The Celestial Hovel (3) Rag And Bone Man Pedlars Old Tropes

Any old iron! Any old iron!”
He shouts and his horse whinnies,
as they turn towards the lopsided
cottage and hear the to do.

His cart trundles four wheels
each with a name: Yin and Yang,
Life, Coincidence and Fate
up the old straight track.

The cosmogonic waistcoat
rocks an unchopped log
like a chair with his guffaws.
His wife in full harangue

raises a meteor like rolling pin
above his head. “Good day kindfolk.”
says the pedlar, as he sweeps
open his coat. “Perhaps,

an “I can explain.” or
and “You can still make choices.”
“Your horse looks knackered.”
says the woman. “I’ll fetch

some water and a bit of grain.
Nowt original for sale, again.”
“Tropes are never original.”
answers the pedlar. “It’s why

they’re tropes.” “Ha.” says
waistcoat “You fall for it every time.
She yanks your chain o’ being.
You’ll not forego supper with us.”

And smartly trips over the log,
Christmas angels the dust,
rises brushes himself down
and his laugh echoes all around.



The Celestial Hovel (2) She Irons With Dark Energy

(Hubby outside dices logs
she dusts, washes and irons

in a metallurgists scorched
earth leather apron

beneath ship’s oak trusses
a hazy orbit of stars and debris

dances round her busyness.
Above, nebulonic britches flap

pegged to golden string with split ends
between shiphull rib rafters

as she irons with dark energy
dimensional creases,

flattens 4d to 3,
2d to 1, grumbles

as what dimwit folded
the material, or thought

taffetta a sensible choice.
curses as a black hole appears,

bawls out sunblinded window “Oi!
Time you did the ironing again!”

as his adze end shatters the window
with a big bang that lasts millennia.






Your Damned Earring

Tell my wife before she goes out,

I’ll hoover, then garden.
Vacuuming her dressing table I,

accidentally suck up an earring
and spend most of the day

my finger up the thin hole
of the bag until it drops out,

and I am covered in dust,
empty peanut shells, feathers,

cat fur and damnĀ my OCD.
My wife returns and says

you didn’t do the garden, then?












He Would Start His Novel

Even as they held hands and walked in unison down Hope street to their front door allĀ  Faith could see were the stains he could not remove on the tea cups his mother had bought in Ripon Cathedral on one of her days out with her friend who knitted hessian baskets for Help The Heroes, after her son died from lack of proper equipment.
the doctor said it was not stomach cancer as she had insisted but the wrong medication she was on, and that she needed to eat properly
He would start his novel: “Old people despised experts and believed what they wanted to believe.” Then the battery went on his phone and he wished he had learnt how to write with pen and paper.

He Sculls The Plicas

Sits down between the rimples of a freshly ploughed field, grasps his wooden oars and sculls the plicas. Hopes the turned soil will not capsize because he can’t swim great distances. His broadcast seed fell below the surface of the waves he walked as now his wife and child bob up and down between these dry rucks. His oars are flower petals.


Life In A Raindrop

Opens his double glazed door to inhale the perfume of the petal that rises before him.
Sun rises and sets over its white curve. An approaching buzz makes him hurry back inside the door of his globule of water as his boiling kettle sounds like the fall of rain yesterday. A bees proboscis sucks up his home as he grasps the stalk that rises like a chimney out of it.


Hole In Her Stocking

Tentatively she examined the hole in her black stocking clocking the eyes of young men who tried to look askance while she remembered grapes needed adding to her shopping list and her mother’s pigeon feet
walking Hadrian’s Wall in the photo she’d sent from The Great Wall in China.