Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Once and Future King

The bus driver, inscrutable behind dark glasses, wears a scarf
like mine and tries to defy the known laws of physics by forcing
two gold coins through the skin and bones of my palm in reaction
to my apology when I hand him a ten pound note and tell him
that I don’t have anything smaller. I thank him all the same and tell
him I didn’t need my hand anyway. Upstairs there’s hardly a seat left in the house. I perch next to a schoolboy who is reading, of all things, a cowboy book. I look down and read so what does it mean if my feet are pointing towards you? I think that I might be pushing my luck if I read any more and stop and wonder which way to direct my toes. The windows rapidly fog which makes it awkward because I don’t know what to look at. A celestial chiming begins and I wonder if I have finally died. Time stops as everybody listens. Maybe we have all died. When I get off at my stop I cross a grey bridge and the river looks very green. Light dances on the surface. 
In the cool and gloom of a subway a graffiti artist has sprayed  
the once and future king in lime green bubble lettering. 
I rise to the surface, step into the light again.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Going North

Cooling towers
crowned in vapour

boys on black bicycles
delivering the magpie news

pigeons play chicken
on the misty motorway

bow ties of galvanised wire
a yellow dinosaur

with the keys left in

an unlocked caravan,
red tops and brown sauce.

Language softens out again.
Cyclops runs the chip shop.

I learn to go native.
I still miss home.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Conversations With Clouds

It is one thing to be seeing faces in the clouds:
quite another to be carrying on conversations with them.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Show Room

As you creak down six a.m. stairs
you pay attention to each breath:
how it rolls in, spreads like a shawl
of sea water on a sandy beach.

Antique signs hang on your wall
Esso Blue, Aladdin Pink, STP Oil.

Funeral, old-school black bicycles,
side pieces to the real stars of the show
the long and lean, slick and sleek motors
with a hint of summer trees
that gleam and glint in mirrors
set in moon chrome.

The road beyond cuts through the hill
to reveal layers of sand
and keeps on going,
lifts us out of ourselves

closer to the sunlight
the fragments of starlight

closer to ourselves and each other.
Or even farther apart.

Monday, 9 March 2015

When Ghosts Leave Footprints

Gypsum powder
on red stairs.

Follow the ash.
Sweep dust
from stone.
Throw windows open.

Here is a path
through the gorse.
Yellow flowers
with a coconut perfume:
such exotic spice
on a prosaic wind.

A man plods the path, sun on neck
earth on hands. What he later says
makes it into the history books.

And here is the book
bound in a moss cover.

As I have no body,
I’ll leave you
to turn to the right page.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Turning Of The Crow

Sometimes there’s a sound
like a drawer opening and closing
and on the final thud
a noise like powder
raining on paper.

It took two mugs of coffee
to solve this early morning mystery:
the turning of a crow
in a cracked terracotta chimney pot
sending down a trickle of soot
and maybe a brittle twig
to land in the grate below.

The drawer slides, slams again.
Alarmingly so.
What if the crow
took a tumble,
spiralled down in a panic
of soot and wings?

All goes quiet.

The mind takes off
in yesterday’s black car.

All that remains
is a scatter of bird song
singing in the eaves.


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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