To Perdition

This night’s lady –

Too casually-chosen perhaps –

So-soon satiated, flutters

Easily between fantasy and sleep. And

I, alone, am conscious, again, of the

Anaconda in the witch-hour bedroom.

The one that seeks the carbon dioxide I exhale,

Brushes  my exposed skin in invisible passing;

Realising that, at long-last, I will be all-out

Of resistance when the judgement-jaws gape and

Fangs fashioned like no-absolution lightning

Lay bare my soul and fasten on my very core, pointing

The way; the only way – to Perdition …

To Perdition – and beyond!


Storm ?

Anybody else here think

There’s got to be thunder?

Anyone else here think

We need a storm:

When sledgehammer lightning

Goes down, goes down hard,

Again and again until

Tense skies groan and ring;

Until the concrete wheel bleeds

And the stone blind lady sees?

Anybody else here ready to

Take up the call ?

“Being ignored is not the same

As not needing to be heard:

Justice ain’t being served here!”




A Hundred Ways, and More …

There’s a finely judged, difficult juggling balance –

Dreadful tension,

Joyful desperation,

Taste of tears and tide

Expectation’s edge of seat shivers –

In anticipation:

A thing of great value may be

Born of today and the past.

The past when I was a

Hundred ways, and more, different.

The place from which we ran together

Along the cowslip, wine and danger routes:

Each other’s silver-strand chains,

Constant, sometimes distant

Rock-mirror faces … then …

Now what?!

Well I’ll be damned …

The lightning strikes,

Long-waiting’s suddenly over;

Lights come on,

The hammer goes down and

Sniper rumour,  tiptoe doubt and

Evil jester’s sleight of hand

Are only  for the foolish sages

And the hesitant apes.


Lime Lightning


Why wouldn’t it work?

To just keep, simply walking?

Walking away, perhaps,

from the Paradox Candles.

Walking towards, perhaps,

The Echo Doorway.

But always walking, with purpose

Just a little pace-and-a-half faster

Than mirror-crack Nemesis.

Wouldn’t it make us,

Keep us,

Less fatigued,

More alive,

If we tried?

Why wouldn’t it work?



Image: courtesy of



Once she climbed the

Devil’s Staircase,

For me, for you,

With heritage-proud

Power in her roaring voice.

Now, atomic bat,

Drifting gracefully

Into history.


Supreme silver tiger,

Aggressive aluminium angel;

Somewhere between now

And past high sky circles.

Quietly saving civilisation

Until we could, ungratefully,

Reject you.





It’s Not You.

You’re desperate: for freedom,

Space, something different?

Don’t whisper your secrets

Your desires to the thunder;

Thunder don’t listen.

It’s not you,

It’s not what you wish for –

It’s the thunder:

Thunder don’t do the

Listening thing.


Don’t look for help,

Don’t seek advice, alliance, empathy

In hope, in desperation;

Don’t pray to the lightning –

It’s not you,

In your time of need –

It’s the lightning:

Lightning don’t do reflection.

Lighting never does anything –




When he Looks Back

He notices that there is absolutely no wind. Like something is going to happen; like the world is holding its breath. The spider that had been spinning a late web in the top right corner of the downstairs window was stock still, so were the fibres of the web.
The garden is lit by dark light, if such a thing is possible: surreal. The sky immediately above the house is packed with cloud. A single grey mother-ship of malice. It feeds upon itself. Grey consuming grey, the colour and texture, he imagines of Miss Faversham’s wedding dress. And cake… there was a cake wasn’t there?
The twisted insides of a snake’s belly, writhing and seething.
Below, he feels both hot and cold – at the same time. The short hairs on the back of his neck begin to curl and raise: defence, bluff and flight instincts scream behind his conscious thought. The wind vanished suddenly, before he noticed its absence the orange autumn berries on the ornamental tree that had been raided by thrushes during the morning are now bright statues, too make-up bright against the battleship grey skies and tension building, building, building.
On other days, usually later in the year than this there is thunder, great sobbing storms that stamp, parade and shout heaven’s glory at the small mortal world, but they are moved on by winds and the landscape is refreshed. Not today.
The deep-belly rumbles of static roll through the pillars of cloud, the big classic anvil shape suspended above his house. They are long and sustained, felt in the gut as well as heard in the ears. Seriously low. There is no sign of lightning. It must be contained in the cloud, leaping from one improperly charged centre to another, ricocheting like a poorly aimed rifle volley in a rocky valley.
More and more. Directly overhead. No release of rain. Just thunder bringing a sense of queasiness and electricity. The smell of burned paper. Feral folk memory, rising unbidden.
Then, at last … the savage flicker of rapid lightning, the path of a spark burned on the eyeball. One. Two. But still no wind. The sun, pale coward is close to the horizon and impossibly beams light up the first huge balls of rain. Immense drops.
And they fall directly, simply vertically. Becoming stair rods that smash and bounce back upwards – exactly the way they came. They bounce high too, from the roof of his small blue car. The sound slamming against and through the double glazing. The roof of the car shines like a beacon.
Puddles grow quickly, join together, wood chips forced from the garden dance and spin, surrounded and impelled by the ripples of the rapid fire rain.
When he looks back, the spider has gone. He is not sure whether it has been washed out or taken refuge.