Saturday 28 October 2023


I am being haunted

by my ghost.

It must be my ghost,

it knows too much 

to arise from someone else’s body.

It remembers my past. 

Remembers my dreams,

the ones I forgot so quickly on wakening

and the ones I left behind later,

only to revisit in future dreaming.

It knows too much.

It remembers the past

I prefer to forget,

the mishaps,

the missed opportunities,

the opportunities grasped too soon,

too impetuously,

the people left behind, happily or not,

the feelings I felt.

It remembers it all

and stalks my present with it’s memories.

It must be my ghost.

It knows too much

to arise from someone else’s body.

No one came that close.

Not for so long,

a lifetime.

I made sure of that.

But how can it be my ghost?

I’m still living.

Still alive.

And ghosts belong to the dead,

to those with no future.

But it must belong to me,

this ghost of my present

living in my past.

Friday 27 October 2023

 The White Worm

The white worm left his lair.

Well he had to at some point

if he was to inspect the neighbourhood

to see what was what,

who was coming,

who was going

and there was no way

that he would keep 

to Bram Stoker’s script,

no way at all

he’d always been a rebel.

But he didn’t know about the dare,

didn’t know she was lying in wait,

waiting to leap on his back,

waiting to be taken for a ride

off piste.

The wormed turned

his head in alarm.

If only he’d kept to the script.

If only he’d stayed safe

at home.

Thursday 26 October 2023

 Twenty Four Days


it’s eighteen days 

since the bombs 

started falling.

Over two thousand


of children


for Halloween

so far.

And six days

still to go.

And tomorrow

and tomorrow

the bombs

will still be falling


an army

of ghosts

of children


to make Halloween

in a future.


The wedding wreaths and 

burial bouquets

have a story to tell.

The bridesmaids and 

the pallbearers are the narrators 

of history and hearse,

presenting it now in the present.

A present that has already become

part of the past.

The ever present past waiting

to be narrated,

to become alive


Both dead and undead 

reaching back and forth

coming together 

to tell their stories

and celebrate

passing lives.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

 Who Are You

Who are you?

Will I find you in your words, 

the ones you write.

Or are you between the lines,

hiding there.

I think I can discern you there.

But you know me so well 

maybe you control these spaces too. 

Infiltrate them as well,

so well, that you can hide

there, in the spaces,

the hidden places,

between the lines,

between the words

I’m reading.

Perhaps I can read you 

in the sounds.

the melodies,

the cacophonies

created by your words.

Are you there?

Maybe it's the language of your body 

that will reveal you.

But not the practiced gestures,

the performance,

the masquerade.

I will have to slowly unpick the mask

and unwrap your dreams.

Then will I find you

and know who you are.

Sunday 22 October 2023


No need to count the dead in Gaza,

their dead are just a number,

a vague number, 

if that.

In Ukraine we know the numbers,

precise, not vague,

in Israel we know the numbers,

precise, not vague.

Soon we’ll know the names.

But no need to count the dead in Gaza.

No need to count the injured in Gaza.

No one knows the number,

no one counts those numbers

in Gaza.

Soon the starved will join them,

the unaccounted numbers

in Gaza.

Saturday 21 October 2023

Thursday 19 October 2023

 Only Joking

“It was just a joke”

you said

the night you came back,

a typical wind-up

that we should have known better

to believe.

Of course you weren’t dead!

It would take more than a few cigarettes

to extinguish your flame!

“Look”, you said,

“I’ll give you a hug”.

And you did,

a good solid one,

not spiritual

not virtual

but real.

So we all had a laugh

and a pint

and then you left


 In Death

All that is solid

melts away

in death

consumed by fire 

or worms


into so much dust.

Only memories remain.

And the spirit, 

of course.

So a wee shite in life

will have a mean ghost 

in death.

Mean-spirited in life,


in death.

And in memoriam.