Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bridge from Inside the Library

The bridges that have held us stand at a distance from where I sit;

The bridge. Forty yards of tarmac floating on legs shy of the daylight,
melting into mud and memory-less water at its ends,
puts on its betraying act of solidity, suspended and vulnerable.

Marked by the gap in the skin that the papercut drew,
my fingers trace the line of the glass ceiling surer of its ending
somewhere on the opposite wall. It hurts my neck as much as staring
at busy people painted onto the window.

Inches away is the other side of the open door, where eras open
with only beginnings, spinning time-strings towards certainty;
in inky glitter written on every envelope through every door,
and shouted in the sinews of every nervous moment of waiting.

Red leather sofas relieve only my legs and greedily yawn
over their hidden pennies, papers, bits of games and curls of hair
I’ve left behind.
Dust and love, love in dust, and I must count the cost
of yesterday’s borrowed numbers on borrowed time.

These are my bridges and I will burn them,
I will burn them in forgetting
my promises to you, and I will burn them with your scribbled memos as kindling
and I will use our photos to fan the starved flames.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Dream-Chaser

Seeking his shadows through dark streets
Where roads are lined with grey leaves, shape dust scattered,
He sleep-wakes; he traces lit up lines from their birth to death.
His fingers take them back
When eyesight ends. Chilled by the chase
He frames their forms in flesh, those
Pictures placed in loved moulds, they’re cradled
In the somewhere room
behind his eyes. Still holding something closely, longing,
Here he is, dream-chaser, real,
Alive in beautiful shade-ghosts.
It takes this dream-chaser, dream-seer,
lover of the dreams, to seal shut night
And kiss the dawn with cleansing words
And help us bear the truth.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Night-time walk with headphones

Incantations in my ear.
Dum dum,
Come, Visions;
In between fence slats. Cracks! Splice
the empty air, hear rhythms in my ears spell somewhere dum dum dum
I cannot see,
but fear. The dark;
It’s not so dark when headphones see the way.
They bleed their narrative in sounds that kiss the silence,
Fay white lights become the glitter stars in strangely patterned colour-play
And flights
Of fancy, night-flies, dews
and mists, pollution decorated - dum dum dum –

The earth could be
Quite flat but with my
dum dum dum not me,
not me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Begins with openings
Of eyes;
of soundwaves and frequencies and windows of noise,
and lights and moods and
then movements.
Now begin the deaths of dreams
Contrived in oil spat onto printed pages,
Sleep-steeped streets
And Day.
Alarm -
It’s in your head, you said,
with your lack of a care as you sped past from kitchen to corridor to door
slam to station
and saw only what
Was at the next stop (comfortably
Landing your conscience onto an ear-phoned cushion).

Saturday, July 17, 2010


When I am a still
Tower of muscle and moping vowels
I taste the words inside my mind
And thrill-seek brilliance in words,
Until they live aside from
The set of letters, hoping
They will shine and gloss
The pause of sound that’s come with thought
I cannot bear to keep.
Stop to eat their syllables over,
And again. As if their shapes have swallowed meaning
Up in utterance and being, as if
You could ever love just with diction
Or I could feel alive through my words.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


To be a beautiful liar
You need to have a ‘lived-in’ face
That rumples, plasticine-like,
Into all men’s motives, any place.

To build a beautiful brick wall
Of skin cells over your warped mind
You plaster pink, day come, day go,
On wear-worn grin and lips like rind.

To be a leader, learn the lines
Lean words against your lazy lips
And spit them out in rhythmic sings
Of hatred, sweet like nettle-tips.

To hurt yourself, play-act your smile.
Create, berate, and wait a while.
Curate your prestige, run the trial,
Live life in power, and self-denial.

Dumbstruck witnesses

For the children who the press reported could not speak in shock after witnessing recent murders in Wales.

Dead leaves line the floor of twilight,
shredded leaves that flew half-mast.
They were a premature parade,
a fete of innocence. That’s past –
forgot, outlived, undone,
dumb, frozen. They’ve been
violated at the scene. We wonder now
have they seen?

You saw the flashlights at the scene:
He said.
Obscene unseen things wander through the veins
behind their eyes –
they still watch, stand still there.

Remembered guns, resounding din.

They turn from shadows to face lights
whose cameras feed on pain for fame.
But they –
they are soaked, smothered by
blood spattered bold across the sun.
patterns and treads they are,
of what
went on. What
has he done.¬¬¬

Friday, January 29, 2010

theme of 'translation' for Helicon

Dialogue With the Dish

Bobby was born blind as paper,
New moon-blank and dense,
His life was a sound-scape,
A language of sense.
He drew words of feeling
With hands taught by heart
And spoke pictures through
darkly drawn works of art.
Bobby would shape out
The sighs of the snow;
He painted its slow gasps
And muffled echo.
When he heard scratching
His ears understood –
He traced grainy patterns
With glitter on wood
He claimed this was the noise
Of thought caught in his mind
Tapping tin nails tipped in white wax
The thin lines made signs.
When he heard traffic raging
He made paper maps
Of the knotted sound-ribbons
That dripped smog like taps.
Bobby used to undress
The sunset’s sprayed curves
Into visions of chalk-dust
Smudged, loud and superb.
But the friendly form
Of a silent white plate
Made him sing out a scale
As he spoke out its shape.
Its own featureless eye
Made a mirror of his
And they stood there in silence,
Neither able to cry.
Bobby, sound-sense translator,
Kept his plate to the last,
Like a dictionary of
How much sight had gone past
Uninterpreted. Then,
when the cracks crossed the plate
Bobby started to crinkle
And break with heartache.
He moaned wavy notes
As he felt the plate crying;
As it fragmented, Bobby
Began to sing ‘dying’.