State of the Union

Alyse 1

Bored, under-achieving
self-absorbed, self-deceiving

Withdrawn, constantly day-dreaming
deeply flawed, scorned and reeling


Edge of the abyss?

Promised my Lady Alyse, in hope of healing
But seeking forgiveness or simply scheming?

Why live like this?
I am leaving

state of the union 3


Dreaming of Joss Dreaming

Joss top 1

September spiders
range across the sofa
Joss, dead pale and gaping
sleeps ever on

To my horror they synchronize
and tip-toe closer

My silent screams
can’t hope to wake him
from the dreams that over take him
way beyond

Joss bottom 1

Joss end 1

Gift-Horse Dentist

My Man Kemp

Well squire, you amaze me
never thought I’d live to see the day
when you’d sniff at an easy monkey

Good money for a simple job
collect the gear, go make the drop

And there’s you all bleary eyed
rubbing your bristly chin
with no more idea than a fly

Whether you’re up and about or still dreaming in the sack
whether you’re out on foot patrol or clinging to a horse’s back

I mean to say, where’s the worry?
in-out, bish-bosh
nice ‘n’ neat ‘n’ tidy

If you set off at dawn my friend, you’d be back by middle-night
the Finnons’ may be dodgy geezers but they will always see you right

Could be Jonah-the-laughing-boy, who’s copped a pretty monkey
to pay his way, as sound as a pound
nobody’s filthy flunky

Do me a favour, I’m too busy see?
get yourself together, earn yourself the fee…

Gift Horse Dentist






Mind-blown cipher
wind-blown along a
faint and futile looping lifeline

Certain only of possessing
neither free-will
nor a creator and saviour’s devine design

Clown 2

Rowboat Wreck

Rowboat Wreck

I’ve waited forever
for you to come down
from the oriole in your tower
way up in the clouds

Where I hope you are embroidering
your sheer silk wedding dress
sewing millions of silver sequins on
with the finest golden threads

And I wonder if you gaze
your apple-green eyes
across this supermarine lake and this

Searching the fine
dividing, horizon line
for a galleons full sail
not this rowboat wreck of mine

Rowboat Wreck 2 (2)

The Universe Took Up A Spoon…

The universe took up a spoon and stirred my soul
presented me with an opportunity to assume some sort of control

but I panicked like a lamped rabbit
and fled to the back of my familiar bolt-hole

kept my head down, did exactly what I was told
a pathetic pushover, a sap, a sucker, a henpecked cuckold

meek and mild, like an over-mothered child
grown bitterly resentful and pitifully old



Here be Morgwa

Morgwa top

The surface of the stagnant pool that stomached
him these ten thousand solar circuits past, guffawed
rank gas globes, jangled searing moon glares, gave
cold air a thin mist in exchange for
a litter of paper moths and brittle leaves.
The pockets of precious air picked from under
his algaed scales slipped through the wet grasp
of its black depths as it clung defiantly
to him, trying to deny his slow rising
into this, the bluest of blue full moons.

The surface of the stagnant waters that wombed
him these ten thousand solar circuits past, gave
August’s midnight murmur its single king’s ransom coin
in return for a spilt sackful of silver
sixpences. Blunt-toothed alders, thick as whispering thieves,
sipped black draughts through long straws, as the
sky slyly stole a minim of its surface
murk to darken a tempest’s fermenting cloud. Timid
washes lapped across its shallows as its waters
broke, crowning Morgwa the water monster’s heraldic head.

Morgwa bottom

Eleven Elements

Nature Symbol

The distant snow-powdered church tower
pales before the monstrous church-yard yews

Who conjure pitch darkness
out of a bitterly cold wind

That whips the late February evening sky
till it lowers it’s frozen weight in blurs of mists

Across this winter-locked land who’s
high crowned hill

Prizes a posy of shy snow-drops
that steal a March

On a still sleeping beech tree
who cries out in her restless dreams

Sending spinning
a clamorous congregation of crows

Nature Symbol 2

Rookery Wood

A goose got loose from Cold Harbour Farm and got lost
in Rookery Wood, possibly confused by the bitterly cold wind
a vixen-fox followed the webbed footsteps in the frost
starving for hot flesh, sweet blood and juicy bones, for thick-quilled skin

Amidst the tympani of falling canopy debris
that accompanies every blow of this whistling wind
the melancholic robin flutes a sombre symphony
a magical madrigal,
a sibilant soliloquy,
an hypnotic, melodic, elegiac hymn

A tawny owl mimics the screech of St. Eligius’s lych gate
every time he shrieks from deep within
the ‘Private: No Entry!’ high-walled Chaucer estate
that’s oft-flooded by the Orm’s fogs, spilling in over the brim

Rookery Wood 1

March Ravens

March Ravens top

A pair of ravens
in synchronised flight
angle, tumble
arc and glide
croak rasped asides
and as silhouettes slide
across the sky
and out of sight.

In nighted garb
with ragged sleeves
he leads their merry dance
until she concedes
then, in the privacy of a
beech tree’s canopy
he walks all over her
until she conceives.

March Ravens bottom