Popcorn-like blossom

There’s a tree outside my bedroom
with popcorn-like blossom. It’s the tastiest
looking nature.
When I stand at the window I feel like a movie star
staring out at a cinema full of snacks:
salt sprinkled branches, sugar coated leaves.
If popcorn grew on trees I’d getting nothing done.
I’d spend more time outside, climb up trunks,
watch the world do it’s thing snuggled up in an oak
nibbling on a large box of sap.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Groundlark

The sign read
Please don’t fly kites near the skylarks.
They were our stringless entertainment for the day.
I hope I’m remembered as a groundlark,
someone who gave it a good go,
played when he could,
looped and dipped when he was bored.
I’m probably more of an urban slug;
slow off the mark,
vulnerable to being walked all over,
a trail of sparkling tears behind me.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Frayed bits of carpet

Every day this week a man about my age
has walked past my window wearing plum jogging bottoms
and a matching plum hoodie, empty handed.
On his return journey he always has a newspaper
under his right arm, an orange Lucozade under his left
and he nibbles on a packet of Doritos Chilli Heatwave.
I wonder what he does at home all day.
Maybe he potters about tidying up the garden,
practices drawing with fine liners, collects stamps,
fiddles with frayed bits of the carpet with his big toe,
looks at photos of dead loved ones.
Maybe he sits on the sofa counting down the seconds
until he gets his paper, orange Lucozade
and packet of Doritos Chilli Heatwave.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Feathered stress ball

There was a massive crow stood on the branch
of the recently blossomed tree
outside my living room window today.
A right plump bugger just
pecking at leaves, not pecking at leaves,
pecking at leaves, not pecking at leaves.
Watching it potter about with no plan of action
was relaxing. It was my personal feathered
stress ball on pipe cleaner legs.
Thirty seconds in to me watching it,
the crow froze still and looked up.
Its eyes stayed fixed on the endless blue.
I imagined it dreaming of painting shapes
across the sky canvas with the bristles of its wings.
And then it pooped down to Earth.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Bum trumpet

I can’t play a musical instrument
but I pat my stomach like a bongo most days.
I remember when my ribs were xylophones.
I have a bum trumpet and pianoless piano fingers.
My toes are floorboard drumsticks,
my elbows are delicate triangles
and my armpit hairs vibrate like guitar strings.
My eyes feel like bass drums, battered every
second of the day. When I close them at night
I hear cymbals.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Right Said Fred downstairs

My bedroom light switch is wired
the wrong way round. Up is on, down is off.
Every now and then, when my sleepy finger flicks the light off, the downward motion
makes the sun come up in Swindon,
bouncier than my red and yellow pogo stick.
I can smell chocolate spread on toast
and hear Right Said Fred downstairs.
I find a tenner under my skateboard,
chip my shins on logs, lose face skin on gravel.
I look in the mirror, clear my throat,
and practice saying Is Jason in? without stuttering.

© Carl Burkitt 2020