“We are too strict on ourselves,”

Her blouse makes shapes by itself;

Moving like a ghost, it slips between

My fingers, back into my life, unseen.

A press of lips –

Electric –

Is more than we can stand

But less than we demand.

“I should go.” I say,

Unable to look away;

“You should really leave.”

Lip-bite, clutching at my sleeve.


A vacant smile,
in a hospital bed
With wires all around,
A stranger in his own head.
Everywhere, space;
Eyes move,
Everywhere, an unfamiliar face.
At least he looks happy,
Like he is remembering;
Something, anything.
“Daniel, where is my son?”
I’m right here, dad.
“He is can’t visit today”
“He’s a busy boy.”
“He is, but he still loves you.”
“I hope die soon, Daniel.”
I hope so too.


No-one wins at ground level:
As lofty clouds drift,
Blocking out the sun;
There will be no light left
Once the changes come.

It’s just the same old guys
Wearing different colour ties
Telling the same old lies
As the country dies.


We talk in circles,
Hands cupped in comfort,
With words of sameness
And safeness.
The subject changes
Around changing;
“Do you think we should -”
“Stay together, yes.”
Faint smiles
And a weightless kiss
“Are you sure you -”
“we both want this.”


He pours for himself,
Her cup: empty;
She reaches out,
With searching eyes, for tea.

Cold coffee

My coffee is cold,
“I’ll have two more”;
Our hands separate,
Eyes snap to the door.
Silence and no smiles
We try but –
“no more for me”
She says,
Eyes at the floor;
No smiles,
But I try –
“me neither”
I lie.


The curtains pinch
Into a pinkish fold,
Then she turns in the light;
Edges etched in gold.

Strapped up and dressed
In another man’s name,
She presses in close
To feel my shame.

I am a vehicle,
I am a machine;
She wipes up my pain,
My tears unclean.

I return to the world
As the man they want to see;
I close the same door
I will open next week.


Baby is blue,
Baby don’t cry;
Baby is cold
And I don’t know why.

Mummy has tears,
Daddy makes shouts;
Lights in the road
To take baby out.

Here is my tie,
Family in black;
Please can you say
When baby come back?

A lifetime

We are all tourists
Waiting between visits
To the florists;
Sad standing and
Eyes down
Into the abyss.
Hands stuck in clap
Praying for the last flower;
Slow-dragging heels
Towards our last hour.

Pencil cases

Mouths wait agap
In search of offence
And react with fire
In organised pretence.
Wordless we all spill
From one shadow
To the next
With tape stretched
Across our teeth
And rope tied to our necks.
Today, a gun caused
The pen to bleed
In hope to censor
Every word we read.

Being offended does not justify ending lives and defaming an inherently peaceful religion.


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