not altogether clear

it’s not altogether clear
how we made it here
your brother’s house
somewhere near Elm Grove
on a settee, you and me
the washed up night’s debris
and there you fucking are
in my baggy blue jumper
must’ve lent it to you earlier
though where we go from here
is not altogether clear
when two worlds collide
those worlds can’t run and hide
your life versus mine
like we both stepped out of line
but somehow that seems fine
and there you are sleeping
in my two dead tingling arms
afraid to move in case
that drunk smile on your face
is lost from my close up view
dried vodka spittle lips on you
smeared make up, angular hips
morning breath, white as death
no, it’s not altogether clear
what the fuck I’m doing here
think I’m falling in love with you
but then again I don’t know you
what and when and why and who
did this thing just really happen
seems a long time since back then
the vods, the beach, the first kiss
I’m not altogether sure about this
I’m gonna need a piss soon
there’s light coming in from the moon
or is it morning coming out too soon
so frail and helpless
in a world that couldn’t care less
just see if I can ease myself out
you’re still out for the fucking count
there’s cramp in my shoulder
I drank so much I’m sober
happens that way sometimes
gotta piss, gotta leave this house
your brother’s fucking house
for fuck’s sake it’s getting late
it’s getting early, can’t stay and wait
for you to wake and then what
your brother comes downstairs
a growling hungry hungover bear
and then what, and then what
it’s not altogether clear
my nose in your ear
I’m sliding to the floor
crawling to the door
I’m out in the cold air
I’ve left you there, in there
wearing my baggy blue jumper
I must’ve given it you earlier
I light the last Marlboro red
first rays of sun stroke my head
takes a piss behind his shed
still taste your vodka lips on mine
it’s like we both stepped out of line
not altogether clear how this came about
how we made it here, made it there
and will we find each other again
any some fucking where

another momentous day

the monk drew his habit around his shoulders
it felt comforting as a prayer uttered in private contemplation
warming as a shroud laid on a corpse
he’d seen many of those over the years
brothers mainly
but on occasion others like the gardener

tonight the moon rolled itself along the ridge of mountains
and for a moment he imagined himself up there
communing with his maker
wandering the rocky paths in solitude
at one with his worldly thoughts
blessed to be alive on this frosty night

when angels raced across the heavens
and stillness gripped him like a vice
the temperature dropping made him turn for home
thankful for the warm fire and bowl of soup
that waited patiently for him
tomorrow would be another momentous day


the television screen is black
the sound is muted
for all time

hey, let’s turn out the lights
let’s shoot the moon in the face
the stars next

no more noises please
our words are meaningless
to the dead

so why not go there?
there must be something worth dying for?
a new way of being

black as pitch

under a Brighton moon

in our palatial bedsits
punk posters on the walls
we stared into the smoke screen
can’t tell what we saw
can’t tell what we saw

and down the street
at the end of the street
between the sky and dirty gutters
is where we used to drink
is where we used to drink

we drank to get drunk
we got drunk to forget
we forgot why we’d even started
until the time was spent
until the time was spent

and down below the pier
on the dead and pebbled beach
the tramps all licked their wounds
just like they were dogs
just like they were dogs

yet still we wanted more
a line from a song or more
any something more we could score
to take our breath away
to take our breath away

under a Brighton moon
the glow of cigarette butts
stars safety pinned to the night
it’s all so long ago
it’s all so long ago

it’s all so very long ago
much longer than a lifetime ago
now it’s pulled out from under your feet
oh such a cruel fate
oh such a cruel fate


from out of the sky
the days fall like radioactive promises
unseen, endless, deadly
I cup my hands and drink motes of time
swallowed down by invisible dust devils
who disturb my insides
and make me want to curl up beneath a tree
the pain of solitude all consuming
the smell of mould all pervading
how tight can eyes be fastened
when tiny hands pull at my lids
and spiders weave ropes that bind me
a giant bound by arrogance and greed
nature in all its overbearing smugness
forgetting the passage of sun and moon
the arc of the day’s deceitful covenant
in swathes of earthly lamentations
everything seemingly aghast and lost
there being no stopping for breath
only disorder and irrelevance
I say just let me lie here in peace
dissolving in a fission of acceptance
unable to pray despite looking heavenward

guiding light

I would crumble under her gaze
two eyes as black as moons absorbing
the universe and she the centre
me the broken debris of a comet’s tail
breaking apart in every aspect
like a moth caught in a candle flame
the golden ratio disproportionate
distorted beyond the rainbow’s end
where her flock grazed on purple clover
and pitching camp she would weave
stories and willow baskets into the night
that I could ever keep up with her
ah heaven knows I tried and failed
I may as well have been a blade of grass
amongst the many pastures we traversed
she leading, me following, the way onward
never knowing if she loved me or not
never knowing what lay ahead
I would crumble under her gaze
and would now if she were here
to guide me

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)


wrap me in your swaddling arms
blanket me with your love
tonight this man is your child
don’t let him out of your sight
for though the moon may shine brightly
there’s darkness behind the stars
and this man is a child and needs you
to guide him through this night

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

Instant Karma for the Human Race (with apologies to John & Yoko)

Global warming’s gonna get you
It’s gonna drown you in your bed
You better get your shit together
‘cos pretty soon you’re gonna be dead

What in the world were you thinking of?
Buying all that trash you said you loved
What on earth were you trying to forget?
Now it’s up to you to pay it back

Well you will all shine on
In the moon and the stars and the sun
Yes you will all shine on
But no-one will remember you

Yes you will all shine on
In the dust from where you came from
Yes you will all shine on
It’s down to you, and only you

on and on and on . . .
on and on and on . . .

(repeat until your dying breath)

on y va!

this city is for walking and yes
we are crammed down narrow streets
leather bags and silk scarves hang in import
export emporiums vying for attention next
metal hooks for cured meats and bejewelled trinkets

we pass through gated alleys into hidden courtyards
that dwell in cigarette smoke blended with ground
coffee and exotic aromas from the four corners
where North Africa meets Far East and promises
lovers will meet their lovers under moonlight

the police sirens will chant a constant on y va!
a hurry up come here let’s go clamorous call
climbing twisting stairs to lowly rooms we lean
on a balcony and I smell your hair but don’t know
your name nor you mine which makes us equals

in this city which is a souk or a caravanserai
your eyes more dark mystery than a fortune teller
I can’t help but lose myself in this story
a humble poet with nothing better to do than
fill the pages of notebooks with his dreams