Tuesday, October 27, 2020


This is a companion blog to my author website which can be viewed over at:

Whichever way you landed here I welcome you to these my complete poems, hoping they may afford you a different perspective on where the tales in William Ottoway's Utopia and other stories sprang from, my mind!

I exclaim because in sailing near to that faculty of mine I'm afraid we enter some pretty choppy waters, for when I was in my late teenage years I grew infirm with serious mental illness which has taken me just over two decades to assimilate and understand fully.

But assimilate it, I have. Understand it, I do. And do you know where it all begins, this madness? Well of course at school, with friends in the playground. This is Jailbreak...

Lunch was cooking, and the smell of tarnished wood made me dizzy.
It was time for jailbreak.
There was laughter, shouting, jeering as we chose the gaoler.
James today. He scowled and skulked, holding onto the four foot fence
Whilst we ran away, cursing us as we trod the gleaming snow underfoot.
I still feel the exhilaration, the anticipation of the chase.
We were excited, scared, but mostly happy. James started after us,
Stealthy mind like a panther stalking its prey -
He moved under the covered way, tracking us then 'Bam!',
He'd set his sights and go angrily, knocking into others playing football,
Talking, fighting. He'd catch someone. They'd head for jail and wait.
One more, they'd do the same, then link hands,
The rest of us would scurry away into the bag room,
Hiding under coats and satchels, dreading to be found.
Soon there'd be five or six held, each joining the last,
Swinging out from jail like the ladder from a helicopter,
And I'd time my move, run, strike, so touching one, free them all.
We'd fly like birds, scattering over the playground,
Holding the tips of thumbs to our noses,
Wiggling our fingers and sticking our tongues out at the screw.
He'd have to start it all again, but this time no build,
Just charging madly, screaming how he'd get us all.
I ran so fast the school yard blurred, and revelling in my speed
I raced right round the bend, away from all the noise of classmates playing,
To the fountain at the base. A draught, two, the water dripping off my chin,
Then I looked up to see James staring. The game was over.

I feigned left, dodged right, and somehow slipped right past, away and back.

My friends were calling, yipping, dancing. I was there, when suddenly

The touch came from behind. James had me. He smiled, and the others

Broke off from the fence. That was it. We skipped in for lunch.

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