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High, high flows the moon in a sea of mackerel waves,
Head-scarved in a glow of quiet,
Still, as the upright scars of branches
Chop at the dreamy sea;
Whilst behind me a fire burns,
Snowflakes glow towards the sky;

I stand in awe.

And the smoke goes in a trail towards distance
Like a dream ladder to the stars,
Little me.

Held in the palm of the world …

No language except the sight and feelings –
My soul, one day, up there,
Traversing worlds.

Brute earth,
Condensed matter,
Life will drive me upwards,
The gold behind my eyes become meaning.

A snippet from a radio play what I wrote.


Voice 1: And out in the real, wide world –

Voice 2: The upside down, Scary Mary topsy-turvy world –

Voice 1: The sea lashed and splashed the promenade in half-hearted whispers, running fingers through the hair of the rocks as sand scuffed tarmac, seagulls distantly called and flags muttered in a chopped, churned breeze. Down on the pitch and putt –

Voice 2: Windmills, children, mothers with handbags letting their hair down in the clean-fresh sea-breath of lemon and salt and cockles and no husbands beside them –

Voice 1: The sun kissed dreams and raced to be the first to scold the sea –

Voice 2:  For being so smart –

Voice 1:  As it whippersnappered lovingly at the beach, all nibbles and giggles and half-flung ripples soothingly sung to the rythms of the long-lost drum-beat of its soul, chased by wild men in wilder seas at rainbow’s end, never found, the sound of fury spent, relented howls washed up, washed out, hushed , never meant, coy sighs, slept souls’ lament stretched smoothly on the cries of the tickled sands…. And the wind told lies in half-breaths flung untidy with full-stops in its name, contrary to a moment, singing and dancing to creation’s wilder side in laments that lamented not, coughed giggles wiping the toes of the tarmaced world in mocked dismay, disarray brought from the travelled shores of sun-burnt isles, dread peaks where winter speaks, forced rivers’ rushing trials; and nothing in its nod and toss spoke easy, nor was there turn or climb that rested, stopped, save in its changes that changed not, full chaos breathed and no relief, no peace, no let-up.


Voice 2:  Last Man Stanley, deserted in the graveyard of his troubled thoughts, spat moodily at the fancied cat he saw shadowng itself between-dreams. It flicked away in a whisker, denying all , seeing all, a half-spun whisper placed on the right side of his soul –

(Muttering moodily) Last Man Stanley: To catch me out!

(Cat’s sardonic miaow)

Voice 2: And he stamped his wanton foot in a squall of rage, quite undone, and blasted his useless temptations into the folly of his life masquerading as a solid brick wall.

(Last Man Stanley yells in pain)

Voice 2: And in the whirl of his thoughts behind the pain he saw Her face implacable, and it hurt his rage, oh it did so –

(Softly) Voice 1: And he hopped and stomped and bellowed in his fury and would have smashed his  fists as well –

(Mocking) Voice 2: But it hurt so, oh it hurt!

Voice 1: And bit by limping bit as his colour returned he found a hobbled thought to hold onto –

Last Man Stanley: It’s not started – yet!

Voice 1: And he whimpered –

Last Man Stanley: My life!


Voice 1: And Kate in her travelling-dream looking down smiled grimly.

(Knock on door)

Mrs. Beeton: Mr.Stanley!  Mr.Stanley!

(Fast) Voice 1: Quick as a silver flash he was gone, shimmying down the drain pipe.

(Distant) Last Man Stanley: Not me, love!

Voice 1: Mrs. Beeton, landlady, hair a riot of perms, knocked hard on the door with a broom-handle –

(Mocking) Voice 2:  If only, if!

Mrs. Beeton: I know you’re in there !

Voice 2: She wished!

Mrs. Beeton: All tart and flounce!

Voice 2: And she tossed her head and sniffed –

(Faintly) Last Man Stanley: Not me!

Voice 2: As Last Man Stanley hit the road, and ran.


Voice 1:  And Big Kate sighed, high on the battered rocks of the hill, quite unsurprised –

Voice 2: She knew.

Voice 1: Oh yes, she knew.

(Simply) Kate: I’m a woman, see?

Voice 1: You see?

Voice 2: She sees.

(Simply) Voice 1: She sees.

Still trees stand proud by the neck of the river

Still trees stand proud by the neck of the river:
The gloaming, all gloom, defeats their shape,
Knocks out all colour –

Rushed water’s wash,
A child’s sharp cough,
Scuffled leaves.

… depths of their slumbers, the beech, chestnut
Feel out their warmth in silent contemplation,
Gathering in hours.

Held in an anvil of quiet the evening goes nowhere,
Waiting in expectation for a pause
That never comes.

March 00

A still evening walk with two young kids


I’ve drifted across a day like a cloud,
Wasted the wealth of hours,
Washed my face in dreams
And touched on the Infinite Almighty with a prayer.

Other days I’ve rushed like a tornado,
Smashed through the minutes,
Seen time flit away
And finished with a bang not a whimper
As my exhausted head hit the pillow.

Who is to say which is right ?


A frantic day, or a calm day; all part of life’s rich experience. Enjoy both 🙂

Baby Hedgehog

A small tight star in the lone sky
As the smell of smoke drifts across the air.

Leaves rustle.

The lights are on,
Voices murmur.

The dark,
Heavy as a hand,
Subdues the quiet.

A blackbird calls, chased off by silence.

There – a single scuffle –
We hardly dare breathe.

Heavy as shadows, the cats stare
As Innocence eats their food.


It was one of those very still evenings, and a baby hedgehog emerged into the light from the kitchen to snuffle noisily in the cat’s food dish


Casting about in shadows,
A distant bat holds to its One Course,
Intent, flickering moments across an ebbing sky
Circumnavigated by the certainty of trees, sky, air
In a furious fling that dances and captures and must tear
But from this distance – bloodless –
Is a scattered sign that even in suburbia
The leading edge of mystery begins with a small thing
Going about its duties in an unthought way

– as if my hand could reach out and touch more

Sept. 2001

Watching a bat at dusk.

This Illusion

This illusion that we’re all HERE
Doesn’t tie in with the concept of space
And nothingness between atoms,
Not to mention dreams, love, hate and hard work,
Tea at 5 o’clock
And the evening news.

Did I miss something?

We’re just a collection of empty space between atoms, whirling around stars …


These squares are all an illusion,
Light reflecting onto cells in the eyes,
A brain that interprets distance
And makes sense out of chaos.

Reality is a maelstrom of particles
Dancing in a loose bonding around each other,
Held in a fraction of time to seem a door,
A carpet and what I stare at – a lino floor.

Reality isn’t quite what it seems.

All I had was the moon

It was in the dark that the old moon shone –
By day it hid.

Snuck behind the trees in its still, slow journey,
I wondered how the world turned …
You could sharpen a knife on the gathering frost,
Take home pocketfuls of stars for sweets,
Stretch your ears to the wild shores in the silence.

It was just a moment, too deep to understand:
All I had was the moon,
Making its slow journey.


Wondering about life, on a still night

I hate cooking

Grass harvested from the moon,
Herbs that grew on a glacier in the Andes,
Pollen that floated from Everest,
2 hours shopping,
2 hours in the kitchen,
10 minutes eating,
1 hour washing up,
3 hours crying –

I HATE cooking!

November 2007

Don’t take this too seriously. It’s just a personal view.

Being a Man

Being a man’s O.K,
But the raging horses are a nuisance:
You can’t let them run wild or they’ll tear you apart,
And if you coral them they respond by kicking the fence down –
So all that’s left is to get with the good woman
And let her tame the beasts.

S**ual urges


A blackbird said a word
And that word burst into wondrous song,
A blackbird said a word,
And that word was just for me.

A blackbird said a word,
And that word was just too beautiful:
I thanked the blackbird for that word –
And blackbird then thanked me.

July 00

The sea stirs silent in a ripple

The sea stirs silent in a ripple
On meddled shore, still dream hung, sun worn,
Ships outdone by a shadowed pall
As they sit like giant ghosts on the horizon.

In the beckoning of our nets shrimps flick dismay invisibly,
Fleet sand sparks leaving clouds of smoke
To tell us that they’ve gone

Into silence.

A hazy, still day by the sea, shrimping near Portland, Dorset as vast ships sit on the horizon.


Here: this is a poem.


I made it from fifteen words


Arranged in a square.


The meaning is the context –
You can call it two sentences,
I call it Art,
For 1 million.

Just like that pile of bricks that sold for one million

What is a dream?

What is a dream?
A dream is a goal, an inspiration,
A dream is where hope lives,
A dream is something to chase when life drags us down,
A dream is a song in the wilderness,
Good flowering from the mud of evil.

That is a dream.

Get yourself a dream,
Touch God and pray,
And never, ever let your dream get away.

Everyone has to have a dream.

I can wrap myself in a world of words

I can wrap myself in a world of words,
Knotted around my head in a colourful spelling of character and place,
Mood and time,
Feelings of fascination –

A world where the only sound is mine,
Where the only dance is the dance of ryhme,
Where the rythm’s chase is sublime
And the capture of a word in a sentence
Means more than all the weight of politics,
Almost as much as a star falling into place
Or the kiss of a summer’s leaf upon the wind.

Writing poems

There’s a Reach Towards the Heavens

There’s a reach towards the heavens,
And in the sun within my eye
A door to greater things,
And a distance I must fly.

There’s a song within the moment
When the air and earth stand still,
And in the moment of my listening
I touch upon God’s will.

And as I dream my soul out high
And cross the distant soaring sky,
I’m lost within a purpose
And deaf to earth’s dull cry.

And though I barely sense,
And though I barely see,
I know there’s a frightening beauty
Of fierce intensity.

And this is where my heart must go,
This, where I must flee –
To a strange and silent place
Of baffling mystery.

A spiritual spark leads to greater things

Cider song

In the black night
In the overgrown houses
Old men sing their cider songs,
Too tired to know that death sits by:

In the black night
In the overgrown houses
The old men sleep fitfully in freezing isolation
As a full moon sucks their breath,
Then prods them to hard stone.

Down and outs, oblivious on cider, freezing to death on a winter’s night in derelict ruins. I volunteered on a soup run for a short while


We’re so blind we cannot see
The beauty in variety:
It has to be explained away
As something that will one day pay!

Oh! If only we had brains
Not trapped in narrow, winding lanes,
And spirits that could touch the sky –
If only we could fly!

The only way we can conceive of the beauty inherent in Nature’s variety is by imposing a monetary value on it or otherwise rationalising it to our advantage.

People Who Are Skilled At Bending The Law

People who are skilled at bending the law earn oodles of money,
And we call them barristers.

People who are skilled at breaking the law earn nothing,
And we call them crooks.

People who are skilled at observing people who are skilled
Laugh behind ALL their backs
And quite honestly can see no difference.

Legal Eagles are often complete shysters


Wendy, my dear,
You gave me a book
(Which after all is just a thought),
And there wasn’t any thought –
And that speaks volumes
More than volumes.

I was given a book as a gift after I’d expressed interest in it, and the gift was given openly and without any pre-thought


Here’s the heat of a thousand rivers,
Intertwining streams connected
To meet at mini-suns
That gather for the surge
Upwards –

Occasionally the world is clouds
In which we move,
Bubbles of thought,
Heavy bones in the evanescence of flesh.



A short prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for looking after me.
Please help me to listen to you and obey you.


A general, all-purpose prayer that covers all bases


Bad temper, misery, crying:
Half-choked sobs, stifled unhappiness –
Mondayitis, moving house, loneliness in a new city,
There’s not a lot I can do and I don’t –
Bright eyed and fluey you snuggle fully dressed into bed,
Reading, fire fully on, concentrating on the ‘now’,
Perhaps losing yourself
As I dash round in a ball of ‘doing’, half-tensioned,
Driving myself on as I cross out the points on my list –
Mend trousers, write letter, fix lock, make present ….
Funny how the list is nearly always the same length whatever I do.

Just moved to a new city, feeling low – 26/2/89

Out of sorts

I was a little bit bored and then I found myself a life
– of sorts
And then I found myself a wife
– of sorts
(Ouch ! She just hit me!)
And then I found myself out
– of sorts
– with my wife
Of sorts
And my life
– of sorts.

Kind of a thought
– of sorts

About my life
– of sorts.

Being out of sorts …

Gun Lore

It’s a funny mental right of all Merry Bums to bare arms.
With so many bullets flying,
So many deafs,
U nd 2 pack heat 2 stay alve.

In Ingland even the Please have no arms
(Unless Terry Wrists are around)
Though the Bad Guise ewes them –
Phew deafs, lotsa peas –

U’d think the Merry Bums wood know tis, woodn’t ewe?



Gun Law


It’s a fundamental right of all Americans to bear arms.
With so many bullets flying,
So many deaths,
You need to pack heat to stay alive.


In England even the police have no arms
(Unless terrorists are around)
Though the bad guys use them –
Few deaths, lots of peace –


You’d think the Americans would notice, wouldn’t you?

For my kids

I haven’t a gift,
No structure, no hope –
I’ve ended up feeling
Quite a dope.

Religion is useless,
You’ll soon find that out –
All I can offer is
Endless doubt.

I have no great magic,
No sun for your sky,
But I want to be with you
When life makes you cry.

I want to have given you
Something that’s me,
Something to keep you
Forever safely.

I haven’t a gift,
And I’m feeling sad:
A gift for my kids, God,
Would sure make me glad!

Every parent wants to have given their children something to protect them and make them wise …

These Poems

I can’t help myself with these poems,
If poems are what they are –
A few words that become a torrent and then subside,
Well up again,
Captured before they ebb away for all eternity:
And in that capture I find some primitive release,
A longing absolved,
A pent-up problem solved.

Writing poems

At the funeral they cried

At the funeral, they cried –
So much sadness pouring out it was a surprise
To know they’d hated him whilst still alive:
But so it goes, the bottled up years of grief
Given relief, the pain of loss,
That bollocking from the boss,
Those months of feeling cross
And times you had to lie –
All, all comes pouring out
In one long cry.

At the funeral they tried
To think of the man who’d died
But found they cried more easily
For themselves.
June 2002

A short and rather cynical poem about people at funerals who aren’t close to the ‘departed’ and who delude themselves as to why they’re upset

Concept Poetry

I commissioned her
To write a poem.

She wrote it,
I sold it:

Concept Poetry.

Just like concept art – the talentless get the talented to do all the work for them.

Once you talked of dying, and my heart gave a heavy thump
As the blood drained momentarily from my face.

Death, yes, I can bear,
But not the thought of your eyes lonely in the white hell of hospital
As they bludgeon you with superficiality
And strip you of your essence,
Which is warmth, complaining, loving, needing and being needed.

I look down at your sleeping face, feel the heat of your body,
See your eyelids flicker, hear your deep breathing,
And know this is the way I want you to go.

Looking at my girlfriend sleeping years ago and not wanting her to ever die in hospital. I’ve worked in a hospital and patients are stripped down to a dehumanised number.

The Snarkel

The Snarkel has a hairy face
With warts the size of feet,
It spends its life in dirty yards
Chomping on raw meat.

Holy moley!

The Ederbog

The Ederbog is wafty,
Drifting with the clouds,
It likes to live off vapours
And gather in large crowds.

So sociable …

The Glayoon

In the face of the spoon
You will see the Glayoon,
Smiling back with great glee,
It samples your food
When it’s in the mood
‘Cos it loves to eat food that is free!


Alien race

When you use a bar of soap
Watch out for a little face –
Trapped inside is a member
Of a scary alien race!

Hidden in the soap. Double-check next time you use it! If you use it.


Behind the back of the Bittenberg
The other monsters laugh,
The Bittenbery has a scummy neck
From never having a bath.

Get washing!

The Winkletoe

Slither with the Winkletoe,
Sliding through dark holes,
The Winkletoe has many friends
But few of them are moles!

Poor fat moles!

Don’t you dare go out there,

It’s where the booooooogies hide,

They nibble at your fingertips,

Then wriggle their way INSIDE!


They eat your brains out bit by bit,

Your eyeballs are a treat,

They use your skin for sausages,

Make waste bins from your feet!


Your hair becomes a cosy nest

To rear their maggotty young,

Your teeth are beads for necklaces

And they love to eat your TONGUE!


Your toenails make a lovely soup,

Your ears brush dust off the floor,

They stick your nose on the end of a tube

To vacuum up some more!


Your spine is used as a chair back,

Your ribs will dry their socks,

And you know what they use your fingers for?

The hands of their terrible clocks!



I fished in the lake with buttercups
Tied on a long piece of string,
I caught a shopping trolley –
And an awful, dreadfully THING!

The THING had two eyes missing
(That left at least TEN more),
And when I counted noses
I counted at least FOUR!

I watched it wriggle, heard it sneeze,
But then it started to SING –
The most awful part of that creature
Was the voice of the dreadful THING!

It screeched its way to the heavens,
Happily climbing my string,
Then gave me a bow with eight of its arms –
With six of its arms MISSING!

It crawled along my fishing rod,
Stopped and gave me a wave –
Then swiftly span on one of its feet
And I was no longer brave.

A giant claw came out of its mouth,
I dropped the rod and RAN –
The THING danced slowly after me,
And as it danced it SANG.

It sang with the voice of a chain saw,
It danced with a mean-eyed grace,
When I looked behind it was pulling
The most impossible face!

I ran around the lake that night,
And the THING danced after me,
That claw kept clunking in the air
As it SANG unendingly!


I was in the room when the tumour was announced,
Though not so much announced as spared,
For breath was not around when that spare sound
Slipped softly into the room and fled:

Fled, for though I saw death all around
And imagined my soul there on that cross for all to see,
No one else had caught that sound
And it died on the still air.

In the classroom everyone tried to pretend they hadn’t heard that a classmate was in hospital with cancer.

I once programmed a video-recorder –
Sat there for hours growing tetchy and grumpy,
Melded mind with plastic machine,
Brain-cells with paper instructions,
Feelings with electricity and silicon junctions.

Finally broke through to
And found myself staring AGHAST and FLABBERHASTED
At a remote

Lost the battery the next week,
Week after that the video got kicked,
Week after that unplugged,
And then my kids pressed all the wrong buttons.

Now my buttons stay firmly UNPRESSED –
I will not rise to the bait of HOW EASY IT IS,
Nor will I describe in loving detail to my friends

It sits there, sulking and glowering,
And I ignore it,

Programming video recorders – what a pain in the neck that was. Still relevant, I’m sure, with today’s latest gadgets.

Success is the wind in the trees,
A star in the night,
The green of grass,
The weight of your voice.

Throw the sands to the winds,
Whisper to your spirit,
Praise the moment and LIVE!

Here’s to the long NOW,
Here’s to the moment extended,
Where the dance is accepted,
Here’s to the reality within –
For it’s that reality,
Lived day by day,
That’s the closest we come to success.

March 2009

What is success? it’s living in the moment and appreciating life.
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