Even The Last

Even the last
Within a ruined
Ghost-owned hermitage
Huddled against
Vast Atlantic rains,
Unremitting rains,
And sometimes snows
In soggy, craggy,
Lanternless caves
On a vast Atlantic coast,
Where once he suspended
His abstinence
And shouted out
Until even that rainfall
Was made to be afraid
And turned a different course,
Even then, such a person
In such a comfortless place
Has not known
Such loneliness
That only I can endure

Horseback Clouds

These new pervasive clouds
From an occluded front
With profuse and broody
Moodiness, as though
Teenage gods
Of atmosphere
Affronted by my summon,
Slowly and somewhat pensively
Clear the thick polluted
Sticky smears of last summer
With puffed-out cheeks
And youthful
Caring less for my ode
To their growing dominion
With a gold-glowing edge,
Truly so overdue
With their contusions,
With their fresh blusters
From the heart of a faraway
Universe, touch me with
Their shadows and replenish
Each bold illusion within me.
These troops on horseback-clouds,
Homesick for deserted towns,
Lovesick for apparitions,
Nostalgic for a rotten drink,
Are very much preferred
And welcomed into
One more day ahead
At my desk,
As I write,
And sleep,
And forgive myself again.


A renewed sadness befalls,
Unconditional as dawn
As she yawns across
Her blue waterfall-hair,
Her languorous manner
No longer enthralled,
Nor so equally
A source of despair.

I slowly drank a cup of tea
As time unminded his hours
And I sensed the ghost of myself.
Your last school photograph
Landed on my doormat this morning –
A smudged inky crest betrayed
What rested inside.
Your blue tie
Looser than it should be,
For which I would have gently
Chided and addressed
With a father’s careful hands;
Your pursed smile
Undeniably self-conscious
Not for your natural and
Certainly unfamiliar
If also not filial
Grace and intelligence,
But instead I knew
You felt it necessary
To disguise
Your dental braces, yet still
Despite that withholding
Your humour could not be denied,
For it would always be belied
By an unmistakable
Traced like soul rainbows
Within your eyes of lazuline.

How many years have you been gone now?
How many more occasions will pass by?
Your photographs stopped arriving
After that last one,
Along with birthday cards
And the moon’s innumerable markers.
Sometimes it is better to lose count
Than have painful memories revived
Of how we survived.

The dewiest morning remembered –
I dreamt then in photographs,
In portraits and still life,
Some salvaged moments of you
Ascend into a fleeting
Feeling of pride,
Soon dissipated by
That appalling dawn;
For what good is the use
Of a smile and a song,
When all’s been gone
For far too long.

Ode To A QC

I remember thinking
Over our molotov coffee
He begrudgingly,
Grumpily bought,
Coins on a cold café floor,
Coughing as usual,
How his rhubarb-leaf ears
Were so inexplicably big
They would surely catch
The hidden meanings,
Sounds and smoky nouns
Of our resounding planets,
The morning before
He won the case,
The morning before
Another dawn became itself,
Manifold in her own justice.

Scotch Gambit

Chess is so much more, he said,
Than simply moving pieces
On an eight by eight board,
Tossing another blood-red husk
From without his creel,
Indolently, then another sip,
Almost all unreal
And twice as tall.

‘You see, this existence’, he said,
With an expansive gesture
Befitting a man of knowledge
Of the ocean berths and beds,
‘Is only an unblemished stone
Of a moment sat upon an axle,
Whether on your pebbled shore before
Or what will be my later wheel,

And so yes’,
The fisherman said,
Cartilaginous and devoid
Of any spurdog-hampered gansey
Over a mottled chest
Akin to bruised and foot-pressed prunes,
His old eyes closed and his
Skin drenched
By a genuflecting sun,
Riven planes along
His spokeshaven cheeks
As light-brown as to be almost
White as leather bleached
And blanched deceiving,
On saddles before the bronzing
Inspired by untamed biga-chariot horses,
Flehmens flared and frenzied
Underneath that self-same sun
Sailing blithely far above
A crowded hippodrome
On a Punic evening.

‘It is about foresight, you see’,
And I nodded, absentmindedly,
‘Knowing your opponents’ moves
Before they know themselves’.
He stood up slowly, somewhat
Frailly, brushed himself down,
Claws and breadcrumbs
And sovereignty,
Shook my hand
Defiantly, before
Wending his way
Back up the cobbles
To his cottage,
And his wife
Waiting patiently
With a cold soup supper.

Quicker The Clouds

Quicker the clouds,
Bigger and white
My widened delight,
Then cooling shade
From greys in flight,
Spooling earth,
Reassuring and
Impossibly light.

Then just as soon again,
Your warmth on my back;
There is no lack
Of peace I find
In solitude and
I am truly
Grateful for that,
And for you,
My autumn,
Reaffirming in this
To know I may
One more night.

Verdant Sky

Sunlight faded
As soon, it seemed,
As Dawn announced her yokes,

Transitions in a jaded sky,
And a verdant sky as
I write, from sunshine
Burnished over willows and oak.

I had a winnowing dream within,
Where trees slowly revolved
Into people, and people
Into sainted trees, and
Every furnished suburb
From here to Chertsey,
Crawley, Teddington,
And every housing estate
Inbetween the manifest gaps
Of parliamentary teeth
Was suddenly green,
And then green,
And then green.