Sunday, 29 March 2015


So my shoulder aches (the left one)
- it pokes incessantly  and a sleepyhead
stay awake. This train is full of scruffy
shoes and bad shaves - travellers - and the sky
a springtime blue wash. A southbound chugger heads
down into another country.  Andrew will be home now,
laughing more than most and feeling for rhythm
in a backbeat song or repetitive gearbox. He’ll be wearing
baggy pants and a bright shirt, chortling.
Perhaps he’s tickled by Angels or maybe doesn’t care
about death. When you choose such a fate, then you wouldn’t.
I fly backwards on this train, blind to what awaits
- and kind of not caring. People are reading screens,
papers, trendy magazines; all encoded.
There’s no conversation. Andrew will be getting ready to eat
with the full rhythm of a fine chew on every
forkful. Teasing the juice out. Maybe every
Angel needs a cascade of support. Choosing a
Down’s Syndrome lifetime will burn care
and levels of mercy sometimes unnecessary
for a warrior of the light.  But mostly his ears
are cocked for music and the heart of life,
pulsing energy in a basket of moments.
He rocked as a baby - full bodied – certainly
more than I rock with my aching shoulder and forever
rigid attempts on the guitar. But it’s the connection
he makes in the smile and a twinkle that carves
heart-to-soul and the beat, beat, beat
of warmth in the veins - to go further and longer
than any old southbound train. And his gift is to keep up
the fashion of a smile - or joy - until the chuckling carriage stops.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


2 receptionists  - and the computer’s frozen.

Clear air hangs outside – so cold –

although these ladies wear their sandals open toed
as if on a beach. Consistent clothing;
browns, blues and greens, no red.

In the corner, dental videos
of procedures – without sound. For this,
we drove here, locked the car, afraid.

She tweaks the keyboard but - still a tragedy
in her VAT calc. The screen is numb. All
to pull faces – by a brief indignity.
She nods us through in the flash of a neon smile.

Is this my fate? – ajar, but strong -
I open the door, wait for the sun.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


‘Book of Mormon’ is rollicking hot,
two-by-two dancing, rude - but  (like)  fun.
Andrew and I absorbing the plot
- when a sweet girl starts a honeydew song.

Wide open – an innocent snowball
of pure hope and sun in the morning.
Every note touching bellies and throats,
melting jaundice, judgment, disjoints;
singing from heart in a little face
sweet as dates, light as a veil.

At the interval, engagement is deep:
a tie at the ball, champagne pops.
Andrew holds a fizzy lemonade
nodding around, clear as a cat
‘I’ll marry that girl in the pink dress,
She’s just like me – she is me!’

and I wring small tears ‘I see, my son, I see.’
glance away –  too keen to agree.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Fourth Anniversary

First  - a singleton -
a beaming sun
(one single leaf of grass)
but married then into a couple
completely satisfied

but how accelerated
into four whole years
as if the one has amplified
through sunny days and snow;
we grow, my wife, we grow.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Grey skies

but, look, a turn of cloud for sunshine
winking – to submit a whole new word today;
vibrant, iridescent, unstoppable
with smiley face and no conditions,
bigger than the Himalayas (beyond desire):
a simple little single word, compressed.

My question  - can I really trust it?

and ask – ‘if I inspire a fire inside myself,
will a tiny word flow back with water force
through chambers up from shimmering earth,
meet itself and melt?’ Under grey skies.

Friday, 5 September 2014


South West England, Summertime.
The base and 6-string are playing

brightly one Monday afternoon
under a soft watercolour sky;
the base and 6-string are playing.

It’s not clear who started this throb
around tents and camping chairs,
teacups and painted starlight stones
but the base and 6-string are playing.

And, in the darker recess of a plastic tent,
one unwashed Down’s boy sings
across perfectly imperfect repetitive notes,
from a hopeful wet tongue laving for dinner
now the base and 6-string are playing.

Propose a new music, un-housed,
less predictable, in a strange tongue,
held by a deeper fret of purple sound
from a true gut; a resonant truth
laughing like a tambourine
when the base and 6-string are playing.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

So Push

One o’ clock, North Yorkshire
and we cycle hard - cogs
chuckling into spurs and chains
on-and-around sprockets

oblivious to tops-of-trees parading
front-to-back and the Howgills
rolling more slowly
in parallax and majesty

until we hit a low dip
and start a long climb
feeling breath and thighs hot.

Looking far away to the left
(in a miracle of trigonometry)
a far mountain rises mysteriously
like in a cardboard theatre.

Pushing and climbing, an earth-top also climbs.
Cycling more easy, our summit stays and shivers;
a fine old miracle in time.

Now the road descends and our peak slo-mo’s
away; no longer fighting gravity
but sinking like a drowsy head
obscured by trees and foothills, green.

And it helps me feel the sun
and how she seems, every day, to light and rise
imperious - and how, if we all freewheel,
eventually her rays maybe wouldn’t
be bothered to rise either, and sink. A sigh.
So Push.