Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett


Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series. 


You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.




We're older now, and comfortable

Commitments, long-term plans

The car is in the garage

The kids are at their nan's

So put that funky dress on

And show a little soul

And this night out for old time's sake

We'll try to lose control


                 from;  To lose control  by Tom George






Urban Beauty Shock

Tender Memories

Neville's Scared of Spiders

Half a smile

To lose control

You Make Me Walk Lightly

Don’t ask me why

Careless Wispa

Walking home

Rainbow dream


My Bohemia





Liverpool-based writer Tom George is well-known in the city for live performances that often incorporate music and visuals alongside his witty, rhythmic and impassioned poetry.

Winner of the Dead Good Poets’ Society slam in 2008, he has also been featured on Channel 4 television and has staged several one-man shows at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre.

 “…He never fails to uplift and enrich the listener, a more charismatic and engaging performer you are unlikely to encounter…” – Wirral Ode Show

 Tom has performed throughout the UK, in Europe and Africa, while his work has graced several collections and websites.   His first collection of poetry, How Now is available at FACT bookshop in Liverpool priced at £2.







Urban Beauty Shock



Looking through the window on a hot midsummer day

Dirty concrete, terraces and everyday decay

Yesterday was murky and we had a spot of rain

Now it’s getting sunny and we’re heating up again


And there atop the backyard wall where nothing else will grow

All the little runts of scrub are putting on a show

They’re blooming richest burgundy and creamy butter soft

Finding precious beauty and holding it aloft


Eeking out the vital juice to stand up strong and proud

Daring to be joyful where joy is not allowed

Clinging with a passion to the mortar and the rock

Singing in the mid day heat - an urban beauty shock


Blown in out of nowhere with the with the status of a weed

Impudent like freedom, a solo rebel seed

Touches down at random in a cracked and barren place

Blesses desolation with elemental grace


And I’m thinking of adversity that tries to crush a heart

I’m thinking of the beauty that fights to be called art

I’m thinking of the legends that turn out to be true

And I’m thinking of the flowers

And I think of you and you…


Wildflower, you flourish in the dust

Wild flower, you’re singing ‘cos you must

Wildflower, you’re dancing through the air

Wildflower, you’ll find your own way there


And you’ll be fully rooted wherever you care to go

‘Cos you’re already grounded

And you know what you know

You make the best out of whatever it is that you find

An independent spirit, you’ll never be confined





Tender Memories



I’ve got tender memories

But I can’t let them out

Fragile memories

Subject to doubt


Maybe it was just our age

Quietly you left the stage

Gratefully I turned the page

On tender memories


Too soft and fresh to bear the shock and glare

Of retrospect and regret

I left them gathering dust

Legends of our love and lust


Too indiscreet, they haunt these streets

Sweet and bitter

Like psychic litter

The aura of a bus stop thrill

The corner where a certain chill comes back to me

- I hurry still


Tender memories never go stale

Locked away - an innocent tale

I keep them from the light

And I hold them tight

Fragile, foolish but precious






Neville's Scared of Spiders



Neville's scared of spiders

I've heard it once or twice

They say he just can't stand them

Like elephants and mice

It's really just a rumour

I wonder if it's true

It's really quite amazing

It's quite amusing too


Neville's scared of spiders

Don't say it too loud

He's got lots of cronies

One in every crowd

It wouldn't fit the image

The one that he projects

For one like him to run a mile

From something with eight legs


Everybody knows him

He's tougher than a rock

Presumably he's fearless

Immune to any shock

That's why I've got this longing

A secret kind of dare

To carry out a prank

And see him jump into the air


The trick would be to catch one

If I could find the gall

And chuck it on his table in the dinner hall

Alas I fear, it's something that I'll never, ever do

'cos I am scared of spiders

And I'm scared of Neville too!






Half a smile



I used to see you walking ‘round with half a smile so sweet

Sneaking out for sunshine or the people in the street

A fragmentary glimmer of something hard to find

A whisper of a spirit that was generous and kind


I used to think that half of it was all I'd ever see

Then one day, passing by, you found the other half for me

Remember how you wore it when we met up once or twice

I wondered if I'd ever see another half as nice


A little bird just told me that you've found yourself a man

That's groovy but I speculate, I'm sure you'd understand

And looking back, I guess I should have known it for a while

'Cos last week, through a window, you gave me half a smile


Half a smile to say “I’ve something better on my mind…

Half a smile, that's your lot, I've other fish to fry"

Half a smile saying more than full ones ever did

I really thought I'd left behind play acting like a kid






To lose control



Bottles of cheap cider

Fags or sniffing glue

Early adolescence seeking something else to do

When lacking all direction

Or notion of a role

They're curious to find out what it's like to lose control


Later on you're studying, and in a different place

The hedonistic culture is easy to embrace

'cos now you know you're shackled to an academic goal

So join in while you've got the chance - kick out and lose control


City girls on Fridays, in states of near undress

Marching on a mission to the temples of excess

Where ecstasies with alcohol and perspiration flow

And several thousand people pay their way to lose control

And wash away the worries of another working week

And dance away their troubles and reach a public peak

And vomit in the gutter

With blood of desperate men

Is washed away next day so they can do it all again


See them on the corner

Fingernails are black

Living for the methadone, the Special Brew 4-pack

Living at the bottom of a lonely dead end track

They're the ones who lost control and never got it back


See, if you're born to poverty or harrowing abuse

And never had a measure of control that you could lose

Then how do you escape it

And just where do you go

When you’ve lost all direction

And no-one wants to know


We're older now, and comfortable

Commitments, long-term plans

The car is in the garage

The kids are at their nan's

So put that funky dress on

And show a little soul

And this night out for old time's sake

We'll try to lose control


We'll knock back some tequila

And hit the town to dance

We'll wig out to some techno

And get into a trance

And when at last we stumble in at twenty-five past two

What say we skip the cocoa?

We've better things to do





You Make Me Walk Lightly



When I first met you, my heart was a stone

My feet were too heavy from walking alone

You showed me a garden, the scent of a rose

We loosened our spirits and took to our toes

Now everything magically slots into place

I'm no longer hiding behind my own face

You made me completely, before I was slightly

That’s till I met you - you make me walk lightly


Of old I was told of a beautiful place

With visions of lovely and opulent grace

The birds know about it, they're singing its tune

But I never listened, so I never knew

Now I've been inclined for to blow them a kiss

When I'm floating home 'cos I know where it is

When something so wonderful's holding me tightly

That's since I met you - you make me walk lightly


We're stepping out nightly, I'm walking on springs

I'm living on wit and the whimsical things

I'm thinking in colours and not even shapes

You've got a car, have you heard of the brakes?

I'm laughing at billboards, I’m handing out words

And practicing charm when the impulse occurs

To step off the bus and say "Thank you" politely

That's since I met you - you make me walk lightly


Well some of us swagger and some of us trudge

And some rush around while a few hardly budge

But we all fight a battle and fight it we must

With gravity's pure unconditional lust

It's a mystical suitor that won't take a "No"

And follows us daily wherever we go

We fight in the morning to drag ourselves up

And give in at night to collapse and curl up


It's gravity helping us out of the womb;

Again, just as sure, pulls us into the tomb

And inbetween times, so we don't get weighed down,

We have to decide what to carry around

I used to see blackness in my inner space

But now I see stars and a shimmer of grace

They're shining forever and never so brightly

Thank god I met you

You make me walk lightly





Don’t ask me why



Don’t ask me why some people are scared of silence

When it’s the very opposite of violence

“How do you do?” is a very nice thing

“See you around” is worth repeating

Everything else is just poetic licence


Tell me your thoughts, you know that I like conversation

But it’s not the be-all and end-all of this situation

You shuffle your feet and let out a sigh

To fill up the time as it crawls slowly by

Until you can think of a subject to pontificate on


It’s no disrespect with a friend to neglect talking

When all that a leisurely walk requires is walkng

Cut your verbosity back down to size

Think how your words would sound mightily wise

If you had to choose them as carefully as Stephen Hawking


Don’t ask me why some people are scared of silence...






Careless Wispa



Full of eastern promise you were sikily sublime

I was just a Drifter and I didn't have a Dime

Feeling rather Flake-y, I asked you for a date

Luckily you said "Ok, I'll meet you After Eight"


It was such a trendy place - the Biggest Ever Bar!

Every single Revel-ler was looking like a Star

You turned up looking luscious and gave me such a Twirl

And when I saw thoSenickers, you had to be my girl


The Topic of discussion was neither there nor here

After half an hour I heard you Wispa in my ear

Is there any Riesen for us to even stay?

I took you back to my place

We went the Milky Way


I'd dream about you constantly through work and rest and play

I couldn't stand to let you go a Waifa half a day

We had a secret recipe for sensual sexcess

But in each other's pockets we became a sticky mess


See, you may like the like the wrapper, but what lies underneath?

I thought you were a fondant but you nearly broke my teeth

You looked so very precious, I thought you were All Gold

It took me time to realise that you were just plain cold


You left me feeling bitter about those heart-shaped lies

You said it all with Roses but never with your eyes

I gave you presents, you were only faKin der Surprise

And then you'd go and take the piss and call me Mr Fun Size


I never took Time Out to work out just what made you tick

I realised I'd had enough, you'd made me feel sick

A thin veneer of confidence was jettisoned that day

Like silver paper, crumpled up and cruelly tossed away


So, passion-hungry browsers, be careful what you choose

And linger at love's counter, lest you should buy the blues

I got into the healthy stuff - bought myself a wok

Now you should see my social diary - it's choc-a-block!





Walking home



Staggering homeward in Lucozade lamplight

A portion of greasy chips carried at mouth height

Stabbing and loading, stabbing and loading

Stabbing and stumbling, wandering, mumbling

Moving forward in short, stupid steps


A chain of night hens, elbow-linked

Screech and totter, provocatively prone

Off into the night

Asked for a light

There's been a fight

A guy's on the ground - "Is he alright?"


Further up the road, I stand transfixed

By a party's thump and thud

Blank curtains divulge a tantalising glow


Students, probably

Close friends only

Am I really that lonely?


Steam clouds rise from a river of piss

And I'm off walking home

As pizza bikes drone





Rainbow dream



Hey Hey Hey

It's a beautiful day

We can wish the clouds away

Chrystal skies are clearing sweet and I can walk the streets


Up above the streets and houses rainbow climbing high

Warmer of the springtime on the breeze is like a sigh

And all the people came out glad

Saw and shared just what they had

Running to the park in streams - I never thought I'd see these things


And everyone laughed to see such fun

Rainbow people, everyone

Resting easy in the park and mixing freely after dark


A rainbow dream; can it be real and is it such a sin

To interact, refract and find the beauty that’s within


The riches of plurality

The strength in our diversity

enduring such adversity


And so it goes and so we're told

not to look for crocks of gold

Well if you don't believe in hope, then where you gonna go?

The sun goes out if you stay insular and let it fade

So make a date with empathy and never seek the shade







Honey was the sweetest

The rare and reet petitest

But never the discreetest

A special sort of kind


She came in through the window

And landed on my elbow

And filled me up with something

So pure and unrefined


Her writing's not the neatest

Her poems are the beatest

She's never been elitist

I doubt she ever tried


Bringing all the sunny

From the land of milk and money

She kept me really busy

I had no need for pride


Talk about a pity

She left the big bad city

She had to fly off homeward

And shelter in the fall


And now I'm feeling smokey

Although it's okey-dokey

“'cos a taste of honey is worse than none at all…”




My Bohemia



I celebrate the overhanging tree that leans out over the wall

Of the old abandoned house on Croxteth Road

I wonder at its twisted waist, boughs and blossoms hanging down

In a drunken sprawl that almost touches the pavement

And you have to walk round


A shameless and defiant gesture

The house behind, repossessed by nature

With feral fronds sprouting from the eaves

And crumbling steps engulfed by infant jungle


A forty-something man walks past

With five inch turn ups on his jeans

A strange bowling walk

And the hat and jacket of some long lost youth cult

That I can’t identify

Off he strides out of sight

To somewhere I cannot possibly imagine

In L17…


On winding roads under maples and oaks

I venture out to find

Baby castles with turrets and green copper

Collared doves on chimney pots

And echoes of the chapters I have lived

On idle afternoons under milky skies


I celebrate the nine doorbells,

The creaky floor and the shared bath

Skinning up to Syd Barrett

Walking round to somewhere

With a hat and scarf

Dusky gloom and the smell of a bonfire

In our idyll


I celebrate a draughty letterbox

An echoey hallway cluttered with bikes

Tie-dyed sheets at the window

The intrigue of attics

A mirror from a skip


Brompton Avenue glade-like

In the dappled day

Ghostly and still by night

With somewhere, the sound of a party


I wonder at the countless lives and times

Daydreams and desires

That gave this scene its soul

The unspoken community that meets by chance 

Walking the shore of Sefton park’s green ocean


And rat race refugees like you

With hairline cracks

Where a light shines through

Seeking out the shade of trees

The tranquil breeze

We understand

The mossy walls and magpie calls

The mystery of sweet decay

I celebrate these things today


‘Cos just last week I saw men looking at the empty house

With clip boards, hard hats and plans

To tear out the twisted tree that understands

To knock through walls

And lay Ikea pine floors

For boring people

To live (if that’s what they call it)...

with huge TVs

That don’t belong

And live it wrong

With sci-fi monster vehicles parked outside

And security lights on the drive


I celebrate the little old man who pushes

A home made cart around the streets looking for wire and this and that

A radiator or radio

Over wet leaves on Ivanhoe

A distant figure walking

Fading into mist




Publishing history

Urban Beauty Shock, Tender Memories, Neville's Scared Of Spiders, Half A Smile, To Lose Control, You Make me Walk lightly, Don't ask me why, Careless Wispa, Walking Home , Rainbow Dream, Honey

published in How Now (Tom George, 2009)

My Bohemia published in Neon Highway magazine (2009)

Careless Wispa also published in Poetry Seen edited by Rizwan Mirza (Smurfitt Townsend Hook and Independent Papermill plc, 2002) 

Honey also published in The Dead Good Poets Society: The Book, edited by David Bateman (Headland, 2005).

'Cups' published in How Now (Tom George, 2009)

'Wet' published in Object of Dreams magazine (Object publishing, 2010) 


4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -