War Movie


Do you hear that grey, metallic sound
droning its way across a Scottish sky?

Or the ear-bleeding screech of aluminium foilstrips:
war-time chaff diffusing your radar from pain?

A bottomless sigh from the deepest well of the soul.
A burning napalmed burst on the salt-wet cheeks of misplaced trust.

That’s the sound of the unforgivable being forgiven.
And is still unforgivable.

Our Hiroshimas and Nagasakis.

If only this were some silent epic
or black-chorused tragedy.
Some wise-cracking screwball comedy
or Sirk melodrama,
and not- A Slice Of Life.

And if you knew this unfilmable documentary
had no cameras, director or script
and every sound was pain,
you would not tell with such high zest
to children ardent for some desperate glory
the old lie: no animals were hurt in the making of this picture.

(Wilfred Owen sample taken from Dulce et Decorum Est)

You, gyroscope

When your axis tilts,
and oceans flit
to the parched parts of your globe
and your night sky

and you don’t know when
you will pen
anything ever again.

As you familiarise
with your new world
and what has driven you in your past
irrelevances itself.
This rebirth feels more like a short death,

but that little voice tells you
sometimes death
isn’t a void
but the closing of one.

The nothingness, which
was always there, goes
and leaves you what?

Room for construction
of fables, turning you
into a mythologiser
of imagined pasts.

A Blend of Real and Imaginary Fathers

The spark, lit

by someone else’s fire

Don’t worry,
I’ll be there.
Sitting with no past.
Abdicated. In my chair.

And when I speak,
Will have no accent,
Because you can’t imagine me.

I didn’t give you enough
To flesh me out.

She asked me
And I bit.

And in the biting
Shut myself up.

I hear you say you love me.

Don’t make presumptions from my silence.

On the Knee of a Dream (a nursery rhyme)

I dandled my childhood
on the knee of a dream,
and it danced there, it shimmied, all giggles.

And it shook, not because
of the childhood it was,
but because I would have it so wriggle.

To so bounce and cavort
because I, in my dream,
had the power to move it and give it

the past that I wished
for myself, in my dream-
as it wiggled, I’d see myself live it.

But the dream that I want
is the one with no arms,
where my childhood will dance on its own;

for the dream that I had
is the one that I lost,
as I danced into manhood alone.


(Thinking back.)

the cornfield swirls.

I hide,
breathheld there,
as a soldier kid.

Golden veins
of trodden paths
crawl like babies
through battle zones,

and all the world
is split





That Little Void

I face death
every day,
pen in hand.

Blissfully surrendered.

Prying open that little void
from where words come.

When first they surface
some come screaming
from the deep well.

A surrendering of choice.

Bandana surprises me this morning.