This one’s for you

so insert your eye colour here
and the smell of your favourite meal
and the feel of sand or ice on your toes
and the sound of your creaking gate
and the taste of blood or lemonade
and remember that the moon
or sun or clouds or fish and chips
or crumbs on a coffee table or greasy hair
or rusted people carrier or broken toenail
or receipt for a cancelled holiday
or discarded ham and pineapple pizza
you are looking at right now
is as unreal as you are.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

So maybe tomorrow

I am in a pub
where the landlord says my name
after the words What can I get you?
It’s funny the things that make us cry.
Today it was a man
with a perfectly round head
singing every word of a Stereophonics song
under his breath,
raising a half pint glass.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Snapshot

I’m washing a photo of me
I can’t remember.
One hand is holding a blue car,
his shoulders are dancing
to a beat inside his head.
He is splashing water
off his rubber duck’s back
and pointing at the wall, laughing.
It doesn’t take much
to wash the day off his skin.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

The only dad in the baby class

My beard is the first one ever
to not scare Jemima.
Bubbles are pouring from the mouth
of a red fish and Jonathan
is pointing at my eyes.
Charlotte thinks my water bottle is hers.
It’s important for Hattie to know me,
I’m told, she has no uncles or grandads
and the man who got her mum pregnant left
six months before Hattie was born.
Danny stops dancing every few seconds
to look at me over his shoulder.
Next week we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day,
incorporating all of the things dads like:
football, cricket, and driving
.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Yawn

Written using sentences found by searching
for ‘exhausted’ in my WhatsApp search bar

We’ve exhausted the chocolate selection.
That’s my IT skills exhausted!
Great day – two exhausted pups here.
Not bad, got a new job, I’m good exhausted.
He’s quite exhausted.
How exhausted was she?
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.
You must be exhausted.
You must be bloody exhausted.
I’m guessing we’re all exhausted?
I’m exhausted.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

There is

a poorly lit garage,
a bird in a tree unaware what time it is,
the smell of absolutely nothing,
a slap of darkness,
a reflection of unread books
and lines in foreheads,
a couple of thumbs,
an empty pack of Mini Cheddars,
tomorrow and yesterday,
sunburnt fingers,
a collapsing of energy,
a renewal of energy.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Your chin is yellow because you like butter

Your fingers and tongue are yellow
because you’re eating buttercups.
I’ve read too many websites and books
the grass is now a helicopter.
I think about hobbies, handcuffs, suffocation,
a reflex comment or quick look
I will forget in seconds
that will tattoo itself on to your decisions,
and the man on TV last night
who got so close to the world’s largest tarantula
he coughed and itched his skin for 12 hours
then climbed out of a log covered in filth
with a smile bigger than the rainforest.

© Carl Burkitt 2021