Poem: The Deathless Horsie


These horses have been ridden too long,
Tired and hoof-worn, their muscles replaced
With pistons, bones and ligaments composed
From robot cartilage, cold horror of sci-fi dawn,
Samplers to speak where they used to sing,
Erectile sensors signalling to their hairs,
They can gallop, now, on interference waves,
New god muscles to give them motion,
And new equine umbrellas, to keep them
From short-circuiting in the rain

If androids dream of electric sheep,
Then my nightmares are of cyber-horses,
Animals trapped in digital code,
Kept alive perpetual as computer slaves

Everything is your pet now,
If you can’t eat it, then it must entertain you,
Slave into wires to prove its value

No joy of flogging a dead horse breathless,
When all our horses are cabled and deathless


Poem: Sky Warrior


Buzzard, not the smartest of birds,
Your intelligence is in your instinct,
The lust of your programming

Euclidean geomestrist – the sky’s tawny compass,
Hunter of circles,
Shaper of predation

Inside you is a leopard,
Feathered, yet unfrantic,
Space-stabbing cries,
A sky warrior’s dialect

You have read all the lexicons,
All the grammarians of hunger,
And many scholars still worship
The cold stupidity of your fortitude

A weaponized wing,
A crow-taunting thing,
A heart-chaffing nest
To catch the clarity of spring


Poem: Anger Seed

anger rose

Anger is a hard, fiery stone,
The pointed, jagged teeth of war,
Stampede of horse in blood-tarred mud,
Wasp stung trapped mad in marrow bone

Drama thirst of fucking drama queen,
Simpering megaphone of all your hurt,
I speak to you, cold and curt,
To restrain the pain that might have been

Cauldron of ire, simmering long,
Taut hard verses of vicious song,
Subdue the beast – the foaming maw,
Excise the tumour of righteous law

Warm stone, now cold, in graveyard lies,
Buried in soil, cold and wet,
In the zone of sweet forget,
To seal the place my anger dies


Poem: Joey The Underwater Milkman



After years of being a milkman,


Joey decided to become an octopus.


He studied them as much as he could.


 In the delirium preceding the slitting of his throat,


Octopi were his thoughts’ sole focus




In the following murkiness, the dark hours


Of draining blood, the growing schism


Between spirit and body, Joey’s essence poured


Itself back into the world, rewaking, couchant,


Before the throne of Jove, who, diving his soul’s purpose,


Cast him deeper into the sea’s foams




Then all was a chamber of blue,


Procreant from a shuddering shell,


He left his egg, fragile doorway of the world,


His hard, horny beak breaking through its bonds,


To clack into infinity




Not bird, nor fish, nor snail enlarged,


His thoughts expressed themselves


In the billows and contraries of undulant body,


Not a recoil, nor the spilling of crimson ink,


But a net, a hunter, a capturer, an acrobat






He danced with polymorphic agility through this matrix


Of ocean, seaweed-silhouetted, peeping beadily through


Shoal vistas, circumspect, puncturer of any thought,


Listen to his mind: the crunch of soft-tissue and bones




Concealed in pebbles,


Minareted in sands,


Perched on the brink of sub-aqueous cliffs,


Waiting, searching, fin-tasting and charged,


A maze of motion, of unwritten currents,


Jet-propelled prism refracting muddied


Fragments of stealth






But then days arabesqued into more than just


Stealth-lined shadows – of prying life-pryer:




The coral was coloured too harshly,


Dizzying his mind into unwelcome mazes:


What if there is more to being an octopus


Than being an octopus?




“There is,” unthroated strangeness confirmed,


“For all things stretch back to and emanate


From the centre. All things lead to where


Your tentacles are going, your thoughts


Disappear in discoloured ink.”




And he was a kid again, at the fireside,


Hearing his father wax lyrical on the delivery of fresh milk:




“At the centre of the ocean is an octopus bigger than all of this –


His far-reaching arms balance the eight directions,


Juggling the five elements,


His ink is the blackness settling the night,


His eyes the flash fire of ineluctable day.




“He Is the reason your Father dies after ejaculation,


And your mother a sack of eggs serrated by self-slaughter!”




“But why must I be so?


An eight-armed orphan to the world?”




And Joey remembered the seasons of his father’s woe,


The dread certainties manhood would make him mate.


He knew of no more earthly love than this.




So he cried into the ocean,


Neither man nor mollusc,


Just a net adrift, conundrum-captured,


Hunting and roaming,


While throats, still slit, dribble reality into the sink,


As The Baboon God beats out his own brains.




Sonnet: On Age And Difference


Age after age blurs us from one another,
The impressions of time dust the heart obscure,
I fear I am nothing – an embarrassment and bother,
A once ripe promise, now fetid and impure,
I long to connect with you, guileless and naked,
To be youth within youth – old within old;
But by experience, I’ve been tarnished and tainted:
Now there is ambergris growing upon this hoar gold,
Corrupt currency, then, but still love minted silent,
Still the willingness to give to the sisters of my soul,
To suffer the sacrifice, its depredations violent,
That colour me closer to my earth-bound goal,
So you can say: “He – he lived for us well –
But the anxious wonders of his heart we never can tell.”

Poem: Limestone Dreams


The limestone here seeps into your dreams,
Pebbles embedded in quartz-stricken seams,
You can fall into empty air where the peregrine flies,
And coppice your own thoughts until a new forest does rise

Then out of the enchantment of swarming gloom,
A bat creeps out of the netting and circles your room,
With omens and prophecies, relinquishing strange jewels,
Singing to you, oneirically, in inaudible mewls

But to her, you are as a thousand shards of a mirror,
A rookery of sounds – the netherest of nevers –
There is no spite – only a refreshment of feeling,
The parishioner plants kisses that are ripe for the stealing

These flowerbeds are not earthly, their colours betray
Tones that are not possible to see in the day,
Creeping slowly through them disguised as shimmering petals,
Green fingers of bracken – teeth of precious metals

With sapphire smiles, turquoise, magenta, and gold,
The most luxurious things to be so wretchedly old,
But the soil is their pardon, the only Bible they read
Is written in the language of wildflowers and weeds

With Green Men in pews, thoughts eroding to silver,
Nothing is as enigmatic as The Wye River,
And with weepers of autumn bringing their evensong chants,
I will reap of the kisses The Parishioner plants

Poem: Reuben in Wonderland



All day, all day, I hear the blackbird’s song

Within the daffodils and clematis I sit among,

Swinging in the seat on my cabin’s porch,

My Imagination beckons, clutching a torch,

Perceived to be the hardened rays of the sun:

“O leave this handsome refuge – come out, Reuben! –

And follow me over mountains, clumped with pine,

And delight in nature’s jewellery – by faeries’ designed –

Who take life as their canvas, and decadently smother

Everything that lives with all varieties of color,

Until exhausted, they retreat into the cup of a bluebell,

Which rings a peal too pure for human lips to tell;

But perhaps you can follow – follow me – let us sing! –

Put an end to paralysis, and take off on wings,

To enchanted forests – where wildflowers whisper –

In petally idioglossia – O, mistier and mistier!

A language of color sending the listener mad –

And if you should hear it, you should be glad,

For madness is liberation – and liberty – life! –

It’s the stairway to heaven – the pulse-freeing knife,

That lets the orderly drip out in all directions –

Yes, perhaps, violence, wars, and insurrections,

But also improbabilities by logic disallowed,

Let’s lift up those skirts – take off those shrouds –

And sail on clouds of wood anemone, up into space,

Where one can have orgies, yet still remain chaste!

Where blackbirds don’t sing, but utter melodic truths,

And happiness is restored by the same pain it removes!

Yes, consider the birds – they know it all –

Ducklings cascading down Patagonian waterfall,

Partridges – parakeets – larks rising and descending –

Don’t you know your fantasies are never-ending?

Imagination is infinite – life is infinite imagination –

Free-will playing games with pre-destination,

Thought after thought, like linked beads in a necklace,

I’ve told you before: Imagination is endless!

So, come Reuben – follow me – fall into the sky –

You do not need wings to be this impossibly high,

Only a mind most buoyant – eviscerated of dross –

Like that Tsarina of the Sky – The Albatross!

Always sailing in the sky – even sleeping on the wing,

And when its life ends as it did begin

The sky will be its egg with infinite shell,

Hatched out from reality – this miscreate hell –

Into a greater bourn – an incomprehensible splendour –

Like all the works of The Renaissance put in a blender!

With color fertilizing color, cross-breeding realities,

Quantum head-fuckery and surrealist modalities,

Pinwheeling through Elysium in multi-dimensional motions –

(And, if you sail into the sun, you’ll be needing more lotion!) –

Until you settle on a planet, emerald evergreen,

More splendid than anything you’ve ever seen,

And among strange rushes, into stranger water,

I’ll dip in my feet and wonder if Chaucer

Whilst hunched over, writing, At Richard II’s court,

Would take the laws of the universe as his fanciful sport?

But we have ‘The Book of the Duchess’‘The Canterbury Tales’ no less,

To see how keenly this man of tenderness

Could extrapolate from human nature things holy and sublime –

And interweave them with fart jokes without missing a rhyme!

Ah, like me! Like me! A maker of melody!

Who can weep over a poem, or a good cup of tea,

With a bandolier of bad puns, I can span the void,

Whilst ensuring fart putty is still well-employed!

Put a whoopee cushion under God’s Arse – the angels will harp –

Stifling their titters when they hear that world-creating ‘PARP!’

Yes, the world is made from farting – Rabelais could tell you,

With God’s Sperm still soaking in the dampness of mildew!”


Ah, my Imagination’s Wonderlust – will these couplets never cease!

Can we not slow them with treacle – nor clog them with grease?

 But no – like a Queen Termite in perpetual birth,

My Imagination mixes whimsy with sorrow and mirth,

And like a swallow on hearing sweet summer’s spell,

I travel African coasts, o’er Mediterranean hell,

And count myself an explorer, great adventurers among,

Just because I listened to a lone blackbird’s song


Poem: The Ballad of the River Usk



Wild demons are abroad tonight,

Feasting upon the absence of light,

Lurching, and twisting, and pulling wry faces,

Seizing the energy your fear displaces


On a night such as this, I sail down the river

To seek forgiveness from an unholy forgiver;

The River Usk, a Styx and a Lethe became,

To the underworld I descended, with only the flame


Of the amber-spun moon flaming over my head,

A sky-burning candle, guiding my quest,

The water is like oil – a riverine road –

An aqueous voyage to the land of the dead


Sailing onwards, even the darkness grows darker,

A thick fog of nothingness stifles my eyes,

Yet still through that darkness, I see the outline of ruins,

Palaces that crumbled before they e’er could rise


Yet rise yet he does from that oily darkness,

Algae drips from him, reeking of death,

His visage is the very imagery of starkness,

Rotten teeth in his mouth – no eyes in his head


An eye is handed to him by a faithful assistant,

An orb of pure vision that sees more than I,

He howls and he brays as it burns into his socket,

He moans, he trembles, he screams, and he sighs


And issues a hiss of ungodly utterance:

“What does this mortal want with me?”

But before I can tremblingly answer, he says:

“You need not tell me – The Eyeball – it sees!”


And what did it see, this eyeball omniscient?

What embryo of agony did it spy in my soul?

What did it see, so morbidly efficient –

Making it pulse, twitch, writhe and roll?


Could it see all my sins – my scarified errors –

Or was it an omen of disfigured prophecy?

Could it witness the fruition of all my terrors?

O, whatever, O ever, could that terrible eye see?


But The Demon King just laughed at the scream of my tension,

Each of his laughs like a murder of crows,

An otherworldly laugh of unknown intension,

A tumour that hurts the more that it grows


I shivered in the face of these loveless decibels,

I thirsted for mercy – anticipating none –

I heard the ringing of bells from unholy churches,

I felt as though my good deeds had all been undone


Undone, undone, and spun into evil,

The purity of my love distorted to hate,

Yet still I loved on – loved on in that darkness,

Beating my heart ‘gainst a barbed-wire gate


“What will you do if these gates burst asunder?

What will you do?” the Demon mocked with glee,

“What will you do with that heart-forging thunder?”

And once more The Demon King laughed at me


And I had no idea what I would do,

No idea what I would do if my love were set free,

If all of my dreams were liberated from hell,

And returned, like swallows, back to me


I cried, and I wept, and sobbed in a frenzy,

Clawing at my skin, as if to escape,

Anything to be liberated from this eternal tension,

Eternally falling in a mouth grossly agape


But then the Demon’s grin turned into a grimace,

His bones from his body began to break out,

A rupture of entrails – thus I morbidly singeth –

Oh, his agonizing bones – they came out – they came out!


He screamed in agony – blood from him erupting

Blood coursing from his eyes in rivers of pain,

And from that squalid darkness corrupting,

Emerged a bright light – a lucent white flame


That filled the caverns of Hades with almighty wonder,

Devils and demons all dream-makers became,

The oily River Usk turned a magical color,

And the joy in my heart sang freely again


But whether Love could triumph in hell’s temporary oblivion,

That my tale cannot foresee;

Heaven is a mysterious and scary abysm;

And my Dreams are their own private agonies


So, I’ll stay here, and linger a while in the forest,

Stay here and sing with the birds in the trees,

Stay here, straining to hear the winds whisper

If ever my love is meant to be.


Poem: The Vial of The Night


I drink from the vial of the night,

Strange sips, in the groove of some

Unearthly tango, a maddening shambles

That divests me of sense’s good rhythm


And in ancient Rome, at the death of some

Great dictator, you grabbed my hand with

Great excitement, to pull me into that flowing,

Serpentine procession


But I had not changed my position:

I was still numb, numbless, purling out

In all directions for want of love – an

Ever-encroaching shore that licks the

Land, as statesmen thirst for war

And if I was on that sepulchre,

All my lovers, and those that loved me,

Would take turns kissing me,

And I would be apotheosized by their kisses –

Raised up and poured like a sandy equation

Into the vial of the night


Poem: Photographs and Melodies


Do you remember the good old days?

When everything was embalmed in marmalade,

Wrapped in William Morris Wallpaper, and the world

Was barely held together – continental drift swaying

On the end of its tether?


Scott Joplin cartwheels down Tin Pan Alley,

Reducing time to rags – and every time you

Think he’s finished playing, that ol’ circular

Melody comes cycling back again, like the

Clock-work of infinity being re-jiggered back

Into motion after a long dead summer of

Tired crickets jumping out of their own hollow



Then back home, a broken phonograph

Explodes into memories – a memorial of

Photographs from happier-sadder times –

Where happiness meant more,

Where sadness meant more –

And the melodies from that phonograph

Kept those melodies knocking at your door,

Like bailiffs of dementia hoping to confiscate

Whatever you are most desperate to keep

Yet long for more and more


Will our faces ever look the same again?

Will we ever smile the same way again?

Or will every smile we’ve smiled since then

Be but a commentary on the loss of perfection?


I do not think so –

Just as memories beget more memories,

So are the echoes of melodies often more

Redolent than the memories from which

They’ve sprung – as a corpse can be heavier

Than the gallows from which it’s hung


Everybody loves a good haunting –

Sometimes a heart needs to reminded

Of what it has loved, so it can love more

Fully in the present, and bow down in awe

On hearing the approach of

The Love That Is Still Yet To Come