Monday, 30 November 2015

Campfire Scene

The clay pipe points at an angle, aligns with the tip of his elbow as he studies your face, reads your every thought as surely as you are reading this now. 

Bleached out flames fade one from the circle, 
two brass buttons punctuate his waistcoat. 

Another looks up from beneath the brim of his hat, 
shares some of the limelight.

Stare further into the scene, the trees and shadows to see the unseen.

Pines gather, spread resin scented breath: drop needles on the earthen carpet.

Snow on the shoulders of the message bearer, frost in the chill of his words where the circle, axes abandoned, slowly set to work to bring about a thaw. 

Shadows from the charcoals create a projectionist’s screen for eerie cinematography on the canvas stretched and propped on the angle of poles. 

The way in and way out is a black egg where, elbows on knees a snowy haired old-timer muses on the news, massages the message into the curls of his beard. 

Based on William Nortman's Campfire Scene

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Narrow Way

to the narrow way

the periphery

a flint wall


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

All At Sea

you all at sea
amid cold currents
that sluice through
the trees

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


If you could piece together a radio out of odds and ends, say a cotton-reel, cardboard and glue 
Sam Chatmon would play the blues all night long.

Instead, a broomstick lies on its side left by some flighty witch who didn’t want to see the inch or two 
of moonlight that shimmers in our yard.

What you least expect is heat, the winter night to envelope you like a cloak as you step down into 
the shrouded garden.

White light shines as if surfacing from under the ocean.

Monday, 23 November 2015

What Really Matters

Sometimes a song pours 
through a twist of ice water

skewers the receptors
so that you come back
to what really matters

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Dinner Party

Imagine a dinner party, 
say a day and a half before it happens

sweep the parlour
set the ebony candlesticks

the glow glitter from every speck that shines

the chatter will be your grout
the glue on which you’ll lay the pieces
the patterns and shapes
that go someway
to make up the tesserae,
mosaic of your day.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

What Goes Around

the flowering star 
burns and spins 

like Catherine’s Wheel

The town loosens itself 
from the yoke

decorates words

the prospect of carnival

you can hear it, barely suppressed
in every utterance expressed

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

November Saturday In The Country

The hammer and the anvil
the inside

pinna auricle

a slow wash
ing of 

light dapple

tread of a spider
yawn of a swallow

venus flytrap armchair

set down 
on the ridge

of black trees

Thursday, 5 November 2015

An Amiable Horse Goes Time Travelling

The caravan door splits in two halves, a stable door arrangement so that I can lean out like an amiable horse and watch the world go by. A brown kettle boils on the gas although face washing happens up at the barn: a stand-by tap lagged with fertiliser sacks bound with bailer twine. 

While the kettle boils I set off on a path that follows an oak wood where grey squirrels run rampant. 

Once or twice a year the farmer comes down with his gun and shoots them. Tree rats he calls them. At this time of the year the path is dry as dust and I keep on going until I reach a hollowed out tree that somehow hasn’t died after being blasted with lightening. 

Regular as clockwork, I look up and see the brown owl in her usual place perched on the branch. I wish her good morning and she stares right back. 

I turn on my heels and make the journey in reverse. 

The caravan door is still open and by now the kettle is boiled. Coffee, cigarette then a walk in the opposite direction to where my car is parked. The car is six months younger than me and smells like a museum, antiquated dials on the dashboard and sixties red vinyl seats. A vehicle from the past slowly taking me into the future.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Easy Way Out

Almost out of the woods. Intact, with the sense of a job well done. 
Breeze and pollen trace things back to the beginning
a continuum that starts where the easy way out 
is never taken.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Hardware Store

It is something of a relief to walk into the hardware store. 
Rows of terracotta plant pots, smell of compost, birdseed. 
A watering can doesn’t require any contemplation: 
whatever I might think about it, the can only serves one purpose. 
As does the length of garden hose 
and the packet of jubilee clips. 
It is like reading a Stephen King novel 
after the complete works of Tennyson. 
The bliss of not thinking. Either it does or it doesn’t. 
You can even get away with being dressed like a rustic poet 
who forgot to die in the last century. 
The man behind the counter is used to old-timers in dungarees 
and stained hats having conversations with themselves. 
Yes, I think that there might be a case for this: 
if you’re feeling down and struggling to cope with it all, 
borrow a hat from a scarecrow 
and spend half an hour in the hardware store. 
They’re bound to have exactly what you need.

Especially if you don’t know just what that thing might be.


Morlock Oil

Morlock Oil
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The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery

The Quest Of Great Celtic Mystery
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