Friday, 22 July 2016

Park Life

At varying intervals in the day, Jim escapes the office and walks in the park with its museum of mostly living trees that attract eccentrics who maybe need a place to feel free of scrutiny. 

Or perhaps they’re just plain strange and have no idea what they want. 

Some, usually young men with no hair, wear vests to display their tattooed biceps whatever the weather and find shady Keatsian bowers where they can get smashed on Lidl lager and leap out like pantomime ghouls on especially nervous eccentrics. 

The shock of some insightful observation squawked by a guffawing skinhead sage will further setback any hope that the nervous wreck will ever cope with the city streets again. 

Probably the strangest sight is that of a woman who walks like a monk deep in meditation and always wears a purple onesie that looks like a purple banana peel. Even the Lidl lager poet/philosophers think twice before pouncing on a purple banana lost in prayer.

Whenever Jim takes these not entirely pleasurable walks to get away from the almost entirely miserable office the same curious event always happens… 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Holyhead To Rosslare

Cut-off words leave you to fill in the blanks.
The mind craves symmetry, pattern. Perhaps…
After a brief interlude of Holmes-like deduction
you resolve the conundrum,
a physical, 3D shipshape crossword, 
with streamline clues.
The colours are grey and winter blue -
even the random gathering of cars
conform to this steely colour scheme.
The navy band of the bowline reminds you
of an Airfix ship you snapped together
a lifetime ago in a place of autumn and apples
in another universe. The only exception
is the orange capsule - the life raft 
with a looping umbilical cord of greased cable
and the flags on the radar.
All is compact 
and comes with a vague feeling 
like a change in atmosphere 
that accompanies the sudden joy of opening curtains
to discover the world transformed by snow.
Other pieces of the puzzle, 
the bits beyond the borders,
fit into place now.
The terrible sense of panic
because the journey took longer than expected,
the frantic phone call 
and the time and ships wait for no man reply.
Wooden shacks on the cliffside
and diesel trucks on a white concourse
reduced to the size of toys.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Morning reconnaissance 
through cool and green. 

The scene? Well, for now, 
take a glance 
outside your own back door.


And was everything as you imagined?

Account, if you can 
for the hawkmoth
held in your hand.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Locked Out

A stupid thing, the finality of a Yale lock
and being on the wrong side of the key.

King Kong swats bi-plane gnats
and stairwells fill with whirlpools 
of encrypted data

you walk through three continents in one day, 
each landmass constrained within five cubic miles.

The jurassic experience of signposts
white legends on a peculiar green
that tries to marry cabbage butterflies 
with the shimmer of diesel fumes. 

Statues in bowers 
erode chisel hammer precision
from stone 
                   to flesh and bone.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Mustard Phone

Mustard yellow 
telephone of the 
nineteen seventies variety 
keeps its silence in the sunlit hallway 
and further down the way 
where raincoats and hats hang from pegs 
the souls of the dead decide to gather. 
The phone, with a heavy receiver 
sprouts surrealist red cuboids 
and slowly changes colour. 
Quite why, 
these souls having left this life 
sixteen and seven years ago respectively 
choose this particular moment 
to congregate in the hallway 
is not clear. 

Miles away, 
he lies bare chested in bed 
and wonders if he might be 
having a heart attack. 
Not at this precise moment of course. 
There is no pain 
or indications of anything being wrong. 
It’s just that he can imagine all too clearly 
the red muscle pulsing in its slack sack of membrane 
like a light going on and off and pictures how easily 
it would be for something to go wrong with this process. 
He takes another drag on his rollie 
then puts himself in the recovery position which has a calming effect. 
If a heart attack’s coming at least he will be ready for it. 
Who knows? Maybe the whole thing will pass by 
without anyone realising. He forgets about his heart 
and sees the phone, the cuboids bubbling out of the mouthpiece 
like a froth of blood, the ghosts in the hallway
they look like particularly solid lines of dust motes 
that become more apparent or fade depending on the brightness 
of the sun. Ghosts are like busses. You wait for years, 
and when it does finally arrive there are two of them. 
He drifts into the place that precedes sleep 
and listens to the ghosts - he knows all too well who they are, 
and when wakes he finds the entire country gone mad.

© Su Joy


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