Sentimental Struggles

How we romanticise lost wars,

close eyes for the first

kiss of the first bomb.


Throw ourselves into

the killing carnality.

Diarise manoeuvres.


Tell virgin soldiers lies.

Get patched up,

return to the front.


How we cling

to the possibility of victory

when every daily defeat tells us otherwise.


The band of brothers of lovers,

the walking wounded

who have wound up dead and alive.


A Murmuration

A murmuration swoops, curls

blackly against creeping dusk

seen silently from the window.

I imagine the camaraderie in furious wings

the machinations of large populations

where all are bound in keeping an even distance

and rarely stare a neighbour in the eye.


I don’t deny the beauty of it, the collective mind in flight

but all this is from where I stand, and

not the birds-eye view of

small town minds where small good mornings

and bare civilities keep us comfortably apart.


On Edge


do not blur


or get edgy


but in an important sense

just are not there.


Everything is fluid

and undecided until observation.


It’s not uncertain.


It’s the way it is.


There are pulls and pushes-

Attractions, repellents.


But these are all internal events.


Nothing else.

Northern Latitudes

Now ageing, and living

the long months of low sun


where slate grey or silver sky hung,

where bare trees scratch black lightning,


peppered hair on virgin white pillows.

Dreams bled to monochrome.


I wake to find Her back to me

and the rolling hills of blanketed hips.


My hand on her hot rump

settling there-

a warm reminder,


as a sun-baked rock at midnight

of the gone day’s heat.


Auld Maggie, Game’s Loup (1962)

Tamp the baccy down-head of the cob pipe-

get it lit, hand shielding.


Screw her eyes wi the squall

stood there between the front door and

her oak chair three feet away


Black dress

white bib




skin red



Her man the chandler gone

old nets heaped on the beach

Wet rigging, crates.


Me at three, with new thoughts, in shorts, gets a smile.

Where the Truth Lies

In the ground, with nothing still,

rotting and living,

nourishing another day. For today

just isn’t ready.


In the silent mutual walk to the graveside.

In the being, the togetherness-

the sole sounds the acknowledgement

of all our footsteps slow-marching.


We carry your memories around

lighter than the casket we allowed

you to be buried in. We have to

believe in your resurrection.


But three days is a long shot.


Frost or steam



The flickering flame

of a dream dance.


Dinky little steps.



piano keys.


All these-

Universes when gone.

Relative heat.


Seasons and feelings

bubble and spark.





of bare existence

over emptiness.


If anything is forever,

it is nothing that lasts.

Talking Wordless



slow lips

whispering love.


Opened to closed.


Boats doting

on a heart-soft sea.


Tidily waving,

wordless Soul-sloops-


In oceaned permanence

Talking to me.


 The calm conversation of our histories.

From Dreamswept Fuckscape

From dreamswept fuckscape

you surfaced to skin.

From sleepsunk night

through half hidden borderlands:

the interstitial spaces of want and have

to the flatlands of a needsome Now,

and found like all surfacing, the superficial

safety of non-committal

pales beside the depths of mingled DNA-

where we exist at truest, 

Where communal histories dance

in millennial veils.


Dreams, our clothes at their most naked

and in the awakening we feel

all surfacing a lie-

and yet, where we intersect

at the boundaries of sentences and skin

weaving ourselves to the depths of us,

searching for the other,

we imprint our loves

on the descent into us,

drag the ghosts of our impressions of them into cores

where bodies cling to crusts

and intellect slips to the mantle of our being.

We make phantoms of ourselves

and bind ourselves to myth.


We live tangential to life

pulling the edges inwards,

acquiring skins to consume,

ingesting all surface out of desire.

Inwardly tumbling in gleeful freefall

to the half-dreamt marrow of our souls.

But we are not there,


we only exist at the margins.

We are all surface.