that you are

your face
we laugh so hard
your black mascara runs
like liquorice laces
or a tribal tattoo

hello you
let me clean you up
a tissue a tissue
we fall to wiping
revealing your skin

how I love your face
full moon with starlet eyes
open as a window
on a breezy day
without a frown

and not a care in the world
unlike me the worrier
carrying the weight of death
on my shoulders
no hero am I

no hero am I
despite what you say
I am only doing what little I can
keeping you laughing

in the face of everything
the tubes the treatments
the surgery the scars
I couldn’t be you
brave beauty

that you are

your name and mine

the storm last night blew
the last remaining heart-shaped leaves
from the poplar trees
and swirled them through my darkest dreams
in which your knuckles rapped upon my eyelids
in which you called from beyond the clouds
my name and your name

and with growing intensity
every last remaining rusting roofing nail
that keeps my house from blowing asunder
jiggled like loose teeth in a crowded coffin box
on which your fingers had once released
the suffocating soil to bury my voice
from that day forth

oh that I would recognise you now
with your hair tangled in windblown knots
and your limbs akimbo amongst the fallen branches
strewn upon the orchard grass
where leaves lie rotting and colour is drained
from cheeks that once were apple flushed
with your lover’s kisses

you are but the ambient past to me
pliant and fluid with a light that glimmers
not guiding or warning or even moving
but still as a mirror on an oaken table
your calfskin gloves neatly folded
heart-shaped leaves from the poplar trees
pressed between the pages of your journal

all substance turned to dust that blows
on the opening of the crackling memory
you offered me no more than you could
the leaf held to the moonlight reveals its veins
as if the blood has been preternaturally drained
and I am left with only an echo
of your name and mine

in this field

in this sunny damp and cornered field
I tread the margins of the coming yield

a farmer’s hope for summer harvests
his cash crops sold to hungry markets

and find myself by a wooden gate
its surfaces moss and lichen decorate

long abandoned some long time ago
the surrounding hedge now overgrown

like this footpath I dared to rediscover
to dwell awhile whilst nature chatters

the sun well past its point of no return
taking with it the day’s unconcern

there’s nothing much left here to see
except perhaps a slightly swaying tree

that in the late afternoon growing breeze
is gently urging me to move on please

and leave the secrets I have found
upon this green and giving ground

in this sunny damp and cornered field
I tread the margins of the coming yield


I wrote a shopping list today

I wrote a shopping list today
it flowed like poetry over pebbles
there were haiku halves in rice paper bags
and buy one get one free verses
a couplet or two of sardines in rhyme
a roundel of raw onions that will no doubt
repeat on me!

I wrote a shopping list today
it glowed like oranges in a window bowl
there were a load of old odes to cook real slow
and three for two on blueberry ballad muffins
a packet of pretty paradelle pasta twirls
a jar of jellied elegies that will no doubt
lament inside of me!

I wrote a shopping list today
it smelt like newly picked pastorals
there were punnets of sun ripened sonnets
and reduced to clear metaphors in oil
a quarter pound of sugared quatrains
a printed tanka top that will no doubt
look epic on me!

I wrote a shopping list today
it tasted like freshly kissed lyrics from your lips
there were eggphrastics to beat in Pyrex prose
and nineteen villanelles all in a row
a slam of spoken spaghetti letters . . . and
a bottle of Limerick’s Gin that will no doubt
be the literal death of me!


shopping list

in my mind I am constantly travelling travelling travelling

in my mind I am constantly travelling travelling
like Jack Kerouac in ’47 or Robert M Pirsig in ’68
I am Don Quixote tilting at windmills on Rocinante
I am Che Guevara astride his La Poderosa steed

in my mind I am here, there, I am everywhere
I am hiding between the pages of your dreams
I am hiking the wild PCT with Cheryl Strayed
or getting lost in the woods with Bryson and bears

in my mind I am Odysseus adrift on the high seas
I am Christopher Robin leading an expodition
I am climbing an icy north face in a blizzard
or riding jet streams in a Phileas Fogg balloon

in my mind I am a painter of landscapes
out in the fresh air with Monet and Cézanne
I am constantly restless, a writer gone walkabout
a Rimbaud, a Huck Finn, a Dice Man, a Guthrie

in my mind I am constantly travelling travelling
I am Titus Groan and I am never coming back
I am an Ishmael, a Baggins, Le Grand Meaulnes
so won’t you come along and share the ride . . .

in my mind you will come with me, won’t you?
we will journey to the centre of the Earth
to the moon and back and over the far horizon
for there we will find our next adventure story

in my mind the auditorium is fast filling up
the Milky Way and stars providing the lighting
the greatest untold CinemaScope moving picture
is about to begin travelling travelling travelling

and I don’t need anyone to tell me when to start or finish!


photo of rock graffiti taken in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Kentucky
11 Sept 2016.

written for and inspired by my lovely poetry friend
and fellow word traveller V.J. Knutson:
“There are endless places to visit, and so much to see,
and these mini-journeys down memory lane
make me wistful once again, to take flight.”

Please visit:

Please visit: