Bland On Bland – The Book

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “ Breathing “.

I took the opportunity to head back to the “neighbourhood” this week. Second time in weeks.  It was one of those ideas that jumped into my head but took ages to get right

Jon and I also discussed the sad passing of Chuck Berry, and the importance of him to popular music. A true giant.

Ed Bates supplied the appropriately atmospheric backing this week, have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:


“Jesus ‘Pig’” gasped ‘Rabbit’, and brought his hand up to his cheek
The others stood in silence, in too much shock to speak

They’d been trying out a shanghai, ‘Spanner’ Chaplee’s new design
At the bottom of the backyard, in the corner by the pine

Firing steel ball bearings at old beer cans perched on bricks
‘Squirrel’ had the first shot and sent the can next door for six

That shanghai proved so powerful and the impact so intense
They built a wall of old car tyres in case the pellets pierced the fence

“My turn” bellowed ‘Pig’ Mills, “let me have that ging”
Lindy Dent offered instructions but ‘Pig’ didn’t hear a thing

He was told where to point it and showed how to aim
“Aggh, empty beer cans” he moaned “you dickheads are so lame”

Just before he fired, from the corner of his eye
He caught site of a pigeon, spun round and let fly

He didn’t hit the pigeon and he didn’t hit the can
He nailed Little Lenny Mills, the youngest of the clan

Straight between the eyes, knocked him backwards, to the shed
Lenny lay there motionless, blood dripping from his head

His legs were twisted under him, his neck and torso limp
Crumpled like the panels on Mr Bellthorn’s Hillman Imp

“I-I-I think he’s stopped breathing” ‘Squirrel’ offered up at last
“S-s-s topped breathing?” spluttered ‘Pig’, “Hang on, not so fast

Look at Lenny’s chest, I’m sure I saw it rise and fall”
Lindy checked for vital signs but could find no pulse at all

“I-I-I-It’s not my fault” stammered ‘Pig’ “don’t lay the blame on me
It’s ‘Spanner’s’ ging, blame him – and the pigeon, the sun, and the tree

Someone should do something” ‘Pig’ fell down on his knees
“I’d give the kiss of life but I’m scared of catching some disease”

“But he’s family” bristled ‘Rabbit’, “family, not a stranger
As for catching diseases, I reckon Lenny’s more in danger”

‘Rabbit’ gave Len mouth to mouth while Lindy pumped his chest
“It’s no use” whispered Lindy “he’s gone, we’ve done our best”

“Well, maybe he’s just winded, you know, temporarily out of breath”
“If he’s winded” ‘Rabbit’ reasoned, then you’ve winded him to death”

“This will kill my mum” cried ‘Pig”, “what am I going to say?
What if we just buried Len and I’ll tell mum he ran away?

She made me swear an oath I wouldn’t let him out of my sight”
‘Rabbit’ noted, sardonically “Well at least you got that right”

“Len was Mum’s favourite” ‘Pig’ lamented, no hint of remorse or shame
“Little Lenny did this, Little Lenny did that, barely mentioned my name”

“Shut up” seethed ‘Rabbit’ “shut your gob and don’t make another sound
One more word you odious swine, you’ll be joining Len on the ground”

“Pig’s’ mum wailed at the graveside, comforted by his dad
The grandest funeral, they reckoned, a Blue Tongue Lizard ever had

He was buried in a Rothman’s Carton, just beyond the bar-b-que
In a bed of Agapanthus, beside Peg, the cockatoo

Right next to Nuts, the wayward kelpie, and a ferret known as Killer
All their other pets including a white mouse named Godzilla

There was only one exception, a Guinea Pig named Flake
He was interred where they found him – inside Shag, their Carpet Snake

“Next time let’s get a mollusc” sobbed Mrs Mills, still grieving
That way we’ll never have to fret when the little beast stops breathing”

© Copyright 2017 Ian Bland

Also have a listen to the songs on my new album “Everything or Nothing

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