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Not for long

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Social commentary: Living with Parkinson's it's easy to forget that many other people face adversity in life. An old poem, re-written as a performance piece with a bit of tinsel on top. About the darker, seedy and sleazy side of life it nevertheless finishes on a peaceful, philosophical note.


Front door slammed, he headed for the damned,

sparking up a stub in the broken-heart pub,

from tar blackened lung, loss and regret were sung,

in a voice deeply gravelled by a life unravelled;

and his pal Al Kohol and his mate Nick O'Teen,

who kept him lithe and kept him lean.

just one moment weak led him to ever seek

sentence for his crime, for the reason and rhyme

and he told them he must pay, every single day

his conscience to please, praying on his knees

and he drank pints of heavy, always one more bevvy

til' the tears began to flow, and the pub said time to go

as he asked abut his wife wife who'd taken her own life,

and on the kitchen floor rattled a faintest snore

with a tea towel for a quilt, he threw up blood and guilt

suddenly he was worried that something was wrong

but not for long.


was told he loved her lots as she washed his dirty pots

and he took her for a walk and said they need to talk,

she smiled a smile of wedding rings and smiled a smile

of lovely things,

but he took her to the park when day had turned to dark

and as they were snogging she heard the word dogging

telling her he's bored and to look inside the Ford

that rocked to and fro, on springs set way too low

he made her go and peek after which she couldn't speak

and staring at his grin and the act of public sin

with the grunts and groans and Am-Dram moans,

she turned to walk away, him begging her to stay

she saw him as a letch, and how he made her retch

but she really loved her Guy and without him couldn't get by

she told him it was wrong, but sadly not for long.


heard the crash of pans, and the opening of cans

two different soups, and one of spaghetti hoops

if he wants to get fed he'll have to eat it on his bed

he'd like a kiss goodnight , but prefers the dark to light

where it's easier to hide, cos there's no one on his side

and though its no biggie she lights another Ciggie

squinting through the haze, of a valium daze

before setting off, to practice her cough

she says she's a Chancer, he knows about cancer

and she'll kiss for sure the man by the door

who makes her flash fear as he takes a step near,

the one with lips tight, who goads him to fight.

he daren't make a sound, or he'll end up drowned

another Uncle had said, from his mother's bed,

he heard their angry voices saying she's no choices

raging through the walls clear as toilet stalls,

always it's no money and the one she calls honey,

who whispers loves is true to her face black & blue,

and the tears in her eyes can only weep lies

for a love she's never shown a love he's never known,

unless she sings and suddenly grows wings,

but she's only one song and sings it

but not for long.


bought a nightie, size small, patterned lightly,

to look posh waiting to die, warning non better cry

as she'd countered her winnings and declared a good Innings

she'd broken many a heart and felt Cupid's dart

she'd lived on the edge, and behind a privet hedge

storms of snow and hail, warm sunshine and sail

all had been weathered by one never tethered,

who never needed much, bar a new frock or such,

she'd married a copper who had treated her proper

for five and forty years, he took away her fears,

and kept her on an even Keel, made her strong as steel

saying she's a beauty rare such that all men have to stare,

and his wife he'd salute, so strong, so resolute.

But she lost him weeks past, and only hours she'd last

he would save her a seat where again they would meet,

silent bar soft sighs she then dabbed her eyes

and said Death was dawdlin, and the nurses maudlin

he needs a rocket up his arse and what a farce

this dying seems to be, she said it was tricky see

and was she doin it right, and did she look a sight

she wanted to know cos' she was ready to go

the nurses got her roses to put to their noses,

and she joked ,for him she's too strong,

but not for long.

28 views4 comments


Dawson Stafford
Dawson Stafford
Jan 24, 2023

Bravo Nige! Really dark, even the backing track reminds me of 'Tales of the unexpected'💯

Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Jan 28, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Pal, much appreciated.


Unknown member
Jan 23, 2023

This is brilliant. Would you mind sharing the words?

Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Jan 23, 2023
Replying to

ta mate, words added as requested

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