Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Traffic Management“.

Another poem from lockdown and after the strangeness that is the 3RRR Radiothon, JVG has decided to relax back into his usual toying with us all and chose “Traffic Management” as the theme this week.

I ask you, what the hell am I supposed to do with that? “Traffic Management” isn’t so much a theme as its government ad campaign. Still, you have to work with what you are given.


Ed Bates provided the music backing and sound effects. Thatch provided the audio production, have a listen to how it went below…

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

Traffic Management

Clifford Gadd was not a stupid man; neither was he smart
A suspicious disposition ruled less by brain than heart

He’d lived at number fourteen since nineteen fifty eight
Which in his mind granted sovereignty well beyond his gate

The street and all its occupants he viewed as his dominion
Everything annoyed him and would illicit an opinion

The colour of your fence; your gutters needed cleaning
You couldn’t change your curtains without Clifford intervening

He’d call the council daily over some perceived infraction
Even hanging out the washing you’d have Cliff demanding action

There was one offence guaranteed to get Cliff in a tizz
Park outside his house – that stretch of road was his

Woe betide the trespasser with the gall to pinch his spot
Reserved for Clifford’s Humber Super Snipe; interlopers shot

Fail to heed the warning, you had a hose shoved through your vent
Windows smeared with dog shit and windscreen wipers bent

This deterrent proved effective; no-one dared to push their luck
Till one day Cliff came home to find a beaten up old truck

Cliff tried his usual tactics, even fiddled with the steering
Despite his disincentives, the truck kept reappearing

Every time that Cliff went out, he’d return to find that heap
It always vanished late at night while Cliff was fast asleep

He tried to find the owner but couldn’t track them down
It was registered to a dead man from the other side of town

So he knocked on every door on both sides of the street
No-one had the foggiest, so Cliff turned up the heat

Determined he would find who drove the rusting Commer Van
He retreated to his kitchen and devised a cunning plan

First, he filled his thermos; one part coffee, three parts scotch
Grabbed a packet of Iced Vovos, his coat, a torch and watch

That evening, being Wednesday, he took out the wheelie bin
Made sure no-one was watching and quietly scrambled in

He aimed to catch the car park thief and bust him for his crime
But when scotch is mixed with coffee, the scotch wins every time

He was fast asleep in seconds, you can figure out the rest
Waste disposal picked him up and Clifford was compressed

His dictatorship was over; the neighbourhood was rapt
His beloved Humber Super Snipe alas, was also scrapped

Ironically the council removed Cliff’s parking space
Built a massive speed hump right outside his old place

A monument to recalcitrance that reason could not save
Round the neighbourhood that hump was christened Clifford’s grave

As to the driver of the Commer Van, we’ll be forever in the dark
Under fifty tonnes of landfill Clifford finally had his park

© Copyright 2020 Ian Bland


Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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