27th July. A thursday Sitges. 2017.

Calle Bonnaire


Brilliant light.

Sounds coming up to us. These narrow streets

funnel the noise and amplify it somehow, though not aggressively.

Just daily life. Unaffected.

Take it or leave it discourse.

The rubbing along of a more or less polite society

It is music I think. An opera. Small voices confiding.

A mother and daughter. Then the strident tones of a trader.

Rumbling of wheels on the flagstones and sweeping

that sometimes imitates the washing of the sea.

Sea rising in sympathy with troubled air and the moon

and dancing with feathered caps as it races toward the shore

where it rests and tells stories to the incoming waves.

Then they all re-group somehow with an inward suck

and slink back to the great body of water before returning

with fresh stories that only fishermen can attempt to interpret.

Then hasty steps and furtive steps. The drill of some pneumatic tool

and of course the declamatory siren of a car alarm from time to time.

Patrice and I. We in our pools of quiet reflection are content

to sit naked and inconspicuous yet so close to all of the life going on.

We make plans slowly and wonder if we should have another cup of tea.

Good Morning

Good Morning

Good Morning



Soft pillows on a breeze

Roll across the blue drape,

curtain of beyond


We are clung hard by gravity

To the still surface of our world

Imagining. Always a little short


The obvious is always staring

Large and blunt

At my inadequacy


Implacable odds

The bookmaker smug in money

And I in self-pity. In fear


For sadness is lost time

I cannot inhabit that

Not all day. Not every day


So I would rather

Blush beneath my host

And live well in the weather.

Speech Bubbles

Speech Bubbles

Speech Bubbles

Speech Bubbles


Is poetry a parcel for universal suffering

An enclosure for loss

The entry point of a wound

The exit where death remembers the whole

Or am I in my self-appointed fashion

My buttons, frills and high blown fancy

That nothingness contained in bubbles?


Froth, spume and cotton drift

On a barren road imagined

Out of the wildest west

The creaking spoke of a decorative wheel

That blisters tired wood and listens to

A screeching lament of rust on metal


All these startled visions are

Quiet intersections caught in thought

Harvested as food

For minds that seek

Succour in company

Dried strips of meat

For curing

The smell of which

May entertain a soul

Prize fighter

Prize fighter

Prize fighter




Everything suggests that I am late

The memory, the notes on soiled paper

Remorse and nagging doubt


My skin and my eyes. My hair

All indicate that things have changed

And I am shocked!


Picture books hold vestiges

Of my fading self

That I open now with caution


So where has the locomotion

Of all my life

Been hiding. In which siding?


For all the guides. Almanacs

The legends told

I am not familiar with them all


A shadow falls

Stooped in changing light

And fleetingly is all of me.

On hearing Leonard Cohen’s new album, ‘Popular Problems’

Popular Problems

Popular Problems


Reconcile yourself with the past

Buy some music from the mouth

Of a man who knows

Whose words rode over you decades ago

When even flesh wounds were deep

Tears were squeezed out of innocent pores

For the loss that the future already knew

Weighed heavily on that version of me


I could taste the void

The useless beauty

That would be the gulf

Between now and then

An ocean of lies

The dark passing echoes of closed doors

A concertina of blurred emotions

Emerge now


To his voice which sounds embalmed

Dark, grainy and spiritual

Stripped of peripheral notes

Unnecessary harmony

Just carrying flesh on articulate bones

Stretched to near the end

And still he makes sense

Of the solitary in me.

A naked poem

A naked poem

A naked poem


Agile weeds that cling

To places I leave exposed

Are markers of time mis-spent


I am left with remnants

Shards from what should have been

All those glittering achievements


Shreds from a garment

Woven from wobbly love

That inexact thing


A heart beat

Stretched muscle

At the source of tears


Remember being the refrain

That echoes and thunders

Even under cover of sleep


Not even dreams

Can render

Happy endings


For this mind will believe

The imprisoned propaganda

Of some previous elite

Vital Signs

Vital SignsThe lines are drawn

Dismal or bliss

Wake-up to the mood and function in this

A blessing or a dirge



Everything is better worn

When the shine is off

Bland newness goes

As texture abrades the novelty

And lends surface to experience


Confusion can be the precursor

To apathy

So the grey middle ground will adopt


You may have to dig deep to carry on


Success may not be the tangible thing

But a feeling inside

Some inner glow. Some energy

That elusive thing that tugs at pride

And asks the question of a deeper place