All Roads …

All paths lead to the Black Stage;

The one that hangs beneath the

Impossibly huge,

Lightning cracked

Longhorn bull skull.

But as the peaceful sun

Settles down to rest

In the hills beyond

The gathered tribes

I take a breath, a stance:

Feet below my shoulders.

From that point

Everybody knows;

This is my stage,

My tune, my song.

The notes as diamond-bit

Sharp as always.

“There once was a woman …”

Once ?

We look at each other

And the smiles are

Wider than ever …

Because this time around

We all understand

That the joke  –

If joke it be –

Is on those of us:

The light and the dark,

Children of smoke and water

Who are here in this moment.

My Choice ?

So, at the green,

I choose the old road,

The slipped-from-habit road,

The little-travelled-these -days road,

The road the centuries marched

And different centuries marked –

When a thousand paces

Meant something so much more:

Straight along,

Going along,

Right along;

Built an empire,

Kept an empire supplied,

Kept an empire together;

Rolling out the limits,

Rolling out the possibilities.

The old road

That was the main road –

The only road –

That now takes a quieter turn

(Where no turn was before)

Beside a slicker, smoother

Supposedly-superior offspring.

My choice?

The old road …

Every time!


After Mercy’s wine-sweet twelve,

There’s insistent, chain-gang

Routine-carousel one again.

The roads, skies and

Melody-hung rivers

Pour their silver,

Sinful invitations into

My reluctant-to-ignore ears.

The moon and the rainbow,

Still as distant  as they

Ever were.

Tickets, Clocks and …

Shades of


Friendship roads;

Sagas and riverbank coffees,

The long warm shadows of wings;

With tickets, clocks, cherrywood smoke,

A softly-strummed guitar

And new plum wine.

Nothing wrong with visiting the past,

Living in the moment:

But Tomorrow

Will be calling –

Sooner than you think –

So be sure you have

The proper words.


The Zero …

cold day

Road is a bitter

Freeze grey bayonet blade;

Crushed cold shale and flint link

Between the zero mercury and

The never-closer tomorrow-season.

Wind is a silent, ceaseless chainsaw, a

Horizontal cat o’ nine tails

Flailing straight through warm tissue

Into bone and blood,

Slowing life’s reactions, pleasures.

Sunrise is the thin, unfriendly

Diamond sharp, heavy-duty edge

Of a cold sett chisel,

Battering through fragile,

Pale blue sky-skin:

Spring’s feeble eggshell armour.

Today feels harsh,

The beginnings of extinction,

Or tedious, bleak totalitarian industry;

Like the worst of sad war’s

Shelterless landscapes

When the last of the living

Have limped away.

But then the songthrush sings …


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