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House Of Mirrors


What if “self”
And “other”
Are no more
Than preprogrammed

And where
Is this pasture
Within which
Less than contentedly
We graze?

And who believes
They conjure
These constructs?
And who
Did the programming?

Don’t recall
Or church
Ever covering
Such trivia.

False Premise: Shadorma


Each their own mountain
Up and up
Leave behind
All those souls down far below
And each other too

I Told You There’s No One There (Republished)


Some folks on the road to heaven
Are tempted to go astray.
All knew Parson Brown was one of these,
And golf what he wanted to play.

For he was only human.
But his flock didn’t see it that way.
“A vicar succumbing while we’re around?
Say, that’ll be the day!”

So every time he drove past the course
He saw the windows wide
And knew well that his stern parishioners
Were watching from the other side.

His frustration raged within him
Till he woke one morning at five.
The weather was fine and they were all asleep
As he crept down to the drive.

He quickly made his way to the course
And headed out for the first green,
Chuckling at the thought of what he was doing
And all without being seen.

But he’d forgotten the Angel Michael,
Who roused God from his forty winks
And said, “Wake up, Sire, it’s Parson Brown
And he’s out there on’t links!”

“Then I must punish him,” said God.
“As you know, it’s my wont with men.
And I promise you one thing, Michael;
That he won’t do this again!”

The vicar meanwhile was teeing off
In the early morning sun
But what a surprise he got when he found
That he’d scored a hole in one.

“Lord have mercy,” he exclaimed,
“Mercy upon my soul.”
But he’d even stronger language
When it happened at the second hole.

He went on to complete his hat trick;
Such golfing must astound.
The only man in history
To achieve an eighteen stroke round.

Even Michael, who’d watched the whole thing,
Couldn’t quite take it all in.
“But … but … but …” he spluttered to God,
“Tell me, how will THAT punish his sin?”

A wicked smile traversed God’s face,
And he answered, “Extremely well.
You and I may know what happened
But who can Parson Brown tell?”

~~~~~ ~ ~~~~~

Note that both God and Michael have broad Yorkshire accents.

Frozen Fire (Republished)


Nursing scorched wings, you angel in disguise,
wondering gypsy with question mark eyes,
wandering homesick – no answers, no rest,
and for companions your demons at best.

What a rich,
yin yang,
being you can be being!

And being …

And being …

Projects smoke screens of promises and lies,
defends to the death, then later denies.
Flexible conscience, ethical mare’s nest.
Defensive? Fastest gun in the west!

And in the centre a wise,
that sees it all
and breathes in
and breathes out,
without attachment
to the passing show.

And with detachment the fool becomes wise,
finds what never was lost. What a surprise!
Hidden in full view. Who’d ever have guessed?
Welcome, my angel, be welcome, be my guest.

Who was,
who will be,
and will only

ever …

simply …




How wonderful this architecture
Down the centuries enduring
Inspiring, heartening, overawing
Expensive though these cathedrals
In more than market value terms
And still begging for more if you please
Cath as in cathedral not cathar – no thank you
Indoctrinating generation after generation

How wonderful this architecture
As Europe some kind of torchbearer
Enduring both they and we
Inspired, heartened, overawed
Its worshippers trailing in the dust
Each down our allotted years
Striding, limping, tottering
Let massacre surround us

How wonderful this architecture
How romanesque the sleight of hand
Preaching persecution and crusade
Tolling for privilege, for tithe, for death for heresy
Cleaving definitive paths, signposts
This Way Heaven; Purgatory; Hell
Servants or sinners, sheep or goats
How few left any monument, mark

Never Pat A Burning Dog


Sundry faiths there are
Bickering over the words
Of a single truth

Own Goal


Somewhere out there I swear
Or else on reflection
Somewhere inside exists
That I am in search for

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

The One


Remember you are
The one and only
Utterly unique

Remember you are
Yes, the one for whom
You were created

Remember yourself
Especially when
You are forgotten

Dug In


“I do not need proof.
My beliefs are strong enough.”
A slippery slope.

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