You’ve been shopping again,
Cruising aisles and clothing
Racks left in a season-ending’s
Messiness; sales are on four
Polished parquet floors
Inside my night-time mind
Where these more
Pleasant dreams
Sometimes reside,
And also you in spirit-form,
Sometimes hiding
Within me yet without me.
A paradox with summer storms,
We slipped into my department
Store with expectations to avoid
The rains and post-pandemic
Hordes, oceans of traffic lights
And umbrellas, holding hands
As we gladly made our way
Through this homage to
Commerce, this palace’s
Obscenely gigantic doors,
Deep green frames, lintels
Propped by angular art deco
Demigods with impossibly
Muscular jaws. I won’t be
Jealous of a statue in obsidian,
I sought myself, to reassure.
I’d visited here in different
Dreams several years before,
Alone and feeling lost,
In my only thoughts,
Though I have atoned
For those stones
As you know,
And now like everyone else
I can buy coffee, and tour
Menswear and menageries,
Counters and clocks.
All the fish have been caught.

Not knowing what you bought,
Jewellery perhaps, a camisole,
I could see beside your green
Heels three or four bags,
In purple and pink fabrics,
Even the inexplicable methods
For carrying purchases about
This city where you reach
So deeply in to me reflects
Your personality as perfectly
As the death of inadequacy
In Elysian markets.
Your ways delight and inspire
A primal circuitry, native,
As old as the hills of men,
Indigenous, sacred.
I just have bags under my eyes
From the tiredness, trenches
In my dreams are drenched
By July’s torrents. I longed
For the fresh air pursuing
A storm’s routes, its brute
Force, the airborne cousin
To the scent of grass after
Its mowing, from where we
Gave birth to a word: Aftermath.

I remembered in that dream
The store bags had lines from my
Haiku printed in white fonts
And I looked to you, as beautiful
As the day our friendship and
These sentiments too were born,
And I knew then the meaning
Of dreams where we met
On a simple bench in a store,
Avoiding the crowds, sharing
Moments of quiet reflection
And your laughter like lucid
Streams over those stones
I threw back in to the water,
A pure invigorating air
Only found in the Highlands;
Hands held, biding our time
Until the end of the storm,
For its end is on the horizon,
Then we may leave this building
And travel home once more.

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.