Friday, 25 June 2010


Planes thread through low clouds,
and their engines echo after
the way her smile fades
as she puts the phone down,
while I'm still hearing laughter.

Thursday, 24 June 2010


 Doors clatter open 

                  at Earls Court
cutting commuter fug with

a cooler kind of stuffy,
churned from

mouse shit,



                    all that skin

sloughed off in

the regenerative miracle of human life.

We are clustered cells
in London's bloodstream
nourishing the body politic
with our own urge to survive.

Monday, 21 June 2010


You went down in November
for a four month stretch,
came back refreshed,
green, virginal even.
What did they do to you in there?

Friday, 18 June 2010


You’re not as tall as the peonies;
but you try tiptoes to smell them.

The sun I remember from childhood

gives more gold to your curls
than Kodacolor memories.

You’re ripening slowly today,
as I pass my external best,
onto you perhaps, 

and try to capture with persistent clicks,
your curious joy,
your surprise
when the edge of the flower bed fools you
onto a nappy padded bottom
and you consider crying,
giving up instead, 

a laugh.

Over the garden wall, fields bleed with poppies,
the hawthorn’s shadow lengthens
and the church clock begins its chime.

Your mimic mouth echoes the bells
but you’ve got no sense of time.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Greenkeeper

The door to the greenkeeper's shed 
drums it's old frame for the breeze

hard hands like cracked gloves rake
                      thin white stubble

even as early morning bunkers.
          A stoic's neck stiff 

                                     to 30 years at the rake,
and the scythe

its vertebrae fused for careful marshaling
     of the wild west coast into tamed links


upwards to the silver grey salmon skin of
mercurial Scottish sky,

just in time to see

a tiny Cessna cease chasing
its windmill clouds, cut engines,
and drop

into dark waves
made sudden gold
like Whisky,
in summer's evening sun.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Airman

When the door to his Cessna


          like the lid of an old dustbin,
          and he grabbed the slim

controls checking


                   and re-assuring

air traffic control
     with banter as worn at the trim

     on oil field veteran seats,

he slipped

             a fresh bottle of malt

into a rudimentary holder

fashioned from an old hanger.

The necessary paraphernalia  

           of the airborn pisshead 

doesn’t come as standard kit.

And with the rickety thrum

of the prop, 

creaking out 

160 horsepower of thrust fed by 

a Hydraulic Pump from
a 1957 FORD 800 tractor with 

a Sherman backhoe attachment
and a 701 front end loader,

bodged up in his workshop but
          good enough for him and

the inebriated loops of the Western Isles

                     he’d perform unable to stand 

            but snug as a mole in that old seat 

wobbling with every thermal

and occasionally forcing a fart 

from the Kinglike airman,

who’s worries were 30 gallons
of usable fuel below,  

when clearing the 4th
at Blackwater foot

he took

a final salty glug 
of Talisker 10

and aimed 
that scuffed old nose

at dark waves
suddenly made

black artex in the airman’s final room.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Hot night throws off its sheets,
leaving this June morning
suddenly cellar cool,

calm streets, stripped of ire,
all the howling baying,
output of the pubs

asleep in their grease,
or knocked out in flats
by one for the ditch

as starlings wait wary
for the first jets
to split sky and heads,

I turn over, exhale,
extend legs into
the cooling edge

of the marital bed
and search pillows
for reasons to rise.

It was in such moments 
as these that intimacy
took its tenancy

half tamed the anxious
wariness of newly shared
humanity, the repression

of the body’s ceaseless
ticking over, the urge
to seem immune,

to all the beastly stuff
left lurking amongst
the idealised heroics

of love’s first insistent
flush. It’s a comfort then
to turn and find buried

under matted hair slicked
with sleep’s quick dry dew
infinitely fallible, tangible; you.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


We’re told the head is a good place to start
when trying to tame the heart

or grab with a steadying arm
errant emotions poised to harm, sweet eyes

whose green flash mimics a diver’s back
fading amongst the kelp; quivering limbs

anchored to wrecks, porthole mouths empty
in the gloaming, filtering like baleen,

the wrack, the silt, the rich tongues of stuff,
we yearn to tangle with like hands in a game

of cat’s cradle. But really it’s the stomach
we should start with; that’s where the fist of pain is.