Locally sourced in Sydney Street

Photo:Sydney Street (2011)

Sydney Street (2011)

Poem in final of Hammer & Tongue Poetry Grand Slam 2013

By J Fuller and A P Staunton, North Laine residents


Congratulations to the North Laine poet A P Staunton, who beat off fierce competition to qualify for the Hammer & Tongue Poetry Grand Slam Final 2013 at Komedia in December.

It was a keenly fought contest but he narrowly missed out on a top three finish. His working class rhyming verse has drawn comparions to “Pam Ayres with a shovel”, a refreshing antidote to the wannabe rappers and obscurists of today’s performance poetry.

A North Laine resident, he has summed up Sydney Street perfectly in his poem below.


Ah, Sydney Street, where I get my essentials.

My vinyl copy of Rebel, Rebel

My plastic clock, made from bits of old Scrabble

My ukulele, three chords – I dabble

My teeth filled, polished or crowned

My bonsai tree, un-potbound

My hair cut, sometimes my eyebrows too

My tapas, chickpea and rabbit stew

My 1950s Swedish Army demob suit

My ring, hand carved from arrowroot

My falafel to fill me up

Fresh guarana squeezed into a cup

An electric cigarette, when life’s a drag

A wooden fort, with towers and flag

Amethyst and quartz for my inner tranquility

An intimate piercing, to show off my virility

A Moroccan tagine for fluffy couscous

And a vintage poster of ‘On the Buses’.

Stop for a pasty – oh, I’d forgotten

To purchase some beads to pull through cotton

And a giant glow-in-the-dark Techno mitt

Plus a 12 by 3 remnant of hall carpet.

An Italian waiter brandishes a giant pepper grinder

As I’m on a mission to find a leopard skin ring binder.

My spider senses tingle, so I stop to buy a comic

Then slip into The Office for a cheeky gin and tonic.

But I must get a move on – I need an olive tree

And a giant framed print of a cracked lavatory.

This is no flash in the pan, this is Sydney Street

Full of life’s essentials – just don’t lose that receipt.

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 226, January/February 2014]

This page was added on 06/02/2014.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.