17 Licks

17 Licks 

Small fish swim down stream
from deep pools where they were hatched
      spawned a million times

              This small dish of rain
            shines like a plate of bright sun
                  caught in flagrante

   Coal fires flame inside
the belly of an engine
       rising to full steam

               Rails glint in moonlight
             frost covers up the edges
                   of a cold platform

    Where the blackbird sings
slow dawn slithers up to see
       who has breakfast first

                Foxes scream at night
             fearing us and attracting 
                    friends for company

     When you sleep my love
 dark night coils around your form
        keeping safe your heart

                 In a tree house topped
             by green leaved branches bending
                     in the wind   you sit

      Full of praise for fun
the small comedian laughed as
         he died of stage fright

                  Pigeons sit above
             the heads of travellers splat
                       by white spots of shit

       Where contention reigns
 sanity is not intact
         conflict batters peace

                   Shoes that do not fit
               pinch the toes  the insteps swell
                        the feet start aching

       Drinking in a pub
  though costly and frowned upon
          socialises you

                    A morning of rain
               before the grass can be cut
                        an afternoon's rest

       That black dress you wore
  we were drinking in that bar
          your legs smooth and brown

                     The sun on hot sand
               burned onto your feet as you
                        ran into the sea

        The garden you dig
   deeper than the depth of soil
           grows from inside you
Categorized as Licks

When his hair was long

When his hair was long

When his hair was long
and his waist was slim,
when the booze had not yet
crackled his skin;

when his eyes were clear,
ideals still intact
and trite cynicism
was not yet a fact,

she loved him.



It was never assumed we'd understand
the bewildering things our young hearts dreamed of,
the obscure and fabulous, tales
told like secrets on a star starved night.

Yet eventual clarity, we assumed,
would arrive like children, a mortgage,
the pattern of empty afternoons and death.
We promised ourselves and waited for light.

Well, still the taunts of the not understood tantalise;
a seagull taking flight, the moon obscured
by your shadow falling above me, our children's cries,
the space between words where silence roars.
Categorized as Poems



That summer's harvest bellowed apples
bringing the trees almost to their knees,
nearly felled by the pounding weight.

We picked less than one-tenth the crop,
fielding fallers too, their bruised flesh
fizzing with self fermentation.

We quartered the fruit with a crisp slash
and they fell in the bucket like waning moons
falling from an orange harvest sky.

Sharp edged blades and water made the mash
running through our fingers like a fresh spunk,
pouring like cold lava to the press,

oozing green under the screws caress,
ejaculating the last liquid drops,
leaving a stink of dehydrated flesh

we threw in the compost as a slow
boiling began it's self controlling buzz.
Five days after sealing the lid

it began bulging with the weight of gas,
lifting with small sighs of apple breath.
We saw the soft scum, spawn mould,

apple brown, spewling and yeasty.
Siphoning into jars intensified
the ochre muck full of it's own sap.

For weeks it stood quaking in the kitchen
till a late, low sun clarified through it.
By Christmas we would be quaffing it.

And under the buoyant trees, fruit still pounded
with fermentation's pulse, making a cider
soil boozed worms squirm through.
Categorized as Poems

Enquiries at Swanwick Station

Enquiries at Swanwick Station

'You've been here some years now.
I remember your hair dark,
how you were a younger man'.

'I've become rooted I suppose,
manured in by a steady wage,
that and just a mile from home,
handy to see the children grow,
plant and water shoots
blossomed now away
mulching makeshift gardens of their own.
And you've changed too no doubt,
although I cannot place,
among the many passing here, your face'.

'Well, I only travel
twice a year and sometimes
less than that, according
to the flow of things,
how much I need to get away
and other small dependencies.

So what time do I get to Milton Keynes'?

When the stars fall and more
grey dust is scattered here
among the platform-edge high ferns.
Categorized as Poems