Two Poems by Paul Brookes with a Visual Poem by Robert Frede Kenter

To And Fro

the iron
over bedsheets, his shirts,
as she stands three hours

hot poker of pain
in the small of her back,
lists what else to do,

take down window nets,
wash and iron,
vax front room,
lug it upstairs for bedroom,
carpets,
hoover front room,
lug it upstairs for bedroom
carpets,
clean windows inside
to and fro,
to and fro
polish beneath knick knacks
bought on holiday,
to and fro
strip and remake beds,
make his tea,
always meat and two veg

He arrives home and says,
“What have you ever done for me?”

My Mam Is

nothing if, not thorough.
Victorian reminder on a wall
full of telling aphorisms:

What will the neighbours say?
Our home shows us how
we treat ourselves.
Buff away grey clouds,

bring out the blue, make every
wood bell, crocus, daffodil
open their flowers today,
place a spruced up nest

for every chaffinch, green
and goldfinch, blackbird, dove.
Open all windows to “freshen.”
Clean outside and in,

see yourself without smears.
Tidy the memory home.
If you can see a job needs doing,
then do it. Why leave till tomorrow,

something that needs doing today?
Empty every drawer,
cupboard, wardrobe, surface,
scrub them clean, let spiders scurry off.

Launder, dry on the line winter’s
sombre deep cottons and woolens,
neatly fold away, in freshly
lavendered drawers.

It shows you respect yourself.
Rinse every item
of crockery, cutlery,
some unused for years.

Return them to scoured drawers.
Burnish copper ornaments,
delicately brush capodimonte

figures, feather dust top of doors,
skirting boards, deweb high corners,
Shine gas fire with Brasso. Polish
tables and furniture with Rosewood

or Lavender Pledge, all furniture pushed
into centre of rooms, to vacuum.
A person is what they do,
not what they say they will do.

Decant bookshelves,
every book cover cleaned.
Roll up, sling over washing line,
slap and beat dust out of all

rugs and doormats. Strip beds,
turn mattresses, air sheets.
It’s a warm spring day.
A clean home is a clean soul.

Bleach bath, sinks.
Glister chrome taps. Blue toilet.
Fragrance bathroom with Lemon.
Defrost fridge, full milk

bottles in a sink of cold water.
Unload and brush out garage,
vacuum Datsun Estate outside and in.
Weed patio and border, cut

straggly grass for first time this year.
Black bag food beyond sell by dates,
or out of fashion.
Likewise, shine your shoes,

pick bits off clothes,
straighten your skirt, tie,
tighten your belt.
A smart person is a smart mind.

Paul Brookes @PaulDragonwolf1 is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod, with Marcel Herms  (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: thewombwellrainbow.wordpress.com. Recently had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb.

Banner and Visual Poem To Mother With Love by Robert Frede Kenter

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