Back to the garden

Let’s go back
to the garden
and start again
she said

You’ve been saying that
for the past fifty years
he said

Yes but this time
we can try harder
not make the same mistakes
she said

Just you and me
like it was in the beginning
he said

Yes yes
remember how beautiful it was
and how innocent we were
she said

You’ll have to give up eating apples
he said

Oh come on
you don’t still believe that old story
you know your old man never liked me
from the first minute you set eyes on me
she said

Well you know I’m tempted
but the truth is
we’re too old to change our ways now
he said

You men are all the same
you always have to have the final say
things never change
she said

I’ll see you around
she added


they take a car to a plane
then they fly down to Spain

and a taxi to a ship
takes them on a cruise trip

to the places they must see
their bucket lists must be

ticked before they die
or the pension pot runs dry

I tell you it’s no lie
they’re carbon guzzling flies

buzzing buzzing by
as the planet coughs and dies


an old cobwebbed beardy writes poetry which nobody wants to read – he doesn’t even know where these words come from – some of the things he writes about have been knocking about for years – since he was a teenager – muses have come and gone and now he bides his time in solitude waiting for his angel to take him away – his shepherdess – there is simply no point trying to explain his thoughts to the outside world anymore – he barely steps outside his own thoughts – when you have nothing your thoughts become your only precious possessions – he glides through them like an eagle searching for prey – somewhere hot would be nice – he’s always fancied ending his days propped against a smooth boulder at the entrance to a cave on the side of a cliff overlooking a vast expanse of nothing – but would his angel – his shepherdess – know where to find him – and would the wolves find him first and tear his flesh from his bones – never one for taking risks he elected to stay put – surely she would find him here – he listens for her every day – in the sound of the birds in the overgrown garden – in the wind that whistles through the cracks in the window frames – in the conversations that keep him company when he closes his eyes and leans back into his solitude – the sun warm upon his old cobwebbed beardy face – his smile radiating contentment – he would never know how it came to be that he became an angel himself – what a mystery this life is – how it takes us without warning.


the television screen is black
the sound is muted
for all time

hey, let’s turn out the lights
let’s shoot the moon in the face
the stars next

no more noises please
our words are meaningless
to the dead

so why not go there?
there must be something worth dying for?
a new way of being

black as pitch

she’s a mother

she’s a mother
and she’s the best
she’s like no other
not like the rest

she’s a free spirit
with specific dietary requirements
she’s spiritual
without religious alignments

she’s homeopathic
a natural birther
she’s a breast feeder
a planet preserver

yes she’s a mother
and she knows best
she’s like no other
not like the rest

she’s widely read
in narrow fields
believes in conspiracies
the allegedly concealed

she’s an anti-vaxxer
for the good of her child
no chems for her
she’s barefoot and wild

yeah she’s a mother
she knows what’s best
unlike the science
and all the rest

the only ones

on bright winter mornings
we drove hungover along the seafront
last night’s disco ball now a low hung sun
a billion twinkling dance moves glinting
on every tiny ripple of a wave
and through it all the beat of our lives
ebbed and flowed with every tide
racing – pulsing – floating onward
not that we had anywhere to go
except perhaps to the end of the pier
where the fishermen cast their hopes
and the drunks dreamed in gathered shoals
like driftwood drawn from the north
they too had nowhere left to go

we used to park at the end of Madeira Drive
and make out in the car when the clubs had closed
we weren’t the only ones

orange beetle

under a Brighton moon

in our palatial bedsits
punk posters on the walls
we stared into the smoke screen
can’t tell what we saw
can’t tell what we saw

and down the street
at the end of the street
between the sky and dirty gutters
is where we used to drink
is where we used to drink

we drank to get drunk
we got drunk to forget
we forgot why we’d even started
until the time was spent
until the time was spent

and down below the pier
on the dead and pebbled beach
the tramps all licked their wounds
just like they were dogs
just like they were dogs

yet still we wanted more
a line from a song or more
any something more we could score
to take our breath away
to take our breath away

under a Brighton moon
the glow of cigarette butts
stars safety pinned to the night
it’s all so long ago
it’s all so long ago

it’s all so very long ago
much longer than a lifetime ago
now it’s pulled out from under your feet
oh such a cruel fate
oh such a cruel fate