Saturday 30 January 2021

 To Rest In Peace

They were men of the north

suitably suited

in black dense as new hewed coal

or dark grey shiny as wet slate

or, rarely, the midnight blue

of a northern night sky.

It was a formal occasion

this laying to rest

of the dull grey

past known,

of the bright red

future hoped for.

They laid them to rest

with broken flowers

petals crushed

with ashes

and dust.

It was a formal occasion

this laying to rest

in peace

or not.

 I’m Tired

I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.

I’m tired of making decisions about good and bad.

I’m tired of endless discussions in armchairs

judging and justifying what is good or bad.

I’m tired of procrastination,

of enquiries and commissions designed

to delay until death or forgetfulness.

Tired of time servers,

jobs worths,

pocket liners.

Tired of them all.

So where shall I go now?

Thursday 28 January 2021

 Wild Fruit

I like the wild berries best.

Juice spilling over.


staining my tongue purple

or my lips red.

Each one a new sensation.

A little harder to come by,

than the bland clones,

the cultivars.

A bit more of a struggle.

And, it must be said,

not always sweet.

One never knows

with these wild fruits.

With each taste comes

a surprise.

Spit out the sour,

take in the sweet.

Such joy!

Oh yes!

the wild berries are the best.

Sunday 24 January 2021

 Behind the Mask

Will I ever see

what lies behind the mask?

I think I can 


through the eye slits,


when they are open.

Eyes are revealing, after all,

and difficult to hide.

Maybe they’ll tell me enough,

tell me all I need

to know.

So I will have no urge

to peel off the mask,

to tear it away from the skin


It would be too painful, anyway.

Too raw,

for both

of us

and would leave behind a soreness

that would not heal.

And still

not all would be revealed

by the exposure.

Thursday 21 January 2021


I can hear the flies buzzing

since I died.

In life I could shoo them away,

open a window 

to persuade them through,

though usually they were

too stupid

to grasp the chance of freedom

offered and escape.

Now there is no window to be 


This is a closed space.

Eternal night.

No possibility

of freedom,

or escape.

Not for me.

Not for them.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

 A Blue Whale

Look at them all 

swimming round me

taunting me 

waving their legs at me 

tickling me

pinching me

and swimming away

constantly taunting me.

No wonder I’m depressed.

What a wheeze to make me

the largest creature on the planet 

need to eat one of the smallest.

Well Joker, I’m not laughing.

Forty million krill a day

I need to eat

according to Wiki.

Yes, I keep up.

I’m well informed

but it doesn’t help me

doesn’t make me feel better.

To add to the insult

I was given a tiny mouth,

too small for the job.

See, I’m hardly a basking shark

swimming round all day

with my mouth open

so they can swim straight in.

No, it’s open and close

open and close

till my jaw aches.

No wonder I’m blue.

 A Timely Revolution

“I’m late,

I’m late again”,

said the White Rabbit

staring at his pocket watch

with exasperation.

He turned the minute hand back a little

and perused the new time

with satisfaction.

He knew the effect would be limited,

that there would be no revolution

in time


he could turn back the hands

on all the clocks everywhere,

but it made him feel better


He had pondered this issue of time

many times.

He knew that the revolutions of clocks 

and watches were irrelevant

to it’s passing,

which made him feel better 

about his manipulation.

Philosophically speaking,

he knew that he could change the time.

He could break the watch and freeze it.

Break all the wheels that revolved inside.

Smash them to smithereens.

But even then,

even when 


he knew

the wheels of time would keep turning, 

that even, 

given time, 

there would be no timely revolution.

The wheels would still turn

time after time.

 St George And The Dragons

A long time ago

St George killed all the dragons in England.

All of them,

the black ones, 

the green ones

and the white.

He killed all the dragons in Sweden

and in the Middle East.

He killed all of them,

the black ones,

the green ones

and the white.

But the red dragons defeated him,

hid in the rainy Welsh mountains.

Leapt out and and ambushed him.

Bent his sword with the heat

of their fire.

Ate up his horse,

so that he had to run away,

slipping and sliding over the wet rocks,

into the muddy dense wood

in fear.


the red dragons defeated him

and left him hiding in his cave,

in fear.


come for a walk with me.

This is the dragon’s country.

They are very shy and secretive these days,

even though St George is long gone

and they have nothing to fear.

Come for a walk with me

and I will show you dragons

when I find them.

I know that

it’s only a matter of time.

Tuesday 19 January 2021


“Put your best foot forward,”

the hesitant are often told,

but I am never sure

which is my best foot,

if it’s the right,

my push off foot

for a great leap


or upwards,

or my left

on which 

I can stand balanced

for a long time.

I have to choose

to soar

or stay


I have to choose

otherwise I shall make

no progress

at all.

Sunday 17 January 2021

 The Devil It Is

Play me a tune

a little light music

to sooth my soul,

to bring me cheer

in these troubled times.

Play it louder


play louder

all of you


Summon the angels.

Don’t let the devil seduce me

don’t let him take me

don’t let him carry my soul


Wednesday 13 January 2021


I called the doll Gloria.

I no longer know why.

My father bought her for me

on a trip to the seaside,

on my first trip to the seaside.

I was bored with the endless sand

and the cold grey sea

and with the effort of pretending

to enjoy myself

on my expensive treat,

at the seaside.

We went to a toyshop after

and my father bought me the doll.

I called her Gloria.

I no longer no why.

Perhaps it was the name he suggested.

Or maybe my mother suggested it

when I couldn’t decide.

I don’t remember.

But I remember the doll.

She had real hair that I could comb.

But it turned out to be plastic,

nylon, I think.


after I had combed it a few times,

the whole lot came off leaving her bald.


without her wig she was completely bald,

my Gloria.

Monday 11 January 2021


We found a gap in the fence.

Someone had made it, 

that gaping hole in the wire,

hoping to climb through, 

hoping to head towards the light, 

to leave the darkness behind,

to escape the madness here,



But now the light has become too bright.

It’s blinding us.

We can see less than in the darkness.

Our mouths open, aghast

with the horror of it all,



through the gap that leads to nowhere.

Friday 8 January 2021

Thursday 7 January 2021

 Our Street

This was us

our street

before the bombs fell

and turned it to rubble

and ashes

and turned us to dust

and ashes.

This is us

our street

where the lights shine brightly

and the Liquor Store is open

for party goers,

where the buildings

stand neatly in line,

where tomorrows are

as predictable

as todays


This is the US

where the bombs don’t fall.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

 On The Beach

Nature is the best of artists, 

able to render down to beauty

the decayed life forms of the past

into a form that can grace my walls and shelves

and remind me of the stories about where I found them,

about where they washed up, 

the chances they took.

I strain to hear their stories,

strain to hear

the trees from Loch Ellen

once blown by the wind 

now rustling silently.

But I think the dragon fish can hear them.

He looks as if he’s speaking, 

telling them all

about his journey 

from a living tree

to driftwood on the shore

and now he’s here on my wall.

waiting for the next wave to break

waiting to see what happens.

 Imagination’s Real

Back in the day 

before elderly women 

preferred to become blonde,

grey turning to blue was common.

“Look at that lady there, she’s got blue hair.

Look, mummy!” he said loudly, 

“I don’t like blue hair, do you!”

as she squirmed with embarrassment.

Blue was a dead give away 

of aged artifice

as, unlike blonde

natural hair can never be blue,

it doesn’t bend the light like feathers

to make that specialist refraction

of reality.

So it was a dead give away

of pretence

or fantasy, 

of unreality,

or imagination.

But sometimes that’s perfect,

perfectly fit for purpose.

“Look at the horses in that painting.

they’ve got blue hair! 

Look, mummy, look” he shouted, 

“I like their blue hair, don’t you?

It makes my imagination real!”

She laughed in agreement 

and thought there was an artist in the making.