Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Arrivals - Xmas 2010

The screen flickers, then changes
and times of trains are moving, changing.

This time of year, many things change;
although one thing seems to never change
- a tension between truth, half-truth and lie,

elastic, it leads from sunshine into shadow, night.
These days, it’s easy to deride
Truth, offering other headlines
from a mind – my trickster mind!

What occurs at eclipses, in deserts, big plains
is perspective – beyond our superficial terrain

and, as times up there on that screen change,
a train might arrive
carrying prophet, shaman, seer – or even a friend of mine.

Friday, 24 December 2010


Down it loosens from the sky
along the trees and city blocks,
trampled on by squeaking feet
from 6 o’clock to 6 o’clock.

It gets inside the downfall pipes
and open upward mouths and eyes;
dropping through uncertainties
on certain hats and city types,
whitening our blackened streets,
changing an indifferent world.

The snowman’s little smile is curled
because he knows he’ll never cling
to a billion crazy snowflakes, each,
uniquely fashioned - everything.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Daisy Cow

I had a moonlit dream
and asked myself if I’d be better
born a human - or a cow -
as if I could, like, choose my form:

to be honest I dunno
whether to become huge and simple, eat grass
24/7 - or bang on and on about the mortgage,
pension, kiddies, final blow.

All in all, today
I lean towards a munching low
and moo into my future,
knowing what’s of note;
a meadow, calves and parlors,
sun and quiet moon.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


For seven years I wrote a diary
nightly, asking ‘What’s my learning!?
‘My little contribution?
“A highlight from today’

in blue workbooks; a kind of romance
from days with tiny pieces, drawn
from wells, lively offerings,
brighter moments dawn to dawn.

It would be easy to get cynical;
say it’s weird that a younger ‘me’ believed
it important to catch those little fish
from pools of curled anemones,
urchins, delicate algae, crabs:
but No I say Hello and Thanks.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Old Tony

He likes to rabbit on, old Tony, giving all
and sundry gobfuls, earfuls, chatter
box, old Tony can’t half natter, talks
for England, verbal diarrhea.

Does it matter that he throws his words
out willy-nilly? Aren’t they just like seeds
or skimming stones or pips or dandelion clocks,
hoping one might stick like chucking pasta at a roof?

And Sigmund Freud, he knew
that smaller words will hold you;
id or ego,
if but try or is how no
just now so
me and

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Shy Chris

He walks in a bubble
- slow - or at the double
he keeps out of trouble,
grows a little stubble

and, as far as I can tell,
(when I chatted to shy Chris today)
every bubble’s shiny, small,
contained and neat and tidy

and so we talk, breathe out,
trying to expand our film;
try to merge a personal bliss
or hell before young Cupid’s dart
(or Death’s old rusty axe) – flies
and we bulge a little, weep a little; burst.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

In a restaurant,

it’s business we’re talking;
competitive advantage
cost cutting, numbers,
developing niche

and we get straight into it;
where to put people,
strength in our strategy,
huge hairy targets.

‘How’s Andrew?’ he asks me
(they’d met at a social)
and a lump in my throat rises up from down deep
and it’s only when eyes wet and lips start a-quivering
that we soften our truthfulness;
start to do business.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Despite Andrew’s love,

it might seem boring
to recycle the same
nursery rhymes every day
in this order – Three Pigs, Three
Bears, Billy Goats Gruff, Jack and the Beanstalk;
a wolf, the porridge, the chair and the little bed,
the bridge and the troll and a repeatedly thudding axe

and when I’m asked
again, again, it’s hard
to keep it up - muster and talk
through the same old tale; until he eventually
gets a charmed look, away
and freshly lost in a dream
of significant story.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Hand me Down

I’m not joking when I say
a lock of hair from my great grandma’s
head was handed to me in a small
green box - when I was twelve;

cut off by her own mother’s finger and thumb,
stroked by my grandma
flushing cheeks, to see an
echo of herself and her mum.

One night, my dad took the lid off
and what I’d like to understand
is why I need a reminder, curling around,

twisted by an ancient strand of
hair that came out of her brain
for me to clutch, remember, time and again.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Ping Pong

I kid you not. I once was in the Utah
desert when a middle aged lady
looked at a skunk woofing her pizza,
not daring to stop it because of
the pong. A line of toothmarks shrunk her dinner
to a D, a half-zero, a part open tin,
like a button broken or a knob of lemon
bobbing about in a tonic and gin.

But that isn’t my motive here;
it’s more that, when the shaman suggested
we stay up all night guarding our circles
with fire and ritual to stop foxes and wolves,
the lady saw moons in the sky. Somber,
no alcohol, two moons, no kidding.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Doubt not what this little ring meant
when it slipped on my finger last weekend
completing the C in commitment
part of a glory, an eight,

but that’s only the half of it:
a golden band – small - but still great
slipped beyond my finger’s crown,
while repeating some words - not my own.

But what’s it really about?
Can anyone give me a shout-out
on the meaning of commitment, or love,
haha – guffaw - nobody can have
an answer, I hope that they’d blank;
it’s for husband and wife to work out.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Warm Welcome

Some mornings I reckon
it’s gonna be frosty;
nose-tingling hoary,
unsafe to walk on

but today, before a new dawn,
I came out my front door
and the sigh of a zephyr
came up from the earth.

Unusual near winter
that the ground sends a balm,
a hot breath, an out breath,
a generous kiss,
rekindling my centre
to let out his warmth.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Fast Food

At a time he sensed was right
up he stood like a reluctant schoolboy
twisting keys in his right hand pocket,
excruciating as an amateur only

can be, and he started to sing, quietly
and human, a song we’d all heard before
- at least for the chorus – and he sang the verses,
growing more confident with our support

and do you suppose nothing else happened
that night as he opened his heart like a rainbow?
A melting of oddness and newness ensued
and the tune that was sung by a small Irish crowd
swelled like a wave from our depth, in a song,
and I filled, overflowed, by the beauty I cried.

Friday, 26 November 2010

When the shower’s dry

how lucky are you
to switch on a first pulse
of water, feel cold energy hit your
hand, your arm, withdrawing back to shivery
wintry air and fiddle with
dials and switches until
the spray warms up

enough to step into
a new stream of heat
and tingling jets hitting your
thighs, your chest, your face. To wash without
soap; no bubbles or lather or
flannel or effort or work;
how lucky are you?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

One banana, two banana

I hope
when I go
‘banana’ you
know there’s no
fruit there, don’t you,
only a few dots on a page
in black and white. So whose
banana is it then, the one we are
seeing and tasting? And why a banana,
considering all the other fruit we both know
about and all the other words we’re sharing here?
Some even have b’s and a’s and n’s but, despite that,
who decides whether your banana’s voluptuous and perfectly
yellow and curved slightly, zipped up, and/or marginally over-ripe?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Face value

When I look at the face
of a clock, it seems pretty
simple – all about hands
washing a face - time and time again

but I know, behind the numbers,
a faithful engineer has expressed
in manifold tiny detail
torque and cogs, design and energy

(worked loads out) and, even when features
seem fine on the outside, lots
of whirring’s going on behind scenes
- winding up, turning and ticking along -
crafted by skilful hands;
whenever I look into a face.

Saturday, 20 November 2010


I’ve heard all the clichés before
like ‘you’ve one mouth and two ears’
‘children should be seen and not heard’
‘what’s the furthest sound you can hear?’

the loudest, the quietest,
the longest. the shortest,
the highest, the lowest,
the hardest, the soft one

because like rainfall hammering the ground,
a tiny drum-skin sitting by my brain
vibrates (as long as blood can pump around)
suggesting I’ve a fish upon a line.
It never stops - a shell held in my ear
aiming for a simple feeling near.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


I jump on a train
but every seat’s full;
I buzz up and down
like an ant in an anthill

looking for my place;
trying, trusting god,
but every gaze avoids
my eyes, my eager face

and, deep inside, I pray,
pacing like a dad.
that I will find a friend
that, if I trust today,
a gap will open, smile;
my heart is thudding still.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What if God's a gas

Nod a bottle at a brittle glass
and fizzy lemonade arises,
toxicates a nostril,
titillates and fills:

more than ‘satisfactory’,
popping at their birth-point,
bubbles sharp and piquant
instigate a sneeze:

higher than high,
brighter than light,
way beyond planets,
ripple and lap
up to emotion,
quivering lips.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


hair on the
front of my eye-
brows I put there
for no reason I see
that it’s utterly futile
but still I sprout a small mane
maybe only because
I can when I choose
grow and inflate
yes create
my wee

Friday, 12 November 2010


We had a chat
about a rat;
yours a giant,
mine - a tyrant.

We made a jigsaw
like a sunset;
an orange (I saw)
you saw red

but only when my fruit
and your new fangled colour
merge do we, in truth,
create an apple’s figure

- and the rat, of course,
was a very helpful chap.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sleep Tight

Today I walked past loads of doors
and, do you know, I had an urge
to reach and turn every handle;
see what lurks on the other side.

Something within us loves
hidden rooms, locked;
a key, a push, a creak,
a prisoner running free,

but tonight
when earth turns;

doors will bolt,
locked like clams,
holding tight
onto watery dreams.

Monday, 8 November 2010


when they wet my head,
I never quite got over it;
water in my eyes, stinging,
and all that cooing, praying, singing

but (worse) the name they hung on me!
I’ve carried that old monica
from here to Timbuktu.

They didn’t even call me ‘Peggy Sue’,
‘Cecilia’ or ‘Suzanne’
like in all my favourite pop songs.

I wonder whether
(if they’d stuck me with a different handle)
my life would’ve had more scandal,
been suitably re-formed ---- or better?

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Monday, he squashed a bug;
Tuesday, he stood on a slug;
Wednesday, ran over a frog;
Thursday, he booted a dog;
Friday, he was angry and pissed
and, Saturday, raided a bird’s nest
so on Sunday he needed a rest.

Next day, he fired his PA,
later, he cut someone’s pay,
labeled his daughter a sinner,
ignored his good-wife at a dinner.
On Friday - he got the sack,
something and nothing hit back;
subdued by old Zeus – with a whack!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Birthday Bestower

See a smile
of mirth and mischief
when he leads
his laggard brother
in a march
from car to pub and bar;
a glance suggests how
fun will surely follow.

Track in-step
until he opens up
his arms with cheek
and, like a tuning fork,
stands, vibrates and hullabaloos
‘Happy Birth-day toooo you!!!’

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Life is for giving

The conch of a cow syncopates my footfall,
a reaching tree overshadows a smaller one,
a farm lights up and winks with power on
and crazy fluffy sheep cluster up against a wall.

My bag bursts open like a circus clown
and I worry like a mother on tomorrow;
my words come clumsy, stuttering and slow;
I scatter all my change, try to smile, but frown.

I drink too much beer and stumble down a stair,
drive too daring and get myself a ticket,
fall off my bike, on my back, in a thicket,
stare at the sky and cannot name one star.

So what? So what? Shall I curl into a ball?
No, God forbid, yes, forgive them all.

Monday, 1 November 2010


When a magical child is born,
tiny fingers reach and curl,
little feet are focused on,
each nail an obvious miracle

and once I saw a family trot
beside a pram with Grandma pushing,
Father held up a parasol
to protect a sleeping tot from heat

and Mother used a large and painted
Japanese fan to keep it cool:
a focused scene of mad control
trundling down a cloudy seaside

street: immutable and soundly safe
as if a human cage protects a soul emerged, a life.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Eliot suggests

3 things matter:
rage at the mad hatter
in others and your not-so-humble
self - the inevitable tumble
into old age - and our found
habits tracking like a hound
until we grab a chance
and maybe learn to dance.

Friday, 29 October 2010

New Bard

When the page is laid out
our magazine winks,
aiming to spin through a litany of
images, deeply distracting and rich.

10 step success, we’re branding for viral,
making it glossy, a number one hit;
catching the eyeballs, designing for impact,
chasing celebs for a niche.

Selling, competing dear;
luvvie, the storyboards,
adverts and partners, our vision.

Developing strategy,
SEO, CEO, workflow and cashflow,
strip teasing and fleecing - by spinning our yarns.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Something from Nothing
and a word reverberates
away to Nothing.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


There seems a point
when even balance gets into balance;
like a see-saw or a weigh-scale horizontal
or when my car’s milo went through
222222 miles;
all those little ducks in a row
and one day, every year,
all places on our planet
get almost exactly 12 hours of daylight.

Almost, that is, almost
in balance - almost those miles,
exactly diurnal? - but never,
not quite; a smidgen, a pulse
out of whack and somehow, god willing,
it seems better like that?

Monday, 25 October 2010

A Willow bends

It seems like only when
he thinks he’s got it right
that a surge of ancient strength
rises up his skeleton

but it’s only when her words
begin to proves him wrong
that he starts to understand
how bones can slowly melt;

made of humble jelly
bending through a brittle husk
and, in the heat of battle, really
nothing’s worth too much.

She tells him – til he gets it,
working out what strength is.

Friday, 22 October 2010


…and I travel backwards on a train
knowing I’ll return tonight, back to the start
station - not in daylight - in the dark…

…but in this light, many clouds are hanging
united and disunited,
there – a seal; there – a lying man;
there – a dinosaur and there – a map of Sicily;
and there, and there and there… and there…

…but wait - now look - a shape unrealized
and, no matter how I try,
my mind refuses to conceive
one shape that hangs and moves
imperious on high;
a glory…

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


A leaf like a slowly closing hand
drops off

a great mother of a
tree - letting go

it lets go)

in a shutterdown
of winter’s paler light.

How wonderful like a butterfly
to flutter, tumble, still;

only caught by wind - not knowing
that the lattice bark has started on a spree

with sun and rain and waving snow,
of soundness and repair.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Imagine looking out
from way inside yourself
as a baby, or a boy with
without any crazy
constructs, rules.

This place would seem
unsafe – a dream!

And your strategy?
How would you get through
a moment, next few minutes, hours,
when you couldn’t hide,
or run, or surf the web a while?
I’ll tell you what – you’d smile!

Sunday, 17 October 2010


If you came this way
along a climbing path
you might sit awhile
with all kinds of human notions
until your mind eventually
slowed, senses awoke,
and took in that mammoth
mountain in front – bathed
into sunlight and darting
with swifts.
The wonder of it
could make you kneel and pray,
overwhelmed and tearful,
until nothing arises
and fear itself flies
with a tremulous influx
of Love.

Friday, 15 October 2010


Same routine,
up at 5;
forgives himself
for last night’s

After all,
it’s only words!
Breakfast mind
plots away

and then comes back
to coffee and a roll.
Through a glass, he sweeps

a gaze at folly – every being
and himself - and feels

a sudden thud of peace.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


A man who works with his hands
lowers eyes.
Filthy palms and fingers!

He picks a bar of dirty soap,
vigorously rubbing hands and soap
into a stream of impure water,
freshens up his hands;
shakes them, dries them on
a grubby towel:
takes the biggest breath
he ever took to clean his heart

and now he offers hands and heart
as pure as he can make them.
Will you take them?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


King Andrew sits upon his camping chair,
gazes round a breakfast circle; cooking
on a campsite, frying sausages;
eggs are cracked and smells of coffee

snake along a breeze to rise and enter
into now. Everything is set for feasting
and a sunny time’s on hand;
morning’s up and a King surveys his land!

But wait - what is this quality called King?
Why do people rush to cook him breakfast?
Why do people serve a man, this elf?

At once a warm and gracious King
adores his people more than judges;
loves them for themselves.

Monday, 11 October 2010

God's Gift

It’s for me alone
when I step in the shower;
water hot and sharp.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

2 faces of love

I tossed a coin.
It landed face-up saying ‘Do it!’,
continued spinning like the sun.
I guess it would have turned
around forever if I hadn’t
grabbed it, stopped it,
tossed again.

It landed on ‘humility’,
flowed across the wooden
man-made table top
as if a gob of treacle,
sweet. I gathered up the syrup and
I tossed a coin.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Anger from the Downs'

You’re not well, daddy, brain is sick;
your big mind lays – will lay – to
waste all richness and delight.
I glance and gaze – and shall we touch?

You daren’t! I could call forth a tear,
a growl or little spit. In mind
you curl your fungus tongue and choke
me up in stuff. Strive to beat me.

Slow, alone, you’ll soon be bored. Kill
me off as odd or stranger, mongol,
retard. Miss the point, it’s Christmas
mate and I’m a greater gift;

a well-wrapped part of you that only
you can ever feel through me. A turn
into reality and beauty;
way before the snake – your fall.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hearts and Minds

To find true love and not deceit
is impossible through mind
because this brain’s a beat
my knowing heart - an enemy
twisting masks of tangled wire

but truly, love, reality
desires to come at you with fire
and burn our minds away
and up into another clarity.

Monday, 4 October 2010


Burnished gold
will catch you eyes
whether you’re bold
or sad or even wise
but still it’s cold.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Time’s illusion’s
a speculation.

A yellow rose,
vibrant, softened,
falls in Autumn;
petal dropping, leaf and stalk,
with hardly any echo.

If only I could know that echo;
catch it now as rose
or flower pattern,
cycle season,
losing form

and heading out – away
into the void.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Jesus' Christmas Message

Enough is enough;
you’ve been cooking too long for
my birthday party.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Stalking Flowers

Lilies stand like snowcapped mountains there,
rising green but, strangely, bigger at
the top; kind of inverted, growing fat
the more they stretch away into thin air

and now the flowers bend as if to bow
all heads and turn from green to silky white,
shining, reaching down in patient light;
mouths outreaching slowly, oh so slow

they suck towards the ground with milky shawls
turning slower than an eye can see;
aliens that need an insect’s hair,
cunning, deadly, stirring up a gene pool
into procreation, ruthlessly
blasting out a sweetness everywhere.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I reason, heading West
into a squinting sun

that cloud shapes, dappled
herringbone, will not be around

for more than minutes
before they fall or soar

and make their way back home
in hours or days by plummeting rain

along a stream and river,
freshwater clean,

until, salty as tears, in the sea
after three thousand years

they are blessed again with ascension,
I reason, heading West.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


No, I say, get off my turf,
my front door’s shut, bugger off.

Hello, I say and think – maybe -
blow a kiss, a smile for you.

Thanks, we say, winkety wink,
have a cuppa, share a drink.

Goodbye, you say, I had a blast
and walk towards a fire, the West.

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Waiting, it finds you
- wind on your face and hands -
usually cool,
on the move

(as breath
soothes your nose
below brainbox’s branches,
above all those words on your tongue)

roaring a bushfire, crackling twigs

from tree onto shimmering tree.

Friday, 24 September 2010



from London,
a juddering train,
silver rain, traveling shadows.

At my table I can see 3 empty seats
as if I have no mates, or smell like a beast
and now, spinning around, I perceive

your pull – but you are miles away
and I feel an ache. I long to
swing and quiver,
turn my heat
to you from
way down


Thursday, 23 September 2010


Because he speaks straightforwardly,
Andrew tells you what he wants;
like -food- or story -food- or music
and, coming at you,
punctuates and forces

danger in a clear decision
of choosing from your right and wrong.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Butterfly Collector

'I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I
want the experience of the butterfly' - William Stafford

Look, you’re sitting in pub
after a nice meal, belly full,
when music hits the juke box – Abba;
sitting in a pub.

Your son starts to dance
Elvis’s hip movements, jumps,
and then with windmill motion, butterfly,
your son starts to dance.

You sit and smile, like many
in this crowded restaurant, amazed at expression,
sitting and watching a dancing boy,
you sit and smile, like many.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Listening to a female

She said something, something was said here
but in what language? Nothing clear!
Nothing simple until, ages later,
saying little, I slowly get it, get it – get it?

Little by little. Like everything as far
as eyes can see – like everything illuminated by
a morning sunshine smiling on a perfect cove
when everything grows simple, after all.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Preening a poem

Nouns, verbs!
Time to sing,
escape your cage

and break away

like when a young bird, at evening,
floats up high, flaps and reaches
fully feathered, turns and looks to land.

Hold that instant

as the same but seeking,
rolling, now alighting
on a hand before you
rhyme or fall, beat
in time, lift and sing
and, once more, call and fly.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Make Hay

5 letters apart
the letter
- M
and letter

Making Language Keenly Jump Into Heart

With only 5
degrees of separation
changing the word
- mug
into the verb
- hug.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


The point of a mountain?
Not for sermon,
ascension, huff and puff,
carrying an old cross.

No - high, distant, clear;
attainable in tiny steps,
this mountain’s my dream,
that mountain is hope!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Andrew's secret move

A special movement
palm up, near the heart-space,
his arm draws out a big circle,
extending fingers,


keen to ensure
with fingers, palm, arm
that a circle includes
‘All of us. With all of us!’

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Feeling thirsty, I
decide to build a dam
today – because I hear
flowing water nearby,
slurping. It’s hot and hard
building up a wall,
brick on ancient brick

until I stand, gaze
at my new dam – my own
creation, standing
thick and strong,
old and new and long,
doing what it ought to
- keeping out the water.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Hugs escape a heartache left unsaid
because we twitter-on with tongue and mind
and stop a real ability to bless

but, when knees crumble, earth is there
and eyes can glitter – words – astride the wind
rattle into heart and mind along a twisting ear.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Incredibly enough
om mani padme hung
(famous Buddhist mantra)
only settles chaos

of loudly running, waving infants
on a shuddering train
North from Birmingham
for a flashing moment

and, though I have a seat;
settled, fully fed,
the many waving trees outside
travel backwards as if I’m stopped,

as if I know what’s happening
and, flirting with
om mani padme hung,
incredibly enough, I don’t.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


My son looks about heads in
a late night restaurant, sighs, knowing
he has to do it for us all again;

puts on a 3 cornered hat,
comes to his feet, extends both arms
and shouts in his loudest voice

‘Aaaaaaaargh! I be Jack Sparrow!’
so a wave of laughter rolls on breath,
like wind on the sea, on the sea,

like wind on the languid sea.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Autistic business

A friend of mine is a pencil
who stands in line at my word;
all my colours are willing
to join him because he’s hard.

This pencil’s friend is a crayon
who loiters near, wants to play,
and grabs, includes, a clicking pen
trying to roll away.

I call my pencils ‘colours’;
welcome them into the game;
my favourite gang is Blues, Blues,
all the same, the same.

Saturday, 4 September 2010


‘Stand on the floor’ he said
‘take a chance.
‘Don’t be a bore’ he said
‘sing, dance.’

‘Stand on the stage’ she said
‘Disco’s the rage,’ she said
‘dance, sing.’

‘Losing my zest.’ I said
‘No fandango.
‘Duets are best’ I said
‘takes two to tango.’

Thursday, 2 September 2010

One Word

Only let it form within our breath once more,
in this moment, waiting for a tiny urge
startling that moment when we form a bubble

and long before the winter rain begins to fall;
before our little sphere floats and spins,
traveling out beyond an open door

and we stand hanging like a stupid doll,
game over, missed the chance to win.
Only let it form within my breath once more.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Morning whimsy

Loud, I hear radio music,
scoff an old muffin cooked yesterday;
breakfast’s an early endeavor
fighting the dream-state I’m feeling.

Why get up early this morning?
5 am’s early for tigers
chasing a contract, the dollar,
seeking to, somehow, do business.

Milton, old seer, knew better
than to question the start of a morning.
Blind as a mole, he dictated
verse – on and on – like a gearbox
driven by forces inside him
singing his song every day.

Monday, 30 August 2010


According to Gurdjieff
(sufi dervish teacher)
inertia needs a third force;
a kind of shock or wobble.
Pushing any gyroscope
spins it into a new place,
(a mile or millimeter’s)
turn, from here, to there.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Mostly condemned
to hide behind masks,
brainbox’s webs,
inside the cupboard,
under the bed:

forgotten language
hermetically sealed
in green plastic bottles,
unfizzing and screwed,
too knackered for battle.

Long gone, the power
of fireworks and passion,
long out of fashion,
old ways of working
cry ‘Come on then, crack on!’

but when we explode
with a roar to the eyeball;
no longer a freakshow
of anger, or fearful,
but joyful, sweet, whole.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Impossible it is to describe
the morning waking of a Down’s boy
who waves an open palm
one centimeter from my nose,
smiles the best of the sun
and, with voice like honey, whispers

Love, it could be, yes
as If I know that word
as thing or feeling. No,
he voices out a tone
more from glory of this world:
another day of loving.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cashflow cafe

Slot machine flashing its lightbulbs,
beckoning come out and play,
feed me your money, I’m hungry,
give me your eyeballs today.

Suited, a man on a mobile
shouts, looking out into space,
‘cannot go on, time is money,
contracts are sliding away.’

Both, in a fluttering perception,
grab my attention – it’s free
and focus on money, a gamble,
look at me, listen to me.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Excited by your new
blue shoes, play as long
with them as you can;
sing to them,
leave no note
held inside unsung.

Let your blue shoe-song bubble
out of nothingness divine
in humility, each shoe
will make
something out of
nothing with an energy sublime.

Saturday, 14 August 2010


At the seaside
your son does bad
things one day
-like- hurting someone
a little violently
so you take a away
symbols of love
-like- eye contact,
smiles, talking
and he begins to sob
like a child
because he is a child
‘I’m scared’ he says
‘a little bit scared’
and then, only then,
do you begin
to sob with him
from a hurt inside
as deep as the sea
do you begin to know
what love may become
and what love is.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


I must admit
rain is tickling
our little tent
sounding like
a gigantic rain stick
(a thing man makes
to try to mimic
ancient sound)

somewhat like
the madness of
countless particles
my retina
to co-create
a clatter of
what I must admit.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Feet, how come
you handle all my
and prop me up?

Chaps, how about sponsoring
a little controlled experiment
to push the boundaries of thinking
on current biological knowledge?

Does anyone have a network
with a little spare cash, like, to grab
a few grand for Important Research.
Look there’s 10 of you for sponsorship.

Let’s get a publicity effort together,
Big lad at the end, off you go to market
and the rest of us can have a nice dinner
at home, roast beef, wee-wee, piggies,

then gladrags on - for the standing ovation.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Haiku are best

objectively penned;
but any human system
is bound for failure.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Paradise Lost 2

Satan's mind considered
with a tiny belly laugh;
although we are beloved,
perhaps we cannot love.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Man’s search for meaning

Cracking through a list of jobs;

remember cheese; what about cars

and timetables, emails, the phone?

And, smooth as summer, Yesterday’s

only one abstraction of experience

upwards, outwards, maybe making meaning

by a little brain’s outreach for sense.

To put a finger in a dyke of days,

without a mirror, how

Tomorrow turns and turns into Today, today.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Ode to Downs

Before birth, before your book opens,

I have you working out a story; to be traveling

without shadow, baggy trousered. I reckon

the plot will be discussed and, then alone,

you muster provisions; chubby fingers, thick neck,

bigger tongue, hooded eyes – oh - and a heart!

I hear from mystics it was like this.

Pounding of blood in the ear, in the brain,

(like the sea) as you set out, naked, clumsy,

across stony ground, surefooted,

with your oil lamp yet unlit, trudging,

knowing we need that light, a sacrifice

as if we'll have a better chance, wrongfooted.

Friday, 30 July 2010


Yesterday in hissing rain

I took a trailer full of junk


Today the crows are cawing loud;

hopping, flapping up the trees

for joy.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


I rest my head against the window

of a running train, using

my red raincoat as pillow;

half asleep, tapping laptop keys,

reading, surfing. Close, in the corner

of both smarting eyes I see

a blood red jacket blocking

out my view and, wondering,

why would you do that, you know,

hide from your own true reflection?

Sunday, 25 July 2010


In theory this is a fast train

heading for London. He hopes no one

speaks to him or asks for help.

Help’s a big-ask so early.

Sky gray and the table

in the carriage is a meter long, half

a meter wide. Other people sleep or yawn.

Could be he’ll write a poem or

clock a few emails. Maybe read a book.

He ought to read novels.

A mate’s

Dad is aged ninety six in hospital. Aunt Sheila

lived alone for forty years and now

lies dying in a bed in a Care Home. His son

drove his car fast in pissing rain for the first

time yesterday. Floating along are tenements,

trees and a sense of fear. A little madness and

denial of logic and reason. This train journeys

on South, arriving, maybe, sometime.

Friday, 23 July 2010


Although I can’t summon one,

I sometimes do notice

an Omen knocking

like a children’s choir in the distance,

a single leaf waving,

a small sense of danger

or the magnetic pull

of a group of teenagers laughing

raucously, unfettered by lock

and cage and consequence

but free.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Sometimes I cannot learn

any truth for a whole day

until a bird insists

with repetition from its tree

that I listen

and float in her sound far away;

until my heart dances

in clouds high and free

and slows. Then I can

release a little pain

and follow my heart. My fist

opens into to a palm. See

how real I am. No longer a trickster

- a butcher, baker, candlestick maker.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Paradise Lost

‘Why’ - ‘Because’

are he and she

in married bliss

like branch and tree.

‘Why’ gives a poke

to ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’

who put up smoke

‘here’, ‘there’

‘because’ runs in

from ‘near’ or ‘far’

jumps a fence

shouts “blah, blah, blah”:

“… and why does Goldilocks dream?”

“Why? Because of porridge!”

“… and why did Adam fall?”

“Because of knowledge!”

Sunday, 18 July 2010

I know that look

I know that look, yes, I know it

and - knowing it now - I take it everywhere;

everywhere and somewhere is home

to a quizzical look from you my darling

it’s a clear

gaze I copy whenever I want

to gaze out clearly blue on blue,

one eyebrow raising up at a slant

the other eye planting a question from you

but here’s a secret nobody knows

except you and me and a higher-up good

that such a good look is a look that grows

higher than heart or the sky or a bud

wondrously turning heart into heart.

I know that look, yes, yes I know it?

Friday, 16 July 2010


Ask a little one about crossing a bridge

(I mean the smallest Billy Goat Gruff),

knowing a Troll’s gonna cut up rough;

or Goldilocks - ask her all about porridge.

Riding Hood’s not afeard of a big bad wolf;

neither three pigs tiling a roof

and Jack pivots on a hero’s bones

when he burgles a Giant’s home.

Isn’t magic a form of belief

that there’s land beyond swirling water,

corporeal trust, any release

of the cladding of homestead, a totter

onto one stone - and hope for surprise:

that the next one, and the next one, will rise?

Thursday, 15 July 2010


We watch a little Shakespeare play;
so many words
quilled by hand into a story,
crazy and spoken and heard,

prancing and playing, mascara
running down cheeks
of an audience laughing and actors
speaking out in tongues that speak

and the ladies behind in their chatter
‘..he never! …is that what she said…?’
more important - the words that they natter
than from any old Bard - long dead.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Theme in Red

I stand out - by

spotting green plants with red,

darkening evening sun

into orange and brown and black.

I am called strawberry.

In high summer,

when light starts to cool,

people sit in little circles,

plop me into jugs of ice and Pimms,

talk and sing ‘til evening

when drunken ghosts come out

under rising moon.

I am blobs of tang

and sweetness,

a fibrous pool

seeking entry

into your stream of redness,


Sunday, 11 July 2010

Andrew laughing

Don’t be misled

- that laughter you hear

when he’s chortling out loud;

it’s not strictly true

- more like a starburst

of consciousness

squeezed through a tube

and forcing out through

a man-child, a youth,


the whole of your folly,

(your silliness too)

and his own little strangenesses,

wobbliness, awkwardness;

questioning outwardly

if you see it too?

Ultimately a funny

attempt only

at reconciliation:

and a heartrending judgment of you.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


The full force
of this moment
presses and flows
like a river banked
by certainty,
by ceremony.

“Cup of tea, love?”
ring of a phone

and to find facts
not posed?

Clashing clouds;
giggles and tears.
What more?

Friday, 9 July 2010

For Andrew

Among many things
thanks for showing
how exciting
a book of pictures
of moments
of memory
can be.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Dear Andrew,

I’d like to tell you
there are moments when
you turn out a voice-sound
like no other.
Almost Fagin in
whine but open like fresh air
and Oliver
with mocking tone
as if from a
higher consciousness.

Its quality of loving
squirms your brothers and
as for me, I stumble, blush.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Down’s boy moves on

“I have no debt to you,
so time to say ‘so long’;
did we have a dance, a game,
did I fill your heart with song?

“Transient, all is loving
and love’s intense, a zest
that opens up your garden gate
and walks towards the West.”

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Handshake

I reach with my fingers
as far as an arm’s length
out to my neighbour

who’s arm juts out
like a lever, a handshake,
onto mine with a squeeze.

Beyond him there’s vertical
plaster, magenta,
windowless, cold

and outside, birds twitter,
traffic va-vrooming,
Doppler rising.

I get that my neighbour
is friendly
or a vagabond,

maybe a vampire,
an alien
or devil.

Stuff - stuff and nonsense,
he’s human, with eyeballs;
away with my twaddle,
how far can we feel?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

When younger,

I killed a small fly,
ripped up a flower,
gobbed down my ale,
looked a twit in the eye,
had barneys with mates,
was unloving and loved,
got down-low when pissed,
spun around, had a laugh.

Then I fell into sleep,
kipped until dusk,
opened my right eye,
flickered the left

and thirty years later,
I stretched and sat up.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

When my son eats,

he allows himself
a secret moment
(like an angel might)
charmed by a taste
more intense than the smell
and stutter of bacon
or popping of eggs,
rush of the kettle,
by closing his eyes
and hunkering down
every thread of attention
into the taste, the taste,
the closing of wings
over passionate breakfast
on his razzamatazling

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A Fire

Don’t come into the house smelling of smoke
late at night when the pubs have closed
or after a barbeque flamed into heat.
No smoke! Don’t give me reason to ignite,
because smoky secrets catch you out
- caught on clothes, tucked into folds. On your thumb
I will see evidence; tan on your skin, a gently rising cloud,
a waving will of the wisp.

If you smell of smoke,
I know you want me gone,; you’ve found
some other red, transforming trick and it’s rude
to touch hot coals without alighting me.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


After rain
I slip in the mud,
crack my ribs.
Now, my ribs crack me
with little tears.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

An alarm clock making the world go round

someday will shock
a dreamy sleep

unless it’s wound
on down and springs

go slack - so slack
we say asleep.

a regular

turn and turn
of passing time

unwinds, unwinds
and stops.

Like suns and planets,
moons and stars

turn and orbit
sail and spin

with little
in between

to trigger
an alarm

until they start to slow, or crash:
until they stop.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


… no matter how
often I laugh out loud,
my rascal son’s liable
to glance sideways
and take off
from where I stop
making sure I’m within
his whimsical line of vision
and, in one glittering
sound, chortle out loud
with hand over mouth
his body shaking
a miraculous stream of
mirth into moments
of folly for him and for me….

Friday, 25 June 2010


Not sure, although
it’s up to me,
whether to hate
my enemy

but love’s a word
harder to rhyme
than hate and so
it takes more time.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Call Centre

Press 1 for new product
you’ll have to go get that
Press 2 for any product
I ain’t set mine up yet
Press 3 for insurance
can’t do that, don’t want it
Press 4 for reservations
get onto the ‘net mate
Press 5 for blue moon
it’s O2 now innit
Our website’s online
I don’t know the password
ring later - or what?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Curved ball

Rain is falling like
tennis balls lobbed in the sky;
Wimbledon started.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Band

I fell off my bike and cracked a rib that
catches me out, even as I tackle
teeth. In bed she grabs my heart,
nagging me to notice her - by stabbing,
forcing wakefulness; ‘health and safety,
stay alert, and how about
symmetrical?’ A shallow breath grips
every waking step - to keep my ribcage static.

What is a force that holds my chest so safely in
the shallow end? No strength from me can
override a partial breath! A power, strong containing
hand, holds my trunk within a band, for healing time.
I’m in a cage because a mother-force beyond my ken dictates
a gasp. Why? For greater purpose than we ever know.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Early Spring morning

It’s time to be up and calling;
not to break a glass, or chandelier,
or en-trance with a witty lyric
but to find a different way in the dark
- because, for now, for birds, that sun’s a spark.

Outside, open beaks dominate: although, sssshhhhh,
I can almost eavesdrop growing
grass like Walt Whitman - exultant!
Mighty flowers and foliage rattle
and, under leaves, the eggs of insects settle.

There! Shall we go underleaf
and wait as patiently as mother
for their battle-out of casement:
leaving giant birds to whistle, croak and shout
while we listen-in for pillars breaking out.

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Once upon a time, a miracle
waits. A man will drive his new coupé along,
hand-wave at yesterday’s gearstick,
taking a longer way home

when faith jumps onto the road
in the form of a vixen and fluffy cub.
He stops, stock-still in evening sun,
grinning as foxes parade.

Then - because he sees them - a miracle opens
a chamber from way-back; when
Mum left the house with her soft, wild
eyes. Tears for the name of a child

and this feel for his children is real, wet, deep
and his heart, an old hare, looks - and leaps.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Morning has broken

Today, fresh air
frees up a tweet of birds
from their shadows
on trees and roof and wire.
No cage but rain
and sun. My face turns
to unsolvable
puzzles - using brain
or a kiss
or small hands seemingly frail
and alive,
reaching, soaking, sunlit.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Selfish gene

By and large
my children seized
a certain 'form' from me

but what's in charge?

- A sideways grin,
a run that seems
like Mr. Bean
and freckly skin -

Me, their Dad
can hope these lads
grow branches, forge
beyond a stem
by (being them)
and large.

Monday, 14 June 2010

on a train,

the engine vibrates
its hammering pistons; rain
hits carriage windows.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lullaby for Andrew

Go to sleep my baby
close your little eyes
round your bed a hundred colours
point towards surprise.

Darling Andrew, smiling,
take a little rest,
before tomorrow’s reckoning
of chaos at its best.

Mess and muddle, mayhem,
a smile beyond the glum;
intensity, intensity,
sleep now, let it come….

Friday, 11 June 2010

With a cracked rib,

at midnight I begin to flow
East, around a sticky bed,
like an hour hand on a clock face
- incremental, low.

At 3 a.m. I, snail-slow,
crawl and push my head
towards a warmer Southern space;
quivering for its glow.

At 6 a.m. birds’ melodies
turn me, a mechanical fool,
Westward, now a climber,
and up the bed I creep.

At 9 a.m., colder seas
turn me in my pool;
I’m North now, a returner
confused, awake, asleep.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Home Coming

A face in the carriage window
looks back from somewhere else;
close and sudden, sober,
smiling back at itself;
never to see a face sleeping,
shocked by an open mouth.

Never truly deserted,
a mirror will try to tell
(or a face in a body of water
where rippling shadows dwell)
the face of a person remembered
from the far, far base of a well

and into a world projected
where left hand points to the right
and sunset forms a backdrop,
staying awake at night,
I’m speeding backwards towards you
from a dream into your light.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Time to drive this bus forward,
buy a ticket on board;
let’s fill every seat
and turn up the heat
until profits have soared.

Time to drive this bus faster,
who is following whom?
I’m graying, my beard’s
getting hairy, I’m scared,
so where shall we go?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Small Businessman

I’ve a need for a speed boat
and a house out of town;
my proposal’s complete,
can I have a receipt,
a card - and a loan?

Monday, 7 June 2010

In love,

I’m as rushed as a rabbit
with a blindspot because
an automatic door
won’t open before
it bangs on my nose.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Baby Cry

It burst out
like a rocket
despite my efforts
a roar full of hurt
Andrew thumps the table
‘Don’t do it!!’
murderous loud
and a baby, wailing
at a nearby table
shuts up.
We don’t have to search
for Andrew’s motive
- resonance –
when a nearby
hurting’s enough
to throw every energy
(all his inside sun)
out into stopping a cry.

Two minutes later,
Andrew lays his head
on my neck,
claps a man on the back,
pokes a chap in the ear,
chats to a waitress,
glances and waves:
world’s all happy again,
life’s a grin.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Human conundrum

I’m a ship in a bottle,
I’m a vessel, complete;
a skeleton sailing,
moving and hailing,
seeking a fleet.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Yes I’m way past
vital youth;
or all that early surge of bliss
- so what?!

Other stuff occurs;
good - and not so good -
(the mirrors in my eyeballs turn
to view the sad, bad TV news)

but now and then
I hear a thunder, wind or rain,
as if an ancient power rises
to connect;

like when a hare sits up in sunlight
lepping on the rolling, rolling earth.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

7 ages of man

first breath
final breath

Monday, 31 May 2010


All my hairs advise ‘it’s easy innit,
growing up and slowly changing color?’
never the same, although it does appear so.

Never the same in all their fine particulars;
length and shade or light and oil or texture,
sometimes slimy wet and often straw dry.

When they’re bright and shiny, new and silky,
everything seems easy when we’re younger:
pushing atoms ruthlessly away
and up, and on, and on and up to grey.

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Humility – it wants
to split open your head
and plant a seed
behind both eyes.

Humble – the plant
sprouting, because it could
find water, food
and bumble bees.

Friday, 28 May 2010

3.15 am:

ridiculous to contemplate
a bird twi-tweeting outside
or that half-lit hotel ceiling.
I need to sleep, I’m not lying
when I say I should be flat out.
Instead I’m writing a poem, unbidden,
trying to get into heart, any heart, my heart.

The sun rises in spite of everything
and fierce birdsong’s there, twittering bright.
I wait for harder sunlight,
knowing inevitable daybreak, another day flying,
reckoning a day is up and, lucky dip, it’ll be all right.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Andrew's Intensity

After all
you do need
to visit a Musical,
sing and clap and bounce,
leading a crowd in their approbation
of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang;
every fibre tuned into
the harmony
of it all.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Breath gives
in the chest
a lifelong zest
in every instant
a new breath test
first gift at birth
last gift of all
a breathing space
between the hush
a breathing spell
ushering out
ushering in
breathable now.

Monday, 24 May 2010


One day, when not myself, I might just split;
not so I could turn into someone else
but to evolve into a new myself.

No joke, no time for tiny giggling fits:
oh no, one day I might well have the balls
to make a stand and stand beside myself.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Care Home

I drink a glass of water,
pick up orange juice
and a box of jaffa cakes.
Resolved, I take breath
and walk towards that room where she lays
- my auntie, half asleep, with window
open and twisting fan, on slow.

I push open the door to see
her arm reach for invisibility,
lifting white skin and outside veins
up to her mouth with a clawlike hand;
mouthing a vacant biscuit,
toothless. Gazing up at the ceiling
she says ‘I went in a straight line’,
grasps the air-as-biscuit again - and eats.

A moment in suspension, calm, I sit.
She’s hungry. Now I feed her cake
and juice-from-a straw while she stares at a distant place;
describes animals, owls and
monkeys, parrots, lions on the prowl,
indifferent to my blind looking
and, as the sweetness falls, she closes eyes,
adores the chocolate biscuit sinking down.
Frail as a white stick, she still
can feel
its love.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


It’s a night-time discovery
after a day fetching and grabbing
I turn in and lie - a body
un-prepossessed, an animal.

Amongst it all, daytime’s a stomp
picking flowers from meadows
and plastic bags from ditches.

At night I lay more still
(mechanical machinery stops)
and let-go, start to know
the slow art of no-doing and, so it seems, to dream.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I found a bucket

spilled it into the river

before I filled it.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It’s important to warm the teapot

so at least it knows what it’s in for

and, one among many,

a leaflet of tea

travels an arc, worldly,

bounces and bobs in, hopefully,

the sound of boiling water, adding a smidgen,

diffusing its flavour

into the water, refreshing the mouth of a human

like Love.

Monday, 17 May 2010


After a bonfire,

strong weeds rise; ousted shortly

by more subtle growth.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

How to preserve a poet

Let’s wrap TS Eliot in fog,

hear William Shakespeare speak out from the Globe,

focus on Wordsworth yomping the fells,

appreciate Dickinson’s bonnet.

Set Blake in a jungle, Rosetti a market,

put Yates in a tower, Frost in a field

Keats in a bedroom, give Byron a bottle,

and Rumi, yes Rumi, ah Rumi!

Rumi in the sky - with diamonds.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Do I ever think that words will last forever?

- Pass us another can it’s time to gargle

Or that a word, even Shakespeare’s words,

- Bloody Hell I had to pay excess on my ticket

will ever survive more than a few thousand years

- Who dropped that one, not me, it’s a corker

on paper, analogue, digital, a spoken human voice

- Don’t tell me to be quiet mate, you listen to me

because they’re temporal, of their time, flying, lost

- Just for t’pleasure I tell ya, talk to me, I’m sorry

like satellites heading to oblivion, a rocket zooming

- I’ve been out in five wars, matey, Afghanistan,

which seem important at the time, at their time of launch,

- Bloody idiot, there’s no need for that, pass me another, alright mate

and never decay but fly intact, soon buzzing far, far away.

- Psst, arhhh, slurp, gurgle, let’s ha another, I’m smashed, zzzzzzz.

You bet I do.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

To mingle with the universe and feel (Byron)

All that I can ever do

is feel, believe and speak and move.

Although I do believe

I can perceive, I do perceive

what I believe - and then I speak and do

what I believe is true!

All that I can ever do

is feel and hold beliefs; although belief’s

a crowd of ancient nutters waving flags called ‘influence’.

So, maybe after all, what’s only possible for me

to Be

is Real:

to Feel.