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Give Me Silence

Give Me Silence



when nights are long

and there is too much time to remember

tear fed raincold roots slide tangled through the dark

and forgotten words dance to an awkward rhythm

you will never understand


do not disturb me

do not distract me

with your promises of light

with your blank reassurances

and your tarnished concern

you do not know

what gro...

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love like a sculptor shapes us all

with skilled and practised hands

smooths a sharpness here, an angle there,

melts edges with tears

cuts away with a ruthless knife

the clay no longer needed

and in time we become

what we never thought we could be

step out of the dark to a braver world

glory in our new found beauty

our crafted strength

and smile at t...

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On The Other Side

On The Other Side



stagnant darkness snakes the sky

shadows a silence lullabied by

those still allowed to sing


the echoing sirens who tied our hands

prescribe a quiet time

slow down they say

weave space to dream

but there is nothing left to dream of


to dream we must disturb

the choking


scattered crumbs

that led us like hungry child...

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And We Begin

And We Begin



a place beyond the need to need you

is the breathless space between your arms

where words are crushed by swollen lips

and tongues twist truth to tell a tighter tale


in this new world there is no light

only the honest darkness of the moment we connect

no room for clumsy words like guilt or me

no bonds beyond the clinging of our hands



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Future Voice


Future Voice


looking back

the signs were there

all around us


we did not understand that when

the seasons forgot to change

people would forget to love


exhausted by climbing money fed dreams

we could not hear

the last short breaths of small things

and although we knew the song of bees

grew quieter with every year

we had no time to listen


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unbound at last

words bitter as ivy

sour as sap

sharp as thorns

tear my throat as they fight their way out

wrap their tendrils around my tongue

and wake what I remember of breath and dreams


I have learned not to fight

to let life grow around me

to rest my voice in root wrapped soil

and trust that no one cares what I say

so I'll say it anyway


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I Was Born With Too Many Echoes

This is a really old one.  Think I was about nineteen when I wrote it...But it's not bad.



I was born with too many echoes

like a cave dark and resounding

waves come through me and drench me

in their shuddering fall


and you say explain if you will

your sudden silences

your strange dreams

and the mad hot rushing tears


at th...

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In That Minute

In That Minute



countdown begins

sixty foot tapping seconds

before the tills ring again


and in that minute

when we are shamed

into impatient silence

how many of us bend our minds

to shelter the recent dead

how many imagine

rat filled terror soaked trenches

how many want to know

how it feels to die


if thoughts were pictures

in that minute


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What We Do Not See

What We Do Not See




electronic anaesthetic

soothes fear to obedience


we trudge chemical laden aisles

glance at neon stars


grateful for promises


buy one

get one


any price


easier not to see

emptied eyes stare blind

from bloodtracked




better not to hear

silence scream

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pain shreds your voice

but inside I’m singing

even as the usual platitudes

fall smooth and ready moulded

from my lips


your life lies in pieces

around your feet

hard to keep your balance

when you’re tripping over

shards so sharp they burn


but I remember a man

afraid to love

a heart too hard to open

a boy who would never grow


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don’t rock the boat

but it’s already sinking

don’t make a noise

but the silence is poisoned

sit on the fence

but it’s splintered and breaking

look the other way

but children are starving

and words taken hostage

crammed into cages

are testing their teeth

on ragged promises

until swollen with anger

nursed by rage

they eat away the e...

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Meeting At Euston

Meeting At Euston



a girl with city faded eyes

excuses her request for a pound

says she’s never been on the streets before

tells me in a worn tobacco coated voice

she needs the money for a bus


as if I need a reason to be kind


the coin in my hand is bright

as she once was

has unquestioned value

as she once did


when her eyes and soul sti...

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Excuse Me

Excuse Me



excuse me

we’re the people


just the people


the ones who

bake your bread

sweep your streets

write your books

teach your children

make your clothes

drive your taxis

look the other way

while we print your lies


the ones you couldn’t survive without


and we’d just like to say

we’ve had enough

of being hungry


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On Waking

On Waking



I sit at my wheel and spin

no spindle draws my blood

older now

no briar rose protected me from time

already awake

no prince prepares to bind me with a kiss


my broom stands idle in a dusty corner

I have swept out the dark places

found trembling spiders and clinging webs

beneath lifetimes of sleep


now the wheel turns at my command

my ...

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we built love out of glass


a shimmering delicate crystal ball

it held brilliant colours

promised dreams

protected secrets




we kept it safe



and when the cracks appeared

we blamed each other

moved it to a higher shelf

out of reach


hands over our ears

we did not hear it fall

did not fe...

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in a carrier bag

Chinese lanterns long ignored

lie creased and faded

I am surprised by your moment of sentiment

you want to keep them


a child in your voice

remembers them hung crisp and bright

by a mother who tried to care


grown now you know

it wasn’t you who drained her smile

she carried your dead sister through sepia streets

and wo...

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the world you lived in as a child

was small enough for small beliefs

the healing power of ice cream

miracles that mended toys

and a mother whose hands could wipe away

tear stained pain


but I cannot mend

this man

your father


no promises

no medicine

no magic

will make him breathe again


you are taller than me now

a soldier


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On Parade

On Parade



the shape

beneath the uniform

was my child


I am supposed to be proud


tradition chokes

measured steps


shoe shined rules

silence fear



holds death in check


I want to hold

the hands that hold

a gun


I taught you not to kill


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Left Behind

Left Behind



soon you were only the rise and fall

of a close watched chest

an intake of oxygen

a faint hiss of hope


and then you were silence

love hung like rain

on the taut stretched moment

before tears tipped and fell


and we clung to all the things you used to be

ignored the fading warmth of fingers

the stiffening of skin

crowded the room wi...

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history will not name you a hero


a boy who fought dragons

grew to a man

put away a plastic sword

and took up a knife.


the dragons grew within you

unchecked by medication

curled around your bones

hid behind the grey scaled shadows

of your eyes

breathed fierce fire in blood betraying

self made wounds.


hero is a name without a face


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you were the boy with a lazy leg

who slurred his speech

whose thoughts ran slow

who dragged a heavy body

like a sack


you could only use one arm

the other lay limp

across your chest

I sometimes wondered

what it wanted to protect


there were rumours

about how you ended up like this

tight mouthed adults

whispered of gin and a reluctant mot...

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you cried when we left the house where you were born

not for friends left behind

not for lost secret places in the garden

not for the bedroom where soft pencil lines

marked your growing


you cried for the purple tiger who lived on the roof

afraid he’d get wet if it rained

sure the new people

unaware of their tenant

wouldn’t think to bring him inside


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