give peace a chance

we remember our dead
we pay them respect
but the road that we tread
we have to reject

you choose red or white
it’s your chosen voice
you pay your blood money
you makes your own choice

but choose neither one
take a different side
no bombs and no guns
our world pacified

a fight that’s worth winning
borne from circumstance
we’re silently hoping
to give peace a chance



keeping the windows open
we invited in
the sounds and smells
from the street below

the boulangerie opposite
the pâtisserie adjoining
the bar tabac on the corner left
the early morning cleaners
coughing Gauloises curses
shouts and moped engines revving
the chop and chuckle of the butcher’s cleaver

the Paris sun filtered down
through narrow stone valleys
warming our arms and shoulders
leaning on the balcony railings
the universe holding us together
the space around us impartial
the air we shared vital

stepping inside you disappeared
I heard the door shut like gunfire
the echo of your footsteps on the stairs
the distant voice of the concierge
as you bolted into the street waving
head turned to blow me a kiss
which I duly caught and returned

but you were gone again
like the breeze that wasn’t there
only the image of your red dress
burnt on my retina
your lips hot on mine
our lovemaking exhausting
time distorted in a city rush

we ate the frangipane tarts
sprawled on the bed half-clothed
the heat rising from the morning
as if Provence had ridden here
bareback on a Sahara wind
each glistening apricot oozing
southern promises of heavenly delights

keeping the windows open
we invited the world outside
to listen in to our world inside
our room above the street below

it’s fate that takes us in the end

i’ve locked the door
afraid the wind will find me
push autumn litter through the letter box
howling like a fox on heat at midnight
when the streetlamps highlight her red hair
and scent fills the town with trepidation

i’m afraid of stalkers
ghosts from the past who whistle down the decades
finding cracks in the plaster of my flaking memories
shaking fists and hurling furies at my windows
that i whitewash over and hide behind
like shops that have gone belly-up and bankrupt

i discourage the postman
allow the garden to overgrow
the nettles and brambles build a barricade
the rooks stand guard in their watchtowers
they warn me when the rusty gate talks to them
wrens gather in chimes

i am but a shadow
a smudge of wood ash fingerprinted on the paintwork
a rent in a moth-eaten tapestry on which
faded stags rear in the face of sudden death
the hunters’ arrows drawing blood from their necks
it’s fate that takes us in the end


[ . . . . . ]

existing within my own self-made
i write words exhumed from my own
a lexicon of schisms rent by split
borderline insecurities mellowed by melancholy
of the highest orders that take no prisoners excepting
my own [self-doubts . . .]

my narrative is a river that flows from past to present
that somehow drifts me towards my future
through rapids and over falls
i know not where that river runs
or to what future it takes me
only time will tell if i make it there in one piece

[ . . . . . ]


I know where you have come from
but not what you contain
I know where you are flowing
with your toxic brew to drain

I wash in you and worship you
as millions often do
I watch as you float past me
to flush our waste into the sea

I know we hold the answers
to cure your deadly pain
I know I’m but a poor man
a large family to maintain

I hope that help comes quick
before our children all fall sick
I wish for purer waters
to cleanse us mortal sinners

I know where you have come from
I know where you will go
I pray you’ll send a sign one day
to help us change our ways


photo credit Vikram Sharma / Daily Mail Online

A Short(ish) Poem (with vaguely related YouTube link and hurriedly thrown together Oliver! meme)


does poetry homogeny
create dull monotony
like a bowl of grey gruel
or boring school rules?

if / maybe less is snore
please sir, give me more
so rich and so fruity
like juicy Luci Watusi

a high word count
or a low word count?
it doesn’t much matter
which side you’ve buttered

as long as it’s tasty
not cold lumpy gravy
but it’s time I must stop
before this all turns to slop

and I’m tempted to go on
and on and on
and on

I know, it could have been shorter!

only you

a thread of cloth on a desert-thorn bush
below a steep incline down which the wind whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a spot of blood on a yellow grass blade
beside a narrow track of trampled dust that whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a print of a foot by a damp silty  stream
beyond a rocky ravine where the water whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a call from a crow in the sun blistered sky
above a high lonely cave where the spirits whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a hand reaching out to his parched pallid cheek
a finger that runs across his cracked swollen lips


you found me then? – yes I found you
but how? – a thread of cloth, a spot of blood
I caught my hand on the desert-thorn – a footprint
by the stream? – and the crow that called to me
the crow? – the spirits
I came here to die – yes I know you did
why did you come? – because you wanted me to
I couldn’t ask you – I know you couldn’t
I thought I could do it on my own – I know
I thought you didn’t love me anymore – I never stopped
will you stay? – until the end
then leave me to the birds? – I will my love
you will? – yes I will.