Tuesday 1 January 2019

Lessons from Trees

Last night's frantic branches now nestle,
long shorn of hair,
dignified in recovery.

Resolute, versatile, vertical,
forming your bead curtain
to a turquoise glass horizon:

showcase of blighted blackbirds,
occasional burgeoning aviation,
free to fly this side of heaven.

Still, cradling in your fingers,
oversized, precarious twists of twigs,
last season's leftovers,
soon to be
recharged with dawn song shelter.

You are a year's experience.

Emit us your order
as you stand and
curse our chaos.

Teach us dancing
when the storm comes.

Have a heart for the homeless.

You wait to blossom in the sun;
you rest while others run.

Tuesday 17 July 2018


White trash-lovers,
Freaks for all they’re worth,
Anarchy in beady, brazen faces,
Seizing stares,
Standing ground.

Bland, gallus, gunslingers
Striding rooftops,
Gate-crashing dawn,
With punk rock squawks,
Claiming squatters’ rights
On stick legs, starfish feet.

Cold-calling meddlers,
Trawling inland,
Surfing the streets:
Scoping, probing, locating.
Beak-first gamblers,  
Spinning laziness into recycling.
Maybe a nuisance,
But never gullible.

Thursday 17 May 2018

With the sun..

Wearing wrap-around seduction.
A blindfold angel in black.

Mirrors to glimpse
a fine troubled prince?

Dressed-up pathway to the soul
in exchange for intrigue.

An aviator blocking out the skies?

Shaded, jaded movie-star,
behind the wheel,
top down in the wind?

Like a niqab
your face is somewhat free.

(But the eyes have it.)

For all we know
the whites of your sight
are prized pearls
within shut shells.

May this band of tan
leave us wondering.

Could be anyone.

Just for today.

to smoulder the sun away.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Ten o'clock

and ‘good evening’ you say,

with your will to encapsulate

a world

in two simple words.

you drag me to your angle,

box up,

shrink wrap,

present me with

a moment.

then boil down


or sugar-coat

a movement.  

replay and frame

the mise-en-scene

of a ticking clock.

do you believe

you own it,

that you can make it


you slip me

a slick sales-pitch:

a sound,

to be bitten,


swallowed or

spat out

on the ground.

you bring me faces

i don’t wish to see.

villains to demonise,


victims to pour pity on for an hour,

then rationalise.

you loose your circling acid sharks

in neutral waters,

to echolocate,

smell blood,

sniff out,

go in for the kill,

expose, expound.

then comfort with the thought  

of tragedy’s ebbing tide,

you leave me


for now

removed in sandy shallows

this side of the screen.

you move me on

and tell me of the glitzy games


year on year

in cosmic colosseum circuses,

round the globe.

then forecast

rain or snow

as if you own the day,

and run the show.

willingly appalled, I bow

to sample simple snapshots of disgrace,

your gun held to my head,

your mirror to my face

to mould me to your point of view

to bring me down

right here

right now.

you are the evening news

you try your toxic best



reminding me,

you were the evening news,

I watch you laid to rest.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

The Magic Money Tree (or mixing metaphors for the proletariat).

Billions slip along its bullion branches
sliding towards
the grasping, greedy, greasy
of the high/
fake empty pockets wafting,
to placate the ones
they stood upon,
to climb the limbs:
the maddened crowd
(mere cuttings,
mere deadheads)
who tend the roots,
of the *magic money tree*
and salvage the acid soil
and patch the bruised bark
for those besides them,
ground in the grind,
drowned under the discoloured leaves,
agendas dropped like arsenic manna
from the crown and
crowded canopy.

(Just tell them,
send whispers to their fear...
There is no *magic money tree*
There is no *magic money tree*
There is no *magic money tree*
and say
instead we steer,
this strong and stable
through uncertain waters.)

Don't rock this boat
we need to stay afloat,
they state,
we need your vote,
in order to


Wednesday 12 April 2017


Put in my place,
a hanging basket of weeds,
for all to mock,
I hear you say 'forgive'.

Not knowing how to start,
I ask you to remember me,
as light begins to stalk,
Your frank assurance drops,
pick-pocketing the fear
of these ticking clocks,
with a word in my ear,
'Today you will be with me'
in paradox.

Thursday 8 December 2016

For a Friend.

These words disappear,
like the scent of morning toast,
no longer lingering,
in this cold, cold
corridor of uncertainty;
no 'morning colleagues'
to light the way,
with a grin,
and tell us we are more,
much more than that;
no relentless spirit,
in that stride,
to fight off blow,
by blow,
by blow,
to teach us,
that to keep on
keeping on,
is intrinsic to the universal law
of not giving up.

No eighties pop
escapes your radio
your name's been taken
How many dramas
still sparkle in the ether of that room,
where your stoic, level-headed
handwriting crops up,
from time to time,
and spins me
like a loom,
weaves your voice into my head,
until it's swallowed
by the gloom.

Sometimes I'd drop you
at the cross,
to let you catch your thoughts,
before home.
'Alright Davie Mitchell?'
you would say,
to pull my leg,
from you it was ok.

left your post without permission,
we search for you,
in words and times,
and memories,
of wacky Wednesdays,
Friday lunchtimes;
and still more faded photocopies
bear your hand,
I try to say,
'Good morning'
through your door,
to help me find
dry land,
forgetful that you're more alive,
though gone,
set free,
beyond these walls,
a part of us is gone,
we left with you,
as life goes on.

Friday 28 October 2016

You gave me you

brought me from a kernel,
light/nocturnal Tendril,
hidden seed defined,
to grow,
pushed through bruised reeds,
renewed in time,
clung to the vine;
grafted in the madness,
seeping, swooping sadness
travelled into branches,
stripped naked by the wind,
cold exposure glint,
leaves gone
with nothing left to give,
you gave me you,
and left me nothing left,
to need,
for me to live,
you gave me you,
and let me breathe.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Third Person Chef

You be
cooking your book,
rewriting recipes,
dealing out fresh dinners,
dishes of this,
dashes of that,
added in,
for the here and
new salty combinations,
feeding hunger pangs,
within hearts,
stirring up as the pot of your story
simmers, saut├ęs,
fills with flavour,
sweet scripture savour,
words that marinade in minds,
your best vintage soaking in,
alongside new wine,
taste-buds sampling,
good hearty food,
no less,
from your holy kitchen,

Saturday 25 June 2016

Lost for Words

Lifelong distance call-
you're b rea k i n g
down a bad line:
Is it something in the atmosphere today?

shreds the air:
beyond repair?

Citizens of nowhere
lost in the wire,
fax failing,
no message to

be engaged to,
no phone call home,
no place to call our own.


between two kingdoms,
we cannot see,

united once
were we.

Thursday 31 March 2016


Waves echoing inside us,
tides, here and gone,
on sea-shores pulsing,
inclining into sinking sands,
dousing every grain,
wiping clear the memory
of days of sun and rain.

Back to the ocean,
water will relent,
exposing sea-shells,
side by side,
holding the crescendo,
you and I,
within our curved backs,
beauty in the ridges,
ready for the call of the wind,
we wake.

Lessons from Trees

Last night's frantic branches now nestle, long shorn of hair, dignified in recovery. Resolute, versatile, vertical, forming your be...