1. A Good Hiding

Long curved drive from main gate like a rich house.
Six Security guards sit in an old
building, play cards, warm up, ogle Penthouse.
Its door reached as slurrytides mudslosh cold

into wellies. Coal packed trucks push their vast
tyres twice your size down roads. Don’t wade wasteland.
Slurrysea cambers causey edge as they pass.
These potholes must sink deeper than England.

Pick your way with care over gantries. One
guard lost his grip, caught hold, saw his bright blue
hard hat tumble thirty feet down and gone
into wet mud, slip under duvet smooth.

Lads say need two-by-four for coal nicking
locals who sell it need a good hiding.

II. I’m Making Ghosts

Mrs O’Brien gives us dinner Christmas
Day. Tommy’s microwave warms plates. Little
Billy’ll bring t.v. again fort laughs
And after your snap when you’re stuffed full,

if you get bored you can always patrol
outside. Don’t forget your Walkie Talkie
for takes a good four hours to trog round all
perimeter. Watch for Mad Monk as he

walks int mud. Seems to float over it cos
you can’t see his feet. That’s Monastery
under’t slag. Don’t tell no one this. Tha loss.
Stop production. Jobs on line. Tha’ll be sorry.

All pits have their ghosts. Now the pits are ghosts.
Industrial estates, call centres, future ghosts. 

Image credit:Pavel Neznanov

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and  challenges. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and, videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: "Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing", (JCStudio Press, 2021) , sonnet collections: "As Folktaleteller",( ImpSpired, 2022), forthcoming "These Random Acts of Wildness, (Glass Head Press, 2022)


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Twitter: @PaulDragonwolf1