My Collected Poems 2000 - 2014 is in preparation.


Like dead green fish
the sliced beans lie
submerged in boiled water
waiting for my consummation
with sausages
and an over baked potato
in front of Channel Five’s
reprise of the death of the Titanic
and the tired eyes of the dog

(torn fragment from dog brush box)

brush in the dire
initially with the Pin
followed by the Bristle
smooth and shiny.
through the body, to the
underbody and the legs.

for medium coats and daily for

Ecce Homo

The judge sits in his court
by turns silent and stern
listens to the pleas of James,
Martin’s defender, and to his accuser.

He looks like Caravaggio’s Jesus at Emmaus,
a soft, clean shaven face, dark curls around his shoulders
his fingers bleeding, nails bit down to the quick.

The arguments are made and the judge must decide;
Like Pilate, he weighs and agonises –
what is truth, and who are you?
And Martin stands silent,
awaits his fate, a kind of death, or a resurrection.

The judge sits in a silence so profound
the court might be buried underground.
There is theatre here, as well as justice.
“Stand up” he says, and Martin stands;
judgement is given and the accused walks free.

The Prodigal Son

I am the prodigal
you are the father
he (it) is the elder brother

I am the elder brother
you are the prodigal
He (it) is the father

I am the father
you are my sons

Jesus tells the story in the third person
looking in on the three characters
these three make a unity – me / you / us
the father, son and brother, are in us, are us

For Sal 31 December 2011

it’s going to be all right
it really is
there is nothing to be afraid of
in the distance between life and death
breathing and not breathing
now and not now

in the gap
between the peak and trough
the earth and skies
this note and the next
the deep dark {that cradles the} cradle of our stars
the answer lies

from being to not being
and back again

Lost in space

There was a moment
four billion years ago,
light years away,
when I stood upon that star
and knew I was
at one with everything
that is and will be.

Bring it back to me,
soon O Lord;
no longer lonely me
but just this great universe
of being, all at once.


Death walks in our shadow
a young man in Afghanistan,
OP Herring, waiting for an IED
or an Afghan driven mad by 30 years of war.

A woman, her third chemo,
her lymphomas in retreat;
hope springs, but not eternal.

A step into the former roman road
cars parked on either side
as four tracks bolt through the chicane
crossed by the cat a dozen times a day

a moment’s inattention, a slip,
a sip of something not quite right,
a sharp pain in the left arm -
a conclusion drawn, the story completed,
and a puzzled crowd around a hole
unable to comprehend
waiting for the answer.

Our Garden

Our garden is lovely.
You and I have cared for it
in our separate ways,
fought over it, swore at each other,
but each of us, in our separate ways,
have gone back to loving it
through all our separate days.


I have spent today
thinking of death –
how to bring it nearer
without pain or inconvenience
to anyone I care for.
It appears not to be possible.

O for a piano descending
out of a clear blue sky;
unwanted, unexpected,
but welcome, all the same.
A simple extinction, an accident,
no-one to blame, and,
for those not close, a laugh {a cause for mirth}


  1. I really , really really like these poems. And I do not enjoy poetry.

    1. so you I guess must be marion. how on earth did you find them? Hope you got the book OK. it's not great, but i'm glad i finished it. there are some good bits.

  2. i have forgotten how i found you, wish i could remember.