Like the slave buried with the pharaoh

Like the slave buried with the pharaoh
His servants seal up the tomb
He reacts with extreme cries
He breaks the pharaoh’s chariot to pieces
He lives on the bread and meat of the afterlife
For days in the darkness he survives
And then a pinpoint of light from a great star
Shines into the tomb and he laughs like a madman
With the pharaohs dagger he makes handholds
He makes handholds in the wall and begins to climb
He climbs and slips and climbs again
He climbs towards the star that shines the way
And now he sits on the top of the pyramid
And he looks around at the light in the villages
And he sees the light of his own home

A kiss from me

A kiss from me has become a garland of rain
A handful of dried autumn leaves

I could never betray you with a kiss
My kiss is a burning feather in the wind

The Lord looks down with a sad heart
What kind of kiss is this that no one can feel?

What kind of kiss is this – a crisp, a dried page
But written on the page, written on the page . . .

My gut feels as though it’s bursting

My gut feels as though it’s bursting
Trying to burst out are thousands of birds
Thousands of squashed birds are inside me
Trying to force their way out
My belly will burst open
The birds will explode into the sky
Bloodstained red birds
Birds dripping in blood
Will swarm into the sky
They will form flocks of birds in the sky
And before they all fly away
It will rain blood

You have been in the dungeon of death

You have been in the dungeon of death for a long time
Suddenly you are brought up to the ground
There is a carnival going on, a gala
Thousands of people are eating and drinking
Musicians are playing and acrobats are tumbling
Here he is they say, here is the next one
The next one for what? The next one for judgement
Then a group of prisoners all chained together
Amble into view and each one gives testimony
To what you lied about, to what you stole
Then a sound like thunder ransacks the earth

The Wounded Boy

I can be
The wounded boy
You can be the mother
But I never get that luxury
Instead, the wound spreads
Like a pool of blood over the bed
And never stops

The middle class
Do not mother
Wounded boys
From the gutter

They like to prepare
For themselves
Stone sarcophagi in churches
To rest in for eternity

One day a policeman
Will bring the wounded boy
Into the church
Where you lie
He will clutch
At the stone body and cry
And then be taken away

Like a fallen leaf

Like a fallen leaf fallen into the slowly rising water
Just as a gushing flood arrives
And takes it down the slope into collected debris
So my life has been swept away by event
Swept up and twisted round in the current
The modern age has left no one sitting on their doorstep
Everyone has gone indoors to safety to plan
Everything you do must be planned
Every dotted line must be followed by a signature
When a tradesman hands you a bill it has the full force of the law
You pay it and you leave from one territory to another
Branded, commercialised, designed, landscaped land
Of each individual of each front door of each new wave
Each new wave that picks you up and takes you away
Into the Bermuda triangle of history where everything converges

Borders are being kicked down by the weight of immigration
Shop windows are being smashed by the hordes of protesters
Each are being crossed by people escaping war
Channels are being crossed by people seeking new lives
New trails across continents are breaking down fences
New populations are flowing into old populations
It’s unstoppable, it’s relentless and it’s sad
Old homes are being sacked; old villages are left in rubble
The places that are being founded are founded on crumbling societies
Every small disaster every small crisis makes spaces smaller to live in
Everyone hope Is attached to the lifestyle of the wealthy
And in their shadow poverty grows and misery increases

The doorstop neighbours are gone
A generation has gone extinct
The doorstop neighbourhood has been rubbed out
Their bones lost beneath old sideboards
A sackful of commodities hung in the air
Someone with a rifle cut it open
Washing machines, televisions and hairdryers
Exploded in the sky and fell like rain
The doorstop neighbours sighed and left the scene
They left the children skipping in the streets
They left the horses for cats meat
But they set free the caged songbird
One world has been replaced by another
One world has been brought by another
The foundations of an old world are buried under the new one
The wisdom of the old world has been replaced by a new wisdom
The new lifestyle grows like a mountain range moving on a sea of mud
The new lifestyle consume the earth and expects the gods to help
Sit down on your doorstep and watch the procession
The people walking by with the stones of monuments
Like when a rich society fell apart
And the poor used the marble of palaces to put in their doorways


I was sitting next to the liberty bell
Hidden beneath it was her presence

To keep love alive I must die
For as little as some perfume essence

And when he she leaves me in the night
Like a UFO had left a singed mark

I sit there in the bath of a grave
Reaching for a star

I could be Edward Munch
Looking for a noise in Oslo’s gloom

In the flatness of a storm
In the pious religion
Landscaped with shadows

As you dream you scream
Yet you awake to a bird singing

Appearing in your idle drawings
Strangulated by swift black swallows

Sent from Paris by a secret admirer
Smelling of wine bars and dusty streets

In the flowers of time
Held in your painted hand
As a black coach lifts into the wind
And a warm fire goes out overnight

If you moved
Just a little closer
Would the earth
Turn the colour of lilac
From fast growing trees
That mark the tragedies
Of broken romances
Marked by a million times

What would you look for
Amongst the lilac forest
Amongst the velvet songs
Of lilac birds

Of streams covered
In lilac petals
Like bridal gowns
Floating to the sea

Would you forgive
At the point where tears
Were torn from face
In a lilac scented wind

As you moved
Through the endless forest
Of lilac trees in bloom
Would you forget
The secret affairs of handmaiden

Who in grave of lilac
with stars where once
They had eyes

Like skin holds water in its folds
A touch explodes into vision

Convulsing as you burst
Watched by a galaxy of faces

Of time and places

Locked in the cell of a padded dream
You turn over beneath your bed of leaves

And the touch of a breeze releases
A horde of ants
Marching as you breath

In times and place

The point of a needle is a claw
A blob of blood is an open door

Falling down the dark side of a hill
See swarming moths of the divine will

In times and place

After the music has died down
Into a trickle of quiet sound

As a pillow is placed over your face
Hornets are released from a travelling case

Of time and place

twisted barbed wire
entwined together
like outlaws in the Badlands
riding the forks of the weather

tangled like wet sheets
wringing with water
walking home down the long roads
crossing over the border

I don’t know if the moon was full
It made no sound
It rang no bell

I was not caught by moonlight in the window
I was not moved to delirium

I stood like a stake
Driven into the ground
I heard all the weeping

There are times and places
The full moon is not desired
So that the rain can start falling

The Great War left a darkness

The Great War
Left a darkness over the earth
Into which we are born
Stunted like pale stems
With no petals
Roots blown apart
Severed arteries
Bleeding into grave

Everything you step on
Every stone, every sand grain
Blown by the wind to rest
Where it lands, is a fragment of war

Born into what
Born into shadows
Born to drink weak soup
Born to clamber
Over the heads of demons
Born into boiling blood
Born into violence

The darkness is huge
It is a forest
It covers the land
Like an eagles cry

The sun penetrates
As into the ocean depth
Where people
Blindly grope their way

Coming out of the forest
You run
The forest runs after you
Like a giant after his slave