What Connects by Caroline Hardaker

It’s all just so dull

when you’re beat

ragged, throat too sore

to swallow the pill

to get through the migraine again,

trying while numb to fly or

finding some mental rhythm

that’ll sooth you in ways

your mama’s cradle couldn’t.

A cocktail or two will do

just fine thanks

if it helps me to forget

the throbbing nags

spat from the haggard greys

saying the youth of today do nought

but look away

when it’s the looking up that hurts.

It’s not rudeness or ignorance

but helpless cold indifference

and an inability to join up our minds

our places to faces.


Who are you any way, mate

do you know me or my face

in a way I should smile and say the niceties

or are you just prying

trying to get under my skin

and scrimp a stirrup

or the strut of a strong arm against the road?

A fag? Why not,

my bloods already clotting

with sitting this long

stress stiff

in a flat I can’t leave packed

with bongs and butts

and old receipts from pound shops.


It’s brick dull

when you’re weighed down

mouthing your way

through Sesame Street at midday

with mumbling lips, then

through Emmerdale repeats,

them incredulous at everything

like they’re the royal family

or Grand Designs because their house

wasn’t big enough before.

There wasn’t enough floor

now they want metre straight edges

and glassy walls

because the world’s too beautiful

and too tall to limit the view

to a square observing screen.

That is what the telly’s for

for the poor

to lie on the floor

with loose untrained jaw

watching money spend money

on more space in a sunnier place.


It’s kinda like I’m there

if I drop the world around the square

and gawp one-eyed at the Tenerife port

and hold hands with the guy

in the cords and waistcoat.

It helps to take a drink

and swallow it whole

think about the telly

forget the mediocrity here

my invisibility amid peers

smile along with the tanned

and the well, rising up a ghost

from a very ordinary hell.


My poems have been placed in the Three Drops From a Cauldron Poetry Press (print and e-zine), Pankhearst blog (and soon to be included in their next Slim Volume anthology in May 2016), and they are also due to be published in the next edition of Neon Magazine.

I do have a writing blog here: https://carolinemhardaker.wordpress.com/ , but it is rather new.

One thought on “What Connects by Caroline Hardaker

  1. Pingback: What Connects | Caroline M Hardaker Writes

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