Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Defiant Colour

And the wind was so strong

and I was so light

I blew along the ice

something children enjoy

hoping for an underground kitchen

so the next pavement I reach

would be heated

my best friend just us

out in summer again

secretly noticing the lines

we recognise from our mothers

she said piss is bright yellow

if you don't drink enough water

as we sat in the museum garden

boys playing football

the age we were

do you still look at young boys?

neither of us answer

they're wary of us now

saying sorry when the ball

lands by our bench

when before they'd aim at our heads

the biggest monkey puzzle tree

I'd ever seen is gone

but the stuffed bear is

still in his glass case

as if being stuffed wasn't enough

we stand taller than him now

been married and divorced and married

gone and hurt and loved

I was late for her wedding breakfast

fucking in the gap between

church and hall

they held up the reception for me

some of his claws were missing

our eyes touched

or perhaps they didn't need to

neither of us completing the female course

how long since that bear was born

I want to take him back

to where bears live

and make him a head stone

the best and only thing

of just beauty

I've ever made

and bury him

before other bears

living tearing fighting killing bears

realise he wasn't them

and do what nature has to

when I close the last curtain

I say goodnight

to a flower

who shocks me every morning

with her defiant colour


She's an amazing woman
with a job just being herself
she made some scissors
from her own shit
then put them outside
just to see
what people would do

Sunday, 24 February 2013


In one diary I wrote
seriously something I didn't do

and isn't it weird
how skin pops
when it's burnt
even bubbles appear
instead of burst

I wrote down
the rejection letter
but not that
just to fill in
another space

I cared mildly

behind one door in every street
sits a genius suicide some

or they shake hands
with a tall American
and make it up
as they go

there was a boy
smashed his guitar
on the cover of the NME
I heard why he's rich
now in IT

and one who does something
humane for chickens
he said I was
the most committed gig goer
he knew
like a temporary blond

how they get grey faced
from sitting not lacking
for a stretch of undernourishment

fed up with thinking
I'll never write another


the buzzer went and
he asked what day it was

a great excuse to
power blink and pretend
I saw
nothing with my eyesight

who'd pop a gun for glory
when we were
spinning Herb Alpert


After Arbouretum

Sun wood drives

top down his


under a wet fringe


smooths the rocks

a chequered shirt

fighting could break out

at the back

and my heel

kisses the floor

every second beat

On Becoming Agnostic

My Mum

surviving cancer

has begun to mention


I am preparing

to doubt

my disbelief

for her reason

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Cut Those Weapons

Cut those weapons

the science teacher barked

at the smallest girl in the class;

and my eyes dropped

from hers

to my proudly unbitten finger nails.

Symbolic swords I polished

to deflect words only words

but a whole school life

of words flicked and punched.

Go back, run up again

behind the line, in the sand

high jump, do it again

too high, couldn't jump

shout again, start again.

Badder body every time

reduced to clod iron feet

and thrown to the pack,

my face undoing till the tears came.

They taught me useless.

In mathematics I learnt helpless.

My fingernails uncut weapons

buried numb in my fist

hiding the birth of my anger,

as the teacher threatened

to move some misbehaver

to the empty desk

beside the boy

who always sat on his own.

Just after I left

the headmaster

made a newspaper statement

that bullying had no place

at Boswells School.

Thirty years later

I can still feel the sting.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Late Night Last Night

Late night last night

I heard something

music escaped from somewhere

I sat in the dark

seeing hollow birds

no not just birds

of clay and bone

their survival technique

riding sky

to play the night eternal

I wonder if I will sleep

and think on a dream


they can begin now

I'm home now

my cat wound pure love

around my legs

leaning a second more pressure

in the hallway before going

she has time to check

every room and then our bed

before electric falls