Marking Time

No yes, yes no.
A full flow of
how do you say?
Certainty mixed with
a little belligerence.
No yes, yes no.
Hanging there.
Hanging around
I suppose.
Marking time without
making anything of
the intervals that pass.
No yes, yes no.

Inside Out

That bunch of kids
on the outside –
keeping watch where
the old folk gaggle.
On railway sidings.
On the right side.
A parade of sorry
sad reminders
in two quite
different ways.
One stuck on the
inside looking out.
The other uninterested
in both the inside and out.

Wake no More

I’m happy with indifference.
Secretly in thrall with
the things that annoy.
I’m a pent-up spendthrift,
with itchy fingers
and a trigger stick.
Rolled into the folds,
lying back and looking
at the swollen sky –
waiting for clouds
to burst forth and
fall back down to ground.
I’m the wooden hope,
that spends too much time
a thinking.

Drinking in the day
until it flows through
to the night.
When the rest of you
are sleeping,
I’m silently awake.
Twisting cobwebs
beneath an eiderdown.
Listening to the air
as it blows on past.
The ragged rail of
city sounds and music,
and the breathing –
low and shallow.

Like the man dying
in the next bed
and the sucking of his tubes.
I know in the morning,
he will be gone.
And the bed emptied,
sheets changed,
and pillows pumped.
And his machines idle,
and the stains cleaned
from around the floor.
Wake no more he whispers –
wake no more.

Former Real People

Is it the power that
moves within a soul,
that keeps the thing –
alive and kicking.

A defender.
A reoffender.

The privileged souls
low down and among us.
But not of us.
Just the living remains.

The privilege
that snuffs out the living.
That takes something
sweet and pure.

And turns it to theirs.

Once, twice, three times
and four they steal
from the real and render
it rancid and regotten.

The forgotten thing
that had life.

But is now as dead
as dust sprinkled
on the graves
of former real people.

Brighton Blow Away

Frantically rushing to
the door that’s already
waiting for an exit.

Remember the charity’s
down in Kemptown.
The circular park
next to the Pavilion.
Old Stein and its pebble dash.
A walk through all The Lanes.
NCP Carparks and jaded
fish and chip parades.
Empty fairground ride,
a turning – loose change
and the smell of vinegar.
Samoan flip flop
and rugby team buses.
Japan, South Africa and
the rain wet sparkling.

Remember last summer.
Remember thirty years ago.
Grand Master Flash and
Melle Mell – white lines,
and Brighton blow away.

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.