Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I wonder how I'll transform
this idea
in to something which
others can
see, hear, feel
These red maps course around
secretly and in my roots
collapse, grow, percussive-like
fire lights through my eyes
to yours
to the world.

I wonder how I'll transform
this idea
while the Earth grumbles
oscillating between metaphor
and actual
wild fires burn the everglades
rivers rage like hormones
and we look at each other.

I wonder how I'll transform
this idea
through the smoking mirrors
that show my architecture
I have orbited the Sun
32 times
32 yarns I have told
knitted together for a future
as a present.

I wonder how I'll transform
this feeling
into skin that sits
watching like a dome of stars
I'm grateful for going through
the motions
The crickets' hindlegs are unaware
they're twitching.

The world is a pair of eyes
that sit on me
and the stool legs dig into soil
for answers
And we wait. Or we wait.
Then we wait
Like rotting wood on a beautiful boat.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


For Simon

September came to us like cold Indians
Phantom globes of breath
chugging like locomotives as we travel, separately, amongst
and her hearty grieving leaves
The lemoncurd curls of laurel
On English soil with
heads in a furious Jupiter mist
Trying to forget the goblin
frost that lurks under the prettiest leaves.

The lips of Winter reach even
the iron core of Earth, to
kiss, to enchant the dreaming night of that
season that reaps and moans while
We pluck twigs like teeth from the brown
gums of oak
Building nests of conversation
of memory to overwinter our friendship
Somewhere warm and full
of moving, dancing pictures that reveal what once was,

Our bones whisper "Sleep, now, sleep"
Retinas playing deceit of that sorrowful sunny
refrain for the paralysing vulgar heat
of Summer is surely plucked for good.
Did we open our mouth wide as heron's wings
to Swallow that Sun hard
to remember all the drunken elation of light
to suddenly find what the soaring kestrel seeks
a satellite hunt for minute motion
in the dormant grasses below
that woefully wave.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


You are a precious stone to me
a bejewelled meteor that swiftly flew in
from Saturn, carrying
…spewing Lunar dust
Heady sunsoaked daylight that uncovered my thoughts
like dice, giant boulders gone
I lost face to an upturned dome that sparkled earth
As it revolved slowly like a turquoise record
Taping the ridges it heard and hears
It remembers.

My love shed its romantic shuttles
light years ago
Interlocking fingers turned into hands that swim like the silver fishes
in the course of the same tide
A swell…a shoal of optimism.
We sing, rejoicing water-filled songs that
dance like fountains from ancient dolphins’ mouths
Our teeth still beam and smile always for
more sea, more sun, more love, more sailing.

The wild private world is hidden safe, my love,
from the concrete and tarmac architecture of civilisation
It is watertight
a constant cocoon of wide waxed leaves
an oasis in a bone china cup of our delicate skeletons
Cushioned in animal-shaped clouds that dare the sun
to hide in its blue grease of youth.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Etch me in rock and make me live
You are the Lion man
 And you have water for veins
 Your eyes are the caves of the world.
 You see the Sun until it vanishes beneath the anticipation of tomorrow, or never again;
that doesn't matter because we are eternally  embroidered trinkets

like Neanderthal's teeth

Released a verse into the sky
That's all you could ever offer
Versus cicadas chirping their electric flutes and
Charcoal on the walls smudges wood wind, sand chimes and snow drums...
A primal orchestra with lungs as pianos, your ivory rib cage

And I am the foam on the crest of a wave, lapping
You find inside a cavity that was hidden for 10,000 years and still echoes
Wild thyme, honey, ancient figs,  the pristine scent
hums from the glass wings of bees.

Did you walk with the wolves then, or
were you burnt in the fire of knowing too much?
Did you hunt in packs?
Where did all the laden animals go? 
Will they return like meteors into our fingertips so we could

The next day, I'm a haunted house sailing towards the
giant squid of night
My strange sails like ghostly pillowcases,
billowing with reckless anticipation
A chalky residue of my romantic gene
At least my skull doesn't let me down.

You're the parting in my hair
Caressing me in a beautiful abandoned vineyard
You're precise like spearheads
Yet I prance like clouds of mosquitoes at dusk
All is curls and feather down from innocent vagueries
Do you trust my sketch, lover...architect?
I comb you out of my hair.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Cold Turkey

A holiday in Ovacik, Turkey (Western Meditteranean) has left me inspired, humbled and calm. On the last weekend, we stumbled across a gig in Hisaronu and the bus obligingly dropped us off right outside. A famous singer from Istanbul (whose name I cannot find anywhere, even in Google Age). His songs and music were enchanting and my friends and we watched in amazement as the mostly Turkish crowd sung the words as the singer turned the mic to them, they sung and waved their flags, remaining mostly still until a small group near us linked arms and danced what looked like a traditional folk dance, men and women smiling as they moved in harmony. We were all touched by the sensitivity of the performance and the humility of the Turks, their welcoming and friendly presence didn't falter. There was a simple and profound beauty to the event, the type I have rarely seen in the UK - one that superceded ego and 'cool'ness. Here were Turks with their families, from little children to grandparents all swaying and focusing on this singer's incredibly powerful voice. It was music that tugs the spirit to the surface of one, and moves one to imagine...or know that we are all one without exception. We all live for peace, union, companionship and music is the juice that unites us...the songs illustrate how we came to refer to the world as the 'uni-verse'. Despite all our differences as people, our differing opinions, our constrasting temperaments, our whimsical ways, we sing one song of belonging to something great that we perhaps know that we'll never understand, yet we believe it anyway. It is beyond intellectual. Since that event, I've asked myself some questions about the nature of happiness and even though I am no closer to an answer, the texture of my questioning changes, which is significant and in many ways is the result of my experience of this magical place. It's easier, and more encouraged, in the West or at least in England, to be literal and reasonable...or certainly I have felt that pressure whilst looking for job, handling finances, spending time. My trip to Turkey foregrounded love... my love for lanaguage, animals, the scent of wild flowers, the beauty of mountains, simplicity, calm, dancing wildly for the sheer joy...translating this all into a life in England is very challenging. How do we keep that spirited side of ourselves buoyant when there can be an overwhelming sense of responsibility? As the Full Moon spread its white fingers across the sleeping Earth, I asked myself a 1,000 questions: how do I belong...how do I fit in? Is my perception of belonging outdated? What does it mean to just 'be' as the cliche goes? My life has prioritised understanding of happiness through expression that has been borne from confusion and, more importantly, an unwillingness to live my life unhappily as I did for so many years. One finds coping strategies, one manages... which is very different to authentic heart-living. I'm quite exhausted with the previous way so I'm inspired to keep the calm in my belly that I left the hamaam with. A calm that felt akin to love, the natal kind both from our own guardian and the Earth. The release I found after that massage and the peace that imbued my entire body resulted in an almost death-like sleep. It was blissful and I deserve, as do all readers of this column and beyond, to live in bliss until we take our last breath. My life up until this point has shown me that there truly is no greater purpose.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Night Watchman

A combination of prose and poetry in a stream of consciousness style on the theme of The Night Watchman, a mythical being who represents to the author the governor of night. Since time immemorial, night has existed but its quality differs from the day; perspective is different, sight is significantly altered so other senses, which we tend to rely on much less, become more acute. This descriptive piece swims and oscillates between the more logical language associated with daytime alongside the winding and surrealist voice of night that conjures up all manner of images that defy the rational mind and takes the reader on a journey on the unsettling swells of a sea crossing, venturing into the deepest darkest unnameable.

The gunmetal lips of God spit zebra-like bullets across thecraggy moonscapes of our tubular mortal journeys leaving the addictive deceptive smoke of Nostalgia hanging like dead stars on a crescent moon Skeleton cigarettes of truths
that we inhaled and that
Our lungs and tongues will remember
The Night Watchman is a tatooist and his den hides in the soul of Man.

The Sun inspires the heart to speak coarsely like carved messages on the bark of trees Awkward angular beautiful messages that the slow tree receives joyfully and gratefully And, when speaking of blue skies, the imperial topaz jewel exists as an ever-inflating balloon whose optimistic beams float and rise on the compliments of age. But the Sun's many vanilla ice cream kisses soon melt... Upturning and prancing beams, as Inconsistent as jellyfish
Extending their chaotic orange fingers to the camera lens surface of the sea.

Does the Sun know what lies beneath the vast mirror?
Does she know anything of the flourishing inky trails of
Uncertainty and night life purging from the relentless black fountain pen of tide?
From behind dusk's tapestried curtain of dreams!

The Night Watchman appears as an illusionist
A wolf on rippled sand to which
Saharan winds are oblivious
from which the Monsoon winds flee
and to which the harps of occult dreams chime.
A billion petrol-black rods of the mind's eye
pray for the theatre of night to begin
The theatre that pushes the pen of the
Night Watchman
The narrator in the black fog cloak.

Tick tick tock the Grandfather clock
clasps in his wicked hand
The wizened crook of time and
Presents the Night Watchman as a magician
who pulls a slippery black rabbit from the hat
A rabbit whose eyes stretch across the endless
glossy ripe aubergine of night and
Whose skilful leaps and bounds unearth trinkets
of almost forgotten pictures that
dead sailors still cling to their chests
in graceful sepia-washed shipwrecked vessels.

The saturated sands on the seabed that drip, drip to the murk of a mythical distant coast for whom mileage, endless drilling and comical ocean vessels are entirely insufficient...
The Night is a distant galaxy, invisible to the naked eye; the Night belongs to the Watchman and exists nowhere except between
The grey gap beneath the sterile portals of logic that open to solemnly reveal that the blind tennis ball of Earth revolves cleverly around the Sun.

Lo! Where do we find the answers to questions that rise like smooth fatty cream to the shores of our tender lips?
Questions that assemble and destroy great cities of emotion within a blink of the Night Watchman's eye?

If dense rocks are to carry a more truthful sound at greater speed than that of the wandering cloud Surely the curious scientist will pray to become anything but air, swamped in the suffocation of space of here and there. Who is to grieve at this viking-like quest where the dumb tree finally finds its utility as a triumphant coffin, set ablaze on the crest of curling white waves?

Will the naive yellow and orange brushstrokes of flame carry, like messengers, The carbon answers that Man so bluntly and boldly craves?
And, wonder we if on the Night Watchman's lips should appear an echo of a smile
To save appearances of the celestial phenomena
A gesture of promise or mockery gleaned from
The dangerous secrets of Paradise. The cherubic embrace of a starless daylight, linen-white and crisp
Pacifies our weary hunting eyes and as Birdsong warms our hearts
The majestic choreographer appears at his pulpit like a red rooster
A blinding marigold welcome...
A laughable ball of heat that would fry us like eggs
if Galileo's spinning dream should ever
join the cobweb-encrusted library of archaic flotsam.
We know not of who we were but an hour since
and we are bereft of the possession or inclination to guess
Yet somehow the chessboard eyesight which we highly respect
has gained its Knight, Rook and Queen
And our twilight King, the Night Watchman,
is in check.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Boat II - Re-Imagined

When I move, the world moves
with me.
I am in its hands; it's neither left, nor right
nor up, nor down, nor back or front
It moves like a face that smiles
on water
Grotesque suddenly beautiful
suddenly distant to almost
I am January.
Only a heady disc of stars spin
flinging vague truths into the thick black fur of night
I am a truth within it all.

What terrible vast fleshy secret
has revealed itself in me this Winter?
My hands look dead with cold when bare.
The world is my eyes that sit on me
and the stool legs dig into frosted Earth for answers, for secrets
And we wait. Or we wait.
Then we wait.
Like rotting wood on a beautiful boat on a frozen lake.

These blue maps course around me
  like strangling roots.
I am collapse, growth, percussive fire lighters
 deep in my eyes to yours to the world.
The Earth grumbles
Oscillating between metaphor
and actual.
My closest friend is farthest away
Sending messages in snowflakes
Clinking cold crystals that catch my eye
I spin yarns with them, make chutney dreams,
knit together stories for imagined futures
for the Present's sleigh ride.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Inventor; I've Been Thinking 'bout Forever

Dear Written World, Many people like to travel and enjoy new experiences. How many people do I meet every day who don't particularly like their jobs and spend lots of their weekends and holidays going on adventures, diving in exotic locations, wanting to have the time to learn how to make sushi or sourdough or learn how to streetdance? The answer is many. Whether this is because it's reflecting my recent experience of a working environment we'll overlook for now. A few years ago I volunteered with Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms in the UK and France. I was travelling mostly by train and spent some time exploring Totnes, South Devon with a friend and sleeping in his converted shed. It was a wonderful few weeks in summer but I forgot my bike on the way back home. Initially my mind was boggling with how a bike can be posted... wrapped like a bad Christmas present? Separated into its limbs and posted in a box? Should I go back down to Devon all the way from Lancashire?! And how much would this cost? Or should I just buy a new bike? Luckily common sense came a-knockin' in the form of the greatest invention on earth...the train! They fly around the country all day long and keep to their schedule. Fortune shone on my quest to be reunited with my beloved bicycle because the service is direct from Totnes to Manchester, where I could collect. Without a further ado, my Devonshire friend 'posted' it off with a tag round its handlebar neck... and happiness was arrived at only a few hours later. With not as much as a penny exchanging hands and the lovely train crew being very obliging. Last night after my first boogie of 2013, this memory revealed itself as I thought about how even more wonderfully, magically and gently we can live our lives. If my hypothesis about folk wanting to travel is true then why not let's make it easier with services that are already moving? Organisations like WWOOF (www.wwoof.org.uk) are amazing because they allow the volunteer to experience something new while getting bed and board. Other organisations like se7en and workaway.info have a wider range of activities to get involved with such as art projects, construction, beekeeping... whatever you've ever wanted to learn. In my experience with WWOOF, so many projects lack volunteers so work gets done very slowly if at all. If we could connect those projects with people who want to offer their skills or join in as an amateur, then wouldn't that be swell? If the transport system can support such volunteers then all the better...maybe in the form of a discounted rate on the rail network. This could be great for a weekend or a fun summer, or maybe extended, because expenditure would be minimal. Thanks to Frank Ocean's lovely track `Thinking About You` and the line `I've been thinking 'bout forever', I have been ... this to me means a fun life that uses resourcely wisely and responsibly. It means never stopping learning and crushing the part of us that constantly wants to grow by allowing different environments and experiences to shape us. Being on the move and meeting new people is such a fun way to spend time and if, like me, you are young, free of responsibility and single, it means you never have to feel out-of-the-loop, bored, isolated or lonely. There are a million projects to get involved with and redressing the balance or work/play has never been so opportune. With wireless connections, we can still keep our minds stimulated by doing distance courses and have an e-community for when donkeys, bees, sheep, cats or humans get a bit too much. 'Opportunity... knockin' at your door... opportunity knocks but once... and don't come back no more!'
Julie Lee `Snatch & Grab It` (1946)