Tuesday, 27 February 2018

then again

then again

take me down to laugharne again,
the quiet ways of the sleepy town 
again, and we’ll pretend 
a drink in brown’s and then
write a line through the writing shed,
window cobwebbed, and on again, 
to tea at the boathouse on the mud,
and how he’d bloody laugh at them,
a fag-coughing, uproarious, laugh and then 
he would snare them in a poem. 
I want to see that laugharne again,
heron stranded on a broken-boated tide.
oh, do take me back to laugharne again,
to the white-walled-gated lanes again,
it brings back the undermilk words to me, 
for he might be around every corner see,
and there he is again! 
but then again, then again ...

Monday, 26 February 2018


the butter on this crusty life;
not the pretty words that tip toe
around the profound, like petals
softening down the thorns.
no, give me the rancid butter prose,
that lingers in your moustache,
beneath your wrinkled nose.
the clever words,
that arm-in-arm you,
before they ...
just out of the sunlight
they ...
knife you in the guts!
those are the words that words fear;
for they will soil their reputation,
will bear no repetition.
these are the words i am searching for. 
stake the kid glove words 
in the moonlit clearing,
and we’ll await the tiger’s clause.



what smoulders still?
ere love’s day is past.
when the body in the mind,
has spent its last on last.
when the days are longer, 
as they fall short,
upon climacteric’s ashen cheeks,
that are no longer rouge in thought. 

but the heart speaks in other ways,
to another love that love has brought,
that by one unto the other, 
love’s final days are bought.
when eyes hug closer, 
and cheek to cheek,
we lay down forever 
together, and we dream

down to meeting, 
and kissing,
and holding hands, 
and laughing,
life’s maypole pirouette.

my love, never forget,
that no man can put asunder; 
for what smoulders now,
smoulders forever;
for our love’s a day 
that in every way,
will never, ever, 
end up as our past.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

snit my house

snit my house 

in a mind that still wanders
through the rooms of my childhood,
even under the stairs of the coal store
that housed the house.
in that stone terraced cottage,
that “slum dwelling” 
in the words of a council report.
the kitchen, the back kitchen, the scullery.
my cold watered, no heating childhood
of the bath in front of the coal fire, filled
from the gas boiler in the scullery.
that warm-radioed room where the bath
sat on the mat of my infant reader,
and where a warm-towelled mum sought 
no tide marks, god forbid!
where friday night was armarmi night.
how the coal-gritted mat annoyed,
and the gravel-warted soap grated.
even the ducks three on the wallpapered
sky, flew in a halted dawn.
where the mantled clock chimed of
westminster and the fire died down the days, 
above the wood-panelled lower walls,
where the black pads hid their midnight feast.
tip toe through the rooms of my childhood.
the hush china parlour, antimacassar armchairs,
thick curtains and no air. no room at all really.
along the archeological passage of gloomy fuse boxes 
a red runner rug and a light switch. 
and the green door. always green on the outside
cream on the inside. a four leafed clover.
no air in the sarcophagus. a gold mask on
the sideboard dining room filled by a table and chairs;
and the watching coal fire. a seance of sitting
between the draft of the stairs and the branding iron.
the rented television saying nothing,
nothing about the rooms of my childhood.
upstairs slept in a sunbeam of dust.
downstairs crept a day older
as the ghosts of mum, dad and child
waltzed beyond 
the rooms that grew smaller and smaller
with my childhood.
the dot on the television screen
the end of the days.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

tapestry of time

the torn and threadbare tapestry of time, 
through which run golden threads sublime.

Naught tree boys

A long hot summer's day "what shall we do?"
  "Let's chop down a tree".
We knew just where to find a fine timber
                                                                        atop a tumbrel
                                                           that we could tumble.
That would be as innocent a game as these tumbling words,
For, as yet, we had no sense of the sublime.
Down by the derelict row of four houses
at the end of Station road
were three tall poplars at the top of a wall
above a dried-up canal.
       Cross over the wooden bridge
                  over the railway
                            and we were there.
The leaves of the populars were gently tiddlywinking in the breeze,
pale yellows, greens and greys,
                                                        whispering and watching the boys below.
Not an axe but a hatchet,
to chip away through the bark and bite the wood wider and wider.
"Put a bigger cut where we want it to fall" sagacity said,
                                                                                                    and so, we did,
and we chopped
         and we chopped
                        all day long.
Getting there,
   getting there,
                          cutting here,
                            cutting there.
Rest a while,
                      and chop a while,
                      and rest some more,
all day.
A quiet low sigh,
                            a creaky cough,
a terminal wince of pain.
                     We looked at each other,
phuffed away a shiver of guilt,
and chipped a little more.
It was swaying slightly,
                            stressing the remaining wood.
Hatchet thrown aside, pallbearers palming the trunk, we pushed.
The tree creaked, and we squeaked,
                                                              as we pushed it back and forth.
Then, as it oscillated one last time, we kept the pressure up
      over it went,
                                                   floating as it fell.
Then crash!                                                           It hit the ground
and every leaf and dusty twig swarmed up into the air
and into our hair.
It's done,
              and we are done
                                             But, oh, what have you done?

You naughty, naughty, boys!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018




mankind’s demands - insatiable,
homo sapiens demise - inevitable.
it’s the math of population,
of defenestration deforestation;
the drive along highway’s horizon
teetering at the edge of the world.
Gaia you are dying, poisoned of this
dubious chalice as their plans unfurled;
but, come now, relax ... relax ...
you know that well before nemesis, 
everyone alive will soon be dead,
so, high in hubris, why look that far ahead?
just benignly motor on instead;
yabber, dabber do! race you to the rubbish tip;
oh, come on now! stiff upper lip!
nothing is as bad as it first appears,
surely there will be something ahead,
when finally the world is dead.
i’m sure there will be an epitaph,
to make a space traveller laugh;
what a load of plonkers they really were,
nothing to show that they we here.
tick them off, one less civilisation,
a species with moral constipation,
they did not win the human race,
when all’s said and done, a disgrace.
good riddance to them all,
for they did not heed the writing on the wall.
across the empty reaches of space,
the tale will be told of the nation,
who were so consumed with greed,
they wanted everything, 
but it brought them nothing,
in death they bleed into the ashes,
cooked in their fan-oven world,
medium to well-done in cinders,
ne’er you mind your moaning sisters,
you shall go to the wall,
it’s one minute to midnight,
and the final curtain call.

Monday, 19 February 2018

the searcher

the searcher


why me? why am i torn of the abyss
for the slaying of the poetry?
why do i pestle the mincer of words?
waiting for the delivery of fresh meat,
from the prairie that is mind.
who chose me at this late date
to wait on the spirits of the rhymers,
to flagellate the shredded veil,
to nail every thought that might
be the message for the page.
why do i have to ache this way?
to say what?
when it is said i’ll know, i’ll know,
but what i don’t know is, why me?
there are so many feathers gagging
my mouth and still i have yet to eat the flesh.
they fly without feathers, even as i call return,
come back, why are you fleeing? 
what should we?
and i must say we,
when i ask, why me? over, and over,
and over, when i don’t deliver
on so many pages hang the words 
that do not last the wash of tears, 
the bitter tears of frustration.
why me? 
and, yet, perhaps it is not meant to be me?
then why can i not stop?
why am i me ing it, whingeing, whining?
when the pages are slaughtered with grapeshot words,
pages as dead as the verses in hearses,
call yourself a poet!?
and still i prospect the storm drains of my mind,
searching as the blood-eyed iron rails upon the sieve,
and never, never! the nugget. never!
so why me?
               why do i seek the richness of words
in the mine that is spent, in the well that is dry.
is there one last jewel calling in the wilderness?
have me home. am i the only light for the way?
will my dying breath call it said?
will it lie above my name upon the page?
to be known as sagacity, the sage his muse.
she was born when he died. 
he stayed the course,
of course,
and now he is gone.
he left the words that he had searched for all his life,
he placed them gently on the last page.
and closed the book on: why me?

why not you might ask;
because he found it,
did he not?

Friday, 16 February 2018

each one a thousand fragments


each one a thousand fragments,
the new one fragmented more;
when the two of us,
meld into the one of us,
the fragments fragment more.
facets of the meld of us.
remembering each other’s memories,
alliterations of the said and unsaid;
the spaces between the highs and lows,
the fractured features of your face or mine,
where every pain and tear entwine;
where every laugh we cried,
where every child we nursed, 
will ne’er be gainsaid.
their facets were our fascination.
the thousand ways that you see me,
seeing you in your thousand ways.
oh can’t you see? that we 
      one of a thousand fragments;
you a fragment in a thousand.
me a fragment in a thousand.
together we are a thousand, thousand,
              fragmented kisses;
but just a fragment in our time;
and ne’er our twain to meet.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

night light

the owls are calling
in the nostrils of the night
in the sinuses of the dark.
eyes wide in the moonlight
hark, hark!
who are they calling?
who? who?
please; if it’s OK with you?
let’s not put out the light.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

the valentine days

the valentine days


each contour under two tracing fingers,
entwined across our spreading map; 
following the un-walked paths. 
all together leaning, the two of us, 
toward the one world line of our lives, 
similarly entwined and coterminous 
in our eyes; dark in spark in welded pupils, 
pooling our tears of laughter. how much dafter can
the fluttering butterflies pirouette, tickling 
in belly tight to belly tight. rarely in life will we
embrace the mountain top to valley
rollercoaster ride. the wurlitzer waltza 
on the spinning fairground ride of our new
life together, as we are, so we are, aren’t we?
breaths shared by arms around each other,
hands entwined and swinging in time to
some private tune. sinking into each other,
in the royal jelly, sweet in the hive of our minds,
in the way we float in thought, spliced together, 
both incanting in a whisper, you are mine, 
forever and a day.

plastic pollution

#Swansea Council
is it not a disgrace?
when you tell us that we have to place,
tons of soft plastic in our bins;
surely this is one of the deadly sins?
with all the plastic grains within the sea,
with all the brains out there, it seems to me,
that you HAVE TO find the win win solution,
that will recycle the soft plastic from our bins;
so that we can finally kill this killer,
this unrequited love, so out of kilter;
the plastic coffin that is our pollution.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Mrs Crandon

A small, lace widow, with sparrow-stocking legs,
arming me, a child, down the right path
from Band of Hope. “bandorfvorp”.
Her torch knitting the snowflakes,
into a threadbare blanket on the path
to the main steps of the chapel
and onto the village hushed. 
If there is a God, then
She was walking with me there. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

I want to ask you a question

I want to ask you a question.


It was up at Tydraw, where they razed the houses,
shall I tell you how? Or why, more like.
It was because they,
they were like criminals, see.
No cure; so they simply razed
them to the ground; there’s a green field
there where the road leeds to Tir John.
Down another was Tygwilt, my dad said,
and I think I walked there, down the valley,
by the steam, beneath the trees, by Brown’s farm,
where the dogs barked. Boy, how they barked
above the bird’s nest that we found, we held our ground,
didn’t we boys? Not really afraid like. But we didn’t want
him to chase us mun, because we had the bird’s egg see.
“All behind like Brown’s cows”, my mum used to say.
Yes I think I’ve walked there, that I can probably say.
And around the back below there, above Crumlin bog
I’ve walked the rusty shedded road to Winchwen,
and back again to the Black woods with the
chestnut trees and the stream 
where we raised that fox. Up the stoney muddy lane
between the hillside farm, where the dogs cornered us,
and the farmers wife was stopped, put in her place with
the farmers cry: “never mind the dogs woman!
Get the fucking heifer! The fucking heifer!”.
Never mind the dogs, we ran from the farmer,
and dogs minded the heifer. Not going there again
for heifer and a day; we laughed all the way
over Kilvey Hill above the docks, and in the quarry
that had a gold mine, that’s far enough in and out 
above Danygraig cemetery where the black dog rang
the bell at closing time, err the ghosts take foot,
eh? Then on up Grenfel Park road to 
see the Tawe flow in the valley beneath the rocks, where
there is a German bullet lodged in the warm-handed stone,
we said. And we said it was a tree trunk in the river,
until they pulled the dead boy out, God his mother’s screams
made us shiver. We ran the sulphur slag slime yellow slither
along Rifelman’s Row and Taplow Terrace. So near home
and, phew!  And phaw, Dennis the Menaces we are see, 
going down Pentrechwyth steps and home for tea.

So there you are; 
that’s what I were,
that is me.
So now my question is ......

Will you marry me?