How much is good news?
Is it easy?
To remember
This was the first place
That week in December

Look at all the change
Since that time has passed
Want another drink?
Will that be the last?

Subjects twist and turn
As the night continues
Hints, subtlety, and thoughts
Fibres become sinews

Could just be the night
The drink
Unknown and danger
But there’s nothing quite so true
As conversation with a stranger

17/04/2018 © Mark Scotchford

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Thank you for
The free fries
Each customer
Truth and lies?

Although they weren’t yours
Still a good thought
A wave and smile
Value not brought

Something better
Happy in your work
Until you get a poem
From another jerk

Mark Scotchford © 09/03/2018

Wrote this really quickly on a serviette and gave to member of staff for great customer service.

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Why unplug me?
Use me every day
Toast, bagels, and crumpets
Any which way

Why don’t you ever?
Clear out my crumbs
Where there is smoke
Fire becomes

Please clean me
At least once a week
Know I’m not a kettle
And I won’t leak

But I like being shiny
A glimmer in me
And I approve of the new Jam
Sugar free

Don’t ever notice
I’m always ready to use
Until Billy puts a whole loaf in
Then I blow a fuse

13/03/2018 © Mark Scotchford

(A local writers group exercise. Dialogue or opinion as a household appliance. We had 10 minutes.)

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Perhaps in the card
There will be a poem?
Written by
Your own delicate hand
Just spontaneous
Nothing planned

Perhaps this new job
Is just what you need
Away from the politics
And the greed

Perhaps I regret
I’ve already made plans
Agreed to something else
Now out of my hands

Think I’d like
That walk by the sea
Can’t have it all
Yet wonderment is free

Perhaps another time
When your interview is done
Goodbye to Guildford Uni
Your Kingdom to come

Mark Scotchford © 10/03/2018 (I first wrote this to a girlfriend on email. December 8th 2009)

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She & He – The Sprinty Mint

She walked into the bar. She knew he was there. It had been two weeks. She tried to see what he was doing, who he was talking to and what he was drinking. He always seemed at ease on his own.

Was he with friends or on a date? What would happen if he saw her? It would look so bad and he would probably suspect the worst. All these questions racing through her mind, all these variables and scenarios, now and in the last two weeks. One thing, vital questions she hadn’t asked herself in that time, and now. Why did she care and why did she need to know?

She positioned herself at the bar to order a drink, as far away from him as possible.
The place, the “Sprinty Mint” was somewhere they used to frequent, and one of their favourites, especially the “Happy Hour” for cocktails. Although positioned far away from where he was, she was sitting close to the entrance to the lavatories. He would have to walk past her to use them.

She checked her phone to see if he was on his way. Glenn, the guy from work she hardly knew, might do the trick. She’d constantly resisted his advances, both during her relationship and since it had ended. His persistence in pursuit of a date had finally paid off, or so he had thought. He was five minutes away. She ordered a glass of Shiraz. Glenn could buy his own drink. She sat by the window, facing the direction she knew Glenn would be coming from.

She pulled from her bag her diary and notebook, a couple of pens and some lipstick. She took a sip of wine that turned into a gulp. Nervous, but with resolve she was here for a reason. Movements and motives predetermined and calculated. She wanted a reaction and she was going to get one, no matter what. She didn’t want to make a scene, but if the situation developed, she would go with it.

There was no grand plan as such, just a determination to seek solace and find, what her friends called closure. She saw Glenn walking up to the entrance and forced on a false smile.

“Hi, how are you doing? I knew you’d say yes eventually.” Glenn put his hand on her shoulder and tilted his head towards her, and lingered, as if expecting a kiss. There was not one forthcoming. Glenn had the smooth mulchy arrogance that some women admire, but many more detest. In sales for most of his life, all he wanted was the deal and the commission. He made everything a game, in to him she was another prize. Someone else he could boast about down the pub. Another he could lure into a bed with tales he’d told hundreds of times, to any women that would listen or whom had consumed too much drink to care or complain. Men who worked with him gave the impression they approved of his womanising and wanderings, the dodgy deals he closed for the company and the cash he threw about. Behind his back he was despised, pretty much by all who knew him.

She turned away as he bent down. To most, this would have been a sign of disinterest, but not to Glenn. “Shall I get you another?” Glenn suggested.
“I’ve got a full glass, get yourself one.”
Glenn went to the bar and ordered. While he was waiting he turned round and looked at her, expecting her to be looking up, gazing at him. She wasn’t.

Mark Scotchford © 19/12/2017

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He will never know you
From now to when you’re complete
Towers over you
He will be at your feet

He doesn’t even try
Doesn’t know your favourite band
Never notices you cry
Why won’t he understand?

How can he be?
So useless at this game
One day you’ll be free
He should hang is head in shame

Why doesn’t he know?
What he’s destroying in his wake
All those memories to have
Dreams he cannot break

I know it is so tough
Trying to make some sense
Never knowing where to stand
Atmosphere so tense

Keep on going
And keep being you
In spite of him
With others you’ll pull through

07/10/2017 © Mark Scotchford

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The Escorters

Predictably we were gently moved to the woods. As we walked with the others I tried to glimpse their faces. I wanted to see who they were and none of us had talked. The atmosphere, as you’d imagine was strange to say the least. Surrounding our group as we walked were five tall, heavy set men. Well they looked like men. My friend, the only one I knew in the group, was very different in demeanour to how I had known him before.

I guess this was a very different situation. That being a very weighted understatement, all things considered. Why were we here? Why us? I don’t know but I was determined to find out. Perhaps we’d asked too many questions. I was beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable with the situation, but what could I do? The sense of trepidation was palpable, although I didn’t feel it from all of those who walked with us. Strange isn’t it? How we talk about how we feel sometimes, yet often forget we or others have feelings at all. Also odd how we can use them to gain an advantage, or to win an argument or gain sympathy. They also can be seen as weakness.

My mind focussed back on why I was here, in this situation, and perhaps I was too curious, asking questions and not stopping. Well, and perhaps to the detriment of my survival, I wasn’t about to stop asking them now. I was summoning up the courage to speak to the woman walking along next to me and then I saw it overhead. It came from behind us and I heard the trees move which made me look up. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known it was there.

So quiet, akin to the sound emitted from a good quality vacuum cleaner. It had the footprint of a small block of flats, silvery grey, five circles of white light emitting from what must have been thrusters as it descended lower and out of sight. I knew that wouldn’t be the last time I saw it and the next time would be up close.

At this point, I wanted to get out of this situation, in any way I could. It all felt so completely like nothing I had ever experienced before, and so out of my control. I had none. What else would be taken away from me tonight? Have you ever felt that a situation had become so desperate you’d close your eyes and open them again? Hoping against all hope that you’d wake from a dream or that things were not happening. Options so limited this was in fact the only one open. The inevitability of whatever would happen next would be so harrowing and traumatic, you would never be the same again. I felt like that now, I knew how it felt.

I could smell the wood from the trees and foliage around me, feel the wind against my face and skin, more so when “it” flew overhead. This was happening and there was nothing I could conceivably do to stop it.

Mark Scotchford © October 2017

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