Sunday, 16 November 2008


The fridge has emptied
beyond rescue.
Time for a restock
well overdue.
A few lonely eggs
still nestle in their tray,
contrasting prettily
against the surrounding sterility.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Guitar Hero

I wish he didn't want to be a guitar hero,
play the same song over and over
to a games console that feeds back his every error.

The acoustic in the bedroom
lies undisturbed
in the place where he left it last Wednesday,

replaced now by dreams of electric ladyland
that sparkle and flicker
like Christmas trees behind windows.

Redemption is possible only
in a Les Paul copy
and a Marshall Amp.

Work/Life Balance

Too many hours
of too many days
spent bent over the minutaie
of other people's lives.

Blown by winds along corridors,
chasing some elusive "win-win" moment
where times elasticity
isn' t always tested to breaking point,

presenteeism becomes
it's own self-fulfilling prophecy.
Around tables at meetings, our empty eyes beg the question:
Where am I, really?

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Home & Abroad

Forty five years after the civil rights march on DC,

on the biggest election turnout since 1960
America elects its first black President -

as hungry, it seems, for change

as the rest of the world.

We wait open mouthed.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

This Small Window

Sandwiched among apprentice boys,
tea & scones laid out across the grubby breakfast bar,
we speak of parents and kids,
holidays and fiscal pain
hands brushing lightly now and again.

To your left a small window lets in just enough light
to pick out the silver in your hair,
hover over my crow's feet,
remind us just how starved of it we are,
in a concrete bunker like this.

Such a small window
but such an illumination
in these darker autumn days.

Gardening without Gloves

A cold snap beckons
fingers gather up leaves
cover empty beds

cut back shrubs
deadhead Marigolds
caress the cooling stems

arrange twigs in rough piles
fumble with matches
wave goodbye to last year's plans

while a solitary worker bee
hovers at Nasturtiums
still thick around the fence.

j. joyce 2008


Pavement baking underfoot,
I tried to walk the stink of you from my nostrils
but the clang of a tram stopped short
by a sky squeezed between monliths
and the sight of a heavyset Slav
carrying an incongruous manbag
drag me back to now.

The clock
that marks the spot
where they blew up Stalin's effigy
reads half-past ten,
though passes a nod towards darker days
overlooking remnants of an old regime
in department stores that sell very little.

Wencelas Square is really an Avenue
where cafes and kiosks continually spill
mid-morning mayhem among trees and tables.
The cigarettes are very cheap here.
I light one up.
Wish I could write you
a postcard of the feeling.

Later, at the Museum of Communism
just above McDonalds (TM),
I watch footage of protests that took place nightly for months
years before my daughter was born,
to the echo of her laughter at my coming here.
The thousands turning into millions,
exerting no pull on her.

In the Mala Strana the funicular is out of service due to essential maintenance work.
While at the Church of the Holy Infant,
Chucky gloats down towards St Cyrils from a gilded altar.
Stumbling across Charles Bridge
I give myself up to the Old Town vista.
My back to dictators, dissenters and martyrs,
in this city of a thousand spires.

j. joyce 2008