Long gone

I was long gone when you called,
two centuries, two lifetimes, or more:
I was sitting on a platform
spliced with the cold
wind was clutching at my heart
ringing with the noise,
“climb your lonely mountain
stake out your lost terrain”
I was long gone, when you wrote,
my house dark shuttered
furniture shrouded in white drapes
with the spikes of random sunlight
raining rainbows on the dust,
walls rung with rusted echoes
with the laughter we have lost.
There was honey in our tongues
reflections of above,
but that’s all long and gone
and there’s nothing left to say
we can’t regret the winter
hold back shoots of spring
and yes, you had your reasons
so reasonably succinct
and now I’m somewhere hidden
in some other form and place
there’s no answer to your questions
no questions left at all
for I’m on this icy platform
the train is running late
and the cold has frozen any hope
of anything safe and warm.

I was long gone when you noticed
I was long gone when you called.

Ice cream

I’m eating ice cream in the rain,
it whips my hair to tangled tendrils:
clouds hover like volcanoes, rain cold
as Icelandic fjord, sun sweeps it’s face away.

I’m eating ice cream in the rain, not any ice cream
home-made, thick with sugar and vanilla;
the streets are wet and slippery again, shutters batter
mother’s hurry with umbrella.

It’s May, the trees somehow too green
pollen drops its sticky spray on windows
swallows nest and roses curl around the fence
lightning flares it burns the sky ignites the grey but I don’t care

I’m eating ice cream in the rain and laughing.


First half of the year
life has fallen through
leaving a blitzed interior.
Pink uplighters, coloured backdrops
faces I have known the smell of.

You were all well suited
breathing in and out like a cavalry.
There was nothing similar in your look
as if I’d been trying different dresses on for size
hoping one of them would fit.

You could believe that God was near
transfixed by cigarette smoke
whorls of cumulus, whorls of fingerprints
you could believe in God at the end of the room
at the end of the next needle.

First half of the year
life falls through its own habits
leaving solitary sentries
faces painted with integral intentions
neon overheads, bare boned stories.

Dream stalker

Four am, sky alight
red fingers of sun’s stretch.
dawn chorus hurdy gurdy.

I dream of foreign lands,
stranger’s hands that lack
a pathway back, to you.

Across London you sleep
untouched by brain twisting,
that indelible imprint of us

etched on the filigree of time
our recurring regurgitated rhyme
with no hope of erasure .

Fonthill Gifford

Silence became deafening,
lowers over house skirts beech trees
descends to the lake, fans over water.

Blue hills tithe barn and thatch,
lone swan glides on mill pond
dreams of wild horses, topsy coloured foals
under water over swallow.

Lodge by the lake looks on weir water
willow scant scent of fox, past lingers
in tree curves sense of before times
people’s lives crumbled into peat earth.

Blood clots as star dust: elements converge
moon behind cloud creates rainbow
silence turns to morning, head aches
with the pressure, transubstantiation .

nothing forgotten.


All night
planets glow like
cat’s eyes,
the moon an orange
lava lamp holding up
a black sky.

If I lie
staring over rooftops
while the jumbos glide
like messages,
and you are on the other side
calling my name.

All night
I listen for your footsteps,
a rustle in a hedgerow
a face across a crowded bar
a whisper to say who
and where you are.

All night
I’m counting empty moonbeams
reaching for you in my sleep
hearing the numbers
of a grey dawn:
the numbers of infinity.

I would lie
if I said I knew
the answers, held the key,
could erase the picture in a mirror,
a hand across a table
a kiss beside a river.

All night
while the planets glow
like cat’s eyes
the moon an orange lava lamp
all night, under a black sky,
I wait.


Stench of honeysuckle
clings to my window
leaves flicker in rumble of thunder:
across the footpath a dead rabbit,
dogs bay a warning.

Your eyes grey like wolves
I lay in languor long past desire
thunder rumbles in my blood
lightning strikes, ground sizzles
there is semblance of life.

Love hovers somewhere
I can feel its pull, am terrified
by the taste, too tired to
contemplate superlatives
wait for the rain to provide its answer.


Tonight the night is hung with stars’ eyes
watching our tindril glow,
we are alight in universe’s dust,
whispers mar the haunted lawn
faces that you know have blank looks;
there hides a wide space where my heart used to be
a profound void, where life has leaked
like rainbow’d oil slicking an old junk heap.
There’s a space where my heart used to be
a disused highway with a desert breeze
where mirages come and go,
drawn by the flicker of stars’ eyes,

by latent heat drifting.


Pale infrastructure, lily transient, spotted brown
stamens shafting proud in animate sculpture
bluebells thirsting from a leaf strewn green,
grass in patchy outburst, sprouting like an old man’s beard
wisteria unfurling into powdered coiffure
fecundity of spring.

“I, you, me,”
I conjugate the alien verbs,
they never made much sense and now the sense is less
your heart is palpitating fullness, thrown across a table
scrambled into bed and I recoil like amputated mother
hand protecting nest, where the silence rests.

A hover bee hangs over me, he looks,
then pollinates whichever colour suits his dream
grey doves are fluffing out drab feathers
and I, surrounded by white Marguerites, succumb to softness
feel the nestling of green leaves breathe the tartness of the year
beat my head on borrowed bush keeping cardboard distance.

“I, you, we,”
the moment shouts again for truth,
my clematis wraps me in dark tendrils
the peace lily’s falling short, and what I need to say
may vanish into May , the present tense of amore
with April’s spattered shades, the, ”so sorry I don’t love you” final mores.

The Angel’s kiss

There was a war
right there,
at the tables edge
and I wasn’t winning.
I surrendered to the theme
surrendered to your thrust
at reality.
It was a war I didn’t choose
you’d bitten it from birth
and between our bites of food
I relinquished hold.
I had no idea why,
just why I wanted you
and you were seduced
by an understanding
you hadn’t yet deduced;
an insight to my core
the light that makes me whole
it was a literacy of souls
a tenderness of minds
that spun us together
and I relinquished hold
of anything that bound
wanted only then and there
to hold you to my breast
and listen to the sound
of our enamoured breaths.
I think it is your war
you’ve bitten it from birth
and I was like an outsider
watching at a wedding
wondering who would let me in.
Your cruelty was curved
you hold it as your truth
and I filtered through your words
wanting only you.
Now I’m lying here alone
wind chimes ringing in my ear
reminding me of mountain pass
the place I call my home
and you’re lying in her arms
listening to her tears
stroking back her hair
and thinking of me.