Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dr. Jekyll and Hyde’s Eulogy

He shoehorned his kids to indifferent careers.
He spooned little words into lady luck’s ears.

He fettled his tax return, filling a form,
and wetted the parched through the eye of a storm.

He lashed up a story to tell to the Boss.
He lavished a drink on that man on the Cross.

He braided the hair of his daughters and sons,
cried ‘Havoc’ in paradise, pulling a gun.

He swindled his brothers from plenty of cash
but sensed that salvation was not by the lash.

Utopia called him and, turning away,
he painted his life just a pixel a day
and threw fire and brimstone to get his own way.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Old men should be explorers (Eliot)

Look up, look up, the sun is out;
an Autumn morning lightens.
The duvet’s warm a pillow soft
but birds are busy - piping.

Who cares how come a new sun burns;
sick of lectures, sick of dreams
I put two feet in humble shoes
and leave you to your sleep.
Across a moor,
giggling stream,
a lifting fell,
one step more,
listen, breathe,
time - our ticking time - will tell.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Anti-Misogynistic Misogynist

Women are the weaker sex
so don’t try to convince me
it’s part of a man’s job to listen
because, when you take a good look,
women talk too much
men are more intelligent
Also, it’s a falsehood to claim that
men and women are creative together
meaning that
both sexes are equal - with lots to offer each other
but it’s actually down to a simple truth:
men are stronger
and that
can only create an illusion of having more power than
Big Men
it’s impossible for the two sexes to cooperate
and you’ll never convince me that
Men and Women are equal.


Sunday, 28 June 2015


To sing
is such a little thing;
to shine
- across a spur of time.
And when I choose to shine and sing and laugh
I weave and warp a tapestry. Called life.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


our valleys jump from heather
and run their tiny way
apart - and then together
- towards the sand and spray.

hitting rocks,
catching brooks.

The roaring sea
calls ‘be victorious
in your glorious
dancing path to me.’

Monday, 13 April 2015


Be back in Spring 1915 and head for the Dalesman in Sedbergh, North Yorkshire - nestling under green butresses. Drink 4 pints of  foaming bitter ale and munch on some old bread before setting off up a track into the ever-crouching, trackless Howgill mountains. All snow has gone. It’s a balmy evening, still as boulders, and, although you’re traveling light, that rucsac is heavy and beer sweats out of pores like the chuckling white stream crossing from your left. It gets dark; air cools and moistens. A wind rises so you climb into a bag, using your jumper as a pillow. A few hours later, smell sweet wet grass and see apparent green spears in front of your pointing nose. Pebbles shine and a spider wanders across a real-world near your face.  Stretch palms - there are many heavy steps to go before opening  time.
          Resurrect yourself again or, heaven help you, they’ll be right on your trail.

Sunday, 29 March 2015


So my shoulder aches (the left one)
- it pokes incessantly  and a sleepyhead
stays 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.