Saturday, 7 November 2015


I knew it was a dream, because
he spoke without obstruction
what was in my heart
and after they had kissed,
she did not leave.

Best part of the day, the wish
was truer than the history -
dying, not of darkness
but, for all to see, of
northern summer light.

All I want is to breathe the air
she breathes; be nothing otherwise;
slave to the syndrome of de Clerambault -
offensively devoted -think
Stendhal, behind lenses tinted green.

Montaigne found he learned a lot
from those inferior of mind.
What would Montaigne make of us -
torchbearers of the second-rate,
invincible in our belief
triumphant dimness has no cost?
A wise man would be wiser still.

Friday, 16 October 2015


Cars climb the hill and stare at the sign
before the long descent.
Silhouettes, moving or still,
in cubes of yellow or blue light,
show what feeling at home looks like.
A woman working after dark

leans a coloured print
against the gallery wall
as the last, lone, nuisance
of a skateboarder
nods at this shadow of a man.
A conversation cycles out of town.

Tonight, the missing can be seen, almost.
Null and void is in season.
Traffic-lights fire blanks across the street;
the train-announcement reaches
north towards the river,
there to die as angled snow.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Words take me from where I am.
Someone I'll never know
has unlocked the door of a house,
surrounded by trees then wilderness
and painted the colour of the sea.
The fire is lit and one I'll never meet
has left out food and drink
and a note on the windowsill that reads
Stay here for as long as you like.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Descant on Juvenal


Those teeth may sparkle, but the eye stays dull;
smooth out the skin, the better to see the skull;
the mouth has gone, though lips contrive to pout;
scarlet-painted claws remove all doubt.

A regular taste of nothing from a spoon
and eternity's arrived, a little soon.
Now look at them dancing, cheek to hollow cheek!
She walks on air; her partner springs a leak.

Too pessimistic? There is worse to come -
grimmer than vacancy or mucky bum -
when dementia's sorted and existence without fear
or appetite, continues, year on year -

no hope, no struggle, failure, or success -
just incurable, epidemic endlessness.
Being dead is not experienced, as such,
so why are we afraid of it so much?

Saturday, 15 August 2015


If it would not entail
a further falling in love,
I'd write to you again.
Instead, I drive as far
as it takes, before I can
drive back, because it's dark
or as dark as early summer
evenings allow.

All this, to put to bed
a love and loss that's wrong
for us - wrong for the time -
with its genius for the same
or something like:
proxy, clone, replacement,
substitute. You'll find
another me - just look.