holiday’s end

the sun is low-cal this morning
watered down behind milky white clouds
it doesn’t matter anyway
as we are leaving today
heading home to rejoin our regular routines
even the seagulls seem to know it
perhaps it’s changeover day for them too
a new cast and crew given the chance
to fill their bellies at this holiday home door
their screeching echoes chasing us away
it’s all a fantasy anyway
none of this will exist once we’re gone
the narrow streets will straighten into motorways
the quaint pubs will become service stations
ugliness will eat away at the clotted cream idyll
and leave us with only our photographs and memories
fading like the low-cal sun behind milky white seagull eyes
it’s all a fantasy anyway and like life itself
we write the days in poems
the best we can


Fake Lake, Wyoming

standing on the lake edge
beside silver stemmed aspen
foot resting on a mighty driftwood log
arm on knee
waiting for a sunset

no words to describe the beauty
the water a mile or so away
vanished on a summer vacation
ripples retreating unseen
evening a quiet platitude

in the distance a cloud of dust
it hovers above the dried grass
then an old army tanker appearing
a quad bike with dogs circling
working the hundreds of sheep

watching from the sidelines
an unfolding drama growing louder
engines, shouting, bleating, barking
approaching a solitary hut
a regular sundown scene

admiring the shepherds’ work
now over, a fire is lit, dogs fed
they are hard as Idaho hills
viewed across the state border
beyond the lake with no water

there is safety in their numbers
the sheep settle into the night
the dogs listen out for the wolves
inside the tent there is darkness
and time to reflect

waking to the sound of howling
dogs or wolves or coyotes
echoing under a Wyoming moon
these memories will last a lifetime
I’m leaving in the morning

standing on the lake edge
beside silver stemmed aspen
the sun rising through the trees
calling my name across the valley
hearing only silence returned

alone as always


Two years ago today I camped near this lake which appeared to have disappeared for the summer. Alpine North Loop Campground is on the Wyoming / Idaho border near the town of Alpine. I was on my way up through the Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone. The lake was actually a reservoir. I watched the sun setting over the mountains as a group of shepherds gathered in their flock of noisy sheep for the night. That’s the dust they kicked up in the middle of the photo. The shepherds drove what looked like an old army tanker and quad bikes and had a hut which they returned to. I sat alone and watched the unfolding drama. One of the best camps on my trip. Travel at its most rewarding. Wyoming is beautiful. My spiritual home.

The Mystery of Mary Bradley

Airman ‘Little Boy’ Bradley was very tired
Last night he had fought with his wife Mary
She desperately needed a vacation to Hawaii
He was desperately needed to fight the War on Whatever

Airman Bradley rubbed his tired little eyes
He blinked at the bank of screens in front of him
He tried to focus in on the day’s top secret mission
A group or two of terrorists in 🔲🔲🔲🔲🔲 or somewhere

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go to Hawaii
It was just that he didn’t want to go with Mary
For all she ever did was tan her bloated body
Or feed his earnings down the throats of Vegas slots

Bradley drank another insulated cup of black coffee
He was trained to be disconnected to the enemy
This disconnection spilled over into his private life
And the boredom filled his head like the caffeine

He spent too much time inside this metal container
Air-conditioned inside but blistering desert heat out
Life it seemed was an assault of extremes
Us and them and him and her and this and that

He guided the unmanned drone on its silent way
“Was always good at video games” he would brag
Flying over a beach, what was it he could see down there?
Was that a woman sunbathing, lying on the sand?

He banked his killing machine and circled around
Hand on his joystick and her life in his hands
His co-pilot was out of the room taking a piss
Airman ‘Little Boy’ Bradley tugged at his trigger

And watched his missile send sand, sea, flesh and bone
In a million ejaculating pleasurable projectile gifts –
He flew on – successfully completed his 100th official mission
Returned home late and found his wife Mary

had shot herself dead

Sangria Sunsets

Her spine was a pink lobster tail on the sand
Curls and whorls under a fat Majorcan moon
He traced her vertebrae one by one
Moved his finger in S-shaped waves
She laughed and stretched, the tide came in
Touched her toes, the soles of her feet
Her soul that needed touching, stroking
That made her giggle too, like his jokes
She’d heard them all before but she didn’t care
Not when the Mediterranean Sea plied her thighs
Or when salt encrusted her belly like a suckling pig
With a ring through its snout, her flesh
Not when Lover Boy’s hands played with her nipples

Oh gosh no, oh god no, oh fuck don’t stop no
And gosh no, they hadn’t

Not since meeting in the Pink Coconut bar and
Not making it back to her holiday apartment
Round the back against the bins
Her sunburned shoulders cooled by the night
And Lover Boy’s Spanish kisses like Sangria sunsets
On her English tower block London skin
They’d made it to the beach with a bottle of something
Strong and intoxicating that made her beats per minute heart
Pump, thump, disco dance and pelvis thrust
She never wanted this moment to end
She only ever wanted pure escape
If only ever for 7 days with a bunch of girlfriends
Wherever they were, she didn’t much care

Oh gosh no, oh god no, oh fuck don’t stop no
And gosh, Lover Boy hadn’t.

Poolside Views

beautiful tattooed curvaceous views
sunlounger tanning without a care
washed up dripping rock lobsters
spit roasted and sun blushed grilled
barbequed holiday reading fodder
chick slitted with cellulite sinplicity
these all inclusive packaged wives

there is barely a cloud in the sky
the distant mountains are never climbed
only glimpsed through fake Gucci eyes
flip flopping thru on a Bacardi breeze

beautiful poolside tired bikini mumsies
making the most of this vacation time
cock sucking their beer bellied behemoths
loudmouthing males in sports bar dives
multi screened ashtrayed eyeliner nights
lolita daughters pouting ice cream lies
coach tripped out and sun lotioned thighs

beyond the no go perimeter nature stalks
sentient beings watch from dry river beds
fresh scented sheets are delivered daily
local widowed brides in starched white suits

these beautiful multi colored international turistas
skin toned graduated flesh potted palms
homogenised in aquamarine chlorinated waters
aerobic volleyballed under San Miguellified skies
eat all you want and go back for more gluttons
buy a sun hat buy a sun hat buy a sun hat
their hotel towels claiming favourite hot spots

Poseidon sea grass mulches the strip of shoreline
kite surfers trick out on azure boarded waves
see through sexy lace summer clothes
the stage tonight set for flamenco shows

her fingers play with the hairs on his leg
his mind undresses and fucks her from behind
entertainment laid on for the evening’s foreplay
you are beautiful people each and every one
you have all earned the right to be here
equaled out under this Mediterranean sky