Sunday, 30 November 2008

Nothing of interest

clouds like snow
with tyre tracks

Bare poplar trees
cast skeletal shadows
over untended graves.

Old shed
left to rot
plastic windows sag
in the winter wind.

caught on brambles
No jobs today, sorry.

Darkly House

Darkly House

The house on the edge of Darkly Wood,
though ruined forty years or more
still shows its lights on moonless nights
where there never were any before.

They think it’s prank by local lads
who want to scare their sweethearts
but you tell me how they put one now
in a tower collapsed into parts.

‘A trick of the light’ the new priest said
on a visit to see the beams
but his face want as pale as a ship’s white sail
and he couldn’t deny the screams.

No-one goes to the house any more
not man nor beast nor dog nor brother
only a girl with a trailing axe
who cries over and over for mother.



Curved glass
focuses the sun
on tiny Frenchmen.
The Eiffel Tower
under heated water.
Mock Parisians
wish for a coating
of dust
to protect them
from the onslaught
of summer

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Priest’s Lament

The Priest’s Lament

They flock here after tragedy
this flock of souls, these sheep
that bleat and moan of ‘goings on’
yet in the darkness keep
their garlic bulbs and silver shot
and horseshoes nailed above the door -
‘For luck,’ they say yet whisper still
of iron rings for good or ill
and cross themselves and every night
they swear to keep the faith alight.
The fires are dead, the church is full -
if God allows both old and new;
for who are we to make a cull
when monsters are His children too?

Misty Chesterfield

The path 'twixt wood and field
filled with mist
and sodden leaves
and yet
within the silence
an echo
of a dream.

Spider's web on teasel
catches the mist
for a spider's bath
among the spikes
while gorse,
thinking of spring
sends yellow pea-flowers
searching for bees.

In the grass
rusted machinery
returns to the earth
while pampas plumes
echo factory smoke
from long ago


Scraps of magazine print
on a fallen sycamore leaf
in a frosted field.
Recycled article.

for Weekend Wordsmith 76: Leaves

And her son cried...

“I want doesn’t get.”
The purse-lipped voice of her mother,
Ritalin pills fall
like Smarties
onto snow white ice-cream
and she wishes her mum
was still alive.

Friday, 28 November 2008

DogField in the Mist

Watery sun
sends recalcitrant fingers
through skeletal oaks

And only the Crows Sang

And only the Crows Sang

Right on the edge of Darkley Wood
stand the ruins of a house that was never no good.
It burned to the ground on a night long ago
when the wind was a-howling and threatening snow.
The only survivor of perishing fire
was a girl and her mother, but I’ll be a liar
if I tell you that they never was found
except in a casket, six feet underground.

Ruby Slippers

She wished
for ruby slippers
what she got
was hot steel
nailed into each sole
and her toenails
painted with creosote.
“Sucks to be a satyr,”
her father said.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Queen's Park Benches

Walking past benches
DK takes a phone call -
I stand and watch.

Past Times

Past Times

Ruby flames devour and burn
the manor house – it lights for miles
this wooded hill but still
she hears the screams and mortal pleas
of those die, that used to tease
and keep her from her midnight sleep
and steal away her daddy’s smiles
until his face would fall and turn…

It wasn’t her - it couldn’t be
a little girl who tossed the match
upon a bale of kerosene-
soaked hay and hammered shut
the doors and windows but
allowed her daddy one last sight
of mother’s smiles in firelight

For now the monsters all are dead
and left but shadows in her head
and pain within her spirit’s hall
for pie for one is pie for all
and into her they all had hid
and whisper now of what they did
so Lucy, grown into a wife
sharpens well the carving knife.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Boythorpe Woods (again)

Muscled Tree
hangs in the balance
full of good sniffs

Fate Attraction

Fate Attraction

Fourteen nights without sleep -
her eyes are dark and heavy.
An essay that has made her weep
extracted fearsome levy
Too many night-time creatures haunt
this mansion in the wood
for as she rubs at tear-red eyes
she fears nothing good
will happen in this cursed ward
‘til Fate takes her in hand
and lets her loose with bloody sword
on legions of the damned.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

I forgot my camera today

so will you make do with a picture of bear, please?

Lucy's Little Pricker

Lucy's Little Pricker

In a locked drawer in the study
is a little leather case
I know just where the key is –
on the stuffed iguana’s base.
Inside, for I have seen it,
is a single glass syringe
with seven vials of poison
and a very rusty hinge.
If I got the critter out
and used its little sticker
the Manor would be mine alone –
Thanks to my poison pricker.

Mister cat

Mister cat
in the lake
and we,
oblivious to his cries,
snuffled into our scarves and hats,
and scattered
cat biscuits
crunchy falling rain
waiting for the sun.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Wetland Field Dogs

To feel the marsh
between paws and wellingtons
with sunlight on the birches.

Laverstonian Spiritual Blues

Laverstonian Spiritual Blues

There’s a little girl crying,
sitting on the stair
she’s lost her loving mother
and Daddy doesn’t care.
She thinks her heart is breaking
‘cause the agony is hard to bear.

There’s a little girl crying,
standing in the hall
she needs someone to help her
but don’t know who to call.
She’s got herself a bible
but it’s no help at all.

There’s a little girl crying,
she needs her bed and board
fed up with ghosts and monsters
making up a hoard
She’s going to get some vengeance
starting with a sword.

Poor Sal

Poor Sal

gave her cancer;
champagne: heartburn.
Being perpendicular gave her vertigo.
The sparkle of her personality
atrophied under chemo
and the glimmer of magenta sanity
according to
obfuscated design.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Boythorpe Woods (again)

Crisp winter air
and wet leaves underfoot -
the promise of sun.

Poetry Chapbook 23

Blood Pie

In the kitchen the wholesome scent
of pastry and of baking -
What trouble brews that Lucy meant
to be the devil’s making?

A portion in the cellar to
appease the restless spirit
another in the downstairs loo,
left on an iron skillet

The third piece in the garden
the fourth piece in the hall
the fifth is left to harden
in the mausoleum pall.

The sixth left for her mother
the seventh for her dad
the last piece for another
if the seven drive her mad.

For mixed in with the pastry
and the apples and the pears
the soul of something nasty
from the crate below the stairs.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Not the colour
that springs to mind
when the calendar
says November

here are fuschias
in full bloom
winter sun
and teasing wind

and Hebes
in the cemetery
that think it spring

and cotinus coggria
with smoke filled plumes
turns purple too
like next door's sale board
blown down again since

And still this fellow
with bulbous berries
outlasts the frost and wind

but this is
land of litter under hedges
and undelivered phone books.

Poetry Chapbook 22

Needful Necromancy

Sheltered by ancient potting shed I stand
my hands are cold and toes in heeled shoe
I see you looking at me, dearest child,
for through the window I see lurking, you.

Stay not your hand with wicked carving knife
for nothing here on earth could change this view:
No snik-a-snaking blade will save your life
for through the window I see lurking, you.

I am a product of that which you fear
for through the window I see lurking, you;
and though I died upon the ground right here,
my beloved child has need of me anew.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Poetry Chapbook 21

Woodland Feast

When Mommy ate the mushrooms
she didn’t know I’d picked them
and cooked then up with onions
and garlic in best butter.

She only knew they tasted
of Camembert and Stilton –
her memory was wasted
of knowledge it was built on.

Hurray for fly agaric
and Death-cap’s graveyard pallor –
she slipped into a coma
and never did recover.

Walls and Wastrels

Factory Walls.
bleak traffic signs
do this; don't do that.
steel towers
full of plastic pellets
and cardboard tubes.

Walls scrawled
with names -
forgotten teens and
footballers too old to play.

Rusted fences padlocked
against children
and the odd vandal
come to smash a window
or get smashed


a wastrel, wasted
strung out on
cheap lager
and a tenner of H.

That old door
bolted for the last time
while the Old Man's Beard
through the new steel fence
that protects the wasteland
from parked cars

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Poetry Chapbook 20

Payment Due

She looks down on curving garden path
where potting shed occludes the view
where naked willows whip in windy wrath
through the window a figure lurks, but who?

A glint of light on shards of broken glass
beat back a shadow of a figure new-
perhaps the dark will sometime come to pass
through the window a figure lurks, but who?

No need to fear the glinting blade of kitchen knife
when what you hold shines with the moonlight blue
what price in peace of mind when so cheap is life --
through the window a figure lurks, but who?

What eldritch flame if held in hands so white
through the window a figure lurks, but who?
with fangs that glint against the dying of the light
for there her mother stands with payment due.


Autumnal silver birch in Queen's Park.

Cards from an old game on the market.

How much for the old rope?

No red lorries here.

I've wanted a sack truck for years.

bananas and lemons

Ripped socialism poster