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The Gifts

This was written recently by my sister who suffers from Alzheimers. I should not say "suffers" because she cheerfully accepts the different plane that it has set her on apart from the <normal> world. A very gifted author and poet the disease has cruely manifested itself by upsetting the language function of the brain, yet I find her latest works intensely moving and brave.



This now, i...

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Tempus Fugit

Do look out the window, dear.


the autumn leaves fall

as the fires die


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My Stillborn Child, by Jose Coleman

Mhow, India,  January 1941

Oh my heart's darling why
could they not let you lie
under the open sky
outside the wall
where the clean rain could fall
and the sun shine?
Silent. No bird will sing
there where you lie
under the tall thin trees.
They with their pointed leaves
crowd out the light,
filter the monsoon rains,
deaden the air along lines of graves.

Do you rest still,

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Re-Winding Memories

Re-Winding Memories


Beeching has been at work in her brain.

Branch lines are closing. No train

of thought as tracks disappear

in a tangled undergrowth where,

tearful, she  loses hold of time.


"I must get back down the main line

before the wrong sort of memories

cause wheels to lose their grip.

I'm sliding back to nowhere fast.

Wasn’t I your mother once?"


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The Other Side of the Wall

The other side of the wall


Daddy Goeth was a good man.

Never brought his work home.

Gave us  hugs and  kisses

when we did as we were told.

Gave Mama a present, a lampshade.

I remember the numbers, the numbers,

 they made a pretty pattern on the wall.

Apple wood had a pleasant smell

 as it burnt in the hearth.

White smoke, black smoke,

what shade...

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The Bricklayer

The Bricklayer


Bleeding knuckles, torn nails,

the wall about his bed remained.

Uniforms passed through, ghosts,

changing drips, injecting morphine

that killed the pain but not the past.

The bricklayer had made his bed.


Mum and Dad had dug the footings

of his wall, his fort, his prison.

Piss in his cot, poo in his pants.

Don’t touch your penis ...

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The Violinist


The Violinist


Fingers moving to fragments of chords,

he tries to connect to sounds in his head,

but buried in sand, notes slip through his hands,

and the roar of the sea takes over.


Fingers strumming invisible strings,

he can’t understand what they’re doing.

His fingertips sense a tune he can’t hear,

and the naked silence takes over.



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Spanking Angels

Three odd ones


Spanking Angels


cream leather seats

silver angels


bowlered bully wide

back sides


dead man’s blood

red hands


gassed thin skin

lamp shades


but naked blondes

sun bathe


- and no one sees the angels.




sails of space dust

spat out on solar...

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Oh What a Joy!

Oh, What a Joy!


When your bladder is bursting

and you’re dying to go

but try as you might

you can’t start the flow

oh what a wonderful joy it is

when a tube up your dick

allows you to piss


When your belly has blown

to the shape of a ball

and Movelat powders

are no help at all

oh what a joyous sound to hear

 the gaseous blast


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'performance'  - maybe, 'poetry' - not.  Audio inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest and a few pints, with music by 3-fingered George.



I'm sitting on a tractor seat
loading bales of straw,
with spool-valves at my fingertips,
dusty eyes rubbed raw.

There's seven hundred more to cart
but thunder's in the air;
and many hours work ahead
before the field is ...

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Had another go at last verses

“Despite their dementia  they do remember well that they have a family that is never here for them. They call their names into emptiness, and cry at the thought of abandon .” a comment from BBC website



I cried and sucked their teats. They drew a face on me

 in their own image, one I never asked for,

constructed a smile and ears to...

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The Schoolmistress

The School Mistress


She hides behind walls of hollow words,

clay words baked by burning hopes.

Words moulded from mud and straw

surround her dust drenched days

as desert dunes drift the passing years.

No bells ring from these ramparts,

no wisdom wrung from these  words,

no new life flung to find the heavens.

The silence of expanding stars listens, learn...

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Ethnic Cleansing

Not really poetry, but wanted to mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the Balkan conflict


Ethnic Cleansing






Working Class?

Middle Class?


I am a musician

I am a farmer

I am a builder

I am a lawyer

I am a painter

I am


Without a label.

This was prompted by reading of ...

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The Disappearance of John J. Dyer


The Disappearance of  John J. Dyer

(another try at this one)


Mr Dyer, in rainbow shorts, plump

and pink under a palm tree, smiles

as he pats Miss Burtenshaw’s rump,

golden grains of sand on the beach

flowing through his open fingers.


Soft over rooftops a lullaby’s heard

as Dyer dreams of the one-armed bandit

in the back bar of  his favourit...

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One Night Stand

One Night Stand


Skinny-dipping off Seaford Head

in the ripening sun.

Bobbed hair and a giggle

stripping off the night,

calling me to follow,

white breasts firm and smooth

as wave-sucked rocks,

a slender back begging

to be played from neck

down to where wavelets

make her tip-toe and

water laps tight curls.


Shingle has shifted a bay ...

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The Heron

The Heron   (a fable)

The pike sups on a tadpole

 in this turgid lily-pool

where the grey can swim unseen.


Decorated with gold-braid

the ostentatious swish

lazily from under lilies

filmed in the focused eye

of a patient leveller.


A shutter clicks, splash,

gold thrashes on the green.

A blade slides, splash,


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Re-written Red-eyed Steer

re-write, hope it's better and not overworked:

The Red-Eyed Steer


he never got away did Fred

his sister did, got it away

with a foreign man in uniform.


mother and dad called her a whore

so he did too, lost her for good.

we found the photograph she sent

of her wedding day, her escape.

he’d saved it in a wooden box,

with a white five pound note


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