Concatenations of loss and gain;
the kids on the stairs, causing me pain.
Clattering, screaming, piercing my brain,
the kids on the stairs drive me insane.
Tidal currents, again and again;
rushing, retreating, joyous, inane.
Diurnal patterns, chaotic and brief;
the kids on the stairs, giving me grief.
Whooping, laughing, invading the air;
relentless footfall imprint on the stair,
carpet fading, resistance threadbare,
helpless against the kids on the stairs.
Hemmed in by noise, I skulk in my lair,
surrounded by the kids on the stairs.
Cribbed, confined; where else can they play?
Voiceless, my protest; I have no say.
Today, tomorrow, day after day,
nothing else for it; the kids have to play.
The kids on the stairs, causing me pain;
concatenations of loss and gain.
I have to admit to writing the above poem quite quickly. It is, essentially, a howl of pain, provoked by the noisy activities of a bunch of local children who took a liking for the staircase leading up to my front door, and used it every day as the focus for their rowdy antics during the Easter school holidays. Looking afresh at the poem, it strikes me that it may be one of those poems that works best read aloud – in the style of punk-poet John Cooper Clarke’s machine-gun delivery, perhaps.