BBC's Saturday Live

I wake at 5am and work on the poems. A car picks me up at 8.05 and by 9am I am on air for BBC's Saturday Live.  I have had about three or four hours sleep between Budapest and here.  The first poem is about the Far Right and the second poem is about the guest Heather Piercey daughter of Lord Haw Haw who was tried for treason and killed in  the 1940's The First Poem came on at the beginning of the programme and the second at the end.  Pater means father in German and Tateh is Yiddish for Daddy.

The Politics of


It’s kicking off at kick off – the defence has crumbled

The far right wing takes the initiative

The opposing left wing’s gone

The left back is left back in the changing room.


tactics could have forseen this situation

The crowd's ecstatic. 
There’s a pitch invasion

Oh there was no need for that.

The centre forward made a dirty  Attack

He’s trying to shift the goalposts  there’s nothing clever about that

In the golden commentary box I contrive

A rhyme. It’s time. It’s Saturday. It’s  Live.


Shhhhhh Tatehh shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


The white noise  of
airwaves sounds like a downpour, like the sea

Like after the the bomb blasts the reign of debris.

Stood in  the wreckage
as a child –  tears of dew

Through the rain and the 
dust   I saw you

Turn away 


All fathers must bretray their sons and daughters

All fathers are liars and cheats bridging troubled water

With gushing offspring to dilute their past

All fathers mix their parents  secrets into the cast

In  hope each mould loses the  imperfection

Each birth a sacrifice and resurrection

The imperfect lurch for perfection.


“Oy.” On the cross a daughter asks

Why forsake my presence with your  past


I am not your mother I will not dry your tears

The salt will sting and my heart will ring as air clears

Of all nightmares and their 

There  is no final

I danced  when you
sang laughed when you lept

Waited for you to come home,  screamed when you left

You.  Take your
secrets to your death,

It is not for me to forgive nor forget.

1 thought on “BBC's Saturday Live

  1. Caught the end of Sat Live and heard you reading Pater, I found it searingly painful and insightful, your way with words is visionary.

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