All the world’s a stage

All the world’s a stage
Bloodstained and smashed
The trap door opens
To reveal a nuclear silo

All the world’s a stage
And we are the walking dead
The bandaged blind
That limp to the supply train home

All the wold’s a stage
Where children run about
And fathers have no work
And mothers die in childbirth

Romance could exist upon the stage
In good times and in bad
But tears are real and happiness is hard won
And religion plays hopscotch with the nations

All the worlds a stage
That changes hands for every scene
In peace and in war we labour
A human formulae in an explosive recipe

The Christmas star

Two Ice sculptures

Two ice sculptures
Fall in love
With love

She never argues

She never argues
With a spanner
Or gets upset

It lies on the ground
Beside her
On slip of the tongue
And it will all be over

The train

The train
Leaves the station
Of mirrors

Far into the universe
It looks back
For its reflection

Fools and their cameras

Looking at love
Thru a colour filter
I take a photo

The photo shows
The disassembly
Of all hat I needed

Christmas star

The star system
Has come to earth
It walks awkwardly
Down the high street

It points its silver pointed hand
And walks on silver pointed feet
And talks from a silver pointed head

Your reflection
In the silver pointed head
Gives it a face

Soon it absorbs
All the Christmas shoppers
That fall down dead
Like wet laundry

The river of time

The river of time
Lows everywhere now

Twisting light and darkness
Braising them
Like hair spread out on the ground

It flows along the street
In every direction
By the legs of window shoppers
By the stationary homeless
Asleep in shop corners
Around the lovers
Looking in the jewellery shops

Only the man in dark glasses
Sees these rivers
Flowing thickly, eternally

This was the morning

This was the morning
I climbed into the attic
I was a boy made of dust
With an aching in his heart

Mother was a flower in the garden
Father was an angry mole
I climbed up into the attic
Hoping to find some way into the future

But I was wrong
There never was any way out of the attic

I remember typewriter

I remember
When I had a typewriter
I typed up my poems
With great immediacy
I would pore over them
For years and years
Until they evolved
Into sand upon my skin
Then along came
The transformers
And poetry was never the same

The words I write down

The wards I wrote down
Have been attacked
By a Microsoft flatbed scanner driver
I picked them up out of computer memory
Like drowned flies out of a bucket of water


I spent some time
With the holy spirit
I offered it my heart

But the universe seemed so vast
And the universe was so dark
It took my fear of falling
And made an eternal metal badge

And pinned it to my pride
I was confused that I could not cry
How does a man run from a dream?
Where is there a place to hide?

You can wash your face

You can wash your face
In my bucket of tears
You can wash your hands
Until they are clear
And when there’s a fire
Inside your soul
The bucket of tears
Will make it whole

You can wash your body
In my bucket of tears
Then dry yourself
Of all your fears
And when there’s a light
That shines in your hair
This bucket of tears
Will have no care

Here comes the cat

Here comes the cat
With its triton tongue
Standing in the kitchen
Emptying its lung

Slavering with hunger
Impatient with disease
Angry with the universe
It scratches its fleas

Let me out of this siding

Let me out of this siding
Let me be on my way
Find the man who pulled the switch
That sent me into the clay

Let me out of the siding
Clear the track ahead
Maybe there is still time
for life to stop the dead

Clock metal

Clock metal
Time is
Clock metal

Seasons grow
And die away
The Gregorian calendar
Has had its day

The light comes on
The light goes off
That’s all my friends
And that’s enough

The winter solstice

The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice quietly switched over
Does the universe have a north and a south pole?
Are magnetic poles of stars a mixed bag
The glacier is afraid of death and prepares to swim away
The eye of the earth opens and the earth breathes its first breath

I’m sorry girl

I’m sorry girl
That I do not think of you
For the sea is crying
And I hear the seagulls call
Their laughing and their crying

I’m sorry girl
That I don’t write for you
For the mountain breeze is blowing
I hear the eagles swooping
And I want to know what it’s like to be free

The goalposts

I stand between two goalposts of my personality
Imagine frost on the playing field
Imagine an empty stadium

I am one man defending two goal posts against both teams of autumn leaves
If only I had wings like a Robin or strong legs like a horse

I stand between the goalposts of my personality
I should try harder to unite the two into a snowman
Or a figure of eight toy train track under the floodlights

If only I had eternity under control
If only I didn’t keep letting the goals in

I always wanted a real coat

I always wanted a real coat
A human coat
I am a coat
I am a coat of flesh

The shame of my nakedness?
I am missing the designer label
Untreated against the weather
Unblessed by the sky

Here I am in an ancient wall carving
A captured soldier paraded naked

The pope and all his holy water
Cannot fix my tattered coat
And the ghosts of Adam and Eve
Gather it onto a pile for the charity shop

And what is the shame of nakedness?
That it grows old and dies

Vowels of thunder

The vowels of God’s name
Are like four centuries
And the consonants
Are the sounds in-between

Adam and Eve
Dug a grave for God’s name
But the vowels sprouted
Like trees out of the ground

The consonants spread like oceans across time
Where the gigabytes of ears cannot hear
Where the megabytes of eyes cannot see
Where memories are spread thin as frost

Where a Robin humbly hops about
Free as a bird

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin
Joined the crowd
At Woodstock
It was a surprise
To see her there

Captured by a camera
Pouring a beer
Seated on a chair
In a psychedelic dress

No one noticed
The music moves between them
The iron torrent of time
In a moment of peace and love

She has her little bit of the field
She has her part in the music

And she has her part
In the irrigation
Of youth

Love Falls Silent

Love falls silent
Like an autumn leaf
The two oak trees
Drain the skies
Bruised with light

Purples and ochre’s
Drown the earth
Writhing in agony
The cobwebbed spirit
In the thin broken wine glass
Tasting the autumn wind

Love, inside out
Nothing to say
The dew of the morning
Whitening the grass
The fallen, fading acorns
Form the substance of words

That cries out, that cry out
Against the doors of death
Where autumn leaves sweep through
Dragging the pain in the heart
Into the dark hall of night

A loser’s love vanishes now
An unspoken word perishes
A word fought for endlessly
The glowing embers of winter fires
The ashes of the night
Sleeping by the window
The splatter of rain unheard
The howl of the wind
Cold against the indifferent skin

Wake up, wake up, its morning
Go down into the cold rooms
Draw the curtains
Still, the stars shine out there
Where the old shed decays
Unable to endure any more

A Company of starlings appear
Manoeuvring across the lawn
Pecking at the little things, the worms
Take them – take them all
As a few yolk-yellow flowers
Lie broken on the borders


As Stars Glide Through Time

As stars glide through time
Leaving golden children in the stardust
As suns sing choruses of love
In their blue skies of eternity

Life will weave across its steeping stones
A silver-cobwebbed mist
Where a girl dances in a trance
Improving upon the nightingales song

Midway between the stepping-stones of freedom
And a stepping stone of love
A warship passes on its way to the front
It casts a cold dark shadow over her sweet scented skin

And a trail of blood flows from its stern
Under the water emerge the faces of all those to die
In the war torn way across the world
Hers is the only song they’ll hear

Afterward there is the living anger of the skies
That dies down around her figure kneeling in the spring meadows
And then a peacock-coloured sunrise heralds a new day
Across the hardened frost laden empty lands

They take you up to the green gate

They take you
up to the green gate
Then through the gate
And they leave you there
In the great fenced estate

Where a densely packed crowd
Mill about
Then where all the animals
Sit and stare
As the tightly packed crowd
Climb the stairs

And no one yet
Knows you are there
Amongst the millions
Of dreaming fragments
Amongst the millions
Of detached fragments
Amongst the people
Who are waiting
To go to heaven
To go to the bus station
To go to their destination

Crowds of fragmented souls
Crammed inside
Behind the fences in your head
Looking with your eyes
All of them
Looking with your eyes

And how they move
Like a landslide mass
How they move
Like a swirling wind
Like the white tide
In the moonlight
They fall like sticks
Upon the beach and standing up
They start to move inland
Looking for God
Looking for heaven

And no one there
See the gates
Or your parents
Waving goodbye

Then you never see them again
Perhaps they are here
In dream Eden

You wake up in a dark ward
You wake up in an alien place
Your bed is a hospital bed
And your face is your own lonely face

And does heaven
Even exist for them
and will they have to start again
in a another time and place

Into eternity out of the egg
The broken egg
That leviathan left
Amongst the bitten bones
And the feathers of fallen angels
Amongst the rocks
And the gravestones of battleships
Will they start again
Or do they argue
Do they fight
Amongst themselves
Do they point the finger?
Like in the revolution
Have they let grievances linger
Do they forgive
In the judgment of mankind
Will they divide
Into warring factions

And you are glad
You are awake
And you are glad
Of your own lonely face

Sitting by the Window

Sitting by the window
I saw something fall
Looked out the window
Baby bird on the floor
Lying on his back
Writhing in agony
Fallen from the rooftop
Just learning to live
Couldn’t use its wings
Fell four stories
Hear the mother sing
She flies into the garden
Squawking now
Kicking up a fuss
Over her lost baby
I go out to investigate
Baby bird is dying
Must have broken things inside
Must have hurt its head
Then it dies
I move it to a grassy place
Somewhere out of sight
Don’t know what else to do
To help in this sad light
Suddenly feeling sad inside
As the mother bird returns
Squawking like a crazy thing
Mother bird can’t you learn
What happened to our fledgling?
That caused it to take a fall
Still you seem to expect an answer
To your harassed call
But your baby bird is gone
Your baby bird is dead
The fall caused it injury
Maybe hurt its head
Now I’m thinking of my mother
Calling in the night
Her words in the stillness
That made my face turn white
That made my heart break
With tears I had to hide
Calling me out of nowhere
About the hour she died
Now the mother bird has flown
Darted into the sky
She’s given up her baby
She doesn’t ask why
She flew away forever
To forget her baby boy
She’s given up her fledgling
She’s flown up to the sky

I thought I’d finished

I thought I’d finished writing poems
That I’d emptied out my heart
And come to my end

But the heart is not dead and as I write
It seems to be filling up again
With new things to say

Pull me yet another pint
As I look for another song
Entering the bar in another life

So that is it, I do not die
And blood like fiery petrol
Fills up my old tin can of a heart

I‘ve seen so much and heard of much more
And what I haven’t seen could be waiting
Further down the road to be embraced

Yet in my heart I embrace so much
And you will always be there
Sifting through the past to look for the future

Your mind is still growing

Your mind is still growing.
Dominated by the senses,
By what hands and feet do, by meal times.

Then without warning it will seem
As if you fall into a tangled bramble bush
Burning away in the night with fiery eyes.

Then you will carry your body in your arms to the river
Instead of your body carrying you.

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