Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fly free, my love.
Slice the drizzle over Mytholm,
and still higher, hovering over bogside clumps,
homes to memories of air that once passed through.
But not too fast.....I aim to catch you.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


waves are dizzying 
this prison bubble I am in
and all that stops me drowning
is its liquid skin

I anguish to be breezed away
and realise my dreams
before this current one more time
a nowhere whirlpool seems 

first published on 2009

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Two females and a fat man
making shuffling sounds behind me,
letting me know they want to overtake
on a pavement three feet wide, and
eleven khaki-coloured alcoholics in a recess
caught in stop-frame as their black and gold
temptation tins are poised-but-not-quite-tilted.
Three black men in overcoats, bustling
like baptists planning to proselytise,
one caucasian crisply crossing towards Costa
with its hotspot. Kelsey Kerridge Leisure Centre
hosting a swimming event. This time the cranes
are very blue, not tinted by a low sun fuzzing
weekday afternoon aerosphere. I’m home,
and wondering what it’s like to have somewhere
to go with somebody whose company I enjoy. 
Solitude is for the choosing, and I wish there was
an app I could download to give me family
in the flesh, at the tapping of a finger.
But, based on past experience, sod that.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


A low sun fuzzes the tree line mistily at Parker’s Piece,
and the sounds of stunt cyclists become a funky groove.

Halogen headlights wanly pierce the aerosphere and
a plane crucifixes across, above. I am returning,
I am returning to the postcode where my spirit thrives.

Did I hear somebody thinking out loud, “Where is this?”
Do I wish to spoil the magic by explaining?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Opposite shores connected by the
walkway wavy as a woodland path
which zooms between chunks of air
you could imagine to be anything
suited to the mood of the moment.

Neural network some might speculate
could be what comprises soul, suspended
in cerebrospinal fluid, all gates open
to process insights those neutered
by normality seem always to reject.

Each successful poetry workshop
is a nurturing occasion.

Monday, 21 January 2013


The boat's bow-wave is a silk scarf trailing
from a woman's neck, and sun burns the edge of
everything that guards my eyes with inadvertent silhouette.
The water's dark; silk's appropriate to convey mid-tones
in this black and white movie Marilyn might have
been in, face cigarette-smoke-paling.

Friday, 18 January 2013


Ochre overcoats retreated into focus as we clockwised
from the dark of the wardrobe. You slid into the mirror,
glass sandwich where you live, aura harlequinning
blacksilver/pinksilver, blacksilver/pinksilver.......
I watched as your face made sounds of kisses to that 
all-of-a-sudden clay maquette of us,
and how it simultaneously returned them.
The aura harlequinned into dissolution.
I re-entered my alternative reality.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


I have porcupine quills inside me.
In my eyes,
In my ears,
In my feet,
In my legs,
In my hands, 
In my arms,
In my face,
In my back,
In my bladder,
In my colon,
And mostly in my head.

My very own porcupine, 
An old acquaintance to be
O, so wary of, 
Like the pen that reappears
In the hand of each successive neurologist.

And my porcupine becomes bored.
And it goes, without saying goodbye.
Christ, as if I care.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


I velvet brained
into the cloud hanging steady
within the bus’s window.
She hunched around porcelain eyes.

Her thoughts came to me as if through headphones:
Who do you think you are to make me stare at you like this?
Drop your eyes and show some respect. 

Ah yes, yes. Of course. She had witnessed
automatisms which had imprisoned her mind
between two instalments of my consciousness.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Half a mile away across three fields 
the diesel train looks like a red bodkin 
pulling trackside trees into a ruche.
Tromboning the tracks, 
sunshine bouncing off each passing window
flashes me into a safe mystery.
I have already visited this place, 
where nothing changes, or needs to.  
Curlicues of elder stitched
on a hawthorne screen,
mallards rinsing.  Perhaps I will stay.
But the red diesel bodkin pulls a small void 
behind it through the ruche.  
Woods re-form into fenland horizontals, 
the trombones note goes limp.  
It was the same once before, I think.


I tingle on a winter Friday, nine pm.
A double-decker bus bursts from behind
the terrace of houses masking a bend.
I can hear the chord that starts
When next the song begins at noon in August, 
an indigo sky might blaze with yellow windows.
I doubt I’ll remember why.

Monday, 14 January 2013


In the pointillist drizzle of  Todmorden,
People wearing weekday clothes
Moonwalked by Burnley Road,  drifted
On the tarmac rivers making the park rhyme.
There was this loop. There was this loop.
There was this loop. There was this loop.
There w……

......the returning view
Through speckled window was not
Entertaining any longer but I noticed
That the bus had moved considerably
Further up the route towards Lancashire .
“Cheaper than watching a movie”,
I thought.


I had a song in my head which wouldn’t go away.
Big wheel keep on toinin was the first line of the chorus.

And now I am fixated by this water wheel, inside the cafe.
Beautiful, grand, thudding, hissing, geometric iron friend.
But it is becoming another trigger. I ought to leave here.
Sod it, what is there to lose?  A few seconds of consciousness?
And half a cup of coffee, hopefully spilled on somebody else’s lap.
The constant rotating is fascinating yet boring.
The drips leave each spoke at the same place every time: the first 
as if from an eyebrow shaken, the second like a squirt.
And the same geometry rocking back and forth.
Sure enough, here comes the seizure.  Nothing more than a tingle,
puckering of lips, chewing movements, interrupted breathing.
Piece of cake. Thinks: I deserve one of those to go with this coffee.

And from behind the counter a new tape starts to play:
Creedance Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary. How appropriate.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


I am the one in one hundred;
eating a full english breakfast in Brian’s Deli,
making hangers rattle on the rails in Oxfam,
expelling swift vapour feeling the texture of
a bridge’s November parapet, puzzling myself
each time my brain deploys a symptom without
my consent, easily finding bigots and fools
with whom to pick a righteous fight, or educate
to put their mis-conceptions right.
I am happy to be the one.

Note: At the time of writing, one in every hundred people worldwide have epilepsy


Saturday, 12 January 2013


Felt footsteps on a steel bridge
in a mist. Beneath the paths' claw
a common, grey sunk into green.
river reflects a man who’s straight
from the front of a fridge-freezer.
Cartoon scarf in lines parallel
to his flapping trouser bottoms,
quiff and satchel. Does he hesitate
mid-stride or is your brain racing?
Has everything stopped? No.
You are still striding with fake
self-assurance. A medicated stumble
is always on the agenda during
walks in the afternoon, just as
the levetiracetam takes another
chunk of confidence away.
Soon coffee in the Box cafe.

Friday, 11 January 2013


Immersed in air the steel and alloy
connecting concrete of opposite shores.
Walk with easy steps, never avoiding
cyclists sedate or energised at ridiculous level,
steering clear of buggies packed with Tesco bags
and toddlers being politely spoken to.

Among oceans containing infinity
are neural networks which comprise one’s soul.
Personal space may insulate or host cognitive adventure
on this ninety-metre journey, the bridge’s structure
unchanged when one returns with incalculable
new connections in one’s brain.

How many of these would it take to transform
a wishful thinker into an existentialist?