and lastly
I thought about
the first person
I should have thought about
in the first place
and I did
and I didn’t
and it was inappropriate
in some ways
but mainly it wasn’t

oh my
how you became
so beautiful
so suddenly
in my eyes
and to think

years and years ago
we were lost for words
and couldn’t speak
in the summer heat
skirting the border
windows down
heading for the coast
you said

pelicans fly in formation
up and down the coast
and people say
and hey man
it’s where we went
until the weather turned


in your mews house
up from the clock tower
the french doors swung wide open
your long white summer dress
each button undone revealing
another inch of flesh for me to kiss
working my way slowly up your legs
I rested my head on your belly
felt the rise and fall of your breathing
smelt the salty scent of sea breeze
the fern in the green glazed jardinière
the only other movement in the room
deep in this warm canyon
your fingers ran through my hair
as if the outside wasn’t there
although somewhere came the echo
of scaffolding being taken down

Fran’s Mini

in Fran’s purple Mini singing
“alone again . . . naturally”
driving along Madeira Drive
past the Ferris wheel and crazy golf
we got the windows wound down
the smell of sea on the right
the stench of piss on our left
the down and outs on benches
slurring “underneath the arches”
their bottles of Thunderbird nearing empty
and UP the ramp we go
put the pedal to the metal girl
give it all she’s got girl
MOT’s due next week shouts Fran
she cannae take any more I shouts
wheezing onto Marine Parade
heaving a sigh of collective relief
take her up round Sussex Square I suggest
arm out window indicating our direction
and we’ll stick two fingers up
to the posh cunts in their Regency piles
left on Eastern Road
(we didn’t do the two fingers after all)
too busy singing
“oh what a lonely boy
oh what a lonely BOY!”
all the way to the Royal Sussex Hospital
take a left here down Sudeley Place
then next right into Sudeley Street
I got some memories stored here
idling past the Corner Memory Store
then left then right then straight ahead
Fran turning up the radio
it’s so loud the doors are rattling
people outside shops stop and stare
“we had joy we had fun
flicking bogies at the sun
but the sun was too hot
and the bogies turned to snot”
pulling up outside The Crown
squeezing Fran’s purple Mini in
lucky to get a space
turning the key to No.23
walking down the dank corridor
turning the key to bedsit No.8
we’ll talk about travelling the world
we’ll smoke some dope
we’ll laugh and watch TV
but she won’t stay the night
and the summer is ending


the thing i'm struggling with most is 
simply finding a comfortable position in 
which to sleep at night when my bones scrape
through the parchment stretched like a canvas
on which an artist daubed all the colours of
his palette with a knife once reserved for
cutting their bread into slices of time that
gathered blue spots of mould reminiscent of
summer skies shot blasted with sea spray
seen from under a curling wave in which
we tumble down green seaweed grass hills to
end our days in a graveyard overlooking the
town in which our mothers have spread their 
legs and forced our heads screaming for air 
through bloodied soil and our ancestors bones
bleached on the beaches where they walked

there i go . . .

i'm reaching for all the things i cannot have
dreams in which i inhabit a parallel universe
one where . . . 
i stare out windows and search for that place
lost now in the cosmic dust that made us all
white noise with undertones of . . .
there in the distance my words yet unspoken
my thoughts untrammelled and unvisited
unexpected migrants . . . 
the clouds move like shoals of silver herring
blue and green bubble filled orchestrations
uplifting to where . . .
can i be expected to manage these landscapes?
i feel landlocked and desolate inhabiting them
there i go . . .
i'm reaching for all the things i cannot have
dreams in which i inhabit a parallel universe
one where . . . 
i stare out windows and search for seagulls
on the beach chalk rocks littered like skulls
through a child's eye . . .
his father's voice is but a long dead echo
walking backwards on the sand as the waves wash
footsteps away . . .
i know i know i know everything and nothing
such a long time ago when summer held my hand
tenses squabbling . . . 
waves washing through a child's eye 
seagulls pecking at the bleached empty sockets
landlocked landscapes clouded with herring skies
a migrant made of distant cosmic dust
backwards into summers a long time ago
when father's voice spoke to me
i know i know i know
i'm reaching for all the things i cannot have
dreams in which i inhabit a parallel universe
one where . . .
there i go . . .


I have watched
as you trampled growing seeds
and poured scorn on these summer days
I have watched
as your shadow grew and cast a darkness
like a deepening sorrow over beauty
I have watched
as you laughed in the face of happiness
with a heinous grin of self-satisfaction
I have watched
as you tried to destroy all that you created
or claimed to have loved in the name of what?
I have watched
as many have cried and I am not sure why
such bitterness fills your heart
I have watched
as my wrists have bled the last vestiges
of hope and forgiveness
I have watched
but I can watch no more as the sun sets
on this last earthly hour


look out
and try to find
blue and crimson skies
where birds fly from the corners of my eyes
and a copse of trees on a wilderness road
is a little piece of England in Wyoming
where the shadows breathe life into the rocks
and the wolf within me sniffs the summer air

I am
alone and I am
a traveller and I am here and now
in no other time or dimension or space
there are pieces of broken seashells in my pocket
the sharp edges a reminder of sand between my toes
my burnt shoulders a reminder of childhood
when I walked these shores without a care
doing what children ought to do in silence

I understand
the importance of being alive
although I cannot comprehend the meaning of it
the days are numbered with my personal DNA sequence
another unfathomable equation that directs me
and sends me spinning through these landscapes
like an out of control meteorite on a collision course
that urges me to bend down and pick at the desert gravel
to find the piece that fits snugly in my mind

of course I can
it’s as easy as buying a ticket and jumping on a plane
there’s no glue to bind me like gravity to this planet
I can come and go as I please and take my leave
wave to you from afar or hold you near
my reason is to journey and never arrive
the call of the wild lulls me to sleep
and in your arms I slumber peacefully


A Mighty Leaf

The mighty leaf lay on the ground
A blanket for the lost and found
Within the woodland’s earthy realm
We kissed at night beneath the elm

In daylight hours the sun had shined
Our hungry lips had warmly dined
On this and that and pleasant stuff
That quenched our love near enough

Seasons came and seasons passed
No-one questioned, no-one asked
Why the leaf turned crinkly brown
From winter’s cruel and frosty frown

But we all knew the months ahead
Would offer up more paths to tread
One for hardship, one for pain
And many days of freezing rain

But all good things to those who wait
Get on with life, don’t hesitate
For when the mighty leaf turns green
Spring’s passions will turn libertine