Tuesday, 31 March 2020

planting moonbeams

planting moonbeams

planting moonbeams‬
‪a shadow’s width apart‬
watered with fresh tears‬
‪from this joyous heart‬

polestar their name‬
‪pole star their pivot‬
‪for this moon-spun night‬
‪fairy tight‬
‪popping the buttons all our fears‬
‪as off we go home to bed‬



crossing off all that was unnecessary ‬
all that was cosmetic in life‬
soon we’ll we will be realeased‬
‪and like young calves we’ll cavort ‬
we’ll eat clover‬
‪only the flies will irritate‬
‪and yet we will smile‬
‪we’ll flick our tails ‬
‪at the sunshine‬

Saturday, 28 March 2020



Belied in the sky’s underworld-overworld
stormed thoughts, beknighted in black lightening,
sir death is suffocating in the dust of rages
blown across the incontinents of a thought
that whatever is, it isn’t here in the air, or there
deep in the ground, but deep in here (taps head).
Inconsistencies tumbling down the up escalator with
faggots of light waxing lyrical in puns so dark
that they congeal blood in the strata of the mind.
Mind you go no deeper now.   Do you hear me?
Echo’s echo - Do you here me? me  me     me ...



The cave diver has lost his way,
there is no way back
from the caverns filled with tears.
Beauty gyrating in his lamp suspended,
as he floats forever in this cathedral.
Replaying the old songs.
Rebreathing the air.
Hold me tight and

lock ‘em up!

lock ‘em up!

high dudgeon in a deep dungeon 
whence all-of-a-sudden 
the cullis is pouring solace 
into the mouths of a populace 
of gargoyles 
the memorial gardens
memories now laid to rest
in the mausoleums of follies 
found deep in the grounds of
mansions that laud it over
the peasant’s penury
a paupers grave
perpetually in
flagrante delicto 
in chains

stay the knife

stay the knife

but such are words‬
‪once born ‬
‪to kill them would be infanticide ‬
to abort a thought‬
‪is to deny life‬
‪to a virtually unique‬
‪never to be again‬
‪and again do not say‬
‪rather die yourself‬
‪than deny thought its birth‬
‪or to be the grave ‬
‪of your muse‬

Friday, 27 March 2020



                    laid bare

until there is
                     nothing left

but a broken society

tunnel vision

tunnel vision 

he’s dead now
but i remember arguing about
the bridge that thought it was a tunnel
a tunnel through the air it said
a tube above the ground it was said
seen from the ground it was not underground 
seen from inside it was a tunnel in the sky
with no air except at each end where 
what was said mattered
not one wit

Wednesday, 25 March 2020


tell of how bad it was
the victims do not
argue      that 
the dead poets were greater
for as the surviving poets now say
nothing seems important anymore 
the tears seem clearly false
the blood is thin
a bloody virus seems 
such a pathetic reason 
to write purple prose   or
to call upon all that is holy
to spare us now that the latter days
are upon us
ask now 
will i be the great survivor
or the great survivor’s greatest regret

the forest

are they whispering 
you ask
or am i talking to myself
the reply never comes
so you tell the trees
that you are talking to yourself
and please do not interrupt 
now where were you

Tuesday, 24 March 2020



for some strange reason the word ululates ‬
‪between uvula and vulva.‬
words are strange beasts, are they not? ‬
‪you think you have them broken-in ‬
‪and then one up and goes feral,‬
‪jumps the corral and is off ‬
‪cackling away in a coracle‬

Monday, 23 March 2020

Or have I lost the plot?‬

‪‘They’ are borrowing all this money,‬
‪but ‘who’ are they borrowing ‘it’ all from?‬
Could ‘they’ not  give it all away‬
and ‘we’ would be OK,‬
‪would we not?‬
‪Or have I lost the plot?‬

RS Thoms?

RS Thomas?
Take this one poem,
or that one poem;
but let’s say this one - 
stranded upon it
like Robinson Crusoe 
with no man Friday. 
All the looking done and now 
sitting forlorn, on this chest of gold. 
Black gold with widow spiders
set in cold tears. 
The end of the road. 
A poem to die in. 
At last I need look no further.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

f*alright 451‬

f*alright 451‬ 

when all have stockpiled panic‬
and the shelves are fully empty‬
‪all we’ll have is empty in plenty 
then when altruism dies‬
‪society follows 
and ignores our cries. 

‪i’m f*alright 451‬


cities empty
wilds go viral
the isolator has tripped up
the mountain passes   where    we 
meet a metre apart
to view the temptation 
of the wilderness to
explain these times
but it fails
and our trails 
only lead back down


spider lines the web of life‬
‪dream catchers of our pasts impart ‬
‪stretching time miles ‬
into sublime smiles‬
‪enwrap my unwary heart‬

mothering sunday

a mother’s face blown apart in love
at the birthing of you 
you sweet little thing
this moment in time
when the future was born
memories placenta cut ache 
drifting slowly 
slowly slowly 
it breaks my heart 
until this love of you ‬
‪returns in a smile‬

Saturday, 21 March 2020

boys become men‬

boys become men‬

it was how they learned of death‬
‪the taking of it drawn in breath ‬
in future deciding not to take‬
‪but by giving it their futures make‬

Friday, 20 March 2020

one day

every day i walk to the sea
through the cemetery 
every day i swim
and walk home 
through the cemetery 
this is the way
but one day
i will stop on the way

lunar sea

‪in the cradle of the lunar winds‬
‪sheer lunar sea they say of me‬
‪but so so little do they know‬
‪of the way the waves wave me‬

Wednesday, 18 March 2020



our outside toilet had a door with a window
my dad found it on a building site
we were poor
but we were rich
he made it so
they were good times but he is dead now
perhaps the ‘good’ times will return
when ‘bad’ times return
the window of opportunity 
may be in a shitty place

Monday, 16 March 2020


once in everyone’s life they stare into the abyss
you can freeze
or jump
or turn back into the arms of those you love
and walk tall
for you have passed the test
days in the wilderness may seem harsh
but the fatted calf waits at home

ovid emptor

                                        goes viral
pass it on 
pass it on
i caught the twitter bug       so
followers keep your social distance
i.e.   closer and closer          for
in these days of distress distemper
caveat emptor
    caveat emptor
        caveat emptor

Sunday, 15 March 2020

i’m ok

i’m ok 

it’s raining outside
but it will stop later this morning
soft music on the radio
and the cat is snoozing
  a deep breath 
taken by both of us

there’s a light spring breeze
through the open window
the daffodils have gone over
and the forsythia is in bloom

breakfast forgotten for
there is coffee soon

glittering like rain drops 
on the corkscrew hazel
my thoughts of nothing
turn upon a pinhead

i am riding the elevator of the dawn’s rain
in an armchair of no desire
colin the boxer dog walks his owner home
the beach still in his eyes

the garden is fasciculating in the breeze
and everything is rain striped
prevailing west to east
no complaining by the sparrows building 
today’s nests
for summer will be laid here soon
before me

the music changes tempo
coffee has been sipped and 
black chocolate thoughts nibble
the new day to behold
words upon a spring tide
in full flow


the mirage
of triage
is not the oasis
it seems to be

Saturday, 14 March 2020

terminal - all change 

when they come within their plastic suits
  and their gloves and masks and their gain spray
that they are safe against this viral brute
  we are told (simply) ‘wash your hands’ and pray
more often than not
   the religious leaders pray Skype 
for they have too lost the plot
  and have fallen for the hype

that this virus is sent from hell
  and surely never was it heaven sent
but still this coronavirus’s deadly spell
  says your time on earth was always lent

so time to stand aside now and say
  little molecule have your wicked way
let the wee beasties inherit the crown
  man’s days are over 
           we are standing down

Friday, 13 March 2020

start with the word‬
‪        ‘doubt’‬
‪and once it is out ‬
‪      rub it out‬
and replace with ‬
‪   another word‬
‪    and another ‬
‪  which you may‬
‪     or may not ‬
‪        rub out‬
‪until your eraser ‬
‪      runs out‬
‪     and there is ‬
‪      no doubt‬
‪         left‬
‪     to rub out‬

Thursday, 12 March 2020



are there butterflies under the sea
this silly question just occurred to me
and are there flowers in the sky
that say hi and higher high   for
there are on Twitter many magicians
that stir and stir our imaginations 

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

(taps head)

(taps head)

not out there
but in here (taps head)

in here (taps head)

in here (taps head)

inside of the inside of
your skull
  your heart
    your veins
      your abdomen

your   ‘your’

not a poem about there
everything remembered
coded and filed
and written and filed
and submitted in submission 

but that something that doesn’t exist
like a virtual particle   that pops in
and out of existence  something 
that is so new  it’s unrecognisable 

that when it exists 
you do not
it is a memorial to your outside
wrapped around this inside
both of which do not exist
except you do   you did
don’t you understand 
even now
when you have found it

and on the third day it was red 

Sunday, 8 March 2020

James the Milk

James the Milk

Half small slag stone half concrete,
down it goes, we goes, down the path
to Jame’s the Milk’s dairy;
all white wash and cold marble slabs.
Outside, milk churns wait, inside solitude.
He has a white coat of course, and there
are butter patters on the shelf. Buy milk
by refilling your bottle from a white jug. 
It is so white in here that the milk
is almost invisible. 

My memory does not include his face, 
why should it? I don’t see any cows either.
In my hand I have a crust from Evan’s the shop 
smothered with salted Welsh butter. 
The boy is happy. 
Then there is the band shed. 
My father said it was a band shed.
It is slag and stone and mortar 
and is locked. The huge door is locked. 
But push and the whole thing swings from the top
and in the boys hop to explore - nothing there except
the dark mischief that exits when boys will be boys.

Upon the wrecked car the gangsters shoot
the others who are not gangsters, but they
might be, for the firefight is ferocious. 
Then a pow wow on the ledge along the side
of the green corrugated garage of childhood
memories. Remember further down? The frogs
under stones under stones above where the
little moss stream joins the faster gutter. 
They were all called gutters. 
Into the culvert under the road. 
They were all  called culverts, 
and this one ran right under the station; 
and we walked it through, passed the air vent,
an underground tower.

White stalactites, rat droppings and wet socks
running bravado to its end. We did.
James the Milk son you were a glowing archangel 
high above this lot. Where were the cows? Up on
Kilvey hill they were, see up there at the end of my finger.
Where the heather smelled of honey, although 
we never had honey, or knew that there were shops
that sold it. Carbolic and Brasso yes, honey no.
Funny that init like? 
Very funny mun. 

make sense of it

make sense of it 

memory is a smell
is the colour of a smell
is the feel of the colour of a smell
it is so real that i can touch it
memories are whispering
listen to them 
make sense 
of it

ultimately that’s all there is


they didn’t make their beds
so now they cannot lie in them

Saturday, 7 March 2020

walking back to the frogspawn

walking back to the frogspawn

crawling over the sharp memories of youth
past the blushing pallor of coyness
the down streaming down of time
for there are enough tears to muddy
the path
enough mistakes
enough clinkers to rub dust into wet eyes
under fingernails 
the clause in the contract
of youthful exuberance’s clenched fists 
angst a question that never existed
never the perspective where ascension leads
to another plateau no better than this one
this here and now where we still accept 
that the foothills are no place for a permanent camp
that saturday’s best suit is a uniform
that the worn steps need not be followed blindly
that light postponed until tomorrow 
may at any time 
the slide back polished with joy
for a boy an the hoof to the frog pond
where the frogspawn eyes tomorrow 
and speaks of nothing but the fields
the warm grass under scuffed knees
of a contentment incomprehensible 
under the blue sky and sunny eyes
with pollen dozing do
to sundown’s dozing do

Friday, 6 March 2020

the wind in my hair

we are here where
the wind unwinds 
the air in our hair
it’s all over the place
it’s everywhere
it’s across my face
it’s yeah oh yeah

Thursday, 5 March 2020

OK Governor

OK Governor

I’ve got a nice idea said she/he. 
You’ve got a nice idea? Said he/she. 

Let’s run the heath service down,
and run down social care,
and preventative medicine;
and wait for a pandemic,

which will

kill off all the sick,
the pensioner’s burden,
the weak kids’ schooling,
the smokers future burden,
the football fans clapping,
the pop concert hyenas,
the cosmetic arenas,
the hyper-store minions. 

Kill off the nanby pamby doctors,
and those nursey things, and
all the clingon students and their
lefty lecturers lecturing on about
the core viral subjects;

and we’ll make Britain great again.

All the super fit workers 
working to make Britain great again. 

No need for any tax,
no need for police,
we’ll all be too rich to commit crime;
too fit to need hospitals or
social care. 
No need for armies because 
we’ll have loads of Danegeld. 

We’ll all be rich, rich, rich!

Great plan said he/she/she/he

Then someone said ‘what about the...’

But she/he/he/she were not listening,
they were in the bunker taking their antivirals. 

But what a great plan it is, 
and well on its well on its way to completion. 

What can possibly go wrong?