Big Pharma

Film coated deliverer.

Shining slip seed of deliciousness,

you have my joy to answer for.

I wake heavy as a needled limb, lulled

by the mean sleep of time, sirens

distantly singing

into the night where

I am floorboards deep in hollow arms,

heart escape dancing on my chest, my

days a half eyed dream

of sometime laughs and sometime tears, of

glazed sunsets; the naked sun

a picture faint with willow grain,

a mythos edged with clouds.

Scrabbling the floor for realness, a blind

rat hooked up to the heavens and

stuck in a pool of sky fall bliss –

tiny life bomb of defizzlement,

you have my Heart to answer to.

Dunkirk Beach

On Dunkirk beach, gulls perch

On cubic blocks of harbour walls, make

Seas from pools dug by sticky hands.

Sand maps arch my feet, feel like craters of the moon

Bringing ancient brail each new tide; the spiral

Crust of dinosaur spines; a giant ammonite.

I sweep abstractions away with my toe and

Write my name. I am human. Children make tracks,

Castles under a viewless sky. Footprints –

A dog, a moon, an army boot.

The Optimist

All he wanted was a little square.

3,000 feet of fertile air

And the whole of the cut – glass Fenland sky –

Just for a bit, until he died.

The moon sang on

Those full- bodied nights they shared and

Reeling him to hedgerows cut with swords

She said how he could change the world.

For if this land was a woman, she said,

You two could bear the sweetest fruits upon the earth, and know the words

This land is ours, this land is yours.

All rag and bone they lay, unswept;

A stinging salt dipped itch between

The land and sea; depressed by the tsunami sky that

Sucks you up, you shingle left – for they have

Pulled The Plug on life, compressed our bones with fishing nets.


But the world is ripping out of its seams, the trees are coming back to us,


pavements over town and showing girls

With couch-lock frowns

Their hunchbacked roots.

Like zombies rising from the grave they break their concrete chains and say

This land is ours, this land is yours


All wage and war they cried, bereft, a

Herd within its grid between

Their land and death – but somehow less –

For they have signed Progression’s lines,

Compressed our bones for cattle flesh.

Tired of living in a long dark corridor, he said

He longed to be outside, to feel the beating heart behind

The pillared gates, reclaim the sand

That give the city spires reach,

A fickle beach is this old town

When money sings it’s pretty round.

For if this city was a woman, he said,

She would be mean and she’s be vain and we would

Sweat and long to say

This land is ours, this land is yours.



They built houses on the strength of bones. Of flesh

Clenched mud rising and falling through the thresh and tease of sea. Waxing

And waning as each day a child kicks new flotsam: a rubber glove; a gutter raft; a cigarette paper

Snowstorm. Nobody but the sky knows why men in eastern Europe are hanging themselves

In gardens, and sprawling near and far like the sweats of flu it winds – gut

Heavy as a rapists’ chest, wide as forever and bleeding

Light like a pierced cloak. The houses know the quake of belching sludge.

For far below the mud men dance and gulp the dust like daily bread.

They know this place is filled with devils. In reeds and banks and barns, bridges

Ditches, the thick pockets of tweed. They should know these fields

Are dangerous as tethered roots, fired as a bridled soul and those who love

This purgatory. Kids hitch a hurricane of hay, the burnt out rover rots and sways.

Something wails around the water tower.

The Love Poem

There is no dignity in love.

Raging and fading we lay our hearts to rest,

In tight, tie-break cries our egg- shell chests

Crack in seared memoriam

Of bathtub nights and sunburnt breasts.

There is no dignity in love.

As you smother me with hate hard kisses, whip

That quick switch touch, that caressing

Swiftly turns to blade and cuts –

But there is no brilliance in blood.

And I wonder how your fury thinks

As it sees that curve of crumbling cheek

You sometimes want inside your palm –

How snakes sing psalms

Of love, and flicker from branch to rib –

(That gasp surrenders to this to this tongue

Though forked and quicker)…

For there is no willpower in love.