The carcass is now five days old
on the first day it lay in the verge
prefixed by a screaming skid mark
decorated with red and orange splinters

To and from wherever they go
a city of people hurry by
the planet reclaims all that’s hers
dietary requirements no obligation

Down the steep bank and in the wood
life has already moved on
absence is not feared in nature
fear is the presence of something unknown

What beauty comes of war


What beauty comes of war
from all that’s black as blood
from damaged mind and broken bone

What beauty comes of war

What beauty comes of ugliness
from torment trapped in blinding light
from silver landscapes blasted white

What beauty comes of war

Yet how remembrance uses it
the flags and slow lament
with dignity and gratitude and scarlet sentiment

Is beauty in the orphan child
a mind insane
a lonesome soul

Is beauty in a life bereft
to live without a love
to sleep alone and cold

If yes a terrible beauty comes of war

But grim remembrance bares the truth
of beauty never seen
whilst only those with scars are proof
to those who’ve never been




She shimmers gold as barley
hands firm on trembling thighs
in landscapes insignificant
where painted memories dry

the meadow fills all senses
where they’d laid the grass pressed down
her soft wrists under palms
flesh opened like a silken gown

stretching low he holds the earth
like god made mortal now comes pain
and as the memory faded then
it flows through him to live again

One bedroom flat


The washing machine is rifling my undies
tossing them this way and that
I’ve put out the bin like I do here on Mondays
and strangled a neighbourly cat

I’ve a meal for one prepared to be nuked
the cellophanes poked it looks already puked
I pulled down the blinds to silence the rain
and donned my cilice to distract the real pain

The cycle near finished the drum spinning slows
I lay out tomorrows uniformed clothes
I’m as beige as a shoebox as rigid as nails
living by numbers when everything fails

The commute


The rug was being pulled away,
roads and rivers slipping back in time.
The sphere moved one way and the sky the other.

Crossing time zones is easier with senses dulled.

An androgynous waiter delivered tiny drinks.
“four please? it’ll save you time”
somewhere in the hollow a child screamed,
in his shallow frontal lobe a prisoner screamed.

Through tunneled cloud and emptiness, ever onward.
His destination reeling him in with dreams,
an old girlfriend with a placard and his name in lipstick,
standing under an arrivals sign, not recognizing him.

On the street and spat out, passport stamped.
Rows of yellow cabs and smiling thieves, hands out-stretched.
Pick one, any one, you’ll do,
the thrum of forced air now leaving his head.

In hotel room blandness his world returned to peace,
flick the channel, find the porn, order booze, set alarm.
Wake up, put on crisp white shirt.
Decompose in full view, but do it slowly in an English way,

another day




Cold coffee cups join the dots of silent hours
paper strewn like cast off thoughts
a whiskey glass with a lipstick kiss says goodnight to hope

As dark escapes across floodlit lawns
the day crashes in and the sun pans out to wake the dead
meat wagons round up the filtered human tide

The black washes clear and leaves only shale
yesterday now an ocean of lost opportunities
swirling away beyond all reach

Today is like a castaway
and what brought you here lies wrecked off shore
you light a fire and wait for rescue



His fists to her were love
bouquet’d bruises in a velvet glove,
her tears like salted diamonds fell
shaped from pain she’d never tell

Her children not of hope but fear
their ransom all that held her here,
though if she ever could she would
renege her fragile motherhood.

She imagined home where once it was
and though not true still called it so,
for that is what the broke heart does
It keeps the beat when it should slow.



Poetry, its just whiskey and piss
and there’s more to life than this,
it’s a taxi cab at zero three thirty
then showering off the ink stained bliss.

Its nods and winks and after gig drinks
life in the doldrums with sails unfilled,
Waterloo sunset minus The Kinks
it’s “Kill Bill” where no-one gets killed

Its unnecessary profanity when you can’t make a rhyme
it’ll get you locked up where they’ve made it a crime,
it fades on the page, its Dorian Gray
it hides in the attic and fades away.


Huntington, West Virginia

Big Pharma Medicine Pills

That little cloud of billowing blood
draw it back and push it in
push your fucked up life deep back in
push it in to go around again
through your arteries through the heart
through your broke down system
reconstitute the misery
feel that warm safe feeling
as you slip into cold oblivion
dream your dreams of childhood
let the dream scab over just a little less each time
until a hole appears
then in you climb

The crows caw


Morning crows machine gun caw across skyline trenches,
and the Sun flares up to interrupt.

Unseen messages skim rooftops seeking servers.
Insomniacs teeter on the cliff edge of day.

Caffeine irritates the irritable,
what isn’t required is expelled and flushed,
the first waste of the day gone before a foot falls on the street.

An obituary of last nights happenings is broadcast,
big brother speaks the invited imposter smiles from the wall.

All these things repeated,
and you wonder why your eyes seem dead.