Maggie Sawkins /2 Poems/


I don’t fancy no-one specially JON DUNCAN who keeps saying that if PIPER – that’s ME –  stood sideways everyone would think she’d gone home. I prefer DOGS. When I grow up I’m going to have twelve. DOGS with hair over their eyes – black and grey known as SALT & PEPPER. I would let my DOGS sleep with me on the bed so when I woke I wouldn’t be lonely. DOG dreams are better than human dreams.  I heard a DOG dream once – it went woooo woooo wooooo like a WOLF.  JON DUNCAN’S the best looking boy in class but I don’t fancy him cos he stole the soldier badge off my jacket. I would let my DOGS sit with me under the table so I could drop bits of pork chop on the floor but I’d also buy them proper food like BONIO and CHAPPIE though if I was a DOG I’d prefer pork chop. JON DUNCAN’S got a STAFFY I’ve seen it in the park with a MUZZLE on. Its name’s TYSON. I wouldn’t call my dog TYSON I’d call it something like MERLIN or WAGTAIL. JON DUNCAN tried to KISS me once in the corridor but MR BENTLEY came out of the book cupboard just in time and said MOVE ON.  MR BENTLEY’S got kind eyebrows and wears a POLKA dot tie pink & grey. I would marry someone like MR BENTLEY but he’s already got a wife. She works at THE PYRAMIDS on the tills. MR BENTLEY says from the sky white people on the BEACH with no clothes on look like PRAWNS and that’s what’s called FRACTALS and that’s why when I grow up I’m going to live with dogs.


Lily’s swigging spirits with Bikini Girl in Lightship Inn. Slim Jim’s spiking it with mystic pills. Nitwit Nick sips his Pimms. Bikini Girl’s dissing it. Finds Shrimp-Pink lipstick. Slicks Nick’s lips with it. Winks. Nick’s livid. Lifts his fist. Lily sits tight. Mind’s spinning. Misfits, mimics, bigwigs, dimwits imbibing it, sniffing it. Slim Jim flips. Nick’s slinging it. Bikini Girl’s high. Bigwig’s winging it. Lily’s thigh. Kissing, licking it. Bikini Girl sighs. Lily sips Tixylix. Pin pricks. Prickly skin. Itching, fixing it. Things shift. Spirits fly. I’m scripting it. Thrilling isn’t it.


Maggie Sawkins is the founder of Portsmouth poetry and music club, Tongues&Grooves. The club was set up in 2003 with the aim of empowering people to express themselves through writing and performance.

Her poetry collections include Charcot’s Pet (Flarestack) and The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press). Her work has been frequently anthologised and her articles on poetry and well-being are included in Writing Your Self (Continuum) and Writing Routes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). In 2013 she was chosen by the Poetry Book Society to represent Portsmouth on the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize Tour. The book, Zones of Avoidance – featuring poetry from the production – was published in Spring 2015 by Cinnamon Press as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations.


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