The morning you crept

from the bed,

barely aware, I heard

the rattle and thrum

of a diesel at the curb,

click of the lock,

crunch of gravel,

thud of the door.


The cooled depression,

the ridge of duvet

along my back,

the false impression

you're there. Already out

of the cul-de-sac.

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The Fall of Oscar Wilde

The Fall of Oscar Wilde



Low hanging fruit, a family feud,

a misspelled note, a libel suit,

mock indignation and ire,

to please your lover liar,

a bullet made for you to fire.

Sling enough mud they say....


Sling enough mud, it sticks,

exactly what the Marquis did!

Like you he paid the boys in gifts

for services rendered, to lift the lid

off your desir...

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Scraping The Barrel (A Villanelle)

I love the villanelle form in poetry. It's usually used for deadly serious poems, the most famous villanelle being Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight. However, I recently came across a wrly funny example by Wendy Cope Villanelle for Hugo Williams, mildly chastising him for bastardising the form. I decided to write my own in the same tone.


I'm sure all your friends will agre...

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Hung Out To Dry

Hung Out To Dry

If God the father sent Christ to die
For the sins of you and I,
Wear a crown of thorns, bleed and cry
Oh dad you've hung me out to dry,
Forsaken me, nailed me high (heave and sigh) -
Then I don't understand the truth,
Of this cosmic act of child abuse.

Where one cannot do otherwise, blame
Cannot be assigned. Judas & the Jews
Constrained, fitted up, put in the frame,

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The Absolute Need

Owls hoot in the oaks

the jasmine is heady,

I look from the window

and watch them together

scoop the moon from

the shimmering surface

drunk & unsteady,

I almost believe

we'll be happy forever

I'm 54 and I'm ready.


I almost believe

we are marked,

we are blessed,

so I'm keeping the vigil

to h...

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gaysexsex and sexualityspirituality


Twenty brands of cornflakes

On the supermarket shelf.

A myriad minor choices -

"But is there something else?"


Sixty flavours of jam,

A hundred kinds of pop.

Tons of trivial choices -

But only one place to shop.

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Camera Shy

I bought you coffee -

always did on Sunday morning at the Clock Cafe.

We'd sit at the window people watching,

sometimes you'd mock me and say,

"Don't you have any mirrors at home",

or "Ooo don't look now, spot the gay".

My retort was just as bad,

"You bitter old queen -

they all think you're my dad!"


But that was another Sunday thirty years ago.


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For A Second I Forgot #2

Sometimes I feel a poem doesn't quite hit the mark. I work it and re-work it and often  just let it go - put it out there. In it's original form this was a poem that started off as two separate poems which I then merged. I had at least 20 stanzas to choose from and experimented with changing them around and cutting up couplets. This revision of For A Second I Forgot, I think gets to the core of th...

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Apolide ~ (For Gregg)

On Carmel beach he saunters

where turquoise meets the border,

His arms outstretched

His upturned palms

Seek signals of a different order,

Eyes the milky horizon line

For signs of calmer water.


His sullen self numb

to the laughter of companions,

neither one thing, the other or either,

Frei nor Frum, Jew nor 'Goy,'


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By the dull electric lamp

arose a vision so intense,

undimmed by squalor, stench and damp

in that Polish prison camp.


Emblems of their offence,

pink triangle and yellow star,

tattoo just below the sleeve

a hunger for tomorrow,

for reprieve. A hope that 

what began in sorrow

would not end in grief.


A fa...

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holocausthomosexualityjewish identitylove

The Poem Fails

The poem fails

It cannot render traction

Or the queer zero,

Rehearse location

Or mine gravity.


Panic & lapse

Immune to weak forces

Arise on threads of absence

In mechanical waves,

Muted by observation

& uncertain rules

In the chamber of bias.


An adumbration transpires.

Wanton longing. Dimension

Flattened & tamped.

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Peter Goes West

I do not presume to judge you

Now that you are gone,

The leaf would've fallen anyway

The bird would've flown,

Taking talisman, tarot deck

And Ayn Rand tome,

On a journey to far West

Your spiritual home.


Land of parking lots and desert malls,

Skateboards on the board walks,

Beggars in the bleachers

watching volleyba...

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For A Second I Forgot

For A Second I forgot

I counted my achievements
there were not too many,
on dismal mornings such as this
I cannot think of any.

I do domesticity
dusting and dishes,
bathe the babies
organise the crêches

For second I forgot
that I was born in exile,
for a minute that my lot
Doesn't turn a profit.

If my words offend
then I apologise,
and if nobodys saved

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Clock Watchers In The Woods


It's my first memory of social embarrassment. I loudly proclaimed my older cousin Barry “sexy” and brought the pickled onion crunching crowd to a glowering halt. His shirt collar was open and brought over jacket lapels, his hair was slick with Brylcreem. It passed for style in those dismal days and I'd confused style with sexy. I have no idea where heard the word before but clearly it was a f...

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Save Ulster From Sodomy


Save Ulster From Sodomy


Papists rule out rubbers

lobby Paisley, Cardinals campaign,

petition Orange Men,

united by a great and noble aim,

Odd bedfellows marry hastily.

Saving Ulster from sodomy again.


Forty-two to fifty

They threw out equality,

ranting, foaming, raving, canting,

Stormont storms. Sodomy

My protestant Gran informed me,


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CardinalsCatholic ChurchIan PaisleyOrange menPresbytariansSodomyUlster

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