Hot air

Grandma is holding
an inflatable cock
while her girls go
to the toilet.
It is bigger than her
and her bags
and the entire train station
she’d like it
to float her
away
from.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Lessons learned

Use walking poles as prevention not a cure. If a sheep
can poo on it, you can climb it. Being inside a cloud
does not make you rain. Use Vaseline as prevention
not a cure. If a slug can live on it, you can climb it.
Talk shite up a mountain, you don’t know what it’s
achieving.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Ash

All the gear and all the ideas.
The kind of guy you text
when your kid asks a question
you don’t understand. His spine
is an encyclopaedia and reads
from it when you are ready.
What’s the best way to
use your walking poles, Ash?
Put your hands through
the bottom of the straps
and let them take the strain.
How do I get the bladder
straw working, Ash?
Don’t forget to bite it.
Why am I here, Ash?
Why not?

© Carl Burkitt 2022

I felt the sickness behind my eyes

She’s talking about
the kind brought on by travelling
through roads as thin as veins,
not the one that tiptoes its way
from the back of your head
when everything is working
as it should be. The kind
that waves through your window
even though you moved away
without telling it. I felt the sickness
behind my eyes but I didn’t give it
the satisfaction. Not today.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Colin

He doesn’t want to try
your spicy butter bean pie.
He will tell you, If you fall
there’s nothing I can do,
so don’t fall
. He will tell you
he is going to go to sleep
and bow his head like he is praying
to a God called Snooze
and be asleep before you say OK.
He will let you use his head as a map,
his back as a waterproof,
he laugh as a gust of wind
blowing you in the right direction.
He doesn’t want to try
your spicy butter bean pie.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Smallsteps and Sideways

Smallsteps and Sideways is the latest police drama
set in the mountains of the Lake District
due to be released on the BBC in July 2022.
DI Smallsteps, a wholesome,
approachable man, is wildly effective
because of his popularity and gentle touch.
His quirky partner Sideways is unconventional
but by god she gets the job done.
In a tale as old as time, this unlikely duo
make the perfect odd couple
helping any innocent individual
subjected to injustice
dealt by their arch enemy S.Pike,
a brutal criminal of the highest order.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Ronnie O’Sullivan is

in the deep end
of a World Championship Final.
Scafell Pike rocks
are snooker balls scattered
across a waistcoat-black table.
His knackered foot is his cue
struggling with its shot selection.
The green ball over there is a clear safety,
the brown is a slippery trick shot.
He closes his eyes to see what will happen.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Paul

He knows that Icelandic sheep are white
and their lambs are black so they can be seen
in the snow when they’re young. He knows
a village of gnomes lives in the UK’s deepest lake.
He is a suited chauffeur by day.
At weekends he sleeps on the back seat
of our minibus while we climb mountains
and listens to dance music while we sleep
to keep his eyes awake and us safe
on the roads he knows like a brother.

© Carl Burkitt 2022