Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This is history! on Bong is Bard

Thank you to the lovely people of Bong is Bard for their publishing of the three from my series, This is history! It's been great to have the chance to read them in such a fine and righteous context.

If you have a serious interest in things poetical, you should take the time to visit. Go there. Now.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bus notes 12

        Moving up Salisbury Road
        with some sunshine showing inside,
        the bus coming out of town
        at this time of morning
        is almost empty.
Strolling down the hill is Carl
with his hair surfeit
and the mere patch of face.
        A medal hangs from his neck
        two days since the games began.
        It serves as an amulet
        warding off those clouds
        of indignant flies
        respectable lungs blow out.
        His perfect ease won't give away
        that secret victory. He keeps it
        in closed, cupped, imagined hands.
We carry on up to the village,
going the wrong way slowly
with nothing as golden to show.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Early Eighties

            While we one way
                              fervent walk
                        in our sodality
                the Trad Jazz band play
        O when the saints
                Sisyphean style.

         In our bit of America
                   the missives 
                     that don't hold back
              will be trembling
                        near to posting time.

        A few days before
        we'd gone up the stairs
        in someone else's house
        with the posters eating in:
                    the girl with cloth patterns
               burnt into her arms
                    the little boy
               with the too heavy head
                    ubiquitous people shadows
               the smashed toyland
                    in greyscale

           It's as clear
                       as melanoma.                           

                              The day the old time siren
                              lullayed across the park
                fear subrosabound
                                  dropped softly on Dad's face
            toxic and gossamer thin.

                     The hem of that grazed us
                                         and sanctified us too.

                          We almost wanted to be goners 
                as our thinking
                         stretching fingers were
            a tip away from a cold
                  and nothing black full stop.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bus notes 11

Around the gaudy roundabout we go.
Dudley Castle does its old joke again
        and above the town
        the brown horse tumbles up,
        so gauche, with a belly full
        of helium
toward the clouded over Sun.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Coffee morning

                       The smashed glass grains
               about the fronds
                          of the dumb plants

                    all for glitter
                                    for the show
            the work a drunk did do

                   O, you and your borrowed heart
                                       singing a nursery round
                              You press
                  the collar back
                              at the nape
                                       till I nearly drop
                           my second cup

      A daft fire could start between the legs
                                            (but it’s easy enough to check)

                     The machinery
                     that couples according to some
                     old and boring law
                     turns the filthy sunbeams on
                     for more

                I won’t be anyone’s reason for anything

                   Time to step outside for a fag
            and to take as long
                                     as an unsmoked smoke

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bus notes 10

As we pass Common Lane
and Pound Green,
he pulls the boy along the aisle
by the forearm
without any feeling showing
and almost throws him onto the seats.
        Along Drew Lane
        the works are coming down
and in a language I won’t ever know,
they make a tenderness happen.
The father touches the hem of the kid's hood
and he becomes a marker for joy.
        This morning, I heard that in one day
        we’re having a month of rain,
        but it’s OK; looking around,
        all of us are kitted out for it.

Llandudno - Birmingham - Oakland, CA

Tom Clark has posted another one of my poems with some beautiful images of Llandudno and environs. If you haven't yet visited, Beyond the Pale is one of the best places to engage with poetry, with a host whose knowledge is second to none.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Down to sleep

            It's not the candle spasms 
thinking shadowed
  the odd eyed ikon face 

It isn't the quiet so
                            viscous and there

                           something utters
                                   coming from over the hedgerow
                      with the tongue running
                                                   off on one
                          hid behind the make believe cloud
                                              the verbiage

    This is something other than our usual here.

                  Remember the pictures 

from the picture book.

              Is this a person telling tales?

 There are that many chthonic fingers
                                         going at my feet.

                 from our whereever to this
                               way up there
                                             the body vast
                                a mass of Himself
                                                 and ungettable

                               too much of everything
           that won’t be troubled
                                     by nothing or no one

    The host can only be tasted,

a mouthful of strange trust.

a poison kindness
or near enough

                   undead paper dissolving
                                                leaving a stain or

    to be so alone
        with that nameless something
  puttering about at aching play
             where once I kept accounts with
                                       a steadyish hand.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bus notes 9

        I know that drunk, lost
        in his racial slurs.
        He’s a friend of an almost friend.
The kid who’s just 
offered him a seat
        he calls with spittled lips a spade
        as if the word worked still
        and we’re in on it,
        white, black and all.
I watch this thin stretch of person
swinging on the handrail,
dressed down (on principle),
a hurt animal,
        and think about the Summer of Love.
        I’ve heard that’s all done now.
Outside, the sun is shining heartlessly.
It’s the Summer of Something Else.
        I’m getting off the bus
        in one stop’s time.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Making Wilderness

              Is there anything grows
                             out the back now
                  that isn’t green to cover over
               the old fun and games?

                      our cranked up signals winding down

        unschooled friendship schooled
                                     and the spluttering heart wiped clean

        A scrubbed mouth has eaten
                       the near to teatime Sun.

              We weren’t babies
              but we were in the lovely muck
              and tasting everything.

  How our dirty, brazen chatter is forgot!

              I need, I want,
              I dribble still,
      but these days it’s all framed up

                     and the well wrought
          bramble scribble
                               is now the bad line in forgetting.

                         We won't be working
              the garden to before.

Sunday, 1 July 2012


For the virtual blood beyond the pale

There's all of us
from every other place
in our smashed up boats
throwing the weathered ropes
across dead water
to the verdant,
mapshy dark
of harbour.