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A Kick in the Arts.

The online home of Mark Niel: Poet, Writer, Actor, Promoter



Samples and Extracts...


It started with the famous five,
Though I had no time for Dick,
Or Julian or Timmy the dog.
Ann and Georgina made me tick

Recently it’s Lara Croft
and Uma Thurman too,
as Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill
Volume one and two.

It’s become an obsession
Female stars of film and fiction.
I consulted a psychiatrist
For the name of my affliction.

He said “I’m sorry, I’m afraid you have
A Heroine addiction”.


I had my first date with my (now) wife on Easter Monday, 1986. This was the 8,137th day of my life. 9 July, 2008 was 8,137 days on from that first date and point at which we had been together exactly half my life.

Dark, dark and dark the night
As we walked, squeezing the last moments
From the weekend before work
Usurped our time.

Bright, bright and bright the stars
That pinpricked the velvet indigo
And eavesdropped our whispered

Soft, soft and soft your face
I held
As creeping certainty
Came calling.

Sweet, sweet and sweet your kiss
As together falling
From casual romance
To soul certain permanence.
Impromptu proposal
Met with a breathless “Yes”.

Quick, quick and quick the years
Once constant companion
Now distant acquaintance
Taking our moments.
For souvenirs

Cold, cold and cold the days
When sorrow shared our souls.
Rain cloud shadow
A weeping canopy
Blocking the sunlight

Hard, hard and hard the words
At times as edge on edge
We smoothed and shaped
Each other
Fashioning a better fit.

Deep, deep and deep the love
That remains ingrained
Making one from two.
So I stand on Half Life Day
The man I am,
Because of you.


Heart and pulse racing,
My palms damp and sweaty.
I feel like my legs
Have turned to spaghetti.

Tight chest, breathlessness,
A bitter miasma.
I saw the doctor.
It’s not love, it’s asthma.


I didn't know there should be stars,
Until I kissed you.

I didn't know a breath should be missed,
Until I kissed you.

I didn't know your heart should stop beating,
One fleeting moment,
Until I kissed you.

I didn't know.
I do now.


The day the world died,
Nations gathered
For the will to be read.
It turned out meek
DID inherit the earth,
But they asked for the money instead


Extract from “Human Relations”

A table in a restaurant. A piano plays.  A waiter leads Paula to Peter’s table.

Paula  (Out of breath) Sorry I’m late Peter. I missed my train.
Peter   Paula darling! (After kissing her, he makes a note). No matter! We’ll just have to “watch” it doesn’t become a habit. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Paula   Of course Peter.
Waiter Would the young lady care for something to drink, sir?
Paula   I’d love a glass of something cold and bubbly darling.
Peter   Very well. A glass of your finest coca cola for the lady.
Waiter Very good sir. (Exits).
Paula   So Peter, what’s happened in the world of HR today?
Peter   It’s been busy! I had to make three thousand redundant today!
Paula  Oh Peter! Those poor people.
Peter  Don’t worry. None of them know where I live. Now, to business.
Paula  Business? I thought we were just having dinner.
Peter   But, don’t you realise what date it is? It’s a year since our reciprocal social experience began. That makes today our ann….?
Paula  Our ann? Anniversary! Peter I forgot. I‘m so sorry.
Peter   Annual review. Exactly!
Paula   Annual review?
Peter  Of course! Everything is subject to review and the ONW evaluated.
Paula  ONW?
Peter  Overall Net Worth. (The waiter brings the drink. She refuses it).
Waiter  Madam?
Paula  Less bubbles, more vodka please.
Waiter  How much more?
Paula  Lots! I think it’s going to be a long night.
Waiter  Very good Madam. (Exits)
Peter  Here’s your agenda. (Paula looks aghast).  Now there are three main performance areas. These sections are efficiency, value for money…
Paula  (Disbelieving) Value for money?
Peter  Indeed. Finally, we have the “Wow” factor. All these sections comprise the Accumulated Section Score or ASS for short.
Waiter  (Brings a bottle of vodka with a straw in it). Your drink, Madam.
Paula  Thank you so very much. If when I’m finished this one, he’s still talking, bring me another will you?
Waiter  Very good Madam. (Exits).
Peter   Right then.
Paula   Just a minute. (She takes a big hit of vodka). Ahh! Fire away.
Peter   Now, how do you feel the last year has gone?
Paula  As far as efficiency goes, I think I’m pretty organised.
Peter  Pretty and organised if I may say so.
Paula  So I’ve done well there?
Peter I agree. Four and a half stars of a possible firmament of five. A half star lost for punctuality but let’s not dwell on that.
Paula  No let’s not. (She drinks again).
Peter  Not when we have the vexed issue of Value for Money.
Paula I’m not good value for money? I find that demeaning, insulting…
Peter  Hush, tush and quiet. That’s not what I’m saying at all.
Paula  Good.
Peter  No. I’ve scored you as satisfactory, but with room fir improvement.
Paula  What?!!
Peter  Darling, there are parts of the world where labour costs are lower. Now, there’s no question of this happening – we’re just having fun here….
Paula  Let me know when it starts. (Drinks).
Peter  ..but if I outsourced the girlfriend function to developing economies such as India or China….
Paula  I beg your pardon?
Peter  …costs can be lowered considerably. And in Thailand you wouldn’t believe the discounts you can get for bulk orders.
Paula  You’ve kept a spreadsheet haven’t you? Written down every penny you’ve ever spent on me?
Peter  Well, only what is tax deductible………………….

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True Fiction

From today, you’ll notice Crime has gone missing
Vanished without a trace since yesterday.
Crime is now located in
the West Wing
As always, find Politics,
and you’re not far away

Adventure is just around
the corner
Though it can’t be seen
from current affairs
Philosophy you will have
to think about
It is close to Sex which
you’ll find upstairs

Yes, we’ve taken liberties with classification
You’ll pick it up, though at
first it seems like a mess
And since we moved
Religion next to Hygiene 
Cleanliness really is
next to godliness

If you’re looking for a murder, ask Jane on reception
Enquire nicely to avoid workplace friction
And due to overwhelming public demand
Political manifestos have now been moved to fiction

Crimes against humanity remain by management
And it seemed sensible to put Mediation by their side
Finally, if you can’t find Romance, see Jim
in the stockroom
Who tells me he’ll be only
too happy to oblige.


This poem was inspired by a notice in the staff room of Milton Keynes Central Library after a reorganisation
- true Story


Website Copyright Mark Niel 2009