24. This


Time for the unrehearsed entrance,
show a leg you can break,
down the cocktail
while it’s laughing at you for heaven’s sake….
I can’t be your protector
from these deliberate mistakes.

Between the „can’t” and the „maybe”
a lifetime’s hovering in the wings:
grasp the nettle, bite the bullet
push your own buttons and pull your own strings.
Name your poison
while you’ve got the power, 100 proof.
I can’t be your protector
from self-neglect or abuse.
This is not a rehearsal
and fear is not an excuse.

And if you won’t step out on the boards
you’ll find your place already on the shelf –
you can only find the sum of your parts yourself.

Unprepared and unready,
is that an excuse or a point of view?
You can block out the words in anagrammatical sword play
but it’s your own life you’ll be running through.
Time to drink a cocktail
of your own invention for pity’s sake
I can’t be your protector,
I won’t be there when you wake
to honour all the hidden intentions
in your deliberate mistakes,
behind your deliberate mistakes.

Deliberation could be mistaken for coldness of the heart;
Procrastination won’t get you anywhere except aloof and apart;
what’s the golden opportunity
you’re hanging on here for –
isn’t it just this?
Go! Start!

Unrehearsed and unready
that’s what we are,
what we’ve all been cast into….
It’s not four square, the beat’s unsteady
but this is this
and making something of it’s up to you.

An unexpected exit’s always waiting
although you think it’s something you’ll bluff your way through.
Spit that wooden spoon out of your mouth
and eat up – the moment’s long overdue.
Take your medicine
and face whatever the future brings
I can’t be your protector,
can’t keep you under my wing.
This is not a rehearsal,
this is the real thing,
this is the real thing.
This is for real.


(so stupid)

Along this pilgrim’s accidental progress
I’d bump into the walls as like as not:
It’s no surprise I didn’t notice when I lost the plot.

I went and did something
(so stupid, so dumb)

Error-message ever more intensive,
red lights were burning on the air –
no I can’t say that I was consequentially unaware

when I did something
(so stupid, so dumb)
I saw it coming
(so stupid)
now all I want to know is how come
(how come?)
we’re all fingers and thumbs?

Confused but not entirely aimless,
though you might find comfort here is faint:
if we lived lives that were quite blameless then we’d all be saints:
I don’t think so.

Get a life:
you’ve got to do something
(so stupid)
we all do something
(so dumb)
self-seed our own destruction
nobody understands it, how come we’re all fingers and thumbs?

Since the Kids

It was simple, we were man and wife;
something happened to change everything in life
and made us feel small but we were giants nonetheless
and here we are all in the family portrait.

I’ve been sliding in a 2.4-wheel skid:
something happened to me and since the kids
all time’s gone awry, direction’s askew…
I never thought that I
would ever feel so used up.

The sense of wonder, the note of panic, demands you just can’t ignore
nothing prepares you to be a parent,
looking to join the strands of the broken chord.

What you wanted, what I couldn’t give…
something happened to us – oh, but since the kids
inherit the earth
we had to plough and drill the field,
nurture the shoots with our hopes and fears,
never wonder about the future yield.

(Never wonder, never wonder, this is real)

I’ve been thinking about all we did,
much mistaken but anyway, since the kids
are now almost grown with the future in their own hands
what’s done is done – there’ll be no unmaking our half-baked plans.

Here comes the gold watch, I’ll take the pension, I want the lifetime award;
all for the best, with the best of intentions, the children are their own reward….
Since the kids,
since the kids,
since the kids
mended the broken chord.


At the dead of night, I woke
with the sense that my dreams were escaping,
all uncannily unspoken
like words at the tip of a foreign tongue….

As for language, I have none
to express quite what strangeness overwhelms me:
something’s changed and something tells me
to be still in the roar of the distant stars.
The night’s full of fire, ice and water;
by day I’ll have clay in my hands.

The book is open at a well-thumbed mark
the odds are stacked that I’m facing.
Eyes grown accustomed to light and dark
can’t catch the shadows they’re chasing.
Open, my heart, to the vital spark –
a disordered rhythm is racing,
it’s a danse macabre I’m tracing.

As the fire feeds the flame,
as the tongue finds expression in its flickering,
does each breath inform a name
to be dispersed just as soon as it’s exhaled?
Was it to myself I came
or to some other strange and parallel existence?
Will I ever see tomorrow,
to wake and begin it again?

Open, the book at a well-read page,
hope triumphs over expectation;
open, the secrets of seer and sage
in awe-inspired anticipation….

Open, my mind in the body’s cage,
unchained in consecration;
open, my eyes, to the wider stage
the firestorm of liberation –
the night in conflagration.

With a shiver down my spine
I come back to the place where I started;
the sea of consciousness has parted
but stranded is all that I feel for sure.
As nightsight declines into darkness
by day there’ll be clay in my hands.
I may feel the clay in my hands.

Fallen (the City of Night)

Streets half-familiar that I once called home…
the breath of phantoms now fogs the light;
the skin I shuffled strangely outgrown.
Fallen, the city of night

Lost geographics of mortar and lime
formed the arena for fight or flight;
all’s buried under the leafstorm of time,
fallen in the city of night,
fallen the city of night.

All of the fences overblown,
all of the gardens overgrown,
all of the towers overthrown;
all that I knew shall be over,
become unkown
in the city of night.

I know that I’ve been here before,
I know that I’ve been here before,
but that was in another lifetime.

What once seemed blessed now feels accursed
with words the spendthrift burned by candlelight
but now this miser’s mouth is pursed:
fallen, the city of night.

I know that I’ve been here before
but that was in another lifetime.

Always is Next

Ill met, ill starred, the sweat, the scars,
the back seat of the car, caught up in the sex,
the ties that bind, his thoughts, her mind,
why something doesn’t connect…
the rush, the drool, his push, her pull,
the slushy gender pool, survive and protect.
Ill met, the lips, the tongues that dart apart
for whatever’s next.

Well, now, what then, they count to ten and sense
the current direct.
This heat, this burn so sweet, they’ve learned
this stuff will never turn out as they expect.
Well then, what now? Again they’ve found what somehow
still resurrects:
a fit, a freeze, a pretty please,
drop down upon the knees and…whatever next

Whatever’s next, what ever’s next.

A clenching fist, a wrench, a twisted kiss
will salvage this wreck.
The steam, the windows stream and in
the back seat of the car they never suspect –
out in the dark the Demiurge Avenger
Ill met, the gun is cocked. Though once
they swore they’d be forever…always is next

The Light Continent

All the fields that you’ve overflown are frozen,
they flow like glass down the frame in formlessness.
Only the fragile fluttering of your heart still marks you chosen,
chosen to dare, your face defiant of the featureless.
Your face defies the featureless,
you’re facing the featureless.

A horizon of light blurs the boundaries of whiteness
as the distance is shimmered into timeless brightness now.

And the slow flooding tide is begun as it’s ended –
the barometer dropping and the fog descended
down, down.

In this endless day, at this hour long-appointed,
subterranean humming and the compass unpointed,
the compass disjointed, the compass down.

Deep in the core the heart of ice forms,
a tempo of life like that of stalagmites,
a flood of the frozen,
the flux of the blood
aflame in antarctic white.

Any marks that you made only scratched at the surface
only retinal image ties you into the circuit now.

In this empty expanse every shadow is shining
the indifference of nature: your significance tiny now.
Dive down.

All the fields &c.

Timeless the day, absorbing every wavelength of the light.
Frozen in place, our footfall on the ice.
What have our shadows meant
in the light continent?

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