Just as a physical entity
is resolved by us into
an appearance we define it by,
despite it being predominantly
empty space and subatomic particles
which are at best energies,

so too with a word,
on paper, said aloud
or with it’s image inside us.

All The Rage

She was all the rage.

I knew when we met

she was my hidden rage.

She told me.

I had to wait for a year to watch it unfold.

I didn’t know how to argue, being an only child

of noninterventionist parents. So

when she exploded I’d walk

out of the door and almost immediately

start calculating how long of an absence

would make it “look good”.

My silence

Infuriated her, so I learned to use it,


But over time I learned

the dance of anger,

learned how to

dig to the gut

with stilletoed words,

fillet the righteousness out of her,

pick the scabs off

of buried pasts

and have those sores run

and slough us into the morrow.

On Imprecision

It’s a lazy day.

I’ve been making a meaning.

Not actively, not hewing or constructing one.

But in the reverie of moments, sifting,

seeking discoveries in the relative simplicities

of commonplace words and things.

I float in and through liminal space.

Wander, wonder.

A deep sea diver familiarising himself

with watery discoveries.

I float.

I circle and return, and peer again.

I watch how sentences sit on the seabed

of the everyday. Then how they shimmer

and shift in the liquid glow of attempts at understanding.

I sense how things are and despair of communicating this.

The lazy days, the days when nothing comes are hard work.

As I drown

the escaping bubbles

belch a new language.

We Got Soaked

The pond sizzled

as cold rain slats drizzled

down from the heavens.

It metamorphosed

from mirror to cheese grater,

and as the wind whistled

today into tomorrow

winter sliced our soft bones.

We were fair drookit

as wetness clung

and dampness seeped into

our accepting souls,

the Higgs-Bison seeds

of small Scottish rain though

imperceptibly sunk our spirits.

Our wetness melded,

not knowing where we stopped

and the weather began.

The Clock

We moved the clock

After five years.

So we now look at

A little red oil painting

For the time,

Then swivel our necks

And shoot our eyes

Up to where it sits now.

It sometimes reminds me

Of the shock,

Being unfamiliar with girls anatomy,

That vaginas weren’t sat

Like perpendicular slots

But craftily tucked somewhere below.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

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In pea-soup sixties city fog,
when solidity got lost and sunk
back into murky walls of mist

and the soot-grey, black-smoked halls
of nineteenth century brick lurked id-like
behind a milky snot-green sea,

us kids could make new lives
and conjure light,
for now we were all sky and pointless,

and I could be countrified,

as a weather-vane
creaked from nowhere.

That random eek would
scratch a comfort deep,
an old-time longing
between my shoulder-blades,
and soothe
the addled want
of bright mornings elsewhere;
the swamping
of cement and city
by fog, fomenting
freedom of imagination.

Holiday Snaps

Dad, in his Pegasus trunks, dark-
Him skinny and pale, he
Could only dive into the sea, not walk.

He had to have a no-going-back entry
Into the cold and the wet,

And every night a three mile walk uphill for a pint
Cursing the rabbit hole he fell into coming back once
Giving him an ankle like a snake that had swallowed a cricket ball.

The photos from then tell me we
Still held hands, and in each
One I’m looking up at him expecting something.

Hallucinating You

I hallucinate you into existence, my dear dead friend:
wear your denims, one week worn in the holiday hills.

I walk around caressing, pressing their grubby thighs.
I nuzzle the nape of your neck in the night-warm duvet.

I read you, inventing clues, collapse us into timelessness
Hold my hand up in the black air and wait for reciprocity.

I pare the gentle skin from the imagined ink of a committed thought
I presume we’ve made love without even knowing.

Death is the distance, your pulse alive the butterfly wings
Which stir me.
I envisage you a graceless dancer, bursting with fire.

Gift to a Grandson

Walking with my two-year-old grandson
Along the avenue by black naked trees
And on thin frosted ground
In the bright winter morning, I showed him
The whiteness of his breath.

The moment could not be undone.
He giggled excitedly at the phenomena,
Hitherto unnoticed which, he gradually realised,
He had an element of control over.
Breath held or expelled.

I had helped make the Natural
Unnatural for him
With awareness.
I thought of this
And everything I’ve written.