Growing Up with my Son

I dragged him down the road with me,
our life in carrier bags.
Nothing ever lasted long,
the good times or the bad.
He had no choice, nor did I.
With each inflicted change
the world was re-arranged.
We never had a peaceful home
that we could call our own.

I was lost,
I was young,
he was my loyal son.
I didn’t have a map.
I hope our road
through right and wrong,
was honest and had heart.
but bad luck played its part.

Some say I had courage.
Some say I was wild.
I’ll accept the judgment of
the man that was my child.


The Hierophant

I have a sense of purpose
and the power to get things done.
I face the opposition,
fast thinking on my feet.
A fool might hesitate.
I’m only seeking happiness,
that’s all I really want,
and so I take the plunge again
into deeper life.
Turbulent emotions
stir the muddied waters.
Intemperate behaviour
can only hold me back.
Trust can be deceptive.
Instinctive moves are strong.
Moonlight pierces darkness.
All is clear and bright.
Patience and compassion
are the watchwords of the night.
My heart is always brave
when the time of movement comes,
and in the time of changes,
help is close at hand.
When considering my options
I take the straighter path,
remembering tradition;
the tried and tested ways.
I look into a mirror
and meet the Hierophant.

Alone Time

The girl at the checkout counter
gives me a
side-long look.
She seems bemused
by my words.
Did I say too much
or too little?
How much is ever enough?

I always liked solitude,
it’s as vital to me as food.
But five days alone is my limit,
more is too heavy a weight.
One more ounce, and I’m crushed.

I speak out loud to the mirror,
checking I still have a voice.
Sometimes I answer myself.
I sound like a rusty old clock.
I seem to be losing my tick.

I brace myself for the day
I strap on a shell,
a brave carapace,
to keep the dark moments at bay.
I’m an expert at living this way.

But when friends come to stay
and then go away
I feel that my heart
has been opened and filled
and then,

Night Lines

i don’t
the sound
i hear
in my
swishing and pulsing
it seems far too loud
i am sure
my heart
each time i turn over it’s worse

this is the sleepless song of the night

at dawn
the slow
drift begins
into sleep
suspended between in a dream

wet from the snow melt
out on the moors
the track
in mud
the grass is a
s   l   i   d   e
we struggle
the wide-open expanse of the world falls beneath
we all stand together
filling our lungs

Should have is useless

I blame you for this darling,
with your torments, your fears
and your floods of hot tears
and the way that you tear us apart.

I was right to turn you away
but I should have foreseen
and I should have waited
to see where the river would flow.

There were innocent victims in this
and sacrifices of love,
for, from and of,
and more than one gift that was given.

I should have seen from the start,
but lovers are so often blinded
and mostly i blame my own heart


i have been in a train wreck
slow motion
with grinding wheels
my body is shuddering
i shake in every limb
in the midst
of debris
i sit
in classic symptoms of shock
trying to think
and feel

the thing i most need
is calmness
to see the future clear

i saw you
and then you vanished

i thought it a very bad omen indeed
it clenched my heart
in fear

i told myself
this wont happen again
but it did
over and over
you kept on crashing
but you made it back
in the end

Boys on a Bus

rumbustious rivalry,
clowning for all they are worth,
jangling hormones,
nerves and bravado,
the boys at the front of the bus,
huddled and pushing,
their shoulders colliding,
create a passengers nightmare

the girls look on,
full of disdainful glances,
dreaming of their brothers best friend,
the sixth former at the back,
quiet and serious
and oh, so desired

i feel a deep urge to tell them,
wait longer than that
before they awaken your heart

boys are slow in their growing
and some never know
they have that journey to make

but i only sit, making a note
in my constant notebook of life,
my smile benign

Song for my Rose

When we first met she was a bud,
growing on the wayside,
but that was long ago
in days so near forgotten.
I didn’t see her gleaming.
My mind was far away
and she grew out of season.
In trembling ice and snow
her heart was hidden.
I was dreaming.

Now she is a full blown rose
and she exudes a scent so strong
so passionate, so haunting,
no man could e’er resist her.

I’d brave every storm that blows
but, growing in this peaceful place,
this flower could bloom forever.
And yet I had to pluck her.

I took her, my eternal rose,
to make my own, possess her.
I will never crush her.
I look at her and I’m inflamed
My soul, in swoon, soars high above.
She is the heart of my desire.
She will always be to me
a rose that glows in glory.
She is my own sweet sighing love,
the bloom that I will treasure.


Ah, how it wounds the heart
to see the old ones shuffling
homeward through the park,
stumbling and insecure,
clasping their meagre shopping.
pausing at every step,
with no welcome home at their door.
The British winter is here.

Look at them.
Show no contempt,
for they are the tired warriors
on the slippery, frosted edge
of a road you too will tread

Lay still.
Listen to your breath.
Sweet sound.

The old lay still in the dark
listening to the singing
of the blood that flows,
pulsing through hardened arteries,
imagining the end.

Outside, in the city streets
young men try to sleep,
huddled up with a dog,
for the sake of body warmth,
but the cold keeps creeping in.

Ah, how it breaks my heart!

In the back lanes of Marrakesh,
it’s time for the evening meal,
time to share the broken bread
after giving thanks to God.
Eight hands reach to one plate.

The old man in the corner
rests on a low sedan
amid cushions of faded flowers.
His daughter strokes his head
and feeds him the best of the dates.

They told me there was once a time,
upon a time not so long ago,
when the porch of every rich man’s house
was a shelter for the poor.
The doors were left unlocked.
I vaguely remember that.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a pleasure dome decree?
He never invited you or me,
as far as I recollect.
It’s covered in satellite dishes now.
The minaret’s derelict.

Ah, how the world keeps shifting.
Ah, how it greives my heart
that the balance is never right.

Can you rely on the place you call home?
Do you trust the tectonic plates?
Have you heard how the ice caps melt?
Do you think you’ll avoid the drones?
Will we blast ourselves out of existence?
Did we make a huge mistake
when we declared the gods are dead?
Do you ever get scared in the night?