Distracted, Abstracted

skin of papered onion 

peeled in pen and ink

as doodles crossing virginal

help me mull and think

with layers of lined abstraction

in markings freely made

thoughts and things I’m dreaming of

when words remain unsaid

while radio goes rambling

through the contours of my mind

in each portion printed pattern

discoveries I find

glassed in red libation

smoked in embers’ flames

onion’d contemplations

melt with those I’ve named

mid musings in a mindset

that meet where two lines merge

diverging while perceptions

collide and then converge

as news holds deep disturbance

tangents here to there

while my pen reacts to everything

in words I cannot share


Daring Destiny

we travel now

across much

clearer waters

the depths

once dangerous

when still concealed 

what was hidden


far beneath us

is seen 

more treacherous

reviled reveal

we navigate

not unknown

with eyes open

what is spotted

noticed in the past

surface tensions

terrible and tremulous


to accommodate

hold fast

the journey

of a lifetime

still the stormy

epic little ways

with tiny oars

but many hands

to steer

to clear

all deckhands


at their stations

while they roar 

the way is way much


than the rations


to inhibit


till guiding star

gave credence

cleared the waters

ahoy! me hearties!

dare your destiny


Where servile siblings gather, there you’ll find them

Trading lives for plaudits promised soon

Sacrifices welcomed and encouraged

Naked greed stripped bare by fulsome moon

When night it falls beneath a clouded mantle

Where secrets in the pot are mixed with bile

Souls hawked upon the futures’ febrile markets

Linger there and watch them for a while

They dance upon the graves of friends and strangers

Buried and forgotten easily

Names only in a ledger, stones eroded

Watch closely now, believe all that you see

Remark upon the eyes, how dark and hollow

Empty vessels mustered to be filled

Adherents to philosophy of selfish

Disciples drugged and daggered to the hilt

Swaying to a music marched macabre

Ecstatic to the beat of blood and gore

Listen while they chant to inner hatred

Death to all, their rousing ribald score

Stay softly, do not move, you are a target

Keep camouflaged, be hidden till they’re through

Upon the heath, beneath a sky turned blood red

Offering oblations to dark brew

Beware the servile siblings and their legions

Biblical bombast of putrid smell

Feeding evil, justifying actions

Of power stoked in fires of human hell

Deliver with dispersal of the siblings

Upset the crock where poison has been stewed

Serve antidotes of love by rise of morning

Negate the darkness, let light be renewed

No Surprise To Me

I saw her late at night

her neck, a signpost

rising through the surface

to the skies

Loch’s leviathan

her charm, her presence

testament to strength

and what is wise

from hidden depths and caverns

came she upwards

as proof to disbelievers

who despise

the legacy of truth

within the legends

endurance of her spirit

against lies

emergent energy

when threatened, dismissed

force of nature

nurtured in disguise

risen to admonish

free the shackles

to clarify, reveal

to crystallise

the ever-present power

‘neath apparent

the what is possible

when spirits rise

revealing, by endurance

force of fabled

to the detriment of those

with blinded eyes

her eyes, those eyes

a steady, streaming light-force

gleaming, fixed on shores

on me

all ayes

what, said I, of myth

and disbelievers

the proof, she said

is rising when you try

I gazed a while

she froliced for my pleasure

or to prove, perhaps

that she had found the prize

across the lands

a vision from deep waters

to me, a true believer,

no surprise

Pour With Pride

washes clean


by drops

each puddle

overflows with effort

teems and soars

tracks its route

in streets

on pavements



at every tap

at every door

fills from mountains

hails from every cloudburst

spirit of survival

reigns supreme

power of the shower

pitter patters

splashing through

the nightmare

to the dream

washes clean


the blood that’s thirsty


where it reaches


dance and sing

with thunder

raise your voices

in the storm

that’s brewing


pour with pride

Remember, To Carry The Flame

We marched for you back then

You don’t remember

Crusaders for a kingdom

How we strived

Destitute, determined

Carried with us

Hope, appeal, intention

To survive


We stood for you back then

You don’t remember

Faced down the tanks

Deployed in George’s Square

Heard the Riot Act

Dismissed, resisted

Gathered for a living

Far more fair


We starved for you back then

You don’t remember

Force-fed prison time

For worthy aims

All but now forgotten

As the years pass

No recollections

Still done in your names


We died for you back then

You don’t remember

Someone from your family

Now deceased

Their legacy, the freedoms

Fought and died for

Bequeathed to you

So future would know peace


We lived for you back then

You don’t remember

Parents of a past

Lost in years’ layers

Gone, their cause forgotten

Present children

Remember now

And ask if you still care


We worked for you back then

You don’t remember

Unborn you were

But we had you in sight

Fighting for the future

Of all children

And conditions we could live by

Workers’ rights


We fought for you those years

You don’t remember

Distance lends enchantment

Or dismay

Forgotten, now, we are

We were foot soldiers

Who thought that we had

Surely won the day


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Battled for a birthright

Better ways

Took a stand

We fought for bread and butter

For a piece of

All created

By our hands


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

In daily labour

Justice all we sought

Manned the streets, the trenches 

Raised our voices

We fought for you back then

As parents ought


We fought for you back then

You don’t remember

Torches dropped

As mem’ries fade away

Hopes were high among us


Would benefit in living

Brighter days


We fought for you back then

You must remember

Gains we made

Eroding by the week

Fight for us

As once we fought your corner

Supporting those

Who work for what you seek


We fought for you back then

Oh, please remember

The battle scars we wore

To pave the way

Conditions that we railed against


Vote anyone

But not for Maggie‘s May

Breaking The Curse

learned to live with fortune

in the realm of poverty

where poverty is relative and claused

reflecting on the ravens’

hard-hearted princes in their towers

counting crowns of peasants without pause

riches something finer

than gold coins or stocks and shares

weighted in the pans of wealth and worth

rebalancing the measures

by means of minutes, days and hours

tipping scales of justice where they’re cursed

Pavement Possibilities

It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Stars, merged with errant clouds

Could barely gleam

A lonely owl made much

Of covered darkness

Deserted perch in search

Of prey he’d seen

Still air was clear and calm

Vague scent of roses

Drifted on a whim

Of teasing play

Lungs filled with wonder, sights

All senses tingled

The ending

Of a perfectly good day

Suspected nothing more

My thoughts untroubled

Meanderings so vague

As to forget

Except for something niggling

As I wandered

How fleeting peace and beauty are

And yet

They’re everything that’s striven for

In a lifetime

The beauty felt in love

That knows no end

The comfort of compassion

Peace among us

The value of good neighbours

And best friends

Nothing more than musings

On a pavement

With home nearby

Some yards to reach the gate

When, out of nowhere

Moon and stars blinked, helpless

And shuddered

Ending peace and changing fate

In an instant, all I knew

All I remembered

Of peace and love and beauty

All that’s good

Lay shattered, in the ruins of craven madness

A blitzkrieg, from a neighbour

Chocolate covered

Relaxed, while orphans, widows, now all stood

I turned again

In absence of a reason

Hope blinded at the sights

That I surveyed

How, among the chaos

Was I standing

And what should be the message

I relayed

Hate filled my breast

The need for vengeance

Tragedy demanded

Some new cost

Escalated madness

Justified as

Revenge and payment

For all that I’d lost

I’d find a way to make them pay

For malice

For ignorance

For stealing what was fine

With nothing left to lose

I’d have my vengeance

In the terror that was given

I’d have mine


It started just like many other nights

The moon was silver

Clouds departed

Stars were visible

All peace and beauty

Love nearby, still cherished

The idea of a bomb

Quite risible

I met my neighbour then

While out in moonlight

A person hardly known

Her ways, mere guess

We ventured to establish understanding

In the glory of the peace

That starlight blessed

We chatted for a while

Found common kinship

In the children that we loved 

Sworn to protect

Two mothers

Finding harmony

On a pavement

No spectre of an ending to suspect

We turned, upon a whistle

In the distance

Far removed from where we stood

But still

Alarm lay caught

In throats of conversation

While men rule the world

It maybe always will

We stand upon the pavement

Facing judgement


Our Gabbatha

Innocent or guilty

Makes no difference

When condemnation comes

To where we are