Detox Call

“Hello? Oh hello, yes I’m calling to see if there are any beds available?”

“Yes, I’ll hold, no problem.”

“No beds. Again?”

“What am I meant to do?”

“Keep calling back?”

“I’ve been calling back for days! You just say the same thing!”

“It’s difficult… Yeah, it is difficult. You don’t know how fuckin’ difficult this is.”

“I wish swearing was all I had to worry about.”

“She’s ready this morning. She just needs another chance.”

“I know she didn’t finish last time.”

“She ran away because she was scared.”

“I know there’s a lot of people waiting!”

“Well what am I supposed to do? What the fuck am I supposed to do?”

“I do keep ringing back. But what about me?”

“You’re not listening!”

“What about me?!”

“I’m twenty six years old. How is this my job?” 

“Tell you what, what if I ran away? Then what?”

“Well what if I just disappeared? Phoned you to pick her up. Said that’s it. I’m done. I’m gone.”

“I’ll tell you what’d happen. She’d be on the street! She’d be dead or locked up or God knows what.”

“I can’t do this any more.” 

“I know. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing anyone can do is there?.”

“Sorry, it’s not your fault. You just work there.”

“I know. Sorry.”

“Yeah, I’ll call back tomorrow.”


Walking down the canal path
On the old bridge two boys roam
Target practice, what a laugh!
God, I wish we’d walked down the road

A shot rings out, a pain spreads out
Can’t tell if it’s cold or hot
From the opposite path I hear a shout
He wants to know who he shot

“Did I get ya?”, one shouts as I stay calm
I tell him he missed the spot
But he has a gun and we are unarmed
I don’t fancy another shot

Walk home in pain, keeping regular gait
That lead pellet caused a right mess
I can’t hide it, and now things escalate
What happens next is anyone’s guess

Steven Shorrock (2019)

Counterfeit dreams

You know how you saw your days to come?
Well I’m afraid it’s time to come clean
Because in the end you will succumb
You won’t settle for counterfeit dreams

See, the painful price of the creative mind
Is the total destruction of order
And now you find yourself in a bind
With no more pawns left to barter

What you thought was your fatal flaw
Is really your strength unfound
A gift denied and declawed
Exposed when your ship ran aground

But there is no turning back for you now
The realisation is honest
Counterfeit dreams must be disavowed
An unknown future is promised

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Baseball bat blues

Do you have to use a baseball bat, la’
To show your masculinity?
When asked to move your idling car
An armed response beyond incivility

Surprised she shows no fear of you
Your weakness betrayed by aggression
A proper pathetic display it is, too
Weaponised threats to a woman

The dole office done for another fortnight
You probably think it’s a laugh
But I’ll be signing you on soon, alright
And I’ve got a question to ask

What is it about this northern town?
It’s small-time villains and hoods
Even the train station was closed down
Sealing the place from new blood

See, I’m gonna leave this town of my birth
It’s not the place of my kind
Then again, they left a place even worse
And this was the best they could find

Steven Shorrock (2018)

I’ve got something to say

I’ve got something to say
I thought things were okay
But this outward display
Had to rupture some day

See, there’s three people in me
There’s the person that you see
And the person inside me
And the person I want to be

But it’s hard to conceal
The gaps as they’re revealed
It’s the way that I feel
It’s the me that is real

I thought I had to comply
With what I want to defy
So I stayed on standby
While things just scraped by

There’s no other way to allay
The pain and dismay
I never planned it this way
I‘ve got something to say

Steven Shorrock (2018)

To be a soldier

Shellshocked and battle scarred
Marching from oblivion
The need to always be on guard
A lonely path quotidian

This backpack of old memories
A heavy load to carry
The pain of blistering dis-ease
Street life military

To be a soldier stuck in no mans land
Route to base unknown
No signal from high command
Order overthrown

Steven Shorrock (2018)


Where do you hide your bottles?
Because there are so very many
And every day’s a new battle
To keep me from finding any

In hard-to-find locations
Like lambs, there’s always another
Wine and spirit your ruination
Another stash yet to uncover

But you know I’m getting tired of this
I‘m not sure that it’s helping
My strategy has gone amiss
Feels kind of overwhelming

Free your bottles, no more to shame
Let’s put an end to this ugly game

Steven Shorrock (2018)

No-one ever died wishing

No-one ever died wishing
They’d stayed longer at the office
Tapping at keys and staring at screens
Sand trickling away into corporate machines

No-one ever died wishing
They’d fitted in more shopping
Malls and sites serving corporate greed
Wants suffocating basic needs

No-one ever died wishing
They’d spent more time on devices
Tapping and zooming and clicking and scrolling
Addicted, distracted, weary eyes rolling

No-one ever died wishing
They’d watched more television
Chewing gum soaps and horror show news-scenes
Neighbours unmet, strangers on widescreen

People die wishing
They’d stayed in touch with their friends
A phone call, a visit, some time spent together
Knowing that you and they won’t live forever

People die wishing
They’d expressed how they felt
I’m sorry, I’m angry, I’m hurting, I love you
Opened a door for feelings to pass through

People die wishing
They’d taken risks, made decisions
Travelled, changed job, conquered their fears
Not stayed in a rut for so many years

People die wishing
They’d lived true to themselves
With authenticity and meaning
Sensation and feeling

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Happiness unreal

The agony and the ecstasy
Down days and up nights
Strangers in dim lights
Happiness unreal

Derelict and void
And alive, all at once
The urge now to dance
Brings glimpses of joy

When all things have shattered
Leaving fragments of pain
And a mind now insane
Doves can cure, for a time

Because sometimes salvation
Comes from curious places
From unknown faces
However long it lasts

Steven Shorrock (2018)