Thursday, 24 October 2013

A Waiting Storm

Seashore hurricanes alter personal maps
I await that passing restless cloudy storm
No more blustery days, no more
Rain-soaked northerly southern shoreline

A gale breezed in from the coast
Whirlwind unsettling my dusty history

Trading on legacies of lovers’ dreamt ethics
She lifted wings for strangers in malice
Spoiling the purity of blessed emotions
Crustacean skin withholds a worthless pearl

Yogic fountain of ceremonial wisdom
A grand design of veiled tradition

Weary winds shift waves where time swims
A current moment drowning peace
I stand in moonlight observing early sunrise
Sweeping changes cross the beach tonight

*     *     *

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Time On My Hands

I Forget You

Every day I will forget you
Turn back the clock on love I regret too

Time on my hands is a juggling act
A clown at the circus
Jokers arrive in packs
Spiders weave their web
An apple falls from the tree
Maturity heals a broken heart
The sun will rise on another day
Certain things you can always trust
But memory doesn’t depend on facts

If ever you see my face along a crowded street
Catch my glimpsed reflection in a bright shop window
Consider it a trick of the light and keep walking

That girl on the road who shares your hairstyle
Those rippling sunbeams that reflect your smile
A soft voice on the train echoing your laughter
And fleeting silhouettes that mirror your profile

None of them remind me of what was possible
I’ve no more remembrance of a lingering touch
No recollection from days we gently embraced
Nor any saved mementos since to gather dust

If you ever feel the shadow of me passing near
A draught of familiar air brushes past your shoulders
Don’t think of coincidence and just keep talking

Memories don’t always depend on facts
Certain things you can usually trust
The sun rises at the break of day
Maturity silences broken hearts
Apples drop from their tree
Spiders spin deadly webs
And jokers top the stack
Clowns rule the circus
While time on my hands is a juggling act

Turn back the clock on love I regret too
Every day I will forget you

*     *     *

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Old Town

Thin line of chalk
Across a felt blue sky
Briefly ahead of arrival
One mark
Two hundred tourists leave
Long after late departure
Expanding dissipating carrying
Homeward from littered beaches

Now that winter
Has packed its bags
Decent citizens stagger
Burdensome afternoon labour
In the vaporous ripple
From the gutter of holiday dreams
Under blood-ripened tangerine sky

Spinning pinwheels
On the hillside
Hands of colossal clocks
Counting time
As sheaves of wheat
Stacked and rolled for brute famine
Electric failure and water shortage
Betray those lengthy limbs of history

Kerosene lamps
Strung on twine
Connecting portico posts
Pixelated screens behind
Faded lace-covered windows spread
Along the hill as covert metropolis
Disguising the original village wings

Stand securely
Beside the hopeful future
To gaze beyond the loam
Watch waves
Surge down a polished shore
The mirage-soft perspective
In advance of the heat-curled
Carrotic arc 
Of a delicate ladled sun

You take the old town
I’ll have the rest of the world

Back in your two up one down
Semi-detached brownstone
Drag your feet
Raindrop ghost walk
That parade of the past
Shuffle off the mortal coil
Behind a mud-splashed street
The dirty docks and mistier ports
A national treasure a flag unfurled
A grope in the alley or dark of the pub

You have the old town
I’ll take the rest of the world

*     *     *

Monday, 31 October 2011

Feed the World

This Little Grain of Rice

This little grain of rice
Matured through time
Could nurture a generation
Feed the world

This little grain of rice
Moist with healthy yearning
Cultivates injured landscapes
Spread across the earth by diffusion
Is welcome saviour to huddled masses

This little grain of rice
Buys guns and ammunition
Loads weapons with fuller bellies
Keeps troops marching over barren terrain

This little grain of rice
Sends men off to distant wars
Brings them home from killing fields
Nourishes those mighty dreams in children
This little grain of rice
Entices people to worship on knees
Build marble pillar gods
Isolates wits with ergot nightmares
Golden altars are built in homage to a granule
As men and women alike reach for the diminutive
That tiny moment of death that defines existence

This little grain of rice
Calmly awaits the tender storm
Sheltered with attentive conventions
Protected by a father’s stern warnings
Floats as cerise boat at the crack of dawn

This little grain of rice
Lifted from tiny plastic bags
Scattered as cathedral bells ring
Forms an umbrella over anxious brides
Becomes fertility symbol of marriage vows

This little grain of rice
Wrapped in thin defensive shield
Becomes the mother of our appetites
Once that succulent affection is released
From golden husk veiled in sweet essence

I rolled my tongue along its velvet pouch
Savoured the natural sweetness
Offering the flavour of hope
Invented a tasteful saccharine language
Left hungry for more

 This little grain of rice
Fertilised with love
Could have fed my world

*     *     *

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Time's Last Breath

In a grove in the tiny village of Little Dunmow in Essex there is a priory where Eleanora Lovaine Douglas and her Crusader knight, William le Hardi, are buried. Local legend also claims the remains of Maid Marian, lover of the infamous thief, or legendary fighter for justice depending on your point of view - Robin Hood. I wrote this piece with reference to the place and an imagined relationship between the two after visiting with a dear friend.

The poem is not solely or entirely about Robin and Marian, it represents the passing of a relationship, a changing of status, a shifting of the heart’s season – like an autumn day, as trees are releasing their leaves to be carried off by the wind .. a reconciliation of hope at the pearly gates of an eternally lost love ..

In Little Dunmow Church 

In Little Dunmow Church
Weeds grow in the paving
But, deep within the vaults
Where true hearts are never betrayed

It is there sweet Maid Marian lays waiting

Yet, a beauty in her tower
A gilded cage of her design
A passionless tomb should
Pride and vanity win out.

The roguish Robin
Battles truth with a fine art
His arrows are but blunted words
The fool who struggles searches brambles

The point is buried deep within his heart

Torn flesh finds a silent stone
Hiding low in the greenbrier
His endless rage a tragedy
Quelled only by love’s desire.
For what purpose serve a rose
If freedom becomes her prison
Spoken words her love betraying?

A sacred peaceful place
Wrapped in protective thorns
A romantic heart that is still aching

All brave souls her cries do tempt
His sorrow from time not exempt 
A crusader in this lover’s foolish endeavour 
Our valiant squire
Sheds his noble blood
That today might last forever.

In Little Dunmow Church
Under foundation stones
Beneath the legend of history
A hush is on the gathering congregation

A wilting faded feathered plume
Plucked from the wing of an angel
Droops in faded glory over tainted ruby petals

Sweet wine upon her lips
Softly whispered words speak
Time’s last hopeful breath releases a sigh
Of life together in eternal perfect grace

There within imagination
I’ll be your love someday.

*     *     *

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Cast a Broken Spell ..


I cast my pearls
Fresh from the shimmering shell
But you were too busy with the trough to notice

I cast a clean net
Wide open into the ocean so blue
But you preferred the warmer flesh of this earth

I cast a pebble
To skim the surface of stilled waters
But it swiftly sank in the curling of winter waves

I cast alabaster
To maintain posterity’s appearance
But you chipped striking character with impunity

I cast a shadow
Across the face of deeper thoughts
But the sunlight dimmed behind clouds of doubt
I cast a glance
In the general direction of your eye
But you were still winking at those fallen angels

I cast sweet fruit
Vine-ripened and filled with nectar
But you were drunk on power and selfish greed
I cast aspersions
To awaken you from heartless pride
But you wanted only to deny this very existence
I cast you aside
To preserve a measure of my dignity
 *     *     *

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lil' Cherry Pie


I command my body
and offer flesh for truth
I control thought in my mind
belief is faith by honest proof
my soul can never be freely given
as like art this modest cherry tattoo
exists as memory of reasons for living
because my heart I forever endow to you

*     *     *

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

In Grand Style

Two Pianos

Two pianos sit idle in the corner of the room
Silent complements to gathering dust
Melodies once played by nimble fingers
Refrain commencing but for this mournful tune

Sunlight ripples across tarnished ebony veneer
Wire and winch bent and sprung so loose
Chipped ivory now appendages touch wood
Sounds of compositions none will ever more hear

Baby dreamt of one fine day to be fully grand
Superfluous chords will never again sing
Time takes toll on the sweetest of harmonies
Jingling keys locked the door on a practised hand

If these two pianos broken but learned with age
Could reverberate softly vibrato this air
A record of old songs they previously played
Hummingbird notes as once danced from the cage

The richness of creation an enchanting delight
Holds tranquil memories of fretful rehearsal
A childhood exhausted in front of sheet music
Torn snapshot moments forever in black and white

Days drag by toward their final evening’s glow
Slumbering stillness of an eloquent past
Damp and cold warped legs and glazed sheen
Wrinkled spine winters gone outside drifting snow

They occupied a place packed in antique ideals
Life itself enclosed in those wooden boxes
Lids now sealed heartfelt affair left unspoken
These two pianos that brought so much earlier joy
Will live in the heart after the pain of loss finally heals

*     *     *

*     *     *

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Broken English

Hola merci elbette como estas the bag on my shoulder is still aquí

Marching to the beat of thirty thousand shoeless feet
My back is scorched the wind blowing as seasonal treat
Sucking lemons I tramp that beach to seek out local meat
Hungry as a beggar I wander aimlessly down a narrow street

Buenos dias s'il vous plaît ama truly dear seni değil biliyorum keen

Approaching a nearby produce vendor I point to the seat I wish
He nods in affirmation and smiles at my burgeoning visible anguish
While I try to decipher the scribbled menu board for a tasty local dish
Selecting several samples of a regional variety he thinks quite outlandish

Ciao mon amour glásnost' I’m uttering palabras in a helpless plea

I search for some useable currency in pouches and pockets
He shakes his head in consternation as the first notes he rejects
A mumbling typecast tourist I try speaking various unknown dialects
Looking dazed and confused dropping coins on a tray truly I’m perplexed

Un donero vielen dank no entiendo arkadaş what this could mean

Then laugh at myself too loudly because my voice echoes his projects
As his moustache wiggles while my tea swirls timidly in the glass
When he says unmistakably, “Friend, I can see your trouble
In this grand shopping arcade we call the outdoor market
But, we’re all modern here now everyone has a handle
On the ways of the world and its transition status
It really will be no big conversational scandal
If you make it easier for yourself today
When in Rome do as we Romans do
Your task you will accomplish
If you just go with the flow
Accept you don’t know
And say it twice in
Broken English.”

* * *

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I Wanna Be George Clooney

I Wanna Be George Clooney

I don’t want to sell flowers on the street
I don’t wanna wear old saffron robes
Put plastic sandals on my feet
I don’t wanna sing songs under a tree
I don’t wanna be a spiritual Moonie
I wanna be George Clooney

I don’t wanna play football on a local team
I don’t want dry sand kicked in my face
Hope for a small town dream
I don’t wanna live in a tent by the sea
I don’t wanna be a guy who’s puny
I wanna be George Clooney

Star struck bum truck
Cleaning up the rich man’s muck
Hollywood Bollywood I’ll do whatever Dolly would

Flash car fast life
Alimony payment to my third wife
Uptown tinsel town I'll be a happy celluloid clown

I don’t want to be a man in an off the rack suit
I don’t wanna live in a suburban sprawl
Shucking corn for my daily loot
I don’t wanna beg on bended knee
I don’t wanna be a dust bowl Zuni
I wanna be George Clooney

I don’t wanna win a contested political seat
I don’t want to argue deals with lawyers
Vote on wars or take the heat
I don’t wanna enter a last minute plea
I don’t wanna be a raving loony
I wanna be George Clooney

*     *     *

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Praising the Persian Pussy

Big Brown Eyes

Those big brown eyes
Those Persian eyes
Those big cat eyes
Glowing at me
Between her thighs
The Persian cries
From big brown eyes
Those glowing cat eyes
In the dark
Where she lies
Those big brown eyes
Smile at me
From unsealed lips
The stutter of cries
Tongue to the milk
Licks at silk
From in between
Those creamy thighs
The shuttered eyes
Those Persian eyes
Those dark cat eyes
Glow at me
Between the sighs
Of big cat cries
Those big brown eyes
Those stirring hips
The moistened lips
Between silken thighs
Those crying eyes
Those brown cat eyes
The big glowing eyes
The sigh from lips
That seal her cries
In opened eyes
Through shuddering thighs
Those Persian eyes
Those big cat eyes
Smile at me
Tell no lies
When I look up
From between her thighs
To gaze in to
Those big brown eyes

*     *     *

Monday, 11 October 2010

Dust In My Eye ..

Cherry Blossom

Our love is as the cherry tree
Whose flowers blossom a single day
A morning zephyr, tender
Casts the fragile petals loose to earth
Dust; their memory fades away

*     *     *

Friday, 1 October 2010

Carnival of Dreams

Fair Ground

“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

It’s everything all around more than a feeling it’s being there
Running through fingers
It’s neon it’s vapours it’s the electrostatic pulses everywhere

Shining spinning reflection of the sparkle in your eye
Laughter in the air and the squeal of delight
Colouring the world a freedom unbound
Hand in hand with tears of joy to cry
Where the lights are forever bright
Up here at the old fairground

Shoes covered in sawdust and sand
A barker shouts above the din
Drop a coin in his hand
Let the show begin

The riverboat ride through the tunnel for lovers
Hide their faces steal a kiss under those covers

Pull back that curtain and peer through the gaps
Progress measured in numbers through her flaps

Coconut husks jumbled and weighted against the punters
Hoopla rings wait for the greedy who think as big hunters

Two bits for cotton candy gifts from that vendor’s new trailer
The prostitute laughs at her paying boyfriend flabby old sailor

Two middle age lovers promenade nightly not hiding away
From crowded stares as furtively
They hold each other and whisper sweet talk

The machinery churns gears whirr a calliope organ blasts
Sound through tubes of steel to
Carnival drifters under that dusty boardwalk

It’s sexual it’s mechanical it’s robotic and endless
It’s terminal it’s tyrannical presents with kindness

All so fragile the life of sequins tinsel and rapturous jubilation
They say that this bliss will lead straight to hellfire damnation


That whirling swirling amusement of the senses is no shortage of extravagance
The opulent abundant indulgence of intellect heralds a richer and truer dance
Thinks the naive moderate youngster preparing to seize life’s first real chance

Opportunity comes knocking and he answers without fears
What’s he to lose this way he’s young yet with many years

No more wasted time on this silly sideshow
Destiny’s calling for serious business below

Parade through the high arch and past that guard on the gate
Leaving this show behind heading downhill to a game of state

Down to that valley I strolled to encounter real life
I studied and learned all conforming to those ways
The mist of confusion removed in protracted days
That boulevard is busy with big troubles and strife

You soon learn this grey stones existence ain’t nice
Work all day ensuring goodness is awarded its right
Struggle to resist you’ll soon give up that good fight
They aren’t trustworthy enough for truthful advice

Don’t listen my friend to those who say that you will gain
Down there is confusion too much sorrow anger and pain

The system in living there is settled for past dreams
That power and glory is a money changer’s schemes

News reports hide or reveal the creepiest sin
While never the lonely only the rich ever win

Although all talk a good storm the prayers for world peace
It’s only an illusion that disguises the dirty palm to grease

War justifies poverty and corporate pharmaceutical addictions
Starvation on televisions gives a community serious afflictions

Rhetoric employed keeping balls spinning in the air
All the falsehoods of history like the bride laid bare

These are the little things that make up every day
Going insane trying to live the sinister world’s way

Hierarchy keeps guessing but it never stops for the rest
Entrenched in accountancy that bureaucracy’s a big test

It’s chance or good fortune not ambitious technique with tools
When witnesses go down it’s fate that can teach us those rules

Only set pieces change as leaders of men come and go between
Backdrops painted in garish pastels that anthropomorphic scene


Down in the valley the shadow people congregate
Down in the valley those silhouettes do anticipate

What arrogances drove me to suppose talent during youth
What conceit that existed allowed me to paint with truth

What vanity I thought with language I could juggle rhyme
What pride inspired a belief that the arts can affect time

Down in the valley the shadow people congregate
Down in the valley those silhouettes do anticipate


“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

Ink on stamped palms washes off like summer rains
The facade entices with a magical mystery name
The wheels keep spinning round and round
Daily lives change in the world of pains
But harmony always stays the same
Up here at the old fairground

The stalls are empty no one comes to play here anymore
Rides are deserted the ghost town is now simple folklore

Everyone is so busy making their deals down in the vale
A marketing industry that’s dying buying to make a sale

That marionette conductor waves his baton
The company strikes up the band
Above diamonds sparkling guides to dreams
Countless stars fill the night sky
One by one I watch as they fall to the earth
Cast down to the dusty tired land

Then a cavalcade of beasts marches through that door
We’ve no time to explain to this world what’s in store

We haven’t a choice in this late day and age
Write the story read the book turn that page


Wow! You can see everything from way up here
When you blink away that blurry and bluish tear

Oh look! There’s my ex-girlfriend standing outside a shop
Still waiting to buy her dreams or for the pennies to drop

And hey! There’s that guy I’d once thought my best friend
He turned out to be like the weather so, it too had to end

Down there it’s my old teacher going about her business
When I learnt how to think I realised she knew even less

I wasted too much of precious time chasing the life that ends
And that trivial parade below isn’t the reality that transcends

Artists beneath the hill try to capture pieces of what’s up here
Vision they show simply mirrors of mass production all unclear
Don’t worry about perspective acidic ideas now they drink beer
They don’t get no blues and that salt water’s a crocodile’s tear

They will do anything to appear all new hip and trendy
Telling a public it’s so cultural it’s media hype friendly

If artists use government power to settle their critical acclaim
When another one comes along then they too share the blame

Social stratification buys new theories of a treasured trash
As long as it fills this space and grabs bagfuls of grant cash

Time won’t be kind to those of this disposable art generation
So enjoy this fleeting moment of fortunate fame an ambition

Being part of a transitory scene can limit potentials for scope
A politics of art that retires future paradigms in a grand hope

No fair ground believers are struggling down at the base of a hill
Those who stomach endowments
Insanely giving up a dream are the ones who’ll survive there still


“Step right up and come on in come on in to join the mirth”
“Roll on up roll up this story is that greatest show on earth”

That devil at the gates tempts me toward the prospect of fate
He’s but an angel disguised in kindness I’ve recognised so late

Leave the material world’s objects back in the past
Why chase the irrelevant things that can’t ever last

We climb that hill ‘cause we know what we’ll find
Laughter dreams and hope fulfil those of our kind

Play with the game of this age a trip beyond reason
Festivals exist for this through each change season

Humanity’s indulgence is the essential ecstatic luxury
It’s simply another truth to set all seeking minds free

Outside these gates where reality awaits
The depression greed and corruption
Outside these gates that sadness berates
The suffering that continues forever
Outside these gates a darkness hesitates
A delusion of true happiness lasting

Embrace eternity’s archetypal representation so divine
Through time the importance will age well as fine wine

Don’t worry about some local in-crowd’s latest fashions
Discover the inner self create thoughts of true passions

Search deep for revelation it exists in this simple line
Discover wisdom beyond words the sweetest sunshine

Open your heart break down the stone walls
Meditate daily connect with those universals

Enjoy all emotions of a love that we feel
Only pleasure and our memories are real

Up here at the fairground
Prodigal homecoming welcome
I’m going where all is as it seems
Everyone knows Love the world around
Playful yet peaceful a paradoxical pandemonium
Get a ticket hard earn easy currency to satisfy dreams

Then come and celebrate tonight with the lost and now found
In the comfort of friends on the wheels at the old fair ground

*     *     *

I’ve given a great deal of thought to the role of the artist both as an active agent in this world and participant observer of our time .. should we be attempting to define our age and illustrate the disparities and inhumanity that cause so much suffering as well as the noteworthy moments of wonder at our distinctively human achievements – should we attack injustice with works of powerful meaning and relevance in hopes that our efforts can sway the minds of those with power, or, is it our job as keepers of the flame of creativity to transcend temporary concerns and fashion works that reveal the universality of the human condition and attempt to reveal truths that provide pleasure and peace of mind ..?

Can artists actually make a difference? Sure, Picasso’s Guernica was a potent anti-war statement, but his Weeping Woman is surely more touching, evocative and moving in it’s revelation of the person within, and these basic traits exist forever whilst particular events are transitory .. war, famine and the hideous consequences of greed are disastrous and evil, but the soul survives – and passing along from one generation to the next the message of what we hold sacred and dear – the mystery of life in all it’s forms and the need for happiness to sustain love, might be a more sincere endeavour ..

I have always believed finding a balance, an interactive relationship with our era of change and it’s concerns whilst investing art with significance and substance that exemplifies the eternal, is necessary and perhaps, eventually, more appreciably enduring ..

I hope you enjoy my poetry; at almost 1500 words this is one of the longest pieces I’ve written and contains some of the most complex rhyming structures I’ve attempted (don’t believe those who say rhyme is dead, poems don’t need to rhyme but sometimes it’s more fun that way)(and I tried my hardest to maintain the rather complicated formatting for the blog, but it still isn't perfect, oh well). If you have any thoughts on the work please contact me through my usual email address or by private message on FB. And, if you enjoyed the poem, and believe any of what it is about, then once I get my tongue outta my cheek and my heart outta my hands, I’ll see you up at the fairground ..

For another enjoyable take on the theme of the ‘Fairground’ visit this site:  The Bontempis and listen to my cousin Bill’s band .. they are based in the Cayman Islands and have recently been touring the UK.

*     *     *