Friday, November 19, 2021

Performing in the Circus of Breathing

The secret of living is breathing;

so there you are crawling around

gulping air like a pacman

hunting magic numbers until

… drum roll …  you disappear.

Welcome to the circus.

We have the strongest, tallest,

fattest, smallest, we have

bearded women, conjoined twins,

hermaphrodites and mermaids,

we even have our own elephant man,

but that’s strictly x-rated.

Roll up.  Roll up.

We are the greatest show on earth,

standing on just one leg 

on the bare back of a galloping horse

we go around and around in circles 

- hey! that’s worth a round of applause.

For our pleasure and amusement  

we can throw flames in any direction,

with a whip and a chair we tame roaring lions,

disco with bears, teach dogs mathematics,

dress a chimpanzee in a white coat and he’ll

explain the theory of quantum physics,

and bomb juggling, ha! we do that blindfolded;

better watch out for those butter-finger clowns

- nah only joking!

So step onto the high wire 

and stretch out your arms; spotlight centre stage 

this is your big top debut,

but remember a little caution please 

as a safety net is no longer provided,

well let’s face it, you should know by now 

that from the cradle (performance ready) 

to the grave realization that breathing

isn’t a secret; 

all you have to do is learn to exhale

without screaming.

© 2007  P.A.Ley


Monday, October 11, 2021




we are but two matches at 

that time when stars smile


a little friction then

brightness ignites


mayfly glory <on the wing>

we become a trail of smoke


immersed by the darkness

at our super nova’s wake





    [strike gently and away from body

     keep out of the reach of heavenly arsonists]


don’t play with fire 


© 2013  iDrew

First published by Curse 2014

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Heath-Robinson Solution For A Broken Heart

I’m Over You Like Clockwork

In the dankness of the cellar

where the dust isn’t rude but there to be expected,

I’d uncovered a battered brown suitcase

a treasure chest of short trousered memories.

Inside was a clockwork train set that Beecham

would have axed because the track went in a circle;

never went there but always came back.

A Meccano set, thrown into a scrapyard box

of wheels, nuts and bolts, and incomplete robots.

Crashed Dinky cars that had flown from walls

or mangled into each other like stock car jousters,

a rusty penknife, deflated leather football,

ripping yarns from torn Boys Own Annuals.

That night, on the kitchen table,

with tiny spanners in my large fingers,

I stripped out the clockwork motor from the train

and used the Meccano to build a framework

for its new housing.  With the rusty penknife,

that I had honed on the stone step by the back door,

(like I had done all those years before)

I performed open heart surgery.  Transplanted

my broken heart with this new clockwork replica.

I stitched up my chest,

with the lace from the football

leaving just a tiny keyhole.  I keep the key

around my neck like a 00 gauge crucifix.    

At night,

now I no longer hear the gentle midnight sleepings

of your soft breathing, I listen to the whirring

sound of my blood going ‘round,

and feel rather proud 

of my abilities to make do and mend.

© 2007 P.A.Levy

First published by The Beat 2009

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Letter Home To Parenthesis

Elision screams


says she can’t go on like this

she needs to feel compl’te

please stop the rain

words run off the edge of the page

(is that po’tic?)


and all lost letters 

will find their destin’tion


* * *

dear dad 

dear mum

I had to leave home

all my friends were full stops

lo’tering amon’st the cut and paste debris

like brok’n verse vagab’nds

bored ellip’is 

searching for meanings

inarticulate dots


in leath’rs and zips

there was a mess’ah


we kissed on the ‘ips

but a question mark

hung over ‘im

now I feel free

(un-(prevented)) uninhibited 

I’m learning to breathe in

breathe out exclamations of happiness

must dash



- ps - will send another letter 


© 2007  P.A.Levy

First published by Streetcake 2009

Tuesday, July 6, 2021



when she was seven a half stone   

joanne stuffed her face with pie and chips

and pie and chips and more chips

until she was sick

when she was seven stone 

joanne would cut the food on her plate

into tiny pieces

wave her fork around whilst talking

pretended to swallow

yet hadn’t eaten a thing

no one noticed

when she was six and a half stone 

joanne wanted to look just right for a date

but feeling grossly unattractive

decided she needed to lose some weight

not eating a thing for days and days

when she was six stone

joanne binged on chocolate

then stuck her fingers down her throat

when she was five and a half stone

joanne shaved off her long blonde hair

joked she was going for belsen chic

none of us laughed

it wasn’t funny

when she was five stone

joanne was admitted into hospital

she was just a bag of skin and bones

didn’t even have the strength

to walk unaided

when she was four and a half stone 

with not an once of ugly fat

joanne was dead

sandwiches and nibbles were served at the wake

© 2010  iDrew

First published in Black Mirror 2013

Thursday, June 10, 2021


A Very Suburban Scene of Arcadia Avenue in Spring.

Looking out from a second storey window

onto clouds of pink blossom, a perspective distorted

when caught in such colour. 

    (As if hand tinted for a dream.)

In the breeze these trees look like whispers of bouquets

pretending to be the song

of summers past and gone, but the melody

soon fades; it’s the realisation that this

can’t be set paperweight surreal in acetate. 

The houses in neat rows, gables in lines of blank expressions

wear a sad countenance of resignation, so very unnatural,

but so are lies,

like the ones believed by the paving slabs

that life was eternal until they saw the cracks.

The dark line that zigzags through us all, and the gap

gets driven further apart by self seeding weeds

to nod their yellow heads and laugh at where the time goes.

    Time goes grey…

fades far away, like turning the volume down on life.

This unearthly silence is not town or country,

no traffic roar, no birdsong, just the gentle hum

of daisy cutters flexing their blades like savage weapons.

And some remember once, scenes of angels on the dancefloor,

    then again,

that could have been a myth created when they pulled the bandstand

down and the music stopped. 

    Treading air. 

    Standing still,

like two washed out milkbottles

watching grey time from the doorstep.

Patiently they sit in the shade under forsythia’s dying flame 

saying nothing to each other.

©2007   P.A.Levy

First published by Pyrokinection  04/06/12  June 28

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


wow i had this odd dream last night

i was giving alan bennet a blow job 

just as he was about to come he said


in his funny little way

i looked up startled 

he shot me in the eye 


i was then on a cliff top with the duke of gloucester

you know the way dreams have a strange tendency 

to cut out the boring bits 

of how I got there without 

a blind dog or white stick and 

why i should be with a character from king lear

(please let me be cordelia  please let me be cordelia)


we was both stumbling around 

crashing into each other like bumper cars

but there was a gang of lemmings 

just hanging out

chewing gum 

acting all tuff

one of them says

why don’t you two piss off and find yer own cliff top


the lemmings then unexpectantly jumped 

(no strings attached)

into a red arrows style formation 

only to re-emerge as alan bennet again 


which made me shiver

would you like a cup of tea 

i’ve some home made scones that mother baked 

fresh this morning with lashings of cream

oh my days

i pray

i’m never so drunk as to dream of

giving alan bennet a blow job


©  2010  iDrew

First published by Fry Your Friends. 2015

Monday, April 19, 2021


 I Don’t Love You No More (Lie)

There’s a poppy laced rope trick that ties

us together; time to talk about heartbeats

missing beats, and a thumping back beat

of dancefloor cerebral twists

and turns and 5ml super novas

bubbling up to dissolve all sounds

until a sludge crimson trickle begins to flow 

into the clear silence, a vacuum like silence,

whilst I held you in my arms

in an endless, joyless, crusade 

to replicate our first kiss

(again and again and again) 

turning my world upside



For down is a word with many meanings,

a small innocent word left behind

in a makeshift filter

with a brown scum residue of false dreaming.

My mind’s eye is full of poetic clich├ęs

of high flying burning kites

magnetising kamikaze moths 

(yes, I’ll miss you) 

but we’ve said our lying good-byes.

©2007  P.A.Levy

First published by  Cause and Effect  2008 #12

Thursday, March 25, 2021

 Fondling Your Breasts In Roman Britain

Leaving the museum, the one we frequently 

met in at lunchtimes, I stepped out 

from the marbled entrance

onto a carousel of umbrellas, a waltz of mini spires 

Constantinople domes holding  

up a dull city sky.  

Splash! and a ripple, 

and a ripple raced to the edge, puddled against 

a background streaked by smudges 

of red buses as black cabs drizzle 

through streams of traffic; a-swirl of street sounds 

mixed with the anxious fear of leaves left to shiver                                  

as they succumb to the cull of Autumn.  

This our season;  


recalling diary pages 

coded with our assignations, as trees unclothed 

so truths falsely told; seduction 

and sandwiches (egg and cress) 

touching warm flesh under October clothing,  

undoing buttons with fingers numb 

and Anglo Saxon kisses buried deep inside 

glass case coffins.

From the pavement 

I glanced back 

at memory,

standing on the marble steps 

like the recently bereaved,

calculating the value of broken things.  

© 2007  P.A.Levy
First published by Inclement 2012