Perhaps it is time I wrote something of the poems since they have been waiting here for comment these past years. I suppose I could go into detail about how each came into being, why I wrote them or even a full explanation of each one. But I do not think so, better to let them stand as they are, to be enjoyed, to be shared as they are save for a few comments to qualify them, maybe they deserve that. Poetry is a most subjective art, one man's babble being (and how often the case!) another's fulfillment.

<-<- Just click on the poem titles on the left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charge

There are no words alone
Persuasive mouths to speak
For deeds are done in stone and bone
And vows to make and keep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craft - Aug 2012

Inside a circle, dream, a moment:
Whirling witches dance the flames
As oceans roar inside the cup
Four winds carry up true names
As earth light fills us up
To hold us in a moment long
As spirits rise and soar
To sing an ancient song
And make us one once more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirty Water - Apr 2004

Dirty water
In the overflowing river
Of scattered dreams
Dirty water
Washing away
Flushing yesterday
Dirty water
Saling out to sea
A relation-ship
All that water
Falling over rocks
In a welsh waterfall
All that water
Rushing the tide
On an african beach
Dirty water
In a stream of tears
long nights long
Will they ever run clean again?
Or will the oceans dry first?
Will love return again
And quench this thirst?

 

 

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Edge - Mar 2004

All gone still
But further fall
Upon this agony
Guts spill
Into nothing . . .

Until

A flicker in the dark
To the east a spark
Hope beyond hope
On the edge of this
Around me the roar
Of the pit, the abyss

And yet

There now is light
Through all regret
To turn and fight
For the fox in the glove
For truth, for love

 

 

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Again - May 2004

I lose myself again
Drowning in pain
Missing you
And what you'd be saying
If you saw me block
It all out from you
And watch the drips pour . .
What was I doing?
Painting the door?
Ah yes, the clock . . .
I was getting a battery for it
When I was pinned to the floor
And that sudden knife twisted . . .
Where had I just been?
To hell and the hall once more
Ah yes . . the clock . . .
And that song I resisted
About timing and taking stock
Not too much paint on the roller
Two light coats, take my . . .
Time? Ah yes, the clock . . .
I step back, into the tray
And dash myself on the corner of the table, fall away
Splashing gloss and hope all over the floor
Drowning in tears
Of non-drip white pain . . .
And the clock . . .

Ah yes, the clock . . .
Has stopped
In time for you to tell me
Again
And again

. . . and again . . .

 

 

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The God and the Goddess - 21/10/03

A lady blessed with beauty
And in her arms to lay
Between the rivers and the sky
All on an old may day

A lady blessed with passion
A beating heart undone
Rolling in the meadow
Beneath the noon day sun

A lady blessed with bounty
Such gentle fruits to yield
As the last long ray of autumn
Embers on the field

A lady blessed with silence
So still she might seem lost
Yet far beneath that icy mantle
Deep roots survive the frost

Mother, child and lover
The wife who wears the ring
The queen who is the good green earth
And I, her waiting king

 

 

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Beltane


All on a morning bright in May
There rose from dreams a lady gay
I came upon her in between
The swelling buds of Gaia's theme
To float in white with swirl and dance
To race a pulse and take a chance
So lithe and supple, tender willow
Flitting, flirting, sun to shadow
Followed by a fox in hunter's garb
Seeking summer's velvet rose, shorn of barb
Trailing flowers, ever-greening leaves
Thus the heart within no longer greives
Transformed instead on snowy wings to turn and trace
The welling force of form in ancient chase
To skim enchanted meadows, nearly pass
Her silence still in tallest grass
Then there to pin and press between
The ancient roots a long appointed sheen
A bear to bare a breast to part
With tiny teeth to beating heart
White as winter kisses fill each mouth
With words of love and ever live in youth
To pass a thousand years, the fox inside the glove
Blossom in our blossom, seeds of love
At last to know and hold as long before
And love again as love should be: for evermore...

 

 

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Circle - 17/07/03


There’s a song that we’ve been singing
For such a long time now
Echoing the chorus
In branch and beam and bough
Through ripples on the oceans
And voices on the winds
Seasons, song and sunrise
Call the tune that never ends


There’s a circle in the firelight
Where mind and spirit meet
With all our sisters dancing
As our brothers keep the beat
Our place in that great mystery
Our joy to know and share
In silence or reflection
On the way the fates compare


But the circle never broken
Even as our time moves on
Seeking wisdom, love or glory
Adding verses to the song
And ever have we wondered
At our passing what remains
There in glowing embers
An old fox smiles again

 

 

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Where Shall We Witches Meet?


Where shall we witches meet?

In good green woods, between the trees
By babbling brooks or mighty seas
Upon the swiftest winds in flight
Or by a fireside's flickering light

Where shall we witches meet?

In the north, the place of power
In the south at noontide hour
In the east with rising sun
Or in the west when days is done

Where shall we witches meet?

Between the phases of the moon
Dark December, brightest June
At Imbolc and old Samhain
On Lammas night and new Beltane
At Mabon or Ostara
Where light and dark most balanced are

Where shall we witches meet?

In The Lord and Lady’s halls
Or in the space between the worlds
In the deep and in the height
At the crossing point of light
In our hearts and in our minds

Where shall we meet?
In time, in time . . . .

 

 

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The Race - 1998 clues Welcome to the world of me
A future of insanity
Where nothing comes but everybody dies
It took me on a sailing ship
Daring me to raise the slip
And catch a tide of something in your eyes
There was a tale when we were boys
Of sub atomic social noise
Driving through the empire of a dream
Braking out the valium
Mending old geraniums
And daring me to say just what it means
And I made me a shooting star
Enigmatic, popular
Or anything you wish for me to own
But standing in the stratosphere
Genetics breed a brood of fear
We're all the same just simply all alone
Our tommorrows down the violent sink
Tricking us to swim or think
With presidential armies of the truth
Hell is not for us to call
Upon a stone carved parable
Hurling it succinctly through the roof
With lion cubs and national debt
The praeterhuman space cadet
Is sitting on a pile of his own rot
With God to guide him up on high
To launch another vicious lie
And show them that he's something that we're not
But in this soup of ecstacy
A timid incincerity
Is all we've got to show four billion years
Apocalypse is growth assured
From the psychoschizoid rebel horde
Riot cannoning their jungle fears
But we won't see the carnival
If what we know as true can fall
In ringing choruses around our feet
In pockets of humanity
Some of us can barely see
The fate of foolish internet defeat
But madness in it's infancy
Brings a strange democracy
To advocate the ark and shifting sands
The kids will call the tune one day
And we just teach them throw away
Oh can't you see their future in our hands?

Then me
Battling a demon
Who grips the rope
And knots the course
Of patterns in the mire of three dimensions
(Four with time)
With a shining blade
I reap the sleep
And face him in his squatting pit of hate
Exposed before in naked grief
Smiling jaws from underneath
The belly of the serpent of my mind
Is slayed again
Parade again
In instant gloried moments when we met

With care
And love
And you
No hiding from it now
More so begun
Like a clock
And a drum
Beating the retreat out of my life
Which drained with every failure
Hardening my core
To woman
And the Game
and the demons gone again
I crush you to me
Powder your charm all over me
And watch the snake released into the garden
Of Eden untold
To crack a future from hope
Break the mould
And storm the midnight rain to keep
Me unconditionally insane
And look out God, I've heard your case
To prosecute the human race
With forces of it's own imagined cause
And daily as the forests fall
At the very beckoned call
Of politics and filth and Santa Claus
So when the last tree has been felled
And the poisoned last word has been spelled
And all is crumbled at the judge's feet
The cuckoos of the killing spree
May yet get one last chance to see
That money isn't something we can eat

But for now
The rage is gone
And you are come
To fly
On by
With the word
Of the thunderbird
Across a sky grown darker in the east
On a flight
Into night
Far from grace
At great pace
With the silence howling breath of the deceased
So lift me from above
On the wings of your love
For only you can see
The dying knight inside
Saved by princess bride
Baby come on in and rescue me

Rescue me, rescue me,

Save me,

Save me,

Love me,

Rescue me . . .

Only love can be
Wherever we may find her
Gone, and wrong
Never far behind her
Hand in hand
We walk a land
Of birdsong in the brightly moonlit morning
In these arms
Terror calms
And you're the one to whom I have been calling
Now you're here
No fear
You show me onto your own side of heaven
And you give
As you live
Direction in this wilderness I'm driven
To your heart
A brand new start
Two lovers in the sky of our own making
You'll be mine
And there'll be time
Enough for love and ancient heart unbreaking
By and by
We both now fly
To meet in worlds I thought we'd never find
My recompense
Made love, made sense
Reminded me I need only to be kind
The day has come
We are one
In my mind it's only angels fly above you
Angel you are
My guiding star
And angel I only need to say I love you

I loveyou
I love you
Love you

Love

You

 

 

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Always 25/9/95


Your parting glance exhumed
Memories of those sad times
We shared and slowly slipped
Unnoticed as it passed us by.
You smiled and then resumed
Your usual look, tight-lipped
But soft once recognised
I died again, broke the pose
Regretfully soon as ever
That if I stayed or froze
You might again mistake
My sorrow for longing:
I did often want you
But never tried to take
What love we always knew
Between us and so, somehow,
We part as friends belonging
Nowhere. I hope you think now
Of me as always, I hope you care
For always is now, always forever
And always when I needed you
You were always there.

 

 

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And The Chill Grips Tighter 19/11/91


And the chill grips tighter,
At dusk lamps spread light,
To pool on paths, brighter
Seeming, in the icy glaze
Of frozen winter night,
Whispering of ever shorter days.
In the forest there is smoke,
The eyes of night are woken,
As the ghosts of autumn spoke
A spirit rises into night,
Leaves the body broken
In a muzzle flash of light.
Those who remember now are branded liars,
A sign put there since reads "Light No Fires".

 

 

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Another Dream 22/10/95


Solitude seems to suit us now
Everything just shadows
On the walls of days
We walked in once.
These places, friends we've found
And may never see again
All slide softly by
And together we mark up
A few more disasters
On the back of a few more years
And I turn to watch dawn move
Across another angel's face.

 

 

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Another Night 26/9/95


Sleepily drawn to the warm breast
I find you waiting in a dream
To take my hand and softly rest
Your head upon my shoulder
Tears bursting me at the seams
To make us both a little older
Exchanging our wings for youth
And taking all our pain away.
Nothing between us but the truth
And a little night air, a fantasy
Made real and come to stay;
You stir and reach out for me
Only to wake and find me here
To kiss away a angel's sudden tear.

 

 

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Apple For Teacher 20/9/95


Thank you for reminding me
I'm still just wild enough to be
Walking the tightrope
Of saying so much and thinking more,
Forgetting the question
(What WAS the question?)

Whatever it means
To close my eyes
And meet in dreams
It can't compare
To finding you there
Before the sunrise
Helping us laugh at our failure,
Not seek another saviour
So we pack our things
On a pair of wings
And set out for the future
Leaving the past
With a love to last
And, of course, an apple for teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Autumn In Sioux Falls 8/11/94


The fading yellow light
Chimes about the walls
Of houses in Sioux Falls
On a late August night
Sitting on her porch she sees
Geese in the southern sky
Flowers soon to fade and die
And the poplars weeping leaves
And so, with winter coming on,
The empty house creaks and sighs
Like the question in her eyes -
Where have love and summer gone?

 

 

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Bootleg 14/2/96


I've a bootleg tape of a band I loved
Made by a girl I loved
On the night of the Last Dance.
The tape has clicks and thumps
From her pocket in the front row
(Her shirt was blue)
Tears again at the end of the music
The end of the show
But as much because I can hear
Her breathing over the tape
As she used to breathe in her sleep.
I loved the band and the girl
Both were pure, both are gone
Both endure beyond the song.

 

 

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Burnt Apple 14/6/91


If we should find regret
At meeting then passage
Let us consider needs
And not forget
The fleeting message
That dictates our deeds
In these short, unmentioned hours
As we stall and faulter
In the grip of fate
Dead flowers
Cannot recall or alter
The way we hesitate
For fear of losing love
To greed or lust
Instead we ration
Flight, the dove
That breeds and must
Herald future passion
Breaks no sadness.
We must not delay
For in this madness
I must soon away.

 

 

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Dragon Boats 23/10/94


In the dark, little dragons are waking
Tiny claws uncurl and tails, frozen by day,
Are flushed with new life in the making
To rear in fresh belief from rigid display
Amid the books and shelves of home
Where once their perfect dreams begun
Grew through long years of adolescent caves.
So now the woman, like the girl before
Sits with her little dragons on the floor
Pushing their boats into reality's seas, making waves.

 

 

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Eden Outside '92 4/5/92


Soft breath of Summers soak an English lane
In peace evaporating pools of rain,
Waking hedgerows into life and birdsong,
Ringing in the shade of grey and silent pylons.
England, still green, but yellow by the verges,
Timeless in a plastic Autumn which forever merges
Desperation. Not quite enough to fill the countryside,
Though too blatant yet to hope to hide
A new flux spreading violence through the fields
Of grassy blades the final sythe might wield
Bringing nature to its bloody, brutal knees,
And, yearly, a ton more shit to ever lifeless seas.
Two percent more output, two percent more worthwhile,
Open cast hills roll two percent more vile.
To boost ecconomy, justify the toil
That, yearly, plunders two percent more oil.
Ancient landscapes lumber, steel-clad, ever on
To strangle Mother Earth with greed and see no wrong
If Man brought culture, history and really filled his cup,
So, as the last tree falls, he's left to wonder still
How it all got so fucked up.

 

 

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Every Morning Now 25/11/91


With each sleepy dawn
Bitterness traces itself out,
The frost explains
One of last night's dreams.
Staring bleary into the sun
Leaves such little doubt
You are the waterfall
I am the mountain stream.
Each new flutter of wind
Across Rundle's rocky side
Brushed a cloud behind
Last night's waxing moon
And carried a blue feather
To urge me to decide
If our futures lie together,
You will be here soon.

 

 

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For Elliott 25/10/96


So today you are given a name
And our wishes for your future.
Others will wish you many things:
Success, wealth, wisdom, fame,
Popularity, knowledge, culture.
In time you will spread your wings
And either find such things or not.
I've wished you something different, my friend:
However much you might become enthralled
With these ideas, may they all be forgot
If you just find You; for, in the end,
That is what finding Happiness is called.

 

 

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Givings 30/1/93


It all gives back to itself with age,
This 'living' business. The honest inference
Of the future's corpses, all-grey middle men
And laughing lollipops. Old words stain new page
Incessantly asking "whence ?"
Of a drunken no-say-when,
Spinning hopeless, his time gone too far to guage
How fast we have found years build up like silt
On body-beaches; sun-dipped cinders
Perpetuate consumation of guilt within rage.
In the searing desert even aspirations wilt.
For all their rage, their guilt, their "life",
no conscience hinders:

A secret fear of tomorrow's choiceless freedom, driven
To know that when giving is for life, all life is given.

 

 

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Horizon's Hours 6/2/93


To sit killing hours on short, unmentioned days,
Leaves us flushed with such little time to know
That loose, protesting armies march these ways,
Love in silhouette, and will not truly let us go.

 

 

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Hussein - 25/9/95

The sun rose over a hundred streets
With light and hope adorning
The orange clouds and flickering sheets
Of bright ascending morning

But somewhere over the horizon
Production began again
On chemicals of mass destruction
For bad man, mad man, sod 'em all Hussein

Who never saw a sunrise
As other than a chance to cause more pain
Behind those hollow, soulless eyes
An empty heart stank like a rotten drain

Hussein

What did you think you'd acheive
Mixing anthrax with the rain
That the rest of us might believe
Your cause was just, not more profane?

Hussein

And what world are you living in tonight
If you think you can claim
Your people's homes and streets alight
Is victory in Allah's name?

Hussein

Do you think your country will be glad
When they've nothing left, not even grain
Self-appointed tyrant of Baghdad
Who do you think Iraq will blame?

Hussein

So when it's time for it to end at last
One of your own will put the bullet through your brain
And when all your people's misery has passed
You'll be just a filthy little stain

With no name

hussein

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I Took Your Picture 27/11/91

I took your picture and, perfectly, you smiled.
Months, I think, before the film was filled
With light from the moments I'd collected
As twenty four glimpses of life reflected
Into a camera poised like a surgeon's knife
And I wondered what had moved me so
To have frozen them forever, in such still life.
You were one of them, yes, you did enthrall
Once, when I took your picture by a window,
And, eleven months later, from my wall.

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If Morning Comes (Waking On Bank Holiday) 29/5/91


If morning comes from moonless sky
And still apart but close we lie
Might we later wake to find
Hearts less open, words less kind?

And if I wake with growing need
For those smouldering eyes and plead
To be with you again tonight
To feel your touch and not take flight

Or your skin like a ripe new peach
Could you refuse me if I reach
To ask if I could crystallise
And drown withing those smouldering eyes?

 

 

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If You Had Wings, Oh Heart 11/11/94


If you had wings, O heart,
Where would you fly?
"Over nine grey streams
Into the western sky
Beyond the churning seas,
Above the distant shore
Where I was frozen once,
Many years before
Though I'd not long tarry
In that sleepless citadel
Nor the windy prison
Where the sad belugas dwell
But in the twin cities,
On that great river's side
Where you lost me once,
For a time there I'd bide
Then on into the Black Hills,
Above the grassy plain
Where red men still dance
To the sun and rain
Yet still I'd have no rest
Til I had climbed the spine
Of the great white mountains
In the autumn time
With tears for old Lacerta
On the coldest winter nights
Amid the crashing colours
Of the towering northern lights
My wings at last would sleep
Til all my days were done
And in the arms of Tunnel Mountain
I would find a home".
Then come, little brother
Let us make our journey start
With this gift I have for you -
Here are your wings, O heart.

 

 

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Inno(s)cent 22/12/95


Taking a shirt from the closet
I catch a scent upon it
An old flame long, long gone
But the scent still strong
Then I confuse it,
Breathe out, lose it
The scent, the girl, the past
None meant to last
Only to be sweet when remembered
As ecstacy or pain
Never to be surrendered
And never to come again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It Must Be Said 10/2/93


He was kind, It must be said
Because his life was led
For the benefit of others
So he took no lovers
Worked for the common good
Gave everything he could
To help out charity
He had no family
Which would explain why
When he did finally die
He wasn't found for days
(Or so the paper says)
Sat upright in his chair
Comb still hanging from his hair
Fists curled in pain
From the tumour on his brain
Gone "funny in the head"
Still, he was kind, it must be said.

 

 

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Just A Game 31/10/96


"Just a game" you said
And so we played
The ranks displayed
Advanced a pawn
And the king lay dead
Before the dawn
The sun had set
Where we had met
And pain was gone.
A piece you took
And read me wrong
The knight, the rook
A slow defense
Your swift ripostes
Made no sense
Of counting costs
And all the while
I saw the style
Behind that smile
And so I knew
When I resigned
I'd lost to you
As you'd designed
And never know
The tears we shed
Were just the same
As we watched hope go
And love lie dead:
It was just a game . . .
Or so you said.

 

 

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Letter To A Dead Love 20/2/93


I imagine her alone somewhere, reading
The last lines I wrote for her,
Sat tut-tutting, puzzled and needing
An explanation of their multiple meaning.
For they are all she has of me now, a single page
On the mad, sad, funny, fallible Englishman, a blur.
Who sang her songs from an empty stage
Then spun forever from her screaming
"Don't die for me"
She should have listened,
Then she might have seen the lights,
In which the freeway, wet with her life, glistened.
Now in a dream I am the truck, we dance, me leading,
Blaming myself because she never saw it.
Now grief tricks me back to dizzy nights,
And the more it does so, so much more it
Makes me realise she is still alone somewhere,
Reading.

 

 

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Love Inadequate 29/5/91


To love is not sufficient
Selflessness is nearer
But something different
Something dearer
Might forge a bond and weld it stronger.
That tolerance could much improve
All hurts be healed
In love be firm yet yield
To others' rich, diffuse desire.
So now we know in truth,
Love grows not from and inbetween
The warp and weft of age and youth
To make it somehow less obscene
To wish its first pangs last much longer.
As tolerance the burnished star
In love's unshrouded sky
How are we so unsure why
Two hearts should perish in the fire?

 

 

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More Required 29/11/91


Surveying shoulders of the mountains
In the grip of dawn's webbed fingers
Bathing in the sudden fountains
Welling from a spring to bring us
Deep powder mornings unforbidden
Spliting ridges, flood the valley floor
And carry such pervasive warnings
Breaking over bleary faces that there's more
Required than ice on light-strewn mornings
To capture and forever freeze
Hearts as so long captive,
Frozen cold as these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Night's Tall Fortress 26/11/91


In those early, bleakest hours
Gaze upon Night's tall fortress
And soon become aware
Of giant, raking towers
Which suddenly impress
The skyline with their powers.
But are they really there?
Immeasurable battlements,
Monoliths in the sway
Bringing us an insight
Breathless in a moment
Unacheiveable by day.
The construction of defence
Denied by ignorance of light,
Beacons shine admonishing
The most unlikely event
That walls will fall like rain
And allow a punishing,
A ruining descent
To routine, diminishing
Their promise never to come again.

 

 

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No Room 26/11/91


She had no room in her house
To store his bright contempt
No blinds to draw on his error
She had no chairs in her house,
Furniture was, like sex, exempt
From existence, in her terror
She had burned it all
It had filled,
Expanded into all she had feared,
All the spaces slowly killed
When, like a sudden letter, he reappeared
And uninvited, moved back in
Redecorating with hate and pain.
But, before the cracks could begin
And the rot return he left again.
Now her house stands empty, no room
To sit staring into the evening gloom.

 

 

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Not Leaving Sooner 28/7/94


The world awaking on our pillow
Is the one that drew us to our bed
In veils of empty air that billow
In the wake of cloudless dreams
And void between us a new distance
Drawn out by our own insistence
That all but the truth has been said
And all that ever hung between us
Was the thread of unmarked time
Suspended where the eyes had seen us
Loosing now their unmasked screams
In a howl of words left long unspoken,
In overlapping sleep now broken
Not leaving sooner
was my incandescent crime.

 

 

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On Hearing Your Voice 3/12/91


On hearing your voice I felt no warm
Inner feeling circle my stoney heart
Just a bone cold memory I'd drawn
From all those nights we spent apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once Upon A Space 29/9/95


Once upon a space time had no meaning
Light became a mask to hide the face
Of day from the dark of evening.
Love was pain and hate was guilt
And all around a wall was built
Not to keep the evil out
But to chain and hold in doubt
All truth's beauty, honesty
A place you could never even see
Though I lived there once
Raging against the ugly whole
Of the blind world of ignorance
Until, silently, in you stole
Stirring new dreams from the deep
Of our togetherness in sleep
Sailing across time and space
To my arms where, face to face,
You said "Trust me hard enough
That what will remain of us is love".

 

 

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Once Upon A Summer 23/3/93


Once upon a Summer we ran with the breeze,
Rolled dizzy down a grassy hill
And lay entwined upon a hazy beach
Until the moon rose over an ebbing tide.
But Winter blew Summer away with an ease
That froze the grass in its icy chill
And drew the sea beyond our reach
Until the days we shared began to subside.
Growing older has been our only crime,
As you have fallen by my life's side
Leaving only a memory to kill the time,
A memory that doesn't know
Our time has already died.

 

 

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One More Tear 21/9/95


Hour after hour upon the road
That leads me slowly through the day
After day of searching for a lost love
I may one day find again.
My leaden heart is heavied still
With such demons on my back
But beauty must yet prevail
In this winter sky, the lights
Of stars long since burned out
Shine in a world they never knew
Tiny sparks in the firmament,
Flashes of hope that burst into lives
And touch a lover I might yet know.
It is in this thin mirror I see her face
Feel her heart beat, breathe her hair
What a tragedy, a grand denial to wrong
The world with my final ever tear
That it should never see us here,
Back in love, where we so belong.

 

 

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One Night 26/9/95


In the darkness where you sleep
Night goes about its black business
Of hymns and curses to the deep
You startle me as your breath cools
And stirs goose flesh on my side
To tangle further the untidy mess
We've made of love - What elegant fools
We were to think we could hide
Our hearts from each other. Your hair
Falls about me, distantly you sigh
Then reach to hold me tighter there
While the ghosts of night march by
Bringing dawn with a memory of cold,
To make me young when I am old.

 

 

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Over The Moon 8/11/94


Wandering around
In a stolen hour or more
Over hard wintery ground
Suddenly I saw
What the years had long concealed
And I finally knew my boyhood gone
As I passed my old school football field
A place I used to belong
Every Wednesday afternoon.
It was still short of grass
Still loosely strewn
With dogshit and broken glass
But once, in 22 minds and 44 feet,
World cup finals were played
And school drudgery beat a retreat
As lopsided boys displayed
Their skills before a roaring crowd
Of shuffling old men in long scarves
Who sometimes stopped to watch, heads bowed,
And saw a cliche, game of two halves
Strikers losing markers, diving in to score
Defenders shrugged off, sick as parrots
And teacher-managers who, two lessons before
Showed more sticks than carrots
Before transforming themselves into referees
Dishing out red cards, early baths . . . . .
What was that? Ah yes, all those memories
Walking long forgotten paths
And, like remembering an old tune,
I stood watching a goalkeeper's ghost
Tip a roaring volley round the post
And another just over the moon.

 

 

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Sick As A Parrot 8/11/94


I don't play football these days
My career ended with a crocked knee
But I'm still there on Saturdays
The national sport still has a place for me
With a season ticket seat in the stands
Far from the pitches of my youth
Though sometimes amid the strands
Of wintery sun I can glimpse a truth
And I find myself trying hard not to forget
That somewhere out there a part of my soul
Nestles gently in the back of the net
Sick as a parrot, still keeping goal.

 

 

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Paradox 30/1/93


Broken husks of discovery
Lie bleached amid the wreck
Of humanity and drab,
Undressed up life, the more so
For the past was always dead.
A welcome mask of sleep
Falls greedy to the head,
Lolling on its broken neck.
And mind's blunt aspiration
Finds no strength to keep
The spirit from the darker ways
It seldom fears enough to go.

 

 

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Perfect Moment 20/9/94


Over a breath of dawn
Ash flutters, cast a shroud
From fleeting embers
Where flames once cried aloud
A new day born
And remembers
Dying in the shadow-light
Cold as the palm
That encircled naked fingers
A ring around the calm
Brushing lips from sight
Like woodsmoke, lingers
Crowned in meadow grass
Stirring in reflection
On smoothest glass
Of sweet perfection.

 

 

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Poem For Kirsty 12/6/98


So many times so weary,
So few truths so long found,
Shared many a good dream
And morning bleary,
Kept pain and fear unseen
But too many half-loves hanging round:
One helped me to my innocence,
Another had it killed,
Now one has seen it through,
Made more than love, made sense,
That one is you,
Something empty has been filled.

 

 

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Right Choice 29/11/91


How to make a choice of all we do?
Answer questions, bear examination
See an old path disguised as new,
Decide and in deciding find exhaultation
Recognise the way trodden before
That done all else rests upon
Discovering nothing matters anymore
Except that we may at once be wrong
Then instincts sigh with a single voice
And never exercised our right of choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seconds Out 28/10/94


Not reaching for you in those seconds,
Bright and hard as diamonds
Was an error made in fear.
'Not his last' will read my litany
With a familiar flush of sympathy
But leaves us still more far than near.
And dividing two lives into one,
Are equations left unsolved, undone
As about our daily worlds we go
Mindful of that warm-sharp moment where
Our lives met once in thin autumnal air
And will again . . . . if you wish it so.

 

 

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Sermon - 26/9/95


Stood in shades of silence
Never such innocence to feel
No truth to bare so real
Except the old spiritual violence
Going off like a bomb
In an undeserted playground
Spreading hell with some aplomb
The whole village round.
The church at six so still
Except for hymning voices
No excuses, less no choices
For those who pilgrim up the hill
The sermon deceives to flatter -
"This is not what HE planned:
Young lives not meant to matter
But murder and not understand"

 

 

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Shortest Of Crystal, Ice 7/12/91


Shortest of crystal, ice
Nestles gently in the palm
As warmth consumes
And brings a quieter calm
To freeze those eyes
Flashing across crowded rooms.

 

 

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Snowdream - 26/9/95


From a dream snowflakes fall outside,
Beneath the ice dead summers hide
And ringing silence falling all around
Winter whispering over frozen ground.
Along a pair of tracks in the powder
Laughter in the air grows louder
As two spectres rise from the mist
So pale as to be easily missed
Run hand in hand, the drifts are deep . . .
Then morning rouses me from sleep
And I remember the two figures there
With flecks of silver in their hair
Kicking down the snowmen of the years
Melting the ice with their mingled tears:
They were us before we chose to part
Each unfreezing the other's icy heart.

 

 

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Solitude - 4/2/93


Once love seemed best when shared,
Becomming who one truly is.
Not so at all
Not, at least, for me
To whom love, when she came, had dared
Seem such a stranger
Then how differently
We knew each other
That she remained a "Miss".
Then in restless dream
She moved with dread
Of meetings where we seem
Like seeds, sown
So separately that nothing really changed
As we grew apart
Except our lives were led
In solitude,
A state we claimed
being "more together" Meaning "more alone".

 

 

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Sounds Of Love 8/11/95


I hear sounds of love through the wall
And silence softly on the pillow
Waiting, far from sleep, for the call
Of dawn dragging light across the window
And a soft breath beside me
That echoes inside me
So that I tense as she turns
To guide my hand to the warm space
Upon her stomach where it burns
To slide and find the other place.
I wonder if I should make love to her,
If it would mean enough to her
But instead I draw her closer with my arm
And feel the press of her spine in my chest,
The cup of her breast in my palm;
I know her body now but long for the rest,
She sighs as my fingers slowly slide
Along the length of her shivering side
And I wonder which is truly love:
The frantic sounds beyond the wall
Of a finger forced into too tight a glove
Or this easy rise and fall
Of two hearts beating life into each other. Either
Might be true love,
Perhaps both,
Maybe neither.

 

 

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Still Hours 8/2/93


Time turning fearless horses loose
Upon still hours
Drenched in shadow-thought
Call a faint, uneasy truce
Among such heavy flowers,
Gifts more meant than planned,
Open offers luck had brought
Soon laid to waste:
To hold a winning hand
Then declare it ere the bets were placed.

 

 

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Still Life 2/2/93


When the truths between the shadow hide,
Paths of peace are covered by the tide,
Wild winds of freedom will not blow
And fulfilment's waves freeze like snow,
Seek hope in waters deep and dare
To find the secrets in the air.
When the search for love seems passionless,
Wisdom's road lies through lonliness,
Great flames of sorrow scorch the heart
As anger grows and friends depart,
Will the fire to burn grief out
Be silent with the earth, no doubt
That though the soul feels restless now,
It will find its peace somehow.

 

 

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The Actress 30/1/93


In the curtained wings of Autumn
Wintery prompters sleep,
While the actress, Summer, sails
From sight on seas
Of Spring's encoring rains; the applause
For harvests fall from where she fled.

Icy winds string flailing forces,
Forgotten scripts that, lonely, weep
For a lost soliloquy, strained to scale
And breathing russet leaves from parent trees,
Moved by speeches mourning Summer, pause
And faint at hand, an actress pale lies still in death.

 

 

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The First Passion 15/11/91


The first passion of her maturity belies the waiting years:-
When the brevity of the moment
Paid homage to the breathless,
Bridged the creaking stair as if untrod (or perhaps not).
Where the dim, plain-shaded lamp was never lit alone,
Until now:

When the fumbled croak of compromise
The freezing of instant, giddy air
And gentle smiles ford the last deep pool
Horsemen, white with sweat, swoop
Down upon the crests of swirling success.
The long unrelieved frenzy is followed
By still, flushed moments of incredulous analysis.

Then it begins,
And is endless,
And will never happen again.

 

 

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The Kinetics Of Drowning 2/2/93


Why does it always feel like a drowning . . . .
Man on a ceaseless, rolling sea . . . .
Saw rocking with swirling crests . . . .
Falling, leaving the oars still . . . .
Born would have been better . . . .
The devil you know . . . .

 

 

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The Lesser Man? 26/11/91


People ask if money motivates -
Perhaps they think it does
But your desire generates
No power from it's hungers.
Ignore the rumour mongers
And sooner starve. What stimulates?
What drives you? Anger? Love?
Ah, Love, to a man like you,
Not fumbling around in cars,
Pick up lines, singles bars
No, love is in all you do
A simple life you have found
Where happiness is truly earned
Wisdom shows, you've learned
From others pushed around
Their own lives til they know
Nothing anymore, confused
Then greedily to you they go
To try to steal your only wish
To be alone
You dry another dish
They fail and you look on, amused.

 

 

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The Mass 23/7/96


The catherderal air sags, leaden,
Thick with coughing blame
Thirty generations' vicarious slaughter
For a petulant 'One God, One name'
Scriptures sulk between the wings
A brooding vulture looms
To tug the pulpit's puppet strings
And force a hymn to praise such dooms
Upon new hats and shiny shoes
The weekly ranks, the sickly host
Like dead rabbitts on a wire
Strung between the pews
Pernicious, perverted, giving the lie
To truth, a huge and holy heist
For righteous robbery they'd gladly die
With bloody hands
To nail another mocking christ.

 

 

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The Party 6/11/94


In the pub, warming up for the party
Catching up on gossip with real ale
I watched you curled and sultry
And you seemed so distant, too pale
To be surprising me later on the stairs
Insisting that I take you for a dance
My senses sending out distress flares
Against stupidity's swift advance

But drink had numbed the poise
That had made you seem unreachable
So when your lips drowned the party noise
Mine were innocent, eager, teachable
The lesson was a secret stolen kiss
That pitched me through the door
To where no one else could miss
You lead me to the middle of the floor

And begin to dance
I found myself trapped
In your smile, your eyes, your hair
And if the others laughed or clapped
I realised suddenly that I didn't care
As we danced, my fingers found your palm
And your body became a form
Of language expressing seemless calm
And pure sensation, all was warm

Then, for a second, we were together
Two lives singing out in stereo
Melting softly into each other
Neither willing to let the other go
But by morning all was hangover distant
As if it were part of some other life
Though the memory remained persistent
Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

And waking up on someone else's floor
Smiling, as everyone laughed and chattered
About us and our exploits the night before
It seemed that nothing really mattered
But that sweet second in a universe of chance
When our lives had truly met
Amid the moves of the wild unending dance
We had shared and could not regret
That later, when we spoke again,
It was as friends not lovers, though I was sure
I caught you smiling at me now and then
As if to say it was not so the night before.

 

 

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The Performance 8/11/94


You chased her down those many long years
But never tried quite hard enough
Confessed to us over many long beers
About needing her and all that other stuff
But your time never came
So, like a dog gone lame,
You limped through life, out of luck and out of love
But when the gigs came round again
And we took the stage once more
You played with such exquisite pain
Those songs called to her like never before
So when the curtain fell
Still drifting under your spell
You found her waiting by the backstage door
She stood next night in the front row
The river between you finally fording
There again at the end of the show
To take your hand, rewarding
Your years of lover-in-disguise
Smiling at your sweet surprise
As we on stage joined the crowd, applauding.

 

 

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The Philosopher Finds Her Gone 7/11/94


I am struck by the strange dichotomy
Of whether I left her or she left me
And what wisdoms can I learn
When to the great philosophers I turn?
Ah, such lessons they have to teach
Something about fish on a beach?
Or more pebbles in the sea?
. . . . . . It's a mystery to me.

 

 

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The Poet Finds Her Gone 7/11/94


Come sweet Death and draw me near
That my milky eyes might now see clear
For since my true love lies far away
I would that I'd not lived a single day
So come caress me with your icy breath
That my lips might know the kiss of Death

 

 

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The Psychologist Finds Her Gone 7/11/94


If leaving me was on her mind
How could I have been so blind
And not tried to analyse
The thoughts behind her eyes?
And if she'd had a complex all along
Why did my analysis go so wrong?
And to whom will I turn for comfort in the coming days?
Ah, yes, Mother knows best
. . . . or so Freud says . . .

 

 

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The Rock Star Finds Her Gone 7/11/94


She was just some chick I met backstage
She said I was great (well, for me age)
She told me that she'd always been a fan
So I gave her a ride in the back of the van
We both knew we was only playing the game
So it was no big deal if I didn't ask her name
And no surprise to find her gone
When morning came, still, no harm done
And anyway I've been working on this new song:
I've made her the subject of me next number one!

 

 

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I Find Her Gone 7/11/94


The day you left I felt like a child
Running fog-lolly over a frozen field
Only to fall . . .
And no one come to help
And the first night without you I felt
Like a seal break surface from a dive
Only to findNo air left to breathe
But sitting by the phone
For hours, days,Writing this
And willing you to call
Feels like
Totally
Nothing
at all

 

 

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The Ring 17/6/91


Lying where she left it
Bright and newly washed
With tears from last night's sky
Flung from the window, Screw it!
Then attatch significance instead,
Forget what did and cry
For losing the thing.
This manacle to history,
An empire brewed it
Digging hands gave it birth
Declared it jewellery
And at once renewed it, loved it, gave it worth
And forged a precious ring.
Then my ashen digits
Scratched the ugly whole
With trying not to lie
And speared it vowing, if it fits
To never lose or let it roll
On pain that I should die

 

 

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The Stanza Commander 13/1/93


I am the Stanza Commander,
I have only one vice and that's verse,
I spend all of my time
Seeking out rhyme,
A talent, a pleasure, a curse.

I am the Stanza Commander,
I'll be sat at the back of the train,
Writing about fools
Winning the pools
And refusing to come in from the rain.

I am the Stanza Commander,
With my poems of falling in love,
As I stand in the queue
Where it's catch twenty - two,
Asking "Does this bus go to paradise, guv?"

"Yes, son" he says, "I cannot deny,
But all seats reserved with No Room
So I can't let you on,
You must wait there anon
And hope there's another one soon".

I protest - "I'm the Stanza Commander!
And entitled to enter that joint,
I write poems and prose
While the rest blow their nose,
It's not me whose missing the point".

It's true I'm the Stanza Commander,
With a right to be here, I insist,
While the world carries on
I'm composing a song
About all of the life that I've missed.

It's hell being the Stanza Commander,
Not living, just writing instead,
The only romance for me
Is in poems, you see,
It's easy to wish I was dead.

But I'm still the Stanza Commander,
Seen sometimes, I'll be bound,
Plodding on by
With my mind in the sky,
And all of my life written down.

So think of the Stanza Commander,
When you're feeling unhappy again,
And if you've love going spare,
There's someone lonely out there
With his book and his thoughts and his pen.

 

 

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The Waiting King 26/11/91


By muddy pool a crystal cup
The foaming reign called forth
By single earthly sip

A King still waits

In his halls now none speak his name
Save minstrels in forgotten tales
That even they do not believe

A King still waits

In the orchard far
Across the mortal river
Armies lie in patient pain

A King still waits

Proud standards, a forest of steel
A jet black mount
Takes the field in dreams

A King still waits

Fanfares announce the victor
Then proclaim the funeral ship
Burning bright the open sea

A King still waits

For last return to Albion
To stand beyond the fire again
Until he can return

A King, still, waits.

 

 

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Thoughts On Death 6/1/96


Some fear death
So may they die fighting
For life, kicking and screaming
May they draw last breath
And hope to hold it forever:
For they shall die in summer.

Some will not notice their demise
Until it is a moment passed
Looking down at a tangle of limbs
When they open their eyes
For them shall come life's terror, delirium:
May they die in autumn.

Some will know old age
Death stalking them down
In final days they'll have known
It coming like the last page
Of a book of which they were not author:
May they die in winter.

When I die it will be with relief
That all my failures, disappointments
Shall perish with me. All my acheivements
Buried underneath,
And none of them mattering:
I will die in the spring.

 

 

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Tree Picture Poem 8/2/93


If this heart could soon decide
To break old love's lost freedoms,
It would clasp new hands untied
Beneath an old tree's fresh seasons.

 

 

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Undercover Agent 29/9/95


As if she could admit
The collision of expectation
With reality was a bit
One-sided. Her preparation
Undeserving of her faith
In love - she thought it gone,
Vanished like a wraith
Under the blazing sun:
So she might, in the end,
Find that being her friend
Could blow the cover
Of being just her lover.

 

 

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When You Smiled 1/8/97


You opened the door
And your garden grew with light,
. . . When you smiled

You made us coffee
And spoons rattled cups for your touch,
. . . When you smiled

You took me shopping
And things leapt from shelves to be bought by you,
. . . When you smiled

We drove through Longleat Park
And monkeys broke wipers to be near you,
. . . When you smiled

We watched the sun go down
And it embered on the hill to please you,
. . . When you smiled

We talked all night
And the moon stayed up late to hear your voice,
. . . When you smiled

You reached to kiss me
And angels wept for long forgotten joy,
. . . When you smiled

We closed our eyes
And orange trees flowered into our dreams,
. . . When you smiled

When we went to the fair
Children learned how to hold hands from us,
. . . When you smiled

When we were in love
Navies came home waving their hats,
. . . And you smiled

When you left
A seagull fell from flight,
a rainbow blew away
. . . And . . . oh . . .

 

 

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Who Do We Think You Are? 20/4/93


Who do we think you are? God, perhaps?

You are light, spreading thickly across laboratory windows,
You are silence, dripping obliquely through school yards.
You are duty, awarded in bravery medals,
You are peace, bestowed in poppy seeds,
You are freedom, festooned in loud speeches,
You are history, caressed in blunt epitaphs,

(You are beauty, released in error)

You are honour, constrained in rows of prayer mats,
You are truth, consumed in broken chalices,
You are guidance, marooned on choirboys' secrets,
You are forgiveness, lost among empty confessionals,

(You are faith, dropped in by accident)

You are nature, measured in mega bytes,
You are progress, counted in T.V. aerials,
You are leadership, expressed in kissed babies,
You are harmony, evolved in siren volume,

(You are love, omitted on purpose)

You are perception, determined by scattered mirror shards,
You are justice, defined by body weight over feet of rope
You are compassion, calculated in breaths before the bullet,
You are regret, recorded in sleepers before the train crash,

You are everything that will happen only ever once.

We know who YOU are,
But who the hell do we think WE are?
God, perhaps?

 

 

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Why I Hate Cars 6/5/92


In the lane I hit a sparrow with my car
Most escape sideways, he flies straight
But I am too fast, him too slow
And both a wingspan late
For either to really know
Why I had to bounce him so far
Down the lane
Until the pain
That cracks him like a stem
Explodes in his ragged chest
Before his frothing breath
Sends his little life to rest
In the grip of violent death
Not alone, there are more of them
Down the lane
They all remain
Upon the roadside, each a scar
The crow, rabbit, old Tom Cat
Who deserved it gently in his sleep
Not strung between life and death like that
Glassy-eyed and frightened in a sad crumpled heap
After this I know I shall never drive a car
Down the lane
Ever again.

 

 

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With Fresh Eyes 24/1/93


When I wear the scarf you sent,
Or look hard at the picture
And know the week ahead will be spent
Loosening the grip and stricture
Of life's drudgery, my heart no longer grieves,
For I see your face, tiny amid all those leaves.

 

 

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