Thursday, 28 March 2013


The other day I was heading for work on a bus. Not that I felt a compulsion to use a mobile phone to tell anyone—in fact, I do not own a mobile phone; am I the last person in the UK who has resisted acquiring one?
  Sitting downstairs, I tried to absorb myself in the book I’m currently reading. The habit of reading provides me with an antidote to the familiar journey’s tedium.  But, as often happens on busy Brighton buses, my concentration was disturbed by the total unselfconsciousness of my fellow passengers.
  My heart sank as the bus rapidly filled up at various stops, surrounding me with noisy people who boarded clumsily. They banged into seats and other passengers before slumping heavily into their chosen spaces. The seats in front of me sagged ominously under an obese couple reeking of sweat. No sooner had they sat down, breaking wind as they did so, than they were pressing mobile phones to the sides of their heads. They engaged in mundane prattle with parties it soon emerged they were minutes away from meeting in person. Their banal banter was punctuated by the screams of a tearful toddler on his teenage-mother’s lap, and the rattling of empty drinks cans rolling on the floor.
  I looked up as one of the cans accelerated past my seat, catching the eye of the young mum. She bounced her inconsolable infant on her lap. The twin buggy beside her held two more of her offspring who, to my surprise, were soundly sleeping. Perhaps they were dreaming, I imagined, of their future life on a council estate their mother would be able to form herself if the size of her family continued to increase. I dropped my eyes from her tired pair as someone behind me climbed off their seat, swinging their backpack into my shoulder on its way to theirs. Without apologising, the man kicked crumpled copies of the Metro down the floor pushing in the earphones connected to his I-Pod with uncoordinated fingers.
  Odours from takeaway food wafted through the bus, competing with anonymous blasts of halitosis and flatulence. Seated nearby, a surly young man was guzzling a can of strong lager with his feet—shod in filthy boots—up on the seat he was facing. But, I thought, if I lit up a cigarette I’d be fined and chucked off the bus. People who sat side by side shouted at each other.
  At each stop along the route, impatient looking people clambered aboard. Despite their wait, which was long enough to cause them irritation, not one of them had their fares or tickets ready. They fumbled through bags and pockets with laborious slowness, apparently oblivious to their own lack of anticipation, eventually finding what they required. Their dull-witted actions delayed the bus, which arrived late at the following stop where the same pattern was repeated.
  Twenty minutes later, I arrived at my stop and getting off the bus I felt intensely relieved. The brief time I’d spent on the crowded bus made me feel claustrophobic and agitated. Close proximity to the other passengers who, generally, lacked awareness of all around them, angered me and roused my cynicism. They had as much dignity as a convention of diarrhoea sufferers.
  My intolerant attitude towards my travelling companions is in sharp contrast to the high regard I hold the drivers in. Invariably polite and patient, they are even-tempered and focussed on driving safely. They possess a Zen-like calmness; a state of mind allegedly attainable through years of meditation; but on my short walk from the bus I passed the Buddhist Centre without hesitating or thinking it has anything inside to offer me.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Wenches in the trenches,
Tenses in the benches,
Creaking under lardy-arsed MPs,
Machiavellian wannabes,
Their manifestos manifest lies,
Impresses no one and when he dies—
The MP exposed as a glutton for pies—
Revisits his childhood,
Whimpers and cries.

Smart, pressed trousers clothing corpulent thighs,
Hang below sagging torsos emitting loud sighs,
At political parties’ parties where:
A caged parrot’s parasites proves more ‘Polly tics’,
Than politics are discussed as the bar dries.

Anachronistic puppets enact charades of charlatans,
Investing significance in futile rituals contemptibly familiar,
They are over familiar with members of their staff,
Whom they seduce, wine and dine until, like a fatted calf,
Their conquests surrender with a laugh.

Power corrupts as everyone knows,
In ways a corrupt individual usually shows,
As obviously as Pinocchio with his growing nose,
Weak and corruptible from head to toes,
Like a stinking shadow, their corruption follows them wherever they go.

Ignorance is bliss and much more than this—
It’s frequently a claim made by those taking the piss,
The game of justice played out in public appeases the thick,
While those ‘caught out’ don’t miss a trick,
And wealthily retire long before they anonymously expire.

Mansions and baubles, a life of excess,
Are readily available when you attain success,
Defined in modern terms,
It equates to grubbing about with worms.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Arrangement

The Arrangement by Narolc
The Arrangement, a photo by Narolc on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
New drawing for my birthday. Alternative title 'The Fez Adjustment Bureau'.