Sunday, 31 July 2016


Crow takes
leaves displeasure as an aftertaste,
Crow’s wings make the sound of weeping
as he flutters into rooms
cold with waiting.

Crow carries
away hope in his beak
black and bleak as winter,
nests in hearts lost to events
understanding cannot fathom.

Crow hovers,
He is the rolling ocean, white light
captured in the edges of his feathers
as he hides the leviathan that glides
through all our nightmares.

Crow caws
as he struts across branches
sends seismic shudders into the psyche
death is a wail, is the answer
to all our woe.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

A Poem for Kevin:

Magpies did not warble that day
there was no sun in the sky
that day
no animals emerging, no songs sung
not that grey day.

Trees wept leaves that day
flowers re-furled, lowered their heads and bowed
that day,
insects refused to fly.
The mantis did not prey, spiders spun no webs
not that day.
Worms did not emerge, snails stayed in their shells
and I sat and stood and sat again
hearing my wife cry
as I stared at the outside and witnessed nothing at all
that day
my mind full of  him; his laugh,
his voice, his bright, bright eyes.

That day
I tried to fathom what cannot be;
how the ocean’s depth cannot compete with despair’s ravine,
and sorrow’s heat burns the heart
all the way into winter
and words become useless,
as they did
that day
the day my friend Kevin passed away.

I will not hear his voice
nor see him smile
nor share a meal and a drink
as we set off on another adventure, or have a coffee,
‘milk on side’ and discuss
all the things right and all the things wrong
not after that day, that horrible day
that stealing, ice pick of a day, that took a life
no one could afford to lose.

Perhaps the magpies did sing,
perhaps the animals emerged and the sun did shine
but that day, and these days since
I have not seen nor heard them.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The sound of coins through the centuries:

My brothers sold me,
giving me into the hands of the flesh dealers,
the merchants of bone and blood;
sold me for a handful of gold…
my brothers, who shared my voice, my hearth, my tent—
jealousy ruled that moment as the wind whispered
in sand that cracked the lips and filled the throat,
‘your father found favor when looking in your eyes.’

A father’s love, like a technicolor coat,
can be a vicious thing; highlighting an absence
as much as it grants light to what is…
my brothers did not see me,
did not feel the bond with me, they experienced
the dreadful lack that drinks choices the way the antelope
drinks from the waterhole
leaving behind the hole in the heart
where a father’s regard should dwell.

The moment when the coins
were exchanged from opening hand
to cupped palm,
and I was handed over,
set a sound through history
repeated in the thirty pieces finding Judas
or the crowing of a cock and Peter’s future denials,
a sound that reverberate still
in man’s dealings with each other and with the planet.

Jen, who creates me:

Is the beginning
found in our hands or in our feet -
a fall or a climb?

The finger writing fate
or the toe dipping into the night?

Did it take seven days for light
to find its place
or perhaps time cannot be measured
until there are eyes that can see

perhaps my life
like ancient Abraham
only began
after you.

Every morning I wake
and there you are fighting the daylight still
determined to remain in sleep

I wander out to the shower
stand beneath the fall
decide again that the light is not the sun’s shine
but our response.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Coming down

We walked that morning, you, tired, wrapped
in hospital blankets, the newborn too, out
the whishing glass doors of the hospital - you could take
no more; into the fine drizzle, falling…covering trees
like tinsel. I carried Mary, you beside me, four-year old Jack
in front, laughing, always laughing, his being open
to the world, like grass pushing towards sunlight and rain
with not a thought to the roots left behind.

On down the empty road we walked, not far,
we lived in the same street as the hospital
and wondered as we walked if anyone else ever
walked home nowadays. Holding Mary, watching Jack,
feeling you beside me, I felt like Moses descending, cradling
the tablets that set the whole of his world up before him.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Quiet John

Words hover, rainbow trout
hidden in the river - with soft underbellies,
speckled brown desires - unseen
in the muddy water, gills work
to convert ideas to sentences,
tails flick back and forth to fight
the current of plot, stay still
while the world moves.

Lips pout, wait for fish emerge,
barbel or common catfish, the thought
has hooked the thick lips of consonants
ripe to be cooked in conversation;
verbs found in the murky ground,
amongst the mounds of reeds and grasses –  
form in the sound space behind his teeth,
mingle, as if in a school, dart
to and fro – are lost in the deep nooks
and crannies underneath the bank; wait
for intelligence to find them. On the surface
still eyes - as distant as a fish’s thoughts - stare
back without a hint of confusion, the action
occurs beneath. His words skim across stones
and boulders, slide away as if each smoothed-out letter,
covered in slippery moss, cannot be held
by the shape of his grasping mouth or clamorous mind.

One day he will submerge people
as if to return them to the sea; even the great
fisherman will be pushed beneath
and face the truth of his humanity -
from the ocean we came,
from the ocean we will return.

One day his head will be served
upon a silver platter
like a fish head at the feast,
his words forever lost,
the ocean a distant echo
in the dying spectre of his ears.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

That which cannot be spoken

Let there be light,
It is said it was said,
Although some say,
Asimov chief amongst them
It was a computer
that computed the idea
bringing us back – again –
into the universe of time
and space — regardless
there is Light
and it has been deemed good
while Darkness forever now
cops the bad rap
and so Light and Darkness are divided
except perhaps in the minds (and hearts?)
of humans where the split
is more of a flickering
betwixt as actions and thoughts
forever cross the divide because humans
see both as potentials
rather than a firm partition
to be seen from a separate standpoint
and is that why, perhaps,
the name of God cannot be spoken?