we can remember
lest we forget
and how could we forget?
but in all the looking back
we forget to look forward
or even take sideways glances
and it’s oh so easy to turn a blind eye
to all that goes on in faraway places
for there are many today
who are too readily forgotten
let’s not forget them either



minute by minute

I paint brushstrokes on a grey sky
and sit and wait for a while
you never know what might fly by
minute by minute by avian mile

believe me, they do not deceive my eyes
these airborne birdies so versatile
in flight so gracious up on high
minute by minute my widening smile







for RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 27th – 29th January 2018


in the compost loo
amongst the poo
shone a shiny thing
an engagement ring
but how it got there
was the strangest affair
for I had swallowed it whole
to save my soul
from the woman of my dreams
who was not what she seemed
once she’d peeled off her skin
to reveal the lizard within
a vengeful coquette
with a strange silhouette
she slithered away
in the cold dying day

The King is Dead

my mother came screaming from out the kitchen
her eyes ablaze with the flames of tumbleweeds on fire
right down the steps she ran with open arms outstretched to me
the familiar smell of hairspray mixed with chillies and sweat
television news flashes flickered wildly through the blinds

I was seventeen years old as I stood witness in that dusty yard
the sunset a burning ball balanced on the mountain ridge
we live in a crater that sucks moisture from beneath the skin
spend too long out here and your brain will boil
our trailer is a white billboard advertising local poverty

seemed the devil had gotten inside and taken hold of her mind
she shook and shaked like a rattler cornered in a ditch
slowly her hands ebbed away down the length of my dungarees
her blazing eyes dampened as the heat within subsided
she lay shivering on the ground at my bare Baptist feet

my birthday ice cream melting over my hand in astonishment
she lay there clutching her heart that had busted apart
Nevada was a cruel motherfucker whore she once said
Vegas its jumpsuited rhinestone bedazzled pimp
but each day she drove into that city of music and sin

she worked the showroom of The International Hotel & Casino
showed customers to their seats with her little pink torch
and never did she miss a single Elvis show in seven years
that’s eight hundred and thirty seven Elvis shows
no wonder she grew so attached to the King

I bent down and stroked her hair with the familiar smell
but something had already died behind her tumbleweed eyes
then the words blew from out across the darkening desert
“Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?”

lyrics in italics by Lou Handman & Roy Turk


these ‘things’

I place these ‘things’ within me
not for any healthy purpose you understand
and mostly unintentionally
but in they go to find a way
to make a home in some dark nook
or cavernous cranny

stay as mini-migraines why not
or boiling lava lakes within my gut
yes it’s up to me to sort them out
to shout them down and diminish
their potential to wreak havoc
but it doesn’t always work that way

as I am sure you are well aware

once, when I was walking along a remote roadside
I glimpsed a wild animal hide behind a rock
it knew that I knew that each of us were waiting
for the other to move first
yet somehow that creature melted away in the heat
and came to rest within me

and further into my journey
I came across the remains of an eagle
its feathers magnificently spread across the tarmac
a discarded headdress from a fallen hero
once galloped off into a desert sunset
brave and fearless

unlike myself you understand

still storing all these ‘things’ after all these years
souvenirs and postcards from the past
red lipstick kisses on green envelopes
portraits of the poet as a young man
miniatures of finely painted thoughts
in foreign climes

there is an end to this tiresome conversation
as the wind blows through open corridors
I take the hand of an imaginary friend
and we walk barefoot across sand dunes
each step is a word left unspoken
each word left unspoken is peace at last

Mother fed us plastic today

Mother fed us plastic today
cut up into bite-sized pieces
she mixed it with some fish
to make the dish go further
because times were hard
since Father had drowned
the squall that took him under
one wild and windy day
left us but a single parent family
adrift on the gyre of uncertain seas

victims of fashion

the fashion trend of skinny jeans
makes no sense for overweight teens

except perhaps to mock and remind
what fun our youth have left behind

and now their futures can be seen
through portals of smartphone screens

a flock of sheep following fake dreams
everything today is what it seems

the party’s over, the songs all sung
a bitter taste to coat the tongue

with debt, pollution, global warming
is it time for them to dress in mourning?


inspired by ‘Generation Gap, Next…’ by Jane Bozian