Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Interchangeable Chameleon

Indian chief in full plumage, 
air-brush profile on a metal sign, 
fades through the decades, 
tractor red to tobacco brown 
and rust bleeds from the screw-heads 
that fix him to the mower machine shop wall 
beside a silent path that follows 
a line of chalk pierced with flint, 
fringed by heart-shaped leaves 
coated in ash-grey dust. 

A wave of earth, gold and mirrors 
in severe farmhouse windows, 
a weight of clouds 
and cold wicks 
in white candles 
as the light notches 
and lowers 
resistance to the onset of night. 

Visible breath, vapour… 
the surface changes, 
the wheel of the bicycle 
prints snake back v shapes 
in the sand and green towers 
over the grey thread 
that leads onwards 
into solid black. 

After many false starts, 
wild-goose diversions 
that still gum their transfers 
onto the view ahead, 
you arrive, perhaps, 
at the beginning of your journey. 

Heavy boots, steel toe caps 
and black leather, one step after another, 
the cold light of pinhole stars 
offer a glimpse of the other side, 
feather shape breath, tick of spokes, 
whisper of tyre on sand, 
molecules gathering in the fibres 
of your long black coat 
until a flame in a jar 
swoops across 
the darkness ahead.

You are not alone. 
Steps mirror your own. How long 
have they been following you? 

The presence beside you 
is the interchangeable chameleon, 
difficult to fix and for now wears a trench coat 
and heavy boots to match your attire 
as if dressed in sympathy or comradeship, 
two foot soldiers on the road, lost 
and separated from the battalion 
after a tree exploding skirmish. 

His breath smokes and he stands 
a good head and shoulders above you, 
a wisp of beard on his chin, crystal blue eyes 
that have a far off look as if seeing what really lies beyond. 
The words that he speaks cannot be transcribed 
except to say that they are filled with cast-iron and fire, 
stealth and transgression 
as they mingle with the scent of pine 
where the trees stand in columns 
with pockets of cool air filling the spaces between them. 
His coat has no buttons and he wears a thin shirt, 
chains and pendants hang from his neck 
and the flame in the road ahead approaches, nearer and nearer.

Moths and flames, 
the light leads onwards 
and the chameleon man 
has done all he can. 

His hair turns to snow 
and he extends his scarecrow arm, 
you take his hand 
and he says good luck 
and nothing more needs to be said.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


Within the warehouse of lost time skylights mottle and motions 
of racing against the clock provoke daydreams and the light
fast fades, dreams within dreams within dreams
that get let loose in the crystal hotel with walls
like Rothko paintings with a forbidden door that leads
into another party that’s easy to gatecrash
because everyone there is the same as everyone here.

She snores like a telephone left off the hook
the key for Room 13 still in your pocket.

The morning mirror and the space between your ears
is transformed into a nightclub where green elixirs
get sucked from straws dipped in inverted isosceles,
the imbibers float in a boat on chemically enhanced oceans,
after all, natural sea water could never be this raspberry blue colour.

She stops snoring, hangs up on her dream
wakes to see a flash of gold, like a heliograph 
message coming from the top of the mountain

events unfold…

We drink wine, our words
like tentative stones
dropped in forest ponds
to see which way the ripples run

Friday, 10 June 2016

Aroma Simulacra

a sun fades
burns black sticks

a red sleeve enfolds the sun

black red 

patchouli sandalwood
red sticks burn

a black sleeve slides over the moon
a poppy fades 
in the blue rain


Morlock Oil

Morlock Oil
A new collection of stories available now . Click on image for details.

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
New Chapbook Available (email for details)


Bunchgrass Press

Essential guides for the journey...