Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Anonymous on the Omnibus?


Personalities chewed in sideward glances,
recognised on stops along the route.
Snatches of conversations " ... a good funeral".
Damp shakes on a wet day,
or patting down a windy day,
all smiles in the sunshine.
Cigarette smells, cooking smells,
high perfume and the unwashed hoi polloi.
Steamed up windows wiped with sleeves,
or bracingly opened to be closed by frailty.
There's no pleasing everyone. 

Move right along now please!

Up and down the bus the seats preferred,
and conversation shared on journeys of the mind.
Sitting back above an infinite range of hair,
and hats and colours and decorum,
the timetabled world goes by.
Happy drivers and grumpy drivers,
noisy kids and kind.
Bells the stages of life, and woes
and so it goes down all the roads
and routes and destinations infatuated
by the bus pass to heaven
for all aboard the skylark.
"Hello dear, how are you today?"
"Not so bad love".


Monday, 22 May 2017

A Cake Stand of Nostalgia


The aroma of a cigar, platted on the breeze,
rolled on the harvest of a sun's tropical thigh.
Regal, asleep upon the eyelids of summer,
or stirring the azure pipe smoke folks in lore.

Inkwell Welsh hats inverted, dripping, and shinning black,
spluttering on desks by the crossed-nib wooden pens,
blotted Dalmatian upon a snowfield's inkblot story,
or sucked in a daydream that fast tattoos the spittoon.

Guitars slow sundown on a beach of boy / girl eyes
adrift on horizons dressed with cheese moon ribbons,
to wrap a perfect day of angst and hope,
of young love misty for everyone, everywhere.

Fishing on a jetty of moorhen creaks and coughs,
watching the float hypnotise the reeds into a
synchronised paddy-field of coarse fish hides.
A lunch of great reedmace fluff on this perfect day.

The caves of childhood bifurcating the days,
along the secret tunnels of mischief,
exploding into caverns of gleaming loadstones,
erupting into laughter, hell bent on tumbling down.

Childhood homeward plods with a sun kissed neck,
and God grassed knees from the prayer of play.
With but one thought and that of dinner,
for it was a long adventure down the day.
Of fingertip butterflies and elusive nests,
stag-horn beetles and newts supreme.
Onward, onward, the next corner turned,
until dinner calls, and dreams abed,
floating to the stars.

Dad's hand strolling along the whistle of a day
swinging to the discovery of the essence of it all.
He knows, and he will tell you what he knows,
as the day unfolds in a rich inheritance.

The compartment train clacking to the tracks.
The window steamed open in tunnel gasps
and smutty jokes from the engine around the bend.
Six minds in conversation build their day.

A majesty of Grandpa in grandchildren eyes
knowing there is grander scheme of things.
That you are a link in the golden chain,
a nostalgia for their future in your past.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Oil Change


The sat nav of the Gadarene swine 
is pouring over the oil wells,
one last fracking fix.
The metronome of extinction
is ticking off the species
in a migraine of shanty proclamations.
The departure board can
delay our departure no longer.
Go to the gate at the end of time - now!
Obesity has supersaturated 
the graves of wait and see,
but we can no longer digitise 
the juggernaut.

The cadaver of Gaia is fasciculating
in the morgue of sepulchral space,
so dread and dark, and infinitely cold.
Dancing in close at the witching hour
we are lost in each other's embrace,
all-consumed in the last tears of regret,
at laying the stuff of evolution on the pyre 
of no return - ever! Never ever!
For there will be no one to remember 
the polluted extermination of mankind,
to deny the quicksand, even as the 
tar sands choke in every orifice,
or refuge from the truth just out of mind.
Mindless in an hypnotic eternal sleep.

The tank track grinds forward,
crushing all in its path,
and as the tracks derail
we tumble into the abyss.
We have blown it all away,
every last thistle of the mind.
When the last phone stops ringing
we know there will never be an answer.
There will be no lastpost played
at the going down of the sun
or on the morning of our demise.

So burn forever, hell-bent in your
don't care, don't care! 
Lucifer has won.
But you will care. Smouldering.
For as you sup your one oil for the road,
that demon spirit in the Gaderene swine 
will drive you into the abyss.
When the very last life form dies,
so will the history of everything,
gone forever at the end of days.
In this one world that is.

So that's it - Isn't it?

Thursday, 18 May 2017



Dot's it all about? Susie.
(dedicated to my muses)

It's not about personality,
although that's the human way.
It's hard to say, but it's about policy.
Choices for tomorrow, made by you today.

Historic is not a histrionic,
this is a pivotal time.
In a mousetrap world neurotic,
your cross upon the line

is needed for tomorrow's world.
For your kith and kin and mine,
are reliant on your flag unfurled,
your place within the line,

will make or break this nation.
You HAVE TO decide - it's time!
To stand up and be counted,
to experience the elation
that it was your vote, and mine
that decided, not discounted,
but contributed to democracy,
our voice, the history of our time.

So, read the manifestos,
and decide to make it happen,
to place your cross upon the line,
and vote it into being.

That is Dot's it all about. Susie.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A Child's Chapel Hall


The boy’s steps on God's black stairs, muffled in dust on the must of the communion wine, and mindful of all His (or Her's or Ms's) reputed forgiveness. The boy's own dark mystery an irresistible magnetism pulling legs step by step to open that long-unopened cupboard, to discover the crockery of parties past that were set on trestle tables and white paper clothes, with ham sandwiches in ivory white bread, piled with red pop bubbles and sticky bun fingers. Bun feasts that have long turned to fasts in the vastness of time run out of short trousers. Another door, as slim as a pencil box, opened into the back of the organ! More wind in the boy’s gasps than many a hymn to high heaven in those sentry cobwebbed pipes. Frozen in those pipes and tubes were many a retreat voluntary, while the congregation-facing silver pipes, with their black gapped teeth over pouting lips, sang in shivers. The next few steps into the unknown we knew and recognised as the upper circle of the chapel, asleep in the deep dark with not a sound.

Black as hell it was, as the boys clung to the riddle of the Holy Ghost's benevolence however malevolent a naughty boy's cunning plan. Now is the time. Over the balcony onto the polished ledge and down the north face to the pulpit of Olympus. Spread eagled, a cruciform star he was, in the dark matter of this astral enormity, with the chapel clock opposite tutt-tutting disapproval. When suddenly! The light of heaven split the night into a singularity of time, and the voice of God pointing said "What the hell are you doing?". I swear he swore even though I was levitated in nail-splitting suspension above the pews of phews. But it was the deacon who had spoken - thank God it was not God, for we knew the deacon was a parsimonious chapel mouse in a moth-balled suit and platitudes of love in circumlocution. But the adventure had been ruptured. The board's we trod sadly back with plodding heads, down into the light of the moaning church hall under the radiant bricks of gas fires hanging high upon the walls and pulled by the rusty chains, clanking of sufficiency. Boys will be boys, but these boys were parsimoniously down-trodden by the girls ignoring their ignominy; and then Band of Hope spoke. Onward Christian so_o_oldiers / Marching as to warrrr …

Later, stealing down the toilet stairs, as dark as pee stains, into bowels of the chapel, on another escapade resplendent in conspiratorial smirk. Past the toilets, the chancel door condescended to open, as the light switch quietly spilled across the purple velvet tablecloth of the high priest's bible classes that whet the sisterhood's knickers or pulled down their tears upon their rugged cross-laddered skin-flaked stockings. Peddling the foot pump organ's bronchitic phlegm, the toe-curling sound caused a "hush, hush!", and the carafe of communion wine winked in the night-light, as “Let’s go” won the day, and the exit door led back into the chapel. Or on an aside turned into an anteroom, sky-bared against entry by miscreants, but a room with nothing worth stealing, as we stole back into the hall being packed up for home.

Under the outside light of the damp grey sky of sadness that clings to every chapel wall of the valley of the shadow of dearth of fun. Bandorfhope what did it mean? We ask as we play the week away until the evening of the next meeting. The chapel scratches down to sleep in all the rooms of this dusty mansion of God.

Suffer the naughty children to come unto me - tried and tested to destruction upon the thin ice of childhood.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Good Morning?

Stroking the cold thigh of morning
as it culls the curtains of dawn.
Wide-eyed the window stares back
as we shudder upon reentry.

Re-pegging the tent of a dream
flapping in the reverse twilight.
The magic carpet has morphed
into a threadbare day.

Sitting on the edge of the abyss
between sleep and awake,
rocking in undulating understanding 
that fibrillates in slippers unsure.

Awake-walking in a pallor that
smacks in the silvered mirror. 
Cantilevered, the plum bob night
balances the ingot sun.

Eyes holding mirrored eyes,
the train of thought speeds around 
the camber of dawn, to finally 
annihilate the plasma of sleep.

The stairs, in a sludge of gravity,
treacle down, as the banisters rise to
the launchpad of every night's journey,
now refuelling, steaming sinister and cold.

The serial cereal is brimming over
with the milk of human kindness,
when the radio says "terrible news"
and the bubble bursts.

Lanced, the matter of fact flows,
until the pus, desiccated on the day,
burns in eyes awash, and drooping,
back into the silk red coffin of sleep.

Nice review of my book of 100 poems

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Good Boys


As the candle of his mind slowly melted,
the truth shone in sangfroid.

Alone in the nursing home's crowded noise,
an armchair appendage, just sitting and sitting.

His bemused eyes radar-scanning in waves
that cancelled in resignation upon his face.

The sieve of his recent memory, irritatingly infirm,
pill-rolling the fossilised rosary of the past.

Hello Pop. Huh, replies the smile communing
longingly for the bonds of a lifetime.

Conversational blah, blah, blah, jousting
with eyes intent on platting two worlds.

Asking over and over where are the boys
now that they have grown worldwide.

When our pride replies,
his pride replies,

"good boys, good boys"
and we all agree.

Good boys, indeed they are.

We leave him scanning the scene,

before he submerges below the storm,
asleep in the deep again.

Goodbyes, goodbyes.
How they ache, bleary in salt.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Dream Upon a Village Childhood


A patina of grime on the vanes of mind,
yawing with the wind of villagers out of sight,
shaded and turned around corners of the past.
Whispered the siren call, come find
the invisible ghosts crying in the night,
of that bloody last-supper howl,


   do I return somnambulant?
My skeletal being leaping from the top,
of the top, of a day way back,
when the blood oozed perambulant,
annealing in the fire of a sunset crop,
or a diamond-dusted coal sack,


   in the emptiness of a whiplash sear,
as I turn to say to ... to ...
But they were here! They are here! Hiding
in the eye of the seldom seer.
Sapped heroic as the tricycle boys who,
spitting on their bleeding knees, go sliding


   forever flashing in their bejeweled tears,
shrieking in the devil may care
of a shimmering summer’s day.
It was as if a galaxy of light years
had rimed our bumper-boots where
running wild sent the marsh marigold spray


  back onto the window seat's last bus,
where beside every mother's warm hand
the night flows by, and all the imagined
boy's own darkest thoughts, must
press heavy on the eyelids of time's grand
design, to sleep down upon the marriage


   a child's glad confident morning,
golden on the haywains,
and the vertiginous edge teetering,
at the crumbling of the days.

May this poem be my pillow,
as I lay down my final dream.

Friday, 5 May 2017


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Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Word Is


Down in a burrow of words,
wrapped in a nest of lines,
I curl naked and shorn of worry,
mufflered in down hibernation,
and meandering cosy of mind.
Way down below the tumult,
away from the dust to dust,
where the (specious?) end of our species,
has them running and chanting

Down below the lexicon dessert,
polishing my harvest store of words,
I quilt snuggle them all around me,
in a coloured antithesis of guilt.
Tucking stray fibres back in place
and unknotting quite a few.
Safe within my thoughts in thoughts,
I will never leave this pew.

When all the world is ended,
<recite the ways to the end of days>
I will leave behind this midden,
unbidden and hidden,
a hermitage of words.
Cultured in the rise and fall
of a civilisation doomed to die.
As they all eventually do.

So, as elderly fingers demented,
unpick my fibre of verse,
readily, steadily, defenestrating
all the golden tapestry words,
I will dream on upon the halcyon rhymes
from better times, when
words could enrapture the world.
Relegated to the underworld,
where thoughts unfurled are
nibbled from the nest of me.
At the end of these shredded times,
can you think of a better place to be?
Than in a narcotic slumber,
of words mainlined,
with a word much maligned,
and that word is?
... Poetry

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Immortality in Words


Where are the words of immortality?
That unbidden stir the heart.
So many are called,
but few survive the winnow.
Chaff says the golden poet,
the words must be just so and so.
So deceptively simple to garner,
to lay in an easy row,
this sequence of sequins,
and all just so and so.

But when you pin a butterfly,
the next one has to be,
similarly coloured, complementary.
Or a contrast battling beauty for
one’s eye on a museum display.
One that calls: Look! Look at this one!
Look, look! See?

A pair of butterflies dance a jig,
tied in a secret grove,
at once resplendent in a drove,
they take a sunbeam's breath away,
and there in another grove,
another thrumming arose.
This sets the scene,
words in consanguinity.
Here where the sea lavender
prickles amethyst,
shy under the sky.

In a whirlwind romance,
where words court words,
and couples couplet,
and verses, averse to loneliness,
cohabit in a stanza, when …

A train of thought,
an express mail train,
is snatching satchels of words
to be sorted in the night,
and delivered by first light
on the day of saying,
and addressed to so and so.

Unfurl the fans of lace
into a peacock's tail,
where the beauty surely
proclaims the watchmaker’s face.

But the bards they bartered,
didn't they?
Bet for the bequest of forever,
in a monument of words,
where souls in rage,
upon the page,
burnt to the end of days.

So, start another poem,
here, I've netted a butterfly.
Send it soaring in a story,
with another one,
tinkling from the sky.
Atoms in a molecule,
a crystal poem on the nib,
all poised to say.
See how I chose the words?

It is you who hold the gavel,
in this immortal deal.
So old! You hammer.
Sold another bard
to the Golden Treasury,
and laid to rest,
I do attest,
that in his or her words
they will live forever
and a day.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Charity Shopper


All the bits and pieces from
someone's treasure chest unlocked,
are colouring my rainbow now.
Courted in prisms here and there,
their love requited, and taken home.

Donated by a multitude of people,
their secret places raided
for all their precious blings.
A culture carefully curated,
a society of things.

The sum of more than its parts.
Isn't that what they say?
Well my culture of artefacts
is growing by the day.
For I am, it is true to say,
a charity shop vulture,
soaring in my way.

Kinks in Time

< Audio>

Am I turning a memory of you
into a pastiche of the days?
Those endless days,
those sacred days,
when Kinks said,
believe me.

Did their light really shine so bright?
Or did they deceive me?
Did I long to kiss you, long ago?
Your hand today in mine says yes,
they were those sacred days,
those endless days.
Receive me.

I will not forget them today,
thinking of the ways,
and all the days
that I loved you.
Believe me.

More today, I would say,
and though they are gone,
they will never leave me.
Do you believe me?

I'm thinking of the days
from this end of life,
remember when
I took you as my wife?
You believed in me.

Thank you for The Days,
for you are mine,
and I am yours.
We believed in we,
didn’t we.
Every way,
in every day,
believe me.


I'll not forget your single Ray - believe me.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Midnight Mantle Clock


The Midnight Mantle Clock

Dead of night. 
The Westminster clock chimes like a kitten 
cry-pacing on a mantelpiece at the edge of the world,
alone in the wide-eyed dark and pining up the stairs,
"the starlight tears are singing on my face".
But all we hear is:
"Twelve o'clock and all's well".

Counting up the quarters and down the hours of dawn,
each hammer strike, on each winsome metal bar,
goes haunting in the wan wee hours.
Each a voice abed in a cold and lonely ear,
as sleep slips onto the floor, and pulled back
settles slowly into "One o'clock and all's well".
And so it chimes, 
   and so it chimes.
All's well.
   All's well.
      All's well.

I am not a diabetic.

< Audio>

I am not a diabetic.
I have diabetes - you see?
I am not obese,
I do not smoke or drink,
I am a hungry vegetarian,
and I swim in the sea each day.

Then you shouldn't have diabetes?
But unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.
My dad had diabetes and
it was his parting gift to me.
So I have made friends with my condition,
it calls me son and I call it Pop,
as I pop another pill.

I treat him with every consideration 
and we do love to get it right.
My doctor treats him with reverence
and prescribes only the best wrapped gifts,
to assuage his temper, and hopefully one day 
will inject some realism into my insinuation
and oft repeated question,
 "Oh why dad, why? Oh why?".

Now it ought to be OK? You say.
But these bloody auto-antibodies 
go hunting in a pack.
So another pill for cholesterol,
another for BP, 
I know these rustling popper packs 
will be the life of me.

But I am not a diabetic!
Repeat that after me,
and then maybe you will see,
that whatever my glucose status,
it is me you see - yes me.
So please don't stick a label
for now you know the truth.
You know that I suffer from diabetes,
as you might do,
one day.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Just a Book of Poems?

Put your nose into the pages of my book he said,
and I will talk to you from my faded-papered grave.
I did as the poet asked, but all I did was sneeze.
A dusty, musty, pocket inside-out sort of sneeze.

Touch the parchment words of time asleep
on the park benches of my mind, wrapped
in sheets of words, rustling and warm.
Run your fingers over them, he said.

Run them over the dry-stone walls around my poems,
and stepping on the turned-down corner pages,
climb up gingerly and peep into the fields
of my wildflower words swaying in their heyday.

Count my candle birthday pages, slightly ripped
with ageing, where fingers have thumbed the days.
He says it's where all the emotions have stained
the pages, watermarking his milestone ways.

Notice, there's no silk paper to hold a fine pen line,
but blotted bleary wide the black ink seems to say,
of course, these words have been placed this way
by the hand of my mind and troweled into place.

See my sad photo on the cover? See my dark eyes?
Do you see the dark pleading there?
My words were sculptured long and hard, he said.
Hearsay? I dare say. But that's what he said to me.

Well there you are, I thought. What could I say?
But indeed, there he was. He was right there, indeed he was.
Oh, my word, how his words, when stirred from slumber,
kicked my words right back at me.

I reached inside his jacket pocket (he asked me to)
and lifted his half-hunter watch, ticking of his times.
It beats in my hand now,
and with his hand upon my brow,
I know what makes him talk.

With fingernail ink he has clung on inside
this book that shakes with rage, or weeps,
or hugs, quivering with love. You'll not
shake him out, however loose the pages,
for as I squeezed, he squeezed right back.
For he is buried here enshrouded in his voice,
and enshrined within that voice was ...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017



The longing is smouldering, sinuous in a damp
halo around a street lamp on that lonely lane
from the faraway places, across the sea.
The angst aches in wave upon wave of
hi there, hello there, remember me? And blurring
they suck upon the rocks, their tears as guilty
as the night that draws down the wick of day.

The volcanic ash of Eros settles down the pulse
in the breath of a dying day, so far way,
thinking of you thinking of me.
Oh, pull the rip cord and jump!
Float into the arms of my thoughts of you,
enfolding the candle's shadows in a dance
of dark congealing, with no feeling in my fingers.

Slip away into the miles, still looking back
as smaller smallers down I frown and groan
inside the treasure box plundered the while.
The faded picture pouring dust and
must it have been that way. The other day
when I thought of you so far away.
Another day, another city, in another country,
your breath in my sails away the smarting tears
upon the breast of a wave and flung back
into my face turning once again to you.

So far away and raising the ghostly hairs
on my neck of leaning upon your shoulder
and whispering come back, come back
across the sea of mind how we fall
into each other's arms in the thought
that this was never meant to be.
That I am here, and you are there,
far away across the sea.

So, put your hands in mine and crossing
over the sea, and wrist over wrist we'll
spin the dance about the allotted spot,
where hearts meld and minds merge,
and you and me are me and you
once more.

Sunday, 23 April 2017



Around the girth of the earth
flung star-wards, darkling day,
on and on our longing, 
is streaming far away.
What wonders on our infinite journey
will ache in memory where they lay,
for we may never return to say, 
there was no berth upon the dead star,
way down the time-funnel night,
where a solitary obituary lay,
a signal twilight signature
upon a broken contract,
a black parody that pardon falling,
and calling, but never belonging,
in all the blistering light-years,
forever and a day.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A Poem is


A collection of bird’s eggs,
nestling in cracking colours and blown.
A shoal of coral fish turning in a flash
of emotion in the instant of an eye.
A tray of butterflies pinned in dust,
bereft in the dusk of death.
In the seam of words, mined and picked
in the lamplight of mind, by my hand
says the poet in the pocket of a poet,
just fine, and now they are mine.

The hooks of words hang the flesh
to sit ageing on the lines of the pen.
For grains of gold the arid dunes are sieved,
prospecting for the glint in their eyes.
The facets of a jewel down the cataracts
of thought, electrified and executed,
yet alive to the words that have to be said.

So many words to juggle and fall
scattered, gyrating and honed,
to sit forever in the mosaic of a poem.
The butterfly suns and bat moons pirouette,
until netted and metamorphosed into the
sedimentary strata of a poem, poised
to unleash that seismic event - I see!

Each word tweezed, and placed,
and tilted and in turn entwined.
Betrothed, one unto the other.
The embroidery of glossy words shines
as the story unfolds in perpetuity.
Gossamer webs spun and peopled,
trapped and bound.
The poet's neurones penetrate the reader's
guts and spill their feelings on the floor.
Their haruspicy preordained by the words.
Fossils re-fossilised.
Spinners re-spun, lures lured.
The crystal ball inverted looks out.
A mirror shard of a mirror shorn,
echoes in the mind, and calling back implores:
you saw, and I can see what you saw.
The chains forged in your smithy say it all.
The words linked and welded,
annealed and melded in thought.
I think the link is what I think.
So, lay it before me now and go.
Now let me see ...