Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Purple dregs
in last night’s
wine glass

(more or less, in this shape)

on the white rim of the bath.

Splatters of soap
marbling the chrome
of the spigot.

It’s slow,
drip, drip…

On mornings like these it’s as if
you’ve never really
gone away.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Snowflake And The Axe Handle

Solid black morning.
I light the lamp, an arc of rickety light
trembles and breaks on the splintery chopping block
still in its sleeve of silvery bark.

The handle of an axe melting with rain
waiting for someone, anyone to take it up again.

The silence beyond goes on forever,
(the world ending in the weeds at the far edge of my garden)
poised like the axe, the droplets of rain on the handle,
waiting for something,
anything to happen.

Waits, as it turns out, for the first flake of snow.

Late in the afternoon (things less solid now)
it finally falls, just one solitary paper-scissor cut out shape
that unfolds out of the blue,
from the other side of the world
to settle on the handle of the axe
and then be gone, like all good things,
before it even came.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Rolling News

The silver arm of an electronic barrier replaces the guard who used to smile and twitch his white moustache as he checked your ticket. You could tell the time of day by the shadow of stubble on his face. The waiting room in the corner is now a glass cubicle and there’s nowhere to sit down. The old wooden bench used to be along that wall where they’ve mounted a computer screen. Rolling news flickers across the screen all day.

Bad news, mostly.

Before these changes happened a man with a coal black beard used to sit on the bench every morning and fill the waiting room with wreathes of pipe smoke. He wore a lopsided hat and a tweed coat with the elbows out.

His expression was one of pure abstraction: eyes glazed in a dream as smoke curled from the charred bowl of his briar, his mind travelling along glinting tracks that only he could see, his thoughts powered by the ghost of a steam engine that smoked in far off stations where the hills gradually became snow topped mountains and the carriages were as silent as a Halloween séance.

Thankfully, since the advent of austerity and the smoking ban such reckless behaviour rarely happens in public anymore.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Playing With Fire

Step here, onto this summer day platform.
The smell of trains and railway station paraphernalia
hit the senses all at once: has the effect of taking me
back to a mischievous time when my cousin and I
spent a summer hanging around the railway station
and wading the river that meanders under
a metalled bridge where the trains thundered over.

The most exhilarating game was to climb
the brickwork that supported the bridge
and press your ear up to the metal.

The thunder of the train building
to a cosmic crescendo that drove out
all other thoughts and feelings.

Just you and a head full of train.

The other kick was playing with matches.

We bought a big yellow box
with the black silhouette of a ship.

Naturally, this fascination with sparks
and fire didn’t end
just because we grew into men.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Curry Stain On My Slipper

A streak of sweet potato curry splashes as it falls.
The question is, when and where did it fall?
The first I knew of it was around six a.m. this morning
when, bleary-eyed, I pulled on one blue slipper
(the left, I think it was)
and saw this dried on orange tomato streak
like a wave in a Japanese abstract painting
decorating my toe.

I fell back in my chair
and wondered about the direction
my life was taking.

It was a masterpiece, really,
this curry stain on my slipper.


Morlock Oil

Morlock Oil
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The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
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