Open Mic Poems

Following on from the great success of Rugby Writers Open Mic night last night, as part of the Rugby Festival of Culture, I wanted to share two of the poems I read out.

I have been working for some time on that indispensable skill of public speaking that is so important to poets and authors. I think I am improving, which is great, and finally getting to grips with using a microphone (they make it look so easy on TV). So here are two pieces of spoken word poetry, which I hope you will enjoy:


You are my slaves.

I demand your worship

Build me exotic temples

Of steel and glass

Reaching up into the London sky

You pray for me

Lose sleep over me

Rejoice in my presence!


You weep when I am gone

You paint idols of me

In every home throughout this land

You carry my image with you

A talisman of protection

And some of you

Some fanatical few

Will go to war for me

Die for me

Spill blood to proclaim

That I am the truth

I am the light and

I am the salvation of us all!

But I am traitorous

I am slimy

And when you die…

The Tax Man will find me.

King of the Car Park

I am King of the Car Park

I am the ruler after dark

I am a lucky man

And I reign because I can

My name is Joe Vancamp

But you can just call me ‘Tramp’

People pass by giving me hassle

But they don’t know I’ve got me own castle

Honest, it’s true

Come with me, I’ll show you

Car Parking Structure B

I tell you, that’s home to me

My kingdom condemned

Saved me from a bitter end

Shelter from winter’s bite

Hidden here till spring’s first light

Cardboard is my bed

Better here than dead

Beer cans and mould

I roost here from the cold

With my grey pigeon army

Their gentle coos to calm me

In the hard relentless night

When I start to lose the fight

My concrete warren

My street cat coven

In this silent city-heart

I watch the sunsets rise and depart

From the corrugated rooftops

I sing to moon and raindrops

And I wish that you all understood

The bulldozers waiting outside ain’t good.

Demolish my castle, break my walls,

And with the rubble, my kingdom falls.

Car park

If you want to see what else is happening at the Rugby Festival of Culture, check it out at