Last night’s dream

Last Night's Dream

Last Night’s Dream

Last night’s dream



Then running

Into water

A fast flowing weir


Fully clothed

A man passes me in evening wear

And enters swirling waves

I see him from the bank

Lit, as if on stage

And he swims

Until I know

The water will get him

And I watch

As he goes under

So confused

And then he is propelled

Torpedo-like into vacant air

Again and again

His corpse

A plaything

Of some hidden deep





Smudges around

Scared eyes

Betray the fear

That inhabits the one

Who sits in a shared space

And waits

For the show to gather pace


Voices raised

Share real and imagined pain

In the room

Where the past resides

In torn parcels

Willing to rend

To sympathy and hope


Who knows

Where those eyes go

When the show melts away

To comfort

To further pain

Will fingers wipe

Away the hurt

Crossing a line

Crossing a line

Crossing a line

Crossing a line


Short skirts on the terminus floor

At a quarter to midnight

On a cold night in Glasgow

The young marionettes tick tock

In false excitement

Cheap perfume and ritual movements

Teetering on heels. To and fro

The public toilets at 40p a throw


This is my welcome tableau

To friends across our northern border

And as I wait in line at a taxi rank

I feel foreign but glad

That we live in peace

And the excited tongues of people in transit

Ignore me yet accommodate my presence

As they step purposefully about


I will look back on that night

Reminiscing of how they swooned

Made a profit on their exuberance

Or not, as the case may be

And I know that their confusions

Were mirrored shards of experience

Across the globe in different garbs

And all their tongues fell silent eventually

Pet by another name



Pet by another name


She responded to an ancient call


The pull of the wild

And sped off despite our cries

Shrill remonstrations and whistles


That bloody dog, Kiki, took flight

In Bushy Park

Chasing hapless deer who bobbed

And weaved across the bracken

Retreating ineluctably from view


Until eventually the gloaming November sky

Was wan. All turned grey

Except for shreds of muted colour

Mirages in a desert of disappointment

And she was gone


Four paws in a whirl of selfish pursuit

Lost to reason

Lost me

But found terror in detachment

And nearly caused an accident


I got a call

‘Have you lost your dog?’

From a lady in the Pheasantry

Who’d been forced to make an emergency stop

In order to avoid the bitch

This day

This day

This day


The rain comes down on panes

Of glass that shudder with wet sounds

A tumbling repetition of reminders

That life is tough


The sky. Implacably grey

Emits its silver pellets

With the blank poker-face

Of a giant in the grip of boredom


And we, with our intermittent hopes

Shelter from the aural assault

Diffident. Changing the scope of plans

That were set firm before the fall


Puddles formed in cavaties

Swell, seeking a spirit level

Rising to the point at which

Our collective hopes will sink


And thus another day colludes

With our remaindered views

To put a weight upon


Like mondays

Like monday

We live in prose

Well, most of us, with stilted gait

It’s a process, this stricken pose

And quite often not worth the wait

While others exult in poetry

At the periphery of our vision

The prevailing mood is desultory

We will not sign your petition

The smiles and promises

At heavens’ gate

Are hooded lies

For those that hate

But the creases in happy skin

Are testament to fun

So you my friend may grin

And bask in the light of a friendly sun

For poetry and drudge

In their old familiar cycle

Witness lives lost to fudge

All peaks and troughs. Typical!




Not lost. Not yet

Not still, one voice

But the eyes on the soul

Are listening

And from this the change may come


From the many dwellings

A troubled mind inhabits

Only the promise of a cacophony

Will spoil the view

And guarantee a war


Hostages may be the prize in battles

But internal feuds

Feed on the choicest victim

For mercy is a distant flag

That flutters behind the walls of shame


Own up to the one small voice

In stillness. The mute salute

A call that circles out beyond

Everything that scares you

Embrace it all and bring it home.