Love song

I might write a love song

if I could remember the words

I might write a love song

if you played guitar for me:

but I hear you forgot

who we used to be

when we were once lovers.


I might write a love song

if you kissed me again

the image is broken

but lodged in my brain

and the miracle  ”time”

has removed the stain

of the day you left me.


Well I might write a love song

now how would it go?

Your hair has turned grey

but your eyes are the same

and it’s only a day since we

walked in the rain, that love song night

when I was eighteen


the first time I wrote you a love song.


From Ultramarine


“I am old, I am old

I will wear the bottom of my trousers rolled”

(T.S Eliot Prufrock )


Light lies harsh on facial lines

garden hangs  it’s head with emptiness

life flickers it’s  pulse like breadcrumbs

sadness sweats: it has no smell no aftertaste,

leaves behind a silver trail in unexpected places.

Inside I hide like virgin bride,

like bloated corpse on unfound beach

washed up from too much of everything.

I’m a platelet scouring the blood of this city

I’m an antibody strictly fighting serial flu

this unknown strain of letting go, a flicker of hair

a baby’s gaze, a diving into anonymity.


Father 1937 -1996

My father always used to say, “If I reach the age of sixty, shoot me….” He never did, so we never had too. When he got sick he still had that sweet veneer of youth and beauty, he still had his young whore by his side with her family grouped around the bed, asking when the old man was going to die.  The whisky had taken a slight toll, under the eye bags were apparent but it was during a game of tennis that the tumour made itself known, a slight tingling in the wrist that was all.  How to cope with you in sick bed, how to look you in the eyes and say , “well maybe you are useless as a father , as a human being, and yes look you’re going to die.”  The chemotherapy made you look sunburnt that was all, as if you’d just come back from a skiing trip and we treated you with foie gras and vintage brandy.

I don’t want to talk about your tears and I don’t want to tell of the bargains you tried to make or how you told me you loved me, for the first and last time.  We spent a lot of time looking into each other’s eyes as we’d always done; there was never anything to say because I had been born the daughter who fathered you, and you had been looking for a lover in all the wrong places.  Afterwards there was your voice from the darkness, and this isn’t a metaphor, afterwards there was you looking beautiful, afterwards there was me alone as I always had been.


There’s a shrine in my mind

which burns incense to your youth

keeps pictures of a small boy

keeps picturing my small boy

crafted through a mystical creation

into the small blonde smiling echo of you.


Hebrew Lullaby


Circles recreate their yarn, lines of soldiers bursting to escape that hinged compartment that you call your heart. I’m waiting for your eyes to surprise me, I want to cut them out and wear them in my ears, black diamonds, black pools of Hebrew wisdom, and then I could forget you.  All roads lead to tunnels I’ve arranged and re arranged over years.


Faces change

lines crack

under the pressure

of a lazy afternoon

where the blue

finally shines through.

Winter storm

Storm clouds bank black

touch harbour wall, houses

curved like a Queen’s coronet

under denim sky: I turn my head

sea falls flecked with white horse crest

they snake across the bay.

Dog is blown by weight of sea

her ears akimbo sand chafing soft membrane

& you & I lean against the world

cheeks tinged by raw sting of storm salt.

Half the planet sleeps, I call on

water nymphs tree dryad

return it all to pristine emptiness

black banked cloud, onshore swell

tidal turn flicked by the moon.

Hearts sutra

From  ”Next Year in Vietnam”….

It returns like the rain, again and again, the rhythm of your heart, calling for me. I cross oceans, reach high plateau where the snow lingers in mid summer, I cross centuries and time tunnels yet still inside I hear your voice, detonating. Here the trees sway silver in the half light of sunset’s last rays splashed scarlet on forest, the horses gather strength and question the coming of night.. My dreams are full of passageways: squadrons of whispers whip me into a cacophony of becoming. You are sunlight’s shadow paintings on a cave drawn by creatures we now call man:  My soul searches, hoping to be released from the need to search; the rhythm of your heart, the pull of blood beneath skin the softness of your kiss; to return to.——

February flood

Eye of the storm

full moon hangs above

Shepherd’s rose sky

stroking soft sea shush

in the lull of low tide.


Tomorrow will bring

full February’s power

rain lashing cheeks

exhaustion hung  bleak

as the water creeps black


through trapped city streets

unearthing the dead,

promising no blink

to its inundating stare


but for a moment here;


suspended bright

over calm blue sea

the storm is a dream

in an Angel’s  sleep.


Wind blown

sea squalls

beach hums,

sand filters


dead birds wings



Momentary  holiday


lean against

sea’s face

bobbing band


wet – waisted



We walk

separate now

no edges,


shy away

from intimacy

two heads

upon a pillow.


Sunlit wind

turquoise ocean

blows :

even the palm fronds

might have a name,

for this.


Sand  filters

into skin pockets,

road stretches like

an exclamation

like a promise;

no destination.


Dream stalker


You follow me in dreams

slip between my sheets

I wake in sleep to find you

then reach to feel the pillow bare


just another day in paradise.


You’re holding out for me

across the bridge of years

the troubled waters of our lives

flow silently beneath: muddied with the lies


the kisses shared, the treasure of new life

that little girl who smiles your smile

her face alight, your colour in her eyes

but she’s not mine.


What is it that you need?


Your voice reverbs down telephone wire

a memory of  nights we’ve shared

but is it all too late? To lie entwined,

stroke the cobweb of the moon


so far away & out of reach, this star we ride.

Yes no maybe

I might have done it


Because you wanted to

because you asked


I could have done it.

If I shut my eyes


thought of how it was

before we started this.


We might have made it

in the future conditional

of parallel lives,


where we sail forever

under the green flash

of Caribbean skies


We might still do it,

& I did try


but first I pushed

you to the limit,


didn’t see why

you shouldn’t pay the price


for your indecision

your little white lies


that made it all seem alright

(in your head) .


I asked for all or nothing

(which really wasn’t wise)


when I began to realise

that no love lies in shadows


under these sup eternal skies

with the moon blinding us.