Into Paradise.

That compulsive ostinato challenge

Beneath steady tide-cadenced

Heart-rhythm heat-beat, heat-beat.

The little rising thrill,

Trill-gathering power,

Flinging itself with and against

The flood wave’s hunger.


Then again;

Suddenly released;

No longer in opposition

They soar, soar

As they were always meant to –

As one.

Beyond meaning

Into paradise flames.

A big well-done to anybody who “had a go” at this poem a day stunt.
take a breath or two …
but keep writing!



Absent Friends.

Ghosts will come if you stand by an autumn bonfire. They will slip along the edges of your perceptions – those you know that you have and the others – and stand, just beyond touching distance behind your shoulder. It is not alarming; they are friendly now as they have always been. While the flames do their burning thing: throwing sparks at the sky trapped stars and smoke to the winds. Crayon the lawn, the hedges, the walls of the wash house in blazes of shifting colour and darknesses. Warm the side of you that is turned towards it, while the turned away half gets colder.

And it is not that the ghosts are summoned by the fire. It has absolutely no power over them. Maybe they do not even notice the flames and shadows that turn and twist: who knows? If it helps you can believe they are called by your memories (though this is not the case). And they are not just in your imagination: you are really not that good!

But, to keep them there,  you have to concentrate on the flames, the heart of the burning. Glance them only from the corners of your eyes, at the edges of your understanding, where your senses run to haze and recognise nothing other than blurred images. If you turn to look closely, fully at them, they just will not be there. As if they had never made that first approach. For they do not crave your undivided attention.

… and you cannot communicate with them. It is not important for you to do so and they cannot talk, they cannot hear and will not answer your questions. Why should they? Why would they?

But their presence, if you allow it , can be mutually reassuring. Be its own reward. You clearly need that company; why else would they come? And they too take something from the encounter. They understand that they are not neglected; that they remain unforgotten and still play a part, however small in the rituals you carry on.

Not For The First Time


Between sharp-sting showers

We all stare intently into

The February-end fire heart

Hoping to glimpse a little of the sun.

In that Damascus road

Moment of realisation Continue reading

September Evening Coming Down.


The wind, middle September evening,

Middle strength,

Keeps switching around.

But it’s not so bad;

Kindling smoke is gone,

There’s orange white heat

In the heart of the fire.

The fuel on it now is blaze-dry.

But these flames,


What ?


What are they doing?

Leaning this way on the wind,

Then that,

Looking something like fingers,

Groping into the shadows.

Are they ecstatic?

Swaying in some semi-religious fervour,

A trance dance,

Worshipping their creator –

That’ll be me then.


The sudden warmth is on me, over me in

Waves, up my lower legs, wrapping the fronts of my knees,

Feinting left to bubble my hand in heat,

Then Smack!

Full blow to the face.

I lean back in my chair,

Hearing a thousand teachers

(“Would you sit on your own chair like that?”)

In a thousand schoolrooms:

Me, smiling happily at the echoes.

Whoa! That is some kind of heat on a

Cooling night!


Or are the flames fingers of blame?

I’m guilty of something

But don’t know what:

I’m used to that notion by now,

I smile to myself.

They are accusing me?

(Join the queue!)

Judging me?

The sentence will be …


All too soon there will be

Only embers …

Septembers …

and grey morning hangover.




17th September, 2012.