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: 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: Apologia



Pain is bred into these walls,

So I walk out alone into the woods,

Where nightmare upon nightmare serry and prance,

All the dourness of death in a deathless dance,

Nightmares with dreams swiftly interchange,

What once seemed pure is quickly deranged,

And once deranged is purified again,

Wings of heaven and hell in the palace of a brain


Come, let us love, and fear no more,

Cast all misunderstandings outside the door,

Pain may be bred into these walls,

But the tormentor becomes life-giver when duty calls,

For as unkind words cruel tongues quickly make,

Thirsty passions just as easily can they slake,

Instruments of pain to pleasure are made,

Stabbed and saved by the self-same blade


Turn not your eyes from me, but pierce mine again,

The intensified eyes of a lioness with a lioness’s mane,

Let your lips find mine – speak only with sensation,

On this hectic journey without a destination,

Words can mislead – but touch speaks the truth,

Turn the next page – do not close the book,

Though my heart now be suspended as on a meathook,

Pleasure gives way to pain – pain to pleasure returns,

And the fire is contained in the same ice it burns


I cannot pretend that I know you at all,

But I want to know all of you – to walk among your walls,

And, perhaps I have been clumsy in seeking admission,

Made thoughtless mistakes with frightened imprecision;

It was all just to help you – to show you I care –

I want to touch you again – run my fingers through your hair –

Whatever wounds I’ve opened, may I seal them with a kiss,

Fear’s thorns and vulnerability are the gateway to bliss,

I wish only to love – to give you my tenderness –

To inject my soul into each and every caress,


So, please forgive my mistakes – my foolish transgressions,

We can easily work beyond this unhappy dereliction,

The spell of three days should not be unmade in a night,

Even the kindest of lips must give way to fight,

And fight into light, like abyss into sun,

The tiny rippling explosions where the river doth run,


I’ll treat you like a queen – a flaming princess –

But it’ll take the hearts of two to clean up this mess,

Let me know what to do – how your mercy to move,

What acts of devotion my kindness can prove,

So what is ruptured can be restored with greater strength,

Measure for measure – and length for length –

Heart for heart – and beat for beat –

Bitterness into sweetness – and sweetness – more sweet!

From heaven to hell – and hell to heaven once more –

Though now able to locate the exits and doors!


And, as I pray not to lose what I would better know,

I hope for a gentle touch and not a hope-destroying blow


Poem: Hymn to Mother Autumn



Oh, Mother Autumn, enter into our hearts,

And pierce them with the joy of your ecstatic frosts!

Your hair is woven from a net of leaves –

All the mystic colours your season breathes,

Invest us with the might to flow along with change,

As time doth all things rearrange,

As sorrow fades, and blooms into wisdom,

Usher us into the citadel of your burnished kingdom,

Into your faery landscape, charmed, enchanted,

Where the seeds of hope and joy are planted,

As sunset burns, and daylight lessons,

Brighten us with the balm of your blessings,

As The Mother of Ivy binds the forest together,

May neither time nor travail make us sever,

This our loving friendship, enkindled bright,

Roosting in the furnace of every star-filled night,

Oh, Mother Autumn, Mother please!

Paint us all the colours your season breathes



Oh, Mother Autumn, Changer of Trees,

Enliven us with your thrilling melodies!

Reveal, oh, the wistful wonder of your workings,

And prepare us for what in the winter is lurking –

Paint us a path – show us the way,

So we can lilt most freely to your tender decay,

With haws on thorns, hazel nuts on bough,

Fructify our thoughts with your ethereal plough!

Fed on fruit of love at this Harvest of Souls,

Help us each attain our inmost goals,

Safe from claw of carrion, or sweep of scythe,

Keep our friendship always alive,

As wheat is reaped, and corn is threshed,

May these souls uplifted be refreshed!

Help warm our nights, and delight our days,

As we wander on our time-torn, winding ways,

Knowing that if heart or head is ever a-muddle,

We can always come together to find peace in a cuddle!



Oh, Mother Autumn, come here to us now,

As the winsome robin reclaims his bough,

Shield us from thoughts desolate, and feelings forlorn,

Like the lonesome jay screeching for want of acorns,

Though the birdsong has receded into your chill air,

In our hearts may your symphonies eternal sing there!

With mushroom fruiting on log, in orchestral wood,

We learn e’en cruellest change can deliver kindliest good,

Now summer is gone, and sunlight displaced –

Come to us now – reveal thy face!

Standing by river, or willow-wreathed mere,

Hie to us sprites and spirits of deer!

Though we may feel sadness to see the forests laid bare,

We can rejoice for return of redwing and fieldfare,

And once again, we ask, this union to bless –

This Trinity of Hearts – Reuben, Hannah, and Jess!




Poem: The Puzzle



I am whatever I wish to be –

A puzzle plucked from the puzzle tree,

 Saw me in half – cut me down the middle –

Make endless subdivisions of this immaculate riddle;

But, this Rubik’s Cube, though twisted, contorted,

Will not fancy its truth to be plainly disported;

For, as soon as a puzzle’s believed to be solved,

All mystery, all magic, all enchantment dissolves:

What was majestic seems weaker – plainer –

A lion king turned kitten by the lion tamer!


We ought not to worry if mystery go abed –

The Hydra will always grow another head,

Though complexity to simplicity can e’er be reduced,

Simplicity by complexity must be seduced,

Fear not, my friend! There are always more troubles!

To belch from the vat – the cauldron that bubbles –

I mean Chaos – the lap of illusion –

That brings causeless clarity to ripest confusion,

By amplifying the tiniest key change of delusion,

Saints quickly run amok in bedlam profusion!


We cannot go to the beach ever again –

The coastlines grow cluttered with madwomen and men,

Who take up their beach towels, and skin them as reefers –

Who cares what they are – atheists or believers?

Whenever you think you’ve discovered the answer,

Your conviction’s benign tumour will furnish a cancer,

Malignant as malignancy itself can be,

When you pluck a puzzle from the puzzle tree!

So I shall always be whatever I wish –

For I am the Fisherman – and illusion – The fish!


Poem: Woman in the Mackerel Shawl

Talmage, Algernon, 1871-1939; The Mackerel Shawl

You are the prism through which

Shines the light of my every

Experience; whatever I am,

Whatever I do, I think how

Much sweeter it would be

If I could share it with you;

Whether the art of painting,

Or ancestral architecture –

I want to hear your impressions –

To let you lecture – to pour forth

The gleanings of a most beautiful

Mind – the chains of which this

Locksmith hopes to unbind


We could go to the art gallery together,

To escape the assaults of the drear autumn weather;

Make up stories about the characters in the paintings

We see:

Like The Woman in the Mackerel Shawl,

Her pain reflected in the mirror –

What is the cause – the origin of

Her fear? Is she hoping to look

Beautiful for an unfaithful love,

She knows even Venus hasn’t

The power to move? But the pain

Palpitates – she may not even

Lift the chain from its grate – better

To be imprisoned, than look in the

Eyes, of a paramour whose indifference

Cannot be disguised.


But I have no one to make up

These stories with – no lover to

Fortify what my heart misgives –

A girl passes, clinging tightly, to

Her partner’s arm – the jealous

Beauty of that moment – my nerves

Are disarmed – even that seems a

Wish – a glass unfulfilled – (and it’s

No wonder I’m bereft after the last heart

I spilled!) – But still I look through this

Prism, colorizing the light, casting

Rays on my lonely train journey


Poem: Infinite Brain


I have killed him!

It has finally happened!

The tramp is fallen – the

Messiah is slain! I went

To the entrance of his cave,

And cried out: “Come out,

You Serpent! You thing of Fleas!

You disseminator of nonsense, and

Social disease! I want to chop off

Your old gray head, and take

Hammer and chisel to your

Old, arthritic knees!”

He made no response – so

I crossed the threshold of his cave,

Where I found him, as usual, depraved:

He was drinking with one hand, and

Writing a Holy Book with the other;

All the while, taking a piss, on his

Own Earth Mother. I gave him no

Chance to escape, and stabbed him

Right in the side; and, as he drooled

Himself to death, he mischievously sighed:

“You may kill me now,

But I will only change form!

And, in another guise,

Your face I will deform!”

I scoffed at the tramp – at his

Mad, old words. But from the scar

In his side, a little boy emerged; and into

My own sorry flesh, a dagger was

Soon submerged. He said:

“The Tramp may be fallen –

The Messiah might be slain –

But you cannot kill his beautiful mind;

His infinite, obnoxious brain!

His pain is your pain;

And he will rise again;

You can kill the fleabag as much as you wish,

But the Messiah will never be slain!”

I clutched my entrails, my slithering

Bowels; I slipped on a shower curtain,

And grabbed my bath towels, yelling:

“Love live the tramp!

The Tramp is finally slain!

But, how I wish I could at last destroy,

That Infinite, Infinite Brain!”



POEM: Future Pyre


Place the fool

Upon the pyre

Who is there to know?

Who is there to understand?

I watch the last glacier melt

And the final sunset set

I watch the dolphins fail to breath

And a Frenchman finish his final baguette

Home is so far away from here

A longing that can never be quenched

I search, I find, I lose, I cry

And in disappointment I am drenched