She wore her scars to show
she was a soldier,
a soldier used to knives;
the beatings that she bore
were bundled deep inside
Nothing had convinced her that
the universe was nameless,
but she was cursed from birth
with constant need for meaning
ratified in sleep where phantom
figures made her understand,
God often spoke in strangers voices
hid behind their sleight of hand.

Her high heeled misdemeanours
broke the tension of existence
a will to shine so bright the tears
would never be counted,
and she courted city streets,
befriended urban outcasts
listened to other peoples families
carefully repressing swell of tidal grief
It was only in the third person that
she could talk about these things
listen to the moaning of police sirens,
the shriek of three year old from
paper thin communicating walls,
hug her own children to her chest
in order to forget,

she remembered.

Street soldier

You were a street soldier
a green eyed apparition
hungry for food
hungry for warmth,
you were an unknown
underground addiction
standing on tube platform
asking for reaction
to your animal understanding
of humanity’s footsteps.
You were angry for equality
couldn’t feel the cracks
beneath the pavement
spent time eroding an equation
that hurt your mind:
a child of the sun
trapped in cold climes
asking for admission
with a love that melted 6am.frost,
open arms to offer
snatched snippets of a wisdom
passed from Jewish generations
dark curls that swept cheeks
carved by angel’s hands.
You recognised potential in my smile,
could have been a con mans trick
could have been lost nights
in Babylonian Citadel
could have been desperation
as you clung to semblance of a pride.
What was my line? Vanity
believing beauty struck you;
not the jewelled fingers
or the warm fleeced winter wrappings,
or the canopy of protection I trailed.
You were a street rat
not by choice or inclination
as we unwound the layers
of thin fleshed suffering
to discover bone,
as I sent you to tomorrow
garnished with a blessing
a hope that you will find
a hand to hold that isn’t mine.

Kuala Lumpar airport

(For my Dad )

I miss you at airports
gazing into the dark
tunnel of a jumbo jet
cockpit, bracing as the
wind rushes under wings.

In that split second caught
between earth and heaven
with the jet stream bounding
under taut fuselage, then my eyes
begin to sting with the lack of you.

I miss you as the moon glares,
stale air conditioning rumbles,
that moment of landing ,when anything
is possible, and I miss you with jet lag
raising havoc in my tired veins

I missed you when the full moon
hung celestial, with the thin skinned
chit chat diving across a tropic ceiling
the dull surf pounding a mesmeric
meaning in the prayer flagged bay.

Now the air peels ice on
the bending wings, and you
being dead means, lets face it:
never, ever seeing, your brown
eyes loving me again.

I kissed a boy

I kissed a boy in the park today,
he spoke Italian and I spoke French
the way I always wanted to,
but both of us well understood,

that sometimes life catches you that way.

I kissed a boy in the park today,
all my neighbours frowned & turned away
but the birds were singing as the foxes play
for both of us have understood

that sometimes life catches you that way,

I kissed a boy in the park today,
he kissed me back, I couldn’t turn away
he has the greenest eyes I have ever seen
while my heart took sudden fish like leaps

& he said he couldn’t breathe for wanting me.

For both he and I have understood
that sometimes life catches you that way
& there is nothing better to do or say
but grab with both hands when it comes your way

& thank life and spring for tasting so good.


That moment between sleep and waking,
when limbs lie heavy sinking into stone wall


Where I can float on unseen currents of air,
find you standing without misconceptions.

That moment between life and love
when the heart stretches to open,

when passion flies in like a golden eagle,
with the sun flaming its wings.

Each time I see you it’s the same
that huge unseen force that empties out the room,

I devoid of oxygen am gasping like a fish
on your outstretched hand.

Lovers mingle at the corner of the street
traffic noises whirr inside our lives, but, you and I adrift,

an unknown sea of stars collide at corners of the bar
where neither one can speak, of the love we feel.

Postcard from Istanbul

Shut my eyes:

day swings way out of reach down a pathway to the past spliced
with instant moments like fallen leaves or so much litter.

Eyes wide shut:

I glimpse snapshots of dead hands, once buried twice reviewed
in rooms no longer here , where sleep masks nothing.

Tomorrow still unused:

singing portions of revolution, and I cling to the old, frozen by
disuse as if I might snap under new movement.

Shut my eyes:

day swings away, you won’t ever come to call: plus jamais
postcard from Istanbul, Bosphorus bickers , you, who were

everything but a figment of my ever present future.

World in a week

Monday seems so far away
another lifetime a hidden
trail in the landscape of our past
while tomorrow edges day by day
ever nearer.

On Monday there you were again
same sweet smile and hopeless
sense of who you are what you
might be: if it wasn’t for that broken key
of you and me.

Tuesday I cried for our love couldn’t
go back to the place we had left
hold your hand pretend that it was all
the same , yes Tuesday brought me
all our pain.

On Wednesday I was over hung
the mist reflected all we’d lost
I couldn’t see the blossom’s gift
the bluebells and magnolia’s blooms
came too soon.

Thursday new love banged at my door
we played the games I’d played before
pretended that you’d never been
my going out, my coming in
earth’s sweet sin.

Now Friday’s here four days away
from kissing you from feeling safe
but I have sent you far from me
no more tears no whispered pledge
nothing to say I loved you

Morning Angel

She watches from her bed
of crumpled sheets,out the
window to the morning sun.
Stretches out a delicate leg
yawns behind her tiny hands.

The night is done.

The leaves have caught a
shade of gold,starlight’s print
on broken glass,out there
life is turning round,the sound
of sirens children’s calls.

The hubbub of the town.

She gently strokes her soft
white skin, surveys the bruises
that he left,turns the sheet to
air the stress of nightmares,fears,
a lover’s sweat.

The marks of time.

Each day’s a tumbleweed
of hope, the light falls round
her like a dress, and every
slip’s a stab at make believe,
that time will cease,

that love will live,
that heaven’s not a
barefoot path;

to anything less.

All along the river

All along the river light play’s on broken bottles
swayed by the rising tide; the falling of hearts.

Ghost crowds bicker, phantom children run and play
the tourists talk on mobiles to Bologna, Prague, Istanbul,

we sit sipping ice cold drinks watching the clock tick
on The Savoy.

Christopher Wren never saw St Paul’s rising behind the Millennium Bridge,
Tate Modern breathing through its perfect towers

we are mirror thin specters of humanity watching the clock tick
time back to us.

Your blue eyes flecked with green, a silver ring binds an elongated finger
you unfold like a letter from a child’s story to tower the magic sky

which children paint from Stepney to Lambeth Bridge,
with Indigo.

Two flower sellers, small blonde girls, their plaits twisted into curved arcs
stalk the blank facades; we edge closer as a dull wind rattles the river,

turn away from bobbing boats and police sirens, back towards
the pungent symmetry of eyes, to search for warmth.

St Ives

Sea imaging turquoise, sand scrunches street corners,
after eating octopus I woke in the night dreaming of being
arrested for dodgy love affairs.

Drank red wine and ate too much chocolate, wine the colour
of oestrogen blood , so I woke at 2.am dehydrated and
scratching for my pen.

Sunny with seagulls, the child ran wild up the small hill at
the sight of so much open space, bird shit on the windows
wide lying sky, so blue, so blue.

More nightmares of past lives, hotel with a grey walled room
Grandma soothing me with little blue pills, it’s strange what
the empty mind can and will do.

Downalong East the cottages crowd jostling for more room
and there on the beach the artists strive to capture a taste
of the sea’s mirror.

Inside me lies an empty painting waiting for a glimpse of you,
I think cerulean is a colour unlike any other, I can see through
into the life of it .

Twisting the black expanse of rock, stroked with finger tips of spray
receding to the core, vast ineptitude of sky, like a blue ceramic sugar bowl
poised above our heads.

This morning the sea crashing in my head, black cymbals of decision
lovers come and go their hands entwined behind their backs, a bed of
“maybes” clutching the low tide.

Sand is the cradle of the sea, children run like storms, eroding
brain landscapes, leaving everything warm and sticky with their

Twenty years from plaited nape of hair to adult accusing stare
they swipe me with inadequacy that I have dared to live and love;
soft spoken.

Latte and the scream of seagulls, weather-beaten faces and babies
in bunny suits stand against the bar of a lunchtime pub while my head
bursts from admonishment