top of page


I know it's a strange title and I won't bore you with the entire context, but safe to say that watching the delight that someone you love gets from making things clean can sometimes be an inspiration!


It started as a Waltz
with rhythmic movements flowing round the room,
dancing gently back and forth with careful ease
held in soft but purposeful embrace,
one two three, one two three, one two three,
woman and broom, woman with broom, broom with woman,
unsocially distanced with intimate intent.

Then broom, emboldened by the dance
decides to take the lead and bristling with pride
moves to steer the sterile triplet steps in time
and momentarily is in the lead …. one two three….,
until the dancers grip commands the broom
with clean intent and turning then to dusty room
grips the rose between her teeth, flings back her head
and with the joy of her, counts one to four,
and strides with pride into the Tango of the floor.

Clean Intent was published by the splendid "The Daily Drunk" poetry and literature website in August 2020. Click HERE to have a peek.


I would swear it was standing to attention,
or at least trying it’s best to,
as door swung open with alarming speed
and beady eye scanned shelves
discerning if the proper order of things
has been maintained by unruly food.
For, if Godliness is to be our neighbour,
then spotlessness must be our rule.

The vegetables looked smug and smiled
with organic pride, safe in the knowledge
of their place in the order of things as,
with punctilious precision the organiser squints
to properly peruse and judge and sift:

          Sinful from sincere.

                    Vegan from wicked.

                               Naughty from nice.

 And bottles replete with dubious labels of contents
huddle and push each other for space to hide
and packets of debateable and dubious lineage
hide their sell-by dates of shame as without the
shadow of a doubt, best before is best.

But order is restored in time
and those with proper places live
to shine again another day.
But wayward food is always seen
for what it is, and without ceremony or smile,
is exiled to the recycling bin.

The fridge door closes now with sharp relief,
and hunkers down, once more at ease,
reverting to its cool and watchful state
until the cleaner calls again.


Since you ask,
my approach to housework
is really less of a science
and more of an emerging art form,
influenced by masters, old and new,
from Gothic tones to Bohemian hue,
but mostly leaving things askew.


And serious though the issue is,
the politics of cleaning rules
makes me yearn to sing the blues,
so ship shape and Bristol fashion now,
throw off the bonds of spick and span
cry freedom from avoiding grimy
and emancipation from the tyranny of tidy.

SONNET 23 (cleaned up)

As an unperfect cleaner in the house,
Who with his fear has put aside his mop
For some fierce thing replete that pleases spouse,
Whose strength’s abundance makes the cleaning stop
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
that floors and windows should be oh so bright
And in mine own inadequacy may
be burdened down with elbow grease so slight.
O! let my eloquence usurp my cloth
So surfaces so spic and span do shine,
And other gifts diminish my loves wrath,
So other skills in me to her incline.

          Now learn to Hoover’s cleanliness submit
          To hear with eyes affirms my love’s fine wit.

bottom of page