Geoff Hattersley – three poems

uh uh uh Trumpeters: a found poem

Looking around at all of you
you rockin’ rollers and holy rollers

you with the hands that rock the cradle
you all make the world go round

and now our cause is one
he is not a politician – can I get a ‘Hallelujah!’

the main thing the main thing he knows
the main thing he knows the main thing

and he knows how to lead the charge
so troops hang in there help is on the way

better than anyone isn’t he known
for being able to command fire

he builds things big things things that touch the sky
power through strength – O.K. ?

well and then funny haha not funny but now
all these years they don’t want that to end

they’ve been wearing a this
political correctness kind of like a suicide vest

what they’re doing is wailing well Trump
and his uh uh uh Trumpeters

they’re not conservative enough
well then we’re talking about our very existence

so no we’re not going to chill in fact
it’s time to drill baby drill down.

Source: Sarah Palin’s speech endorsing Donald Trump,
Republican primary, Iowa, January 19, 2016.


Always carry a knife
in case he starts on you,
folk have stabbed him before,
it usually stops him.

Not quite what I wanted
or expected to hear,
my first day on the job,
about to meet the boss.

The Painter

He drank alone, just a couple,
checked his pockets for change,
found it fell short.
He heard the landlord say See you later
for the last time.

A gentle giant, not quite fifty,
striding in the night air, almost home.

He’d spent his life
in streets like these,
spent his life trying to paint them –
not like a photograph
but as he saw them now,

teeming with life
all the way back
to the days of horses and carts –
strange abstract work
he couldn’t sell.

Striding in the night air, almost home,
a gentle giant.

They were in the shadows,
four cheeky lads, asking for fags,
saying come on, Mister.
They’d been drinking, having a laugh,
smoking some skunk.

Almost home, a gentle giant.

Called him a mean old cunt,
landed a sucker punch,
knocking him off his feet
and out of time, flat out
in the path of a car.

A gentle giant,
gone by the morning.

Geoff Hattersley was born in South Yorkshire in 1956. His many collections of poetry include Port of Entry (Littlewood, 1989), Don’t Worry (Bloodaxe, 1994), Harmonica (Wrecking Ball Press, 2003), Back of Beyond (smith|doorstop, 2006), and Outside the Blue Hebium (smith|doorstop, 2012).

His poems have been broadcast on local and national radio and have been used as part of syllabuses in schools, universities, and with The Open University.

He is an experienced reader of his poetry and has performed and recorded musical arrangements of his poems.

He edited The Wide Skirt Press from 1986 until 1998, publishing more than 300 writers in 30 issues of the magazine and 24 books and pamphlets.

He is an experienced creative writing tutor and has worked as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Liverpool John Moores, Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds Trinity universities.


3 thoughts on “Geoff Hattersley – three poems

  1. Robert Nisbet November 28, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Geoff, the Palin poem is a real coup. I’ve just printed myself a copy and shall, within the hour, be reading it to my creative writing class in Haverfordwest.


  2. timcumming December 1, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    Geoff, three fine poems. Greeat to read some new ones. After slurries of terrible poltiical poems from recent times, that found poem from palin is fantastic


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