Fallen Leaves Do Not Resent The Wind

The young beeches have finally
Surrendered their winter leaves
To the midsummer breezes.

Will the wind not strip me
Of my own dead thoughts?

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Easter 2023

Easter 2023

(pace William Butler Yeats)

We have all met them at close of play
Looming with masked faces
From market stalls on a cold wet day
Running the gauntlet home.
We have passed their frightened eyes
With no polite meaningless words,
Or uttered to their great surprise
Polite meaningless words,
And formed after they had fled
Some subtle gibe or mocking taunt
To laugh with a fri...

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Dame Luz, o Dios

Ayudame, hermana, he me caído!
Help me, sister, I have fallen.

I, Willow, have called you, O Scissortail,
You and your harem.
Graze off the pests that swarm upon me.
How I love you!
You go about your business, demand nothing of me.
Help my sister too. She has fallen beside me.
Her limbs are broken and scattered.
Her old skin, ripped open, peels from ivory bones.
Yet see how still she c...

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What's for dinner?

'What's for dinner, chef?' said the house fly,
From his perch on the roll of kitchen towel.
He wasn't to know.
'Nothing you'd like.' I sighed
'Surprise me!' he replied.

It is summer, and last night,
Mosquitos robbed me of blood and sleep.
So when cooking a pasta sauce,
Zoroaster's recourse
Is a creed that I heed.

'Go on, surprise me!'
So I did. And I was right.
He didn't like it.


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Port of Spain

comes in and goes out
of the rum shop.

Dread men and black cars
pass up and down
the calypso streets.

And there is a smell of salt
and the blood of woman
in the acrid incense
of the dockside.

comes in and goes out
of the rum shop.
Death leaves
and comes back.


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Pot Bound

In 'my' mind/heart 心
Ideas, plans, memories and emotions
Flow freely in the never-ending stream.
In 'my' heart/mind 心
A character grows misshapen
From its constricted roots,
And the winds which blow
Hot, then cold, then hot again.

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Dead Poets: No.99

A literary friend was remarking
On the letters penned by P A Larkin.
He agreed some were sad,
None remotely glad,
While many were totally barking!


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倒 攆 猴

Light spring breeze
Hands repel Retreating Monkey
If only I could.

Swallows buzzing me
Nuns hurrying late for mass
Two oast houses

Early summer night
Soft my pillow
of willow down.

Summer idiot breeze
One gossips to the other
Two oast houses.

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In the Light of Love

In The Light of Love

As dust the mirror, smoke the fire,
All is hidden in fear and desire.

As I lie here in bed, feeling darkly oppressed,
It is merely the tombstone that lies on my chest.
And if now I feel sorrow, or longing or rage,
At least my heart is awake to the bars of its cage.

For if there is longing,
It is longing for that which can never
Ease the longing.
And if there is...

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The Apprenticeship

In my youth it was like a long street I lived on,

From Hendon Central to Leeds 6,

Friends lived at both ends

With others and some acquaintances

At various points in between.

A red and white snake, or mottled grey.

A rucksack and a thumb.

So when that nice lady from Google Maps

Guided me back up the M1 recently,

How ridiculously familiar!

Even after almost fifty years...

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Darkness Darkness

I stand and watch
The White Tigress raise Herself and burst through the trees.
Her reflection was on water
More radiant in her first quarter
Than direct through sparse birches and coppiced hazel.
Now poured a light so bright its power entered me like a beam,
Straight to my core.
Framed by the branches, barely diminished by the
Breath of Water raised from the Earth.
She countenanced no shr...

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Lazy Poets

‘Most poets are just lazy prose-writers’,
Said William Burroughs.
The cheek of it! Though he did say that T S Eliot was
Impressive as a lecturer. He had found that at Harvard.
And of course they did both come from St Louis.
He expressed no view of Ezra Pound though.
Hadn’t really read him, he professed.
Lazy prose-writers indeed! Of course, he always liked
To express dissent from commonly ...

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The Wind's Lament

( a section of quatrains excerpted from a larger narrative poem)

The sun which once warmed the morning dew,
Gave my breezes the scent of thyme,
Now it barely climbs above the yew
Spreading over that grave on the chine.

And what if I danced now before you,
As the waves along the shore?
Would you know that he did adore you,
Feel the warmth of his love like before?

Oh Annie! Soon the l...

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Broken to Thief

On that first slow return of He Who Eats His Children,
Watch! Is me again
Awake and bound to the backyard trace, the strutting cocks of neighbours,
that blasted Housebird trill.
But daybreak does find me
Under bruise-blue cloud, water pearling on wind-torn fig,
Rain from butt and drain building into the yellow river.
Watch! Is me again
stepping out now for now,
In a storm burst from my ...

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Before Return, Stripping

Ouvre la porte pour moi, Papa!

I will no longer swim this Ghost River. No!
I will strip this corpse of its former flesh
And build anew.
That beech tree sheds its leaves and waits for Spring.
What has died has died, as all things do.
With Stripping comes release,
Release to live anew (and live for You)

I will no more swim this Ghost River. No!
Its angry spirits have worked to...

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Where Hope Still Lies

I no longer feel to voyage on, since I no longer feel

I no longer feel to voyage on this silver pathway

That is no pathway but a rutted track that steers the wheel

On a golden course where only dark shadows play.

And I know that once upon this path, largely for others' needs,

This chariot will charge forward with this form

(Only the body travels now)

And I will not stop nor ev...

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Middle Age Mystics: 1 Spain

Santa Teresa de Avila
Found some Carmelites plotting to kill her
But she avoided the thugs
And by using strong drugs
Allowed God's infinite grace to fulfill her

Pobre San Juan de la Cruz
Never lived to be long in the tooth
But on his Dark Night
He bathed in the light
of his lover's ineffable Truth

(Intimations of his immortality
Must not slide into facile banality
And it has to be ...

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Male Health Issues: No.1

Middle-aged prostate well-being
Depends on the candour of seeing
That one really must thank
The relief of a wank
From the Unbearable Tightness of Peeing


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I wonder could there ever be

An egotist as great as thee?

To think a Robin sang for thee

When walking down beside the quay!


The Robin is a punchy bird

And thus his song is often heard.

The song he sang was aimed at thee

To get out of his territory!


And later as the danger passed

To stick your poem up your

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Tales from the Dock

Number One

In a murder case tried only latterly
A vague and dyslexic Fazakerley
Was asked was it true
That he'd shot her clean through
And replied 'Er..No, not exacerly.'

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Train of Thieves

(A simple blues song - to be wailed in E)


Can you hear the train pull in the station

Sneak-thieving Sound breaking in the day?

Sight feeds a brain that craves information

The whistle's blowing and we're swept away


This empty train ain't bound for glory

Not on this or any other day

Joy, fear or pain, it's just a story

Slam closed that door, walk the other way


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Ant told of this many Suns before,
      busied in preparation and climbed higher.
Son of the Grey Serpent slid over the sky.
Now water drips everywhere, beating through the canopy,
      draped in mists.
Boinayel with us through still, sullen days of waiting.
Seven Suns of rain.
Moon is almost full and life a slow round,
From light grey to black, dark grey and back.
The whole village hud...

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