Tags from last 12 months

#Dementia (1) #father (1)

The Retreat

The Retreat


He sits in the same chair

with his drab voice and dead eyes.

Cobwebs grow on him.

He’s there in the morning

when I bring him breakfast.

He’s there in the evening

when I bring him dinner.





A young man walked along a sea front 

his hair had colour, his face taut 

forearms smoothed brown by the su...

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Lost Boy

Lost Boy

A Tesco butty, a can of coke
a sleeping bag neatly spread
against a concrete wall

a book.

This is where we met
beneath the A34.

Now, a black book 

and a neat burnt shadow

that made me think
of Hiroshima.

My neighbour said.

'I were guarding my family innit.'

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Last Walk

Lizards scatter with small stones

as he trips up the mountain road,

kalderimes are too bumpy now.



He's been here before

a thousand feet above nut town 

where crumbling churches 

send peels of God down 

to the sea. 


He's been here before.


'Are there cicadas?....  I don't hear them.'





White scree falls recall…

sodden sum...

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Stockport - September






flowers on the lawn


they came

placed flowers on the lawn

on the small patch of grass

at the front of her house


she always had flowers 


so they placed the flowers on the lawn

just as I’d asked them to



dead flowers 

because they’d been cut 

arranged in different ways

bouquets shapes letters 


dead flow...

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There must be a lyric for this.

Something already written, or sung

about this place, at this time 

on a calm October day.

Or is this just for me?

This empty sea and unsullied sand

is it, just for me?

Over there, beneath ship shaped clouds

that cruise across the sky,

Koroni gloats in a lagoon of sun.

Between us, a mast without a sail

poles across the b...

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Bricked In


I imagine the rough rasp of brick
on my skin.
No, I feel the rough rasp of brick
on my skin.
Bricked in.
It depends on which way the wind
is blowing.
Because there are gaps that let in
the light.
And they let in wind too 
I crook my neck to the light that seeps
through gaps.
The Layer allows there to be air holes..
Light holes.
When the light is bright i search for

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Salford Persephone

Your birthday always brings me back to flowers.

Last month snowdrops nudged off soil caps

and turned their faces to the light.

Now, heads bowed, they contemplate return.


In their place a flourish of lilac, purple and white

adorn forest floors, signals to the end of night.


Today, ubiquitous green stemmed clumps

rise by roadsides and parkland paths.

Straining to bir...

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Valentine 2014 (number 25)



January has gone, thank fuck.

Now this sorry month, is bereft of cold too.

All we have is a sister's unwanted birthday

and this day, set aside for love.


I accept there's something about snow,

be it a softening that makes worlds new,

or an awakening that kindles something in you.

An ancestral memory of a Nordic flow, maybe.


So I hope that between now and ...

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Blurred years roll in and out of mind.
Old stones thrown to ripple stilled lakes
show, how supple experience can be.
Pleats in the cloth were absurdities. 
Revealed, in retrospect, as feet
firming the sand of our foundation.

Now we stand on stone, solid
as Stockport’s viaduct on hay.
The river flows below us, as we watch
guttering lanterns float away,
and trains cross to othe...

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Simon Armitage Lives In Stockport



A busker grinds out

‘Fool for your love no more’

with a voice that sounds

like boots on gravel.


While I sit on a bench

and unravel

you in my lap.


You write what

I should have years ago.


That one about the snow

somewhere near Werneth Low.

Well I saw that first,

probably before your birth.


You mention Heaton Mersey

I remembe...

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RNCM Canteen

In the citadel
sounds clamber over each other,
scrambling against walls.
Silent instruments in shaped coffins,
rattle the dark, pall bared
by those who will resurrect them.

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Pub Singer


The Unity
Closed eyes unchain a melody
as she pours herself through gauze holes,
red nails splayed in prayer.
Three men ride Stockport's Unicorn
and don't sneer when she cracks the highest note.
They've heard the screams before.

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I weep.

Not for the hazy woman
with a red umbrella
looking out from a sunny cliff
to a choppy sea.
I weep for me.

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The day that Margaret Dumont died.
The date of Barrett Browning's birth.
Before The Ides of March arrived
your time began on earth.
In Ancient Rome the year began.
At home it is the start of things
as life in veins of leaf and man
runs new in early spring.
Each March is when the bluebells come
and birds lay eggs in tight kni...

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Past Midnight



in a wood in the dark

by the pass not a sound

but the cars and the shift

of the leaves at my feet.

and I write in the dark

and I walk in the dark

and I piss in the dark,

and I stand in the rise of my steam.





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Memory Garden



Past time is imprisoned by exposure

to old Kodak colour.

African Marigolds, Antirrhynum

seeping yellow and red,

horizontals on the geometrics

of a manicured lawn.

Straight back round in regimented colour

by ninety degrees,

hugging the military cut, grass square,

beneath a naked bulb.


I remember the sun.

I remember.           the sun.


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Meg Green's Freight



Meg Green’s bed trembles with the weight of passing freight.

From her window sweet chestnut trees rise above the embankment.

Fish-slice leaves, gloss green preen themselves in summer,

concealing from sight the muffled passage of trains.


In winter, when trees leave their detritus

on her neat cut council lawn, she can see;

from the edge of her bed in the ...

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Thare Is Na Time That Wull Nae Come Again


Thare Is Na Time That Wull Nae Come Again

The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it,

speck of dust’. Nietzsche’s demon.( The Gay Science 341)



Thare is na time that wull nae come again

Th' stoor o' ages weightless winds huv spread

Howfur git back 'ere ah cannae ken


Oor bairn’s a mon tae quickly...

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Dogs wade through the pond
where tadpoles fight to right themselves
swirling in clouds of grit.
Beyond the pond, 
through the trees that arc over
Doris Pastore’s bench, 
down the dew slick sloping field,
across the old leather tanning brook;
on the other side of an old wall
cars steam along the wet road.
He sits in soft...

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Winter Heart


Winter Heart.
You like to see frozen trees
cloaked in crisp clung ice.
You like to tread on iron ground
sound soft in snow.
You like to see the world in white
washed by arctic winter.
In warm wet winter
when rain drops line the branches of trees
and hang like mirrors to the white
windowless sky. You cry 'Let there be ice!
 Drops be d...

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