Away From Suitcase Words

Taking my dilemma-seat on the red-eye express –
Please let it be a save-soul flight
Hoping to be carried away from
Cheap hotel rooms and suitcase words
Towards a different kind of trigger light.

Brown sugar call, insistent demand,
Throbbing troll-drum loud
In my outlaw head.

Need the savage high-born,
Black panther lady in my bed.
If more-than-yellow survival
And deep desert-gold redemption
Are the witch’s corkscrew goals
Conquest, consummation and satisfaction
Are fantasy’s waypoints and evolution’s tolls.


Lady of Spirit

At the end of the world,

We paused, breathing hard –

The lady of spirit  –

She helped me float,

I helped her climb –

And I. We looked

Across the lovely, dry rocks

That came from the

Words of God.


(For Deborah)/Petra, Jordan





This poem, if poem it is came about as a result of an amazing self drive tour that started and ended in Denver, taking in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and all places in between (Mount Rushmore and the stunning Crazy Horse monument for example)

But, somewhere on the way I became intrigued by comments heard in passing, turning some of them into the voices in the maybe-poem.

I then read a blog piece called “eavesdropping” and was inspired – or kicked up the undercarriage – enough to find it out.

My apologies, if necessary, if the quote was yours (I would be amazed that you could still remember it actually – it was during August, 2002!).

But I would be intrigued to know if you think it works … or if you have heard any good (but repeatable) eavesdropped quotes.

Hope you enjoy it:


“You can get two vipers

For one stingray …”

“Wedding was in Florida;

Mom arranged it that way

So her family wouldn’t make it …”



Conception to


“I just didn’t like the way

He kept twisting his neck

To try to bite my ankles …”

“One says two thousand,

The next says twenty –

Who can you trust?”

“I’ve got to tell you, Jason,

I’ve slept with

Some dogs, but …”

Been Away.

Been away. Off the radar. Somewhere else. Somewhere different. With a capital Dee. I have so many impressions, drownin’ in ‘em. So many thoughts, tumblin’ in my cold-moon sky filled head. Like grains of Blake sand blown down a dune. Enough to create a dune. Maybe a series of dunes. A desert?

A desert that’s anything but a desert. But where, my friend, where, oh where to begin?

“Simple,” I hear you whisper on sand-scented winds, “begin at the beginning.” And, so sweet of you; for I know you would be trying, as ever, to help; but when the beginning is written in the opening of Holy Books?

The lake that’s a sea and so much, much more than that. Where I floated confidently in hot waters. Saturated. Literally.

A place that is, now, nothing like it was. That comforted humankind on its way out of African cradles: offering fertile lands, good plentiful water. Space for living. For evolution of civilisation. For trade. For thinking. For faiths to be born, tasted and tested.

And everywhere and everything seems to be only two handshakes, two salaams from the Old testament, the genealogy of the Bible, echoing down from 1960s Sunday school and R.E. lessons, is reality: homeland, homecoming and promises of futures.

Skies that, in the high-sun heat of day, remember the Flood, but can so rarely hold a raincloud hold a cloud – and in the night pour the balm of cool from clear-star heavens over seas of sand in which rock formations wallow like slumbering leviathans.

To a country where people are genuinely helpful, far, far beyond pale plastic pseudo-polite imitations; where, if you tap your head to a waiter in a coffee bar he will be there with Paracetomol and water, before you realise what you were signalling.

A country born from a revolution that changed the world (again); named after (or for) and bordered by a river (the one we have to cross apparently). A country that has little or nothing in the way of resources, but one that showed a different face every day – and each of them brimming with hospitality and generous friendships.

A country extremely poor in water, but one whose role and example has stabilised the region, thanks to diplomacy, patience and inspirational leadership.

A history carved in rock and the winds: revelations on every hand.


The Same Place

Far from the flat bar,

Bridge rail holding me safe,

Indeed perhaps holding me together,

Above a long, flat,

Horizon-bound line;

Rippled reflections.

Stripes of boats,

Temporarily precious rainbows,

Grasp the present

With ugly ropes,

Untidy knots;

Beneath fleet corsair swallows.

River and I

Call the same place



The Shop of Winds

I am seeking

Adventure, mystery

In the shop of winds;

Using the door that

Can only be used only once –

Inspired by the majesty,

Attitude and power of

A rainbow in

Full flight.

Time’s blurred line,

Chocolate bubbles in

Rose-pink wine;

Tight-flame curls

And long-hot kisses.

Bells will ring

And angels sing

Before the year is done.


For Cornelia

Roads can be blue,

Trees can be purple;

Your light need not be my light,

Even though our watches match.


On my way to


I rest my travel-warm feet

On a ragged-corner case

Away from the

Confusing offers of help.


A friend-in-the-making

Knows that I am

At the wrong airport …

And I don’t feel alone.




So I am standing in Piazza San Marco – yeah that’s the one: Venice, Italy. Maybe you were there too? Maybe on the same day?

I am part of a group, we’re on a meeting, come tour, come educational partnership (rearrange those activities depending on the time of day and you’ll be close to the truth).

And, Angel, the man from Bulgaria, asks me to take his photo. he wants to stand, with some of the pigeons on his arm and hand and have his photo taken. Digital camera. I take his, he takes mine. OK, kind of a cliched tourist thing to do I know … but hey, the Venetians for some reason I still haven’t figured out had put hangings in the corner of the piazza with the Houses of Parliament Clock Tower (now to be known as the Elizabeth Tower) in full technicolour view. yeah the one in London.

“Angel…” I told him as we walked on, the place a circus of nationalities, tour parties, cruise ship refugees (“Which place is this honey? I’m sure that the clock in London hnh?”) waiters, performers setting up for the evening cabaret, locals who drift in on the marvellously punctual local train services just to sit by the canal, first-time lovers, souvenir vendors, school parties, honeymooners, backpackers and – who knows/ – visitors from another world?

“Angel, by eight o’clock this evening our photos will be all over the world!”

Because I had suddenly realised, There were others trapped in the images I took of him/he took of me and we would also be appearing in the background of so many other snaps – heading for … Japan, California, London, Cape Town, the infinite otherspace we call the internet.

I am writing this blog to share some of the excitement I feel about this world, the ups and downs and in betweens, the faces, the spaces and the thoughts …

… and to apologise to anyone who has me in the background of any photos; sorry I always look like this.

I would appreciate any comments or feedback on my work. It’s one of the reasons I’m here.

I hope you enjoy what is here and feel able to come back and visit now and then.

Maybe one day we will stand next to each other (the Great Wall of China,Everest base Camp, the Alamo, Bescot Stadium) each without knowing we shared something on Blogworld, then go our separate ways.

Here’s to those do not recognise in our photographs, thanks for being there.

Fort Laramie

This prairie wind,

Chinook’s restless daughter,

Blows dried grass wigs

Over shells of senselessly-manic ants.

These are the plains

That fed the herds,

The greed and the

Dreams of men.

The plains endure;

The herds, the dreams

Are gone.


From Orange Centre

Single, graceful swan on



Flight from

The heart of the

Dawn-rise sun.


From orange centre focus

A pure morning spirit

Flying, free-willed,

Towards life’s water;

Water that will later

Reflect the evening’s

Falling sun.