Styx
Grand Union, Leicester Cut, August 2001.

 
Like a bridegroom’s shoes
swamped by confetti
or sugar paper lost
beneath a child’s spilt glitter,
the water is hardly visible
between the glistering silver
bodies that rise and fall
on the narrowboat’s bow wave.

The wake stretches behind,
a mourners silk tie;
water mordant with black dye,
until the fish float back.
Morning sun flashes Morse
off scales that shimmy and dance,
signalling our loss
with their grim brilliance.

1st Prize, Poetry Space Competition 2010

 

Astrodynamics

It should be embedded
in a transparent resin sphere
or laser etched inside a glass cube,
this August night, on deck,
near Lower Shuckburgh on the Grand Union.
Everything so clear:
the one hundred and seventy eight degree sky
salted with the universe,
your small stone pipe
glows orange to the lighter’s kiss,
an empty Fitou bottle reflects
the yellow flame of a red candle
that entombs seared micro moths
and mosquitoes in wax.
We watch meteors chase
each other through the atmosphere,
celebratory fireworks thrown
across the night.

first published in Envoi 147, 2007

 

Moored at Bishops Cannings

Pins thwacked home until striking stone
they buck the mallet

Sun shucked below the horizon,
up-lighting the yellow to blue sky.

On the far bank in semi silhouette,
a pillbox, grey against a grey cornfield.

Sensed rather than seen, movement
black against the black gun-slit,

the soft splat of wing-flap touching water,
a dark-flash of whirling shadow

across the sky’s reflection,
soon more criss-cross the fading pool of light.

We sit on the fore deck drinking wine by candlelight,
the flame, the heat from our bodies attracts insects;

bats come closer, like thoughts they pass
silently between us, before moving on.

first published in Envoi 156, 2010

 

Stretching time

Did they seem like hours -
those minutes scoured
in the friction burns arc
and the desperate marks
of second thought hands?
Did a momentary spark, span
the neurons gap,
alarming, like a flashing neon sign,
as the pendulum swung back?
Did you ponder in that time
above the heart's adrenaline tick,
if others changed their mind
as that awkward kick
sent the chair from feet,
falling forever, just out of reach?

first published in A Dress of Nettles, Ragged Raven Press 2004

 

 

In Vitro

"The greatest aid to the imagination I know, is the perfect martini"
says Luis Bunuel, carefully pouring a few drops of Noilly Prat
and half a demitasse spoon of Angostura bitters over ice.
He shakes and drains the silver cocktail shaker,
adds gin and shakes again, pours
the martini into a chilled glass.
He drops in a green olive
watches it spin
round and
round
in the
clear
liquid.
He sips -
contemplates,
this little ritual, it's discreet charm.

 

first published in Other Poetry 20 - March 2002


Here are links to some poems online

Angora - Ink,Sweat and Tears

Transaction - Angle

The Devil Makes Work - Ink,Sweat and Tears

December Morn  -  London Grip

Picasso's Studio -  London Grip

Darkroom  - Angle

Live Art -  Angle

So Long, My Sweet  -   London Grip

The Road to Les Verrières  - London Grip

What You Need To Know About Your Caesarean Section - Neon

Spiritus Sancti - Lablit

Getting his head straight - Magma

Self-storage & Anniversary - Nth Postition

Impossibilité dancer/danger 1920,  Marcel 1915,  Paris 1921
& The Sabatier effect 1929
- Nth Postition

The Condemned Cell - Nth Postition

Born Again 1905,  Armoury Show 1913,  Kiki 1921,  Entr’acte 1924,
Pandora & The Flying Dutchman 1940-53,  Smoking Device 1959
- Stride

A l'heure de l'observatoire, les Amoureux, 1932 - 34 - Magma

Image - Magma

Offering - South

Skrying - Strange Horizons

The Diver - The Wolf

Personal Belongings - Magma

Exhumation - Eyewear

Historian's Guide to the Galaxy - Strange Horizons

And Still the Word Hung in Mid Air - The Dream People