Thursday, 31 May 2018

the cat will see you now

the cat glides under my shadow 
a cadaver-cold-nosed ankle balm
her woollen tail sliding dark-ward 
beckoning down


statue still upon a hare’s breath
head tilted in question to my answer
she looks straight through me 
to where the truth is


as a storm ferris wheel
and wound up tight 
she ricochets off the quarrel walls 

as puppet-master 
she unstrings the swan-lake day
and curls to sleep and sleep
to purr the night away

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


then a sea breeze lays
its bated teenage breath,
upon the awning 
of the morning rays;
and to those yearning days,
so bleared in joy,
that sea of tears;
so minded in the eyes
that look down the ways, 
to the golden days,
beckoning even now,
and even now, 
so irresistible.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

they’re abroad!

they’re abroad! 

the moon boys, cold in the blue dusk flare,
  sledging wide-eyed down the brazier nights,
and, wrapped in that primordial exhilaration, share
  the once and only, the might be mights.

and when the hearth home fades
  into the monochrome,
and when the gossamer threads
 stretch as thin as thin from home;
the boys unchained sledge down their nights,
  wild-minded under the zeitgeist moon;
and tobogganing down from their haughty heights, 
  they crash out, the great fun ended, albeit too soon.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

isn’t it

is just behind the ridge behind you
is just in front of the ridge in front of you
spin around
you’ll never catch sight of them
you know the past 
you guess the future 
but you’ll never see them
today is 
it just is
isn’t it

tell me tomorrow when today is past 

and if it did in gentle’s lightening hours

and if it did in gentle’s lightening hours,
  chance upon the dewed bird’s early worm,
and daisying with the dawn-eyed flowers,
  another summer’s day confirm.

and then they play the old songs, the summer list,
  from the days when we met our chance,
and my tears, thin as upon this morning mist,
  fall sweetly now upon your enquiring glance.

and all our knowing, twirls around that look,
  that held-breath upon the lake of time;
and love that started as a brook,
 now combines the tributaries of you are mine.

and in the darkling down slow hours
  that bat across the flitting moon,
and at these bookend days of ours,
  that came all but too soon,
we’ll fade together, day to night, 
  so hold my hand as i hold yours,
and we’ll kiss goodnight to night.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

on the edge of sleep

there’s a park
between sleep and hark
where the serpent guile 
is upon the surf of dreams 
and sometimes dark
and sometimes light
and sometimes day
and sometimes night 
roundabout the park
empty swings play
and demand we cling on tight
ere we dive in
and dream the while away 

sound the alarm

sound the alarm

the colour of sand
he wanted it the colour of sand
over and over
he said he wanted it the colour of sand
as he walked past with his dog
but you have to eat i said
i don’t know why i thought that 
but i kept on telling him
over and over
you have to eat
from 6 am until 7 am
or the colour will not be real
but he was not listening 
it was as if he wasn’t there

Friday, 18 May 2018


we crept into the graveyard,
through the twisted rusty fence,
through the rustling russet bushes,
to see the blackbird on her nest;
but she was dead.
dead and sitting there,
dead upon her nest.
turning, the dread ran out with us
through the twisted rusty fence.

god i hate everyone

god i hate everyone

the ones who drop litter,
leave it there, let’s drown in it,
  i say!
the ones who park on the pavement
in their hierarchical metal boxes,
coded, badged, and booted.
warrior, animal, and vegetable too.
the sod you generation,
the era of the sod you, sod you,
sod you;

the noisy ones, and the daft ones,
and the ones around the back;
in their nowheres, with
their barbecues, 
barbarising their mistakes.

the fag parents of the fag brains,
in their fag brain obese-mobiles.
  i sodding hate ‘em all.

the blue-rinsers oozing down the scent
of the perfumed hoi polloi, 
their powder layered thick as thieves
of time when time’s run out.

and the squeaky, speaky girls, with their
alabaster faces plastered brown;
oh do make up your bloody mind,
all i see are painted clowns;
but do you think
you looking good? or are
you good for looking at?
  oh for god’s sake!
all that’s fashion is out of fashion,
they are fashioned to be plebeians;
imbecile and infantile.

your mundane conversations, 
the same on tuesday, wednesday,
all week through;
not one fundamental question
follows your how do you do you do

the promenading doggy dumpers,
with their little bags of doggy poo,
nattering about their doggy dos,
and did they do, and do they do?
  ah sod you, sod you,
    sod you all.
       i hate you all.
every single one of you.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018



they are gone now
and i cannot remember them.
how they fitted together so well,
and how i spoke through them.
i never said goodbye, or tartar. 
each extraction was brutal,
a last love-bite and they were gone.

and my curly hair, in sepia;
i can no longer feel the coiled springs,
or the henna of the sunlight.
now in the twilight of my life
i cannot remember them.

every toe nail and finger nail that
i had grown up with and without,
where are they now?
composted where i point; over there.
gone their sublime scratching of the itch
of a flaky skin. i cannot remember.

that exfoliating epithelial rejuvenation,
the snow falling from the buds.
scratched note fading from the hands of time.
i cannot tell if the wardrobe dust is mine,
or yours. so how can i remember.

the red blood cells and their ruddy recycling.
the zillions of gametes that will never meet.
the bone swimming in a mineral sea.
the tears that have flowed.
with the peristalsis to the drain,
its microbiome in full reign.
all gone from my memory.

as the moisture on my breath
condescends to fade,
so do my memories sublimate,
until nothing of substance can be left.
so who am i now?
what is left me now?
an everlasting brush that had
numerous new handles and heads?
now upon the pyre of goodbye. 

however much you drink of the past,
you will piss it away in time.
regard the reflection of your mind,
always one step out-of-step
with the neural ion flux,
that the eons have prescribed.

chip away at the temporal pole and
the tent of thought will collapse upon you;
as your fly-sheet soul in fleeing flies
refusing the evening’s last goodbyes.

i do not recognise the memories,

still ...

Saturday, 12 May 2018

the ache

there is an ache that is so small 
that it cannot be felt, that grows
so slowly that it seems 
to have always been there.

there is a closeness
that is entangled across
the thinness of space,
that however far apart we are
we are not.

but the ache of being apart
can be as heavy as the light years
are to understand, with
the distance is as incalculable 
as the bite is deep.

the flip over to closeness
can come as a shock;
when the ache is inverted to a joy 
that is as high as the mountains of the moon.
come back soon
and let the elasticity of love
sting in the twang,
and we’ll hug again.

je ne regrette rien

but no regrets 

then came the song, and
i was back there in an instant,
on the scent of a memory,
bleared in the tears,
in that blink of an instant 
in time, back then,
when, when; o when ...
it could have been, that
we could have been;
goodbye my joie de vivre,
c'est la vie,

je ne regrette rien.

Thursday, 10 May 2018



to walk the handrails of convention,
  to inhabit habit, and never turn away,
wonder not that the days speed past,
  when you say there is no other way.

when the dues to living are paid,
 and dark days from your temples gone,
when your head soars in the clouds,
  when a light upon the abyss is shone.

  take what’s left of life and say,
this hair’s breadth intoxicates;
  so i will; i will live it my way;
and sleep upon a sun dream.

as down the wooded lanes i fall,
  down to the seas of my beach each day,
and when i return i will simply sit and write
this poem, to tell of the might,
 of how to do it, and why i did it,
and why i did it my way.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

a visitor

the past paid a visit
to where i had paid no attention
and he had not changed a bit
my wandering inattention had
not erased one aspect of the past
and it was so nice at last
to relive the memories
that crinkled around our eyes
and along the smiles between us

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

now upon the pillow of my childhood

now upon the pillow of my childhood
that seducer of thoughts
although many a tear
was shed in secret there
many a fear
was caressed to sleep 
down the corrugated black lanes 

where every boy and girl is blended
into our childhood pal 
gilded of grime
slicing the sunshine into the ways
of the days that ran
tumbling wings-on-heels
eyes screaming laugh-wide
and nostrils full of the pollen 
from corners around corners

the high jumps or the hands and knees 
down amongst the clod turned bugs
and bitten by the webs of breath
that rasped in the stitch of beating
the boundaries of our growing domain

every ruin reborn in a fantasy 
bartered and battled between friends 
in dreams upon the warm-handed stones
and clawed close beneath fingernails
of hands that clapped in gingham chases 

or seated tight in conversation 
not on the ruins 
of the grownup’s somewhere else 
but here on our seats 
with the sun’s breath hot upon our necks
that promised this day is yours
those were the seats

so is this is why I push my face
deep into the pillow of my childhood
where my clenched eyes are dry of the tears
that flowed so readily back then
upon grazed knees that beg to go back 
but the castles of summer have fallen
and yet the gold dust is

Sunday, 6 May 2018

and no chirrup chirrup

two sparrows perched up close
like two bleat-eyed beggar’s dogs
are listening to a blackbird singing
with not even a chirrup chirrup
to coin a phrase

May day, May day, mun

there’s a spider on a moon thread,
that is glistening in the gloom,
drifting in the dewey mist
that must be lifting soon.

and then it will sleep,
up there, in the pear blossom,
that will be snowing in the sun,
of a morning playing possum,
on a typical May day, May day, mun

Saturday, 5 May 2018

the pear blossom is falling

all the snows of winter are falling in the pear blossom
a blizzard is dowered of the dearth 
and is melting to juice the fruit
of a summer long overdue
over the dews of May
steaming away on
this hot and

Friday, 4 May 2018

mammy said

mammy said

mammy said so many times, so many things,
that i often said "mammy said", when
I should have said grownup things;
but mammy said.

mammy said 
"no" to another comic; i think it was
because we didn’t have much money,
but "mammy, mammy, please, please"
usually sliced the bread;
mammy said.

mammy said 
"there are rats under the sink again",
in the scullery where she boiled my shirts in a saucepan,
on the gas ring, where she poked them with a stick 
that sogged shorter and shorter.
dad set a trap and sealed the hole.
mammy said.

mammy said
 "he thinks his shit is chocolate",
the acerbic husband of the lady who ran the post office,
next door, where mammy helped out.
she was a gentle woman so the "chocolate" melted my heart. 
tough what? and
"he thinks his shit don’t smell". 
that’s what
mammy said. 

mammy said "he’s fast asleep";
me, that is, wrapped in a course Welsh shawl 
around her pale blue sequinned dress 
that smelled of valderma.
it frightened me when she said
 "you’re not my little boy".
yes! that’s what 
mammy said!

mammy said 
"you’ll never be half the man that your father is";
"you are like a string of diseased meat".
boy, i must have really upset her that day.
I cannot remember why, but i was a naughty boy.
but, it hurt, that did, but, honestly, that’s what 
mammy said.

mammy said 
"neatness counts",
what did she know of school?
neatness counts for little if the sums are wrong.
in her dark moments, she said 
"laughing leads to crying",
that’s what
mammy said.

mammy said
"don’t swear", "talk when you are spoken to", 
"little boys should be seen and not heard",
"cat got your tongue?", "you’ve got worms you have".
lots and lots of things like that,
mammy said.

mammy said 
she had just "lain out"
mr this or mrs that.
she did that in the village.
the softest of women could be hard.
"someone has do it",
mammy said.
‘it’s the living you have to fear"
daddy said.
"take no notice of your father",
mammy said

mammy said 
"look at them all in their Sunday church best,
come an look with me, here on the bed".
fox stoles and lucky rabbits feet in silver clasps;
passing by our window.
"they’re all airs and graces",
mammy said.

"she’s a nice girl" mammy said,
and we were wed.
"they are good boys" grandpa said,
as mammy did the ironing. 
"ah! cachy" my nana used to say.
"she only had one lung, you know",
that’s what
mammy said.

mammy said 
"who is making the sandwiches?".
she always howled unconsolably at funerals;
all her sisters did.
it could be a bit unsettling
until the tea was served.
"nice sandwiches",
mammy said.

"i’m dying" mammy said.
"it’s going right through me;
they’ve taken my clothes away
and these don’t fit",
mammy said.
we said "no, no" ever so gently;
but she was dead;
she was dead.

and all i could think of was:

"what would mammy say now?"
"what would mammy have said?"