Monday, 28 November 2011

"Who Is 'Everybody', Anyway?"

They’re told to watch X-factor, so they do.

They’re atheists who married in a church.

They almost, nearly have a point of view,

And read the Daily Mirror, just like you.

Nine in Ten are like them, says our research.

She does the vacuum cleaning every day.

They’ll have their second kid by thirty-five.

Ibiza is their favourite place to stay.

They buy and sell possessions on ebay.

They get drunk to remember they’re alive,

Or maybe to forget. Well, they work hard,

So who could claim they haven’t earned the right

To boozy Friday nights – in which they’ve starred

Since teenage years which left them battle-scarred?

They’ve savings, but will tell you "money’s tight".

They went to Glastonbury for a laugh

Two years ago. Now they can say they’ve been.

He’ll always drink a pint, and she a half.

He likes to wave his Man United scarf.

She "does the gym" to keep her body lean.

They download music now – don’t buy CDs.

They like the bands that it is "cool" to like.

Her skirts do very nearly reach her knees.

She can still wear a Ten – but not with ease.

The Union tells him when to go on strike.

She must apply make-up before she can

Put out the wheelie bins. She has her pride.

They have their mortgage, and their Five-Year Plan.

She’s in the garden, topping up her tan.

He likes his dead pig breakfast, duly fried.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

"Beyond 'friendsreunited'"

My job title is impressive –
the work I do, a total bore.
My wife is blonde and beautiful,
and sleeping with the bloke next-door.

We do have “two kids, one of each”,
and both of them are thugs,
who only go to uni
for the sex, and drink and drugs.

I might well paint a pretty picture:
my "friendsreunited" profile.
It’s not as if I’ve lied, as such.

"Imperfect Expressions"

you'll find me burning

multi-coloured candles

in my mind

immersed in moonlight

and desperately hoping

that my

words - straight from the heart -

are heard

my imperfect expressions

of devotion


my persistent

passionate pleas

for your

divine blessings

"Twigs and Leaves"

Each tree has

so many branches, twigs and leaves,

each of which is a true

religion, denomination,

spiritual path.

And there is a whole

forest out there,

full of twigs and leaves,

each of which correctly insists:

"I lead back to The Source -

the tree's very roots."

True -

yet too many twigs and leaves

still claim to be

"the only way".

Thursday, 24 November 2011

"Late Autumn Into Winter"

last leaves clinging to

your branches and I feel like

just like one of them

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

"Knock, Knock"

We are not from Scottish Power,

or even British Gas.

We wouldn’t drag you

out of the shower

for anything less than

God. And just to let you know

how to achieve eternal life…

We are nothing

the religious group

who called on you last night.

There is one major difference:

They are wrong, and we are right.

Certain substances must be avoided,

like heroin and cups of tea.

Is it worthwhile mainlining –

or enjoying Typhoo or PG –

if, because of that, you cannot live

with God eternally?

You can stuff your face with chocolate, crisps –

and Diet Coke is not outlawed.

You can even have some Red Bull

to wash down all that chocolate,

if you’re getting very bored.

You need to be baptised, and soon.

Your last one doesn’t count:

insufficient water, and you were too young.

What about the Baptist Church?

You’re being awkward now.

Okay, let’s cut straight to the chase.

No other church has authority

from God. We do.

Friday, 18 November 2011

"Ebony and Blue"

Immerse me in silver

Protect me in greyscale

Scream at me in neon

Soothe me with pastel shades

Bleed with me, from crimson to scarlet

Forget me in ebony and blue

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Another fragile metaphor

Might yet slide

Into my mind

More refined

Than simple, stark statements of


And so we act

Out pantomimes

And daily hide

And daily hide

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

"Oak Tree"

Protective, wise -

the oak

stands bold, of old -

in silhouette, against

a sky of indigo.

"And That Is All"

Not even as good at anger any more

Thoughts of vengeance

Convert the hurts

Into more complex hurts

And that is all

So would I still be seventeen

Or twenty-two

Or twenty-seven

Whatever, wherever


But all is know is now

What hurts

Simply hurts

And hurts a lot

And that is all

"Dark Days"

I hurl my anger

at blank pages

fill copious notebooks with

my deepest sorrows

my regrets

throughout dark days

immersed in thoughts

bleak sonnets

screaming free verse


but sometimes

hope still shines through

and sometimes


overwhelms me

envelops me

sustaining me

softening my poetic voice

smoothing those sharp edges

so beautifully

Monday, 14 November 2011

"Not in God's Name"

Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jew –

I understand your point of view.

If you can’t mine – well, that’s a shame.

No “holy” war is in God’s name.

Islam means “peace”. We all want that.

Meet the Quakers. Be friends and chat.

Buddhist, Hindu – we’re all the same.

No “holy” war is in God’s name.

Jehovah’s Witness to a Sikh:

Sisters and brothers, let us speak.

It’s not a case of placing blame.

No “holy” war is in God’s name.

“An ye harm none, do as ye will.”

The Wiccan Rede, we must fulfill.

Let peace on Earth become our aim.

No “holy” war is in God’s name.

"Spiritual Peace"

I find my place of spiritual peace

Again, just when I feel I never will.

There is a sense of freedom and release.

I can’t know all the answers, but am still

In touch with The Divine, and that is real.

We’re all connected. Life is precious, and

Life doesn’t end with death. Sometimes we feel

A presence, and we come to understand

That nobody who’s ever been has gone.

The spirits of those who we’ve loved remain.

They will protect us – help us to go on.

There is almost a beauty in the pain.

Although sometimes I find it hard to trust,

Truth’s constant. Feel the patterns in the rust.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

"Almost Safe"

Almost safe inside my sanctuary -

it's not that I'm afraid of solitude.

Yes, there is loneliness, but why delude

myself? In my heart, I must stay wary.

People will hurt you once your guard is down.

Hurt upon hurt - it gets hard to repair.

Still, I find that, in the end, I do care.

With no lifebelt, I fear that I might drown.

I just don't know the answers any more -

as if I ever did. Does anyone?

Select a star to make a wish upon.

Remember not to double-lock the door.

I thought that I'd be safe here but I'm not.

I sense the final chapters in "their" plot.

Friday, 11 November 2011

"Never Pain"

We talk about discomfort, never pain.

Otherwise, we might admit to hurting.

We chuck our time and money down the drain.

It is our own pride that we're deserting.

Must try to stay upbeat, and never sad.

We count the calories in every cake,

that we'll eat anyway, and just feel bad.

Don't throw the dice yet. Have another shake.

We fail to make our loved ones understand:

Attention spans are not quite long enough.

Oceans devour castles made of sand.

We wait for somebody to call our bluff.

We talk about discomfort, never pain.

Otherwise, we would admit to to hurting.

"Sometimes You're Everywhere" (for Stacey)

Sometimes I just feel you there,

on rain-drenched afternoons -

or later, in the cooling night air.

Sometimes you're everywhere.

Sunlight, trees, butterflies:

All remind me of you -

and I come to realise -

but part of me still denies...

but somehow I know

that you're still here - there - everywhere.

"Neon and Rainbows"

rain slashes

through emerald trees:

a summer's day

duly converted

into greyscale perfection

Quaker-grey thought patterns

secretly flirt with


and rainbows

screaming in our




none of which


mark out

or in any way indicate

meditative moments

or spiritual quietude

"For Rhiannon"

Oh beloved Rhiannon
know the rhythm
of my jaded heart

as sapphire skies
dissolve into ebony
and stars dance

and I stare
almost trance-like
at the near-full moon
and she is you

and you
cradle a baby
your baby boy
your son, Rhiannon

Rhiannon, beloved Rhiannon
understand me
hear me
heal me
teach me
love me
save me
I am going crazy

and your humility
humbles me
and your spirit
astounds me

and tonight I pray to you
beautiful goddess
I pray to you


The walls along which we walk

in days of innocence,

do they then have power over our


in the latter days?

The bricks that growing feet of

school-bound -

home-bound -

children touched

almost every week day,

for years -

years that seemed as though they would

last eternally -

do those bricks leave lasting imprints -

or we on them?

I asked my mother

about the church

behind the low wall,

after having been informed

of the other church,

that -

yes, that is

St. Michael's Church.

You were Christened there

but, no - not Confirmed.

No, we don't go there.

Yes, your dad's side are

Quakers, but...

Stop asking questions.

"Have we ever been

to this church, Mum?"

Answer: "No, that's a Mormon church."

Topic closed.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


so in control
or seemingly so
a ballerina
another perfect
perfected through
repeated practice
like her
still baby-soft skin

no-one apparently noticing
that those hollow cheekbones
are tear-stained

blonde anorexic
so young
too young
sweet and glamorous

another falling angel
and crying

her true beauty
her essence
she hides
her secret inner space
where she is herself
perfect in her very imperfection
a star

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

"Maybe Baby Pink"

I think in

pastel pink

for my baby maybe

for my maybe baby

for my nearly daughter

for every little thing

that I almost


taught her

I feel my pain in

pastel pink

waves of



for my baby girl

for my spirit daughter