Ambient Sound

The bus engine turning over.
The clink of metal against metal.
Murmured conversations
and a throat being cleared.
The rush past of traffic.
The inaudible leaves
blowing in the breeze.
Complaints directed at the driver
who’s late for his handover.
The inner growl –

Three Cheers

Three cheers for the folding chairs.
Three cheers for the table,
neatly laid with teacups and plates.

Three cheers for the monkey business.
Three cheers for all the primates,
neatly arranged about the place.

The party started long after they arrived,
through forest clearings and poacher traps.
Where sat the humans,
whittled down to the bone.

Three cheers for all that delicious skin.
Three cheers for muscle, eye, tongue and neck,
dried like biltong in the sun.

Three cheers for a different kind of bushmeat.
Three cheers for all those omnivores,
who ate to live another day.

The Corpuscles of Love

Will you love me one day.
Take your never ending delectation
and make it mine.
Will you love me one day.
Take me through the worst of times
and make them not mine.
Will you love me one day.
Take me to the very end
and take me round again.
Will you love me today.


I feel listless today,
like the world has been pulled
from beneath my feet.
And all the crazies have come –
riding through the main streets
of towns from Northumberland
to the valleys of Wales.
It’s a disgrace but its happened,
the madmen have taken over.
God help us now.

The Way It Is

The strangeness is always with us.
It waits behind the door.
Outside on the outside.
Beyond but not that far.
When I wake it wakes me first,
and its there just before I sleep.
The strangeness the forgotten words.
The way it is out there and there.


Swilling mouthwash
he delivers a monologue,
with dense emotional power.

A coldness clay cold.
A melodious voice,
drifting through the floorboards.

I will sleep for as long
as I see fit.
Pull in the tide with clench fists.

Tomorrow is just another journey
that will start,
at a time of my choosing.

The Handyside Arcade


At weekends she worked
The Handyside Arcade.
Selling postcards and badges,
saying: right-on and peace and love.

And she smelt of magic,
that we came to imagine.
Like a place in Morocco,
but what did we know.

Oh she would pout like Bardot
I mean Bridget Bardot.
All French girl
transplanted to English.

So on weekends and whenever days,
whenever she was there.
We took turns to
visit her counter.

And that’s how it was
until one day she went.
Taking with her a piece
of our boyhoods.

But in truth I believe,
through manhood and middle years.
She inhabits our dreams,
at weekends through to whenever.

The Handyside Arcade in Newcastle
was the haunt of Hippies, then Punks.
It was demolished  in 81 to make way,
for a big nothing.

Original photo by kind permission of Skida