them in the soil,
he should be looking for redemption but he's looking for tin foil,
coz the kids not alright, the kids not okay,
he's a boy made of paper but he wont blow away.
His blood still pumps through his too hot veins,
an over beating heart in his overheating remains,
and you can feel your own heart, that beats too fast,
as you wait for his future to catch up with his past.
He cries like an actor, and laughs like a clown,
but his tears are crimson and his smile is brown,
coz the kids not alright, the kids not okay,
but he'll be your son tomorrow, just like he was yesterday.
He smells of old coats and the contents of an overturned bin,
and you feel the stench in your throat,
	when you tell him there's no room at the inn,
you watch the tears of a crocodile as he begs and he pleads,
there's blood in the water, but its your heart that bleeds.
He can't remember past visits, he's forgotten his lies,
only believes what he sees, through his own bloodshot eyes,
but you hand him all you've got, because you can't afford more,
and he leaves a happy customer from your always open store,
coz the kids not alright, the kids not okay,
he's untied what binds but is never far away,
he's unaware that your money is not all that he's taking,
that he's stealing your hope, and a heart that is breaking,
for he's now just a nightcrawler, with an outstretched claw,
and yet you cry for this familiar face of the stranger at your door,
whose untold promises still sleep, under unturned leaves,
on the path of hard lessons where you've learned what he really believes,
so you watch him go, with the little twitches that are tearing him apart,
knowing his hand will be steady with the needle like it was a bullseye dart,
and he never looks back, at your world that once was his,
he sleeps in the bed that he's made, curled up in his own piss,
coz the kids not alright, the kids not okay,
and you hope to see your son again, coz you didn't see him today.

You turn your face to the rain,
	feeling the guilty wash of relief,
hoping it will only last as long,
	as the flowers,  already wilting on the wreath,
as you remember Christmas mornings,
	when he would shake you awake,
and lazy Sunday afternoons,
	spent fishing on the lake,
but that child's face can not compete,
	with the stranger's face that would come to your door,
the brown smile on mortuary skin,
	that was the last thing that you saw,
and you have already mourned the ghost,
	that lived behind those bloodshot eyes,
and cursed the stranger at the door,
	for stealing goodbyes.
Because the kids not alright,
	the kids not okay,
and it is both a father and his son,
	that are being buried today.

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