Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Melody at Night with You.

And the buildings are cut out against the sky –

A perfect space to call us to the everyday.

The full earpodded rush of jangled music

Opposes  the mundane wish to get into bed.

Soberly I just want to erupt and dance in the streets

Make myself a mockery as the song assumes,

To sling my arms to the air and swirl delight.

These night excitements need to be cherished

Too often we are made poorer, necessary amnesia;

Batted aside by the ordinary, the rational and sensible.

We have no big G or little g Gods, no diety

To hallelujah anymore and keep us in line.

Any awe we feel is formula, weighed, explained.

The instant that fills the space – that now rush

Comes before we can think, it sings us into

An other, both utterly us and utterly new.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


We three boys waited that night for the stars to arrive
While our ash damped fire fizzled to a finish,
They tardily attended like reluctant pupils
Attention seeking Vega pin bright -
A hole punched in the black blue paper of the night.
Slowly the others shuffle on late for lessons
Not one then a sudden milky swirl frothing up
And over the cup like classroom hubbub.
We strain, necks cricked until we catch
Ourselves wordless all ashiver.
We stumble torchless to the tent
Only a topped pine in the distance
And the soothing hum of cars speeding late…

A father, two sons,
How many times
Has this scene been seen?
Giving nothing less
Than the universe
And our own
Wonder in it.


When the conference confetti
has been swept away
What am I left with?
Awkward interrogations:
Am I making something
Or just
Making things happen?

Trying to grasp something, to connect
My hand to the back of my head.
To inhabit another’s thoughts
making mine more than before.

Words. Words. Words…

We are hungry for sound,
Getting rough with it,
Feeling it bodily
Taking us to a dramatic
This afterlife of art
Making us adept at
Exercising otherness
Losing and finding
Our self in that 
unrepeatable moment 
Of reflection.

Culture is where we all grow
And encounter the unforeseen:
The thoughts that come up
Come out. And the edifice
We defend ourselves with
Is pared away and our souls
Boil over with the asking.

(This poem is an attempt to collect two and a half days of thoughts from the World Together Conference run by the RSC and Tate. I have used/taken appropriated the words ideas of, amongst others: Sirley Brice Heath; Cicely Berry; Jon Needlands; Carla Rinaldi; Steve Siedel, Frederick Douglass)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Altered Imagists #1

Winter like a naked anorexic.
Everyday a pathetic fallacy.

In the sodium glow of the snow,
                                                           the fox clocks me
                                                                                             and with a flick of his hips
                                                                                                                                             he's slipped away.

Like a rich man showering treasure,
snow soon turns in to a bitter miser.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Js

“what thou lovest well will remain…” Ezra Pound - Cantos


At night when sleep doesn’t come

I think of my boys upstairs,

What will life be like for us?


My boys, My boys, of the little I know

I know this…I feel more

For your faces in the morning;

For your slipper of warmth;

For your glide in the evening;

For your calf-like grazing;

For your nuzzle;

For your soft nudge;

For your companion kindness;

For your necessity and pride;

For your air filling chatter;

For your inconsequential news;

For the head scratching

Fact of it all…

I feel more than any metaphor

I have put on the page.


In my head I think of my best self, wise -

Dispensing necessary adages age provides,

An old chum with his hand firmly on the tiller

Steering clear of life’s uncharted perils.

But my true self knows the duffer,

The bluff plodder whose luck comes

Only through graft and surprise.

Too ready to grab the brakes

At the first thought of a corner.


Life can only be measured by its memory

Yes, we live but we always feel we die too soon.

Our lives mean through their meaning to others.

I’m not old, I know but youth has fled me.

These beauties on the tube do not look for me

But through me, my age an invisibility,

Their very youth an amulet against the grizzled

And what they think they will never become.


I wish my boys these girls (or boys)

That pedal into life on the very rivet –

Unfazed by failure and fear merely words.

Happiness coming from living and living,

Fuelled by the ineffable fact of being alive.

My life has been something else again

I know so little about Love and Death and God,

I live by the sea where any revelation

Is only ever temporary to be covered

By the next tide that hides all once again.


Oh My boys…Oh, My boys…

All other stuff is meaningless, except

Death coming out of the mist in disguise,

In its soft hearse to surprise and appal us.

Let me be joyfull for you and with you,

But I cannot promise that any of this will be true.