Friday, 22 September 2017

Down the seas of my history

Down the seas of my history,
the dreamboat ploughs the rolling waves, 
the high tiers of tears,
stinging, just there, where I used to be.

Aquamarine in dream, but grey
in reality, the slag tips and the stone
where we played, short-trousers ragamuffins,
with mum waiting at home for tea.

Little light bulb station road,
haloed in watering eyes.
When darkness beckoned, adventure bragged,
even as we dragged in backward glances.

Pals we were, dwarfed by the ghosts
who were there. We knew. We stepped
onwards in the flow of growing up.
The round trip of home for supper.

The wooden bridge, the slag slashed path.
Our hurrying feet, sure but unsure,
span the wide eyed orange moon, of Dan Dare,
up there, in a spacesuit full of bated breath.

Take not the chapel path, nor by the pub.
Meet not the prayer books or the beer blather.
But tread the boys' own secret paths,
of a communion, dark in conspiracy.

Knowing there's an answering to the village,
in the mist above the moon ways.
Where the book of times was written,
recording all our sins.

Even 'ere we shun the whispered rules,
even our mothers' solemn contracts.
So runs the demon spark of youth.
Go on! It is! Go on!

I could race around and down
these warren ways, for all my days and days.
Awash with sangfroid broken tears,
and the anguished love of years.

Long gone, and yet alive for always,
when we return in thought,
to our ruin in the ruins, 
on the slag tips and woe betides.

Lay the ashes of my thoughts,
where the torn pages smoulder.
Lay them upon my village times,
and sprinkle over my slumber. For

I've been back there again.
I've hugged them all again.
And I will return there again.
To laugh again, and again, and again.
Surfing the tides of my history.
Running in mystery.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Second-hand prose

Second-hand prose


The faces, held with bated breath,
in a book's dusk-dusted pages,
congregated in the pews of twilight,
drawn down upon their ages.
Each slice of their hearts delight,
desiccated in the spume of tears
torn from their rants and rages,
to lay warm, wrapped in dust, 
and fast within the pages.

I can smell their sadness there in must.
The hands that held the book,
cheek to cheek, dusting dust,
swirl fast a gazing loving look.
Or, cosy in brown paper shroud,
you haunt the time machine, 
tip toe through the mausoleum,
wherein we all do dream.
Waltz me forever, tight to your bosom,
in love's long pirouette.
Down all the fastness of our time,
for not one minute do I regret,
our second-hand repose.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Great Brexit

Great Brexit

Britain, on the catafalque of lies before Europe,
who, sitting around the empty, rattling tumbrel,
whisper of the Thuggee garrote. Tighter.
Britain, to be interred in the mausoleum of Empire,
by those so minded of the glory days,
that they forget the way back.
Their misty ways, now so irresistible
to the dew-eyed, dyed-in-the-wool
old Englanders of the viceroy plumes.
The flag is at half-mast. Going up or down?
The last post or the reveille?
Never before has so much been ....

Uncle Jim's Poems for Children

The illustrations
My poems for children now on Kindle £2

Poem titles:

Flight of sand
In the deep midwinter
Lazy lizard
Modern man
Fair feather
Water boat
Mariah, Mariah,
The three bells
The frog
Snowy the abominable snowman 
The sun
The race

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The frog

Look through this frog's speckled eye
  and you will see black spotted spawn,
and all the wriggly tadpoles swimming,
  in the well where he was born.

Why do you think he is watching you?
  With his skin shinning wet and bright.
Perhaps he fears you will pick him up,
  and stop his trip tonight.

For he is going on a long hop,
  across the fields and dales.
Until he finds that same old well,
  where he was born in Wales.

He is looking for a wife to marry,
   so she can jelly lay frogspawn.
and all the little froggy eggs
  will be shining in the dawn.

They will leave them there in a gang,
  where they will grow little legs and tails.
Until they too will go on their long hops,
  to find their own homes in Wales.

And big mister froggy?
  Well he is living in a stream.
Eating worms and juicy slugs,
  having forty winks, and a dream.

Saturday, 9 September 2017


the salt pans of tears
                     flamingo city
the cat rolls            upon the shoreline
                     high ho
                    the snow falls
on                                   Christmas Eve
sing     anolis carolinensis    
                        the breeze 
in one window
                         out the other
  fire me timbers
  safely gathered in
  the wood pyres

the wooden cats soak up the sun
          cooked in their fur
             to sleep upon
                 the night

twiddle my rock-cakes

nash                                             nash
         nosh                           nosh
                  nash          nash
 nish         nish           nish         nash
         nosh         nosh        nosh

the sun explodes the horizon of infinity
at the back of the front of the black hole
such a very small t whiskey
down the highlands of your mind
    bottoms up

the Who tore up the Sixties
did they not
as the red wall absorbed everything
                   and was gone

Thursday, 7 September 2017


Brittle boy girl lamplight corner,
  glow chip shop darkened streets.
Night held breath, fingers sparking,
  the knowing generation meets.

Where loadstone days embrace,
  the itch of destiny unfolds,
then do faerie days, as must away,
  for in bated breath - lo, and behold!

A child no more. No more blushes,
  in church hall breathless musky dances,
tiptoe on eggshell furtive crushes,
  shared in surreptitious longing glances,

winks the eye of the hormonal storm,
  surfing the waves of angst and joy,
running stampede, heartbeats thrumming,
  when boy meets girl, and girl meets boy.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The mothering of the day

The iron thumps, mothering the washing
in front of the fire tales.
Night turns it's back at the window
where the ceiling light winks goodbye.
Clock tock, iron thump, tick clock.
Cinders tinkle, the grate clinks.

The radio thrums the world
to sleep, eaten deep of the chair.
The stair curtain ruffled by ghost's
cool hand across the room.
The doors are closed,
the fire guard in place,
the ironing piled high
way up to bed,
out of time
out of day
out of tock, tick tock, tick tock ...

Friday, 1 September 2017

Full pelt

On the adventure doorstep
of which way today?
Full pelt down a childhood morning,
warming to the sun of play,
forever fibrillating and wide in eyes.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

With Summer Homeward Bound


Beach burnt brown to eventide 
basking on a lizard day. 
Silhouetted in shrieks the
childrens' matchstick army 
fight "absoluterly ginormous!" waves 
that crash over castles, and 
flood vain their boasts,
that stopped no tides, nor did a
sun beseeched agree to stay.

Then along the cliff walk home,
apace the ebbing tide, seal hauled up 
and basking in the afterglow's warm
breath upon our weary shoulders,
salt skinned, itched, sanded,
and so long in shadow
absent minded 
and homeward bound.

Along the dusk diminuendo eyelids droop,
as the day draws in the sundown dusk.
Over dinner, served with breathless starlight,
and violin reflections, candles splutter in
dance over fine wines clinked and sipped,
in a seaweed hammock, briny upon the breeze.

When the promenaders, with their
dog-tired children, have perambulated
to their beds ashore, we attune
to the rhythm of the lighthouse,
the swell of the sea drowned day.
With nightgown drooping eyes,
at the confluence of the rivers of
all the delta suns, of all the days 
we ever wished to sail,
beneath high pennant colours,
resplendent and blown along
the horizon, golden in ribbon,
and wrapped in sighs,
at the end of a perfect day. 

Late summer upon the altar of autumn,
the sad sacrifice of a blood red sun,
quenched in its own skyline and salted 
with tears under the moon's cool stare. 

A cosmic shiver on the bedroom stairs 
of a spun down day, shawled in a lullaby. 
Whisper, "little one, remember today,
for one day, my bachgen bach, 
you will dream that you are here,
and you will wish you were once more".

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Marking time

What is it at the end of day
that, left unsaid, rankles 
at being unwritten 
or unpainted? 
To know that
one day, 
when the end has ended,
it will never, ever, be said.

The realisation that no mark
can be left to mark 
that you were here at all.
Because, if all the marks 
that you have left
are not seen, 
or if seen neglected,
then why strive to leave that mark,
another in the line of marks neglected?

There is nothing in the lichen crusted epitaphs,
upon the tombstones laid repetitiously,
that will cut the mirrors of eternity,
on which we so seek to scratch 
our mark in perpetuity.

Alone in this contemplation,
the artist, poet, pen,
in the alchemy of ages striven 
to divest their fingerprint or iris scan, 
upon the slippery tides of man.

Or does the genie draw back
into the smoked bottle corked,
to lay in a dusty secret nook
cobwebbed asleep
never to be rubbed again?

For there is no chisel blow
that can wrest asunder,
or decipher the enigma,
the illegibility of
benediction when
the impotence of ego id, 
for marking time is ended,
and the tears flow


Friday, 25 August 2017

Among the flowers of a chance encounter.


Among the flowers of a chance encounter.
A pleasant hello, no more. 
Then an oscillating ... don't I?
Know you? 
It is! And 

names explode from the dormant volcanoes
of the magma lakes of gold.
A kiss, and hugs float on 
where did all our years?

Remembered features, 
by feeling more than sight,
for almost sixty years have passed.
Must be! 
As smiling eyes swirl in memory.

The briefest coy girl boy before,
in no time the conversation flows.
Of where and when, did you and I,
take our different roads?

To arrive back at this point in time,
from a time when the lower branches
of our family trees, rubbed in the breeze,
when in pinafore dress, and short trousered knees,
we sat at our desks in line.

Is it a fool's gold we hold within our eyes,
that stare across the years?
How can the canyon of half a century 
be dismissed in a glance?

In a smile, so nice to have met you, and
we could talk and talk for ages.
You have read my book, you said,
and found yourself within the pages.

Well, today,
Marlene (nee Morgan) 
met again
James Young.
Not way back in Cwm junior school, 4A.
But arm in arm knee deep,
in the glorious flower beds of time.

Why me (?)

Why me (?)

In all the world,
   of the 
3,739,142,333 women
   of the 
3,805,654,920 men.

  (On the 24th August)

What chance that mum met dad?

   of the 
525 billion lifetime sperm,
   of the 
400 eggs matured,

what chance that meeting?

But mum did meet dad, 
one sperm did meet one egg, 
that is why I am able to ask:
why me, 
   why me, 
      why me?

Or to confirm,
    why me, 
       to me,
    why you, 
       to you.

By chance (?)

And then,
you might ask of me,
   what is the chance 
that I,
   created by chance,
   could by chance,
answer our question:

can chance ever be
so approximated?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Hopscotch on the Metal Men


Hopscotch on the metal men,
dainty do the buckled shoes
hop where clogs were scorched,
in the tapped bot's searing flows.

Of all the cowboy horses, or
the girls' skipping faster tally,
who will remember the copper works,
or the spelter men of the valley?

The slate roofed veins that run, 
along with the children to their quarry,
their joy unbounded, outcropped hard,
over a slag and cinder furnace dowry.

Render new, as you may, the stone cottages
of Taplow terrace, or along Rifleman's row,
but the sweating muscled ghosts will stir
and blur the memories now, of how

there was the Devil's smoking works,
fed by the cobbled turning tracks,
where the bread and dripping men 
were ground down by their tasks.

Smelted into the fabric of their lives,
in days numbered by the ton,
and mums in scrubbing doorsteps warn,
"just wait until your dad gets home my son!".

Under a new gentrified pentimenti,
ripples the strata of works in toil.
"Remember", the pallid grasses call,
the metal, the slag, the rags and oil.

Grime tattooed and weeping beneath,
or in each wall, or crumbling rotten jetty,
they lie upon the river Tawe, time a minded
how their anguish laid, the foundation of our city.

Look around, below, above - just there!
But you'll not see them. Yet, whispered
down in time, they toll the rent you pay
in tears, for the homes they once revered.

Upon this strata black bled slag, the
ochre cinder's Cinderella children,
feel the wheel of times long ago, 
ere now the chiming hour, when
we flee from thrall, or fall upon,
the wretched witching hour.

Monday, 21 August 2017


floral railing 

against war

remove the gilding

so pointless are

the bloody spikes

we're building 

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Popping the pink bubble

(Junior school in the 1950s)


The ladies in the pink bubblegum shop,
in outrage stare, o the tutting window where,
kissing boys hard on the boiler room steps,
the girls squeeze away their school-time crushes,
in a golden blur, and hot in ruby flushes, 
that will last these pinafore wives,
and their vainglorious lover boys,
to the very end of their very tiny lives.

What?! Oh eye sea

<Audio - read twice>

Sofa out upon the tide
of an assault sea swim.
See son, some are turning,
ought um we to run across
the unraveling rope bridge.
For the sun vines are rotting 
and the mists' must falls.
The lichen is turning 
to mild you will find it
upon the cataract of time,
where the cars cade
until the tide turns.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Womb sea Tomb sea


From the womb of the sea,
when the waters break,
deliver me safely to the shore,
and I will suckle the cradling sun.

A cloud's silver lining splits the shine,
on the ebb and flow of tears and joy.
Happiness, the bell is calling, calling.
It's a buoy. It's a buoy. It's a buoy. 

Safe upon that bank of sand,
draw down the busy world, and
with stick-lines incise your time,
in sacrifice before the erasing tide.

Gaze upon the soft horizon, constant
through the ages of child to man,
of man back down to child again,
in calm and storm be calmed.

Laid long upon a moon tomb sea,
flowing along the ebb tide's race,
weigh the anchor of my soul to flee,
to bleed westward with the sun.


From the womb of the sea,
when the waters break,
deliver me safely to the shore,
and I will suckle the cradling sun.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Midlife meiosis


I am the fulcrum of a seesaw.
See, on the up side, scions ride.
Saw upon the down side,
there my ancestors bide.
Reminded of the tombstones,
that topple in the ebbing tide,
to shorten the downside lever,
and propel my scions rise, and rise.

As my fulcrum slips towards twilight,
the scions shriek delight,
for down they ride, bump bump down,
as their ancestors drop aside.
Then as the penultimate fulcrum,
slips abject from the pole,
so my fulcrum slips into the night,
as he takes on this pivotal role.

Instead of a fulcrum, it seems to me,
I am now a spindle in a wheel,
for spinning all around me,
are my scions gazing in,
as I peel off into the void.
  Slows down, and slows down,
becomes their seesaw again, 
as another fulcrum strong,
smiles upon its life of strain.

Caterpillar-like this seesaw track,
is making, breaking, unchanging length,
the spring of life on the one side,
as dotages drops off from the ride.

Oh what joy to have been a fulcrum,
to have balanced my time of life.
But, actually, it's a binary pivot,
designed for a husband and his wife.