11:50pm Thoughts Inspired

You Said

You said

“she died”

And if

I could

I would

Have taken hold

Of your hand

And hold it still

And never

Let go


Do not

Do not be deceived I am

Improvising and coaxing

Whatever I have learned

To place before you

Discovering a place

To be me at last

New and fresh and real

Fate perhaps at work

Whatever meager ability

I manage to set free

Oh beauty they name

Is eternal to my heart

Not a quote but simply

Me talking to you

No translation errors here

My heart pronounces

Your name perfectly


I Will

Catch the spiders

And release them

To start again as we do

I will shoo the mice

To find where they

Belong as we do

I will be as strong

As you need

And no stronger

I will be pest control

Labourer unquestioning

Devoted servant and

Leader when you wish

Telepathic empathy

A newfound skill of mine


From Work

Home at last

Meal cooking

Bath run

Kisses kisses kisses

Hearing ear

Coat taken

Day unpacked

Kisses kisses kisses

Twenty minutes

Soak with wine

Meal ready

Kisses kisses kisses

Eat from knees

Sit back full

Talking laughing

Kisses kisses kisses

Head on shoulder

Dropping off

Silent warmth

Kisses kisses kisses

Time for bed

Hand held

Told you are the golden star around which my world spins

Kisses kisses kisses


Just Because

Because I Can

I would paint you

As Lempicka painted Rafaela

Each brushstroke livid with desire

I would write you

As Neruda wrote Your Laughter

Devour you with my words

I would sing you

As Gregory Porter sings Just The Way You Are

Sooth you with my voice

All these things for you

Gifts from the air

Just because I can


Conjugating Us (As seen on The Poetry Bar)

I hiss

You dismiss

He/she/it reminisce

They Judge


I evoke

You provoke

He/she/it revokes

They judge


I blurt

You hurt

He /she/it revert

They judge



This lame mule has appetite

For more toil and to be faithful

Once more to be owned

And to take the burden

Companion on the road

And warmth when at night

In makeshift hedgerow sleep

I stand in my field and flick my tail

Alert to noises in the lane

I stand and wait

This lame mule has appetite yet


Sad Eyed

You were sad eyed among headstones

And I wanted to tell you

The most honest tribute to

Lost love is life


Inspired By The Beauty of Sunlight Through Stained Glass

I tried to write for you today

But the words were too humbled

To want to be heard

Like candles in a sun beam

I wanted to write something befitting

But  where once the lone wolf words

Would hunt you down

Somehow they have curled at your feet

But let anyone raise their voice to you

And snarling they will arise

Entirely at your command



3 for this afternoon

Asterion Earthbound

Alone in a private corner

Of the labyrinth the Minotaur

Sinks to his knees and holding

His sword to steady himself

He lowers his head and weeps

Pasiphae his mother named him

Asterion, but he is Minotaur

Part dumb animal stalking

His vast ornate prison and

Part man, weeping at the

Yearning in his soul

To know just once a touch

That is not from combat

And rising to his feet

Asterion looks to the heavens

And cries for Theseus to come


Idle Moments

An unplanned thought occurred

And I re-traced accustomed steps

Through Eliot’s Wasteland

A familiar stroll through

Conversant surroundings

But paused today at a place

I usually walk past in a hurry

Struck mute at the ironic

Call from history that

Prefigures a fond thought

And I recited aloud

The brief extract smiling

First then laughing at

My naive foolishness



On average a square centimetre

Of air has a mass of one kilogram

And I look up at the sky

And some days feel the weight

The atmospheric pressure

Decreases the greater the altitude

Which is why thinking of you

Leaves me light headed, giddy

And why the boiling point is so low



This sacerdotal exegesis

Enumerated passage of

Noah in the dry seasons

Cry of apostolic credence

Art is the condition which arises

As the result of a subjective stimulus/stimuli

Meeting with a subjective response

We may consider subjectivity to be

The extent to which the judgmental process

Is unqualified by context or expertise

We may also consider a stimulus/stimuli

To be the conscious placing of metrials in order

When we speak of response

We are identifying the activity of

Decoding the order of materials

(It is not guessing at the conscious or unconscious order

Of the materials, or the original order or the originality

Of the order)

Decoding is the term denoting

A comprehension of significance

This significance is wholly analogous with meaning

Meaning can be said to be

The condition arising as the result of

A subjective stimulus/stimuli

Meeting with a subjective response

The conscious placing of materials in order

Produces the artefact

There can be no prescriptive

Or definitive category of artefacts

Or materials whose order can produce the artefact

Concern with the materials

Detracts from the subjective response

And qualifies the judgmental process

Through the criteria of context

It is not enough to rely on the caveat of intellect

Intellect is the qualification by context

And/or expertise of judgemental tools

The chief obstacle to overcome

Is a reluctance to rely on the

Judgement of the individual

We are clinging to the wreckage

Of the process of industrialisation

Where every aspect of existence must

Have a qualitative value placed upon it

As part of a continual process of stocktaking

We are perpetually measuring worth

Education systems are  means

Of perpetuating existing values and

Limit the choices of judgmental tools

A professor of literature may spend

All their life conforming to

The demands of the institution

Much the same way recidivist criminals

Behave according to their patterns of

Institutionalised socialisation

And experiences literature in those terms





Sketched Poems

Summer Evening

Outdoors at the Fox & Coney

Sipped gin and conversation

As dusk creeps bringing

A slight shiver with the laughter

The cardigan across your shoulders

Soft to your skin and warming

Effortless  yet elegant form and function

Sometimes the simplest and most obvious

Caresses are the truest and can be

As undemanding of you as

These flights of fancy you inspire


Idle Thought

Unbidden I pictured

Slowly sliding the strap

Of your dress from your

Shoulder and replacing it

With one lingering tender kiss


At 51

No age to be riding

My bike past you

No hands showing off

Inarticulate tomfoolery

Grazed knees from

The playground of life

No longer sting with

The antiseptic dabbed

51 is the perfect age

To show off for you

No fear of falling

Old enough to know

Better and do it anyway


Estimate My Stupid

I’m sorry I said

It used to be sprung

Like a basketball court

But is now a sunken water feature

When you showed me

The thing with the pencil

For the avoidance of doubt

I am exactly, no rounding

Up or down that stupid

Saturday Afternoon Poems (Extempore)

Talking Dirty

You asked me to

Engage in speaking obscenity

As a condiment to our love making

And though I managed some simple

Adjectival nouns I over reached

And was true to myself so I know

“Indigent wench” is not what you expected

But you discovered that the sensation

Of my holding myself in place

While you convulse with laughter

And your body tried to spit me out

Was a delicious sensation worth repeating


But Why ?

Trying to avoid the role

Of cliche expat Brit

In a continental office

I struck upon the verbal ticks

To buy translation time

So a raised eyebrow and saying “Ja, aber warum ?”

Whilst the mind races through declensions

And old vocab tests mostly failed

The conscious mind furiously wasting time

Did he just say that the mice are unhappy ?

Some existential crisis of German rodents

All that Goethe and Nietzsche I suppose

Or is his IT on the fritz

Don’t say on the fritz I did

Once but I think I got away with it

As patiently Karl waits before

“Why won’t you let me use English ?”

I am the other cliché expat Brit


To Spare Your Blushes

Allow me my love to read to you

From the sacred texts

The Hindu sutras of maintaining

Our existence

I will read the Sanskrit

For which there is no literal

Translatable terms and

Explain to you that the lowing calf

Is from the congress of the cow

So please throw away

Your ‘Position a day’ book

It is far too trainspotting

We might as well wear khagouls

And relax you are supposed

To make that noise


Of Proust

Sweet Madeleine if only I could

Consume you now redolent

Of resplendent youth

Made chic with sophisticated age

Oh Madeleine how you wear a skirt

Split to the thigh because

You can never resist the lure of the accordion

To tango wildly with fierce gaze

All those years you spent

Posing as an exotic dancer

On Baltic cruise ships touring

The port towns of the former

Hanseatic Empire “Stepped Gable Tour”

Whilst in truth you were with

Norwegian Special Forces

When I long to hold you in a tango grip

I know you have 43 ways, unarmed, to kill

Not counting your smile

Or that the firmness in your kiss

Is from the trombone embouchure

Your passion, your life

That and whittling ornate penguins

From salvaged chair legs

Oh Madeleine fragrant and delightful

Your scent lingers on me still

Of ginger, lilac and liquorice

With a trace of the tobacco you chew

I treasure the makeshift spittoon

You fashioned from an antique pith helmet

Oh Madeleine I ache

To know your warm embrace

Yet know you must remain

As enigmatic as the shipping forecast

Forties Cromarty Forth Tyne Dogger

Names that conjure you


Secret Admirer

A lady should have an admirer

Who should be courteous, respectful and distant

Though not remote or enigmatic

The admirer should be firm in their conviction of the

Wondrous virtues of the lady they admire

And should be open in their admiration

Then having been clear, concise and  charming

In paying tribute sincerely

Respectfully retire and not seek to engage

In a vulgar pleading since the admiration

Should not be returned, that is the etiquette



Saturday Anthology


Instamatic snapshot of a moment

Folds across the processed colour gloss

You look pretty to me now and then

Knowing you might read that your way

Which isn’t how I’d say it, mine is sweeter

And in the shared chronology

I wish I’d been your boyfriend

Held hands while sat in nervousness

Learning how to kiss in snatched goodbyes

You would now have locked away, tied in ribbon

Memories of being the centre of the world

Of being Aphrodite and of laughing hard

Until pop came down your nose

Of gently admonishing the too soon clumsy hands

I wish I’d been your boyfriend then

You would still be clever funny you

And still adored and teenage fancied

But with a memory that makes you smile and pause

When instinct calls to self deprecate

You would have thought me a a sweet fool

Then as now perhaps

I wish I’d been your boyfriend

Swap my bohemian melancholy past

For waiting after school for you to come

With a poem just like this one but naive

I wish I’d been your boyfriend

Too shy to describe out loud the racing pulse

And it may not be your colour even now

But I would have thought you pretty

And told you with my uncertain blushing smile

We are both now in middle age weary

Victims of unsolicited offers of no medical coverage

With lives to reflect on full already

But as I sit and reflect

I wish I’d been your boyfriend

Idle curiosity I suppose

Sat  across a table from each other

Slight frown as you ask me “Really”

And now I have the age to be truthful and naive

“Really, I wish I’d been your boyfriend”

Wish I’d had the privilege of being a place

For always where you are Aphrodite

And I am always more innocent


Sunday Morning

I rise at six and shower silently alone

Soft tread down the stairs for coffee and

“Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”

And meditative prayers of thanks

Cross legged on the lounge floor

The unnamed homeless man and I sing

Certain of the redemptive power of hope

I adopt my yoga position of the ‘Returning Romantic’

Flat on my back, soles of my feet on the radiator

Warming through like bread on the fork

And once too warm I climb, to my feet and the stairs

I heard you abluting and slip myself back beside you

Cold feet warm themselves on mine

You, the Sunday morning starfish duvet hog

“Which makes me shivering Spongebob yet again”

An indulgent smile creases your mouth

Fresh minty kisses are exchanged and you drape

Yourself across me, gentle, soft and content

And as I sit alone coaxing this thought to sit still

Not even knowing your hair colour

The unnamed homeless man and I sing

Certain of the redemptive power of hope

“Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”

Interview with the last remaining Arctic Penguin

Q: Mr. Penguin, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. It’s unusual for a penguin to be able to talk.

P: Well what can I say ? Not only am I the only remaining specimen of an entire species, not only do I live in the arctic wastes entirely alone, but evolution has blessed me with the ability to talk. It’s a tough gig, I’ll tell you.

Q: I can imagine. Who do you talk to ?

P: Puffins, seals, and occasionally polar bears but since they are natural predators those conversations tend to be pithy.

Q: But puffins and seals respond ?

P: No they’re puffins and seals, innit ?

Q: Er, yes I suppose. So tell me, why are you in the arctic ? Every other penguin species lives at the antarctic.

P: Why is anyone anywhere ? Fate ? Circumstance ? Narrative causality ?

Q: Narrative Causality ?

P: Things happen to protagonists because they are protagonists. Or to penguins because they are penguins. Not because things happen and eventually happen to everyone. You wouldn’t be interviewing a puffin for example.

Q: No, but there are many puffins and they can’t talk.

P: Neither can Justin Bieber, but it doesn’t stop people yanking the poor guys chain.

Q: Hmmm. I suppose so. So how does it feel to be the last of your species ?

P: Lonely, obviously. But I’ve been an adult in the wild for years and you get worn into a groove. A slightly melancholic groove, but I suppose, ‘eat – sleep – preen – repeat’ sums it up. A film crew came up a couple of years ago and left a copy of a so-called ‘authoritative guide’ to my behaviour. And it was bizarre to read what I’m supposed to do. After a little while I got a bit down thinking, “Gosh, I don’t do any of this. Maybe that’s why I’m the last.” But that passes. Nah, my life is a country song, but it’s a good country song with a decent beat. Dwight Yokam or a young Steve Earle perhaps.

Q: I see. Because I was looking up your courtship behaviour…….

P: I’ll be perfectly honest, it’s been years. For all I know my courtship behaviour is “wears a hat and plays the trombone”. I have no clue what I’d do if someone released a female into the wild. You see I could read that book about my behaviour and if it’s as far of the mark on that as everything else, I run the risk of being thought a pervy little bugger. I believe that one of the reasons my species is so endangered, the females had a pretty low tolerance for ‘stupid’ as a trait in a mate.

Q: Your quite a complex penguin.

P: Well, you spend some time howling at the aurora borealis and you get to thinking a few deep thoughts. I mean, is certainty possible ? you ask.

Q: Did I ?

P: Not yet but you were going to. I mean I actually meant ‘one’ but if you wander around the arctic saying “Would one like pilchards ? “Why yes one would” then you sound a bit, um, something.

Q: So is it ? Is certainty possible ?

P: I’m glad you asked. If you write the question down what you have a is a collection of symbols which have a common value denoting combinations of sounds which is linguistics. Certainty and possibility are competing ideas and the comparison is limited by our reliance on language. The question is a moot one. Demonstrating the limits of language to convey the subtle complexity of thought.

Q: So solitude suits you.

P: I think you get used to your own plumage. As far as I recall from when I was an egg, I believe the female courtship begins when the female starts to do a little dance, which gets more and more elaborate. Encouraging the male to join in. And apparently, I mean I think but don’t know, if you do join in there’s every chance that the point at which you reveal yourself so desperate to please that you do ‘the soft flipper shuffle’, she knows you have the ‘stupid’ gene

Q: Thank you Mr Penguin

P: You are most welcome.