Tom Kelly

At the ‘Reduced to Clear’

they form an orderly queue.

The youngest has money tight as love in his fist.
He has a note to remind him what to buy, ‘breed an’ crisps’.

His da works nights for a security firm. He is asleep
on the settee in the living room. Ma works
in Cheapland from six til ten.

He is seven next birthday. His sister plays round the shelves,
handles everything she can’t buy. Her dress
see-through under the stores’ brutal fluorescent lights.

Ken Loach- Please Be Dan Dare!

Ken, you might not like his conservative (with a small c) outlook,
his body language may change
watching your films but (for one production only)
can you wear his hat and take control,
save a million unemployed kids,
steer the craft, be Dan Dare and take Digby from Wigan
to something better than this?

So Ken, before you squint through the camera lens,
please take up Dan’s mantle, if only for me,
aged seven-and-three-quarters in Jarrow,
think Billy Casper without the kestrel,
afraid of the dark and Tories me and me da hated.
Please save us from these posh boys that make me so angry I have to lose
myself in Frank Hampson’s drawings of Dan leading his crew
against the Mekon: we need you to be Dan Dare,
“Quiet, please. Roll camera. Action.”

Tom Kelly © 2014