Friday, 30 June 2017

Out of the wood?


Dark child years ago 
I shot a crow.
That black anvil. 
That wince is frozen still.
An icicle stabbing nail.
How they claw wheeled,
from across the field.
How they screamed hate!

And (now think) of the mate?
So distraught, disconsolate.
I do evince,
I have not killed since.
So what!
So what would please?
Old man on your knees.
Would that you could
be out of the wood?

Oh, yes please, yes please, yes please.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Bury me at high tide

It is the deathbed that we fear,
   not the final lullaby akin to sleep.
In cot sides do not nurse me dear,
   for I miss my seabed deep.

White-knuckled on the cowcatcher 
   of death's train runaway,
I roll off asking, what's her height? 
   What time full tide today?

I want to be buried at high water.
   On an evening above the bay.
When the long setting sun and daughter 
   moon, will find me happy in my way.

Then from the furthest ahoy!
   Or close where the waves stack high.
You will find me as happy as a sand boy,
   way out at the point, not up there in the sky.

So bide a while upon the tide,
    and paddle in memory.
I will meet you there my ocean bride,
   and I will kiss you as you kiss me.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Swansea News Network

Check out my latest article on Swansea News Network

Privy thoughts (1955)


little lad's candle cat eyes
flickering on the earthen floor
of a privy in the privet
in a winter dark and cold
teetering and tottering atop
of a slag-sad wall

cistern painted crusty green
trailing the trusty rusty chain
wobbling and thumb latched
rattling the planking door
top gapped with a black wind
for a roosting sparrow
on his dust beam bed
holding back the dam

cobwebs and crawly things
alive the white-washed wall
star cold seat cold feet
pipe paper by the sheet
th th then clank
a crescendo clatter
flushed in history

snuff candled, smoked and
reined in the hall of night
his expedition closes
with the quickly door
ice cold tap cold
towel damp to fire
flickering toast and bed

into cold sheets
shiver curled
ss so cold
cold yore
trust me
was so
it was
it is

earth to earth
flushes to flushes
must to must

Monday, 26 June 2017

Tips of the tongue


I knew the slag-tips, my memory child.
Knew them as I knew the back of my bed.
Then they craned away some hardcore,
and the more my landscape changed.

I found it again as the crane slept
with its windows boarded up.
I saw beneath the strata,
the black slag and the ochre ash.
In the midden black I cut out
the jam jars of the potted past.
The stoneware ginger beer bottles,
empty of cheer in the caesarean slash.

Shivering on my window still they stand.
Refugees. But that's not all they say.
"Doctor Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Cure"
on one chewing gum ancient glass,
"my arse!" ran the child's humour away
down a memory, on a temporary road,
delightfully not so sure-footed,
careering on the edge.

Foothills with the white grass nests of mice,
sedge gullies squeezed oozed hidden frogs.
Then step through. The black glass slag is clinking 
grubby pennies, spilled by the dirty hands
that grabbed industry's bags of gold,
and left this child's slag-mind a map.
However hard the history underfoot,
on boy's and girl's own stony ground,
against all the odds they flowered there.

Of all the unexpected places, they sit
upon a castellated circle, a red brick crown.
Each allotted a gang seat in this council 
of child-adults saying it, see?
A remnant in secret, a gun emplacement,
and WWII has no place in this fairy tale.
Gingham dressed girls,
and short-trousered boys,
know that something bigger will whisper,
when they are grown and far away.
From memory's lips the truth will tip
and a cool breeze will kiss their lips.

Their childhood crumbled with the tips.
Many a keystone fatefully dislodged.
Many an edifice sent crumbling down,
pulping the salad days.
Under a foundation of hard slag 
the bloody knees ran contrary.
Beating the boundaries the slag kids
annealed the glaze of the "then" days.
Memories set aside, inside, to visit
again, and again, and again.

I am doing that right now with you.

When I went back recently 
it was all gone. Everything.
Every single thing.

Come on gang! This way ...

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Time to go


The music takes you back to where,
to when, to you 
standing at the pinnacle.
You knew it would be downhill
from there.
You knew that everyone's sore quest 
was to stand and stare.
Their "move on, move on" so cynical,
pushed you over the edge.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

New poem "All Wrapped Up"


All Wrapped Up

An untold number of toes
into the water in a daring dos.
An untold number of hands,
upon the plastic detritus lands,
on sand's turning tide a-strewn.
In God's own strewth - I swear,
pebbles throttled, bottled there,
with nets and rope garotted,
blame allotted,
throttled, mottled world,
that discarded and hurled,
this message afloat,
that will stick in your throat,
in an in-elasticated demise,
take your choice - any size,
any colour, don't bother to holler
as you drown, 
down to Davey Jones' locker,
now made of plastic - and this will shock ya,
is filled with golden nano particles,
the grounds of percolation,
the anchor of our food chain,
in this the heaving ocean main,
will plasticise our insides out upon
our rotting demise, this plastic coffin,
that was not an option ever foreseen 
in all our worst Armageddon dream.

With plastic eyes
go proselytise,
and of this anaplasia
ask why?

Friday, 23 June 2017

Lighthouse Rock


A lighthouse fast in an icy fastness,
middle finger to a storm at sea,
boils a tantrum engorged
and stirred and stamping
and fisting upon the rock.
Howling, screaming retribution,
just you wait and see!

Must hewn wet in sea,
in pewter tankards clashing,
spilling raucous evil foam, sss
slavering upon the prey. Yet
recoiling in the searing light,
flashed in the mist and spume.
Out from the dark they clash
to recoil and crash,
and recoil to crash,
again and again
and again.

Foiled in flash, regained in balance,
flashing taught, eyeball to eyeball,
crackling blue and green.
An electric alley,
split in a valley,
way down upon the main.

See them seething at calm's behest,
in beauty bequest upon the sea.
A brass sun in longing,
in doubloons thronging,
has charmed this snake,
this hissing thing, this
biting mongoose arched in stone.
And humped away out there,
pounding in arteries, flaring in
nostrils, the beast is loose again.

The rock of the man who built
his magnificence, this rock upon
the sea. Defiant of reason,
standing tall enthrall.
Until one day, one stormy day,
we know that it will fall.

This light in the wrath at the light.

always ~~~ shining ~~~ always ~~~ shining


Monday, 19 June 2017

Hazy daisy days


Hazy daisy days

Remember the days when the doors were opened and the fresh air flooded in?

When the coal fire lay exhausted, and the thin curtains barely stirred.

When the privet flowers walked right in, and lay upon the bed,

and the conversation moths swarmed across the hedge,

as we slid down along the waiting, wanting thoughts, 

that were cooling in the air. 

The night has returned home,

setting golden childhoods aspic in a medication rare,

waiting o'er the long years, now melting for we are there,

throwing back the comfort blanket from the old man in his chair.

Away he flows back down the times with aspic tiered eyes,

falling, and falling, falling, into a long embrace,

where the privet moths are bow tie dancing in the air,

to pick up on the conversation, with a small boy playing there.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

What? Another disaster?


Another disaster?
Not another one?
I can't stand this!

What am I allowed to feel?
When all suffering is televised,
and sanitised, and thus inoculated,
we are anaesthetised 1, 2, 3 ...
What am I told to feel?

What is permitted?
That will not denigrate your
religion, or class, or race, or gender,
or colour, or orientation or ...
Stop! Stop!
Permit me please.

But what can I say?
That has not been said,
and around and around my head
it hammers the tears to steam
at my sadness misaligned.
What do you say?

What politics, in contrast,
can I believe to behave and
in all truth say it was me,
I did it, or didn't do it.
For, if it was me, I would.
Simple in contrast.

So where can I find myself?
Where in all the truth of it all?
So that we can truly fix "it"
for us, for once and for all.
Where? Shout it. Where!!?

What is real wealth?
That does not dislocate
the rich from the poor,
in evaluation, in elevation,
or in depression, bipolar
in the richness of cheapness.
Is that wealth?

Dear politician answer this:
do you represent me?
Or must I conform to
your representation of me?
Whose dialectic dictates?
What are we at all, if far apart?
Answer me that!

Are we dead sure it is true?
That there is truth?
That the pain is real?
Really taken away
in the deaths revealed
as we relieve ourselves
believing the die is cast.

When I turn inward
and still see outward,
who can I turn to
to take away the pain,
or put it back again?
You? All of you?
Or just me?
Or me and you?

Is it too late to escape
a fate effete?
Has every shade of empathy
been tuned to white noise?
Oh, boys mun,
such wretchedness is fetid.

Are we lost? Have we lost?
Do you see what I mean?
What dies, what lives,
what emotions in the end
scream at the dark
drowning in mouthfuls

"Oh, I don't know" you say.

I see; so you don't know!
What a crying shame
that no one is to blame,
that no one did it.
I didn't ... did I?
Did you?
Come on.
Own up.

I can't stand this hypocrisy!

Friday, 16 June 2017




a minded of the land and byways
this earthen mould in mind reversed
inside out and introspected in
footfalls guided down time's eyes
the way it's always been

the sky afire

crag's jagged reticence scarred in grass
and in burnish of the stream's avarice
turned aside for eons the valleys made
that cleave the sky for the moonshine
scalding alone

the sky frozen

gnarled the first trees stake a hold
eyebrows in the fringe glistening with
tears of the wind that crag-ward wind
down the times where we wended thus
sheep-sure footed the cloven ways

the sky in finis thin

petrified in wood and wire rust
stone walled fields the view
that we must not stray
then disavowed that way - no
the copse in coppice oversteps

the sky is larking

the big trees mark the land
as far as the shaded eye on
the bucolic pastures below
scene in the palm of the hand
a land aglow and gentrified

the sky is heavy

the gold and fields call down
come soar and buzz and stir
and sway the breeze grasses full
on the midge meadow stream
my casket mind in embrace

the sky is hazy

abridge the scene the hamlets
snooze and in stone intone
the always thoroughfare
of thoughts that roam
pour home

the sky can see

the factory fire of empire
squire me in a vice tightening
in smoke and grime this time
our time is running out to sea
see see

the sky is stormy

assuredly the root of soot in
minds moulded by this moulding
can scream escape at the nape
of necks to nothing on a block plan
dry and geometrically minded

the sky sinks

thoughts stream away undulating in
adoration of the horizon line
that cleaves the man that can
see the sea and once seen the scene
will wash away the landscapes of the mind

the sky darkens

the desert dunes of stars and
hush blue cooling a dying day
black as the landscape melds
and dying the mind exhales
lay me here in this landscape
alone together in perpetuity

the sky weeps

Monday, 12 June 2017

Solar Wind

Solar Wind
(upon a garden seat)


Swooning, oh the octopus sun,
blanched thoughts go heavenwards,
faced in sun-threads so cocooned.
Summer solstice thoughts
long upon on the solar wind,
under the history of eyelids.
Birdsong heightened in a singular way.
Disembodied, breeze-embraced,
a déjà vu of every beast and man,
since time began, and don't we know it.
A crinkling sun-kiss upon my lips,
ever so slightly sinister,
trusted this day to lie,
soft for bed.
Cat climbs the sunbeam,
trapdoor scratching red,
as the time-clouds pop the dam,
and the dusk tide in full spate
springs from the champagne stars,
o'er the meandering moon,
o'er the 'morrowing sun,
to reclaim night from day.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A Mirage Image

A Mirage Image


Fraught in tended
my flock of words,
pastures of memory
grazed at the knees.
Around every oasis
the gazelle words
leap over
tiger words,
read in tooth and clause,
stanzas in stampede,
your emotions fall
prey brought down,
bitten in breath,
One lives.
One dies.
Memories dissected,
from the entrails,
the glistening tears,
congealing in the dust.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Barra Lament


Barra Lament 

Heart-rending across the beach 
a tartan piper crying in lament,
drawing tears from the wind,
is heading this chain of sadness,
so tiny under the orb of blue,
so tiny across the sand to sea,
their lineage across this bay,
their way amidst the hills,
sadness in a people so aligned.

A lone stone castle cannot believe
this black pain winding cortège 
wrapped in an island far away,
ache linked to a city far away.
Resting on the sun-stone church,
voices of their love for her,
of her, their child, so full of zest
taken - don't ask of evil "why?"
for by God she has returned 
to rest forever,
here at home.

Bowed they
sobbed into the church.
Smiling they
soared out shinning love.

Eilidh you have touched me so,
oh, so, so much more,
than you will ever know.

All is changed forever.

Sunday, 4 June 2017



every diving board day
finger tipping the butterflies
spinning the fields and sky
eyes zest wide in conversation
around every subject under the sun
of the mornings of tomorrow
body-diving onto thoughts
deep same soils of childhood
angst and bravado unquestioned
leaping to float
until the until decides
which music in the veins of youth
in the genetic seams of
all generations turning
the pepper mill and sugar sifter
that lace the ricochets around
the infinite salad spinner of youth
to stampede the horses in
harness and rearing
emotions higher and higher
into the dawn of childhood and
the sun's elemental peaks
breathless in abandon
iridescent in the orbits
across the light years
and back again that
hormonal fountain-hood
blind in love’s pupils wide
and tides of heart pushing
over the sea walls running before
tempestuous propellant thoughts
of everything and naught that aught
to be considered but
is thrown to the four winds
the seven seas of wherever
we will be we will
run spin
dance hug
and kiss
as the sun settles
hot upon the days
hand in hand
settling low
me and you
and them
to kiss
and cuddle
the muddle
adolescent zing
hammock dozing
on the sea
of the being
of the here and now
and how
you and me  
will be
   in all ways