A poem about the shape of time; a year.


Your day is endless. Conversation rests in dreaming nights.

The unexpected grief of sudden rainfall.  Growing shadows.

All eyes turn to your glory.   Stars burn the night.

The worn path on cooling earth.  Plotting futures.

A loud, drunken leader.  Work falls away; care is free.

Rest, relief and wanting.  Your growing soul.

A tale you told me.  The half remembered song.

A pencil drawing of mortality.  Your double sided hope.

The turning wake of months.  My escape from death.

Love’s birth; pregnant and swollen.  A fierce freedom.

My warmth makes beauty.  Your revolutionary beginning.

The full table and an open gate.  Hope surrounds us.

First Kiss

First draft, not sure where it goes from here.  Got talking today about being an awkward teen and this came along.  Softly sentimental – I may be coming down with something.


I’m aware of you. Just to say;
your stride is a stretch for me,
the buttons on your coat are loose,
you catch the bus to college.

You stand as tall as me. It’s a guess;
we haven’t been that close.
The ex you dated through school
was short and fat. I’m unkind.

I know you write. Sad, brittle verse.
Our first conversation’s confused;
turns around a book I never had
but then I knew I needed.

My best friend’s birthday; eighteen.
Drunken, silly, happy. Knowing.
Cleverer than we’ll ever be again
four of us watch in the dawn.

You held my hand that night,
my heart still, just a little.
My mind remains my own
but you walk me home.

And we kiss in the daylight. For ever.
By the crumbling works bus stop.
You’re warm and strong; gentle.
Complicated, like life itself.

That kiss is clumsy; perfect.
On the walk from the George,
through that heatwave summer,
we’ll have our time to practise.

Soap’s scent on your skin,
the way you say my name,
your hand on my arm.
Your smile; these remain.

general anaesthetic

I wrote the notes for this maybe three years ago. It was only on a friend’s operation recently that I thought back to that fear, quite simply, of not coming back…

And the things you notice when you’re wearing two back to front nighties…

this road is straight and something’s wrong,
my empty head, no-one along,
magic’s gone from the radio song.
i am alive

this image shows a failing map,
dead ends, loose slates, fast cars; a trap,
the perfect shot but the sky’s gone black
i am alive

I pay to park and walk away,
hearts and engines shall cool today
by grassy mounds where ravens play
i am alive

the walls inside are shrouded cream
a painting offers up a dream,
an empty boat, a windless scene.
i am alive

time, it speeds, nurse says I’m ready.
my hands are cold, nothing’s steady,
each short footstep takes me nearer.
i am alive

anaesthetist has nice grey eyes,
the shallow dusk of summer skies.
this might hurt a bit. he lies.
i am alive

i wonder at the arms he’s gripped
planned or urgent, if reason’s slipped,
as planned I count,

one, two, three, four …

my eyes are lenses with no zoom
sound’s all reverb; fills the room
fever soars to fight the gloom

i am alive

i am alive

sweetness follows, life’s not bitter
(the older men are getting fitter)
dust that falls in sun makes glitter

i am alive