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.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Hi Sea


Where's the sea?
Inside of me.
Wear the sea
upon me.
Whatever the sea,
it weathers me,
and breaks in wave
over my grave.
Love forever sea.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

hospital gate syndrome


read my genome
do a CT scan
positron emission 
stress ECG

or an EEG

X-Ray chest
body scan
do every blood(y) test 
known to man

test my breathing
dab my stools
dip my pee
sample my drools

hold it


  oh I see
  what WHAT
is hammering 

weigh me
mark my height 
photograph my gait
then MRI

open and close
a stitch in time
inject some dye
I'm turning morose
and don't give a dime
for my prognose
blood transfuse
don't refuse
a transplant or two
before you

anaesthetise me
for an ECT
or better still
some CBT
I seem to be
a b_bit shaky
tell me now
would you prefer
an endoscope up 
an endoscope down
anal retentive 
let's really go to town

cough twice
cardiac surgery
a stent for lent
or a cardiac bypass
on the road to ruin 
of my family tree
genetic counselling 
xxx my arse
you'll never know me
cos you see

they're coming to take me away 
ha ha - ha ha
hee hee - hee hee

but you've lots of data
to remember me
when finally
I can


Check out my Early August Diary on SNN

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The swimmer in winter


Lanyard, seaward, tethered to tide,
the swimmer standing tall.
Owns the slanting day down beach,
and the high sea's sky. That's all.

That's all there is. No secret,
in the knots running spate,
that ebb and flow, instilled
of whether to or not. The fate

of a swimmer in winter facing down
the wind that hiss-spits in his face.
Armfuls of horizon, cutlass grey,
snow gulls tumbling down in grace.

The ocean vehement,
shouldered in towering,
banshee in screams, wild
in glaring, growling, glowering,
a predatory wolf in a skein of sky.
Unfaltering waves, icy in solemnity confirm,
when ensnared in snarls, and gritted by both sides,
they steadfastly refuse to squirm,
or slip their lanyard, tethering tides.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

book ends


my nose in this old book
a seance with every hand 
that held it close
at every fireside lighted
in the dust down gloaming 
  in every nook
  in every strand
  of thought morose
  or drawn delighted 
  booked and roaming
in stares and stares
that rage on the pages 
of where's oh where's
that ache down the ages
entangled in my poem
a very particular duality

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Rotherslade unmade

Have you seen the mess at Rotherslade?
 Where the Council neglect their duty.
Weeds and weeds, not bucket and spade.
  Oh Gower! Why do we neglect your beauty?

But Council (ours), you just sit back in your city,
  for the locals, once more into the breach
dear friends are cleaning up. Such a plastic pity,
  that visitors regularly see, despoiled upon the beach.

Photo here:

Monday, 7 August 2017

Of Rich


We take no memories to the grave,
   not even a pallid, cold sweat in pain.
So when you laid your memories at our feet,
  by such memories you will remain,

forever voiced deep in that Welsh valley,
  your gravel words to stir our guts,
along the brogue and downward lanes,
  where infamy spits, no ifs or buts,

in eyes that ride upon the voice,
  that stare crazy part the time.
That pierce my soul, my bloody-fool soul,
  as that voice harsh blasts the grime 

of ordinariness, in ordinary people,
   that so inordinately love your words,
cut and polished, inebriate in style,
  in feral ferocity trod the limelight boards,

in theatres harangued by sackcloth-to-glory times,
  in a Richardness unbeknown of many men,
swallowed, as must bring meaning to
 the wife of your life. So that if any then

would sink into your worldly sneer,
  or in the far horizons of your bleary eyes,
wrapped deep in smoke, that, when the hard spirits
  had wrought what lay therein, therein up and dies.

What words of yours shall we read,
   to know exactly who you are?
Until, sanded by your gravel voice,
  we will know then, that you are ...

Richard Burton,
from Pontrhydyfen.