Isolated Together

These strong roots tap deep,
Birds, bees, flowers, sing,
Saturated stone
And dirt at wellsprings,
From where we all drink,
Whilst we stand alone.

Solum distance love,
Clamouring to touch,
But when cooling winds blow,
From our firm stance,
We must not catch.

Long black shadows form
From the midday light,
Tracking on the ground.
We’re not yet withering,
But harvest must come.

Loves lost,
We yearn for those holy places
Of ancient times:
Hilltops, Valleys, Rivers, Seas,
Tasted in dreams.

Yet still, we sing our stories,
From this splendid abandonment.
Others make glory,
And harvest the spent.

Our songs peel their endeavours,
Whilst we bask in the sun,
In isolation in homely surrounds,
We reach out to know we’re heard.

Each day dies
And cold comes.
In darkness,
We wait for the morning.

And the dawn will come,
And we will drink deep again,
And songs will be sung,

The Wondrous Tree (for a Christmas Card 2013)

Whatever you think about Chrisrtmas,
Throw away any naysay,
Place your materialism into the ground,
Cast aside the inaction that precedes the day.
Although people party late,
We’ll ignore the disorder and laugh at the puerile.

And atop the tree sits an angel,
Or a star: a symbol.
And at its feet, in a child’s eyes, it’s remarkable.
The child fascinated in excited wonderment,
Never to remember the rapture of it:
That first Christmas Tree.

But with realization comes knowledge in what follows.
Following the appearance of this woody monument,
That smells not of the forest in which it stood,
But of Christmas and of promise.

A temporary tower conjuring images,
Under which children rip at presents,
And where men and women are taken back,
Where momentarily none hide their delight,
Until the last festive tree enters memory.

And that angel or star: a symbol,
Speaks to some of a return. To me a rerun,
Of a joyous, wondrous continuity,
Witnessed under the Christmas Tree.

The Student Weekend

Back home the weekend guards the week
And with questions to answer you got past them
Sure, you learned your lessons, studied hard or didn’t
But know this:
Whatever they’ve taught you to date is worthless
You’ve graduated from your old existence
And it’s brought you today to this instance
To where you’ve become part of the student underground
Part of the resistance
Part of the mob that’s insistin’
That if life’s yours for the taking
There’s going to be a party
And you’re not going to miss it
You’ll make friends for life
Meet people you’d never meet
Fall to your feet when you’ve had too much
To be picked up in a shower of laughter
And thereafter you’ll see things you’ve only dreamt about
See the rules are there to flout
Go on many a walkabout
Dance in the streets at the dead of night
Strobe lights burnt into your memory
Together with foam parties
Short skirts, stained shirts, rubbish flirts
And although some mornings might hurt
The nights always follow on after
And you’ll keep going
The weekends won’t be the end of the week
Your weekends don’t have to end
They’ll blend into Mondays and Tuesdays
You can start before Wednesdays or Thursdays
Because these days are your time
Because your star’s got its shine
Show the world you’re brilliant
Make your experience relevant
You’re in your element
In your prime
So have the time of your life
Because these are the days that really matter
And when all the clatter of student life is done
There’s one thing you’ll remember:
Weekends Matter.

Sing The Syllables

Sing the Syllables
Of sentences heard in your head
We’ve lead you to a phonetic oasis
From which you’re starting to drink
Think the thoughts and say the sounds,
Love the words and play around
Dance the jig of language bound,
Express yourself.
Know the words define your thoughts,
Caught in a cultural tryst,
Raise a fist to our monkey minds,
And recognise this domesticated ape,
Does he not the world define.

It goes on

And those friends go away,
The ones you had yesterday,
The ones with whom you had history.
As your life evolves and resolves.

Looking through your parents’ eyes,
Hearing children cry.
Wondering when you said goodbye
To your childhood,
It lasted longer than you thought.

And those friends go away,
The ones you had yesterday,
The ones with whom you share history,
The ones with whom you walk everyday.

And so I’ll speak boldly of destiny,
And of friendships and family.
Until next we meet dear friends.

It’s Christmas Time Again

Christmas blackens my door again.
Perenial hopes for joy and happiness,
Turn to dull realities of arguments.
Game playing,
Veiled bullying:
All early presents shared before the big day,
Before the arrival of that mirthful sleigh,
Before the erection of the festively dead tree,
Before the hint of Victorian festivities,
Before early lights turned on by z-list celebtries,
When the thought of Christmas seems too far away,
When children count down in months,
And when tentative plans are made,
Messages relayed, like Chinesse whispers mutate.
My yearly fate.
It’s Christmas time again,

Cheese Sells


Cheese sells
I’m pure cheddar

What’s not in the news

“The family’s been informed”
[their son’s just died]
“The family’s been informed”
[a mother breaks down and cries]
“The family’s been informed”
[her screams echo his last breath]
“The family’s been informed”
[informed of a valiant death]
“The family’s been informed”
[a father’s heart just broke]
“The family’s been informed”
[a lump wells up in his throat]
“The family’s been informed”
[he was proudly doing his bit]
“The family’s been informed”
[he was scared and alone when hit]
“The family’s been informed”
[a wife sobs numbly in despair]
“The family’s been informed”
[all she can do is stare]
“The family’s been informed”
[his daughter is too young to understand, cry or care]
“The family’s been informed”

Real Men

Black faced men
Real Men
Blackened from the pit
Others bit on hardened cheeks by hot scarring steel
Muscled men, they may have died an early death
But with every breath and drop of sweat
They were Real Men

Not like my emasculated effort
My masculinity given away
Put to pay by technology
And the woman sat next to me
Who’s probably got a degree in metallurgy,
Or something else to that effect
Cultural transition: it’s all a threat

I work in an office and a suit
I could describe the colour of soot
But not know how it feels under foot
The only boots I own I wear for fun
For some foolish fashionable pretension

Metrosexual Men
New Men
Styled and preened masses
A new definition of masculinity out of the gender clashes
I wonder if previous generations would say
Of their brethren they’d see today:
“They too are Real Men”



The greatest plague mankind has ever known
We embrace it
We nurture it
We espouse its virtues
We pay for it with plastic cards
And chipped up trees
And drying seas
And a smaller world
In which the void between the next man and me
Is increasingly pronounced
Our similarities ignored as collective inevitability.

The only collective action of note

Take no vote on this
And stand well back
“Practice your apathy”

Forget those collective terms
And inwardly turn
And search your soul for what could make you whole
Somewhere you’ll find the meaning of it all
Then head to the supermarket and high street chain
Purchase powered, four monthly cycles
Post-fordist cultural monopoly: buy and you’re cured
Well: lured, to wonder what it’s all about
A new car or book case?
You’re a mass-produced fake,
So go on.
Define yourself Individual: Stand Out.