St Patrick’s Day

Dublin on a wet afternoon.
Sometime in spring.
In a smoking hotel,
with pizza and wine.
And a day trip to Bray,
on Sunday.
Outside of her room,
is an unwholesome alley.
Where sheltering boys
become hoodlums and drunks.
Happy St Patrick’s Day,
she says to their ghosts.
To her old hometown city.
To the memories,
more persistent than rain.

The Wind and Rain

I remember her name.
Like a stray word
in an old song.

It hangs there for a
moment before heading
to another rhyme.

And the weeks become days.
And they in turn count
down the hours to midnight.

The time for magic spells
and lazer light.
Fresh beams shining-in
through broken windows.

And the wind blows:

Rattling the tin roof
that tops our modest room.
Keeps the rain out
and nothing much else.

Each drop represents a life.
A chorus of humanity,
roaring at the wall.

For there is no escape.
From the wind, the rain
and the long days.

In Zanzibar

We found our feet,
in Zanzibar.
Between the roads
that bump and grind.
And the village trail,
down to the beach.
It’s cold now.
A chill has passed
through bone and skin.
Say, it was thirty degrees,
in Zanzibar.
A heat haze of a memory.
Evaporating as quickly
as the evening sun going down,
in Zanzibar.


An encounter one winter long ago.

Django played in the tunnels beneath Bank Station.
He fashioned a twisted scale,
that drifted on the air.
And he made me think of Morocco,
and the sweet fragrant smell of Marrakech.

Django: all awkward and angular,
with a mop of thick blond hair.
Had large bony fingers,
that made me think of Christ’s,
bending round the cross.

Django hummed as he played.
More moan than tune.
It sounded raw and real, and how he could feel the music.
And he made me think of the Mississippi delta,
and the wide expanse of river rolling along.

Django spoke silently to me,
and I to him.
We acknowledged each other,
as familiar strangers do.
With a nod of our heads.

One Christmas.
He wore a velvet hat Trimmed with ermine fur,
and an Arabian cloak to keep out the cold.
And I though of Gold, Incense, Frankincense and myrrh.
And things like joy and goodwill to all like Django.

Django was the name,
sent telepathically to me.
And I thought of Django Reinhardt,
and his paralysed fingers,
and of those who are not as fortunate as he.

Django busked during the winter of 1984,
while miners struck and the GLC crumbled.
And the memory of him, brings into focus,
this current hard winter,
and how warm it is underground.




In the light of those eyes.
In the slow turn sideways.
May this not be a gamble.
A chance meeting.

We stand frozen in the moment.
Waiting for the other to shoot first.
Breathing heavily,
as a great darkness unfolds.

Mist rolls through…..
A slow detachment follows.
Finger tips unravel swiftly.
Mouths open and shout.

“Here over there,”
someone screams.
Dead with uncertainty.
And I run, run into the grey.


Hanging on for dear life.
Caught upon a wave.
Some broken off branch,
or bundle of sheaves.
The distance between.
Earth and an aquatic life.

Below the Circumference

There are dances we
choose to forgo.
Below the circumference.
A bleeding limb.
Never ending now,
or ever shimmering.
In the minds eye.
Frozen in bright headlights.

The Boiler

I saw beasts burning alive
in the shadow of the night.
A thumb and finger pressing
on a candle flame.
The red and orange inside
my folks old burner.
Plied with used newspapers and wood.
Submerged beneath a carpet of coke.
Hard metal furnace, heating
the house on Laburnum Avenue.
Twenty four seven, three hundred
and sixty five days a year.
Regardless of the weather.
Inside those dancing flames,
sit memories stretching out decades.

The Motivation

The motivation.
The decision to say no.
The retrogressive irregularities,
bleeding into reality.
I feel the earth turning on its axis.
One more cycle of depravity.
Who said anything in life was easy.
Who really understands the symptoms.
We call the number and divulge.
Render into a sad-assed study,
your most personal of details.
And in the end all is forgotten.
Discarded because it doesn’t fit the brief.


how we gaze.
Eyes held together with glue.
are barefoot.
I am too.