Remembrance Sunday peace and sound


We ring the bells for

Babies, we ring them

Then for brides and

Grooms, we ring them

Every Sunday, in politeness

To our Father, his Son and

Of course, the Holy Ghost.


Today’s bells ring and ring

And clash with the drums

And brass blowing down

The street to the pound

Of feet remembering flesh

That was blown to sand

Or mud or stone, depending

On the time, the place and

The type of luck or

 Bravery that graced

The soldier who didn’t know

The shortcut was It.



Arpeggios, majors, no

Minors – Don’t dwell

On pain, keep calm

Carry on – Don’t clock

The fuss civilians

Make about bombs.


Drums for triumph

Beating out a time of

Red and gold and

Sabre mounted on the

Field, blast through the murmur

Of stealth or chocolate bars

Mingling with Kalashnikovs

In the long-distance lorry’s bowels.


Drumming stops and the

Ducks go quack quack as

They paddle in the

Lake and the leaves

Break out in chatter

Now that they can hear

Each other better without

The dreadful stacks

Of beats that back

The boots that crack

The streets to remind

Them that another year

Has passed and more

Bodies are piled on

The old ones who died

Young. God rest their souls.

Remembering New Year’s Eve at the borders of Spring

This is the dark

Before the dawn of

2011, the beginning

Of a new end, the

Time before the day

When darkness comes in

Waves and cars

Whistle past unseen their

Cargoes too excited

Happy buzzing hysterical

Tipsy nauseous, to be asleep.

This is the time, the closer

Bit to silence, when thoughts

Expand to the edges of the

Room to fill it whole with consciousness

Before the dawn

Switches on and

It goes pop, dazzled

By the light and bursts to smithereens

That disperse across

London to meet

Their final resting places

On park benches, church spires,

Kebab signs and  windowsills

Of strangers, and of friends.

Rest, oh rest peacefully, let

The year float off and keep

The best bits clean and crispy

To savour slowly over Time

And nourish away regret,

Pain has left.


Don’t let pain

Take the pain away

Take it down to the

High ground up ahead

To a place where it

Can breathe and exhale

Out the ache, the

Trapped strain that

Congests the brain and

Turn that clot of blackness,

Redundant coal to prism-like

Beauty like a pyramid,

Newly carved and decked

In adamite to brilliant the

Sun-strong beams that

Radiate sight.


Please take it away, shaft

It through this day to scratch

The surface of the next dawn

With a clean mark that says

Today is new and so are you,

Pain free- falling  blissfully in

 Light on a sirocco billow

Cushioned as you drop from

Branch to branch and bounce

Around with each new song.

Now it is waning

The pain in the feet

The sweat in the head

The crowd are dispersing

After relentless applause

In the sinus’ crammed stalls.

Making their way through

The limbs, women trailing behind,

Queuing under the Ladies sign

Written in tear duct pink

While the men go full surge

Ahead, keen to be first out,

At the nail-gates cold blue

Iron, into the night to hail

A cab home.

Soul Seesaw

The body as vessel,

No, the body is

The contents,

The liver and tongue and

Gut are the filling.

Not just the brain.

Our soul cannot function

Through pain as it

Does in comfort but

Happiness pulls

The body out of

Sickness as sure as

Unhappiness pulls it


Waste Management

Giggle whirls

Scoop out my pain

And let it rot

Where it will,

Waste box or recycling.

Root-firm Life it grows

Through Pain’s compost.

80 Degrees Farenheit


Pain killer, what else can you do?

Lying here on this hot summr night

I’m tingling from limb to limb

Hands swollen, head swollen

Teeth caved in

Nose hanging over like Mount Rushmore

Everything throbbing, hot with the

Pain juice. Head aching, tired of all

This, ready for Love and Life-

If they were here, would this pain

Sit with them?

The aspirin beckons from the drawer

But if I pull the blind on pain

Who’ll guard the view? Who’ll

Know when sun’s up or down?

Who’ll see the daisies in the compost

Heap? Not me, here, inside my

Aspirin room of fake sleep,

Dull rest.


 [Written 18th August 2009]


Take yourself out of

Yourself, just far

Enough to see

Without your glasses

Where the trouble is,

The sore and stinging

Itch, the blister,

There, beside the

Heart, where

Anger and frustration

Have rubbed freckles

Raw and no more

Skin is left to

Shield the soul.


Having stopped to

Look, having seen

The pain, the plaster

Will do to stop

Infection spilling

From the broken

Rim of wound.

Soon the blood will

Do its work and anger will subsist,

Just be sure to

Keep things clean

With love and watchful