a leaf exposes its veins
like a drug addict in a brownstone
blown on a southerly breeze from Central Park
long the length of Lexington
climbing high on escape ladders
peering into dark spaces
where people go to rot
like leaves exposing veins
describing in detail

and waiting
waiting for the wind to blow it back again
an easterly or westerly to knock it sideways
into a bar or coffee house
over the heads of pimps and whores
over the piss soaked floors
through the rear doors
into alley canyonways
narrow and thin
gangling and unfed

sin soaked
adrenaline stoked
feeling the walls with both hands outstretched
like you are mighty
like you are Jesus fucking Christ almighty
born from a Black Tupelo in the park
blown on the breeze down Lexington
to a brownstone graveyard junkie den
stroking the vein just because

you are thin as an alley canyonway
warm winds in the subway
crazy like the echoes in Grand Central Station
comingup escalators
comingup brownstone stairs
knocking on heaven’s numbered doors
wondering which is yours
running your finger over your vein
you’re a leaf
see through

blown from one trip to the next
the needle’s whore
summer’s autumn
autumn’s winter
your black clothes the color of mourning
the leaf crumbling in your palm
dry like your shrivelled skin
disintegrating before your eyes
waiting waiting waiting
for that southerly breeze

to blow you the fuck away . . .

Johnny F

on mist in the night
from a dark corner
he brought with him
a damp lonely light
a crumpled pack
of Major cigarettes
and a constant thirst
for tea and company

the chair by the door
was his alone
reserved for his visits
with unwashed hands
the Sisters of Mercy
bought black welly boots
kept him in clothes
and partially fed

he lived on his own
in his council shed
the ghost of his brother
ten years dead
the family house ruined
land gone to bracken
a few barren cows
just him and the rats

the last of the village
old bachelor boys
abandoned to rot in his
four fucking fields
growing older gets harder
like a peat bog man
sphagnum soaked
with years of rain

a chance meeting
two weeks before
his body was found
on the road out of town
he’d bought me a pint
to the locals’ surprise
Sláinte he spoke
quiet trust in his eyes

there is a saying
that some would believe
if you see in the dawn
a hare taking leave
that death has come knocking
a spirit set free
an old friend is waving
farewell to thee

johnny f


walking the same landscape our ancestors shaped
under the same sullen skies and windswept clouds
great granite boulders hold the hills in a delicate balance
but what now are visible were once woodland cloaked
oh how this has changed yet in some ways not
the streams and drovers’ tracks run a little deeper, yes
worn and rutted by water, wheels, hooves and feet
the trees are gone, replaced by thick stone walls
and farmhouses with solid chimneys blend themselves neatly in
as if hewn from the rock during some dark night storm
this land has stood witness to many such beatings
as wave after wave of cliff batterings took their toll
the gorse bushes bent double like old men in Sou’westers
but it was underground that men also ventured
picking away at the rich seams of tin
that would kill more than would make wealthy
we traipse across a boggy field to Mên-an-Tol
where thrice through the hole will cure your ills
or so the stories go

The Mên-an-Tol standing stones near Madron in Cornwall with the Ding Dong tin mine in the distance.


the waves roll
as if great humpbacks
are passing through unnoticed
below the surface turmoil
within the undercurrents
singing their songs of the deep
blowing holes in our imaginations
we can only guess at what goes on
when their eye meets ours
a lighthouse beacon glinting
warning us of danger
now surging ever closer
with the passage of time
these great leviathans
who roll with the waves
dive to seek respite
from the constantly curious
the flesh and photograph hunters
who follow so relentlessly
to the ends of the world
across rolling waves
that never cease
like the tolling of bells
on ships lost at sea


through the gaps
that rattle and trap
westerly sea breezes
between grey slate tiles
and wooden slats
the seahorses race
over green rolling hills
and with them
the shanty sighs of fishermen
their black notes hung
on cormorant wings
borne aloft
on white beards of spray
the churning
yearning tides of time
keeping secrets hidden
like buried treasures
cannons and caskets
doubloons and bones
shipwrecked with all hands lost
as we all must surely

The view from my window
St. Ives, Cornwall
Sunday 10th. February 2019

slide away

the past is now a million years away
falling faster than a billion tears today
but that’s okay I can let it all slide away
a million billion words can only mean
. . . there’s really nothing left to say
but now it all comes flooding back to me
in blues and blacks and purple greys
the bruises of a child who went astray
his love a fading summer golden ray
. . . there’s really nothing left to say
the future will likely come back to stay
haunting for each millisecond of the day
the present binding me in clods of clay
. . . there’s really nothing left to say