Monday, 15 December 2014

Mrs P.

Now even
the most mundane
of tasks
are a muddle for her:

she chews her oral pills,
she's incapable
of using the kettle,
and now the commode
is seeing use.

Soon, she will be
unable to live on her own.
A life will come to an end,
a new existence shall start
as her daughters

put her in a home.
They will shed a tear
and remember their mother
as she 'used' to be -
as she will never be again.

And Mrs P, she
will maybe cry,
and maybe throw some
mean words, keen punches;
or she will try.

But soon it will be better,
as she looks out
on a perfect morning,
a birdsong afternoon,
the visage something entirely

alien to her, as she
lives her past in the present,
projects the present
into the future,
and her days all haze 

into one.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Some people
are like goldfish:

they only swim
in one direction,

their brains mute
to possibility.

At the end,
maybe they realise.

But by then
it's too late

and then they die.

Paper Heart (Poem for My Future Wife)

It's only been
eight months,
and already
I know we will spend
the longest time together:

maybe not forever -
and I mean eternity -
but maybe long enough
to keep liking one another,
and raise a family.

Only eight months,
and already
count the times
your paper heart
has crisped with my touch -

gone 'crispy', you say,
in your foreign way.
And see how
our bed is now
a bed of cinders,

and not a love nest.
The girls before,
I would have written
sonnets for them,
waxed lyrical how I adored

them, my adoration
reaching out to them
like the two arms
of the shore.
But now I have more,

much more - and
it's real. So soon,
we will be married,
and not so soon.
And every thing will

be carried, every coin
tallied, between the
two of us. And
we will move through time
like smooth stones

through water, and
maybe one day
we'll become the stream.
But until then, my darling,
rest - dream.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Every moment
is an epiphany.

The pen can be a razor
or a torch:

you could be #Collins
or #Bukowski -

every moment

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Art of Capture

First, you most be open
and alert as 
a fox,

recognising the right moment 
when you come upon it.

You must act quickly.

Next, you draw your camera,
aim it lightly as
a paw placed upon the ground.

And in a sudden spasm of
awe and terror, you must
force the shutter:

click! click! click!

You have captured the moment
like the jaws of a fox
around a chicken's neck:

no need to shake it,
no need
to break it.

The tender press
of a hunter, the gentle
surrender of prey.

Never has murder
been so perfect.

But move on, go!

You must act quickly.

Some Home Truths

If you think
the universe was
made for you, then
let me offer you
some home truths:

the carrying capacity
of this planet
is 1.5 billion -
the only reason
we are here
is because of oil.

So the next time
you invoke God,
and remark how he toiled,
for seven days,
count the million ways
you are lucky even to breathe.

We've overcome disease,
we've overcome the soil,
the only thing we haven't overcome
is ourselves, our stupidity
a massive black balloon,
so beautiful in the sky
until it climbs too high.

You could say, O! if it were white!
Yeah, guy: like some Romantic fable
will put us at the table,
instead of staring at the grave.

Poetry cannot save the world,
but it can save you from yourself.
And maybe you'll save something much 

dearer, once you realise

you never held the dies.

Because Earth is not a gambling table,
nor is it even a cradle:

no metaphors can out-metaphor
the stupid luck of your even being.
So when you're ready to start seeing,
stop burning the oil: burn down the doors.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


It's amazing how two things can blur:
you take a brain and a drink
and everything slurs.

You take a century and a century,
and they just glide into each other,
future to past, past to future,
edgelessly, and seamlessly.

You see a plane in the sky
and close one eye, close both,
hold it, then open them: see anew 
how a baby would see
at four months,

or the the brightness
of a balloon
when you were two.

You take a body and a body
or two hearts, and soon
it's impossible to see
where one ends,
another starts.

You take two hands, pressing
but they stay firm:
they don't melt into each other
like chocolate, or
dissolve like dirt.

But in spirit,
they press through
each other,
like water, like air,

and yet they grip firmly,
always holding
each other there.


The sky
is a white noise of birds,
bubbling over with starlings

their wings flitting with
the tiniest change in
a single bird's position.

They pop in and out
like particles in the void,
they murmurate in a murmuration

speaking the voice of the wind
as it mutters gently
and unintelligibly

in the fraught
cold winter sky.

The Ending (the Never Returning)

The vultures are wheeling in the sky,
carrion before they carnivore
the carrion they adore.

And the tree branches are curling
in and around fingers, long before the
grasping, long before.

And the sky is unrolling
like a sheet of lead, and everything's
grey, everyone's dead.

And the land is hollow, pock-holed,
the wind howls, and has forgone its hallow,
the holy now only

in remembrance's marrow. But no one
remembers the Sparrow, jocular,
and the Robin's wing sunk
in that last, final spring.