My Father’s Dinner Jacket – Simon Williams

My Father’s Dinner Jacket

Each year, just once, I measure up to him,
see how I fit his DJ – black serge,
thin, silk lapels, proper pockets. This year
it’s not so bad, I’m only slightly plumper
than the girth of him, don’t raise my arm
too far in slipping on the jacket.

When I’m back at midnight,
the trousers humid from rocking to
the Stones, beating to Quo,
I know he’d never rise to perspiration,
from a Lehár waltz, a ragtime foxtrot, though
perhaps he’d raise the odd bead from a polka.

He wouldn’t like the music, never did,
but he’d appreciate the ball, would like me
living up the night, welcoming December
by polishing my shoes, straightening
my purple bow-tie, taking to the dance
like a tailor takes to tails.

Simon Williams ( has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House (, which has also toured in performance. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet and is currently developing a one-man, science-based poetry show, Cosmic Latte.

Tea Towels – Simon Williams

Tea Towels

After she had rejected the brushes,
cleaning agents and non-stick bakeware,
he got around to the tea towels
depicting Australian shearing techniques
and pandas in their bamboo glades.

These were much harder to ignore,
as you can never have too many
drying cloths. He gave the full spiel
about tea chests and cotton covers
laid on to protect the dried leaves.

With this fascinating history, my mother
knew she had something to say
at dinner parties, a conversation
starter, when guests offered
dutifully to do the washing up.

She took two of each design, a dozen
in all, washed them in the twin tub before use
to make them more pliable, dried them
in front of the storage heater in the lounge.
She wrapped tea pots in them, when she left.


Simon Williams has seven published collections. His latest pamphlet, Spotting Capybaras in the Work of Marc Chagall, launched in April 2016 and his latest full collection, Inti was published in July. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013 and founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet.