A Crime Scene

Turn my head to one side,
Existentially shy, and sleep deprived;
Alone in a mostly unhomely bed
And words tip out
From my mouth,
The mouth in my head.
I observed mutely
Their acute, distinct forms,
Their acumen as they tumbled
One
By
One
Onto my musty bedroom floor.
Until all that remains
Is a hollowed-out cranium,
And a verbal stain
Of beetroot-red blood on my case.

A lexicon of detectives
Entered the stale daylight,
Scratched their proverbial heads,
Striving when aligning invisible dots,
Returned home to partners
And a scotch on the rocks.

Night-time, dark seas,
Waves as high as a devil’s eye
And a coldness which strips your
Life-jacket and your skin
And then your seven dignities
As it becomes something horribly
And unethically mythic and
Intravenous.
What senseless, sponsored
Statelessness
Could be worse than this
For you to attempt crossing,
To enter this grey
Bay Of The Disconsolate.
Searchlights and sou’westers,
Faces chipped and glazed like
Limestone obelisks stolen
For someone else’s vanity project,
Now violated, graffitied,
Vandalised to your very souls
As you float in oceans
You have never even seen,
Where an armada danced
Before your demise,
Supinely, and serene,
Nor the land and sovereignty
And simple everyday occasions
Which can gratify and relieve –
A birthday, a Wednesday –
To ease an eternal
Deplorable soreness.

I want to rip out the sea;
I want to tear out the heart
Of every incompetence and
Inadequacy –
You were all born, you were
Umbilical, and biblical,
You were loved and languages
Added into those percolating bones;
You were found and swelled
In life’s great lung-like wells
And still, unchangeably, all for this,
Far too far from any sort of homeland;
Lighthouse power outages,
And so many exits unplanned.

Padlock Lake

I’ve fed dead fish
At Padlock Lake,
Five miles above
An old sluice gate.

Over yon way,
Beyond game-sedge,
A calf eats hay
At Ghost Farm’s edge,

I knew, like you,
From early ages
Through hardship and harm,
Through old Autumn breezes

Cold as a fist,
This inability to wish,
We dreamt of byres and
Troughs instead.

We pass by a polite
Chinese scientist
With one arm
And owls woven

On grey lapels.
Yon farmer exists
In a caravan balancing
Precariously

On rusting teeth.
Brambles and briar
Nettles and dock,
A solitary robin,

Red from the cross,
Her songs could span
An albatross, in flight,
Over oceans of moss.

Years later
I found a certain haven,
Pulling those fish ribs
From a peaty bog,

Not far from where
They found a body within
A concrete outflow pipe,
Naked, leaking, exposed.

Sometimes even gods
Of parks and lakes
Make human-seeming
Basic mistakes.

State Rooms

In a dream
I am painting
State rooms
For the Queen.

Before reviewing
Each room and
Each paint pot
Her Majesty had to
Take a call
Which wasn’t odd at all
And at odds with not
Before we fall.

Acorn green
From eggy paste,
I complimented
Regal tastes,
But underneath I
Plant in haste
Words I heard
Within her wake,
Succinct,
Pertaining to
All I knew about
Her commodore’s
Disgrace.

Serialised

Where do they go to?
Those endless rows
Who once sat, bless,
Pleased as punch
And bright as a bunch
Of tulips essential
To our well-dressed
Red-shoed universe.
They sang a hymn,
They learned a word,
Only ten or twenty years
Ahead to be interred
In brambles and roses
For the wrongs
Of a man, or men,
Or whoever we failed
In our future roles
To only once deter.

Kush

I rode through the snows
Of your Hindu Kush,
I walked through galaxies
Of entropic daytime-dust
Some hundred-soul kilometres
North from Rawalpindi
And the lemon-lush yards
Of green Abbottabad.

Returning to foul play,
All the way from Asia into
A Nottinghamshire ginnel,
Far, far away from palsied peaks
Of syncretic embezzled goddesses.
There is a certain ability
Of the English suburban
Populous, to keep a garden
Tidily, and a house
That I cannot share
Should I dare to return
To that sandy airstrip of grit.

In a dream within a dream
She passes for me
Daisies through our fence,
Although there is no recompense
For what I have seen
Between a sunny meridian
And that mountainous defence.

The Nightwatchman

Alarm in the distance,
A kettle of noise,
The Haddocks are woken,
The widow has poise;
A light in the window,
With sleepyhead sight
Orange from street-lights
Parry and toy.

Dogs are in mangers,
Fallopian heights,
I am the nightwatchman
On this new estate’s blight,
Built on hopes
In choleric graves hand-held
A paupers’ mate,
False-shamen cradled,
Done-dusted whoremen
And shoremen of late.

How words and meanings
Conspire to change
With time,
Like just deserts,
Fathom and Guy,
Dependent on favours,
Curried and climes,
The bailiwick is easing
The willow in rhyme;
Hell for leather,
Whatever the weather,
You can pitch on my crease
And I will not decline.

Several hours later
These policemen arrived,
Sombre and Sober,
Notepads with lines;
They’re taught a falsehood
Between black and then white
On the unturned pages
Of this error-strewn night.
The thieves long-dissolved
Into brightly-hued dawn,
I woke from my slumber,
Mute sigh, with a yawn.


Production Lines

A killer resurrected
On carnival streets,
Arrested, re-sentenced,
By wigs weighing meat,
Though fogs are a prop
And a juror’s asleep.
In the filmmaker’s lens
Victims aren’t heroes,
The victims are missing,
Their paycheck’s a zero.

Each vision has errors,

Ruptures and holes, Boxed set collections, Out from death doled.
Dear Mr Producer,
What good is your lesson,
Your replays reduce
Any sanctified blessings.
You’ll profit in pounds
And buy your new houses,
From parental lost souls
And bloodstains on blouses.

Song Of The Sand

A grain of sand I did not own,
On a beach I did not know,
I kindled in my hand like sticks
Until it turned to blood and stone.
From stones there scattered
Seven pebbles, seven roots
Within the middle, and
From those roots did climb a devil;
And I did see there shoots of growth,
Of Time Above, and Life Below.

Skulldugerry and his mistress,
I have seen foul play;
A body in a brazier,
A human with no name.
They brushed their hair,
They drove to work,
Wedding planners,
Dividend perks;
We can only feel rain falling
When our eyes are blind as worms.

A bison-shaped cloud shifting
Dispersed the holiday crowds;
I was alone on the beach again
Wishing to breathe new life
Somehow, yes, through my hands,
But all that remained was the loss
Of the waves, and song of the sand.