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saw you hanging from a tree

I bowed upon the stroke.

There was nothing but this night

and I was happy then. Who knows


the poetry composed

that night lost in the gaps

between the stars? I strummed


six golden strings,

but never nailed it.

Peter, Jude –


I too have walked home,

got lost in the mist of a lit

lamp post; failed


to imagine myself

some years from now

anywhere but here.


I heard the stirring

strings of a string

quartet, which hurt,


and which I could not

express in words.


17-18 March 2016

meditations, etc


Meditations, etc


I               I’m chained I feel to my will, my flesh and

bone; the pen in my hand follows the lines

of my command. But it’s you, is it

not, tapping the nerves and the veins

along my arm; fiddling my words, my will.


II             What do the poets talk about in their

heavens, what plot, scheme? Sculptors,

their plot swept clean, but stare at their own

bare hands, with the eyes of the blind.

I feel like a Shade sometimes, pure being.


III            I’m not free, walking the rounds, an abstract

head in the crowd. I mean nothing until

taken from context. I think, Man:

one small step, an accident perhaps, and

the crowd is wild with ideas, and people die.


IV            I’m surprised that there isn’t more death

on the street. How orderly life seems!

and how disciplined everyone is!

in line. The system I admit works well;

not quite the machine, but still…


V             Sometimes our system goes askew because

Man has fallen short of the Ideal

Platonic Man; is mere shadow, imprint.

When man or animal, say, is tortured,

I too would say, Fuck you fuck you.


VI            I disagree with legal murder and feel

the most disdain for those bitter souls

chilled with that fearful, inarticulate

loathing. Killing someone with your bare

hands, however, is another matter.


VII          I’m bitter. But for what? I know

what I would say, what I would do,

but can’t fathom it. I near hysteria,

only this morning, laughing, a madman,

in water my feet never touch the ground.


VIII         I shall drown or hang or bleed or die

naturally some day. Do you say, So what!

I’m now as my father was, years ago;

before Fortune spun her careless wheel;

struck him down, for absolutely nothing.



IX            I dare not rebel against God’s Law.

I’d die a thousand deaths, mortified

by each one; and, at best, humbled, my head

bowed, trembling before final severance;

then damned to the depths by my master.


X             I mourn for the light that was snuffed

from my heart; and if tonight I still lie

alone, quiet, all night, and tomorrow

night, ad infinitum; if so,

it’s because I’ve nothing more to give.


XI            I want to remember my dead friends,

light candles again; which will mean

nothing to them, but to me, everything:

I challenge you all to the death; take on

your smug common sense, your realism.


XII           In two days I light a candle for one

I loved. Not a good person, granted;

but what does the heart know about that;

right and wrong? I have never been

a disinterested party, in love.


XIII         The Suicides should be spared God’s wrath,

certainly. My friends were good men;

one took more heroin than necessary,

and the other choked because he was scared.

But who can penetrate the mysteries of Justice?


XIV         My nerves are shot. The horror never stops.

As I sleep, I’m scared the worms that curl

about my skull send messages;  speak in

esoteric tongues no-one understands.

What has this to do with me? My nerves.


XV          Indeed, people die, are killed when ideas

dictate; when individuals are subsumed

by the abstract mass; the clean-cut

faces, uniformed; a featureless

sea; dead calm; a desert sea.


XVI         Is it better to have been born? Can a slit

throat undo the good that was thought

and done by one man; happiness like blood

spilled upon the sand? Viewed like that,

murder is an act of purification.


XVII        I could become pure nothing in seconds.

Tie the knot; score the skin, slow, and quick

deliverance. I have snuffed the candle

which I had lit to commemorate

the sixth anniversary of your death.


XVIII      The fact that others once lived as I

now live, with slow regular breaths;

stood where I now stand; is, I think,

remarkable.  Although there are those

who have said: Death is as common as muck.


XIX         Death is solemn because life is beautiful.

When life is not worth living, death is

squalid, a grave of mass butchery;

individuals once, now nothing more than

vile bodies; grimaces and shattered limbs.


XX           My acts of profanity are, perversely,

ironic. A Satanic reverence,

when tears turn to laughter; no.

Yes, I’m still dying to lie with you

happily; and I refuse to get over it.


XXI         Sadness to me is a luxury I afford

easily. It’s nothing to me, emptiness.

I walk the long street in the long

evening, and back along the park; I hear

the birds sing to the dying light of evening.


XXII        How can I put this? I’m trying to break

down the door. To talk to the dead.

The departed. To those I have left, dead

inside. Yesterday I lit the candle

that had lain unspent in her drawer.


XXIII       I approach the age of meditation,

admiring the girls. An Aschenbach; a man

that haunts the swings, looking for love;

offering rides, slides; anything

you want. Refined. A gentleman, really.


XXIV      As a child I had an inkling of being,

strange. Even then I thought it all

queer. I lived innumerable hours

in a single room, staring at the houses

across the street, which moved when I moved.



XXV        It’s queer being a child; everything’s

on the outside of the skin; a pair of eyes

sees the trees waving at the sky, shoes

across the street, but knows nothing

of itself. My head felt like a shell.

XXVI      Those big boys on the bus are up

to no-good. I’m two years-old by the time

I feel fear and understand what self-

consciousness is. That is to say:

that other people exist, for real.


XXVII     I recall crawling along the nursery

floor, shitting myself, and feeling

something akin to disappointment.

I had felt content, and that incident

soiled it. Like a dirty wet blanket.


XXVIII    I learnt to swim in the long canal

that ran parallel to the river. I was

  1. My cousins and the other locals

shone with brown skin and big genitals

that blossomed in white underwear.


XXIX       I had to look as the girl undressed

behind the bush, one hand on my cock,

which throbbed all the way to the lump

at the back of my throat. It burned

so good, and I didn’t care who looked.


XXX        My coming feels like flowers blooming.

I’m enamoured; half conscious of bees

drunk in the trees, and the wind

caressing the long weeds, and me

faint. My head feels like a balloon.


XXXI       The moon and the stars are with me this night;

follow me home. These dirty streets, grey

in daylight, are blue and gold; glittering under

the amber streetlights that light the way,

home. Magical night. Walk me home.


XXXII     My life is wonderful through the veil:

I love the sea and the mist on the mountain

in the morning, walking through the vales.

Fabulous is the myth of Eden. I want

a garden just like it, and good companions.


XXXIII    We might live in that thornless garden

watered by a stream that flows from a spring

in the cool mountains, glittering with fish

in the shallows, golden: the Arian

morning, first of the glorious new year.


XXXIV    In my mind the garden is real beautiful.

Fear drove us; fierce animals, neighbours.

We sought what is good in itself, and were

punished for it, which set us apart,

like the first Jews, from the animals.



November 2015

Word as it is Today

Since when did he ever worry about his father’s permission
He always did what he wanted to do regardless
Fort Street left him wandering a path with no way home
When he came looking for her
It was too late
He knew now
when she tried to tell him
She had run into the arms of another
His world crumbled at the fact of the matter
She was always in the arms of another
The drugs and incarcerations would have made her run he knew
Along with the clatter of empty bottles of medication and white rum
He doesn’t blame her
Everything changed after Upper Queen Street
Shrugged off on the day of his first conviction
Sentenced in absentia
Pity for no other fool
His vocal cords took weeks to recover
from that day he screamed for death
until he was dragged away by the constabulary
After Fort Street she like the others turned her back
while he suffered a doctrine of military mantra
Life over death mattered
Still does
He would assassinate at her command
Everyone shunned him back then
Gave him not an ounce of credit for what he did
The pressure from upper command would pop rivets
Groomed to the illicit business he was drowning in
Labratory to distribution professionally executed networks
Carrying tools of the trade
Weights and tariff to keep it honest
It was all about protecting the filthy flow of money
A never-ending river to protect for his handlers
Arms hookers and drugs became his life
Prozac was the name of his first gun
Irish ancestry became once again through
His mother the family connection to mother Ireland
Cell technology
Independence silently acclaimed
Unlike her
No one else to blame.


‘tenderness and tenderness and tenderness’
from’Night through the orange window’ by David Mitchell

summer leaves
bent with rain
on the wind

full-tide floating
up shell and
pine needles in a
lifting breath

the back of
my hand along
your thigh


november 21, 22, 2015

not talking

            not talking

when my wife feels
like talking and i don’t
i tell her my ancestors
are watching me
weighing me up on
their heavy scales

the ‘le baiges‘ of a
few hundred years ago
for a few hundred years
just tilled their soil
tended their few beasts
the talking goats and
dancing mares
stopped their labour only
for a draught of water
a muttering of village song
then shut themselves
in the quiet again
of breaking earth
with hoe and walking
in it sniffing it
like wine

these souls found
little to speak of but
the harvest, the child
who mightn’t make
it out of the cradle,
all things you could
put your hand on
a word was coin
you kept back
until you had
to spend
what did they care of
politics that meeting
of fine blades
knew of
a king far off,
a thing god had
put there like a
clod on a stone
something you
might find in a field
never understanding
why, who left it to
sit there higher
than the earth

these souls are
watching me
cannot find me
on those scales
something so slight
a dandelion head
the wind takes out
of your hand
before you can
even see it
a foolish man
with a mouth
they shake their
heads filled with
the leaden print
of the one bible
they had the
one book
they shake their
heads slow like
thunder clouds
at one who has to
talk so much
saying so little.

for their sake
i tell her
i don’t wish to
talk more
and offend
their iron purpose
for their sake

not mine
and anyway
i’m spent

september 2011

man of it

      man of it

looking up
into the
giddy white
grain of fog
blowing around
the streetlamp
he reflects
that he
years ago
into his own
not seen
clearly since.

evening, 20 august 2014
nelson st, howick

I know what to say and I know what to do

I know what to say but can’t

like my hands had been cut

or worse and I can’t talk. It


doesn’t matter however

like I said and even

tho I’m here and you’re not


we’re together I think

I walk the rounds the wrong

way round – anyway


away from you, my head

down I’m like a horse walked

in the pound. In time we’ll come


together. (If you turn

to run I’ll pin you down

hold your head to the ground.)




As housewives brush a fly away
Cast them aside the same way

Most of me is rust
A black eternal pool of suburban corrosive metal
A broken social unicorn


We are weighted down by sins that don’t exist
Indisputably we become aware of ourselves and the void
Trickling water through a sieve
Memories an opaque dream
Look for butterflies that sleep amongst wheat
What’s doomed in velvet beyond my thoughts
With eyes that linger behind my reluctance to be a notch on your headboard
The wisp wind brings a scatter of commitment
Leaving behind traces of brilliance
The air is thick with ideas
The wind curls across your face
Soothing torrent brush past your neck
Ardent opinions on poetry and music
Captured that look across your face
The glint of light in broken glass
Dialogue captures contextual meaning as if your words anchor tangible moorings
Pawning my intelligence for a drink
Knowing the depth of our souls
The image is my travelscope
Before we are carried out by the ebbing tide of uncertainty

The Eradication

He built a bonfire
Next to a lake with no edges
The red roses had been sucked from his skin
Pale drooping as a flower reaches out to the rain
Crystal shards formed at the water’s edge to the bonfire’s flames and embers
He sat smoked and drank rum
Memories of childhood games
The flames danced across his gaze
Freedom at a price
She’d moved on
As he would too
For one night more askew.


I never get sick of the violets and greys

of evenfall.

Even so, I love the yellow splendours

best, the first flowers of the year.


The suffering is, there; soft, a clean score

that sparks memory, trembling the years;

the scent  of hair.  My sorrows


are bitter, hard; to bear: friend,

I’ve nothing, no way to tell it, but this

.  I’m no

host, I know, but a good man

‘s welcome here.


6 November 2015

from A Pilgrimage Of Snails


Small odours hold in the walnut-
panelled Glory Box, in special coffins
for the life remembered, lined
with pale silk; there, that’s your face,
bent around the convex plane
of the unused silver spoon
commemorating royalty,

succession, continuity;
that’s your name,
on the ticket stubs and programmes;
a poster with your fame,
almost overgrown
by the main event,
which was always you,
stopping to roll the rich grass,

an inch greener near the river,
as you lay there, beside the opaque
cooling flow, thinking
deep and slow.


That’s you, needs a polish,
the infinite complexity
of patterns, the massed
and wriggling trillions

upon trillions of intelligent
yegling squiggles Particle
Colliders accelerate for:
the Moment— is pattern

and you are followed
for programmes of Prediction,
and all which seeks to manage
and control the chaos,

as it domineers
in its return, always
to disable the despotic
software systems

of genomic mimicry.


Id, I.D., Rfid, IRD: can anyone
this known truely be unique?
happiest the moment, is it Movement?

E.motion, as you ripple or splash,
and dependant on your entry in the barroom,
your presence, in the mirror, in her mind,

to admire, to align, the stroke,
along your top lip, to show you ride
that wave, a joke; you’ve a memory, or is it:

a Manufactured Presence?


The Ages, as today, as days before;
yes, you are, all day, and all night.
In sleep, and not at fault, and no remorse,
because there is no blame, and no,
no you’re not, as you went, bearing
your heart upon the granite columns

and stub-crushed alters of the pavement.
Saw in each the same
hard mad trouble we ride
ahead of ourselves, in designer

A thing worried on is a miracle forfeited.
At this place, of Now, day or night,
in such a way, as you are able— grab
the wild situation, until each moment
clears itself. That’s it, happy are we truest
in the courage of no future care
to where we end, exactly where we are—
a pressing in the light from underneath.




horses at night

I stopped to spot the grass,

look at the stars.

I caught


2 silhouettes,

the slow movement

of heads. Horses


are calm in the dark;

when no-one’s there

to see them.


But it starts –

the music begins

to grow


like 6 strings

being tuned,



27-28 October 2015

Yes No