CML Poems 2. September 2021.

Burny Eyes

Dry and scratchy eyes feel Burny.
‘Burny’ is an acutely descriptive word of the irritation.
🔥 It could be a good word for an emoji 🔥 👀 


JD Salinger’s 16 year-old Holden Caufield of Catcher in the Rye notoriety 
Described his early morning eyes, after a late night out, as burny. 
Thanks to him, and my burny eyes, this poem is being written


Colloquial descriptions yield evocative words like burny 
It is not Onomatopoeic which is a word that sounds like its meaning,
But it’s like that with the pain of fire being akin to dry, itchy eyes.


Holden gets things wrong though. 
Catcher in the Rye is how he describes ‘Comin’ in the Rye’, 
A ballad by the 18th Century Scottish Borders Bard, Robert Burns 
That he hears sung by a young boy in New York streets in 1951:

Comin thro the rye, poor body,
Comin thro the rye,
She draigl't a'her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye.

Its ok though to get something wrong 
As long as you understand what you are trying to say is being said


It occurs to me that this poem begins with Burny and ends with Burns.

I’m not sure this is a poem.

I’m going to squeeze eyedrops into the corners of my eyes where the itches are most burny.


Audio Reading

Burny Eyes Reading

‘This sixty-seven-year-old gentleman.’

To communicate the condition of ‘this Sixty-Seven-Year-old gentleman’
The Cardiac Registrar writes to the Consultant, Surgeon and General Practitioner
And copies me, the Sixty-Seven-Year-old male patient, in.

On reading the unsettling prognosis for this sixty-Seven-Year-old gentleman,
The age words reverberate and the meaning hits home:
This IS a ‘Sixty-Seven-Year-old gentleman’

Until my recent health news was communicated
I have felt to be a youngish gentleman
Not now. The downward slide is all too real
Heart malfuctions and inexplicable blood mutations
Have delivered body blows to the phyche

For the next six months all events and commitments have been cancelled 
The underpinning structure of this sixty-seven-year-old gentleman’s daily life
Has been eroded. 
Replaced with hospital visits, home life and ‘extremely vulnerable 
‘sixty-seven-year-old covid isolation’. Little adult control is to be had. 

Letters to fellow colleagues, directors and trustees informing them of the new situation
Were not easy to write by this sixty-seven-year-old gentleman,
They are public admissions of inability to meet responsibilities 
Of post retirement self-imposed, volunteer roles

The patient understands he has to take care and follow the health professional’s
directions to this sixty-seven-year-old gentleman
The demise of body, self-image and adult responsibilities brings psychological difficulties
Over and above the physical glitches reported to the consultant, 
surgeon and general practitioner that are difficult enough to comprehend, 
by this sixty-seven-year-old gentleman.

Next Year, will my interlocuters respond to the sixty-eight-year-old gentleman: 
You are no longer able or needed to return to duty.

Perhaps so

A recovered Sixty-Eight or Nine-Year-old gentleman might be better able to perform grandfather duties though.



September 2021

Audio Reading

This sixty-seven-year-old gentleman reading

‘Warwickshire La La La’

The last day of the last game of the 2021 cricket season 
is upon us. After yesterday’s defeat of Hampshire 
by the Red Rose of Lancashire, 
Four competing county clubs have been narrowed to two

The Morning dew glistens on Edgbaston’s manicured green grass 
Surrounded by rows of seats, hoardings and a thick boundary rope
Four electronic ‘e’s’ in the sky signal the game is in
The City of Birmingham

One morning hour of Blistering Warwickshire batting 
led by a young local lad with 138 runs 
Sets Somerset a target of 273 22 yard runs to win  
10 wickets have to be taken in 6 hours or 79, 6 ball overs.
Whichever is first.   

Impossible, Unattainable, Unachievable

Lunch approaches - No breakthrough
Fast bowling seamers are replaced and
The spinner given his chance

The red ball swerves, 
A nervous bat edges to waiting slip fielder hands
32 runs for 1 wicket, Lunch.

The afternoon begins 
Rejuvenated seamers steam in. 
35 for 3. 

Possible, Attainable, Achievable?

The sun and clouds pass by the e’s in the sky
Off stumps crash backwards, hit by red rocket balls
Released from the tried and tested, old and young hands and arms. 

Teatime. 104 for 7
Possible, Attainable, Achievable

Sustained accurate fast attack from both ends of the stadium
No spinning, just seam, one after another, after another
Frustrated batter feathers behind to big waiting leather gloves. 130 for 8

Autumn Evening shadows stretch across the growing band of supporters

ImPossible, UnAttainable, UnAchievable
  Possible,   Attainable,   Achievable
    ‘Warwickshire La La La’


Local boy, turned international bowler sends unplayable ball
Down to smash batter no 10’s off stump out of the ground 
‘Warwickshire La La La’

Young new bowler steams in from the pavilion end
‘Warwickshire La La La’
Batter No 11, flashes at the red rocket

Breathes of thousand’s watching and listening supporters are held
The  Captain’s hands reach up 
Fingers wrap tightly around the flying cherry,
plucking it from the air

Time stands still

The impossible, unattainable is Achieved 
‘Warwickshire La La La’

Caps fly into the Autumn Edgbaston air
‘Warwickshire La La La’

Championi, Championi 
‘Warwickshire La La La’





Audio Reading

Warwickshire La La La Reading