Sinking Ships

Ham-fisted, Findus, freeze!
Oh here we go, arpeggio
your Captain Birdseye view,
its nation under rationale
of conflagration of the flag
or Finisterre, doggone it
Dogger with a bone. So there.

Biscay with your tea leaves?
Dunk. It’s not fingers in the
forecast or the looking at some
chart, debunk what may deceive
that ship. Know-all, Rockall,
start up a bit then reignite.
Dinner’s ready. German Bight.



Black Mountains, Mid/South Wales


Pink hue of a masquerade: let tinted
turn hint clue.  Overplayed
or under learnt?  Antitrade
gap or lack of light and shade.


Ethereal or else mirage?  Wire
weave caught on camouflage,
green calling signs a collage
under heather’s sabotage.


I saw him, I remember: a supine
strap line.  We dismember
snow; syntax of cold-caller;
phonetic of December.


Pah!  Amateurs on sledges!  Bloody kids
kicking into hedges.
Who sits words at the edges?
Whose alphabet alleges?


Parataxis after dark: a river
rounds down a question mark;
sounds stasis out.  The days arc
myths, trout mirrored in tree bark.

Confusion Over Whiskey (Over Ginsberg)

The White Horse, San Francisco, December 2015

Kentucky could be Antrim, me
being unconversant here in either,
any, some sapric rill of bar talk.
No coal, no peat.  Bushmills, the
unclarity of one against the other.

Decomposition seems uncertain
at this western edge, no glugging
bog of saturation.  I don’t speak
the language but the water jug
is still.  In this urban grid of hills

the squares are also cut, built up
not shovelled out, but it’s the air
that waits, aged long enough for
knowledge that it doesn’t, not long
enough to carbon date the atom

of the question, just ponder on vice
versa.  But it really wasn’t science
and I’m not Oppenheimer,
just an idiot who’d answered what
she’d asked.  And no, she hadn’t read

what I’d been reading “but I dig it”,
she’d replied.
Don’t we all, in our own direction?

Late Note for a Friend

As advantageous as it had been,
was dexterity an issue of relief?
That time, me sat on the train at Neath
when my scarf got nicked, or lost,
the mobility preposterous,
then that evening in the boozer in
Mount Pleasant was implausible,
yet local and as malleable as tin?

Less brittle, not panel beaten,
but softening; new alloy for the hammer
of the Swansea Valley.
‘The Pink’ in Pontardawe
cut its cookie from a new and old
world order.  The burglary, you’d said,
had bothered you.  Both Lisbon and
Toronto, I suspect, were bitten, pinched
and softer, by the end.


Low breaths,
that sort that blow to bridges’ sides
Briggs-Meyers types
and tests of weather
underneath the temperature,
sleep in sake of rainy days
their argument bedraggled
in the window post meridiem
haze unfazed ex utero.

Green Verges

Past where the bypass skirts, five national flags
decorate the circus field that floods,
it and their allegiance dry this time of year
if ever branded, emblematic.
The expedited Armco dip unseals an edge;
a verdant overthought spilling
green dimensions past the fields
and compartmentalised belief.

Beyond where the prismic mantra
of another roundabout signposts
the torrent of a consciousness away,
direction once again regains its shape,
its louche and jaunty hugeness
seen in public pillars standing, waving banners,
the portico as vast as what is found beyond
in halls and rooms that echo regulated days
in dripped-down words and actions.
It’s all a pattern, each element a trickle
siphoned back from time awoken.

The circus gears up again,
inconsequentially obscured by the hedgerow
but easier to spot within this week-long lack
of rain, local knowledge and the weather
joint conspirators in the same old civic plan
of purposeful redemption round the houses,
this guided tour.  Only strips, green verges
of a maintenance
too sporadic for an efficacious crawl,
see light trapezing through the stillness
of a wherewithal’s untether, unaccommodated
in the big tent of a construct’s big idea,
awake and flowing on in perpetuity.

Dalliance with a Ballot Paper

This has got to stop.
I’ll admit at first, that in the past,
the post got me excited
when it contained your invitation,
but now I know what happens.
Yeah, I know, it’s me, not you,
but self assurance still evades
your fervour for a tarty wink.
One of us is getting hurt if we do this again,
but who remains monogamous these days?
Curtness doesn’t suit you,
and thirty seconds in the Scout Hall
just doesn’t work for me.

I’ll tell you what.  Spice it up.
I know you’ve got to be here
and some men can’t help themselves.
Think how the grown-ups do it:
the percentage cut of German-cool proportion;
the Australian, transferential flow
of racy preference.
OK, stop thinking, love,
we’ve government for that.