Monday, 15 September 2014


From the mainland,
a broken tooth of island.

First men in the world, we aliens
rise at dawn for the sailing
out of each separate cranium.

Sand, sea water and cement.
Just a few more feet gained in the attempt
to build the bleak house you have dreamt
from the red dregs of wine
following a string of twine.
Buckled ply,
a shovel blade combines
the slitting, splitting of bags.
Stray ashes get blown on the crags
as long waves fool
the forgetful time that lags.

Cast iron cannons,
Victorian barracks
shield the cliff
from Napoleonic attacks.

The last boat
timed for the tide won’t wait
for the flicker of the first bat.

Each of us lost, ghosts in our own vortex.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Are You...?

Sunlight comes through
the windows.
on the coffin.

Relatives vaguely recognised.
Others, like the man with the slicked
back teddy boy hair and rings
on his fingers
the size of planets,
who knows?

Uncles with mutton chop sideboards
and less hair than I remembered.
Another Uncle who was always
too restless to sit indoors
drinking tea with the grown ups
while they discussed the weather
or what was doing well in the garden.

An Aunt with hair turned
bristly and white
but still black down in the roots
like an old-time shaving brush.

She wears a hat that, what with
the veil and purple ribbon,
looks like it has been
modelled on a chocolate box.

She looks at me
for a good long while.

Her eyes have turned to marbles.

At one time, her question
would have been unimaginable.

Like walking into a house
on Christmas morning
and asking what day it was.

Friday, 12 September 2014


A discussion of boundaries. A green line sprayed on tarmac. Spray paint sounds like dice in a cup, smells like pears. The tunnel that leads onto the common. Intimidating shadows. Flinch on entering but the coast is nearly always clear. Patches, stakes, claims, territories. Somehow through unspoken agreements these segments are divided up. Signals sent when the time has come. On exiting two blue hands, palms pressed together as if in prayer. When all else fades an orange stencil of Daffy Duck remains. A feeling of a fairground ride. The ghost train. Black panels. A jolt as the car sets off through dangling plastic that creeps across the face and hands as an electronic sound sends shocks though the bones.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Hair Of The Dog

The front door and the jangle of a name tag on a dog collar.
Claws clicking on tiles.

It is six am.

The dull headache that haunted me yesterday has faded.
Sauna and steam room have left the skin and body generally
feeling light and clean.

September seems to be continuing with its mellow burnish.
I think about an old friend and wonder if it is too late.

I’m still breathing, so theoretically it isn’t.

Would like to see them before the last hair turns grey.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Threading Shapes


Threading words in the long flow
of this lamplight.


Keep leaning into the winds
which shape this day. 

Photo: Su Joy

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