Blue Gables

This blue-gabled house
Makes melodious tulips
Of music its own;
Organza crescendos,
Echoes of phones,
Dance steps
Float over floorboards
Of alder and oak.
Timpani trancing
As rain strikes the sill,
A bandaged-up boiler
Is sneezing its whelks;
When you live by the sea
There is sand on a shelf.
Syncopation of seagulls
Stomping on tiles,
Green ghosts in the attic
My lymphatic choir,
My harpsichord bones
Should I ever aspire.

In the distance
Crows argue, they bluster
On a gerundive of lungs,
A buffeting breeze;
Church bells are chiming
For two and then three,
A couple walk by
With a cough and a wheeze;
Huddled together,
The past my disease,
I remembered her hat
As her skin touched the sea.

Forsaking the purpose
Of memory’s caves;
I watched the house auction,
Then walked into waves.


I woke within sounds appalling,
Crow caws on my pillow mourning;
Rolling over, window-way,
Found jackdaw claws on the other;
Jaundiced wallpaper,
Sunlight slithers,
Only believing such dust
From their claws are withered.

Sell my books, sell the lot,
Donate my bones to charity shops;
Do one thing well, no polyglots,
Place my plea in a local plot;
Gasoline dreams, gardenia rot,
I woke in a dream I then forgot.


Ego-buffeted blustering coast.
I hurt the ones I love the most.
Seaweed thoughts and neon foam,
The loaming mantel hides a ghost.
Shipwrecked, re-wrecked,
Where’s the host?
The crow-man left the crow’s outpost.

Feather-blossom, light as moon,
If we leave you’ll see me soon,
Apple-wort and rotten trunks,
Ego-thorn and ego-dent,
My life there’s one experiment.
The ones I loved hurt me the most,
Sacramento, holy ghost.

Ode To A Jug Of Milk

These dreams pour
In to me with fluidity,
Like milk from a jug,
Like clotted cream, from
A place in time both
New and old to certain
Degrees, where I am not
As one would be, when
Awake in passive daily
Routines. This drink
Plays tricks on me,
A mind as arid as
Deserts devoid of oases
And mysteries sealed in
Camel humps and dunes
That burn beneath my feet.
Too eager to be deceived,
I gave away my fortune
For its cornucopia
In return received;
I opened the throat of
My soul to swallow
Molten gold, and in
Flowed milk from the
Dreams of a goat.

Crows assemble
On timelines scratched
Across the planets
In my palm. A caw,
And the awful liquid pours
Through my stomach,
Through duodenum walls;
These organs worked hard
Behind the scenes for
Decades. Assortment of
Bellows and pumps,
Light industries,
Where will the substance
Pour instead when at
Cellular levels
And levels of lux
I am composting the dead
Autumn borders of
A farmer’s garden;
He who sows, I haven’t met.

I survive the nightly
Poisoning, an attempted
Abduction with chlorophyll
And monkshood. I wake
To a dawn chorus.
Such structures men
Conceive in seahorse
Dreams, in prison cages
Far removed from the sound
Of thrushes warbling,
And the downpouring
Of cups of tea.

As The Crow Flies

High on a subliminal moorland, a figure hides in
The folds of my sleep. A self-evident soul, no more
Or less than he needs to be, without subterfuge,
Neither camouflage nor disguise, with no need to lie
When a corvid mind cannot be forged or fathomed.

Huddled into the spine of my nights, his cloak made
My neuro processors benign, he’s hunched in his feathery
Tope from the far autumn rain, aspiring to be crow-like.
So much more than alone, a deeper motif runs through
The contagions of his life, roams through my dormant mind.

We are inextricably linked, we breathe with a bifurcated lung
Thrust up from the frost-thawed dung and peat
Into the midriff of man-made exile and oblivion amid
Heather-groans and wraiths of bracken-binding weed.
There, the buffeted curlew knows the signs of stones

Which make his muir-maid’s cairn,
In the leeward cleft of a croft he surfaces, his feathers wet,
His crooked nose bent, face ever turned away from the eyes
Of men, the croft dislodged in time and earth,
Like a rotten tooth in mossy gums,

Waiting through epochs for its inculcation,
Or a byre perhaps, long shorn of forsaken herds
Cowering from a summer storm – I cannot tell
Whether this enclosure has history, myths or form,
Only that its crow-king’s composed

As he believes a crow would approach
Its own anthropomorphisation,
Its own way of knowing what it is to be mortal.
In the mountains beyond where I have not walked
There are the mouths of merlins and growse.

His costume bedezined with drizzle, he opens
A cage where he nurtured three juvenile crows,
In that strange drove. They hopped between
The runs of chicken-wire
Into the blue newness of hope.

Haiku #1-68, August – November 2016


Like thoughts
Passing overhead.


Only here could you have
A lake with no name.
The wind whips the aimless moorhens.


The swan rises from its lake,
Hides its head in its wings.
I would seek shelter in the reeds.


Absorbed by my oracle,
Oblivious to the waves and the swans.
There are three worlds without mobile phones.


In searching for a deeper truth
I mow the lawn.
The aftermath, the scent of the cut.


Standing on a viaduct, midwinter,
It is only in jumping
That we break the fall.


There is a harp inside me
With no strings.
A frame without sounds.


A wind swiftly forms in my mind,
Like blood it then coagulates,
A cut in the sky.


You will not be the heron
Which stole from the pond
If you stand like a stork.


A watch in a drawer remains unworn,
Ticking to itself,
A million minutes unnoticed.


Heavy clouds
Pregnant with rain,
When will you fall?


Downstream, the moses basket
Of my memories,
Swaddled words within.


Wishes much like rain,
Long-sought, absorbing,
Held high above and in clouds remain.


Like a puppy
Quizzically toying with a moth,
Only under my own thorny paw I trap myself.


How soon the horses swoop
And with their hooves scoop
To snuff the fading candles.


I live paradoxically
With the tiring safety net
Of always demanding my own death.


I failed to feel the monumental self,
So into the vacuum
Poured everything else.


I gorged on my self,
And in gorging gouged myself,
The cost of eating at this table.


Like a clam in its briny shell
Relax in your world,
The tide returns regardless.


You will never see the same clouds twice,
Much as the thoughts of the hawk
Unfold in the minds of mice.


As the toes of the crow
Know the road ahead from its tremors,
So I too know these thoughts in advance.


That part of me still exists
Travelling on its own trajectory,
A lesson in chemistry somewhere else.


These clouds hold too much pain;
Sometimes, they overspill
Yet still, there is not enough rain.


For forty years I careered
In an ambulance
Through fields, across roundabouts.


Donald gave assent
For all American men to tower,
And grasp the assets of Melina.


All wars across all hemispheres
East and west, are made redundant
By the wars within my many heads.


The only wars across all hemispheres,
East and west, receiving consent,
Are within the scope of my head.


Autumnal sun outside.
I am in the room.
I am not in the room.


Autumnal sun outside,
And yet I still reside in winter
So pervasive through the years.


The thought of crows
From the cup of Autumn.


I saw a swathe
Of dragonflies, disguised in the eyes
Of rhododendrons.


The flood of our love
Opened its own levy
And covered the coots from above.


The earth revolving
Leaves my frame unstill.
What I want I cannot will.


Autumnal sun
Blanched the grave of affliction.
Fatherhood is dereliction.


Wandering arms,
Like tentacles in the deep dark sea.
My thoughts move restlessly.


Under ivy’s time
This landed wealth
Will be reclaimed by the progeny’s stealth.


The mindfulness tree
Seeks no help from me
To loosen its leaves in Autumn.


Deprivation’s brush is stroked
Over the limbs of the lessened
By those who should have known better.


The bruised eel-skin’s ballast
Is banged like a drum
Underneath surfaces where I am most numb.


Autumnal dreams,
Like scenes in a corroded film
I cannot control.


On the Crow horizon,
All fathers are guilty.
The sunset swings its pendulum.


I cannot tell whether the broom’s handle was wet
Because my hands which gripped were wet
Or because it was already so.


Hearse of the earth,
We carry our own demise
Beneath a wreath of oleaginous flowers.


My dreams create their own reality,
Mechanisms furnished independently.
Who then dreams of me?


The flood erupted in November
From the governess in the bothy,
The leaves should linger longer.


I saw a web of egos
In a rabbit beside the road.
A flash of slate grey into the hedgerow.


Swans pirouette above
The instep of my fretting heart.
The lake beats silently.


Mallards paddle
Perpendicular to me.
I have thoughts about not having thoughts.


The spring in the sky
Became dry
And so I sleep.


As the molten moorhens
Are lured by their own gravity,
So I walk to the market.


Like a pod of whales
Wordlessly move beneath the surface.


A sink hole appeared
But there were no civil engineers
In this prefecture.


Three pied wagtails quarrelling
In a park filled with November rain.
I thought I saw a note where there was none.


Blue tunes
Sluice through dreams with its waters.


Although the moon reflected in the lake
Ripples and moves
It is no more alive than its witness.


Blurred November prayers.
Nasturtiums merge and burn,
Melting on the table.


Goldfish in a tank.
Millions of years evolving
Dissolved for a minute of blankness.


I slip on the silk geese
Like golden gloves on my feet.
Swallows, swifts, flock in the east.


I skydive in my bed,
Dreams like earthquakes,
The onward rush of air.


Clouds of cuttlefish ink
Infused in the night ocean
Like a calming tea. And I sleep.


I can see a thousand green acorns
In my mind, but I cannot
See one oak.


The ebb and flow of our love
Unfolds like waves
On a shoreline near winter.


The sluice-gate opens
And words pour in,
So clear the Autumnal detritus.


Within a brook these words,
Like music, cannot be caught
By my cellular net.


Distant heartbeat of the earth,
The cosmos bronzes in the garden
And closes the white eyelid of Autumn.


Dog gnawing on a wicker bed,
Now as much as then,
Memory is life without end.


All roles are the same,
All words are the same,
It is the placeholders which can change.


In a library in Autumn,
The spines have worn,
Words left locked in the porcupines.


Low November sun opposes
The kitchen; outside frost froze the cosmos.
Reality’s edge is the knife’s horizon.