Wednesday 16 November 2022

Five Poems by Bradford Middleton




I’ve been hit hard as we, the great

Unwashed, are told ‘the vaccine will

Cure all’ and you can all go back to

Normal now & so we all did but now

The inevitable; a high temperature, a

Bad case of the hot flushes, some

Trouble breathing whenever I get at

All excited and a cough that ain’t down

To simply 35 years of bad smoking as

Now my death can be chalked up to

Simple government planning.


I can see it now as they stand around

The wine cooler in Downing Street at

Another of their endless parties that

Ain’t speculating on how they can save

Money on all the scroungers like me

Who’ve worked all the way through

Knowing it would come back to this

& us being the lowest of the low, a

Food retail worker worth nothing now

With my blood on their hands.





I think of my mother, a year on from

The passing of a man we both miss, sat

In her chair in her snug of a room right

Now & I wonder what she’s up to even

Though I can take a kind of guess just

Like she could probably do with me here

As I guess the one thing I did inherit

From the palmer line was my need for

Any kind of routine, no matter

How chaotic, no matter

How disastrous it could turn out to be.

Sometimes I fall on a good one & then

I’ll know I’ve just got to get on with it

& do it for the rest of my life…





I roll one and spark

I roll another and spark

and after a lifetime of this

I'll roll a final one and spark

and madness will at last

come to save me from the

ordeal of rolling another

and sparking it to life.





Of short skirts & the flash

Of stocking tops as my

Radio whines on its babble

Of getting fit for the new year

But me, well, I think I’ll just

Carry on dreaming these dreams

As I smoke & drink the ubiquitous.





Everyday of late, almost everyday

For the last two god-damn years has

Seen some kind of routine come to

Rule and tomorrow looks exactly like

Any other one… I’ll wake, not

Hungover but eager to get there soon,

And make my breakfast before I go

For a walk, come home, eat some lunch

& get back to this writing life as I send

Words out around the world for various

Bewildered editors before a night lost

To a movie, often a bad one, and some

More smokes and probably yet more

Booze and then soon it’ll be time for

My bed to call me & I’ll know when I

Wake it’ll be the same thing all over




Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on the UK’s south coast.  When he ain’t working his part-time supermarket job he can often be found either drinking at one of the many local bars or at home working at the words he dreams will let him escape this life.  All his poetry chapbooks have sold-out now but he does have several new ones planned and under consideration.  Since 2020 he’s been working on his first proper novel ‘All the Way to the End of the Line’ which he hopes someone will get to read soon.  He tweets occasionally @BradfordMiddle5.


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