Things my mother never told me

I was born a natural son found next to sea caught salmon
I was born on the wrong side of a blanket before duvets
I was born without a vicar having to get his dog-collar on
I was born from chance at a dance
I was born a son of a body unknown
I was born like the ring of a bell struck too hard
I was born in lust as a love child
I was born from a stall skimper for a whimper.
I was born the son of a gun when his cannon misfired.
I was born with a fizz and a fitz
I was born on the wrong side of his staff
I was born a mother’s error

Published in Yellow Chair Review

No war if Jaw Jaw in Paw Paw

Alpha Centauri’s get-one-free-sun
ouchyheat grains of grains
by made just once
livedomes of stone on stone.
You get dancedance food
and flesh touch,
making it the image sharp
for the big day
talk-talk in real time.

You can hover-stand
on parsec stretches
of screen-bright bone grains,
as silver-white as your promise chips.
Or face-like spoke words
in naked water
still ground-live
to non-download sounds
of laughing soft-bells
and diving light-flashes.

And why not stay
for practice-downtime to see what
Alpha Centauri’s get-one-free-sun
can offer for memory slides.
Take waveboats of breathing leaves
to islands of slow, splash-jump
among the spiked ribs
of first landing,
or walk in the shoal woods
as they shimsham
from beatbeat runners.
Because putting
the We in Power is worth it.

Extra Galactic Polarisation explained to Gardeners

Once all the gardens,
small ones on balconies
looking on to brick and slate,
big ones with lakes
where trees stand and admire,
were in a tiny, tiny seed.

They wriggled and waggled
trying to be friends with worms
and blackbirds who sang,
as flowers danced in bells
or gloves wearing just scent,
until the tiny, tiny seed went


Then each garden,
small ones with gnomes,
big ones with cantering deer,
pushed and rushed to be first
but the finishing line ran quicker
pulled on by big twisted rubber bands
until gardens went so fast-
birds flapped,
flowers nodded,
worms stole wriggles-
that they got very, very hot
and anywhere.

No garden knew that
because How-we-see
was the last to leave
and too shy to push past
so it stayed dark like
the back of a wardrobe
with coats around your ears.

Poor How-we-see cried
and cried so much
that it made the gardens,
small ones with pots and a wall,
big ones with ride on mowers,
get cold and dance to keep warm.

How-we-see ran in front
but tripped over the rubber bands
breaking them so all the gardens
stopped at the finish line
blinded by the colour of a summer’s day.

Now when gardens get dug,
small ones with a trowel,
big ones with a tractor,
you can still find the mist of How-we-see tears.
And some times
when blackbirds are quiet
and worms don’t wriggle
you’ll find the bounce of old rubber bands.

Published in Aphelion

Silent eating

Do you remember Barrow hill, with church
of pitted stone, where sleepers rest until
an angel blows dreams away. Once we walked
around flowers of plastic, past stone lies,
and out a wooden gate, to wander down
past fields in flood and ash now winter bare,
to this cottage of turf and broken stone,
with thick yew hedge to beat back wind and rain

You watched as inside, upstairs, Sunday best
was tissue shrouded for its weekly tomb
as rain pit-patted on the window glass.
Finished, she sat on the bed’s edge and wept.
with bible cradled in arms long empty.
Silence comforted until sunlight peace
warmed smiles and kisses for the holy book.
Rising, with apron tight and hair commanded,
she shelves truth for love  of both goat or sheep.

I waited downstairs by scrubbed pine table,
laden with dishes of yellow margarine,
and jam labelled red with pillow bread
to make a wish:

 for white linen, a dish of  butter sun, 
     blackberry jam scenting of summer warmth
     and oven bread too warm still for slicing.

We left a kettle’s whistle summon down
to feast of tea and sandwich now eaten
in contentment that God rests as crows caw outside.


At Christmas and Thanksgiving

Missy likes family gatherings
but for the cakes all cream and spice
not for the uncles who ain’t nice.

As for the aunts they are dumplings
old and frumpy with nerves jumpy
’cause she heard they made men geldings.

But if asked she will say all nice,
Missy likes family gatherings.

Missy leaves family gatherings
when any cousin did entice
for then gin had worn out the ice.

And she thought they had no inklings
as she ate cake without a break
but all knew of her true feelings.

So one and all made sure each slice
left Missy sick of gatherings.

The Poetorialist

Yesterday’s future

But, in the army of yesterday’s dreams,
Mickey had love and shining cooking pots
And Joe and Pete, with bellies full, were big shots
but, in the army of yesterday’s dreams

Mickey had love and shining cooking pots
with wife and clever kids that called his name
where now he stands in rain and blameless shame
Mickey had love and shining cooking pots

with wife and clever kids that called his name
but, in the army of discarded dreams,
no man from north or south is what he seems
with wife and clever kids that called his name

But, in the army of yesterday’s dreams,
Mickey had love and shining cooking pots
And Joe and Pete, with bellies full, were big shots
but, in the army of yesterday’s dreams

The Poetorialist