The earthquake fissure

The earthquake fissure
The melting crack of the earth
Of adolescence
Falling in and climbing out
As the earth moved
As the earth moved, parted
Hardened you
Hardening you
Taking your every thought and feeling
And baking it
Into a man
A blind stupid man
A meteorite
Made of base metal
And rock
And melting myth
And disillusion
But the answer
Is not with man
Who makes a theatre
Out of God
Or with nature
That man destroys
But with God
Who can destroy man

My soul, the ghost in me

My soul, the ghost in me
The fuse box tripped
The fledgeling that dies in the egg
The bicycle stood upside down
On handlebars and saddle
A broken water closet, a tap run dry
Soul and body should be one
What keeps them apart?
What spiteful laughter from the loveless alleyways?
How everything is connected to words
How words connect to the soul
How words connect to the body
How kind words can complete your growth
Like water can fill an ocean

I was afraid of the face
Of its changes
I wanted it to be
Like a portrait in oils
What if it changed
What if it was changed forever?
I wanted the face
To stay the same
To be the same person
For that meant
My life would stay the same
That I could stay in my corner
That I was secure
The face that moved
Was an earthquake
If the expression changed
My life would change with it
The face would change
But I would have to stay the same
I would be left behind
As the removal van
Drove away

Busy streets and wild animals
Heartbreak and loneliness
Hillary Street was a children’s program
Made for me to be in
A playground scene for innocence
To risk life in
To wander off and never return
To close your eyes forever in
The life of a child
In a few short pages
A sentence
A couplet
A haiku

I’m here to discover

I’m here to discover something
Something good
It’s not apparent
Its maybe love

Or maybe
Just an orange
On the table
That tries to talk
Through the message
Of its colour
Of its ingredients
That wishes to be integrated
With its purpose

Or maybe outside
There’s the Robin sleeping
By a tangle of branches
His eyelids opening and closing
In that funny sleepy way
Of birds on perches
In the middle of the night

There’s always something
Waiting to be discovered
A message unconnected
An experience undeveloped
A distant signal unheard
But I haven’t found it yet
There’s a seal on nature
A seal on me
The air outside
The thoughts inside
Do not match
Are uneven
And I can’t climb out

Sunday Morning, lockdown

In the wedding of springtime
The pink confetti petals fall
Heaped along the streets
Along the dusty walls

You can scoop them up by the handful
And throw them in the air
For an imaginary wedding
Taking place somewhere

I looked at the tree
In awesome wonder
Its sweet pink blossom
A springtime philtre

The summer breeze blows and whispers
“Throw your confetti over the bride”
But the street is strangely deserted
And the people are locked down inside

The door into the blue sky

There were many hands thrust through the bars, fanned out fingers on stiff wrists on pale white stalk arms.
Pleading to be free to the man inside
The cat man, the prayer man, the singer of sons
The man in captivity.
The volcano had hurled out iron bars like spears that landed like wickerwork supports around him and were hammered home into the round slots in the base of the iron basket
Outside the window, the skies burned red.
A tall giant of a man with a club herded the worshippers passed the iron cage like hysterical mourners filtering passed a monarchs coffin.

Blue skies opened their doors.
She was in the bath.
The bathroom was filled with scent and bubbles and soft pink towels.
In a kind of trance, she opened the window of her council house and flew out. Feathers began to cover her nakedness; she looked down at the council estate
At the lengthening shadows, at the sun melting down.
In a scrapheap, in a caravan, in a manger
She saw a baby crying.
On a garbage dump in a prison in a prison cell
Pidgeon’s had flocked hard and close in the shadowy interior.
She rose higher into where day melted into the night.
Just as the last second ticked away the door into the blue sky closed and a door into night opened

The cricket jumped through the jungle without any sense of where he was going, freedom was built into his hind legs
Freedom sang as they catapulted the little green body skywards
But then he came upon some thick impenetrable overgrowth that covered a standing stone. He landed and stared hard. He could just make out a figure carved into the surface.
It was a man in strange clothing with staring eyes.
The cricket began to think, here was a representation of what all living creatures could be, it showed him that he could be like this carving of this man standing stone.
Now he was a cricket that could be transformed into much more, he could think of himself as an extraordinary being that had come back to life to the amazement of all around him. He could be half cricket, half-god; he could rise up to be amongst the stars.

The nurse walked orderly down the hospital corridor and into the changing room.
She sat down on a plastic chair and listened to the drumbeat of her racing heart.
The drumbeat grew louder, deafeningly loud.
She lost consciousness and fell to the floor.
Then she escaped along a pathway made of hearts and into a long-abandoned market.
It was ominously dark there, plums and grapes were piled high upon the tables blocking out the light.
She felt she was being squeezed. She felt she was changing into someone else, she looked into a pool of fresh rainwater and she could see a purple shape with black wings, she was being lifted off her feet by something with strange black wings and was taken back down the hospital corridor and into the ward.

The plasticine man was sober and asleep.
He lay on the bench outside the government building
He had superhuman hearing and he could hear the politicians in the inner chamber of the building debating the new bill.
The plasticine man began to gain weight.
Then his legs began to stretch. Then his arms were stretched out like string along the street and over Westminster Bridge.
He felt no pain; he enjoyed the changes that sleep brought over him. He looked forward to waking up to find out what new thing he had become.
Would he be sitting in the Commons? Would he be a politician?
Would he be beneath a tree splattered like a fallen egg from a nest?
Would he be swept up like litter by the street cleaner?
Suddenly he felt a stab of pain, and then he heard a hammering on a door and a loud voice.
“No” he cried, No, stop, stop”

There was a storm brewing. The clouds were darkening but one cloud was darkening more than the others.
It was developing thoughts, it tried to control them but it could not.
It had a belly full of lightning.
It was becoming psychotic.
Black horse’s legs grew beneath it.
A face appeared in its thunderous mass.
Soon it was out of control, roaring across the land screaming and cursing.
The other storm clouds become white with shock; all of their energy was taken away from them by the psychotic black cloud.
As the psychotic black cloud reached the ocean it exploded.
Thoughts turned into rain and anger turned into blood and it rained down upon the ocean.
Then there was silence.

The Bargain Hunt

Get on the bus
You’re going to the sale
You’ll grab what you want
Or you’ll go to jail

In wind, rain or hail
– It’s nice if it’s summer
But you’re a tough little
Bargain Hunter

Walk down the street
You’re in your territory
Push through the crowds
With your inventory

In flack, jack or hail
Bomb blast or junta
You’re a tough little
Bargain hunter

Get in the store
As you stalk through the crowds
Capture your bargain
Lay money down

Retreat to the bus stop
In glory and bunting
You’ve been successfully
Bargain hunting

You walk down the street
Feeling fine
a smile on your face
a tingling in your spine

You’re way up in outer space

Save your cash
For the sales next year
For books and toys
And fashion gear

There is no recession
Or eco slump
That can stop you
From the bargain hunt

Human Truth

Seeking human truth

Seeking human truth
The sharp edge of human truth
Too cold a heart, and a man will freeze-up
Too hot a heart, and a man will burn up

Human truth is a patch up of finely scented sentiments
Good enough to build empires but poor enough to destroy them then

I look up at the church bell tower

Sitting on the roof a single black crow
Cawing loudly in the early hour
Echoing in the cool morning glow

As if human truth were his alone
As if he taught men all he’s ever known

A Patched-up soul

I leave the poems in water

I leave the poems in water hoping this will improve them
They look more interesting wet, the pages buckled
But the water does not enliven the words, does not give them life
The poems stay dry as deserts, the starch will not wash

The clear tap water is not improved by the poems
It is absorbed into the anthology like a spirit into a lie

Given a choice I believe I prefer the tap water

Put a steel gate in front of the sun

Put a steel gate in front of the sun so I can’t get in
Treasures in heaven I have none

Bar the door to the stars ignore my knock and turn the key in the lock
Treasures in heaven, I have none

Put ballast into my dreams so that they cannot float away into the scarlet day
Treasures in heaven I have none

My treasury is empty in the mountains, by the fountains
Alone I fall down the waterfall into the darkened hall

What have I got to give a broken heart, a patched-up soul
Treasures in heaven – all I have is the dole that you gave me

All I have is the dole


A fabulous day

They set me facing north

They set me facing north, always north;
Slip me beneath the black velvet where I can hide
Where I can keep my heart from spilling out
Where I can erase the world from my eyes

I awake from unconsciousness and
You are gone – I don’t want reality
To shine on you like ocean waste

Because I cannot love you, I cannot sing
Because I cannot sing, I cannot be free

They’ve set me facing north, always north
Watching for a sun that will never rise

One day I may wake up to find

One day I may wake up to find
the things I planted growing
One day I may wake up to find
the love I lost crying

One day I may wake up to find
the life denied playing
Wouldn’t that be a fabulous day
just a fabulous day

Autumn morning, the face of the sky

Autumn morning, the face of the sky, the beginning of the sky
The one that draws you into its promise
A crystal blue moon as delicate as thin eggshells
You remember and smile, always you smile

The childlike search of the woods and fields
For something, somewhere to make a sacred home
A sacred tap root of civilisation, a celebration ceremony
The childish need to speak to a spirit

Here you plant your feet, you stare into the water
You search for the future over the horizon
You laugh, play games, you make up poems and sing them
To the water that bubbles up like the source of time

And it sprang out of the ground and formed a city
It formed an army that marched to war
It launched a navy that sailed the world
It gave birth to Kings and Queens

It formed bubbles that became stones
That became walls that became towers
It reached the skies and felt the wind
Its fingers traced the ages of mankind

That lost you beneath the walls and stones
That filled you with darkness with cries
That turned your waters to blood and plague
As an angel of death flew over you

But the moon as blue as eggshells
Is laughing, laughing at the foolishness of it all
Remembering the naked man who built a home
And played with his children, making up songs and dancing