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I used to tumble from the cliffs

In a tranquil sort of humour

And quick as a comet born on wheels

I’d breathe out my butterflies.

But a tear swollen bolt has changed

The colour of my lacy voice, now

Empty of all florid chatter

I sleep my life away in pictures.


I see the fork-faced errand boys

Niggle the rain with both shoes on.

Their gasses running silent through

Their bandy wickets of queeze.

I see the rod-necked ladies scrum

Like seals, bless ‘em, on a narrow beach and

Black as buttonhole stories

Their shoes point underground.


Huffing out it’s peppered gale,

The sun’s plastic shell sees me

On the bridal path with

One shoe on and one shoe off.

Yes, I wear but a single shoe, these days

To pad the moonless skies

Scuff and bruises balanced upon

A bugle of rats and nibble.


One foot stirs the crimson tufts

Of a wipe-your-feet lounge carpet,

One foot reads the floor as river stones

Cold as surgery,

One foot gathers wool upon

A reef of cut-marquette,

One foot inexorably

Through the solid rock.



One Shoe on and One Shoe off

word poems

I  Leaned to glimpse


Each memory has a nucleus,

One soft incendiary dapple,

The reeds and bells of Ambrose

Cascading reefs of chimney smoke.


This one is a standing leaf, spoked in pale celeste,

Casting lashes of shellac

Down the lanes and carriageways,

Around the bowls and shoulders of a white world.


In this world sleep begat sleep

And from it’s deep sprung walls

I leaned to glimpse a thread of strength

Treated to a water chill then dried on the wind.


I leaned to glimpse comfort

In a little paraffin houses sheared from the soot,

Trailed in a full-throated hum of blood

Where darkness flows in loops –

A cat-rub against birdshell.


I this would

Mould-lopers crackle in their nests of black clover,

Shapes dislodged from the midden mound,

Moles at the junction of soil seas.



Lullabies of the homecoming craft


Drawing the sap from my hearth-nail slippers

With no birthday oysters to tweezer on a boundless hearth

I swallow the monoxide lullabies of homecoming craft.


In the threshold of a bland acrylic twinge

A season of blancmange blackens under light

And craft are climbing lorry bolts for a blue swig of sky.


Tearing open the sack of the sea

My deep water trousers weighed bedward

With garnets of spume and the long arrows to come.


The homecoming craft are gaining nerves locked into the meat.

Their lullabies have lasted through the sun’s loudest bloom

And are sealed blisters in the wrangling of conflicting winds.


Their lullabies rest upon a mischief

That will, one day, decipher the habits of nature,

And hang from the bird-wire like bacon traps.



The songbird


An elf-tale pulled by my euphonium

Is making wire stilts for luncheon spread.


Spittle-cobs in the elbow of my jaw

Light-up with a songbird’s glad eruption.


Breathing it’s egg into the fog between my fingers

The bird tugs an extra knock of bells for painless Sunday.


On our yellow garden square, the bellows of its syrinx are

The old ventriloquy of jewel box felts.


Shovelling a chalk of old bones to suff dyspepsia

The songbird rhymes between the lines to this effect:


“Cadaver dogs and hidden graves,

Monkey do and helper faint,

The angel calls beneath the waves,

The sailors exercise restraint,

The bathhouse where the old men shave

Is born of rust and peeling paint.

The shelter falls, the snowcloud paves

And patience grows to make a saint”



Scroll down to read....

One shoe on and one shoe off (2011)

I leaned to glimpse (2009)

Lullabies of the homecoming craft (2009)

The songbird (2010)