Two by Two

We’re building an ark to save humanity
To populate an harmonious new colony on a distant trajectory
Applications are now open but this is no random lottery
We want two of the best of you from each walk of life
Including minorities and anyone else we might have forgotten

A man and woman and two gender non-specifics or neutrals
And two from each of the LGBTQ plus communities
That’s two of each of you from every social category
From all major and minor faiths, castes and spiritualities
Yes that’s two of each including anomalies

Plus atheists, pacifists, flat-earthers, poets and militarists
Two of each gender / non-gender / neutral / LGBTQ plus etceteras
We’ll take a couple of hippies, as above, from inner and outer cities
And reps from all the trades and public and private services
From carpenters to call centre workers, plumbers to pole dancers

Two of each, you’re getting the gist, even nuclear physicists
Frackers, real estate agents and anyone else that rhymes with ist
We’ll need pro-lifers, pro-choicers, cross-dressers and transgenders
Those for and against abortion and end of life ethics
All the colours and mixes under our dying sun

Late to bed and early to risers, disabled, abled, willing or lazy
Kings, queens – noble, porn and drag – in variants of he, she and ze
Veterans (with or without arms or legs or Royal consent)
Ladyboy shemales and their opposites (with or without certain bits)
Always one of each, it goes without saying, further details in the list

Politicians from left to right with a selection box of centres
Yep, sorry, it’s one of the least popular terms and conditions
But without which we cannot receive the tax breaks
On our private donors’ financial contributions
Like the Elon Musks and their artificially intelligent friends

Applications will be accepted from near and afar
From Eskimos, Rednecks, Down Unders, those on the Equator
Or Tropics of Cancer, Capricorn and horoscope astrologers
Two of each remember, that means Brexiteers and Remainers
Mustn’t forget Gypsies, Romanies and New Age Travellers

In all their varying shapes and small to XXL sizes
From anorexic to morbidly obese, athletic to sluggish
There will be cabins to suit all sizes, two in each of course
Tea, coffee and meals for all tastes and diets provided
So please form an orderly queue when your name is called

For the ark we are building to save humanity
To populate an harmonious new colony on a distant trajectory
Applications are now open but this is no random lottery
We want two of the best from each walk of life
Including minorities and anyone else we might have forgotten

(sorry – no room for pets or any other animals)





shouting at the moon

stand outside
shout at the moon
return inside
dawn coming soon
awake! awake!
night slumbers forsake
the rest of the restless
till dawn comes to rescue us
we toss and we turn
in white sheets of words
that crumble and burn
with the first singing bird

Resurrecting Ghosts

These ghosts we resurrect from the past
to reconfigure into modern-day icons
airbrushed and reconditioned to match new agendas
grainy truths hair-sprayed and touched-up
now repackaged and rightfully repurposed
for no other purpose than to further our objectives

Slot them into a new time frame as we choose
shift the perspective and reinvent their relevance
but however right-on the message we might preach
there’s no denying a vague rewriting of history
or the plagiarism of facts by poetic fanatics
for no other purpose than to further our objectives

Look, free speech is dead, the internet just killed it
amongst all the babble voices are falling silent
silenced by the very mouths who fight for so-called justice
each position polarised beyond all sensible reasoning
and to think we resurrected those ghosts from the past
for no other reason than to further our objectives



Look! Look!
Can you see the image developing?
Move the paper back and forth in the tray

(torrential rain lashed blacked-out windows)

They just appeared out of nowhere running
But as quick as they came they were gone
Heads bent and leather clad arms flailing
Strange apparitions from some ancient dawn

always running, thorns scratching, taking cover
pursued, wet to shivering skin, ice cold to bone

Look! Look!
There, can you not see them?
Lean in closer to view the image more clearly

(loose glass rattled in wooden framed windows)

Perhaps they were fleeing to a safer morrow
Or moving from one dimension to the next
Stealthy warriors with quivers of arrows
More wraith-like ghosts than static objects

hurry now, more haste, the chase is quickening
the past is catching up with us, keep running

Look! Look!
Is the image now fading?
Peg up the photograph to hasten its drying

(the wind bickered outside of closed windows)

primitive to the eye, viewed through a lens
flesh gashed, captured in a blurred moment
persecuted ancestors branded as heathens
for crimes never committed, sadly lamented

quick, through here, a gap in the line of trees
a hole into the future, an escape route in time

Look! Look!
Have they all but disappeared?
The paper crumbles to dust on the floorboards

(thunderclaps rolled across rickety windows)

the past came to haunt us, the dead to remind
guilt for our misdeeds, taunts for our souls
those left in limbo spend their lives misaligned
swallowed by torment, down pitch-black holes

that was close, let’s rest here in this dark tunnel
but just for a moment, until we catch breath

you are my thesaurus

you are my thesaurus
my concise o.e.d.
the verse and the chorus
to life’s symphony

be with me forever
my alphabet friend
bound tightly together
on you I depend

you are my wise mentor
my counsel, my lore
with words to explore
I will want for no more


Once there lived a woman in Japan
Amid tsunami and earthquake land
And in her mind she held the ghosts
Of all the dead the Gods could boast

Among the deities to whom she prayed
With incense sticks and flowers laid
She praised Benzaiten the eloquent
For life’s rich flow and essence spent

One day I happened upon her abode
Where by the hearth a snake reposed
She took the serpent green and brown
And gaping wide did swallow it down

I watched in horror as it slid back out
And asked her what that was all about
She said living amongst this isolation
The snake inside lent some protection

From hunger, disease and loneliness
Bestowed on her from the great goddess
I threw some coins into an earthen bowl
Wished her luck with her troubled soul

When turning to leave my eyes did see
A shapeshifting vision macabre to me
She was all the dead from centuries past
Amassed, outcast, with mouths aghast

Their twisted, bruised and broken limbs
The fruit of Izanami’s capricious whims
I ran from them till I reached the shore
The woman appearing just like before

Upon those washed and golden sands
She offered me her ghost-white hands
“Be brave, be strong, my human child
Your eyes bewitched and long beguiled

I am Benzaiten the benevolent and wise
Who shows her face in diverse disguise
Fear not the fate of your mortal friends
Their lives on which their faith depends

Take this Kintsugi cup and drink instead
The tears from all the centuries’ dead
One hundred thousand years have gone
Since man first walked the birth of dawn”

I bowed and drank bathed in her light
Now saved from life’s traumatic plight
For death it seemed was not my fate
And closed to me were Heaven’s gates

I thanked the woman from old Japan
Amid tsunami and earthquake land
From her great mind I stole the ghosts
Of all the dead the Gods could boast




he came
and sang
my name
upon the porch
and the winds then carried us both away

my oh my
I was wild
a forest child
back in the day
his north country muse and borderline torch

hobos both
drifters too
howlin’ wolves
in travellin’ shoes
our spirits set free to pick and choose

word strings on
snowflake wings
his Echo from
Minnesota springs
he sang of love and those mountain blues

but now
it’s time
to bid
I wonder, will he remember me at all?

Give and Take

I give – You take
I give a little more – You take a little more

I back off – You take
I back off a little more – You take a little more

I go quiet – You take
I stay quiet – You take a little more

I relent – You take
I relent a little more – You take a little more

I give – You win


I am tired of being angry with this world
of walking up mountains that landslide beneath my feet
dodging boulders that come tumbling across my path

I want to reach some sort of summit and stay there
hold my head up high to the sun and enjoy the view
happy in the knowledge I have found freedom

at last.

Woke up

Woke up, it was a Zappa morning
and the first thing that I heard
was a song inside my windows
from the mofo of inventions
he came a-steaming up like freight train bells
and sang these words to me

Oh, that’s alright folks
We’ll not touch this daylight dial
And we’ll curse it ’till the night comes

Woke up, it was a Mitchell morning
and the first thing that I heard
was the call through yellow curtains
of a taxi cab in the parking lot
that came a-stealing up like the molten sun
to take these words from me

Oh, look out, look out
I’m not the only soul to ever be
Accused of hit and run every second of the day

Woke up, it was a Hendrix morning
and the first thing that I heard
was the dreary sound of a sweeping broom
as it cleared the weeping cobwebs
that fell upon this daybreak like a broken dream
that spilt this cry from within me

Oh won’t you stay
Oh won’t you stay
now the petals of my night time words
have forever blown away


(with a little help from my friends:
Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix)