Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Poem In Grey

Voices from below, metal on metal
the aroma of coffee, the beige foam
black tide and a soft breeze
waves a grey flag.

Grey flag, white dust - obscures,
paints faces and coats and no-one knows
- from this distance
just who’s side you’re on.

Dust, parched and cracked lips,
the dry sand shuffle and lurch
as an electronic sun blazes, circles
and the sky flickers.

Grey hair no more, the burgundy carpet
on a floor that’s never quite still

the ring on her finger, tyre tread pattern
silver on black, snakeskin sidewinder
forward and back

back into the past,
past with a pano-technicolour-rama 

forward and back

and the dark is full of colour

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Golden Phoenix 
into RAF blue 

and the embroidery 
of silver and pewter

wings, too close to the sun
bubbles of red wax

soars - red wings spread, a pinpoint in the blue
suspended above the memory-scape.

Accoutrements, the briar-root corkscrew
Huntsman’s monocle 


Labels on wine bottles, faint lines, sketches
lost men and traction engines
the top hats, frock coats
scripts that have faded…

beaten copper fields
skies of ghost blue

the tower and the fir tree

blue foil, cellophane - this is the summer’s day
the summer’s day distillation from the finest vintage

laughter flits like a bat’s wing in a country churchyard
a squeezebox wheeze and a sleep under the stars -
the lines here grow more elongated, 
a shedding of debris

black leaves fall 
from the silent trees.

In one hundred years from now, other silhouettes, different unwieldy 
unworldly machines will be depicted, printed on the labels fading

The old, even in the old days
the apple tree with brittle branches
the bark dark with moulds and lichens

casts delicious shadows
across patches of fresh-forked earth

a rusted tin trunk like a pirate’s treasure chest

and after the slow, sweat brow labour in string vest

the digging under and for the sun,
shadows finally fall, cross the yard-arm

blue, red and yellow stripes of the deckchair - 
like a chair dressed in pyjamas 

a black pot of tea, newspapers 
with stories printed for farthings and shillings 

a slow song of talk now -

and the shadows of crows 

Thursday, 8 June 2017


For a few days now 
I have been wanting to do something 
to mark Sgt Pepper’s 50th. I couldn’t think what. 
And then this morning 
I noticed I was late, 
grabbed my hat, grabbed my coat. 

Made the bus in seconds flat.

And the pounding 
in my ribcage
reminded me 
that I'm fast approaching
my own

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Arrowhead, tension
in the string, the strings
of thoughts, the thread

the arrowhead and the lantern,
the lantern in the green
the green clouds of leaves

I let them fly.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Mower

I walk up and down the field with the noise and vibration of the mowing machine with its bucket attachment that catches the bits of grass and the reverberation bounces off the walls as the grass became short. The vibration thrums through the handles and into my arms, stays there when I let go of the deadman’s handle to empty the clippings and dump another contribution to the pile rotting in the corner and then I re-attach the bucket and pull the rip-cord to start the machine again in one fluid movement that only works if I don’t think too hard about what I’m doing. There is something Zen-like about cutting a lawn when you dislike drawing attention to yourself. The clatter of the machine is initially slightly shocking and the storm of noise makes you feel like all the eyes of the world are staring at you and attention, of course, is the last thing I want so for the first few lengths I walk up and down feeling horribly self-conscious. The noise of the machine is such that you wouldn’t notice if someone walked up behind you until they shouted and touched you on the shoulder. I am on red alert in expectation of this tap on the shoulder and the roar of the engine eventually takes me down into a quiet place deep within myself so that I can concentrate on whatever it is that I’m thinking until eventually the engine removes itself to a place where I don’t notice it anymore and all there is is this quiet space within and I have to keep returning because once I leave this space all I have is the noise again and the lanes of cut grass multiply, follow me with least effort if I concentrate purely on the next run of long grass before me. 

I get hot, become part of the machine and lose myself to the extent that I don’t even notice when you tap on my shoulder.


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The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
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