A Fallow Man
Swarthy brow and barley fingers; nails with cheerless moons of grime;
Deadweight sackcloth suit coarse fitting; long his laughter, short your time.
His hand on your shoulder makes you older, holds you where the clocks don’t chime.
His grinning bearhug makes you bolder; reason does not sit with rhyme.... more »
A Long Time Ago
A long time ago there were things called stars
They were up in the heavens with Venus and Mars,
Along with the moon, a dusty old ball
That hasn’t been sighted for decades at all.... more »
At The Broad End
With a wind tan of what gets to him, he
turns his back on what is beckoning,
knowing it's bringing, red-lettered,
a date with it - one he may never learn.... more »
Autumn born and autumn led
Autumn named, maybe autumn wed
For who knows what the wind will blow around your knees
Or what will fall... more »
At the end of escalators out, wind
drives rain hard into the face -
umbrellas can't withstand it.... more »
One day, I took you to school on my shoulders, punch proud.
At first light, the heat was already as thick and itchy as wool,
and everything had the colour of a photo that has seen too much sun.
You swayed with the rhythm of my gait, little hands holding on... more »
infants, all bare
piously unleash the air -... more »
Red with lipstick, soggy with drool – filthy.
Heaping up round benches, bus stops,
places of the passing day. Flicked away –
scuffed by hurrying feet, swept up... more »
In a plantpot, weak peering life
chokes under moss. Daggers of
glass point out the weeds which vie
with cracked, unsteady patio slabs.... more »
... more »
Herminia, 61, aslumber at her sea-food stall
dreamed the port was rocking like a boat
and woke to find it was.... more »
In The Reading Chamber
Suddenly nobody can concentrate.
Bound print, doodled-round notes, difficult photocopies
(even those ablock with fluorescent face-lifts)... more »
It Comforts Some
It comforts some to see life
as a journey to a happy land,
where the holiday sun never sets.
Heaven – no maps exist; no one... more »
Milk face, nuzzling a nipple from a pillow. It's not there.
You rub your face in bib. Only bib. Blanket. Only blanket.
Screwing up your pale paper face, you make a big noise.... more »
My Little My
The youngest bird has the widest beak,
Not one for playing hide and seek –
Straight for the kill, neck or gill.
Not one for elbows on the window sill.... more »
Now's The Time
The image is of feet
at the unshifting edge
of a dirty reflection.
Two scuffed shoes... more »
or a hoop
to play with,
jump through;... more »
Like gnats, strange lights bother
the marsh. Crickets chirp, bats
skim across the ale-dark night
and a breeze rustles the leaves... more »
Tessie, here’s a song for you, half a life in the knowing
Though water may pass by, it’s the river that is flowing
Eh? What’s that? You ask. Come again? I don’t follow
Things change, Poppet, and there are times, it can be hard to swallow. But... more »
The Feather's Weight
The nest becomes a cage -
two gripping feet relax:
the earth-bound bird kicks off
and we break bravely free.... more »
through the low-lying mist
on the still Neckar,
a distraction from empty boats... more »
Two Pieces Of Silence
A breakable silence held
until a tear rolls
into a sob
and you turn away your face.... more »
Under Our Hands
A paper chase of changed addresses -
wry flatmates telling me I'd missed you,
by a month or so. You'd missed me too.
I traced you. A number. Your answers... more »
in a plate-glass expanse,
passes the upturned hat,... more »
What To Buy A Woman
What to buy a woman who’s grown up with quality,
who sums its parts up, knows the names it calls us with?
What would suit a woman who wears the right decision,... more »