Poem of the Day

Christopher’s poetry from 1993 through to 2024. One poem is presented each day following his own idiosyncratic mathematical pattern.

Sear shine move blue flame to blue (2000)

Sear shine move blue flame to blue
Waken exult arise the blue to angel blue
Each one that walks each step so light
Move be let each one be

Shifts (2014)

I think about me
In selfish isolation
I don’t think about you
And you, her mother

So I write
All of those things
That I don’t want to know
About I don’t know what

On & on it goes
Same old song
Same old magazine
Same old fresh flowers

I breathe in
I breathe out
I am distracted
By what I wish to say next

I hope your song sounds sweet
I hope your reading is kind
I hope your fragrant bouquet
Is filled with gentleness & loving

I breathe in
And sense the breath on my nostrils
I breathe in
And I am not distracted

When the whites of your eyes (1999)

When the whites of your eyes
Don’t see the light of day too often
Then my friend it’s time to call a halt

Yes when every waking moment
Bequeaths some form of escape
The time is nigh to seek gestalt

Each cringe of skin
Each sudden jitter
Listen
Listen good
Time to change

So how do you go where to look
The answer is screaming
But it is within
And no more lies will help you
Begin

Of course the biggest most damaging lie is to oneself
But also the most easy until self-respect returns

Clutch not onto straws
Unless to hold them in your hands
And gaze real hard
Mean something

So stare beyond the bricks and mortar
Focus your attention on the most minuscule

Be not afraid of being misunderstood or of misunderstanding
Slowly now, real slow, take all of your time

Soon, soon the thinking will begin
Take a thought and write it down
Pluck another as they race across
Your myriad of disconnection’s
Now mix the thoughts with pen on paper
In words in pictures
And as you draw as the ink flows
From some thousand instantaneous hits inside your head

Remember, no conception this from stimulant
No alcoholic haze or nicotine dullness
Just you and you

Move on move on still smooth still slow
Reach your tips of toes beyond the body
Stretch out to your very extremities

Turn on the music listen, listen
To just one heartbeat
Amongst a hundred thousand collisions of sound

Take a colour and rub it rich
Deep into the canvas
A life in layers
Layers of golden crimson
Now pick up the silk
Soft so softly stroke between
Your fingers and your thighs

This is you and only you
Alive to tactile sensory sensation
Stimulated within, within, by you

Step now step forward step back
Twist your toes and smile
Learn to say to say control

You may feel if you wish
A little pleased with progress
But progress one moment only

Knowing full well this house of cards
Is not yet to turn to stone
So stop, stop now, and work hard
To recollect

Remember that very instant when
You did not, would not, could not, say no
Folding, falling, for fictitious, viscous, ‘freedom’

If, if only
Avoid if only
Build a test to test temptation
All the while fondling silk and feeling good

Each and every once you see temptation eating at your core
Work, work with pen and paper, work with thoughts and thoughts
Now decide, in the full light of day
And the full light of your being
Your reason, your rationale, for living

Escape if you wish
But escape to nothing
Nothing more than the oxygen of you and you

Stroke the marble, marvel at the texture
Mould the ball, within your palm
Say soft words, say them slowly

Sometimes take time to contemplate
Two thoughts, intertwined with a common bond
Molecules in mesh

Upon this creation add your idea
Try to weave your way inside
This composite, stable, living, breathing, structure

Feel, feel not for a parting
But a solid bond a point of high-energy
Waiting for your fusion

This is friendship
Here the lies are gone, and to enter
Your first pass is truth to yourself

Friendship is a form of magic
Conjured from the craziest calculations
Open your arms embrace, smile…

Enter

One Question – No Answer (2015)

Could I be alone
Alone to be
What would I be alone
Alone to be
They say he stood alone
Alone to be
It’s me that’s good alone
Alone to be

I had friends and I had family
I lived by moon and sea
I had happiness and I had recovery
I lived by reaching out for me

Should I be alone
Alone to be
What would I be alone
Alone to be
They say he stood alone
Alone to be
What good to be alone
Alone to be

I had light and I had dark
I lived by words to breathe
I had energy and I had appetite
I lived a life approaching free

Poetry, you giver (1998)

Poetry
You giver
You deliver
You make me consider

You receiver of debt
Receiver of doubt
And of despair

You care
You stare
You make me compare

More than a maiden’s prayer
In an heavenly lair
Poetry; you giver

Route Finder (2016)

The music intensifies
I hatch, I cross-hatch
My pen increases its voracity
In time with the music
My thoughts are all caught up
With the following and the chasing

This is the definite approach
To the velocity of the stillness

An urgency, a peace
A connection to love
Found in the absolute certainty
That this is one worthwhile task
This sure is one worthwhile task
For a Sunday afternoon in January

I put the sound behind (1997)

I put the sound behind
Laid it down
Surrounding the words
Learning the programme
Changing the pitch
Feeling unbelievably rich

Making the right moves
Will it be played on night moves
How much coloured diffusion
Or imperfect confusion
Escape as a solution
Even conceive to believe the illusion

Rhythm raising the rhyme
Caressing, cajoling and connecting
Amplifying the simple written image
Word, verb, dulcimer, weld into vision
Bringing imaginations into collision
Singing, beginning, natural decision

Tone deaf teenager
Life apart from music
Disadvantaged by ignorance
Impeded by innocence
Deflected from delivery
Constrained by sincerity

At the turn of the century
At a half-life of individuality

Arriving Regardless (2017)

What are those words I hear
Arriving regardless
What are the doubts I fear
Arriving regardless

As the morning light yawns
To rise behind the trees
As this new day dawns
As any other slighter breeze

What are those words my dear
Arriving regardless
What is this time so clear
Arriving regardless

The sun, and moon, rakes
Exchanging their places
As the smile truly awakes
On those human faces

Growth (1996)

Saturday morning, white washing, sharp frost, blue sky
Beginning of a new beauty
Doing leading to being, beginning of a new beauty

Change of font and change of style
Chance grasped, exploration espoused
Coming to calm, walking to warm
Loving the platinum gold sunlight
Melting the bright white frost

Saturday morning awaking to awakening
Smiling, a chuckle from within escaping
Joys of journeys through minds past

Change of tone and change of context
Glance clasped, interpolation allowed
Coming to calm, caressing the air
Lullaby of birdsong
Fresh new day fresh new way

Lyrical Reminders (2018)

The day I saw a frozen rose
I also saw a looped loop
A present for my birthday that you chose
Before the folding of the disenfranchised group

Might I not join you
On your early morning walk
To gaze across the lock
At the mountain-scape beyond

Might I not then join you
Through the gates of Mon Plaisir
All senses are way too perfunctory
On the pathway into the intestate

In the bath not so very long ago
Listening to a song about Michelangelo
Before Lyle sang there was once when you loved me
But now you love me no more

And I, with a hint of repetition voiced
Yes, there once was a time when you loved me
Until one day you said
Now I don’t want you to love me no more

Weaving wire (1995)

Painted toenails were the giveaway
Symbolic richness for an island castaway
Painted toenails and the cymbal stroked so lightly
Brushed with sensuous sensitivity
Tangles for Mr. Bojangles
At such a sweet light sight

Dancing until midnight
Talking thro’ to dawn
The excitement of acquaintance
The waking of a bright new morn
A gangtime of a breakfast
Stories rich with secret smiles

Weekend life and weeks away
The wonder of the why
The magic of the finding out
Bursting visions of more to know
Broken dreams a parting pastime
Painted toenails with rhythm and rhyme

Subliminal Messages (2019)

Always at a table
Always with a babe in arms
And so, together
We added to the overbearing

Always with a halo
For the youngster too
Always, surrounded by the halo
Yet no weight ever lifted

The archway is a pattern
Byzantium or mathematical
Repetitive to the stranger
Yet an envelope for the process

Six bronze-gold windows salute me
Which I offer now to you
Also, a cross on the sea-line
Which I offer now to you

Always to be defeated
Always to live on and on
And so, in our separate ways
We add to the overbearing

I stare at the blank piece of paper (1994)

I stare at the blank piece of paper
My thoughts all over the place
At work

At play

At rest
Melancholy could be allowed to enter
Saturday night in bed by ten

All alone a long way from home
But more than this would be needed for the basis of despair

Imagine one gene from where there is energy
Imagine more than one, a cellar full of cells
Where is energy
Meditation calms relaxes and releases the mind’s energy
Where is energy
Lucozade gives glucose gives the body energy
Where is energy
Alcohol stimulates, inebriates, and eventually suffocates energy
Where
Nicotine infiltrates to create headache energy
Why
Passion rouses bodies warm fluids flow in a flood a burst of Energy
Wow

Set Out (2020)

I write to you
And think of asking
If you would join me
On a trip to the Hebrides

Perhaps in spring time
In a camper van
Or more luxurious
Yet remote accommodation

The room I am in now
Has photographs
Of the islands
Small photos, but lots of them

Is there magic there
Or is it the joys
Of my last trip
Which I build upon

I worry rather
That the travelling
Would get you down
For it is a long way

But with love by our side
And with love in our packings
I would be so so happy
To sail away with you

Theirs; there was something in the air (1993)

Theirs; there was something in the air
An air of how shall we say not what you were expecting
The darkness had turned to light, the crescent moon
and solitary star were soon to leave the sky
Theirs, there was an essence of wonder, a sense of joy
Of course of a beginning of an unknown course the
feeling of despair is seldom there
This occasion, in that respect, then was not, unusual
But the something, well that was
The carved stone pillars sunk far underground,
extracting strength from the iron core on the one hand
On the other to reach for the stars, implant energy with
photosynthesis; but go lightly, beware, something is
Reach, reach for the ticket
Reality is coming to comment on life
Darkness makes a mirror of the second-class glass
No escape now from the wandering eyes of the
wandering wonderful people.
Each one feeling, yes something is there
Diverted from our original flight, or our flight of fancy
When the sun broke through, as we broke through the
clouds
And we saw a December day, not bettered in many a
year

Next… (2021)

With such hunger for modern art
I race past the Raphael
Almost miss the Caravaggio
Then stumble up to the Rembrandt

He also once was a young man
That was back in the day
Before he made his name
As the go-to man, for self-portraits

Mr Gormley also portrays himself
Cast in wondrous resins
Which make his body shape
Pinch perfect

I wait beside the fountain
Displaced in this city of statues
Where I imagine
The writer’s also laid a claim

But for today it is busts
Busts, busts, then more busts
Which after a while remind me
That I am also bust

Bust by the repetition
Bust by the Rome of it all
Bust with our own encryption
The rise came, before the fall

Last Time (1994)

Always on the last line
Cynicism less than sublime

Always following the light
A twisted stab in the dark

Perhaps this time will be a breakthrough
But see here I go again

Climbing high in mind and mood
Like flying at thirty thousand feet

For every high spot though it seems
An inner drive puts on the leaded boots

Aware that I am in command
I turn the lights up brilliant bright

On this occasion, there is no
Last line

Nearly, I so so nearly made it!

I am in the Carding Shed Café (2022)

I am in the Carding Shed Café
At Washpit Mills, Holmfirth
I have just viewed and made an offer
To rent a flat in the old yarn store

My mother worked on the looms
And I drove a fork truck full of bobbins
In my school holidays
Now it’s a vintage car museum, sort of

There is a sign in the corner
Which points to Cartworth Moor
Which is where I will go next
Also, it is where, as a youth, I played cricket

Is it nostalgia that draws me
Am I just another old romantic
This might not be the end of my viewings
But at least I’ve made a start

I take your point about sculpture (1995)

I take your point about sculpture
To fondle, to feel – to caress ones art
The tactile sensation as smooth to rough
Surfaces in ones mind, in ones body

I feel so with a word – that on occasion
The harshness, the bluntness juts out
Bits prickle to prevent its use
Obligatory is a word such for example

Sensual is more of a favourite
Perusal is
Similar in make up
Yet still she slightly grinds my teeth

Round marble onyx, images of strength
Words to fondle – words to feel warm with:
Hot oil on thighs
Bronze between legs

Tuesday Or Thursday (2023)

I see the candle flicker
I see a reflection
Of the candle’s flame
I see a further reflection
Of my own silhouette
My head is larger than I thought
My mind is dull
I am duller than I thought
I have no need to carry on
I have no right to carry on
Yet it is what I do
It is what we all do
Life does carry on doesn’t it
I entertain myself with images
I entertain myself with words
Nothing ever finishes
It really is quite absurd
I close my eyes
The candlelight comes with me
I am transported
To the early morning monastery benches
I hear the sound of three bells
I hear the sound of thirty-three bells
Also of the river
Flushing over the bed of rock

I ought to sleep (1996)

I ought to sleep
I want to carry on

I ought to
Want to

Anyway what’s to stop me

The rain and wind
They are outside

The dark of night
Simple, artificial light

Is it artificial? light?
Seems odd that. What is
Nature … things not made
By man? But am I not
Made by …

Perhaps?
I ought

To go
To sleep

Equanimous Objectives (2022)

I write about the beauty of routine
Then I break the routine
With my own tiredness
With my own laziness

I take a pen to sketch
Yet only for a few minutes
Before my patience
Defeats my limited ability

I find another book
Shelters and Baskets
But, unlike Shelters for Dreaming
This publication has no date

And so I return
Though not until after reading
The House of Belonging
Which twice made me realise

How little loss I have suffered
How little closeness I have found
Why not then pause to take
A moment, in the half-dark stillness

Red blossom bloom beyond orange (1997)

Red blossom bloom beyond orange
Climb from behind, leaves of gold and green
Whitewashed walls galleria to house within
House within thoughts from within from outside green
Georgian wall to Christian chapel
Stone to soul to stone again to Calgary green
Pathways to pictures snapshots in time
Crushing sandstone underfoot scouring moss-grown green

Catch A Falling Thought (2021)

It isn’t so much the writing
No, it is more the thinking
The thinking of the thoughts
Which will turn into the writing

First off; how to create my thoughts
Then how to hold onto them
In an anything like authentic way
To catch the meanings and the feelings

Sitting quietly, comfortably
Listening to brainwave sounds
Through high-quality stereo headphones
Is one sure way for thoughts to arise

Actually for thoughts to propagate relentlessly
The very attempt to quieten your mind
Is the perfect way to build
A van der Graf generator of thoughts

But how to capture them
How to hear them to fulfilment
How to recall them, or store them
When and where to write them down

For in the darkness, or stillness
Of your meditation sitting
Your do not disturb sign
May prohibit your writing

All then left is to use a mantra
Chant out these inner thoughts
To your otherwise silenced self
Until your thoughts firmly become fixtures

I had it in my mind to write (1998)

I had it in my mind to write
And so I shall
I can understand that
I can see what you mean

And so the play went on
Rhythm and rhyme a story in time
Yes the play went on
I can understand that
I can see what you mean

But this was just a part of it
Of a day only a moment
Still the story was told
And I can understand that
If you see what I mean

I hope you would write
Did I misunderstood
Form follows function
Word after verb
Adjective in mind
Yes I can understand that
And the play went on

Any way the play went on
I can understand that
No what I mean
I can see that

Observe Awareness (2020)

Do not take the decisions lightly
Choose each word for each word
Whatever you look back upon, try
Always, to look forwards too

And if you can’t quite explain it
Then at least give of your best
If the phrase is not within reaching
Take us to where you suffer less

For dust is forever in the corners
And leaves are so seldom still
Tell of the sky in the diamond
Whose feint hopes you signify

I have taken a lot of pleasure (1999)

I have taken a lot of pleasure
From this paper and this pen

Difficult to commence
Impossible to end

In between visions missions
From black to gold

Of course, the pleasure could be taken for real
By the person, not the pen

Even more difficult to begin
With no knowing how to end

In between a total loss of control
From floating clouds to windblown cold

Sky And Sea (Early) (2019)

To share with you
The immense whiteness
To serve to you
The intense indigo blue
Emerging from the inner kindness
Abstracted to the true-type clue

To settle for the stillness
Of the water’s
Surface
Cascades as yet so quiet
They do not disturb
My purpose

To share with you
With nothing
Left to share
To serve to you
With only the blues
Left to serve

The imitation rainfall
Falls as it might
In late October
The imitation good wishes
Bounce as they might
On that special day

Travel Lodge outside Stratford (2000)

Tonight is Bonfire night
And I saw the fireworks
Travelling on the Motorway
Between Worthing and Stratford

Forty years ago
I lived at The Crown Inn
In the little village of Birdsedge
And we built the bonfire

Two days ago
At my youngest sons school
We watched the bonfire
From behind a fence of rope and safety

At the Crown
We rushed out in the morning mist
To catch the dying embers
To bring our fire back to life

On Saturday
My girlfriend asked me
Did I want to volunteer?
To be a trained pyrotechnic

But inside my car
At ninety miles an hour
I need to train
To keep my eyes on the road

Our son talked about playstation
And wanted to go home
To try the new Game
A present from his sister’s boyfriend

We roasted our own potatoes
And chopped down our own trees
We made the guy
And the smoke made me cry

The fireworks painted the sky
Above, beyond and behind the horizon
The man beside
Was behind

Saturday was chicken noodle soup
We had burgers too
I had the most disgusting drink
And you had marshmallow kebab

We had the fire in my own field
Twice as big as a football pitch
No street sodium, no torch
Only the wonder of Bonfire and stars

The moon shone in the car rear window
She said it was as big as a balloon
I should have said a big balloon
In a not very big room

I started this
On the M25
Dodging my way
Going past Heathrow, Travelling North or West

Now here I am
In front of the Travel Lodge mirror
Writing to you
Words for tomorrow

Abodes, Customs, Practices (2018)

What is not possible here
May be possible elsewhere
What cannot be brought here
May be taken to a new place

A space filled entirely with doubt
Yet free completely of disillusionment
You might doubt who may or would arrive
You would not be displeased with who did

Such reflected strong autumn light
On the orange-red pods by the window
In no way should you be disillusioned
In this place overflowing with doubt

How attractive is the Shaker lifestyle
Yet how far from life-enhancing is celibacy
What was possible in that there place
May not easily be taken to a new space

Yet still I hear of BF Skinner
Still tie myself to psychology of sorts
I am here for positive reinforcement
I am here to survive my past behaviour

Forgetfulness (2001)

Forgetfulness
The after shave is still in the drawer

Forgetfulness
The memory of a past left behind

Thoughtfulness
Not able to forget
To care

Carefulness
Alive to thought, able memory
To share

Wait, Do Not Knock (2017)

The door has been closed many times
And it’s not that I keep knocking
But I do stand outside quite often

Not with any expectation of course
But rather like wearing a poultice
A place to dwell in hope of recovery

For to dwell is always the first choice
To contemplate, to let thoughts run free
To provoke avenues of memories

Also to dedicate a nearness
A nearness to my self
A nearness to my nearer self

Nativity (2002)

By chance you happened upon a black lake walk
Shearwaters of reflection, reflecting one more magical moment

The flight of the partridge and the exited young collie
Soul refresh, soul rebirth, while underfoot the twig-leafs crackled

Ethereal and eternity, thank heaven for spontaneity
Meander among the coriander, hands held blessing vision and line

Bright light out of beauty, splish splash-light onto beech leaf
Sing and bring good to good times, sing, bring good once again

Playful seeker of pleasure, hedonism out of ethica returned
Bountiful protector of the prosaic presenter

Wish for mirth, wish, shear essence fluorescence of joy
Atmosphere emerging, resurgence of energy amongst enigma

Pretend for the maker of dreams, protect the white rabbits of love
Mend, cognisance blends and becomes mindful of love innocent in joy

Sorting, cognisant becoming of images past, captured, enraptured
Floodlights on memories, evoking, provoking, freeing fresh thought

Waltzing Matilda and whirling swirling dancing tunes
Runes without time, blooms without blinds

Meditation, loves medication, dedication, sealing, healing
Revealing feathers and plumes, honed and groomed

Walking back along the pathways, holding spaces
Minutiae, binding moments into aspherical wholes

Believing the fragments of fortune blessed to fall
In this particular, peculiar, non perfunctionary way

Love Is (Without Fabrication) (2016)

These bells are not
The bells of Plum Village
Not that I have yet heard
Those bells toll for myself

Sometimes
We have to be on our own

Sometimes
We have to be alone

To hear the human voices
To bathe, immensely
Into the silence, into the light
Of those compounds of love

More often (2003)

Where are you now
Write to me more often

Where are you now
Softly, softly spoken

Where am I
I am here fairly often

There you are
Nothings broken

The coffee’s black
In Massarella’s café

The light is bright
Behind the photographer’s lens

I smile, awhile
Surrounded by these moments of magic

Where are you now
Write to me more often

Illuminated With Indulgent Expectation (2015)

Brightest of lights in the doorway
Partridges strutting on the dew-strewn grass
Lightest of light casts
Shadows up the leaf-embedded driveway

Leaves of lime and mustard
Hedgerows trimmed for the season
Do I love you, yes I love you
And I can tell you that, right now

I have a rising physical feeling
Which is strongly accompanied
By a deep upsurge of mental desire
On a drive that would love me to be loving you

Loving you in all of love and all of physicality
In full knowledge that nothing is impossible
With the invincibility of two youths pushing
Towards our own uniquely ultimate conclusion

Let the limbs intertwine, let skin rub skin
Let the musk of perfumes be just the touch of love
That we are reaching for; let the passions grow
Let the explosions know the fluids have to flow

England (2004)

Blood red sky
The war planes fly
Or once they flew nearby

Crimson across the horizon
Poppies on the Cenotaph
Mornings when young girls cry

Black silhouettes
Shifts in etiquette
Widows wander by

Backgrounds brighten
Memories lighten
Only survivors die

Grey clouds drift in
Apathy begins
In a vapour-free sky

Quiet Conversation (2014)

He talked about the upcoming night-shift, he is already exhausted. I told him about the night-time herbal tea at my B&B

How it is extremely effective as a sleeping draught. He asked of the name, I promised to find out. He works at a refinery, on the coast.

He takes his daughter to school in the mornings, and brings her here Thursday afternoons for swimming lessons. They often stay on a bit for a meal together.

But not tonight, for tonight he is on the night-shift. His colleague let him down, his boss has lent on him.

The club burnt down a few days later. Pukka I found out is the name of the herbal tea. I might never see him again.

In a philosophical way (2005)

I’ve swapped my touching love
For one that’s unrequited
I’ve swapped my near you love
For now I’m uninvited

Though unrequited is quite handy
You’re with me now I’m sure
Yes uninvited is quite handy
Sitting on, the southern shore

I’ll steal from Mister Arnold
I’ll steal from Master Keats
Yes unrequited is quite handy
When stealing from the Beats

It is a new found freedom
Writing what and when I like
The spite and haste are put aside
On this velvet, magic carpet ride

It is a somewhat different Journey
Not found in the several stages of grieving
It is a disc overly different journey
My past mind, kind of, that I’m leaving

Rattling on the rail track
Verges merge behind
Chattel’s up the smoke stack
Uninvited; do you mind, thank you kindly

I’ve read all the papers
Cheap at half the price
Reading rooms are quite a caper
Unrequited; don’t ask twice, that’ll do nicely

The tone is turning and twisting
Freedom again to roam
The tome is waiting, but I’m not listening
Wonder, in a philosophical way, where and what, is home

Green and Orange (2013)

Flower in the vase
A single stem of freesia
And you might already guess
Where this poem is going

Why should I try to surprise you
For love and loss, and love again
With the lasting scents and fragrances
Of fallen men and slanted women

Today’s disguise is in the chapel
Of the high valley of the mists
Where coincidences kissed before
Love was lost at the cost of desolation

Tomorrow maybe then we might realise
The abject silence of those empty places
Those dark cold faces of utter heartache
Where we still burn the dampened flames

Until we turn to praise the single flower
Place the candle in the stave to please her
As if you couldn’t have known already
It is your image that the wind is blowing

Contentment (2006)

One last line
A chance to say goodbye
The romance

We stayed together
Only at the final furlong
Did we start to cry

It takes such a toll
Washing flagstones
Wringing sheets

It’s a death step
The kneeling
For the knees

It takes such a toll
Sitting in silence
Flitting in between

The nurses
And the carers
Just in case you sneeze

One last line
It comes to us all

Or at any rate
To everyone I ever knew
Or am likely to

Now it’s my turn
Turn up the radio
Music maestro please

Open the windows
Bring on the clowns
And the comics please

Laughter
Always let there be
Laughter

Bombardments 23 (2012)

I woke in your bed
You are beautiful
The only words I should have said

You smiled
Your eyes sparkled
I kissed you on the lips instead

Gentle Giant (2007)

You entered with a smile
This made everyone smile
So easily, your arm around a shoulder

The lark it is ascending
Making ready for you my friend
On the lark we are depending
For peace to heaven send

You scored the goal, with a cheeky grin
This brought joy
To the windblown congregation

The lark without pretending
Says teardrops we may lend
On the lark we are depending
For peace to heaven send

You grew, organised without pretension
A little overweight
The giant who was gentle

The lark sits on branches bending
With breeze and breath to fend
On the lark we are depending
For peace to heaven send

You have left us now, for a while
Leaving behind your life love memories
Going as you found us, with a smile

The lark it is ascending
Making ready for you my friend
On the lark we are depending
For peace to heaven send

The lark it is ascending
Making ready for you my friend
On the lark we are depending
For peace to heaven send

Birdcage of the Soul (2011)

At the very least it ought to be a reflective letter
A piece to look back a good distance, looking back
From the safe vantage point of lost communication

I have been taken by the vistas
On several occasions the multifarious hillocks
Would catch the evidently varying light

The machair, for that, is these Islander’s name
For the strip of land between the dune and the farm
Or between the dune and the croft

The machair would be lit as a line
To underline the horizon
That separates the sea from the sky

I expected to feel more touched
By the expanse of solitude
It has not been so

Not that one could say
The Islanders revel
In parties or conversation

Perhaps they need a long breath of finer weather
And clearer skies, but they have not yet borne
Their dark weight upon me

I have this desire, an urge to open out my life
To take full advantage of all the beauty
You included, that has so far befallen me

This journey
Into and through my subconscious
To be chartered by my superficial soul

The writer, the voice
Though no singer, I do aim to carry songs
As would the reader, to and fro

From the birdcage of my soul
To steal the words
Of one song from everybody’s past

Watercombe in the Mirror (2008)

That late May afternoon
Seventeen years or more ago
I climbed the five-bar gate
Walked two thousand metres

Over the pipeline

I kicked stones down to the river
Whistled to the sheep
Who appeared to be reasonably settled

Beside the trout-pass I took off my boots
Dangled my feet into the water
My laughter trapped in the bowl
Of the wrapped-around hillside

Only now the laughter

A street with no shops (2010)

We didn’t have cake
But we could have
We didn’t make love
But we could have

We walked a mile at pace
In continuous summer rain
We talked of love and cake
But found no place
So we turned and walked a mile again

We took a lookout on the race
Of tide and tumultuous seas
We talked of cake and love
And found a place
By bending down and flexing on our knees

We didn’t bake a cake
But we could have
We didn’t fake love
But maybe we should have

Thoughts on the letters (2009)

There is madness to the process
And therein lies the beauty

Little hope that these words will ever be laid out for you to see
More likely that they will remain undiscovered by all fraternity

As the inland gull, in search of the swirling sea
Words to work out, what it was, with you and me

East bound cutting (2009)

Copper leaf stumbles into fall
It’s all so embarrassing for the pink
And crimson briefs clinging
To their branch line smalls
In this, the last of Indian summer

With runners pounding on the
Pavement fast, first in line then
Past the crematorium; together
We chant In Memoriam and sign
The surreptitious visitor’s book

Look up the tower and down the spine
Lose, or at least feel to come unstuck
And think to gather might refine
These cluttered thoughts that I
Mutter under a coughing chest

That lies not to rest, or strays
Without an inch of peace or any
Kind of release from the purgatory
Of belief in the constant thistle thief
And the need for at least last night’s relief

Time is not enough (2010)

Three smiles: mother, father, son in romper suit
A book of a dead Scottish poets letters on my lap
Seat belt signs turned off

No need to panic after all
Those few fraught minutes of lateness
Absorbed by a work-to-rule delay

The long time, the long time of ash trees growing
Sits in another’s memory
Lights up at least one others computer screen

The abstract painter; Hopper or the like
Could make an assemblage, construct a montage
Of the folded down aircraft seat arms

It is the twenty first century, six am
Already we have been in five queues today
Why else to be British holidaymakers setting out

How to meet – first dream a little (2008)

The drawers are full
The boxes overflow
Do you think I followed
Can I buy you a coffee?
Walk in and out of your life

I think the prune yoghurt
Or the engine oil light
That brought you here
With your purple pink
Corduroy jacket, your
Long luxurious hands
Stroked through fine
Blond hair; is that your
Child or your daughters

He carries easily the family
Trait of flowing locks and
Confidence; why did I not
Settle for the small coffee?
You are up and gone, and
Still my glass is half full, ah
Rather than half empty

Back
To the night of conception
A story of wrapped around love
Warriors from down the valleys
Into the silvery city for a night
Over the suspension bridge
To the throb of drum and bass

Left behind
The choir, the rugby, the
Coalface, the mankind kind
Of life; an hotel, by the quayside
Champagne and ravaged
Rich perfume, too soon to say
I love you; first the moonwalk
The stars, the serenade

Dance
On splash-lit dance-floors, think
On Spanish rain, walk together
With the Earl of morning
Ahead the labour pains

Tongue & Groove (2011)

Sunlit Doors
Hasps, rasps, nobbles
Key locked and slide bolted

I sit on the step, half in shadow, half in light
The doors, not insignificant, security
Leaves me fairly well protected

It is a barrier from the onrush of parishioners
Those spirited attendees of a service
That would be difficult for me to attend

As I enter the chapel later all is quiet
It is clear of worshipers and tourists alike
I stand ever so still, to feel the magnificent privilege

Swim with venom into my veins
Run rampant throughout my hopeful mind
Give my soul these free words to rampage with

I am heavy in admiration of mortice and tenon
The carpenters surely fashioned this boldness
Making a statement, as carpenters sons are known to

Colour Therapy (2007)

Vermont in the fall
Or Fremantle with the sun steady in the sky

Places where we may have never been
Other than by the autumn
The bronze and golden leaves
Trees at the out of town designer mall

Call from deeper space
Further than our subconscious
Holding hands, smiling glances
Soft spoken words of love and care

Shared with the breeze
And the sunlight
Shared with the policeman on accident duty
As the sun sets on the motor cycle cavalcade

Calvary in the fall
Or Freebird with the silence in the steady light

English as a foreign language (2012)

Sunsets and crescent moons
Crashing waves
That sweep continental sands
Life is thus no prison

Couples and strangers
Take each other’s photographs
Languages are exchanged
Life is thus then risen

Consideration for an older man (2006)

One frosted window
One breath of fresh blown air
Care there within you
A most
Neo non-revolutionary stare

Love
Given and never forbidden within you
Unfair
The prayer to bring you
For soldiers and sly ones to care

Gentle gentleness
Tender in your every touch
You dare
To be your own one person
Stand tall, always, everywhere

Time changes
And you easily explain
Without attack, forgiveness even
That the most wilful act
Taken so that; we cannot, can not, go back

Reservoirs (2013)

Waves, on closed and open water
Winds, on lower and higher ground
Feathers, washed to concrete shorelines
Walking, to catch breath of the present
Talking, to give out hopes for the future
Choking, to conceal the secrets of the past
Smoking guns, to release the dies once cast

Your defence of passed Mikado (2005)

You offer me no hope
So I will go
Nowhere else
Instead

You offer me no hope
For you
Our love is long gone
Dead

It is an age of acceptance
Passed the time to mourn
Your defence of incommunicado
It is the ring of thorns

Think of then deliverance
The bull caught by the horn
Your defence of passed Mikado
The executioner, reborn

You offer me no hope
So where will I go
Elsewhere
Or no

You offer me no hope
So for you
Gone long ago
Or no

Days and Nights (2014)

The stream catches the sunlight
In another day laughter will emerge from the swimming pool

Jazz music will play with indistinct rhythms
The saxophonist must have fallen in and out of love many times

To be able to explore the score with such soul
So rare now to have to extinguish the flaming fires

Or to face the prospect of eruptive or disruptive passions
Will the tears ever return

As the ache of the letters are turned to ashes
The meadow holds on to the dew

Sitting on the beach (2004)

Sitting on the beach
Talking of swarms of fishes
Thinking about our dinner
What will be the dishes

Surrounded by the fishes
Painted on the balustrade and the swishes
Remember the dishes
Of sole, mornay and fish quiches

Sitting on the beach
Amongst the painters and the tischan’s
Well wishers and magicians
Rock salt and other caring crecians

Cotton swirls in the sunshine
Pretty girls in their own time
A line of seagulls scatter
In swimmers sultry chitter chatter

The Long And The Short Of A Part Of My Life :: Volume 3 (2015)

I engage with the photographs
Before the sunlight breaks through
I see a simple field, viewed
As something saved from summer

I trace folk from back-along
Watch the Fourier Series in motion
I read words by American poets
Verses extensively underlined

I know so few of these people
In fact I have met only one; today
He displays his new Off-Road bike
And says he may be gone awhile

I too was gone, away with the fairies
I was that dust mite, in the ray of sun
I was the light shimmer on the calm ocean
I was the love that said – love, love, love

And now the dogs are barking
And the sky is overcast
I will be who I want to be
At least while the sunlight lasts

I sort of knew that I wouldn’t care for it
Even though I could not remember
Exactly what happened the last time

I recognise, and it is too late in life to change
That I am not at all comfortable, not at all comfortable
In these kinds of surroundings

I never could have been a socialite
For it is true that my intermingling skills
Are fairly deeply buried

Yet I dropped the name of my old home town
Into casual poolside conversation
And this caused a surprised response

I have been told to not hold much sway
With coincidences, but I ask you
It happened, didn’t it

North, South, East and West (2003)

Drifting interest
Snowstorm in the morning

Settled beside the reservoir
Ripples return to the shoreline

Footsteps lightly brush
Beside icicles imitating stalactites

Might have happened different
Under another northern sky

Wavering concentration
Rainbow afternoon

Meadows and grasslands
Smothered in flowers and seed

Ploughing competitions
Hop picking by the broads

Might have happened different
Under another eastern sky

Climbing restoration
Hill-walking morning to night

Three peaks in the Dales
Visible from coast to coast

Sheep on their way to market
Farmers breaking sweat profusely

Might have happened different
Under another western sky

Shifting sands of silence
Sombre souls beside the seaside

Pier stumps are all that smoulder
Fire and flames have been and gone

Commuters at the station
City suits reflect their failing

It might have happened different
Under another southern sky

Bare and White (2016)

I was apprenticed to a head gardener, although I have to say his demeanour was more of a poacher or gamekeeper, a really wily old character.

He sold flowers to the master, most of which were picked from the master’s grounds.

This particular morning we were persuading the master to buy two large roses, the head gardener was showing off two very large roses, one placed on each side of the not insubstantial fireplace.

Afterwards, I was taking a flower from a bush or a tree, in pulling off the flower I also pulled away a long strip of bark, to show the bare white branch beneath.

Wistful (2002)

Wistful, whistle, walking at the wave’s edge
Caressing, choral, through the fields of corn

Majestic, meditation, moving by the mountain side
Suggestive, song, in the silent sensuous sultry summer

Angelic, orchestral, amongst evangelical ethereal skies
Mantra, chant, immortalise Gregorian’s pastures

Bass wind, bassoon, winding its way through wind and wind
Strum, vibrate, resonance in season and circumstance

Vibrant, good vibrations surround sounds bounce around
Awakened, woken, voices softly spoken, larks rising, ears opened

Nature, nurture, growing by feeling, listen, ragas reeling
Celtic, Irish, romance fiddles fast, fiddles slow, today and yesteryear

Tenors, troubadours, walking in the heaven’s, talking with the god’s
Lutes, flutes, believe in the safe from scary fairies, dare to enter another world

Operatic, soprano, oh, oh, can the beauty be imagined so, Ave Maria
Xylophone, flugel horn, bass trombone, saxophone, jeroboam, of champagne

Approaching Dr Zhivago (2017)

Somehow I moved from A to B
As you, and the blossom that blew
Asked to come away with me

Was I foolish, was I hopeless
Did I think of A to B to C
Or the movement of you and the breeze

On that train
From Moscow to Leningrad
Or was it Plymouth to Bristol to Lincoln

Towards the races, the pages, the faces
Up there on the silver screen
Or here on the bare skin, laid in between

I ought to sleep (2001)

I ought to sleep
I want to carry on

I ought to
Want to

Anyway what’s to stop me

The rain and wind
They are outside

The dark of night
Simple, artificial light

Is it artificial? light?
Seems odd that. What is
Nature … things not made
By man? But am I not
Made by …

Perhaps?
I ought

To go
To sleep

Plight, Pledge (2018)

Should I laugh
Should I cry
Should I still, wonder why
There’s the airport
Drive on by

Should I read
Should I write
Should I still, think I’m right
There’s the exit
This is no slight

Should I beg
Should I borrow
Should I steal, or wait for tomorrow
There’s the moon
Filled with sorrow

Recollecting past emotive feelings (2000)

Recollecting past emotive feelings
How could I have conceit to deceive myself
How can I a man
Imagine how a woman would feel
Not made of steel, not mechanistic
An individual
With one’s own thoughts and feelings
How could i have deceit to conceive myself
That I a man
Cannot image a woman
Should steal herself

Not to feel
The receipt
Of a flower
With a smile

Symmetrical Almost (2019)

This could be a non-day
Except for your poem
Except for your photograph
Yes, this could so so easily be a non-day
Except for my obsession with you

No letters today
Not over breakfast
Other than to say
That the sea is blue
That the sun casts a shimmer on the waves
That it is forecast to be 27 degrees

Now I am in the chapel
I walked across the bridge
Over the quiet swimming pool
There are only six chairs
All of which are firm
Just as I would wish them to be
For my morning meditation

I stare at the blank piece of paper (1999)

I stare at the blank piece of paper
My thoughts all over the place
At work, at play, at rest
Melancholy could be allowed to enter
Saturday night in bed by ten all alone
A long, long way from home
But more than this would be needed
For the basis of despair

Imagine one gene
From where their is energy
Imagine more than one
A pocketful of cells
Where is energy
Meditation calms, relaxes
Releases minds energy
Where is energy

Lucozade gives glucose
Gives bodies energy
Where is energy
Alcohol stimulates, inebriates
But eventually suffocates energy
Whereas
Nicotine infiltrates
To create headache energy
While
Passion rouses warm fluids
Which flow in a flood a burst of energy
Wow

Observe Awareness (2020)

Do not take the decisions lightly
Choose each word for each word
Whatever you look back upon, try
Always, to look forwards too

And if you can’t quite explain it
Then at least give of your best
If the phrase is not within reaching
Take us to where you suffer less

For dust is forever in the corners
And leaves are so seldom still
Tell of the sky in the diamond
Whose feint hopes you signify

Weaving Wire (1998)

Painted toenails were the giveaway
Symbolic richness for an island castaway
Painted toenails and the cymbal stroked so lightly
Brushed with sensuous sensitivity
Tangles for Mr. Bojangles
At such a sweet light sight

Dancing until midnight
Talking thro’ to dawn
The excitement of acquaintance
The waking of a bright new morn
A gangtime of a breakfast
Stories rich with secret smiles

Weekend life and weeks away
The wonder of the why
The magic of the finding out
Bursting visions of more to know
Broken dreams a parting pastime
Painted toenails with rhythm and rhyme

Act One: Scene One (2021)

One is a memory, and one is a betrayal.
I am on the hilltop, by a pool beside the olive trees
There is a lady talking with a prospective client
She is excelling at selling:

The chateau is three thousand euros for the day
And five hundred euros for the pool
The chapel is a thousand euros
Or fifteen hundred if decorated

Everything it seems is ‘extra’
I expect that soon
The gentleman will cease
Asking his leading questions

You want food?
Yes, that will be extra
Good food, or very good food
That also is extra

He says that he, and his wife-to-be
Want to give a good impression
He doesn’t ask, but I fear
That the ‘good impression’ may also be an extra

Ha, the guest rooms
Yes, they are also an additional cost
And the staff?
Well, of course, they are charged by the hour!

Forgetfulness (1997)

Forgetfulness
The after shave is still in the drawer

Forgetfulness
The memory of a past left behind

Thoughtfulness
Not able to forget
To care

Carefulness
Alive to thought, enable memory
To share

What is it which urges us to look back (2022)

What is it which urges us to look back
Have we got some innate need for regression
Do we seek to open up blocked passageways
Which we alone have formed or created

Am I, with you
Are we still asking ourselves
All of those imponderable questions
Is that why we seek out the shelters

Is that why we need to construct
Spaces for dreaming
Places for deeper journeys
Across, beyond, and also within ourselves

There is little other
Than a photograph in the book
No one has trailed out a rope
To the location in Friston Forest

I did search; but time, time moves on
There may be other records, elsewhere
Held by those we haven’t yet met
Or those whom we have lost along the way

First Page (1996)

First page
Travelling inter-city
Calling everywhere in-between

Second page
A long way away
Rolling dreams expert schemes

Third page
I like the order
Strolling through my moonbeam

In-between moonbeams and rolling dreams
I think of the next page

Reflect deeper than the mirror (2023)

Soon to be among friends
Although I did not know them
At the time of arrival

But through silence, sitting
And working together
Our bonds were built

Conversation, with its enquiry
Followed, as of course it must
That is our purpose, our unique skill

With the best of intentions
We will depart and move on
Beyond the Friday night fire

But that golden goblet
Of our time at The Barn
Will continue to glow

Last time (1995)

Always on the last line
Cynicism less than sublime

Always following the light
A twisted stab in the dark

Perhaps this time will be a breakthrough
But see here I go again

Climbing high in mind and mood
Like flying at thirty thousand feet

For every high spot though it seems
An inner drive puts on the leaded boots

Aware that I am in command
I turn the lights up brilliant bright

On this occasion there is no
Last line

Nearly, nearly made it!

41 Oliver Krumes (2023)

He sits at the table
With images on his mind
The cloth covered cable
A mountain to climb

A coffee for solace
Of love left behind
The loneliness
In courage to find

He tinkers with the past
Through a collection of signs
Where is his future cast
In this, the passage of times

A square check pattern
Kaleidoscopic and blind
The glasses in the cavern
Settled in, to then find

He knows his life purpose
To wear collar and tie
He’s followed a life course
To look you in the eye

Recovery Point (2019)

I would care
Very much
To take you there

One more place
Where I witnessed beauty
While I felt love

Yet also one more place
Where I was broken
While being splintered

I would care
Very much
To take you there

To the house
To the lotus pond
To the bedroom

He carries a vase of flowers (2022)

He carries a vase of flowers
Across the public house car park
Jarvis sings
I wanna live like common people

Yet only yesterday, on radio 3’s Private Passions
Pulp man was revealing his favourite classical music
Kicking off with Yorkshireman Frederick Delius

The bride of the wedding, down the road
Is a keen and capable gardener
Who has truly inspired the village

One hour has passed, almost
Since you said to walk to the pub
And, being good with instruction, I did just that
Here to listen to Dancing in the Moonlight
Which may well be played again, later

Whiteley Neil’s banner claims that their gin
Is the UK’s most loved, how do they know that
Or are they just trying to be controversial

Slower (2018)

First I saw a mountain
Then I saw a cloud
First I thought of children
Then I thought out loud, of you

Sunday morning meditation
Hangover in the mind
First I heard the music
Then I saw the signs

Lapses of concentration
No journeys down the Rhine
Steps into conversation
Steps back to join the line

First I saw a river
Then I saw a shroud
First I thought of forever
Then I thought out loud, for you

Non-Religious Prayer Poems & Letters (2021)

Would it matter
That I write to you
From an abbey
In the North

Would you equally well
Bring a smile
To my face
In a northern town

Would that I knew
Of the history
Of why this abbey
Is where it is

Would that you knew
Of why my writing
Carries on
In the way that it does

Good, And Bad, Better, And Worse (2017)

I watched a television programme about utopia last night
Though I have to say that it was almost as much about dystopia
Part of which reminded me of my visit lat week to La Hogue Bie
To the German occupation exhibition space in the grounds

The TV programme showed a nazi re-engagement event
I think it was in Lithuania; I hoped Joseph and Marija could see it
But I have not done anything to bring that into being
The programme gave me a strange desire for achievement

I thought of a tunnel, or a means of transportation
Some way of my communicating with you
Although, of course, in this morning’s garden meditation
I said that the past was almost unreachable, and I fear that is true

Repetition (2020)

When I look at the leaves wafting in the breeze
I look at the leaves wafting in the breeze
When I listen to Anima’s music, I listen to Anima’s music
When I rehearse the words that I am going to write to you
I rehearse the words that I am going to write to you
When I write the words I write to you
I write the words I write to you
I look, I listen, I rehearse, I write, I drink my tea, I meditate
You, me, life, gifts this time, gifts this process
To be thankful of such love, to be grateful of such love
I write to you, with thanks, with gratitude, with love

And the bends are smooth (2016)

And the road is straight
And the road is true
And I feel ok to say these words
Holding on to some ideals of you

And the bends are smooth
And the sky is a perfect blue
And I feel ok with these words
These words especially for you

The yews are spreading
In the old churchyard
I turned over the bedding
Not to be caught off guard

And the rapeseed is growing
Each day more so by the yard
And the North winds are blowing
Once more I’ve shown my cards

I declared my hand
Without saying a single thing
I wasn’t making a stand
Nor even trying to be King

It was a cry from the soul
All tormented and accrued
It was a cry it was after all
All I was left able to do

Yet I didn’t leave spaces
For you to wander about
Neither to wander thorough
No, I tied up the tired laces

But I didn’t leave out
Whatever it was not to do
Or to have worked out
What to leave for you

Hold On To The Joys Of Anguish (2019)

Don’t forget the broken heart
Don’t cure the misdemeanours
Keep her as the treasured being
Way above all of the long past realities

Don’t mistake the misaligned misery
For pure infamous unadorned joy
Don’t indicate the downbeat derisory
For my more than worthwhile ploy

Keep her s the one who was
As well as the one who wasn’t
Keep her as the scarlet shadows seeing
Way above all of the lately cast realities

Don’t go seeking endless sureties
Steer well clear of ideas of remission
Don’t sleep with thoughts of forgiveness
Dream the dreams for love of dreams

So I do not so
So I will not so
So your song so
So your
So so song
Does carry on

Your so so song
Will as I
We will carry on

Trig Point Posing (2015)

You said no one was waiting
But I was looking
And if that meant waiting
Then so be it

Who knows who left who
Well, I know
And I’m waiting, looking
For the bridge

You said this moment is life
But what sort of life
Is anyone else looking
Is anyone else waiting

I had seen the mist
Hung over the water
I was transfixed, waiting
For that latest memory to load

Vita’s Rooms (2018)

I’ve been to Vita’s writing room
Beside the moat at Sissinghurst
I walked down the avenue of limes
Which I photographed

Maybe I will send a copy to Mr Brocklebank
At the reclamation yard
Actually, it is not Vita’s writing place at all
It was built as a monument

To her husband, by his sons
After his death
Yet it was her book, placed deceptively
On the desk, overlooking the view

Thankfully I did see her room
From the steps, in the tower
I did take a photograph
Through the iron bars

Rescued (2014)

The body odour is rising, we are slowly moving forwards, some old soundtrack is playing, Lyle Lovett or the like.

Newspapers are folded, this is an audience without pretence or shame, last summer’s stories are remoulded, to bring in the neighbour and his wife who unexpectedly moved on.

The words ‘post break up sex, sex with your ex’ ring through my head, what was that you said: “We will have the best of times when the kids are gone”.

The sun shone on and on into the night until the fading light brought out such sights as I might have been; the old guys lean with their drink, sinking into oblivion.

Also Before The Concert (2017)

Early
For the raindrops
And the blue sky

Early
For the poems, and the singing
And the meditations

Early
For the sound check
And the fruit tea

Early
For a walk around the garden
And to choose the best seats

Refurbish (2013)

Beneath the linoleum
Settled into the gaps
Between the floorboards

As if this still dust
These remnants of rubble
Could have any sort of life

Always in the darkness
With the echoes of footsteps
Trod by brogue or stiletto

Linoleum of a lifetime
Moulded by warm sultry days
Cracked by cold frigid nights

As if timeless expansions
Followed by later contractions
Could say anything of love

Always under our soles
Stood upon, often and firmly
Forgotten by one and all

Blue (2016)

It is such a bloody good colour isn’t it

And when you read about the colour blue
In Rebecca Solnit’s book
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
You say to yourself

She is a bloody good writer isn’t she

And after you have photographed
All of the curator’s artworks
In the Longside Gallery
You again say to yourself

They make pretty bloody good pairings I should say, don’t they

Such that you go outside
Purchase a black Americano
And a Raspberry sorbet ice cream
And say to yourself

This is the life, it bloody well is, isn’t it

You lay down, to look at the long field of tilled earth
With the sun, and the cloud’s shadows
Taking it in turn to sweep towards you
Again you say to yourself

I’m so bloody well glad I came here today, aren’t I just

So excited you almost forget to mention the breeze
Which zips into your life
And reminds you of when, as a teenager, you climbed over the wall
So you say to yourself

I was bloody lucky to be born near here wasn’t I

To go to the Young Farmer’s dances
On high days, Fridays and summer holidays
Down the road, by the triangle at Cawthorne
And again you say to yourself

Isn’t it just magic to have memories to look back on, it is, isn’t it

Today couples and families walk up the path
Which you often strode down
Walking here, alone, walking from your mothers
Which makes you think to say to yourself

She was a bloody good mum, and she looked happy in that blue dress, now, didn’t she

Exit Stencil (The Book of Disquiet) (2012)

Alone together on the promenade, unsure of the beauty

Uncertain about the gravitas of the situation
the gravitas

Then for now together
together, yet also alone

There to turn over the pages
the pages

Of The Book of Disquiet

Looking out over a seascape

Underneath the serge blue light
of a crescent moon

Reflected back from a newly witnessed
vast calm ocean 

The harbours night lights
shine up the hill

Culminating with illumination
for The Island’s Castle

Traffic falls still
breaths are taken

Breaths are taken
half-silent and inviting

Pages turned

Time and space
begets the distance

Emotions fall through
the thought patterns

We all aim to take off
as one

On our own
purposeful journeys

I alone am left
Halfway to a revelation

I was
on that promenade

I was there
at the exact moment

The exact moment
turning the pages

At that exact moment, my
understanding of being

My understanding of
being together, also alone

First Thing, Last Thing (2015)

The couple at breakfast
With two young children
They were smiling all the time
Especially at each other
Especially at the children

Didn’t we sometimes park the car
To do what young lovers sometimes do
Didn’t we say we wouldn’t go too far
Only to find that no one stays true
Only to find that’s what young lovers do

One cigarette won’t bring you back
Even if it’s king-size filter-tipped
I don’t know that I like where this is going
I prefer the soft drizzle and mist
I prefer your smile as we kissed

One last plea won’t stop you from not showing
Even spoken softly, beside the moonlit strip
I don’t know if you’d take me back
You might just say that I’ve not been missed
Unlike the couple at breakfast; in heavenly bliss

The pen may relate a quieter tale (2011)

Floss ball of summer
Strands of evergreen
Swathes of pickpocket daisies

I would write a letter
Something about the roundness of love
About how profound it feels somehow

To look back from now
Free of pain and anguish
Full of the love of longing

The longing that settles
Into a mind filled
Today by treasure

Paths and trails of smitten tales
Leveraged by the faint lines
Of our past times together

Carthy’s (2014)

There is a breeze that blows, blows quiet as the listening. There is a sun that shines, shines bright, as the smiles of the whispering.

And the rockets fly, and the bombs explode, and the children die, and the lost time of the sisters has to unfold.

There is a family, that grows and grows, grows for the music. Listen, there is a father and a daughter, tuning guitars, and, whisper this:

Through the hardship, to the peace, remembering the war on poverty; this must not be the lost time for the worldly fold.

Less about passion more about love (2010)

I had it in my mind to take up sculpture
The constant chipping away, smoothing and refining
I thought this might help with my words; become
A guided process, a modus operandi so to speak

Which is fine for the minimalist side of me
But as a developing writer, I would wish to layer
To embellish, as much as to strip back infinitely
Perhaps oils or pastels or watercolours could help

I read about artists, about their ways of working
Their lifestyles, their techniques for creativity
Would I be able to learn their technical skill
Or will my canvas merge into a composite brown

Photography or video production may be an option
My son showed me the multiple-track abilities
Of the latest computer software; images placed
One laid on the other, with degrees of transparency

At a bit of an impasse, I thought to work out
Understand where these artists were at; the juxtaposition
My first gut response was that is what they are at, but then
Flowing over; to stories about the art, or about the artist

Some means of an alternative take on the world
A chance to bring focus to something they care for
By throwing a new kind of light, an alternate direction
I realise the game is up; I have to try and say it with words

Maitreya (2013)

Droplets
Of water
On the leaves
Of trees

The rains
Have been and gone
The pool’s surface
Is still

Listen
To the unhappy hounds
Listen
To the distant traffic

Listen
To the fish jumping
Listen
To the birdsong

Look
Towards the temple
Look
Through the gaps

Between the trees
Look
At the swaying branches
As you sit still

The regimentation
Is all mine
Nature gives me the tree
Faultlessly and at random

Feel the gentle breath
Hear the trickling water
Wait, for the time
To share conversation

Taste the fruit tea
Taste the scone
With jam
With maple syrup

Turn the pages
Of the beautiful book
Pay for entrance, and
Meditation CD

Ask about
Maitreya’s latest project
Did he visit Japan
During last winter

Stop by his crystal garden
Spend a few moments
On a wooden bench
With feet, on the floor

Sand Banks (2009)

A strip of settled sand
Between the waved sea
And its own saltwater lagoon

A place where a younger man
Exercises his cartilage and ligature

A space where an older couple
Wash their wobbled crinkled skin

A face of the early English summer
Where we parade ourselves ad infinitum

Or a landlocked submarine
Caught between a sunken life
And the glorious ultramarine

Steps to Steps (2012)

Love is yesterday walking by
Holding hands under silver skies

Enter lovers
Enter friends
Endless dreams
Of love to wend

Of wild strawberries on the sty
Hands held out for one last try

Enter mothers
Enter friends
Endless schemes
Of love to lend

Laid in grasses wondering why
A sudden kiss, a silent cry

Enter brothers
Enter friends
Endless reams
Of love to send

Love is tomorrow here and now
Opening doors and saying wow

Onwards as dreamers
Onwards as friends
On in dream light
Of a lover’s touch to comprehend

Lateness is invaluable (2008)

Just as you step foot on the platform
The 9:30 train pulls away
O bof, there goes another hundred

The purebred racehorse struts, coaxed by a series of tricks
Into the 3:30 starter’s gate, but today the favourite is unplaced
O bof, there goes another thousand

The table is booked for a party of twelve
By 8:30 there are two dozen of your friends here and all together
O bof, there goes no end of collateral

The bed is big and round – but you are in the bathroom
Sometime after midnight, you recover
O bof, the lover is asleep (but you do know how to wake her!)

Natural Beauty (2011)

Immense storms wash out
The heavily thunderous black sky

Preparation for the blue light
The delightful blue sea of morning

Fringe; Reprise (2007)

Wandered feet
Blisters deep, sun blocking
City streets, neat
Turn your head
Bare leg, no stocking

Summers heat
Cameras fleet, memories locking
New people meet
Fast words said
Quirkafleeg so shocking

Well named seat
Greet, tourists flocking
Water leat, treats
Roof tiles lead
Ripple red, sunset clocking

Resemblance (2010)

A chap might easily shake his head
As his steel heels strike the pavement
He could rightly be forgiven
For openly stretching his eyes
To try to make sense of it all

That same man might place his key
Nervously into the door-lock, carrying
A fair degree of absence or uncertainty
It would only be good and proper to pardon him
As he takes a final nose of the roses

Only back there, on the dancefloor
Where all seemed on the path to redemption
Before a lost opportunity, a soft mischosen word
That deserves we now show leniency, so to speak
For a fellow near on, or one far out, of remission

A young man became an old man (2006)

Warm silence
Ice cold beer
Anger and forgiveness
Inadequate without complaint

Mellow, gentle
Distraught with blame
Shadows and suspicions
Unable to find a name

Whispers cold
Chilled; the
Sisters of mercy
Awash with fear

Soft sensitive belongings
A quiet
Walk
Before being buried alive

Timepiece Conversation (2011)

Is that the watch I bought you?

You could say that; is that the mist, over the bridge, downalong the valley; is that a clear blue sky, way out west.

Do you still talk about people; people this, people that, are you any nearer to the real stuff?

I guess I still prefer the abstract; it is the child and mathematician within; I never was too good with the humanities.

Bouncing back and falling down (2005)

The zephyrs
And the tidal winds
The lonesome guitar
And the sound of strings
The introspection
And songbird sings
The morning frost
On the ice-cracked pond
And the skating and the sliding
And the laughing and the crying
Bouncing back and falling down
A familiar crack
A familiar sound
Drowning memories
Among the tidal frown

Anchor Court (2012)

Wooden floor, bed settee; bare walls; except for a picture by Monet 
Lyle Lovett on the hi-fi, his big band smoulders, oil pastels smudge my fingertips
Echoes of my son hurling pebbles, into the late night, dark light seas

Nights of one’s own company; to play, to cry, to have the strength to sigh, then to go on to rediscover

Coir mat tiled flooring; to two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen
Music that floats, to whichever of the four single beds I choose to lay my head upon
Sufficient accommodation, for my offspring, and for my more recent, hopefully, indecent acquaintances

Flights of one’s own fancies; to ply, to slay, to have the doubt to weigh up only the day of positives

Champagne, or chilled white wine, on the sunny-side flags out front
Thoughts of the sophisticated town, that basks over the bakery’s rooftops
It is the midwinters brightest season, weathered by a close-harboured microclimate

Sights that sensed the inevitable impermanence; to live, to hopelessly give, to shy away from reality

Floors stripped, furniture and effects loaded, onto a white removal van
Key fobs pushed, squeezed, with a don’t return note, through the closed estate agents letterbox
My brother and my daughter, present at this intermittent, half-final reckoning; my lover is negligently absent

Rites of passage not observed, we swerve out of town; to deny, to give back the gown, call on the dreams end

Preamble (2004)

The bramble is in bloom
The yellow gorse there’s yards of it, absolutely yards of it
The rain-speckled rambler
Walks smiling through

This pathway followed by monks of old
Today’s story told
Around last centuries newest abbey
Amongst the twisted vines, abreast the lavender

In the bookshop, reading of retreats
Buying Aristotle’s thoughts on happiness
The gentle people congregate
Smiling eyes, soft-spoken voices

Back on the moors
Back among magnificent vistas
A thousand years of footsteps
A million miles of thoughts

The beauty brings alive the eyes, the ears
The traveller thanks his lucky stars
Nature has many more surprises
The river rises, in a flash spring spate

Meditation in stained glass surrounds
To a backdrop of glory, of giving
Being your brother’s keeper
Contributing for continuation

Sunshine, showers
Photographs of flowers
Reaching peace
Touching love

Being there
Just being
Immersed in adsorption
Feeling alive

Being there
Just being
Immersed in adsorption
Feeling, being, alive

Bookish (2013)

Seen in the light
Of another’s explanation
I might doubt the depth of undoing

Accruing such reason
From impersonal voices
Tears me away from wondrous love

Flying my kite
In fair wind destinations
I sight the time of the new making

Forsaking the season
Of more reasonable choices
I declare to share in literary lust

Indifferent, to all that must be awakened
We close down the rounds that would
Sound out our findings of being in love

You sit at the glass-topped table (2003)

You sit at the glass-topped table
You browse your pile of books
You write your own reflection
Of colours printed on the page

You are your own possession
You strive your own satisfaction
You see beyond beneath the surface
Of people’s thoughts and words

You struck me with such energy
You bounced and lived and sought
You wanted all and then still more
To explode your own introspection

You actualize reality
You see your strength to give
You have a soul so gentle
Of goodness you only know

You always work with reason
You see no limitations
You encourage empower and console
Of those for whom you care

You are more
You are many

You are sitting at the glass-topped table

Injured Yet Joyful (2014)

A couple of lawyers, you wouldn’t if you could, tales to take the wind’s sails, no really, really you should


And kick her on the leg, say sorry a hundred times, say you’ve ridden around Kerry, say you love her, say everything’s fine


And you love him like a brother, he’s planted trees as no other, he’s helped to find that land of plenty, for to give it to the poor

Walking Around The Platform (2002)

Walking around the platform
Trying to change a two-pound coin
Where did he come from
Why wait for the 21.05

How did he get there
Who supplies his medication
Where does he go for meditation
And why wait for the 21.05

Is there some hint of desperation
Beneath the days of perspiration
Trying to understand his situation
As he waits for the 21.05

Beneath some other complication
Describing further degeneration
Lost confused and confounded
Around the 21.05

Maybe he just wanted coffee
Nothing more sinister than that
Someone else’s sophisticated frustration
Changing lights, waiting for the 21.05

These Words Came To Find You (2015)

I want to say I love you
I don’t want that emotion
Ever to be curtailed

To shout out
Hey I love you
Did you like the book I mailed

I just wanted to say I love you
From so far away
From so long ago

Who knows if we could have made it
To Milan
Or to the South of France

I just wanted to say I love you
Is it ok for me to ask
Might we take this next dance

I laugh on my own, but I am not alone (2001)

I laugh on my own, but I am not alone
No, you are here
You do not disappear

Is this the same
For lovers in grief
The disbelief

Shown by friends and family
Who do not
Will not understand

You have not gone
Not away
Just to another peaceful place

Where I join you
Everyday
In my own way

Years (2016)

New folders, old poems
New boxes, old letters
New beginnings, old old endings

The table, all three tables actually
Are covered in the old stuff
Sorted into piles, year by year

There will of course be
Some misplaced works
Some misconstrued emotions

I will read your poem again
Where you fear for your future
As you drink your red red wine

I will see, as if I didn’t already know
How prolific I became
From the year we parted, two-thousand-and-five

The year before I met another, two-thousand-and-six
The tray of crystal goblets, with glasses for the water
Finish off the scene a treat

They give it a sobriety
Worth it then to take a photograph of The Years
Rather though for posterity, than for nostalgia’s sake

I had it in my mind to write (2000)

I had it in my mind to write
And so I shall
I can understand that
I can see what you mean

And so the play went on
Rhythm and rhyme a story in time
Yes the play went on
I can understand that
I can see what you mean

But this was just a part of it
Of a day only a moment
Still the story was told
And I can understand that
If you see what I mean

I hope you would write
Did I misunderstood
Form follows function
Word after verb
Adjective in mind
Yes I can understand that
And the play went on

Anyway, the play went on
I can understand that
No, what I mean
I can see that

Way Off I Tell You (2017)

No mistaking the heat of the sun
As I look out, to the solitary yacht
With white sails; as far away from me
As is possible with falling off
The edge of the world
One traveller, on a stretch
Of how many miles; yes I have
The trigonometry, and the rules
For isosceles triangles, yet
With only a thin strip of beach
For reference, I feel myself unable
To rest safely on extrapolation
For the calculation; instead
I use this for explanation:
Long view, far distance
Infinite horizon
Gateway to the stars
Although that last one
Only works after sunset
Which
As it is just on noon right now
Is quite some hours away
Much as I imagine
Is that solitary yacht

All wrapped up in Innocence (1999)

All wrapped up in innocence
The engine purrs as 24 valves slide
Calm and cool recollecting memories
Warm inside the familiarity
No thought to what outside is about to worry
All wrapped up in innocence
The mobile ringtone strikes
Innocence and daydreams both are broken
Tension, senses, in frustration
Heartbeat quickens perspiration slickens the worried brow

Vita’s Rooms (2018)

I’ve been to Vita’s writing room
Beside the moat at Sissinghurst
I walked down the avenue of limes
Which I photographed

Maybe I will send a copy to Mr Brocklebank
At the reclamation yard
Actually it is not Vita’s writing place at all
It was built as a monument

To her husband, by his sons
After his death
Yet it was her book, placed deceptively
On the desk, overlooking the view

Thankfully I did see her room
From the steps, in the tower
I did take a photograph
Through the iron bars

Yugoslavian Nights (1998)

Neanderthal, Byzantine, Cistercian
Church, Chapel, Mosque

White walls mirror blue-green sea
Shifting sands in shifting times

For all we know they have already pulled the trigger
Rigorously wading through the waters of the wishy-washy words

Back then in Yugoslavia, negotiating through the in-house interpreter
Forgetting to tell you that he was stationed in Glossop in that other war

Visiting, no more, no less, learning the double bluffer’s art
Start low, aim high, settle somewhere between
Be seen to win-win for all to share

Staring into oblivion, persimmon papers rolled up ready
Steady steadily gaining head

Walk away, take time, remember she said
Seashells, crunch under the jackboot tread, remember she said

No currency at the airport, Dinas turn to dust
Those aircraft engines you sold them, turning, turning to rust

All this before the wall came down
Around that ever ending never lasting revolution

We all had our own singular senseless solution
Senseless in singular isolation, bereft in national procrastination

Since then sincerity abounds
Surround ourselves in spin

Even before we begin, before any thought of substance
Belligerent, malignant, indignant, insufficient, only circumstantial evidence

Semblance of generalisation, keeping cards close to the chest
Talking in riddles, trying it on, setting a meaningless test

Spinning, spinning, spinning wheel, spinning top
Spinning, we called it lying, spinning so hard you cannot stop

Sidekicks (2019)

I walk the streets today
I walked them once before
You are not with me today
You weren’t with me before

The fruit drink is sharp as hell today
I think you thought this place was hell before
Grey skies on the horse race course today
We no way completed the course before

I don’t need
To kick myself sideways
But I do
Kick myself sideways

I don’t need
To trawl through the memories
But I do
Trawl through the memories

I don’t need
To for you
But I do
For you

And so we go our own way (1997)

And so we go our own way
A path not trod before
Each bracken broke
A breaking new

We know this way to be our own way
Our own not known before
Each thought awoke
A thinking new

With light and might we walk our own way
Stealth of stride alone no more
Each slice of slight
Incite light new

Observe Awareness (2020)

Do not take the decisions lightly
Choose each word for each word
Whatever you look back upon, try
Always, to look forwards too

And if you can’t quite explain it
Then at least give of your best
If the phrase is not within reaching
Take us to where you suffer less

For dust is forever in the corners
And leaves are so seldom still
Tell of the sky in the diamond
Whose feint hopes you signify

Against the Rain (1996)

Did I write of a white May moon
I see this on a scrap of paper – like
A smooth boulder I like a white
May moon soon another train will rattle
Tittle tattle on the radio home I miss too too
You you you I miss like a white may moon we
Walk on the sunrise seashore holding hands
Keeping warm touching life at the fingertips
Emotional recharge energy implosion home
I walk alone against the rain the
Elements to touch to touch together
That is pleasure pleasure and new
Experience come to England that for
You is new like Jersey before me and
Long for live to return
More though for you for you to
Experience and exploit
Your unlimited ideas and ideals

It Happened To Me ( 2021)

Is it really an apology if one wants to apologise, or if one chooses to apologise.
Surely a true apology would come from somewhere deeper in the soul.
Perhaps suggested by a strong feeling of wrongdoing.
An inrush of emotion which desired one to apologise profusely, and sincerely, to the one who had been done wrong by.
One might even feel unable to find the words, or the spirit, or the truth, to even begin the apology.
It may be best to let it settle, to see if the contention should appear again.
Maybe in a clearer light, but for now take note; someone was asked, and something must be said.

Weaving Wire (1995)

Painted toenails were the giveaway
Symbolic richness for an island castaway
Painted toenails and the cymbal stroked so lightly
Brushed with sensuous sensitivity
Tingles for Mr. bojingles
At such a sweet light sight

Dancing until midnight
Talking thro’ to dawn
The excitement of acquaintance
The waking of a bright new morn
A gangtime of a breakfast
Stories rich with secret smiles

Weekend life and weeks away
The wonder of the why
The magic of the finding out
Bursting visions of more to know
Broken dreams a parting pastime
Painted toenails rhythm and rhyme

Down the Road (2022)

Down the road
No more than a stroll away
A couple are getting married

The sun is warm
The sky is blue
Exactly the kind of day to wish for

What’s that you say
Be careful what you wish for
Remember ’75 or was it ’76

There is a stone detail
Around the top of the windows
I have not seen the like before

Be wary of surprises
Did you really say that
As you handed them their rings

Watercombe (1994)

I came to this place
Almost twenty-three months ago
Then, as now, the sky was blue
And the river tumbled and splashed

In between the then and now
Turbulence has been maintained
Turbulent mind, turbulent body
Turbulent health, turbulent wealth

The sheep graze these windswept moors
Lambs born amongst the driving rain
Alongside the gorse and reed
A crop cut grass pleads to grow

And the bleat breaks that
Waterfall of springtime silence
Alone amongst a thousand acres
Chasing after Mother, Mother nature

There goes the 9:37 (2023)

There goes the 9:37
From Revesby
Out to the North Sea

There on this blue sky
Cold and frosty morning
Where life is indeed awash

Open the back curtains
Turn off the lights
Be at one with one

You have read the social media
But not yet blamed the news
As you put your day in context

Here you sit
Listening to Radio Three
Talking about the Franco-Flemish composers

Which in all honesty
Means next to nothing to you
Except today it is a mark in the sand

As is the fact
That you promised to tidy your room
Oh but that can happen later, can’t it

That same old inconsistency (1993)

that same old inconsistency
always the same
old inconsistency
continues always along that same old
road to incredulity
segregated – why you like to write
egress outward like to words
release unleash forgotten depths.