Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Feast of Saint Andrew

lit my candle in the chapel of
St.Andrew. Gusto muted in my breast.
A Golden Christ from darkened stone was hung.
The first integrity of things. The soul.
With friendly strife, and fearfulness, I stand,
Guitar and muttered scripture. Blood red hot,
The city lights affright electric, burn
The sackcloth skies. The raven's wing engulfs
The water's frosted muddied glow. A bloom
Of soddened leafs from flooded trees has fell,
Their branches rot, by sandstone winds are dried.
A settled gloaming wood-fire smoke and haze,
Thin, buttered clouds are soaked in curves of light,
Horizons lined with monoliths of ice
That jut like blades of heat, that cut
The belly of blue heaven.
Wet wood-land dark, damp blackening skies, and with
musk-throated breath and moonlight scented lungs
I track daemonic, tracing demon thought.
From Godless concrete's face of hubris flat
With rust and floodlit glass, to spirit quickened winds
That menace red brick lanes and buckled garden squares
Where cracked skeletal ladies skirt the paths.
The clocktower money'd mundane rush of crowds
The steam-packed flocks, the loveless stranger's touch,
Hypnotic boredom's pretty made up face
That pouts sarcastic. Wintered eyes of stone.
Yes eyes, of turquoise, cheeks November red
Her skin of leather, plaidie patterned scarf,
With tweed and silk, and pointed boots of suede.
Her lips of apple flesh, black awkward hips,
Her shoulders naked, tanned and turning rouge.
Low-lidded eyes, the Virgin on the rocks,
Like mountain thicket, hair of bracken curls.
Hot beauty's hate and love's aggressive need,
Compassion, lust, empathic bolts of rage,
Gun-powder senses, bombs of rebel hell,
Unleavened flesh, the cocktail blood of God,
The devil's wine, the saints, alone, and drunk.
One woman's lashes flash to scourge conceit.
Cold mother, black madonna, Scotia,
The womb, the grave, and torment in between,
Red-golden lips, and eyeballs white as sharks,
Her gurly tempered living waters boil,
And sleeting words that prick my melting skull.
Contorted organs, clenching heart and stuck,
A fortress ribcage bleeding longing's powers.
The biting kiss of sin and sex and rape
And mind-fuck, psychic tricks of cruelty's bitch.
Self-centered sickness, giving in to fear,
Addicted anger, righteous narcissist,
Too quick to weep, a weak, insipid fake.
Reduce the gain. And cup the spitting flame.
Now Advent chills the ego's staggered shocks,
The migraine fits of victim, blame and hurt,
Self-medicating selfish bouts of huff.
Enough. Cool off. Hibernal walks alone.
The city smells of rose and toxic steel.
A sparkling shroud, a cycloramic fog
Blankets the private garden shrines of law,
Grand colonnades to make Delilah shudder.
Rain moistened spikes of measured cloisters. Quads
Like wombs of quiet mind, peaked church-like rooms
Of stained glass crystal guard from traffic's blast.
The library lanterns glow like embered hearths.
The crunching folds of autumn's sacrifice
Degrade to mold. The rippled lap of breeze
Becomes the wave of wind. Dank blemished roots
And blunted grass are stripped to carcass bone,
As scents of fruit-green hedges sweet in rain.
Not death, but ritual. Washed. A moment's rest.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

You're the misogynist, not me

You see gentleness, and think it's weak.
You see creativity, and think I'm soft. 
You see tenderness and think I'm green.
You see vulnerability, and think its fear,
You see sensuality, call me gay,
You see empathy and think it's need.
You see expressiveness and think it's vain.
You see bravado, and call it fake.
You see introversion, and think I hide,
You see passion and condemn my rage.
You see sincerity, and think it's trite.

You see my tears and call me spoilt.
You see me experiment, and think I've failed.
You see me dance, and think I'm mad.
You see my intimacy, and call it camp.
You see my quietude, and call it slack
You see me passive and think I'm stuck.
You see me stumble and call me blind.
You hear my anger and you call it a huff.
You see me choose peace, and call me coward,
You see my compassion, and think I'm a soft touch.

When I am insecure, you think I'm a wimp.
When I open up, you call me a child.
When I show you my wounds, you think I'm to blame,
When I cannot perform, you think it's a slight,
When I cannot be naked, you think I'm too proud.
When I question myself, you call me a flake,
When I'm nervous around you, you call me a joke,
You see my sexuality and you call it cheap
When I make a move, you brand me a threat,
When I write you a poem, you think that I beg.

When you see my femininity, you react with disgust.
What does that say about you? Misogynist much?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

I was baptised young in the faery's fire

You missed a trick, you missed a beat
You see right through my cliche dreams.
You paint a picture, broad and thick
Your landscape's big, but incomplete.
Some will bow, and some will tire
Some are poor, and guns for hire.
But I've got blades that cut to quick,
I was baptised young in the faery's fire.

I'll make it sing, and keep it simple.
Screw it up, I'll disappoint,
I can hold it fast and never crumble,
Spite my face with broken joints.
Husband silence, quieten choirs,
Poker-faced among the liars.
Fall in failure, rough and tumble,
I was baptised young in the faery's fires.

The willow's witch, she speaks to me
Cools the blood that burns my veins.
Across my spine her spirits reach,
As withered leaves ride the rains.
In pain and panic, try to flee her,
Chase distractions, charged with fears.
Her wordless tongues have much to teach
Those baptised young in the faery's fires.

By candle-light, and nightly songs
I nurse my nerves on drunken bones.
Stories, struggle, the rights and wrongs,
By whisky parched, to dream alone.
By turmoiled seas, and railway wires
The country splits, the outlook dire
But the roebuck's glen's where we belong,
We were baptised young in the faery's fire.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The armies of love

Each beat of each human heart
Is an act of rebellion.
An act of resistance.
Don't believe me? Ask a Buddhist.
Each pulse in each branching vein,
Convulses with non-acceptance.
Each cell, swells and swims
In defiance. Your life
Is an act of attrition,
Against chance, meaninglessness,
And infinite accident.
Each breath fills your bones and muscles
With grass roots troops,
Life's politics of rage in their pocket-books.
The valleys of your breast
Are lined with the armies of love.
Their enemy: inevitability.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


We share here our eucharist.
Our minds our churches. 
Our souls the light
our fingers scorches. 

We come to warm wintered skins,
Made raw by winter’s flaw. 
We drink the earth’s own juices
To toast the broken Christ
And mutter together melodies
of crisp seditions,
And reheat rebellions
By wood-fire pulses.

We gospel and graffiti,
Make hieroglyphics with fingerpaints
Scarring our names
On the still wet walls
Of Psyche’s cave. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Poem written on Vauxhall Bridge

Steel ramparts cup the riverside line
Jigsaw light from the window puddles
Melts from the banks in square-faced
Streaks, moonlike on the shallowing dance.

Reinforced fake sandstone towers
Corporate turrets and barbed wire greens
A christ-like crown by buttress pressed
And lined with concreted thorns.

The Millbank sands stand exposed
As the Thames recedes depleted.
New-minted facades in the peaking light
Parked fast like anchored ships.

Damaged silver, brick and glass
Built half-castle, half man of war.
Cranes cranked and bent towards the clouds
Leafed with gold by the watering sun.

St. George's lithium cathedral spire
Defies the gods, the voltaged sky's
Tectonic clash. War in heaven,
By angels won,
 London burns, born once again.

This is London, born again and again,
Liberty, blood, penny and pound.
A teething world from the river's gums.
This is London - now.