Category Archives: Poetry

The Onedin Line

A rough collection of
nothing, echoing sadly
about the echo chamber.
Holding a thread, pulling
the fine silk so it flows
from one thing into another,
another, another, another, another –
line of the Onedin Line.
Fresh marks on an arm,
finger marks of harm.
Bruises turning from black,
to yellow, real hurt,
real pain, real perpendicular feelings –
expressed and depressed,
held closer to the chest.
I get up and walk out
into the sea, waiting for
the surf to swallow me whole.
Waiting to be buried
by the breakers
to the sound of Khachaturian.

Shoes Gazing

I’ve got more shoes
than any human needs.
Shoes that shine
like police sirens.
That stretch out long,
like a clown’s.
Shoes that talk
of all those tomorrows.
Scuffed and bolted,
pushed beneath the bed.
Hominid feet all
knarled and sprawling.
Lingering footprints,
washed away by the sea.
Shoes gazing at the feet,
of barking dogs,
longing to be licked.


Sitting on a train,
waiting for the thing to move.
Before the whistles sound.
Then suddenly we are off –
floating above ground,
grinding along like a song.
Secret feelings from long ago.
Memories of other times,
of journeys made.
Down at the waterline,
the bottom way.
A skirt along the river,
on a long-forgotten line.
Old doors that lock
with a pull and a bang.
Windows that roll down.
Livery of leather and smoke.
An old station long gone.
Down at the river –
where Simpsons meets
the slipway and Swans.

Out of Control on the Number 19

There’s a madman abroad.
He’s careering on the bus,
lurching from seat to seat.
He’s a clown and buffoon.
A peddler of post-truth dust.
Who scatters his speech
with staccato lies.
Issuing threats like confetti,
he shakes out the driver.
Sets the bus in a spin,
round and round it heads
to an inevitable,
catastrophic end.


For #NationalPoetryDay

A straggler left behind,
feeds on acorns all afternoon –
cloudless and balmy.
Oblivious to the unsettling
sky that’s blowing in.
A hurricane maybe?
A force of nature,
he chooses to ignore.
Happy in his ignorance
he’s shrouded by a canopy.
For summer is not so distant.
It clings on despite the turmoil,
preserved for a while.
Before the coming storm
obliterates all.

Day and Night

He sailed in from who knows.
One cold September morning.
Looking for work and
a place to call home.
On a wing and a prayer,
with a great deal of anguish
he managed to find,
a bed for the night.
That was Monday last week,
now it’s Tuesday in the following.
And there’s still no occupation,
for this dog-eyed soul.
But there’s hope in his heart
and a jangle in his pocket –
enough for something
to get him through the day.
Then later if he’s lucky
there’ll be a bed for the night
down in Finsbury Park.
Beneath the rattling bridge.
Where a broken-down busker
plays a plastic clarinet
and shares out his change
with those from down below.
That generous old hombre
says he is blessed to have hands
that can play through the night
and then on through the day.

Mystic Murder

A force moving forwards,
another moving back.
A sway to the left
and a lurch to the right.

Briefly focusing on the present,
with half an eye to the past.
Forgetting all about the future.
Riding high in a lonely sky.

You know the way it’s going:
a sound of thunder down the road,
a storm is building out at sea,
a saintly wild wind rush.

Half forgotten calls,
imposing mystic murder
and night line shivers.
Falling low inside the hall.