Monthly Archives: August 2013

“When on doth rush the enemy…..”

So busy being scared

we have become the

people we despised, the quibblers,

back-turners, eye-closers,

street-crossers, the

endless-evidence-gatherers, blaming

global warming for the heat of

shame in our cheeks.



Dirt and Disorder

Searching for some sense of me, you found a

God’s-eye image of my home town on that

strange straight-faced peninsula, but

the piers from which I

launched my life so hungrily look

insignificant, as do the


deep-cut docks that held the

weighted ships my father sailed

widdershins around the world , while the


sandstone bluff is foreshortened, my

wild, unprotected playground

no longer unobserved.


It doesn’t look the same from space: it’s

too clean, too named, numbered, tamed when

what I remember is

divine dirt and disorder.


Cathedrals (Beauvais/Cardington)

I stared at the great, blank

sawn-off wall at Beauvais where a

nave should be, but its

startling height led to collapse, and the

parishioners kept dying in that

mediaeval way, so maybe the builders

lost heart, decided to

wall up the future and



On the way out of town, the monument marks where the

enormous airship was sawn off as it

nose-dived into Beauvais Ridge, spilling

gas which burnt, shivering ship,

crew, passengers into stark skeletons,

scooped up and immured near their

secular Cathedrals, the two

gigantic naves, still standing,

sawn off by disaster, a

possible future walled up to

protect a precarious present.


The Coldrum Stones III

The Coldrum Stones III

Birds sang over their interment, and
the same birds sang as peoples
came and went, disquieted by the
squat presence on the hill with its
beckoning door, and
the same birds sang as the Stones
sighed down the crumbling slope, as the
curious dug, as the bones, the
pitiful grave-goods, saw a day they
never expected, a
numbing light in which
the same birds sang.

The Coldrum Stones II

The Coldrum Stones II

There are no actors, no
boards to tread, only this vast
empty amphitheatre for the
honoured dead to dance their
stately measure over the
fertile earth in
fertile air.

The Coldrum Stones I

The Coldrum Stones I

When the unburdened dead were
carried through that door, the
sky was richly silent and the
long valley empty of all but
fruit and the future.

The Shared Stars

The shared stars all shine on this

moonless night, their patterns

old friends from hours spent in the

handkerchief garden of  boyhood, the

cold metal rim of

primitive binoculars still

imprinted round my eyes.


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