Saturday, 6 February 2010


At a restaurant door we discovered four geese,

white and cocked against intruders in their darkness,

hissing, reaching necks like rubber bands, hard beaks.

Scared, we sensed they were more fierce than us;

like they knew ‘it matters brother, why not show an interest?’

Diners watched us - faltering - would we pass?

OK, I felt afraid - edging bricks towards a latch

when gander, tense, advanced and looped his bullet head

within an inch, into my crotch. I felt a sense

of a need to kick, instigate my violence

against those coal tar eyes and hissing sway.

But I held off and gander kind-of-sighed and backed away.

Now I regret that surge of heat, of fear, distrust, alarm,

when diners clapped and sussing meant so much, so much, to him.

Friday, 5 February 2010


I wish a train would come - it’s cold concrete

and a spiky morning hedge turning black to green

in winter light. Where is our bloody train?

We need to move away, transmute this muted scene!

But everything is flat in early dawn

and cold - so people hop and stamp (not in a pirouette)

because, loose or stiff, we dance like kids

who haven’t learnt their choreography yet.

Although this train is 3 then 5 then 10 minutes late

there are people, one or two,

who carry green-blue lamps behind their lids

knowing, if they look, a train will come;

that light comes shining through.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Firebird awe

Sounds vibrate from far, far human voices

and distant visions poke through foggy glasses,

or felt in a belly by personal choices

- what to quaff ?- lemonade or lies or beer,

all nascent and frothy. As time passes,

less and less I taste and smell whatever’s near.

But before I choose to swallow

distant sound, I also can prefer to speak:

creating a truth or lie that others maybe follow

as a will o’ the wisp - a single word

fluting away to bleak,

gigantic air – a feathery flight, or firebird.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


In my wallet an image

walks with me – my treasure

is a photograph of sons

that winks when I open up to choose

provisions - when I use

a chocolate or fruit shop for pleasure;

to fill up my centre.

Mostly my little centre’s empty

and somehow, vacant, sad.

A place where photos (but very few)

and maybe you

could enter.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Winter 2010

Snow and ice - what will you do?

In biting frost even birds are mute

and all you have are boots - and you.

I’ll stay inside a little tower

block up all holes, with no way in

conserve my heat, protect my power.

What if the tower shakes and falls

in a grip of ice, a crazy squeeze;

what would you do with yourself at all?

I ‘d choose to walk about in the dark,

and play around, lean on my stick;

I’d throw a ball, I’d have a lark.

And what if trees and sky cave in,

freezing bark and breaking sticks.

How to survive your lovely skin?

I’d amble on where I belong

in step - and steps would have no end:

I will go on where I belong;

I’ll hold a hand, I’ll find a friend.