If I shut my eyes to it,

I can strike low..


hit a high c, machete

weeds cringing in the

undergrowth; burn


villagers who, a few

short years ago, in turn,

stormed here, now mere

non-distinct individuals,

but still..


The air is dead still

but for a stray



even the wine-soaked flies

can’t stand.

Sit Down, Friend

Sit down, friend

And drink this.

This one’s for Jimmy.

For his voice, and passion –

The way he leaned into a song,

Rode the microphone

And this is for Tom.

Yeah, he liked a drink.

Or did. He joked to Letterman

That it got in the way –

Of jogging.

Imagine that:

Tom in his pork pie hat tipped back to show his coolness,

Jogging, stopping in the blinking neon to fold a hand around a light.

Sucking in, looking up to nowhere, the way singers do.

Have a whiskey.

Feel it dance in your throat,

All the way down.

Knew a bloke who ordered them by the threes:

Irish as Irish.

Even wore a green shirt and had red hair.

Spoke a bit posh.

You know: Bushmills, squire, if I may –

Here, have one for Hank.

God, he was only 29.

So, you, sing me a song.

Sing me a night song.

A piano song.

Make the notes waver,

Make them sinewy

If I cry, it’s your fault.

On this, of all nights


the hand shakes the rag,

wields the steel-bristled brush;


thinks nothing of the web,

the daddy-longlegs;


and it, or she,

sees nothing of the world,

which is


more elaborate,


than hers,


the air

from which she builds

her construction.

The Plough

See how the ploughman looks back to cut well,

His frame turned on an iron seat to see the quality of cut,

Where the silver boards slice and fold the black earth on itself;

How he tinkers and measures, two wheels in the gutter.

Slow and even now, there is no need for speed –

Not here, where the iron horses drag a slanted rear wheel,

Where the soft autumn earth gives beneath the foot

And the tractors move in a wide arc at land’s end;

Squinted eyes under the battered felt – all for a straight cut;

The little engines spitting widening smoke rings into the blue.

Thrum and furrow, shares deep in the belly of the earth,

And, always, the black soil curling over and over



hear the sigh
of autumn
from leaf
to last
down the
oak and elm
branch tip
to the root
in damp
a sigh
in pale
cloud even
the moon
its glow
the sigh
of old
faces are
cast as if
in crumbling
a shine
a sigh
in that
wave along
the heart’s
shore where
the mind
winds in
all manner
of painful
a sigh
in the marching
shapes of
the dusk
the sigh
of starling
blown out
on a high
roll toward
the sea
of the
into the
sigh that
wakes you
in dream
that breath
around the
stars just

march/april 2016

from Things Are Wrong Though Fair Enough

I’d begun to think it was a crime
to have and to hold more than we need

the marvellous thing of keeping you
interested—is it so? like a light bulb

before the mind goes
it gives an intensified clarity?

I knew how the walls were

how the skin is
the edge of the universe

knew how the first thought

yet there I’d go
a cling form man

sent across the wire
to dance in liquid drowning

my round about infinity
buying breakfast at the bottleO

porno pizza Mars and sport
raw poetry  organic spells

for betterment—to want some thing
outside yourself  basic vice  secret love

peace of a promise broken
peace be the judge of its worth

cleanse cleanse the purge and health
judge the peace in long term constant use
let wonders render worry obsolete
I’ll never do a thing has been forbidden

hold back be humble
there will be some will stumble
into bed every night  being humble on behalf
and feel a type of caution
as if an act had been forbidden
when habits go against what was declared.


Children And The Playgrounds Shame

The beat at the moment is fast
Those trumpeted jazz tones are a little slow
I want to hear the sax bleed up the tempo
Those drum hands going a little faster
I can’t swing that low to low
No duwop for me
This is the way I hold myself afar
I am something you’ll never be
Take me to the stars
Envelope my dreams a misspent letter
Astral postage another cape
An infant in the plane
Smoothly again
Infants playing a game
Spit in the faces against the grain
Where the rolling hills end
Beyond the claps of thunder
Beyond the bridge trolls grasp
Give me an instrument of death
Somewhere I can start again.

from Nowhere/ Always/ Everywhere. #2

        They drove off, waving
from the backseat,
on the wrong side
of the road
at first because
the Moving Truck
was still reversing in.

the Bulb invents its filament,
Lightning stalks the lonely,
and the over-celebrated.
Death: a living body…
Form: a Life imagined;
exercised athletic substance
excursions running mountains
kayaking mountain rivers
cycling into effigies
of how we want enlightenment
through urban redevelopment
where I am neither slow
nor medium, and certainly not
the fastest, even with the advantage
of the water grabbing gloves on.

once, it was only, ever, & always
the performance
at the parties…the artistry
of light, and the bass
we smuggled in
the arteries,
beat, move, & pick-up,
the navaho cortex,
mushroom cloud
and cactus way,
cornering those
who took
their thinking on
from their parents, teachers,
government, while not the most
were the more reliable
and they would not be left
texting on a beer crate
in an empty lounge
as the moving truck
turned over in the driveway
as the last red worded
boxes were carried out.


I’ve plugged the ears with age
and snapped the rubber cap on,
sprayed the anti-fog, filled the gaps
with home-made, I’ve rode the waves
of causeless bliss, lifting weights
and waiting lift. I’ve left her
singing gently from an inner happiness
to pull her tights back on, how she puts
her best toe forward, I wouldn’t drink again
…unless I had to, there, for courage, full
comfort in the density of real things,

and their not-ness, too;
the outside shape the white horse
makes, stood still, is enough,
in the green grass, snow
tinged bluely on the mountains
behind the cemetery, where strollers
and their babies
feed her yellow flowers;
I latch on to a bouquet, the smell
in a shipyard, the steel and
the hard work,
the feel of a hung bell
looked at.




The Bluebird

He held a hand in a hand,

Kneading the joints.

A tired etched bluebird looked north

Between thumb and forefinger,

The arch of its nose lost in folds of sunken skin.

He was at a loss, consumptive lungs begging

For the still chapel air

As they sang

How Great Thou Art.

He rose with the voices

In hanging black pants

And sought his voice, too

But it was lost in sickness and sorrow.

When it was over – when the weak light

Hid the mourners, a nurse’s arm

Fell to his shoulders,

A soft hand cradled the bird