Reply To Dear (insert first name),Your Application

Dear (insert first name),

Thankyou for your application, unfortunately, you will not
progress further.

Your sap and sun will not rise,
bud flower, grass grow.
You will not enter spring or summer,

take one step further forward,
open your eyes,
touch, taste or smell freshness.

Your tongue will swell,
voice mute, sourness weigh
heavy in your bones,
and your mouth pack with ash.

Your wife divorce you,
kids disown you.
You will die lonely,
unwanted and unneeded.

Best of luck in your future endeavours

“You’re Always Where I Need To Be.

I’m more southern:
cold hands, warm heart.
You’re northern:
warm hands, cold heart,”
she says.

A marriage of opposites.
her with her tv quizzes,
me with my documentaries.

We have similar thoughts
at the same time. Always
pass on the landing,
but never on the stairs.

Never room enough
for both in the kitchen.

I go to a cupboard.
Hear her huff and snort
behind me, as it’s where she
needs to be.

She’ll spin in her plot
when I’ve taken her place
in the graveyard.

“You’re always in the way,”
she says. We are one
flesh. I need a shed.

When out, I go my way,
she goes hers, so we double up
on milk and bread.

Clairvoyant said, “You’ll marry a foreigner.”

The Fruit Bowl Of Salvation

Golden delicious is an ocean
blazing a paper trail.

Sunset delivers the post
by carrier pigeon.

Death is a cardboard cutout
making doilies for the unwashed.

Willing fish surrender to moonlight
amid sad lilac sex in dungarees.

Potter amongst trivial pursuit
lend me your years of adulthood,

and live multi grain lives
in the wholesome sandpaper toast
risen in the metal morning.

Exercise the fruit bowl of salvation.

On Trend

In Bus Station, now renamed, Transport Interchange
crazies herd, or stud on Friday night,
past disguised as fresh and new.

Filly’s Seventies platform throwback
high heels whipcrack and totter
past and shoutback,
“Can’t get enough!”, to the stallions.

Hormones on an after school
high josh one another into minor
crimes their pot bellies
will chuckle at when they’re pastured.

Big yellow hi viz “club bouncer”
jackets tap their ear phones
and watch the younger
good spirits rise, ready to corral a stampede.

A thin bright yellow hi viz jacket
pushes a blue plastic hygiene cart
whose white wheels clop on tiles
recall wooden clogs on sodden cobbles.

A crazy talks to himself
as he trots by, his eyes elsewhere

and then I see the leads
from the buds in his ears.

Young stud tucks his blue boxers
into his jeans waist below
his haunches, a US prison trend,
and old fashion now.

Yoga panted fillies giggle
at his shorts, as they, too
will blush at fashions sworn by
in their galloped youth.

And older some afford pasture,
others to the knacker’s yard,
and clothes no longer second hand,
or charity but sold as “vintage”.

i) Dad Says, “Don’t Take

too long off work.
You’ll get out of the habit,
and the money doesn’t last forever.”

Laxity creeps like entropy.

Again we find the gaps
work filled,

and cannot find enough
of other stuff
to fill the potholes
to make the surface smooth


A year of living easily

is ended.


When I do not achieve
a deadline my face
loses blood, feet heavier,
uglier: more double chins,
screwed newspaper wrinkles.

Should have tried
harder. Fresh rotten
stink of inadequacy.
Drive loses power.
Sparks misfire.                                                                                       I slow
.                         drift
backwards. Tyres reluctantly grip.
Clichés lob sharp stones and spit.

Mouth sour and sore.
Need to retch
a stomach of fetid air.
Waste of space. Go, move,
shift. It’s done. Plenty to do.
Snog the cliché of positivity.

Wish pleasure lasted longer.

A Cup Of Clear Water

is a blue sky to your throat
as you sup all I have left.

I watch your soil darken
as if a cloud moves through it.

Watch that bitten bottom lip
sob of yours take the easy route

as if it is an anvil
of cumulonimbus and spits
at the earth a flatiron spray
of steam to remove my creases.

Your waters curl through ground
that needs more surge to move it.

A pearl of sweat suspends the eye as it wavers on one of your risen follicles.

Your river dammed by my mouth.

Only the troposphere
can hear your heart.

Mariner, a version of “The Seafarer” Anglo Saxon Poem


About me, I swear down.
I’ll tell thee of treks – how I in radged-days
put up with fretted-time,
sought abode and still do, get bitter tit-care,
in us heart-ship, scary waves’ rolling,
where narrow neet-ogle
often kept us at heart-ship’s stem
when it scurries by cliffs.

Us feet clammed by cold,
bound by frost’s frozen cold steel,
where those frets sighed
marfin about heart;
clemmed within ripped
mind of sea-knackered.


Town lads have it soft, dunt know nowt
as how us, care-beggared, ice-scratched sea dwellers wintered in exile,
swayed from mates and kin,
rigged with rime-crystals.
Hail stones bounced off our decks.
I heard nowt there but sea’s groan,
ice-flecked seas furrow. Heard at times summat like swan’s. And made glad by gannet’s and curlew’s clamour,
for homely laughter,
gull-shriek for bitter ale.
Hail beat up stone-cliffs, where feathered
spray nattered to them; often eagles dew-feathered screamed.
No mates sheltered us,
or made us feel minded.

Town folk dunt credit it,
complacent with blessings
and few baleful journeys –
proud and wine-sozzled, how I, knackered,
often on sea-snickets had to abide.
Night-shadow snuffed us out;
snow fell from the north;
rime bound soil; hail felled earth
coldest of corns. So, now, thoughts
mither my heart, that I the deep sea,
salt-waves, should fetch myself on.

3. NOR

Salt yearn moves us gently.
Desire is a gust catcher.
Heart-ship bobs in its harbour,
as it pitches and yaws
to stranger islands.
Refugees homeland seek.
Though embarking, the reckless, skilful, youthful, brave,
do not know what life has in store.
Nor my hands on harp or on coin,
on lasses limbs delight,
nor on owt save wayward water.

These woodlands unwinter too much with blossom,
give too much gold to villages, overbrighten meadows. World pushes on, all this urges us,
doom minded spirits to leave on flood-ways.
Heart-ship tugs at moorings.
Summer cuckoo’s mournful call urges,
bodes sorrow, bitter in breast-hoard.
If tha blessed with comfort, how does tha know what some endure on tracks of exile?

Heart-ship tugs at its harbour.
My imagination in mere-flood,
in whale plunge, wide in its turns
eager for seas vastness. Gannet yells
as whale-wends, spirit quickens over holm’s deep, irresistible delights of life are more
than this life that flits on land.
Illness, old age and aggression
wrests life away, bests breath.


Praise life. Before tha death
tha must climb mast against malice,
shun dodgy devils. Days stale,
earth’s grandeur beggared,
now no bosses, gold-givers gone,
glorious deeds done,
live out their doom.
Joys stale, weak rule this world,
live here afflicted. Glory humbled,
earth grows old, withers this November.
Old age fares over thee; tha bright face pale;
gray-haired, tha grieves over tha mates
given to the sod. Homeless tha flesh, then, when life is lost to thee, tha cannot sweet swallow nor sore feel, hand stir nor mind think.
Tha gold means nowt beside graves of tha mates, that proud deed will not go with thee,
gold is no help to a self full of itself.


The world’s craftsman is a Measurer
that turns the earth. Founder of fields
and sky. Only the foolish mess with it
and die unexpected. Tha must be humble.
The Measurer helps them be strong
as is minded in steer of their heart-ship
wise in tha decisions, clean in tha ways.
Anchor tha fire or be burned.
Fate is stronger Measurer than any a tha thought.
Harbour is a life long in love of Earth,
hope int skies. Through all rough tides
and smooth trust in water and the sod.

Fire On A Needle

light shivers on a cobweb strand
between curved lace frills
of a woven white table cloth
in a spring front room.

Glare of harsh words
incandescent behind watery eyes
that focus on insignificant details
as each of us folds our legs
away from the other

in the silence
below the radio songs
below the doppler
of cars and people outside
waves that break up brightness
on a pebbled shore.