Saturday, 31 December 2011

Andrew Spice

When he dances
in a turn, a jump,
a killer smile,
he has a plan
more cunning than
a Broadway star,
more ancient than
a Stratford Bard.

Whatever they’re thinking
he’ll make them feel
more human, more real,
from the depth of a wellspring

 ‘Remember. Remember; yeah, yeah!
They will remember me!’

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


goes back to the wife and kids,
drives through amber on the way;
ready for his running club,
then a final drop of lids;
snoring like a dozy bear,
snorting like a horse in hay.

One day he’ll come back home and blub,
- wail - as every baby can:

missing sunrise, waving corn,
huddles, eyeballs, nothing more.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Granddads and grandkids,
bald heads and roundheads,
teenage cavaliers
snorting at the prospect.

Grandmas with twinsets,
princesses with crowns on,
teenage femme fatales
sneering at the scene.

Open featured actors,
passion of the children
clean our dirty heartstrings

and fledgling troubadours
cheer with all the action,
clap until they’re sore.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

This train will stop at

seat or sofa, stop in bed,
stop for coffee, beer and bread,
stop at nothing, stop my head,
stop that nonsense, stop the blood,
stop the bottle, stop the spread,
stop the car, stop sign ahead,
stop all the clocks – my stopwatch said –
stoptap, stop light, stop off. Stop.
Stopcock’s stopped. Step off. I’m dead.

Sunday, 18 December 2011


On a train to London
he goes a-hunting
between coffee cups,
iphones, apps.
Outside, backwards, fly
- green fields – blue sky.

He’ll need a large pool of luck,
all his courage,
to look out - into
longing for eyes in the glass of a window,
hoping to catch a truth.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Vincent, are you pretty matey?
Vincent are you beautiful?
Passionate as any pirate,
mad and wonderful?

How can throats not sadden
to think of how you showed
standing at an easel, dancing,
heart as pure as newly melting snow.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

In the East,

one green blade of grass
far beyond the horizon
catches morning light.

Friday, 9 December 2011


Over multiple years
of separated poles – alone –
the sun has melted Arctic ice,
Antarctic crackled stone.

But, tonight, when you stood there
using only quiet breath
to sing ‘I wanna be like you oo oo!’
a white bird flew out from the warmth

of dancing turns,
Elvis hips,
burning eyes,
waving hands;

circled on the verge
of waking sleep
and drilled a crevice in my heart
that only children reach.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Robert Frost wins at Scrabble

 I walked along a farmyard wall and saw
a face that I had seen a place before
- as gnarled and wise as any harbinger
but when I turned and walked another way

his face had changed into a howling wolf
that forced me, pinned me, savaged me with love;
conditioned to the wordless bard I am
- the final piece – which letter to put down?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

At dinner, after the world burst into flame,

pans bubble,
onions hiss,
all herbs and spices
have entered our mix
and the fire of a stew
will ladle and soon
be about us, surround us,
beyond us, within us;

warm as a life
that survives its explosion,
we’ll share what is here,
(never thirst for what’s not)

and shout out ‘Thank God’
that the garbage has gone.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Scientists can prove
that fire is in the earth
except that - when I light a fire
it crackles up, transforms,
consumes the outer flesh

but earth-fire’s an invisible
inner craze that pulses
out volcano pores,
earthquake eyes,
tsunami tears.

And burning sun?
- a mirror - way - out there - that lights
our earth in warmth
and sweeter fruit.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Ishq Allah

On Sunday morning all drops quiet:
sun turns up and rain ‘pit-pats’ to a stop.
Among such calm - silence lands
hard enough to feel another day.
Outside, gardens light, flags drop.

Autumn time is harvest time;
fruit and flowers, muddy roots
but I can move – my hand wags -
every finger independent,
coupled - separated - whole.

Now a thirst of longing - to be ‘Me’
and a deeper aching - to connect
(like rosy-cheeks of any early true love)
sweet and hurting, stirring up to climb
into my body, out, and find the fire.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer,
daylight’s getting shorter;
over my left shoulder
light is turning colder.

Will it turn me inward
shut away from contact,
will it leap to Fall,
will it spiral downward?

Will a stranger call me
outward into friendship
or simply turn out needy
sharing all his hardships?

Will he turn out pesky
needing my attention
when clearly my intention’s
to head off into Winter?

Will his name be Peter
asking for the answers
to the harder questions,
will his name be Thomas?

Shall I be like Samson
knocking down a temple
or crawl into my snow-hole
and pray for further sunshine,

tweet of birds home early
and drip, drip, drip of ice-melt
when Spring is in the garden
and I can stretch my bones out?

Or will I freeze by balls off
and Death arrive to take me
and will I finally get that
only Love sustains me?

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I found a door
locked tight;
another door
tightly locked.

Behind a corner
- there – a door,
a corridor
and then – a door.

Mummy – give me keys!
Daddy – help me!
I’m terrified at staying put
(locked inside a boring zoo)

but when a keeper lifts the latch,
I’m scared of bounding through.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Double Word

Writing a poem’s
like playing Scrabble; letters
have shape and value.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


If I had everything,
I’d want nothing.
If I had nothing,
I’d long for everything.

Everything, nothing
and nothing to everything:
a dot in a circle
and a sphere into a dot:

maybe nothing
fancies everything
so (under the covers)
they love each other
- spirit and form –
and then something is born.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Wordling Andrew

A funny word flies out before
they laugh – and springs towards the sun.
Let them chase it through a door,
pant and run.

Chortling, away it bounds,
giggles as it leaps along,
ringing like a bell, it sounds
a tinkling song.

Hightail as it flies away,
belly laugh – before they weep;
working magic through the day
and then we sleep.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Breathe in, contract.
Breathe out, lungs.
Breathe in, heart.
Breathe out, expand.

Hold in, contract.
Speak out, expand.
Hold on, contract.
Let go, expand:
breathe in,
breathe out,
in and out;

Monday, 7 November 2011

Scrabble and Poetry

 Scrutinizing letters at a board,
can I find a pattern for the most
letters, words and spaces in a twist:
pen inside my mouth to stop the world?

But no - no no, my consonants and vowels
confabulate a shuffled sanity,
click and land, enough, imperfectly:
when nuts are out – stop hammering the shell.

Friday, 4 November 2011


move constantly
     have connecting chambers
         crucially are small, concentrated
            laugh or cry at folly of mind games
             link to others – work with eyes, loosely
               hot or cold, cool or warm – drive the vehicle
              feel for destiny inside blackness unknowable
             often become forgotten by humdrum separation
       in a crisis, discover a truth  formerly unbeknown
             small – expand; larger – contract: constantly
               leap when touched – like a jiminy cricket
             work – stretch and pull, pull then stretch
            despite the stretch, hardly ever snap
         open to include; close to exclude
     serve a greater goodness
ultimately sacrifice.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bring it on

Today I put
pistachio nuts around
an anthill entrance
to see if little characters
- each the same – could still get in;
work together, sort it out

but, first, they dragged the furthest
shells into their mix;
flicking and yanking,
making their tiny context,
more abundant,
more challenging;
more interesting.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Combiing the Shadows

A man I had not met
told a story about leaving
England for life
on a sweet Greek island.

Like many tales
it was glances to ground,
an occasional lull
and breath;

reflected shadowy trees,
gaps between leaves,
sentences unfinished,
words unsaid,
letters, spaces,

Saturday, 29 October 2011


A dusty track,
a cricket leaps.
As I approach,
she leaps again.

Slowly, I step up to
stalk the little jumper,
hoping for surprise.
She stands cool as rock

until, with a blur
of high air,
her gossamer,
she floats and weaves away
into a spectacular destiny.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


At the top of my favourite
Lakeland mountain
I catch the sea
glinting distant – flat and grey.

Peering from
the summit cairn
a far skein of steel
glints, communicating.

Of course, it’s nuts
to think the sea could really

although, when close,
it never stops talking,
waving and rushing,

supporting and killing;
impeccable, unrelenting
salt. Different from sand,

electricity or breath:
impossible to own,
upping the ante

- like love.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Feral café

A kitten,
neat as a razor,
leaps on my lap and purrs
like a Harley;
curls fast asleep
with its nose in the folds,
trusting its time to relax.

Next night, we buy the vibrating furball
dinner for our trouble.
Sweet as a swordfish.
You monkey!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Greek Island

Pop music, sunset,
swallows arc at mosquitoes,
boats, clouds and sea rocks.

Friday, 21 October 2011


Hey kid let mi tell ya mi story;
a story – well – a grandfather story
of how I ran out to the front;
out and back with the ammo mi son.

Hey granddad, ya can join in today!
Let me tell ya about ma new game
- A creed of Assassins – bang, bang:
you’ll never complete it, old man.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Midnight restaurant

Black night – black sea
and a dozen people stare out
onto one canvas,
not knowing where they look
- sea and sky their blackboard

to scribble on - from inner blankness
(of not knowing)
until air and water
turn them back
from here
to there.

Monday, 17 October 2011

New mirror

One day, in Greece,
sitting between a catholic church and
a cherubim waitress
pulled down
a see-through Perspex screen
to keep the breeze at bay

and one man, with grey beard
and silver in his ear,
looked through and back
at me
like an old pirate
wearing my new hat.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Beatles

What can I say?
What can I do?
Swirling the maelstrom
of an inside-out pop song.
What should I think?

What do I feel?

Love, lurv, luv!
Switch on the amp,
no place to hide,
speakers thump, thump;
I’m satisfied.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

North Star

North star
takes a ship home,
like a word
steers a mob
toward sense.
But stop!

cartels are bad
in a modern economy
and spies are searching
for any uprising.

Best to read the labels;
believe in headlines,
sell-by dates

until you open a door,
break into the courtyard

of your own little starlight reality.

Monday, 10 October 2011


We play the card game UNO
with Andrew:
UNO meaning ‘one’;
a card alone – the ‘last one’

but he has never voiced that word
out loud
saying UNOS – meaning ‘we’
from his first game

and, if like him, you rely on mates
to get you through today
(as you do)
wouldn’t you?

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Outside a church, one
kitten with a blinded eye
spits on its paw, rubs.

Friday, 7 October 2011


Look, sometimes it sings
and sometimes moans.
It write itself through
effort and splurge
from healing dreams.

Sleeping allows dreaming
and sometimes, but sometimes,
we catch a dream in rhythm
- not making it necessary –
but crackling and interesting

because it’s truly sad
to meet people walking
vacantly through an empty
wilderness – sighing,
reminding of ourselves

and, in all the words, one
authentic line might catch
a heart in ways not
logical or thought through.
When it works, that’s the work:

like, one letter could momentarily
turn this world to another
fractionally more unstable
but nascent and waving.
Please come along, it’s your time.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Good morning sir, how are you?
Put your baggage on the conveyor
- let’s see what shows up on my camera;
the load you’re taking through.

Oh yes it stormed last night
- chickens came home early to roost;
hang on there a mo sir, no rush
to alight. Only angels take our flight.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Gratify me instantly,
I might – or might not – pay:

joy is on my shopping list,
no anger, sadness, fear.

Grin and grin as minutes, hours,
turn to shadow years;

tomorrow now, tomorrow for
- lopsided smiles – and tears.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Words fail

Can you speak of leaves,
explain the wind
or one man’s shirt
and woman’s nightie
hanging on a single line?
Scuttering clouds,
lilies in ponds;
fallen cars
in a river or ditch?

What permission
came from Buddha,
transparent angel
or swinging cross
for you to know
the meaning of such

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Old Age

At the Care Home fete,
a set of wooden stocks with
coloured flags waving.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Big Top

Green - ten meters tall;
a Big Top inflates with breath
filling sacred space.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


A book’s a book,
where angels
tiptoe in between
twenty six letters
(already corrected)
laughing aloud at fixation.

After all the indignity
of editing by editors,
an inject squirts
a story out of no thing

and angels from a soulful place
dance – here and there – out among
the twenty six, flowing a
Technicolor  dream.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


He does this thing, Andrew,
- statistically different from me and you.
Shouting! Not to make you jump
- but simply for exuberance.

He looks you in the eye, expressing
excitement for any flash
of theatre, a piece of toast, a ray of sun.

Like, always it’s a Xmas or birth day
present moment
and, every time, a bead
of juice leaps from his heart
- into yours.

But only if you’re thirsty
and ready to catch.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Today every habit will be cured,
every cliché – cut – to the quick.

Getting dressed,
I put my foot down,

pull my socks up;
put the boot in.

Wide awake a while,
I feed my folly, smile.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Being a Child

Darker, father, faster:
later pater? parcels now are
sweeter (beater) better now
than happy ever after:

softer, laughter longer,
more, not sore and soothing.
Louder, proud and precious;
fuller – dull – disaster:

error, mother, moths fly
to light and flitter frisky,
out of winter’s weather
onto moon of me, now.