Papal poems-from my Flow Festival Residency

Poems from the Flow Festival Residency.


Partly inspired by an article by English Pen’s Jonathan Heawood; as well as much other Pope talk today;

Pope in Law

It’s like when your Mother in Law

comes round to tea

and you’d tutted at yourself

as you wiped the skirting boards

and cut the crusts off the ham sandwiches,

but she runs her finger

along the mantelpiece collecting dust

says the country’s not what it was,

too full of coloureds and gays

and they talk some sense

in the British National Party

(but she’d happily beatify Russell Harty)

You roll your eyes

but bring more tea in

and her cup swills in sync

with her hand’s tremoring

and time passes like Sunday

until the Mail crossword’s finished

and she needs to get home

for the One Show

and you start a diversionary argument

about how her old antimacassars

are clutter you don’t need

wave her off too vigorously

a gallstone of words stuck inside you

hard and shiny as a Rosary bead.


Inspired by a mishearing by Ruth of the Arvon Foundation when I said I was writing a Papal poem;




Purchase peace online

Bow before your internet bank

A PayPal blessing

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