List Poem for Dad

I had the idea for this poem on the bus on my way to work a year and a half ago. I was so engrossed in writing it that I left my phone on the bus and never got it back.

Dad has always written, some of his poems and short stories have been published and I have always thought there were great. We talk a lot about poets and the way they write. One of our favourite kinds of poems is ‘list poems’, such as ‘love is’ by Adrian Henri. ‘I want to paint’, by the same author, is my favourite poem of all time. Both are from ‘The Mersey Sound‘ supposedly one the most influential books of British Poetry since 1945.

So here is my little effort:

List Poem For Dad

 Dippy eggs. No escapes

The bus to Boro town

“cleaning the kitchen floor’

making pasta

breath dragons in the cold


CND. The Ambulance drivers.

Pole Tax and the miners marches

Maggie aggie aggie out out out



North York Moors

Lairns table and the

stag so close we could see him breathe


South Bank Concert

Circular breathing

Mice and wizards

2 am pasta and the last tube home



badteeth wolfsgrin

limegreen cardigan and a terrible shirt


long elegant yellowstained fingers

that shake

cold on nape of small neck







Capitalist (Bastard)


Ryde-Ventnor in 20 minutes

(‘don’t tell your mother’)


The words ‘fuck off’ as adjective



Springbean and Van (the man)

inlove with the voices of







red leopard print tights then

three months in bed



japanese skwaking women



(razor blades with that?)


The three times I’ve seen you cry

(neither tarchovsky nor dirty dancing count)



Patten/Henri(thanks Adrian)/McGough

TS Elliot/Ted Hughes/Spenser/Milton

Auster/TH White/CS Lewis


A thousand other voices from my childhood

all in your rumbling base tone


boxing day blues band

burned fingers on drunken fry up

Feckless Mansell Bastard Saturday mornings

birthday obstacle courses


cause you’re my


Guru. Sensei

(anti) Hero


Dad/john/’your father’/armstrong


and I’m





5 thoughts on “List Poem for Dad

  1. Pingback: Conferences Galore! « Girl with Trowel

  2. Pingback: Five Questions « Girl with Trowel

  3. Pingback: Jerimee Bloemeke and the effective poetic list | Bebrowed’s Blog

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