Sunday, 19 July 2009


This afternoon the moors have all but released
Recent rain into the come-again gullies
Feeding streams. The waterfall is hitting
A river in spate, white sound punctuated only by
The belch of a singular wave breaking persistently,
Un-predictably, against the flow. It is this quirk
That gives the water a time signature I 
Cannot discern, let alone explain in word or number.
Intervals are variable, so the beat has no pattern,
But it's inadequate to call this random.
Better speculate these changes are immeasurable,
Although not permanent.

Monday, 6 July 2009


Here are you whose fringe is
Split off-centre, resting on top of
Square spectacles. When your fingers press
It is as if plainsong drifts into me.
Try not to talk.
Some things are so good it is not
Possible to know when they have stopped.
The song passes through itself
On the way back.
Let go of thoughts.
Each touch an echo of one
That went before a time I
Can't be sure about. This quiet
Is your voice.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Theirs is the language of barleytwist
Water arcing for a lifetime. Only a
Pitter-patter after a boat's been through,
A slapping and a clapping of hands
When the lock is filled, still and ready.

Saturday, 20 June 2009


David stropped the chisel on the heel of his hand,
Saying, a dull blade has a shine along its rounded edge.
The keenest blade has an edge the eye cannot see.
Let me look.
His god was at the edge without shine
Of David's chisel during moments when shavings curled,
And wood took on another form.
I can smell where you have cut it.
A collector bought the finished chair without
First sitting on it. He could not decide whether his god
Was David or the chair.
That man would enjoy your job.

Monday, 8 June 2009


Red diesel train makes exactly the right sound. Or perhaps
The note is colouring my visual perception? I hear before seeing, even though
Light travels faster. At water level sight is on the lowest
Fenland horizontal. Any bed of reeds can get in the way. But a blare
Travels the sky that joins me to it. So can a locomotive's multi-media signal
Seem to contradict the law of physics.
But what do I know? I'm only a poet.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Appearing on my blog, shaking
Me rigid

With delight.
How did you get here? Not by Easy-Jet
I bet. They don't have such
Certain flight.

Ah yes. Your canary wings helped
You bridge it,

That divide.
It's possible to connect by AM,
Using E. Show him this poem,
He'll confide.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


tram line
what a climb
silver track
spotty pavement

blue board
pointing north
tell me more
wheremy going?

to the tate
though it’s late
yes yes
in a taxi

lady fat
plastic mac
yellow wellies
talking quickly

tell me please
is this cab
going my way
i should think so

empty building
very dusty
flaky flooring
very musty

fanny window
metal frame
olive water
rubble bubble

rubble bubble
rubble bubble
rubble bubble
rubble bubble

ham salad
very nice
cuppa coffee
sugar n spice

bred n jam
lick yer knife
bath yer kids
kiss the wife

watch the box
box of trix
put the cat out
smiles n lix

have a pee
go to bed
rest your weary
weary head

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


I recall our time so often we are always
Fresh thoughts in the making.
Is it the same with you? Believing so is heaven.
But we are constructing myths by
Looking back. A meeting now might emphasise
The difference between faded prints and
Twelve megapixel images. Best wallow
In nostalgia. It never fails.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Somewhere beyond complacent lock gates a leaf detaches
From its tree, and ceases to be a consumer.
There is no sacrifice involved, only progress.
Stubbing's glossed curve awaits the kiss gentle enough
Not to cause a ripple. Soon decomposition and enrichment.

So will today's water become next year's summer wine.
So will we advance by being still.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Monday, 6 April 2009


(Dedicated to the memory of R.S. Thomas)

Only a lifetime's patience and respect
Might realise a worthy tilth, allow the
Momentory opening of truth's flower.
Worth the wait, I believe.

Friday, 3 April 2009


There was this loop.

In the pointillist drizzle of a Todmorden day
People wearing weekday clothes moonwalked by
Burnley Road, drifted on the tarmac rivers making
The park rhyme.

There was this loop.
There was this loop.
There was this loop.
There w.......

The returning view through speckled window
Did not have its previous charm, but I noticed the bus had
Moved further along its route. "Much cheaper
Than watching at art movie." was my thought.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


The Big Bang was merely a spasm
In the drummers right foot. Warming up
for a performance to turn space inside out.
Sparks from cymbals each creating gravity.
A universe from every beat in an endless groove.

Wow! Here comes the melody.

Friday, 6 March 2009


It's official. Straight from Downing Street.
A mother has given birth to a son with five brass belly buttons.
The mite inherited his father's Levi genes.

Complaints about the misuse of a press briefing should
Be emailed to Jon Snow.

Monday, 16 February 2009


Six hangers tap each other as the door closes.
It is good to have arrived where blandness can't distract me
From the timely quiet of my senses.
I can sigh, look down at the car park, and
No dormant messages of scorn are strong enough to surface.
Which bed? Shrug. Coffee? Tea? Downstairs for a beer?
The shower hisses at incompetence.
Tick, Tick, Tick. The radiator speaks, but has no alarm
to warn of its power to scorch.
Here there is only the present. My environment has nothing left to say.
And tomorrow's goodbyes will be the offhand tappings of the hangers.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Coming to the embrace of my consciousness
when she chooses, texturing the air with stories.

Saturday, 31 January 2009


There is this hollow with trees underlit
by the canal reflecting.

And past me on the towpath comes a woman
in embroidered flares, all sunburn
and buttocks
and velvet hat,
and she swings
and sways
and flaps her hands
and treads a line
like a catwalk model with an appetite,
and nobody to please except herself
and her reflection
and me. Astonished.

Who cares where she is going
and why
and whom to meet

and the appointed time?

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Pantomime trees drift past each other,
Dwellings stacked up the valley’s north side.

There are no shadows in the noon sun flattening roofs,
Starbursting from a window, immunising me against reason.

I swing one leg past the other down this friendly pavement.
Can you hear the scuffing of my jeans?


Yesterday's waterfall was paradiddles on peat,
Soggy backbeat.

Today is raining fit to flood. The moors are
Storing enough to release another rhythm.

Perhaps tomorrow will play bossa nova,
That I would die for.

Waves are spinning this prison bubble that I'm in
But all that stops me drowning is it's liquid skin
I anguish to be breezed away and realise my dreams
Before this current one more time a nowhere
Whirlpool seems

Thursday, 1 January 2009