The cameras shutter

The cameras shutter
Is a liquid sheet of stars
As it is moved
It reveal the face of mars

The cameras shutter
Is a buried door in a tower
Lifted up by the gate keeper
To reveal the universes true hour

The camera shutter
Has painted on it parts
The famous graffiti of Parisian walls
The flesh of broken hearts

The camera shutter
Is opened from inside
A vast herd of bison pours out
Into the ocean tide

The camera shutter
Opens into a giants room
I break inside
I find heavens long lost ruby moon

The cameras shutter
Realities guillotine
Many of the heads of physics
Float within it dream

Like a paired couple

Like a paired couple
The eagles fly
They are love and wisdom
In the sky

Reaching up
To touch their wings
You dance
You spin

You open up
Into the light of day
To let them carry
Your heart away

Above the plagues of earth
Above the folly of man

Go into love

Go into song
Go into fire and water
Go into caves
Go into the graves of the solar system

Go into song
Go into the bellies of fishes
Go into elephants
Go into the wishes of finches

Go into song
Go into gondoliers
Go into the hammer and sickle
Go into grizzly bears

Go into song
Go into my love
Go into my lovers dreams
Go into my lovers heart

Go into love

Love in unequal measure


Like my mothers companionship to my father
Will be my companionship be to my new little brother
I was born in the early years
I shared the poverty and homelessness of my parents

I went with them from place to place
Until finally they ended up here and made a stand
But they have forgotten about me
In the struggle to eat I had become a liability

When my little brother was born, he was their hope
He was a new beginning in a marriage assailed by troubles
I was neglected and I was out of love
My younger brother could change them and bring happiness

And I will welcome my new brother into the world
With genuine love and compassion

Here come my older brother again
I look upon him with contempt
He is the cause of all my fathers troubles
He is the cause of my mothers sorrows

He is not worthy of a fathers love
I will never be able to forgive him
I will never be able to be his brother
I believe he will be chased out and I will take his place

I feel my brother does not return my brotherly affection
He does not play games with me
He goes in a different direction to me
He has no time to learn about our past
He frowns at me with eyes full of hatred

I have lost my little brothers love
I have tried and failed as his older brother

My sons are split apart there seems to be resentment between them
It is my first-born’s fault
He pushes his younger brother around
No wonder he does not like him

I will tend to my new son
I will give him the more love in balance
I will pass onto him my future
And I will chase away my first born

I see the first born moping outside
It is as if he did not wish to know his family
For all the time I spent on him
I expected more, I expected more

I must try to do better if I can
I must re-establish myself in my fathers affection
I do not ask for more than I need
I have learnt to be independent

I have a part time job to bring in money
I try hard at school
Surely I can make them like me more
Surely I can be accepted

My older brother I trying hard to be accepted
He brings them money from his part time job
They talk about him in a fond way
There is a danger that I will be demoted

I will wait for him on the road
I will strike him from behind and kill him
With him gone so is the danger of becoming second best
With him gone my father will love me more

Essington Park

and there was a policeman’s ghost in Birdcage walk
that followed me home along the railway track
of the disused railway line

and how did I cram all of the night
like a polyphene bag into my pocket

and what other disguises
does the dead policeman’s ghost have

when I was small I pecked like a bird
as I went and returned from school

at nothing really except grit
to fill my belly that as like jelly

I hated satchels full of homework
That I didn’t understand
And a school uniform
That was painfully too small

And like the angel in the book of Zechariah
Who explained the meaning of the vision

To little children playing in the park
Sliding on the slides and going round on the roundabouts
And not thinking of what kingdoms rise and fall

I talked and talked alone as the darkness grew
That seemed to grow over me like a blanket of sky sleep

Alone at night in the park a mile from home
Happier there than I’ve ever been anywhere

Lost in the mysterious disappearance of the sun
That diffuses and pops out and leaves evening in the park

So peaceful with the mothering trees
And the playground all to myself

Notes. Essington is just west of Mossley Estate across farmland, down country lanes etc. Mossley Estate is not mentioned by name on the map but is where it says Cranesbill Nursery. Broad Lane when I knew it was a lovely long and straight ancient tree covered country Lane that seemed to go on forever.

Someone would have you dead

Someone would have you dead
At any cost
They would destroy your family
Destroy all that you love
To get to you

And when you realize how evil
They can get
Don’t you feel as if your heart
Has risen into the rainclouds

There’s a highway of your sorrow
Trudging across the sky
wailing with grief
That you do not – even if you tried –
Prevent from proclaiming your broken heart

Oh those Mafioso, those greed sick flightless ostriches
Fattening their golden eggs on the misery of ordinary people
That thrive on hearts swollen with tears
Whose threats alone are worse than knives
And how you hurt to know
You have lost those you love
And soon
And soon
They are coming for you

And where Is the justice
They are justice
They are the justice of the land
The shadow behind the throne
The bloody blade left in the alleyway

They are the business behind governments
That destroy what was beautiful for gold teeth
Who scrape at the eyes that see
Who dig graves in the darkness
Where they can’t

And it starts a little like this
You lose a memory
Then you find it crucified on a hill

The smallpox hospital


The smallpox hospital
Derelict and like a ghost house
Stood like a whistling shell
On the corner of Sneyd and Cresswell

Like a little Alamo
Whitewashed with wind
Sullen in the square night
Until the sun dipped in

When the white sheeted beds
Were in a row in a small room
And the doctors of the day
Stood over the babes all smitten and blue

To rescue who they could
To nurse who they will
In the time between
Time and ghostly shadows

As children of a latter day
Walked by that way and asked
What is that place that stands
On the corner of Sneyd and Cresswell?

Like a collapsing house of cards
That seemed to whisper
Why am I left behind?
To be feared and frightened

The children on the way to school
Who whisper, that ‘s the ghost house
A ghost house real and true
And it reputation grew and grew

Who knows what’s buried there
Or why it a left to decay and die
On the corner of Sneyd and Cresswell
A mile outside the little town

The Virus

The grey light
Of January
Ruffle its feathers
And follows me
Like a virus

I run a little
I hurry along
I touch nothing
For I am not strong
Like the virus

I see the pigeons
Flying in circle games
Around the sky
From roof to roof
They fly
Like the virus

Like a cloud
That darts about
From mouth to mouth
And fills the lungs
With stone
And isolates
And cuts off
And makes you its own

So that I shut down
The irrigation gate
To my soul
And I dam up
The pool
So that I cannot
Drink at all
Any virus

The breath of people
Like smoke from a cannon
That I avoid
As much as possible
Walking around
And around and around
Their deadly ammo

So I look
Slightly ahead
To the finishing post
Of the race
Through the war
And I join in the cry
Do not ignore
The virus

Oh it’s funny
Isn’t it
How we
Kill each other
With the virus

Bloxwich Cross of Sacrifice

The Bloxwich Cross
of sacrifice
stands by
Elmer Green

The children pass by
Do not wonder why
Or how long
It has been

And there are no names
Only a number
Of 300 men who died
Who lost their lives
For their country

And who are their wives
Their children
And if they arrive
To search
It’s all guessing
Who was lost
On the battlefield
Where only a few bones
Were found

Who were they
The 300 men
Of Bloxwich
Who answered the call
In the first world war
Who did not realise
What they would be
Getting into

And all that remains
All that they have for a grave
Is this cross of sacrifice
In Bloxwich
Not far
From the maternity ward
Where I was born

Mask Shadow

Would you
Like to call
Mask Shadow?
Asked a soldier

Had been standing
On your doorstep,
I wonder
Who it was?

For every bomb
Dropped on the mountain
There was a journalist,
Now they are all gone.

May all the leaders
Be buried
In one grave
-Where they can
Fight on

The leader
Wears a hairnet
Of internment camps
So he can hear
The screams
Of his prisoners.

Old ladies
Are all
That are left.

Beauty on the block

Dead men
Wander about in here
Wander down
The corridors
Stamping on the floors
Their movements
Like the sound
Of chains
Dragged over rocks

They went
All around
Their homes
Locking windows
Locking doors
From the outside
Yet still
They escape

The light bulbs
Flash on and off
The light bulbs
Are faint
The corridors
Are neglected
They are
Never cleaned

Then this
Beautiful girl
Appears from the lift
And it all goes
A silence of amazement
She walks with angels
And nothing
Can change her


This is the state
Of the world today
Even the sunlight
Is turning grey

Beauty is in a barrel
The ugly gun thrives
Soldiers so maddened
By poor people’s lives

The pretence being
To leave no one alive
To their grinding poverty
And cries

This is monopoly
on a huge scale
death is a counter
that gets out of jail

who burns the houses
who blows up the streets
as trailing behind
are the refugees

Clean yellow

Clean yellow nut-jar table-leg

“You cannot put a dirty dish
Into a stack of clean ones”

Palladin El Paso
I wouldn’t accept cash to feed Nikki

Magazine El Paso

Sometime in the darkness just after dreaming I wake up with a string of words in my mind so I try to write them down

Out of a black hole comes a new star

The demons like rocking
Never in the fields get sunk again