Monthly Archives: October 2013


She gave me her hand,

four fingers and an

opposable thumb, her

ovoid palm nestling in my

square mitt, challenging

Euclid with how such

strange attractors meet, how

so many different-sized digits

mesh so comfortably.


Squalls precede the storm, a

skirmish-line shaken out by the

dark host over the horizon

whipping itself into action, sucking

resupply from salt-water and

riven air with bagpipe blasts to

terrify, brigades of rain

beginning the bombardment, seeking

weaknesses for the penetrating wind to

infiltrate, develop, envelop, create a

Cannae of Air against Earth, but like

Schlieffen’s Plan it will all come to nought,

in a day or so Earth will remain,

battered, scarred but still there and the

storm will be spent, leaving

skirmishing squalls and rainbows.

Nicotine Moon

Nictine Moon

Nicotine Moon shares my habit,
keeps me company on cold nights,
under overhangs on drippy days,
outside clubs and bars and restaurants
where we are no more welcome than
plague-carriers, at work when I
haven’t a clue, on long vigils with
unborn children or a sick spouse:
in elation, exhaustion and despair, her
throaty chuckle, her
companiable cough, her
nimbus of forty-a-day, her
cloak of smoke enfolding me.

Northern Winter

Northern Winter

There is only so much light, and
day by day, the South
draws down more of that
precious ration, until it feels like
there is none left.

The Smouldering Past

The past smoulders long in the memory,

the savour of its sticky,

woody smoke seeping from

long-forgotten photographs, clothes

neatly folded in attic-buried trunks,

documents—letters, bills, old

school-reports, medical files, certificates

(marriage, birth, achievements or the

lack thereof)—even the scent of

old spices in stove-worn pans.


The smoke hangs in the autumn trees

catching the low light, silhouetting the

stubbornness of spiders, every branchlet

webbed, every web freighted with tiny

droplets of dew, each as clear, as

murky as a memory.

Failed State

Sometimes I feel like a Failed State

ringed by impassable mountains,

snow-bound or sun-blasted, good only for

one thing which is now exhausted, the

mines closed, the factories boarded up, the

currency debased and worthless,with

prissy NGO’s up my arse, a

lack of basic sanitation, the smell

creeping up valleys to warn the neighbours to

steer clear, the ‘phones cut off,

loans called in, knockings on the door and a

kind of heaving in the chest of

despair and freedom.

“The Past Is…..”

Sometimes I wish I were in
Hartley’s foreign country,
doing things differently, but then
maybe there I would be sated but
dissatisfied, alone maybe in
Hollywood by a silently
chlorinated pool, unborn children
unadorning it, making it messy, putting the
stub into stubborn, with no
wife to nag me, keep me honest,
make me sometimes
feel ashamed.

Maybe, in that country, feeding from
St.Elmo’s Fire, I would
never have noticed tonight’s real but
improbable sky

Small Pleasures

Small pleasures must give way before greater grief:

appetite in all forms first since it is

but base; bed foremost then the table,

nausea and belly-rumblings vying for

precedence; the senses, one by one

euthanized, starting with sound, leaving the

house with no music, no laughter, no

clink of companionable glasses, just the

silence of an empty echo.

Sara in LaLaLand

Welcome to my world.

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