Time Passes

Is it really true
that you were punks,
in the purest sense.
Because you were
young, way back when.
And like all of us,
you’re surprised
to be old.
Time passes,
it takes us down a peg.
Makes us reassess
the way we really were.
Humongous pricks,
turning on a click.
Shouting down
the lost and found.
Digging our own ditch.

Step by Step

I will carry you down
through the long grass.
And make your troubles go.
I will sing a sweet song, quietly.
Folding and unfolding,
making the world anew.
Tapping barefoot on the ground,
gently without a sound.
Step by step, step by step.
With footprints, soft and easy.


Handle with care
says the label.
Red bold print,
on a white plastic back.
A warning for some.
An invitation to others.
A question, not an order.
A suggestion, a nudge.
A reason to be bold.
A path that is crossed.
A point of no return.

John Pitman

On hearing the news
of John Pitman’s passing.
I mull over memories,
decayed and neglected.
He’s a brushstroke,
an impression –
when reanimated.
A humorous king
of the witty aside.
A painter in film.
A seeker of truth.
A reveller in nuance,
with a soft drawling voice.
And I know there’s more,
much more, to the man.
But all that I have
are these small
shiny fragments.
These remnants
and remains.
These rich
remember when’s.


The smoker on the heath,
The gas guzzler,
fuming on the street.
Building work half done,
half complete.
A mound or two of
dirt encrusted ice.
Detached and
not quite there.
Falling out and falling through.
Tracing a pattern
from A through to C.
Flakes of reality from
an undigested life.


In the wee small
hours as we wait
for dawn.
As we while the
night-time with
lost nightingales.
As we pass
the tables being
taken away.
Wash through streets
awash with
a night-time purr.
In the wee small
hours before dawn.

Raw Lives

Tents in doorways
and Uber-Eats.
Fallen people
walking the streets.
Boarded shop fronts,
empty for years.
The slow decline
that chews a heart down.

Eyeless and unseen,
the kings and queens
of nowhere scream.
Out into the night.

Never home, never there,
never anywhere.
Never reasoned, never neat.
Always happening
on someone else’s street.

The flash of steel
and sabre teeth.
Raw flesh, raw lives.
Random acts of violence.
Hatred begets hatred,
begets sirens, begets silence.

Never home, never there,
never anywhere.
Never reasoned, never neat.
Always happening
On someone else’s street.