Sometimes our public relations, our hype, spin and our photoshopping becomes a kind of prison. The  veneer must never crack …or else….


Shiny, brilliant

all beeswax and

elbow grease

the burnished

veneer glistens


Lacquered and

blow dried

each hair

perfect in place



An image

a lithograph

kept in a frame

on the mantle piece

above the fire


Hair line cracks


running the amber


at the edge of a foil


A stiletto word

scratches the surface

the sun ages

laughter lines

and wrinkles


The varnish fades

corn flaking

and peeling


with bubbles


Scales shed

dandruff dreams

on the shoulders


flares and sinters


The projector

now too hot



Black and white

Black and white


Smoking platforms

of a brief encounter

and a steam whistle


and haunting


They will always

have Paris

in the album

to thumb

in wheelchair days


Of blankets

and slippers

and Steradent

arms now too short

to see words clearly


Oh that Vermeer


that masterpiece

of veneer

cost so very much


That hot water bottle

of reason

may yet

keep out

the cold


The gnarled, wise

Oak beneath

old, covered in

knots and scars

remembers sap


And springtime,

birds nesting

and all

the acorn gifts

it made for the squirrels


There is no fooling it

proud of its lines

and ages past

before the saw

took it


The veneer cannot

hold it

much longer

for the oak

seeks again the air


And if needs must,

bring on the bugs

the beetles and

the creepy-crawlies

come what may


In the shed outside

the Antique shop

the oak pines to be

free from dust

and cobwebs


It waits for

a moment of chance

to shuffle of

its skin

its scales


Too big now

for the lacquer

the varnish

the polish

and the spin


It can hear

His heart



ready to burst


As dawn tiptoes

the window through

he thinks

perhaps today

will be the day



… perhaps today…