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Goodbye to the monsoons of summer

Goodbye to the summer that never was

as the sun sets slowly

in evenings of fiery red, once again

(a sun for so long that has been occluded

by the crying clouds of rain).

The sun itself is love

or the joyousness of love

and the rain is rain;

the rain is whatever occludes the joyousness of love

or whatever makes love be only joylessness and pain.



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The playground of lights

Down in the dark wood stood the old man of the forest;
the ancient yew tree, whose boughs were as thick
as the silt that sits in pits in rocks in streams.
His bark was bottle coloured trousers
of the felted short-stemmed moss,
where lichens grow on carbonate salt
that seeps from limestone bust and broken,
where the old man’s roots grow into its fault lines.
Dashing and darting l...

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Paradise ignored

Hellbound and spiralling down down down

there can be no earthly hope

and nothing is absolved

the Yazidi manifestation of Melek Ta’us

ironically a bird of paradise

perches here on shed roofs

displays like the halos of angels fallen  


you can tell me in the words of Anton La Vey

rules laid down by fools for fools

we do what we damn well like

and will ...

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In consequence of past oblivion

Back when things were darker still,

when the loneliness put me through the tortures of hell,

I emerged from that sickness of the mind

still everso slightly damaged and ill

but as long as one’s happy, who needs to be well,

and to be so takes effort and time.

From days of toil and grief I would come

the back way up the close to my home.

And, while those were such l...

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thwarted love

Welcome back

The Prague spring is a well known thing, but its summer burns intensely and all is overheated.

The last time I was here was long ago, and I think it was October, I’m sure it was October.

I have no elaborate plan, but the plan is elaborate enough: I really need a holiday, really need to chill

and relax and drink coffee and go to the gym, but also wild adventures with the characters I...

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Social Observations

The song of the existence of matter

Today, where I walk, the cosmos sings

the song of the existence of tangible things

where... da-dum-dum bollocks!

Bollocks, I’m bored;

as bored as atoms that vibrate back and to

then oscillate some more because they’ve nothing to do

I’m as bored as the quarks that whatever quarks do,

as bored as electrons and positrons

that pop in to existence and pair annihilate.


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Building the future

in amidst the twists of structures

among the architectural metal

that grows up along the irwell’s leafy

crescent meadow swells

from the corner of my eye

I saw incongruous golden petals

of a dandelion growing

through the pavement cracks

and mortar of the boulevard’s hard shell

reflected in the plate glass

facades of floor to ceiling windows

with boots ...

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Standing close

Mild for the weather for this time of year

outside, standing and chatting and laughing,

standing close and I’m trapped by the wall

and I feel enclosed, and I feel... I...

... feel!

Standing close, I feel.  And I shouldn’t feel.

Rain permeates the non-coloured memories

damp, sodden evenings and damp, sodden mornings

remembering: neglected, remembering rejection


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social commentary

What she said

You will miss me

when you are alone, she said,

when the tide of life’s cold wind

freezes about your head

when the sunset burns red

and only you are there to see

when the laughing of the stream

mocks you in your stead

when your arms wrap around nothing

as they search your empty bed

when you melt at seeing a smile

but wake from dreaming it instead


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Where dragons and maidens are no more

The same quiet air of resigned and damned despair

that lives in cabbage water steeping,

resides in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

in teabags gently stewing

and a: Gosh! Isn’t this pleasant

Oh, this is far from bleeding pleasant;

this is death that’s not arrived yet

this is dreams that weren’t worthwhile.


A shaft of hopeful sunlight on an uninspired graffito


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my Ivory tower

has a window with a view

outside the officials

bustle in their uniforms

with talismans of status

the servants and the maids

mingle with the others

each believes that peoples

can be classified by classes

those who have their trades

the shirkers and the thieves


acerbic, I watch them

nobody sees me

none of them see anything


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Near Death

I went to north wales with my kayak at the weekend and went out in dangerous conditions.  Here's the poetic account of that:

Ferocious winds shrieked shanties

as they battered on the wavetops

of the madly swelling waters

of the dragging ebbing tide.


They threw me in my fragile shell.

They threw me high and far,

as though a creature in its shell

thrown on th...

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Darkness lands with an ear-splitting bang

At the fall of midnight’s darkness on the eve of Christmas Day,

the dark of eleven fifty-nine was all but passed away,

the darkness that you only get just after twelve-oh-one

was hanging in the wardrobe still; it’s time was yet to come.


One second after the above, a clopping over the rooves,

a thunder clap of ungulates, ruminants with hooves,

a second after midnigh...

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christmas religious

Smashed fragments huddled for warmth

Beneath a yawning ambivalent sky

Thynne Street shivers in the early dark

broken bits of Britain stir

and walk out scarf wrapped

coughing like gypsies dead from living

crackles scattered on a floor of frost

where life is a Londis of use-by dates

and mars bar breakfasts bought in haste

choking on the fumes of the bank quay station

fragranced by soap factory smo...

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state of Western society

Hearts and flowers and shit

(Valentines poem 2010)

A saying someone told to me,

these days when even love is tough,

“if you love somebody, set them free...” –

give them a false sense of security

then when they come back to you,

tie them up and ,


do stuff.

You know, like...


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You seem to take a strange pride

 in believing that it’s true

your land of invisible people

who only talk to you


 you act like it’s okay to deride

such other points of view

as you’d dismiss as “materialistic”

and conjure up strawmen


like: we deny the awe of existence;

know enough to survive

you argue we are cynical

I’m cynical – it’s true.


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spiritualitymodern life

No way out

Buried under piles of snow

as Newton’s first and second laws

(though, sadly, not his third) act,

to worse positions, still, I go,

antagonising other cars

by the places I get trapped


Failures of inertia and friction

(fucking metaphor for life)

I think: this’ll be a good idea

then, self contradiction,

and arguments follow as to why

I shouldn’t try...

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As sure as back streets caked in snow

melt and go,

so the stapled cardboard box locks,

as too the  thumbs push further in

a thumbnail clicks.

Remember the time your thumbnail clicked

as cardboard panels stood their ground


the time you had that panic attack

nail bent back

just think: thumbnail bent right back. Snap!

It left a curved white line across

a keratin shell over soft blood a...

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This is a sestina comma discuss


When all’s fast, unforgiving, banana

my eyes are dry and rattling aubergine

in bony orbits asking:  tomato,

give us sleep! Give my head peace! Cucumber

but, sure, you’re a long time dead, raspberry,

and not a long time living pineapple



We acknowledged each other pineapple

there was a sort of kiss of hands banana

we ourselves may not have kissed raspberry

but our hands twined tog...

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Some days, I am comforted by quietly despairing

Some days I am comforted by quietly despairing

mind tired summer grimness of a raining northern town

sploshings on the tarmac of industrial estates

rounding corner newsagents in redbrick terrace streets

staying up ‘til two a.m. unable to feel somnolence

and waking up at six a.m. to judders of the juggernauts

that terrorise the fragile bridge outside my double glaze


Some days I am comfort...

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To drift

To drift

All my days have numbers,

and every day is numbered –

if I give each day a number.

Each second follows minute,

every minute follows hour,

the numbers don’t get smaller

I just rattle in my shell;

a shell inside a shell,

Like a Russian doll of shells.

My defence is superficial

to the shell that is my skin,

then the shell that was a person

can be found somewhere inside.

My f...

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Patterns in darkness

Dark were the nights when lights from towns and cities could not find me

limping through the furrowed fields, blind except the few short metres and

flashes of the daisies in the fields.


Lambent came the moon’s dim glow above towering hedgerows that

passed through clouds and forks in canopies of threatening trees

and made a thousand faces in the leaves.


And I from evening not long from...

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The Kestrel

Two people I know wrote nature poems about ketrels. Despite knowing my views on nature poems, they showed them to me.  I wrote this one:


By Kirby’s rotting flat block greys

where sixties urban dreams decay

against the skyline you might glimpse

by overpass and motorways

a kestrel hovering aimless


Pushed to the edge by man’s advances

or by fate and circumstances

its super strength los...

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  First movement

Language and vocabulary mingle in a chorus

Structuring a poem as a symphony of words

Strings sing violins tremble hauntingly

Short vowels horns trumpet low a main phrase

Belting out percussion slapping rattles kettles

Deep down deep down

Crashing to crescendo with a shushing cymbal hat

Up again and rising repetition of the main phrase


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Hopefully, this is Terminal

True, but if you could stand and read,

the boards of arrivals in my head

and hear the hum of flying thoughts - 

so loud (their turbines) that it hurts -

if you sat in thought traffic control

then you would see my private hell.

If you had the stamp at the passports desk

you’d stamp yourself through no less

than twenty-four times every day

guaranteed, and there you would be

inside my head...

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Because the world is a cold, dark, lonely place

The mind at leisure but not at rest

feels trapped and cannot up and go


because the world is a cold, dark, lonely place.


The man laid low by the thoughts he has

can only wait for those thoughts to pass,


because the world is a cold, dark, lonely place.


Feelings that come beyond one’s control;

feelings that will one day go,


because the world is a cold, dark, lonely place.



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If we did

If we did

(and I don’t believe we should) –

but we could,

and I would let you –

I would lie there not thinking:

‘How futile is existence?’

because I am and

that’s what I’m doing

and I’ve started, so I’ll finish.

And, besides, I am a bit besotted

’though I don’t want to be – but,

if we did, here’s how I think things would be:


I would lie and wonder where my life was going

as we l...

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The Water Sprite

A young vivacious lady sat and combed her soft blonde hair

ignoring all around her -

breasts on proud display.

I passed her by admiringly, walking along the strand.

I’d been so long at sea before my craft had landed there.

She caught me with her piercing eye

as I stood starstruck passing by,

and by the twilight's fading light

I knew she was no mortal sort;

I saw she was a water sprite t...

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Variation and fugue

As I was going to St Ives

I met a man with seven knives

the bastard stabbed me seven times

statistics lie about knife crimes

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Have yourselves a jolly little Christmas poem

If I don't get a white Christmas,

I'll turn the dial that makes it snow.

If I don't get a white Christmas,

I'll kill the switch that lights the sun,

and I'll line up those responsible,

and execute them one by one.

The Christmas elves will shit themselves

with good old Christmas Fear,

if I don’t get a white Christmas

this year.


 Peace on earth at  Christmas time.

Goodwill to all and p...

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Human resource 36

Human resource 36


General says:

Score one for good,

Score two for bad.

Count up your score

Twelve means you’re hired

More means goodbye

That’s what general rule says

Hello human resource 36

Welcome to your...

Just  follow drills

You are now a section of track

And there is no I in team

We want rectilinear motion

You’ll be trained

And the train will go one way

So all tracks lead o...

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