Tuesday, August 9, 2022

In her Distance


I look at her,


in her distance;

a curl



her solitariness;

the dream

a nest

around her.

A calmness

and impenetrability;

I am shocked


by our separateness.

Sunday, August 7, 2022



I turn my head as a child, look back, see nothing.

When I turn forward again my face has been gouged,

there are splinters from the corners of my eyes,

my mouth is a mean line.

My eyes are pools;

their former blue submerged,

indistinct as dapples are in the shallows.

I turn my head as a child, look back, see nothing.

When I turn forward again I have my father’s face;

he is staring at nothing;

life has grown quiet inside him.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022



Watching you on the pier

as the ferry moved out to sea,

your face

your waving arm

you in a cluster of people

the cluster of people

the harbour

the town

the headland

the coast

and memory

like looking into a lighted grotto

seeing the tableau receding,

becoming distant

becoming a light bulb

eventually a star

among all the stars

identical to all the stars.

Sunday, July 31, 2022




we may, indeed, pass each other unaware.


be that close, but almond-shaped sleekness,

pass on, never know.


in which we swim and do not see, search

but not find what is all around.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

A memory of my mother


Rows of empty seats, regimented,

plastic, steel legged,

but one, my mother watching me

signing books

with pride as I continue.

Years on, my mother among

those empty rows of seats,



but her smile remembered;

memory precarious as steam;

memory that fills purses

money can never reach.

Monday, July 25, 2022

His Face, his heart


Parched landscape;

a sandy wilderness

deeply gorged.

The geologic processes

ended now;

his eyes,

dried up water-holes,

partially filled with

some long-gone personal tragedy.

I found his heart,

a rusted old truck, abandoned,

curiously distant from any road.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022



All the days that have ever been;

the flowing rivers, 

the dried-up rivers;

the old bones, 

the new bones;

the grain of all our songs:

with this map you understand

this is the place that we are,

topography of our souls;

we tramp it living and dead.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Post Accident


Her body is pain;

birds flap inside that mesh;

she won’t entertain it, but

a facial alphabet pinballs momentarily.

Her eyes give her away;

corundum-hard crystallised agony;

beautiful too,


Monday, July 11, 2022



Snow, it seemed to me, had the power to take away the sins of the world.

With that dazzling perfection, men’s minds could only be turned to the glorious

and beautiful; their hearts becoming salmon, medallions reflecting magnificent

light, must surely leap from the curve of their every-day lives.

Snow made the world pristine as Heaven is. Shining, peaceful, flawless;

to walk on fresh fallen snow was to walk an unsullied landscape; to walk in its

unearthly glow, which had the power to make even winter’s pitch black nights bright,

was, to me, a miraculous restoration of sight.

When the snow started to fleck the air outside our classroom, we all ran to the windows;

it was to be expected, even the teacher stepped towards it, allowing himself to be

mesmerised by the slow climbing down of billions of spiders; nature’s most astounding

coup, as the earth was prised from the doings of man, wonder restored, the opportunity

to write ourselves afresh on the empty canvas of the world.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A track into the woods


A track into the woods,

turning out of view in the distance,

dragged me from the road

to the mysteries hidden in the shade

beneath trees,

in the darkness of tunnels.

That still flickering excitement

of childish adventures,

those reached only

through almost invisible entrances,

lightened my steps,

trimmed my years,

diverted me from the endless trudge

along those roads straightened by habit,

paved for safety.

Friday, July 1, 2022

I haven't kept mementos


I haven’t kept mementos;

memories decay with time’s mildew

and warmth becomes cinders eventually.

Love does keep calling,

but its voice ever more distant

is faint now.

If only your face was beside me,

just for this one moment,

I could chase away callous time forever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Fury of Nature


Swans’ furious wings

in millions, in violence,

landing at graphite bay

sunder to a feathered lather,

light as beer’s head,

on the strand.

And so it is,

the fury of nature

that batters and drowns

next day

is a plaything for children,

froth to blow off their palms.

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Right Words


Her breathing

shallow, laboured;

life hanging

from a fraying string

and I searching for the right words,

the last words.

What are the words

that should sail the auditory canal

into her final minutes?

What can I say

into the turbulence of her breathing

to repay her love,

allay the fear,

lessen the hardship?

And now, years on,

trying to remember what I did say

as she bobbed on the tide of her dying;

moments when loving care

was reduced to the most caring words;

trying to remember if I had the words.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Storm Coming


The wind from the west made the trees uneasy;

a glowering sky heaving pent-up violence;

the people on the seashore shrinking

to tiny letters in black print under Himalayan sky;

the ocean stepped backwards into distance.

Cracks of lightning shattering heaven;

fish, metallic splinters, breaking the ocean’s hide,

falling back, fragmented anger;

the bellowing cumulus thunder;

a hole in the far horizon where the sun hides down a burrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022



On this empty page,

I suddenly see your face,

a watermark.


blurred features, mute;

loved face.


a boulder dragged behind,

still sweeter

than vacuity;

so smile,

holographic smile.