Do the spirits of the night

really come with gap toothed

smiles, party dresses and 4x4s?

Are they seduced from their trickery

by a Jaffa cake, mauled

by the prints of past spirits

more strictly held to their bedtime?

Do they surround themselves

with embarrassed grinning mummies?

We laugh in the face of death,

determined to outstare cruel indifference

with a dismissive chuckle.



I see no path through these dark woods,

Where I am trapped, blinded by dreams.

Sun, do not shine, and tantalise –

With shafts of light, crowning the trees,

In gold; and views of distant hills

Misty and peopled with poetry.


I wrap myself in darkness, moods

Softened, curtains drawn, so sunbeams

Make no assault on my dry eyes.

Only the mild caressing breeze

For company. My dream world fills

Misty and peopled with poetry.



Yet my spirit needs other foods,

To face the world; with peopled teams

To share the pains and show how wise

And joyful truth can only freeze

When locked within a dream that thrills

Misty and peopled with poetry.


Was the sun shining?

Did the air feel warm?

I might have been working alone

Or distracted, called on the phone,

Trapped by the lure of the e mail

Enjoying the banter, or pale

With defeat, the storm

Spent, the breeze whining.


Life is then composed

Of hidden moments.

It escapes the grasp, passes by

As the trout evading the fly.

I nail it down within the poem

Admire its lustre, gilt and chrome,

But it rots, ferments

Its value transposed.


Searching the past
Is for explanations
Not solutions
I discover.
No one told me
That I can remember;
All that searching
Leaves me just here.
Cries in the dark
Angry unattended
Wrap me around
In silent fear.
Lock me inside
Dreaming the unexpressed
Now as horror;
Now as beauty
Free and alive
Dancing a dance of love
No scrutiny
To undermine.
But they are dreams.
Fastidious control
Forms who I am.
Find gifts in there

Wisdom bows before God’s foolishness

The world is painted in extremes, outlines
Scored across our minds distinguishing here
From there, you from me, the tree from the brick.
God is seen in the tree’s nobility,
The roots seeking the earth’s vitality;
Its communication invisible
But its words help to build a community;
Its decaying branches bearing witness
To its wisdom rising still in its sap.
The brick is squared off to be forgotten,
Its destiny is to live in ruins
That testify to man’s impermanence,
Housing death’s accomplices, the wood louse
And the worm, until all coherence fades
Draining down into the rock’s vacancies.
Here is futility; there is wisdom.
Here, a cartoon, line drawing unshaded,
Defined, assertive, obvious to all:
There, foolishness hushed before baying mobs,
Silent in the face of power, telling
Stories just in case someone will listen –
A loser, at home with doubt, life’s shading.


We live together in separate worlds
Caught between a dream of family
And the fact of death approaching just beyond the range of sight, Alone and ready to scatter
Our remains across forgotten prairies.
The best we can hope for is the brushed kiss
Of memory across a dampened cheek,
The sound of pipes across a sunlit bay
In the solitary pebble clad stillness,
The green shoots of new life
Rising as the light shines through our absence.