Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Green Bean Blues

Well I had a woman with a witchy nose
white hair and twisty the way a green bean grows.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Railway Smile

Bus stage of a morning.

Savour trying to make the alternate
starting another bus line novel –
a black story of a never finished word
A railway smile as open as I was today
a slender temptation dripping
possibilities down a sterner road

and a matter to unpick from
the cobweb circumstance.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Another Story

Versions of a day:
catching a story strange
that’s your own
but developing
in the whitening
until finding Sunday –
dampness in a novel
that raises silver as a shot
through a relationship
grown among a range
of roses that never bloom.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Horizontal Monolith (Into The Snow Hatch)

Inspired by Quiet Winter, a photo created by the fabulous photographer, Robert Willson who kindly gave me permission to reproduce the image here...

Slender ladder metal,
capsule curving
on grain-grey snow.

Snow blackness,
climb the cocoon
into the snow hatch.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Back To The City

Late afternoon. The streets are cold. Wind cuts through clothes, skin to bone. Three or four men walk up the road clutching beer cans. One of them has a head like a plucked chicken. He’s smoking a joint, unashamedly, unabashedly in the daylight street as if the country’s laws had completely passed him by.

The shops are lit but no-one’s inside. The only place doing a brisk trade is the Job Centre. I duck into a doorway to get out of the wind. Light a small cigar. There’s plenty of raw material around here if you’re thinking of being the next Charles Dickens. A woman in a purple coat walks by talking into her phone. ‘Is it easy’, she says, ‘to bleed a radiator?’

That afternoon, I look out of the window, boredom making me heavy. Tower blocks like ships docked on land. Sudden brightening of the sun. It stains the walls of the nearest block. A mellow, red colour like fortified wine. The gulls blush to a rose-quartz colour.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

An Unfortunate Incident Involving A Hole Punch Or The Idle Ruminations Of An Academic One January Morning.

A class of seven students.
The fifth student
on the register
is called Shelly.
But the hole
punch has made
a hole through
part of the h
so it looks
like Smelly.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Peacock Egg

An artist experiments with a typewriter.
Works out a way of replacing letters with colour.
What he had invented was the chromatic typewriter.
Words are turned into abstract patterns with strange colours.
If you look closely at this poem you’ll see a fried egg
or the eye of a peacock’s feather
depending on which way up you look at it.

Friday, 17 February 2012


Consider clothing. What you wear can drastically
alter your success as a picture.
Keep it simple.
Busy patterns or
bright colours
fight for the viewer’s attention.
Keep an eye on the details.
This saves time in post-production.
Save yourself hours
with the Clone Stamp Tool.
That spark or glint in someone’s eye stop them looking dull.
A catchlight is a spectacular highlight caused by a light source
and reflected from the eye’s surface.
Use a telepzoom for candids.
But what happens
when you step away,
out of the frame,
far from range?

I’ll try and keep
the catchlight
with me.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Plumber

He takes his time looking at the painting;
Black river, textured water.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Umbrella Swans

A man in a raincoat stands on a stormy shore;
Grey stones, the wrinkled water.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday Strange

Morning rings its black-tired alarms. Everything Monday strange. Space sounds
in the dark until we get some snooze-button discipline. Go along the sleeping stairs.
Try not to wake them. To trigger the troll that lives under them. Long-johns
are the new rock and roll. All the hip old men round here are wearing them.
A pair of bald shoes snore on the step as white dust gathers in grey corners.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Money Construct

No-one loves you, remembers you
just for working hard.

The money construct. What was your relationship with money when you were younger?

I didn’t have a relationship with money. I was never aware of it.

There’s a trick I’ve been playing on myself lately. I wake up and forget about money. It’s like the lifting of a great burden, a great weight. I feel like a different person. But lasts for about as long as it takes me to put my socks on.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Glass Chimney

Ash tray in the shape of a sombrero.
Tab end of her Peter Stuyvesant.
Stump of his Panama. Or neither.
Sea urchin for a lampshade.
The glass chimney of a brass paraffin lamp.
The arm chairs and sofa –
sand coloured with caramel stripes.
A tall mirror leaning against the wall,
a threshold into a room with a sloping floor.
Come in, come in…

Place your feet on grape coloured carpet.
Good isn’t it, the way the sun follows you in here?

Windows. See the rumps of cows being herded up the road.
Hear the trudge of rubber boots on tarmac. The yips and ‘get on with yer’
calls of the stick swishing farmer now passing the churchyard,
the wooden cross belonging to the old sea captain.

The glass chimney falls and shatters.
You swear you didn’t move, touch it.

But when they come back they won’t believe you.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Knowlton Church Revisited

No roof to separate earth from sky
no glass to keep out the wind
no door to lock or bar.

 The chill sky is free to fill space
between crumbling walls
to come in from over the fields.

 Concentric rings of earth
encircle the stone eye
where other lives, days were lived.

 Altar stone, hearth in the tower
gravel for carpet
witnesses to clandestine meetings.

 Voices singing in the bladed grass
ferns growing in the hearth
mosses and lichens on the lintels.

 Arches, green fires blazing
the wind the music
the hymn, the choir.

 Hear the words, hear the songs
wonder the pictures
depicted in the windows long gone.

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Love Poem

Pale skin of ankles between black trousers and black shoes.
The skin marbled with wandering green and blue lines.
Veined like Stilton cheese. She sniffs into the phone.
It sounds like a match striking.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday Times

The Sunday paper gets you down. And that’s before you’ve even looked at it. Great slabs of doughy pages. Interspersed with glossies of glossy people who you never see or meet in this town.

Or would want to if they did.

A rugged man with a dark, handsome phone stuck like a leach to his fungal ear. Baby strapped to his chest. Leaves at his feet. Sunday man walking his pouch baby, conducting business in the woods on his day off because that’s what real men do and you should be aspiring to do the same.

You peel yellow yoke from you’re nice white shirt and spark another cigarette. Turn from the picture that inspires inadequacy and disquiet to read that Seasick Steve found quitting smoking ‘real easy.’ After his heart attack.

Your heart beats like a Chinook on a night-time recognisance raid over a war zone.  

Then you read that the relatives of some of the people Orwell wrote about in The Road To Wigan Pier are doing quite nicely now. No more dirt, no more coal.

You roll the pages into crumpled balls. Light the fire with them – resolve to give no more thought to world affairs.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

TV Meditation

nervous streets. watchful

red signs        heat


 blood on the tracks

 tilt the lamp over the mirror

             red bubble

 tv meditation

 rotary thunder         silver stones

         is that rain that i hear

Friday, 3 February 2012

Momentary Motorway Denial

Motorway sluicing
through the wedge
of a chalk valley.
Torrents of trucks
streams of cars.
Breakers of bikes.

Sounds like a river.
So hear river.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Top Gear - Some Thoughts On Driving

It’s a drag and a blessing all at the same time. What I mean is the school run. The car is a sanctuary, a place to think. A sort of mobile hermitage. Once I’m locked in there no-one can get at me.

There’s music if I don’t want to think. Sometimes the music makes a good soundtrack to the action that’s being projected on the glass of my windows. If I’m in the mood, I’ll even take the starring role.

But it’s wearing too. Wearing being at the wheel wondering at the way others drive, behave in their cars. Perhaps they take a starring role in their own films too. I just can’t relate to their plot or genre.

I mean, have they changed the rules of the driving test? Is indicating at roundabouts now optional, a nicety that can be shucked off if you’re not in the mood? How many minutes have I wasted giving way to people who I didn’t need to give way to?

Times are hard, right? Well the council could save a fortune if they stopped painting double yellow lines at the side of the road. Sometimes trying to get down the high street is like negotiating a slalom course.  

Would you really give me the finger if we were face to face in the supermarket and not cocooned behind high speed glass?


Morlock Oil

Morlock Oil
A new collection of stories available now . Click on image for details.

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
New Chapbook Available (email rockinahill@gmail.com for details)


Bunchgrass Press

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