a flippance of flies

a flippance of flies
flew around my face
all fanciful in their
frivolous flight

fuck off! fuck off!
get out of my space
you’re offering me
such a fearful fright

but still they fussed
and still they fiddled
that flippance of flies
that followed me hither


another poem

there’s a patch of sunlight on the hill
it’s not too far away
the white blades on the new windmill
are slicing up my day

every minute they go round and round
morning, noon and night
I stand in hope and wait spellbound
for a future shiny bright

a poem

the sea was romaine lettuce green
the sky a blueberry blue
the clouds were patterned coffee cream
the boats a lemony hue

the day was bleeding beetroot red
the night black liquorice glue
the moon was buttery brioche bread
the dough of mornings new


a little brown sparrow
flew directly toward me
it caught a tiny black fly in flight
and flew off into the big bright sky

did the fly notice the sparrow?
or the sparrow notice me?
or did the big bright sky see
the drama unfold down below?

it was just an insignificant moment
caught between the beat of tiny wings
and later the day turned to night
and an owl came out to feed

Prairie Wishes

I want to live out on the prairie
A little house with a south facing porch
Gentle slope down to a wide expanse
Cool evening breeze to soothe the soul

I want to live out on the front porch
Kill time to the beat of the swing seat
Watch the ruby-throated hummingbirds
Cool kisses from my honey’s sweet lips

I want to live out on the swing seat
Rock to and fro in her warm embrace
Talk of this and that and nothing more
Until the evening sun leaves to rest

I want to live out in her warm embrace
Her voice washing over me in waves
You know that’s all I ever really wanted
But some wishes never will come true

escape routes

staring at the cracks in the ceiling
he went in search of unexplored lands
lost worlds mapped in lines and stains
one-eyed cyclopes in missing plaster caves

there the route to King Solomon’s Mines
Quatermain exhausted he falls to sleep
forty leagues of adventure dreaming
he climbs Kanchenjunga in The Lakes

exploring Slater Bob’s copper mines
‘sing out if you see rocks under water, Roger’
but there are only books lying on the floor
slipped from the hand of a tired boy

now the books are aligned on shelves
classics, fiction, poetry, art, nature, travel
and the man still dreams of unexplored lands
the cracks in the ceiling his escape routes


the black holes he passes through
huh, the mazes that he wanders
a different form of escape sometimes beckons
one that cannot be written in words


‘sing out if you see rocks under water, Roger’
adapted from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

nothing else matters

you are up there

balanced momentarily on the edge
fingertips touching the sun
the taste of your heartbeat on your tongue
startled air fizzing in your lungs

on the coping
on the crest of a wave
on the cusp of immortality

the descent is a controlled dive
a countdown to the next ecstasy
a wall of water or concrete curve
elemental in that instant
friend and foe

you went in search of perfection
and why not?
the world is your playground
there is no greater feeling than this

you call it freedom

and when you are up there on the edge
fingertips touching the sun
heart in mouth
lungs bursting

nothing else matters

Dead Dove Sketch

‘Ello, I wish to complain about this dove of peace
what you ‘ave been selling for over half a century
from this very international alliance boutique.

Oh yes, the, uh, the United Nations Blue…
What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my good sir.
It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

No, no, it’s uh,…it’s resting.
Remarkable bird, the U.N. Blue. Beautiful plumage!

All right then, if it’s restin’, I’ll wake it up! ~
‘Ello, Mister Secretary General!
I’ve got a lovely fresh war for you if you wake up…

There, it moved!

No, it didn’t, that was you hitting the cage!

I never, never did anything…

Exactly! Now look, mate,
I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this.
That dove of peace is definitely deceased,
and you assured me that its total lack of movement
was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out
following a prolonged debate.

No, no…..No, it’s just stunned!


Yeah! You stunned it, just as it was wakin’ up! 
United Nations Blues stun easily, sir.

No! That’s what I call a dead dove of peace!

Well, I’d better replace it, then.
Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the HQ,
and uh, we’re right out of doves of peace.

I see. I see, I get the picture.

(pause) I got a slug?



with thanks to Monty Python and the artist Yücel Türkoğlu
for the inspiration.

c’est fantastique!

read these words so fantastique
all lined up like obélisques

not much good for dyslexiques
jumbled up and robotique

search them for some symbolique
phallique, unique, romantique

sell them to the touristiques
sur la plage and asphaltique

xénophobique satirique
softly centred nucléique

constitution phlegmatique

written by an artistique
organique and aseptique

philosophique socratique
not much doubt it’s orgasmique

all these words so fantastique!




She showed me Seven

She showed me seven gemstones
Said each stone was something special
But to me they were just seven stones
Seven stones identical and dead

She showed me seven wildflowers
Said each flower had a different petal
But to me they were just seven flowers
Seven flowers identical and dead

She showed me seven bright stars
Said each star was a different universe
But to me they were just seven stars
Seven stars identical and dead

She showed me seven beating hearts
Said each heart was full of love
But to me they were just seven hearts
Seven hearts identical and dead

She showed me seven fading stars
Said each fading star was a dying universe
But to me they were seven bright stars
Seven bright stars shining and alive

She showed me seven wilted wildflowers
Said each flower had lost its petals
But to me they were seven blooming wildflowers
Seven wildflowers blooming and alive

She showed me seven dull stones
Said they were nothing special
But to me they were seven healing stones
Seven healing stones to bring us together