TWO POEMS – James Carroll

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Dripping Taps

Dripping taps thumping on a dull beat.
They had a break from going out,
Visiting things, stumbling round sights,
Then stopped, so now they just pace the house
In time.
Dishwashers loaded and unloaded,
Stairs manoeuvred, pans soaked,
Sitting down in front of Wallander,
Thinking about what it might be like to die in your sleep,
Making tea before bed.
Do you dream?
He would dream about smacking
World-class bowlers around the ground,
Then he’d simply miss a straight one.
She worries more.
She’s pulling up weeds from the flowerbed
And then starts feeling one tug back,
Wrapping her water grip and dragging her
Through the claggy earth.
Why does the washing machine
Shake and squeak like that?
My grandparents have probably lost
Two hundred pounds’ worth of water in the last year.


Who will Boris Johnson be tomorrow?

From newspaper player
To board-treading mayor,
Who sold us his liberal sorrow:
So desperate to please
That he hugged refugees!
But who will he be tomorrow?

Bombasting on telly:
“Invertebrate jelly,”
With a cess pit of self-worth to wallow.
To bullying partner,
Brought up like his father,
But who will he be tomorrow?

He’ll sink just one port
Before drying the whole quart,
Then claim it was acrid to swallow;
He’s been a big drinker
And a teetotal thinker,
So who will he be tomorrow?

Believer in trade
To, “England was made
With minerals to lead, never follow.”
Defender of God
To blonde anarchist mod,
But who will he be tomorrow?

From Etonian snob,
To beloved, bumbling slob,
A great diplomat’s brow with stern furrow.
From mixing with riff-raff
To a spiffing set’s whiff-whaff,
But who will he be tomorrow?

So, dyed in the wool,
Or cleaning the pool,
Packed full of ideas, or hollow,
On a new self-made pyre,
The Great British Liar,
Is all he will still be tomorrow.

James Carroll is a twenty-three year old English Literature Masters student at the University of Leeds. His work has featured in multiple Leeds art publications, including The Scribe, Heir and his mother’s fridge. He is currently writing a novel about the relationship between sport and men’s mental health, and no poem could ever mean more to him than Manchester United Football Club. 

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