My father’s house






And in that place

between sleeping and awake

I came upon my house

a roofless husk

sinking to its bones

and stared a long, long while

into its dark and glassless



I looked for you

out back

by the tumbled sheds

and red wheelbarrow

but you were years gone

the washing hung grey

and tattered on the line

It was an empty place now

the grass dead and bleached




Words and image are my own.




Slow train to dawn




The storm eaters


The guilty moment hanged

Suspension before the tempest

Sweet anticipation in high humidity

No sound

But ragged breath

No sound

But insects banging tiny

Heads on window panes

Distant buzzing


The slow tracking of a limb

Increased heartrates

Uncurtained midnight





Words and image are my own.



Infect me



Little blue flames


There is beauty

Made for the eyes

Skin and lips and perfect hair

It satisfies for a time

Achingly real in its transience

Then dies in the arms of betrayal

That is not the beauty I seek

I want beauty that scrapes at the soul

The beauty that opens old wounds

I want the intimacy of shared darkness

The crucible of  secrets torn open

I want all and everything else

Stolen breath

The blow on the bruise

Claustrophobia and no escape

We don’t eat what we know is good for us

We eat our desires

And pour gasoline

Over the bridges of consequence

Beauty is in the flame of that match

We throw over our shoulders

As we take the road most travelled.











The Walk





Unwelcome Solitude


Scuffing my heels

Down Old Jericho Road

Further, than I care to go

Past those twisted old men of

Gnarled bark and twiggy bones

By the incessant babble of

The river’s winding bed


There’s a stagnant breeze

Bearing rust from the steelworks

Repeating my name in

A singular rhythm




Through the sullen wood

The crack of dead sticks

Fraying my over taut nerves

There’s too much shadow

For this time of the day

And the cant of the road

Skews my p e r c e p t i o n

I think of home

And my girl beside me

And wish I’d brought the dog

For the company


Dragging my heels

Along Old Jericho Road

Going further down than

I want to go.




Words and image are my own.











The shortest distance

Between two points

Is no distance

If gravity tugs

If you begin to drift

Remember the string

That warm red thread

tied at each end

Around your soul and mine


And reel in

that shimmering fish

Of rainbow scales

My wandering mind

Don’t fear the labyrinth

Lie down here beside me

I’ll encircle you

Pull you closer

And get lost in you again.



Words and image are my own.




We are alive




April Coda


Set it up

Strip it down

Watch the whizz-bangs Charlie

No time to sniff the clover

Ol’ Fritz’s on his way


Passchendaele to Steenvoorde

On down to Longuenesse

Somethin’s up but no one’s talkin’

Now it’s Rosieres and

Me bloody boots are knackered


Strip it down

Set it up

Forgot me gasmask on the train

Sarge’ll have me taters

If the alarm goes in the line


From Nesle on to Béthencourt

Dug in by the rank canal

There’s bluebells by the water

Reminding me of home

O, what I’d give to see ’em all again


Load ‘er up

Swing her round

Targets on the slope

And five hundred rounds a minute

Ain’t hardly enough to count


Pullin’ out for Hallu now

Then back again to Rosieres

Sixty new belt boxes

Have got me feelin’ windy

Sorry, I  lost that flippin’ mask


Line us up

Strip us down

Too few to make four Companies

A into C and B into D and

Then there were just two.


From  Rouvrel to Castel

Dug in on the hillside

Sending lead over the valley ’til

A whistle brings

A red flower to our pit


Lay me down

Strip my boots

They’re useless to me now

Drop me in a hole in Conty

They’ll remember me eventually.



For John Harry.









New Year’s Day


Brand new start


Bird with a song

Like a squeaky shopping cart

Just a flitting shadow against

The bedroom curtains

Catching bugs on the Fly-wire

Sunlight makes bright


On the dark drapes

That hold the new day

The new Year

At bay

Dog snores softly in her bed

Oblivious to the bitter cold

Pressing against the window glass

The first day of the year

Gets off to a slow start.





I’d like to wish all who are reading this a very happy, safe, and healthy 2018.



Words are my own.