Poem: Lake of Ice


Why can’t my heart fly?
Sticky and stranded among the rocks,
Enwrapped by tentacles and shelled molluscs,
It lurks among the turbid waters,
Waiting to breach for dry land,
But finding safety in the cool thrill of darkness,

I am treading to you over a lake of ice,
Mindful of every shudder, each stentorian crack,
Taking my time,
Not wanting to thaw with frenzy,
To turn what I love into an evasive enemy,
But chased by persistent fears,
Running razor fingers through the grooves of frost,
I want to hold onto you as a ship’s mast,
The last refuge of a madcap drowning fast

But patience, restraint, are my self-loaded chains,
The bitter laughs spluttering from the lips of my ribs,
The pain of counting out the divisive seconds,
The heart splintered by the season’s dials

Always afraid of making the wrong move,
As though love were a game of chess,
A test of endurance and strategy,
Plotting, conniving, abstracting,
Finding excuses to see you again,
To get closer,
To silently sample each efflorescence of your wonder

To kiss goodnight down timeless streets,
The place where endings and beginnings meet


Poem: Surveillance


Watch a bird in its cage,
Surveillance is enough to make us insane,
The watched pot doesn’t boil,
But blows out its own brains

When observed, I must hide or strike out,
Scurry off to hedgerow,
Use my beak,
The knife I call my mouth,
To rend muscle from tendon,
Inflict wounds to inspirit distraction

But the blood has a way of following you,
Like the leech of bad memories,
Embarrassing actions, drunken confessions,
Of night breezes blowing in past-life memories,
The toxicity of oil spill odours

Spilling the beans,
I spilled out not just my heart,
But my ignorance in a hunk of gelatinous mass,
Something to wrap tentacles around face,
The shattering of serenity,
The prat-fall from grace,
The soaked credibility of good first-impressions,
Met with cold fingers in the morning

Knowing to disbelieve hope’s mercy,
The discouragement of over-spent warning

Poem: Autopsy of Obsession


There are days when I turn into the very spitfire of rage,
Imagining each of my corners has the sharpness of a blade,
In the mutated tree of my thoughts, barbed wire epidermis,
Pierces all the women inhabiting my fantasies,
The dramatis personae of my harvested whimsies,
Of dresses clung to wet-mouthed thoughts,
Ill-advised courtship indulged in draughts

Sex only comes into it as a primordial energy,
An intellectual game,
Most of my philandering I do in my mind,
Dreams of infidelity help me unwind,

But, if unfaithful, then unfaithful to what?
To the contrived concatenation of feudal civilization,
To the Christian relic of unhallowed churches,
Doomed to lie in the dust of theology,

I merely want to be there,
To have your aroma,
To be the observer of your wit’s Passover,
To have a figurehead I can quietly worship,
To give my obsession a cathexis, a direction,

There need be no passing of organs, of fluids,
Of kisses stolen from needle armpits,
There need be no moisture from dewy mornings,
To taste your dress when kindled with grasses

If push came to shove, then shove I would not,
Sooner crying into your lap,
Than allowing myself to weep through my phallus,
I want a friend who is sharper than a friend,
From whom I will always taste the love of tension,
An uncertain comfort that needn’t be mentioned

Never sure I truly do,
When I say ‘I love thee true’
Loving truer, having something to love,
As below, so is it above,

Poem: To Poetasters


There is no such thing as ‘light verse,’
Only the putrid stench of indifferent thought

This onslaught of banality shatters my tolerance,
The fragrance of flames licking to sulphur
As I sit in a furnace, devising torments,
To punish the flaccid carelessness of your empty sentiments

A wounded fury, woundingly furious,
I cannot think on the subject of publication
Without arousing tears of desperation and anger

How can I be calm,
When you feeble poetasters
Drain all blood and fury
From the emaciated corpse of poetry?

As your limp-dick words
Sprawl from the arsehole of hypnosis,
My lexicon grows rank with hateful profit,

In pursuit of genius,
I find none here,
Smashing my testicles into a hard-boiled throat,
To smother you with a tablecloth as meaningless,
Unportentous, as your verse,

I shove my thoughts into your dull labyrinth,
To boil my genius in the clogged bile ducts of your notes,
To wish against kindness,
In the lowest tiers of the Inferno,
Mediocrity will receive the keenest retribution

A little boy imagining his passing sharpness,
May have the rigour to change the world

Poem: Thalassic Discothèque

st. margarets

Staring out from thrifted cliff,
White-rumped redshank perched on limestone
Carboniferous, views of Lydstep just beyond,
The thoughts of death, body sea thrash,
The fear and joy of feeling the ground
Beneath me breathe

I have walked away from old patterns of frustration,
Uncluttered now the deeds of dissatisfaction,
Skylarks erupting in interminable car alarm calls,
Black tar lichen autographs the walls,

Over on St. Margaret’s,
Razorbills and guillemots rejoice,
Ululating into clanking air tangoes,
The great vault of stone is a discothèque now,
Evicted, humans have been put back in their place,

But I am no intruder,
Animal enough to be granted a season pass,
I feel the serpentine pulse of coast unpeopled,
Of Pembrokeshire magic insisting on the completion
Of a malingering shaman’s soul

And turning my body into octopus arms,
Into the sea I now will roll


Poem: Warring States


The pressure is mounting,
Perched on a branch, in a matrix of lust,
Entirely invested in the warp and weft,
The want and hunger for shape and colour,
I cannot ignore that iridescent sheen of red,
That just-so poise of geometric isolation,
I must assimilate it – take it into my heart,
Make peripheries crumble in deliquesced wanting,
The insanity of a smell that arouses taking,

It makes me quiver,
A shaking, desiring, eye-captured thing,
Prostituted to my own senses,
The irresistible blister of this itching cathexis,
Turning me into the prisoner of my own libidinous

Are you my enemy,
Or are you my lover?
I cannot distinguish anger from desire,
The sacral pulse of over-strained flesh,
Of celibacy combined with concupiscence

Because in violence,
There is the clawing away of skin,
Unplugged blood vessels,
There is the maggoty worming
For interiorization intense

And in lust,
The tender drill-bits are no less integral,
Fingers are knives that pierce to the essential,
The sadomasochism of simply being yourself,
When that ‘self’ is a spasm of wanting

Then I become nothing less than a bear,
Tearing out its opponent’s throat,
Like the cruel Jazz musician,
Who kills you with a single note,

And hanging on to that wasp-sting of over-strained brilliance,
I will find the beauty and danger of meeting with essence


Poem: The Hidden Woman



Of the beautiful girls in the world,
The fairest one is hidden,
You can seek her out all you want,
But she only comes unbidden

You can search in river, search in dale,
Search in ruins forgotten,
But you’ll not find her in the new,
You’ll not find her in the rotten,

You’ll not find her in desire,
Nor in the pits of yearning,
And if you find her in the woods,
You can be certain that they’re burning,

But when hope has taken its final plunge,
And The Seven Abysses are wailing,
And you are caught up in the current,
Your limbs, weak and flailing

You can be sure she’ll seek you then,
And pull you from the river,
And lips that hover above your own,
All ecstasy can deliver

But when the kiss seems perfect and clear,
A union, prophesied, of heaven and earth,
All sorrow certain to disappear,
The overcoming of death and birth,

That is when the blade sinks in,
A creeping chill subsumes your frame,
Your saddened skin falls from your flesh,
She steals your life, your pulse, your name,

This is what comes of wanting beauty,
Comes of seeking love’s return,
You gave yourself up to a wolf,
A hateful lesson you can’t unlearn

So, think twice of that fairest girl,
The sweetest one that’s hidden,
Her beauty may be what you want,
But her rending comes unbidden

And in the recesses of your grave,
At the touch that was forbidden,
You can spend the rest of your life reflecting on,
The woman best left hidden

Poem: Terror


Terror, terror, in my skin,
Where do you stop and I begin?
Filling me with dreadful care,
I seem to find you everywhere

Unconfined by geography,
Where is not your suzerainty?
I’ve tried to find it, but in vain:
Yours is an all-encompassing pain

You follow me everywhere,
Like an infection, skin-eroding,
Ask me if I do or dare,
Simplicity becomes foreboding,

You follow me in my happy moods,
And when I’m walking through the woods,
Chewing away my insecurity,
My only recurring stability,

Terror in the supermarket,
Terror in the crowded street,
Terror sits upon my chest,
When I cannot get to sleep

You make me feel like death’s flirtation,
You jeer, and jibber, grind and goad,
Ever repeating this one thought:
Any second your heart could explode

Why dishonour myself by believing,
Things that might or might not be true,
Why are you now my voice of reason?
Why have I put my trust in you?

I begged you to go away, Fear,
Said we should both see other people,
I do not wish to return to your church,
Or impale myself on its steeple

I am hungry for a deeper peace,
Hungry for the embrace of wisdom,
Hungry for a love that can
Be its own, fear-destroying Kingdom

Now a memory, I can see,
Pictures of our time spent together,
Holding hands, reluctantly,
Why did you love me, so much, Terror?

But now that you have gone, Fear,
I can see what you helped me learn,
But it does not make any more keen,
To know the day when you’ll return


Poem: Interview With A Fox

fox spirit.jpg

“Why are you watching, little fox?
I’ve told you everything I know,
Up in the hills, where eagles cry,
Greenery is replaced by snow.

Why are you smiling, little fox –
Have I done something to make you laugh?
Your soul is not the written word,
But an indecipherable pictograph

Why are you panting, little fox –
Is it because I’ve removed my clothes?
Conifers are sashaying in the wind,
Secret desires deliver soft blows

Why am I bleeding, little fox?
I have no knowledge of such things,
Is pleasure the plug that opens pain;
Sorrow what makes the blue bird sing?

I’ll ask no more questions, little fox –
Like you, a smiling fox, I’ll be,
I’ll be the answer that never comes,
Grinning at people between the trees


Poem: Shaman Sorrow



When we were shamans,
The whole world was our tundra,
I controlled the mellow earth,
You controlled the thunder

Ice and snow wove a web,
In which we were the spiders,
Straddling star-back in the night,
As Heaven’s only Riders

Riding through The Milky Way,
The quartz-laced, star-strewn river,
Neither was the taker,
Neither was the giver

Then called we were by knocks on wood,
Called we were by clash of stone,
Called we were by tongues of fire,
Called we were by windy moans

Together we met a sad-faced God,
A hulking beast, covered with hair,
The snowy pine wood was his home,
The snowy pine cave was his lair

He looked at us, and shook his head:
“Together, now, you cannot be;
You must go into the sky –
You must go into the sea.”

Separated we were, my love and I,
She became a golden bird,
And I became a loathsome thing,
For which The Gods have not a word

Then sun and comets came and went,
The Earth no longer was our tundra,
I no longer sang the earth,
You no longer sang the thunder

We were not shaman lovers then,
Shamans again we could never be,
Now that you are stuck up in the sky,
And I am trapped beneath the sea

But still I dream of returning snows
Long for rebirth of the tundra,
When I will control all the world,
And you – all the thunder