Strong hearts
Do not require taming,
Unmetallurgic wild horses
Never found comfort
In sodden-straw stables.
Your father brought home
For the old kitchen table
A brace of dead pheasants
Bound by a cable.

Through turbulent moors
And rubicon rivers
We felt there reverting
A timeless deep raging;
From scorched summers burning,
Briar-berry and bramble,
To winter’s bare pantry
Where salt pays for aging.

Together, five or six moments,
We felt more or less able
In the heartbeat of angels
To outlive the lengthy assailing,
(Daily they’re planted,
We later discovered)
Of all modern things
People now take for granted.

No one here has ever seen
Our grey-green seas
Deprived of life and motion,
The fossils would make a commotion!
No one observed those orchard trees
In the entirety of their devotion
To imparting the knowledge of apples,
And no one here speaks,
For our mouths do not open
(Unless for a token),
So I remain unable to say
How much one singular moment takes,
Though without you here
This feels like forever and its days,
Restrained by constant motion.

Strawberry Moon

A cocktail dress,
A horse’s head;
Against my nape
Your touch and
Delicate feminine
Breath is a hair’s
Breadth away from
Bare thoughts
Like waves
In a Zen-master’s
Garden of sand.
Your sequined shoulder
Where I remained
Scintillated like stars,
Light years of movement,
Energies and efforts
Traversed the blue space
To be diffracted and
Prismed as they infiltrated
With gravity and grace,
Held by the wide eyes
Of midnight skies
In summer, for a moment
With irresistible finesse.

Venus is observed,
Bright oscillation,
We moved through stables
As two silhouettes
While horses slept
And dreamt of reverting
To equine wildernesses
Replete with carrots
And mallow-heads,
Their upper lips
Flehmened from the sense.

An orangery for dreams,
We danced beneath
Denuding beams;
Nothing in this life
Is as it seems.
I bit my tongue
And the future
Unravelled slowly,
With profound
Like eternal bows
Slowly over strings
On the bridges
Where lunar-illuminated
Violas and violins
Reverberate with love.
A cumberbund,
Penumbral eclipse,
Lips kissed, knowing
The morning steals
Potential arts
Just as the night
Endeavours to
Blanche nature and would
Deny her daily craft,
Her plethora unweilding.

All will revert to
The awful normality
Where we began;
A cocktail dress,
An empty bed.
Some thoughts are better
Left unsaid.

The Baleful Foal

Dreams swept down
Through the dale-deep village,
Seeking the sockets of sleeping
Minds and restless feet,
The muscles of the dreams
Are deep, but their feathers
Flowing over yeomen
Who kept their watch
With tired eyes
Are light.

A flock of omens,
A snoring of speech,
Like snake-throated
Cloud-birds hunting in pairs,
Reaching with blood
On their talons for
The granules of sight,
As rain falls from the loft
The grains plummet and
Nourish fertile fields,

Unobserved, unfelt,
Where mattocks tilled and
Machinery harrowed,
As sparrowhawks strafe
The wakes of mice,
So too the roots of
Their subconsciousness
Received the seeds
Of food, for sustenance.
I also encountered those

Dreams sheltered within
Other dreams,
Like a pregnant horse
Safe in waning hays
And felt-ceilinged stable,
You slept in the folds
And the hairs of a mare,

While I lay awake
In dark latent aches of

The baleful foal.

Broodmare Dam

A dream of horses in rain
And a dead bookmaker’s tic-tac:
Sais a wang and Major Stevens;
Silks in vibrant shades,
Saddles weighted with seasons;
The going was good
And the odds were even.

Those thoroughbreds were long dead too,
Yet my mind unwoken is ransacked still;
Eight furlongs for a mare’s mile made,
My subliminal gizzard’s a hippophile;
Beaufort Scales in their withers
And flaring from their nostril frills
With muzzle of fire, and hooves of steel.

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.