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 ...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Spring Tide


A cat morning pauses in sunny repose.
Jostle-tailed breezes in a conversation of trees
stirs the flotsam cherry blossom, and poppies well ablaze,
to cinder down upon the paths, smouldering in
the delicious thought - which way today?

To the bay where the sea is calling out,
or in, or seething and teasing
the nostril's assaulted horizon.
So off we go, must not forgo
our daily swim, preordained,
and consummated, in full flow.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Blue Pool


Waiting on Blue Pool bay
for the sea to vacate that seat,
slipping its fingers reluctantly,
caressing the sand with a
curtsy to the drying sun,
leaving a wet frisson of emotion
quivering, then calming to a reflection
of the children looking down at a depth
indiscernibly dark, with a silver bottom
shoal of ghostly fish dead and deep.

Gasping in the welcome panic,
cold thick salt air towering dark-sided
but what's below? Don't know!
Black weed sides squeeze in
and push the swimmer onto the lip
of the basin's trickling jump to the sand
in the bay of amusement in a summer still.
The next and the next, toe their reflection
devastating the mirror's magic
time and again and again.

Weary and nearly done we
sit in the sun that sets in a forge poker
from Tenby, through the knave's triangular eye,
squinting on the salt glistening bodies
of the children of sighing with
the generations who have found
Blue Pool in their days of daring
and running across the washed bay
dodging the bombing gulls, screaming
all together to the dying day glowing
in the mind's eye and sand feet skipping
amongst the starfish heaven on earth.

Climbing tired-sloped back to the sky
grass and bracken moor dunes
pushing them all the way to supper.

Blue Pool calms to the reflected stars
to wait the sea's thunder.

Tomorrow? It's a date.



Last slide.
It's time to go.
The last sweet.
No more ice-cream.
No more cake.
No more sand castles.
Switch off your iPad.
It's time for bed.
Just one more?
Grow up!
When the prognosis is terminal,
it's the last goodbye.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Golden Days


Hand upon the shoulder of my heart.
The smile at the tears of a smile.
Tunes from the sunny days,
of parties walking horizons,
cuddling beach guitars,
until the stars are gifted,
by one unto the other,
and the ring around the moon.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Fly Tipping


Password of their personal data,
the sick sack that makes them tick tack,
spilled for us all to see and tread upon.
A tissue-match and fingerprint of
the consumerisation of all their desires.
The antigen of our allergic recoil,
the DNA miss-match of our desires. 
The antithesis of the pheromones
of our self-ingratiated individuality.

Do they have no empathy for personal space?
Or do they not (sod you!) care?
Do they not realise that they exfoliate
the scabs from their shingled nerves?
The herpes of their ripped plastic bags,
spilling their guts for us to denigrate 
under the boot of our shoo!

Why not let it pile up to high heaven and
drown the whole world, suffocating the cortex 
of minds animalised with snarls, and relegated to
an army-ant, forest-floor, detritus-eating,
retrograded amnesic, anarchy.
No escape on the rosary of a plasticised ocean.
No breath of fresh air, or even that final dust to dust, 
for all scream toxic! Toxic! The LD 50 siren sounds.

Fly tipping their putrid puke, has rotted our salad days,
and screams of our inability to cohabit in personal spaces 
and orderly paths undulating from cradle to grave.
Now thrown out of the window of passing through,
as they pass through what others have thrown 
out of the window of their passing through.
For fly-tipping our lives in piles, 
just here and there,
is where, we will surely end our days.

Lords and ladies of the flies,
will you (must you),
will we (must we),
sore wallow,
tip wallow?
So what!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Pennard To Three Cliffs Bay


Castle on the ledge of the day's lunch,
breathing to the undulations of the small river
snaking into a sea of haze and levitation.
The valley tussled with spring bare trees
budding in an ivy sauce, drizzled and gleaming.
The heady sun of a gorse oven cooking
dreams of butternut squash summer pies
their crusts crumbling on driftwood in repose.

The talcum paths drought it will rain today.

Lay a mind on the satin horizon where
the seam between sea and sky is unpicked
by a sail-ship unzipping across the bay.
High sighs upon the cliff top peeping down
where barely a wave stirs the rock spittle,
or wiggles that skipping rope to the
breath of the channel's lowing whisper.

This grassed sea of sand dunes and
beach adventures to rocky points,
or footprint stumbled paths that climb
the bean-stalk halcyon days
of all our childhoods fastened in full sap.

Then we spot the first hot lizard,
basking aside this honey path
from Pennard to Three Cliffs Bay.

Pause to think.
Was there ever such a day?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Grammar School - Beta minus


A trapdoor of school magazines, faded blue,
has me falling and never arriving, 
because I didn't "take advantage". 
My fault again. Sorry.

The school year in summary - was I there?
Debating society - I didn't, no argument.
The cricket XI - where? Stumped me.
Rugby squad - packed away and rucked.
The glittering speech-day prizes?
I saw them shinning in the shop window,
nose against the pane (pain?) where we did not shop.

Overseas visits exploratory described - I never went.
So many. Funny that I never went on any?
Abroad? We did not go abroad,
my family, tear-lisped amidst the slag tips.
News of city society - I walked past.
But recent history was ingrained on my knees
and under my fingernails.
Detritus on an industrial scale.

Nihil Sine Labore:
"Nothing Without Work"
was the Dynevor school motto.
Well my dad voted Labour,
and he worked as a labourer,
hard to pay for my school uniform.
Well it got him, and me, nowhere.
I failed of course - they all told me.

Meritocracy ticked the clock of the days,
when, on arrival, I was placed in class C.
Seems I merited that – see?
But my contemporaries in class
went on to university, preordained 
by family aspirations. To their merit.
What was our tradition at home?
No opinion, working class, try your best
to pass on a pass in class. Uh?

Prefects' photograph perfect - no space for me,
just a disciplined nudge along the corridors.
Forever marching to the tune of: 
see if you can keep your head above water
and get the answers right. If you do then ...
But I was never told why the answers mattered.
Only the fun of maths and science aroused.

Stone walled, the chalk master’s gowns gliding
along the corridors of woodblock floors
and doors of looking in on lessons rowed in desks
gouged of years and oils of brows in blackboard
lines from books of all that was ever taught
to the boys soon to be the men that they knew
they would be in the society of the 'morrow.
I didn’t.

The four houses - what, why, where, and when, were they?
Where we competed in sport, or in the Eisteddfod, standing
self-conscious in group recitation, irritatingly alliterated.
There were poems in the school magazine,
and amid the anonymity of words, and with legerdemain,
I impressed upon the they, that I had spoken.
But what right did I have to hold the school magazine?
It was "theirs" not mine, you see.
I did not see beyond the school badge.
Heavy upon me.

Passed the eleven plus I did.
No secondary modern with the failed kids.
No roughing up in the school of life for me.
Just my cap thrown on top of the cricket nets
and bruised right palm from the fives courts.
Gym came, swimming whet again my inability,
and games up the Gange's playing fields
trampled any head-up thoughts I dared.
Stratified in the mud of also ran.
Stay there and wait.

Sour grapes? Well they do hang low.
The glittering prizes were hanging too high for me. 
Form C reiterated that it was not to be.
Winners are from another world.
Light years away from me.

Educated beyond understanding.
Such a shame.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Remember Rock and Roll?


Dewey eyed o'er the do wop bop,
and the big bad boom.
Taught me beauty,
all nightly.
Said it rightly,
Took and inverted, that negative,
black and whitely, moody broody.
Say! Listen, listen? Move it, move it!
All gone now and I cannae prove it.
That big bad sound,
how we loved it - loved it.
True and fruity, all drank it.
Down and outie, to righty.
God I'm crying. Bug it, bug it.
My heart's a breaking,
go dam lightly,
down, and a down-down,
down, down, down,
go way back and
black down throb it,
throb it, bob it.
Hit it, hit it, 
already written,
written 'n' smitten.
    Yeah, yeah!

Your yesteryear.
     Your yesteryeah.

A wham bang boom ......

Early. April - sitting quietly

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