Sunday, 26 December 2010

Cats and Dogs

The light was black and sugary,
with a bowl of milk in the sky
as Tom stared out the window
at the cats and dogs at play.

Then the sugar began to fall,
the wind spooned it round and round,
and soon enough the layers grew,
and the cats and dogs were drowned.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Quiet Room

Empty bottles now full of air
on sideboards and magazines,
with just-polished polystyrene
carcasses of chips and chicken goujons.

Up late with the playstation on,
we rev the controllers,
engine noise empties the silence
into the bags of sweets;

they rustle in protest, a rally met
with hi-fives when the cars cross the line;
victory music soundtracks the key
turning in the lock;

the one he’s been waiting for
returning in decibels of laughter.

The dial of the room turns;
in the ambience, bodies share warmth,
talk turns to shouts above the tv,
ears sting, sleep pulls but is lost.

Drama has its foothold
in the ice shaken from shoes,
the questions of unanswered texts
and the unburdening of alcohol.


New light fades out of the gloom now;
her face softly peeled unto him
as she sleeps on the sofa.

Last night, at last, when the crowd
sowed silence with their sleep,
they were able to hold on to each
others’ kisses; an orchestra of breathing

and drumming hearts; breath in the windpipe
exchanging notes as sheet-music
tried to collaborate,
as treble clefts caught on tongues.

He listens now to her breathing;
in his ear in the night it tickled
- stomach lurches with desire a-sudden,
yet was steadfast during conception.

He took her arms for granted in the dark,
her interlacings with his,
cravings somehow sated too easily
in the comfort of mutual heartbeats.

In absence, his heart will wring
its clanging blood-bell,
a kiss lingering on a cheek only a temporary respite
before settling back in the armchair.

He listens now to the walls;
in the staging of life they listen
but do not record; he hears nothing.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Inactivity becomes moving minstrel
sounds of natural music,
muted by distance, from a shell
appears an imago, perfect.

The chrysalis of blooming colours;
reds and pinks and pearls
so white of pure crystalline wine,
aged and cracked with time.

It’s a grammalogue of nature;
hibernating morphosis
from ugly duckling to Cygnus:
the painted fly of butter.

Flutters the wings from leaf to leaf,
it seeks its hardened siblings.
Then, up, camouflaging with the sky,
chasing forever its new life.


We avoided the living grief of failed love,
like household chores delayed a day,
or more, dirty plates piling
around thoughts unsaid;
my silence;
your chatter.

Our impending sentence,
writ by your departure,
a black hole,
a day of darkness.

Too easy to say it's too hard
to say goodbye;
even here in the afterglow
of this empty house,
this half-bed,
wishing the goodbye had been better.
We justified that.

I left the room of this poem just then,
feeling blindly the walls and the floor,
fetching a tissue to blow my nose,
noticing nails in the walls
like the framed birthday card you kept,
‘til now;
just fodder for the recycling bin
and a restless night.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Open Seams/Closed Seams

Love’s sleeve’s wet and torn,
                strands of cotton stray and catch
on barbs, blooded scratches may not match cuffs;
collar tight as tie too drawn;
                ink-stained fingers toughened red, rip
salted organ parts; that stomach-heart
switching of places; the muted ache.

About this, no bliss will counter-balance,
not prior, now or then; Zen’s sutures
                will dismiss the wet and torn
                and the collar drawn to tight;
exsanguinate in cold bathtub light,
sew stitches with antiseptic needles
and tattooist ink, replace the places switched.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Song Lyrics: Slow Down

With scenes of my life running by too fast
And everything seeming not to last
Growing up here is such a sudden blast
I want it to slow down

Slow down, slow down,
I don’t ache to see tomorrow’s sun
I don’t want to be forgotten
I don’t think I’ll be the one
Who celebrates every birthday
Slow down, slow down

No early, mid or late for me thanks
I’ll just take it with unloving grace
Not disappear without a trace
Crush the candles beneath my feet
Hold on to youth with hands still as sweet
As the innocence of children’s belief
I want it to slow down

Slow down, slow down
I don’t ache to see tomorrow’s sun
I don’t want to be forgotten
I don’t think I’ll be the one
Who celebrates every birthday
Slow down, slow down
I don’t wanna be married yet
Children filling my life with debt
Eyes looking at me as though I’m dead
Slow down, slow down
Slow down, slow down

I don’t wanna be married yet
Children filling my life with debt
Eyes looking at me as though I’m dead
Slow down, slow down
Slow down, slow down

Friday, 17 December 2010

Nobody Else (right now)

It’s the absence of hurt (right now)
where perhaps there should be some,
that in sitting down and ticking on
the simplicities glow neon
- I can accept that I must wait
- and too that waiting may be in vain.

My chair is static,
     my knees tucked in,
my belly full,
     the room quiet and dull.

In the absence of any sound,
my voice whispers to my heart;

     wait and see
     the illusion that she may fit you perfectly
     may not be a trick of the light

The calm protects it with steel
and with a seal, it’s locked, for now.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

On the Nature of Snow-Angels

It’s time I wrote my saving grace
my fallen epic-centred skit,
for in this race too oft-dismissed
my time may yet be deftly cut
and missed, and wishes left
behind the curtain, better
left behind the curtain, may
yet be cut too short.

But what of the turning grace,
that one desired hook and
line to turn a face to crumpling
skin and bone?

Let loose my poet’s lust,
let it out of my control and see
what temptations come about.

Shrug off the shackles of iambic
and the frantic search
for rhyming gambits, you poetic
Romantics. And scrap syllabic
counting, free the poetry’s

But what am I really releasing?
It is me I am setting free.
It is me, this poem is,
set in the safety of my mind,
dispersed across the page and
blown like winter leaves
(just one poetic cliché, please)
across the minds of my dear
desired readership, hip hip

What a day for leasing others’
poem’s unoriginal themes. What a
day for anthologies.
Seems snow is a famous one,
every other incorporated it,
and apt, it is, for snow
has come, and at Christmas too;
drops of flashing colours twinkle
through the gauze on peoples’
houses; homes snow-
born bereft and caged, their
families inside and trapped,
where nothing stirs, not even a

I fancy the ideal’s corrupt,
the snow-angels remain outside,
remnants of them kicked from
shoes and melted once inside.

But that is how it goes,
in the search for imperfection,
‘cause there are no absolutes
in the duress of our relations,
and it’s folly to molly-coddle
the resolutions of the old;
keep moving and expanding,
building potential from the snow,
so when it melts there remains
the solid grounding of your growing,
moving, plate-tectonic shifting,
perma-idealistic psyche.

For a further grounding in reality
see the symbolic tree as it grows
in my arboretum, the sum of its
branches like the thoughts of poets,
and Creatives, and such-like;
such that the tree grows as
though drawn, not by sun,
but by soughing after sparks
as thin as air, disparate
sparks of originality,
daring to drink, think and be.

I’ll take this and bed it now,
and like it but never love,
smile at it quietly.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


In this bar works the girl with the superpowers;
waiting on drinks, she walks past,
rendering tunnel vision

- the world a shadowy eclipse
around her smile -

and as the night goes on
her drinks poison
with cotton-mouth.

Words stick on the tongue
with her super-glue;

but if only she knew
she could be free,

if only she would reveal
her secret identity.


Feet shuffle trolleys closer and closer
Beings on stilts move further and further
From the ideals of the omniscient
And so-called trinity magnificent

On the heels of the morosely mundane.
The creator of this must be insane.
Though of course just look into their faces
We are beings with gene imperfections

Just caught up in life's trivialities
Single thoughts and single realities.

Then he looks at the old woman and cane
Grey-haired and eyes darkened by years of pain
He sees his mother in her fallen grace
Wipes a tear from the essence of his face.

Emotion is the meaning of all this.
Devotion is the reason to exist.
His phone beeps in the pocket of his jeans
Did a god mean for us to text unseen

Like strangers easily falling in love?
No one foresaw this, removing his glove
The trembles of his hand just like his heart
As he read the text, smiling from the start.

Beings shuffle trolleys to the cashier
Their faces still morose from standing here
But twice today already his being
Has felt the force of this almighty thing.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Lyrics of sort: Godless Hymn

Take your time don’t rush yourself
Take the time to take the right path
See the truth before you’re grey
If there was a god, he’d say

What have you done?
He’d ask the questions of us
That we would ask of him
What was it that we
Forgot to sing in our hymns?

Ask yourself the questions you’d ask
Ask yourself those questions and see
That you have the answers all along
That today this god doesn’t belong, here

Where has he gone?
He’d ask us what’s happened
To our international faith
Well where has he been
Since the world started to shake?

Be strong, be united
See the world undivided
Have faith instead in the kind of man
That needs no great beyond
Who sees no great beyond.

Song Lyrics: Strangers

Take the bus today
see the strangers sitting down
their faces washed with sorrow

as the sorrow turns around
their frowns turn upside down
we can see who we should follow


We are always looking at strangers
looking for the signs of danger
looking for the latest lover

waiting for the one
who will look into our eyes
see the lies
in the light of the sun
as the truth we try to hide


We stand now at the turning point
it could be time to disappoint
let ourselves go or leave.

We must find our heart’s home
see what the stranger’s shown
take a leap and believe.


Monday, 13 December 2010

Flightless Starlings

In the eaves of my nightly factory,
perched on insulated pipes are starlings;
my vulnerable birds whistle quietly
to the songs the radio is playing.
The shift progresses with each raised eyebrow,
flutterings take flight from within my heart.

On the ‘telephone wires’ the whistles grow;
a brown cloud above develops and parts,
breeds the makings of my lust’s exponent
- on the anniversary of our kiss -
the moments of your tongue’s searching movements,
the gentle nibbles on my lower lip;

I pay my respect with an hours silence,
an act that breeds more of these flightless birds,
- my heart filling the eaves in remembrance -
becoming a cacophony of words;
a bitter mix of your sweet distraction
and the torture of our reality;

never needed that kiss so much as this,
yet you’ve never felt this distant from me.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sigh of the Oppressed

The air was full or sermon,
it swam in hot breaths

of oscillating tides
from oval lips,

until the air moaned "Amen"
beneath the weight.

Its layered sediment
glued child's eyes,

waxed lyrical in ears
fossilised in lungs.

Saturday, 11 December 2010


The sand stings here.
It is dry, cloud-soaked,
lifted feathery
and sucked inland on sharp
sea exhalations.

Fluffing debris from hair,
pinging cheers chime
with teddy-bear bells
as I part money in jest.
Waltzers dance behind.

Screams scowl down the rails
of rolling cages
as lights tanned by age
and sand
flash, flash and clash

with long shorts,
tank tops, sheltered shops
with spades and flip-flops.
Wind wraps around
the sound of falling tuppence,

and prying child-arms.

Arriving at Talland Bay

From the womb of the hill
I slip down the road,
blind at corners,

drowning without
stereoscopic eyes
or forceps.

Mother waits in the light,
all dripping
salty sweat

upon the rocks,
and sighing
as she crashes.

like the gown
of flat sand

crumpled and creased
by the power
of her movements;

pooled with still
after birth

– too still for
me and my beating heart
to know.

The Double Bed After You Left

This is the side you slept on,
this is the pillow that smelled of you,
these are the eyes that saw you undress,
this is the thought that keeps me awake.

This the hand that came undone,
beneath the shirt that fell apart.
These the fingers that felt so dead,
ten minutes later, and on and on,
that got cramp it went on and on and

these the lips that touched to yours
were fire, not ice, like now,
that touched to you were quivering,
like my tongue, like you, like the bed.

This is the tongue I tasted with
that licked your belly-button stud
(how many had done that?
                                          No matter.)
That played with your sweet one.

So this is me, who held you here,
……… Here………
this is the chest you lay your head on,
this is the bed I loved you in.

You are everywhere, we are everywhere,
this is the pen I serenaded you with…

The Windmill Pub

Salt-bashed skin
walk into The Windmill pub,
at the end of the sun-day,

skin after skin
of rosy white and
clotted pores.

The sun-flesh sacks
sit in seats
sipping drinks.

From wallets blushed,
prices paid;
prices of beachy convenience.

Cream on dotted walls
cage them
at teak tables,

beneath breathing bronzes
and coppered hunger,
guilded thirst.

Cars and Empty Spaces

You napped
eyes bringing dreams
lips parted and wet

so productively
I shopped

cars on the road slow on ice
winter racing

Christmas chasing
shops packed the parking spaces

found one
all the way to the top of the

a vacant space
of a frozen grail
gobbled like chocolate oranges

parting through the shoppers
staging the economic foundations
for another year

presents sought
none bought

bound for you again and again
the time treacled through my

cars stacked as dominoes
unfalling and snowing now too

I teemed
til the driveway came into view again

a rectangle of tarmac
stamped into the snow where your car
had gone

insides empty too