space compost . . .

yes , I am certain ,
the unknown is simply the known 
and that we are spending our lives knowingly avoiding
this (                )
of that I am certain, but ,
known and unknown regional variants of this philosophy 
will likely exist , but ultimately  ,
are we not all living in some form of preparatory 
         animation ?

perhaps this earthly state is the glue-that-binds-us-together 
- before we are spent ?
or the bridge that delivers us - from the one world to the next ?
the light that shines on us - before we are dimmed ?
the active atoms that (once separated) 
will become space compost . . ?

our final restless (but peaceful) resting place 
unseen particles drifting through time and space 

is this, then, the space detective's alchemical dilemma ?
the goal to unceasingly endeavour to detect, 
transmute ,, mirror ,,, replicate ,,,,
and to recreate our birth 
and to relive the unknown 
knowingly or unknowingly avoiding the next unknown like

time travellers / asset stripping / the stars .

for I am certain , again ,
there are always other questions waiting to be asked 
other answers waiting to be invented , 
other human failings to be created , 
other interactions to be stimulated , 
other hopes to dash and denigrate . . .

my only wish then (when my time comes) will be this :
to travel on unseen , undetectable , insignificant , 
as octillions of hyper-serene space compost atoms 
out there with the rest of life once lived 
at one and at eternal peace . . .


the hum of the bathroom fan
the last chopper out of saigon
the flickering death of a strip light
the deathly lick of a flick knife
the gurgle of water leaving the bath
the bloody froth on a gaping mouth
the flush of shit from the toilet bowl
the empty hollow of hunger’s howl

the fresh linen sheets smell of lavender
the stench of the landfill scavenger
the creams that ease the pains and sores
the exodus from the fields of war
the rattle of rain on an old tin roof
the submachine gun’s final proof
the free thoughts gently running riot
the police shots that bring disquiet

the art that hangs on suburban walls
the relics smashed when a culture falls
the sunset walk along a sandy beach
the napalm girl with arms outstretched
the shelves of plenty in the grocery store
the hands reach out for a few grains more
the charity that we give
the bloody lives we live

spirit fish

the spirit fish swim in the sky
some say they are the souls of drowned sailors
stomachs storm gutted on black rocks
their empty Cornish cottages let to Londoners
they fly in great shoals of grey clouds
scales glistening like a million deep sea stars
but you’ll never catch these moving rainbows
rising from the depths each time a ship is lost
born inside bubbles gurgling up gagging throats
out the gaping mouths silently screaming final breaths
a sailor’s last meal reincarnated as messenger
Neptune and Poseidon’s caves forever abandoned
from watery depths through spuming crests
the lust for the seafaring life of adventure
now turned to eternal heavenly wandering
and on a clear day you might spot them
the spirit fish that swim in the sky

panes of glass

I divide my long day between
the panes of glass that make up
the French doors that open onto
the patio and walled garden
where once I walked
without a care in the world
for the number of years
left unknown to me

each pane measures 9 x 7
or thereabouts, wooden framed
I give each one equal time
for each one holds a different view
of sky here and tree over there
buildings, roofs, windows
lawn and plants and washing line
colours changing by the hour

which is why I repeat the process
over and over morning till night
seven days a week over and over
only taking time off for surreptitious dozing
my pillows are fluffed up by someone
my body is propped up like a subsiding home
oh look – another story unveiling itself
a raven has landed in pane number 5 . . .


a death in a zen garden

she found him next to Buddha and his two attendants
arms and legs outstretched like a beached starfish

the gravel had been freshly raked to outline his body
an unlikely death scene in a serene zen garden

some say his master had orchestrated his funeral
others that the truth was known only to the willows

but next day his body was gone and the gravel raked
in patterns resembling waves and rippling water

only the words of his poetry and songs were echoed
the meaning of it all concentrated in the ensuing silence

she that had meant everything and nothing to him
taking her own last breath and reaching for his hand

isn’t this the way death dreams our eternal slumber?
on the point of everlasting meditation, of no return?












































in death


in death we shit only soil
it’s our daily diet of darkness
the hours and minutes are meaningless
light is but a distant memory
we feel the tickle of worms
wending their way between our bones
the weight of the world pressing down on our silence
a grave and lonely eternity


after that it’s everlasting
and you can never come back
not even on the tail of a comet
as a once in a millennium visitor
your memory will just keep on travelling
fading and fading and fading
until perhaps you reach the end of everything
or the beginning of something else

What if God has already died?

clinging to life
despite unquestioning faith
trying every treatment and trick
in the good book

taking medicine and praying for miracles
noting that neither appear to be working
money can only buy a little more time
a precious commodity

already borrowed more than half a fair share
and to be afraid of dying or admitting failings
unable to reason with creation’s end
sand through fingers run

I would be happy to go if I believed in something
I’ve always thought life is harder if you have no beliefs
Is God answerable to His own God?
What if God has already died?

nothing matters
we bounce along life’s potholed highway
avoiding oncoming traffic and unexpected
t-bone collisions

clinging to the wheel
we hope and love and cherish whatever we find
the best adventures are the ones in which we forget
the beginnings of poems about death

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


when I was born
my mother wasn’t there
the clouds parted
I tasted my first air

when I was a child
my father chose to die
the country widened
beneath an open sky

when I was a man
my love abandoned me
the birds began to sing
setting my soul free

when I was old
my heart declined to beat
the setting sun burned
consuming me in heat

when I was reborn
my life began once more
mistakes and lessons learnt
repeating like before