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The Cruellest Month


On the twenty-first
Ten years ago
Your son
Claimed this annual

On the twenty-fifth
Two years ago
My wife
Stepped up
To take her own place.

Shoulder to shoulder they,
Shoulder to shoulder we.
Another burden,
Beacon, memorial.
Nothing but memory

Stands the test of time.
And some day
One day,
One fatal day
Not even that.

Household Unmanagement: Four By Six


Antichaos mantra
“A place for everything …”
All well and good except
No idea where it is

Come Back. Over.


Who cared? Who cares?
Who learned? Who learns?
Who fails to learn

who cares who fails
to learn this far down
their very own rabbit hole?

Grubby weathered report
holed up in a cornered pocket.

Darkness. Silence. Stillness.

Out of echoes of memory.
Send me some fresh news.

Come back. Over.
Repeat: send memories of echo.
Come back. Over.

Remember that day
we swore to bring down
the house?



What it is one forgot
Halfway down the stairs
Is a welcome improvement
On only remembering later

No, no all is not yet lost
While what one lost
Is yet remembered
For a little while

Mary Oliver: In Memoriam


Flesh and bone may decay
Her words, all the thoughts
All the feelings they evoke
Shall remain to nourish us

Formernesses Recalled


“Is it up?” she wantonly cried
I knew not how and yet
For lost were we in that
Conjecture manifest

… Untongued

… Momentarily

… Eternally

I knew not how and yet
Still know not yet
In retrospect

Grasping at straws as I may
As any of us ever may
This camel’s broken back
Added to the score


Re: Virginity

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..For Ms Harris
Whatever’s precious
Though gone in a flash remains
This place, this moment



So much, oh so much
Sits here on the shelf
Mainly gathering dust now

We gathered so much
For we were earning so much
Neither driving nor drinking

Let us buy music we thought
Not only does it move the heart
But is still around in the morning

Uninvited years now come and gone
Leave no one left to blame for that
Least of all all this clogging dust

Jazz Me Do


Memory splinters … Splinters linger on
Orphaned … Amputated … Alien
Earlier hellbent … Later bent
Like a banana
Like a tasty adventure
Up … Behind … To infinity and beyond

Like the neighbour who
Spotting the Buddha in the back garden asks
“What’s wit’ monk?”

Like a glance above wondering
In this boundless blossoming heaven
“What’s wit’ bird?”

What’s wit’ Bird?
Variations on a theme
Came a long long way to end up here
To land up here wondering
“What’s wit’ Miles
What’s wit’ all these miles an’ miles?”

Masks Of The Crustacean (Republished)


I would say the secrets of my soul
Yet trust no one to their hearing
Some keep silence, some keep talking
When they find they have nothing to say
And the fulfilled don’t write

Lame excuses and sprung steel alibis
Meshed fast in the complexities of pain
(Only my pleasures are simple)
Masks of the crustacean
Designed to reveal what they disguise

Playing at love like a game of chess
Not well, not badly, just lazily
Without due regard to the consequences of my moves
Reading too many fairy tales
And kissing far too many frogs

The generous truth is a beggar to find
Buried deep among the unsuspected cruelties of the small print
(When God finished the world
He saw that it was perfect
… And then of course He began wondering what to do next … )

Security in a pound note, safety in a pin
The tired old trumpeting of Church and State
Magic is afoot but the world’s gone metric
(Electric) and Securicor scares
The light fades, the air is flat and stale

The rain beats against the glass
Nights and days an endless tapeloop
Of supermarket muzak
Brush its teeth and put it to bed
The well-oiled programs run

Asleep within the fractured eye of my attention
Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me
Here and there embroidered with a flower
The footsteps I follow through the blizzard of my memories
Are my own

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