Diary Poems

South Park

Throwing sticks into embers of fallen leaves

Dog, dancing on the fire, destroys each stick

splintering flesh with tame white teeth.

The day is damp with a burgeoning light

that picks rust and yellow from dull piles of leaves.

The old man struggles, pale in the day, face drawn

by age and the ills of existential care

The old woman bears, it, wanting to slap, it, out of him,

instead she leans on her twitching tongue for solace.

Hilary Blinds

Flick up the Hilary’s with a forefinger

How fucking middle class

Hide in the 20k kitchen away

From passing eyes.

Tonight the lane has frozen

And mud ridges into still black waves.

In the lounge Coltrane talks about

The violent dead.

Daniele deciphers next door’s

Disappointment.

Dave is gone and Maurice is dead

Danielle and James are all that’s left.

Millie’s transaction takes her

to Ella’s

And son, ensconced in his Scottish room,

Waits for June.

212

Blue grey sky and sea

Belching thunder and flickering light

Smoke rises ragged from olive groves

to the black belly of the storm.

As mountains grumble daughter watches Friends.

Drip,drip,drip, flash, bang

The world is wet and grey

212 has had my day. ūüė¶

Vulvic Spring

She fingers new born clouds

That rise from glitter

wets herself in primordial foam,

Watches tittering sun kids on waves

deaf to empty echoes from the shore.

She MUST catch something

take it home, but

melancholy murders now.

She swims out, warms the sea and lies

Hearing the crush in her ears

knowing that this is what

death sounds like.

Lying back in the noise of forever

she sees mountains and tits

suckled by sunshine.

Outside Fletcher Moss Cafe With Dog

A woman in a hijab with two young kids

and four pink wellies

that want to splash in a huge puddle.

‘Mummy first!’ …. I say.

She laughs and they splash

and it’s all very lovely, but

the cars are too loud.

Much To Be Done

Reading Prynne in the rain, protected

By the over hang of the shed

dog scours the woods

Through the open gate.

The roar of the by-pass is dumbed

By dripping rain.

son sleeps in his house soon

To be gone north.

wife washes herself clean

Of righteous sweat.

I contemplate her plea for me

To sort myself out

Mentally and

Physically.

She’s right, of course, there is

Much to be done.

Winning

Winning is bigger than truth

Rather the country die torn

In the teeth of greedy dogs

Than say you are wrong.

That’s fine.

You and yours will be fine.

Me and mine will be fine.

Fuck the flesh that rots in the gaps

Between rabid teeth.

The mean  have their way

The weak soiled themselves today

Like faithful dogs often kicked

A faithless hand their tongues have licked.

30 p pee

Apocalyptic rain trounces the station roof

A man at the latrine balances his can

As he pisses out the others he’s had

’30 fuckin’ p for a fuckin’ piss fuck me!’

Outside, the sun steams the sky’s piss from pavements

A man with a ‘Miriam’ tattoo on his neck

Holds his kestrel high while he snogs a reluctant girl,

And lines of beggars with paper cups scrounge in Piccadilly Gardens.

Trams part the crowds, Moses’ through a mad sea.

Two blokes fight in an alley off Spring Gardens

I retreat to the art gallery in search of finer things

But, nothing rings

True.

Beckhams Hair

In The Old Grey Horse

A couple talk about Beckham’s tattoo.

Nice people.

How do they know that someone was paid £600

For cutting Beckham’s hair?

FFS! 

I’m off to chant ‘Jeremy’

to the earless air.

Red Mini 2009

wife drives in the dark

Through Stockport’s wet streets.

Car gleaming the orange gloom

daughter safe in the back singing

Beyoncé.

And Then There Was Three

Three dogs, two black, one white

Snooze in the shed

Comfortable on old caravan quilts.

The black puppy plays nibbling

The mouth of the old black Lab

While the scraggy white mongrel

Mumbles his discontent

At the lively creature that has crushed

His ordered world.

son

Upstairs a  taps black keys

And stares into limitlessness for hours

Until his stomach, gnawed by the sharp teeth of hunger

Forces him down in search

of human food makers.

Here

Free from the clamour

Of wife and kids a man

Writes.

There on the hard round orange table top

He writes, just for the sake of it.

For the feel of the pen

As it glides across the page

Recording something, anything.

Just words on a page to be

Tasted, savoured, consumed.

In this place where people pass

Balancing trays of coffee and pannini’s

Distantly curious about the grey haired man

In the bulky cardigan,

I write.

Old man

Two miles away

 sits in his chair watching

Sky Sports News

Waiting for City.

He has a new scar across his head

From a fall .

Blood covered his face as he stumbled

Two miles home.

Now the dread of age looms,

He wonders how many times

He will walk well worn paths

Before he is forced to sit here

Until the end.

How close is the end?

Will I be first or her?

Looking at his wife as she reads

On the sofa in a dim light.

Chatham House 

Fireworks fly around the house

Muted by damp air.

A fire flickers in the hearth

and the dogs lie, waiting for something.

I move, the dogs move, expectant.

Regina Spector plays from the boy’s laptop

The screen illuminates his forming face,

He travels another world with girlfriend and others,

Growing, learning, working it out.

The puppy paces  the room

Impatient with the elders endless sleep.

She watches the flames and the muted T.V.

She watches me, not knowing.

Sunny Day

Sitting on the blue bin in the sun and wind

looking across the black bottle pond

feeling shit, coming down with something.

Dog wants to swim

I want to write

my body wants to sleep.

Path

The path behind is burnt,

irretrievable.

We go forward so that we don’t become ash

to soon.

A nuclear light is just behind erasing

everything

to a shining slug trail caught

in the sun.

All, over exposed, dissolves, think of

Pompei, Hiroshima , the Old man.

Shadows of the were burnished into stone

or brain.

Tonight

A black dog sleeps on a red sofa,

a red fan warms my cheeks.

A young  Cavafy poses on the arm of the chair.

Darkness outside.

Your car goes with you,

thick wheels splashing through mud.

St Andrews

Sitting on East Beach rocks

watching ships sail a tightrope horizon.

The harbour wall dips its digit in the sea

and twin torpedo towers of a dead cathedral

point accusations to the sky.

Cold sea murmurs to deaf rocks

wreathed in the greasy hair of black weed.

A bunch of birds take flight from a sea circled rock

shouting at the air.

Wind presses cold against my ear

and fear falls back.

Sunday

Sunday rolls down the hill from Pirgos

Sound spilled by rugged hands

tolls past deaf things searching for a place to rest

For ears that will praise, or at least

remember.

Swell

The sea swells over white fronged weed.

There is metal in my mouth

A furry thirst

And the puff of tiredness in my face.

Bee

A rough wall holds me back

As I look upon an engorged sea

Curdle air into submarine clouds

That burst from inky blue to brilliant white

That flames the surface.

A big black bee is disappointed with me

And buzzes on to find something else.

Saidona

Beneath the walnut tree an old lady accosted me

She spoke rapid Greek, in fragments I learned

About the Italians and the Germans the civil war

And her four dead siblings.

She had lived in this high village all her many years.

Content, vigorous and rascally.

She left me and sat by the taverna door

Singing old Greek songs.

Ill

Sitting on a bench in the shade

Feeling ill

Drinking is my pill.

Blue Moon

Let a blue moon rise in Madrid tonight

Let’s fleece fascist Franco’s dancing boys

Let them stain with tears their shirts of white

Let fiery fans make cheer with noise

Let this night be when warriors rise.

Storm

Fledgling leaves cling to branches

As the wind kicks in.

BBC

Kunsberg, Pienaar puppets of the powerful

  • worm tongues.

Choices

Should I just add to the mass of the sea

Or piss pretty patterns into dry sand?

Believer

Do you know what you see

Or are you blind?

You have shit yourself!

Can’t you feel the clag of fresh cake between your cheeks?

Do you smell it or have you drunk cheap perfume

That makes you smell inside out?

Do you know if you walk or if you crawl

belly scraping the ground?

Can you talk or is your voice taken

By the same song you heard elsewhere.

Angles

The house cuts shade across the lawn

Dog stalks in the bushes

I hear the rush behind the trees

Where people vi

For the smallest advantage.

Old Roller

Sitting on the old roller

Where old kids fly planes

I’m waiting to feel good

But heavy lungs sit upon

A rebellious gut

And each course ends in ‘but.’

Taser

A frog on the lane

Crushed in mid croak

Dry like the mummies in manchester’s museum.

Death is everywhere.

I don’t want to die, but I will.

I want to live these years out

Without this languid fuzz.

I need to be tasered back to life.

Small music

‘The small music of childish breath’.

I like this, the smallest thing can cause rhapsody

In the head and heart.

Lane

I’m going to die

and that tube of a lane looking at me

is irrelevant.

Aggie’s

Good night with German

silences……….

nihilism,¬† Hitler…

and Aggie’s red hair.

Life

Life drifts in wisps

taken by air

like vaporised sea

caught white

on high rocks.

Greece House

On the terrace drinking coffee

listening to Muddy Waters

Mate battles IBS and Cavafy

upstairs

thrutching red faced stares

at mount Kastro.

Time to get tough.

Nowhere to Run

Some sick fuck killed an MP

I feel like a refugee

Wanting to run

From a reloading gun.

J DUGDALE MAR.22.1911

With son munching crisps

Sitting on Dugdale

While the beck roars beneath

Sweden bridge.

High Pike

Mists swirls

not a view in sight

son flits from rock to rock

like a mountain goat on speed.

He wields his ferrule stick like a ninja.

Resonance

Voices sound through time

echoing history

in an unconscious collective.

Magus songs seep through passage walls

mythological weaves of labyrinthal past.

Nowhere

Where do we arrive from?

Which station came before our birth?

Where do we go to?

What station do we leave for?

Nowhere to nowhere.

Vietnam

I knew no truth ’till ’72

then I woke with a slap.

A yellow t-shirt flapped in the wind

‘US Tank Division’ in red,

It read.

‘In blood’. Dad said.

I gave him cheek.

He slapped mine***

****

red hard.

Review the View

I was in a glass bottom boat

above the world looking down.

Now the boat is stuck in mud

and the view below is brown.

Night Nana

Did the hospital kill her

or did she end the disappointment

herself?

I can’t be sure, but

the final view of her bony chest

white and crumpled in the V

of her night dress.

And the blue

of her smashed

ice eyes

as left the room

kills me.

Winter

In my head a dull ache

in my stomach a dull

fullness.

My eyes sting with tiredness

that shouldn’t be there.

Sun shines beyond the window

and a thin shadow stretches across this page.

Summer has gone

leaving concrete, brick and metal.

When I’m away in that other place,

that place with space to stretch out.

Where wind stings rain into cheeks,

where sand is sodden with lashing waves.

I love winter.

PLF

As the sun edges to its end over Messinia

an old man pushes a flaking gate with trembling hands.

He follows the same stone path passing the slick rock,

eyes moist with memory,

where Joan slipped and never came back.

A sharp breath and he’s buoyed.

Limbs freed from age

he’s as light as a child.

Lapland

The sun never rose

just smeared the bellies of clouds

with gold and blood.

End of the Day

The day closes down

clouds are orange

and cool air carries Greek chatter

which I like.

Fat Bloke

goes back to the parrot

without a word.

To Steki

Melted metal fizzes the shore

while I fathom fast Greek.

Remnants

The sun beats sand

pitted by absent feet

beating the paths of home.

Stoupa

Waves flourish the morning

intimidating narrow sands,

but old stone stands

calm.

Early

Shielded by the orange tree

morning sun can’t blind me,

bells peel from the high village

and the slow slap of winter

hints.

Ex- Pat Funeral

A wee Greek man came

with a bunch of wild flowers

and placed them on the dead man’s chest.

Colin.

Two Greek men sang while the Pappas

stood stern above the body.

The bereaved offered little

other than he liked motor bike racing

and was a sarcy git.

Trachila

Here I am at the end of this world

in the sun

with tzatziki and olives

and the blue swell

beating the harbour wall.

Homeward Bound

I drove through multi shadowed mountains

windows down

Simon and Garfunkel singing.

Hotel Pantheon

I came through the side door

to a bored old man.

He looked up from his unbusiness

asked my name

took my money

gave me a key

and a small bottle of water.

Porridge

Last night I shared a cell with Mate

him on top, me below.

That God my nose is blocked

there were explosions in the night.

Rotterdam

Salt mist wrapped

border guards.

Hotel Bristol

Good night with a grumpy dog

three beers , kilos of pretzels

French football and

barrels of laughs.

From the midnight window

a green Pharmacy sign

flashes.

Sursee’s House of the Lord

His son hangs from a cross

stories are told by ceiling art.

Silence, o the silence!

the meditative silence.

Shattered by clattering cleaners

with mop buckets.

Mario’s Balcony

Hot sun writes sharp shadows on the page

Mate lies face down urging his back

to right itself.

Mario’s balcony 2

A dolphin hangs from a young silver birch

a lost party prop revealed by fallen leaves.

It twists in the breeze by the window

of a blue shuttered house.

Someone is sweeping

behind fat leaves

of a mulberry tree.

Swim

The pond is a drab place this late November day.

Water ripples brown and a thousand drops dot its surface.

The traffic is wet on the by-pass.

There is mud on every stretch of walk, yet

Dog swims as she would on a hot summer’s day.

Platsa Walk

Along the path we walk

zig zagging to the sky.

The long grass has grown ears

that hear the wind.

Oxford Pub

Pretzel knot &

Beery Cheese Fondue.

Canton Tea….

Err, no thanks.

Just beer for me.

Washing Line

Pegging wet clothes in the olive grove

with Wife,

the Milky Way hangs above

and assdark mountains slumber

beneath a yellow moon.

Front Terrace

Golden apple cider

Wife chopping and

Soft Cell

‘You in a cocktail skirt

Me in a suit.’

To a chorus of cicades.

And So On

Dead breakfasts litter the table

the aftermath of broken crusts crumbled on cloth

eerily still, soaking in spillage.

Outside, light struggles to form day

and the dogs wait.

Vietnam

I knew no truth ’till ’72

then I woke with a slap.

A yellow t-shirt flapped in the wind

‘US Tank Division’ in red,

It read.

‘In blood’. Dad said.

I gave him cheek.

He slapped mine***

****

red hard

South Street Pub, St Andrew’s

Young yanks talk presidencies

and scorn secular readings of the bible.

‘Heart of Darkness’. Conrad, Kurtz and The Congo.

Viet cong, Cambodia and Brando.

Well dressed proto-lawyers, a little drunk,

who will talk, talk, talk

’till they have their way.

They are here where the road ends at a cold sea

and I blame Spencer royalty for

‘The horror….the horror’.

The Hang Out

The old man with an age lashed face

sits with his treacle coffee,

a packet of Karelia

and a tiny bouquet of wild flowers.

Two French women talk

in their delicious tongue

and Claudia speaks

of the harsh Berlin winter.

Outside, the green sea

challenges our shore.

Chatham House

Inside: wife sighs in pre-sleep

pressing warm toes against my calf.

Outside:  a bird twitters

in confused dark.

Ill Mill

Bedraggled locks stick

to red cheeks

you look at me with big droopy

sad eyes.

We spent the whole night watching

Ariel and Aladdin.

Attic Ship

Tonight I sail the attic ship

bound for still waters.

Below wife rides night’s storm

alone.

Concrete Minds

float not sink

they decide who should swim

who should die.

Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s not about¬† ‘fish and chips

fish and chips fish and chips’.

It’s about knitting.

Taxi From Nikon

Old Christos came

in his 80’s pick up.

We crammed together

with plastic bottles and fag packets.

Bazooki tinned from the radio

as we hairpinned down to Trahila.

Mountain Man

Led like a withered lemon

the man with the moaning knees behind.

We saw hanging death traps

copulating beatles on thistle heads

as we laboured along the hot road to heaven.

Chattering Sea

Many times I sit here

on still days looking out

and the sea is silent.

Today chattering waves

tell me a story of happenings

on a distant shore.

Pantazi

A kitten eats chips

generously given by daughter.

A breeze blows the tamarisk

and evening sun grows long shadows

one of a girl clutching a replete kitten.

2

This page is written on orange light

with a taste of sea stolen from the waves

and brought to me.

3

White waves leave froth

where a man and woman cross paths

searching for something special.

As a small white boat steers a choppy sea

across Selintsa bay bound for Trahila.

4

A woman in black

enters the sea at dusk

just as an orange star falls

from our dulling sky.

Proastio

Across the thin road

an invisible man sings

beneath a fig tree

and cicades shake their rattles

ready for night.

2

An old lady whips

leg tied goats from my path

late sun flush in her face.

Kites

I avert myself from dark encroachment

play ping pong with my girl

or drink German beer.

I gaze at the red mountains

falling to the sea.

Diversions from the call of hungry kites

hunting the dusk.

Drying Up

Hanging baskets are dying

my mind is dying.

Autumn is in my head

branches won’t feed

leaves that still hang there

so they fall and I am left

with the rustle of the dead.

In the red chair

watching rain make circles

on the swing ball base.

Brakes squeak on the by-pass

and Dog lies awake watching

every muscle movement waiting

to walk.

They’re cutting the embankment

rumbling lorries are close.

Daughter sleeps upstairs

Wife is god knows where.

I stand in the breeze

at the heart of white beams

that shake themselves like wet dogs

but for longer, much longer.

I stand in the warm breeze

taking applause from

a million leaves.

A red breast hops in and out of shade

blazing colour on our summer lawn.

Apples and plums grow fatter.

Is Stoupa really over?

White clouds move above the trees

driven by distant billows.

The something from nothing quandary confound all.

An ambulance distresses the air

heading somewhere

to save someone.

I tried to save a butterfly moth

that fluttered its ragged wings

butting the window in urgent fury.

It didn’t want to know and escaped

gentle hands with impressive speed.

Tomorrow it will lie on the sill fluttering

it’s final flutters.

Caravan days return

we step back eight years.

The girls race to the top of sand hills

The old man leads us down the wrong path.

I hear murmurs through partition walls

the gathering wind

and Dog readying for sleep.

Wind blows us back to the present

it blows, it blows.

Morning on wind blown sand

a smile crack her face.

Dog wonders at it all miles

of stickless sand!

Grey rain drifts from the grey stones of Harlech

black castle eyes glower left and right.

A runner lumbers past. That should be me!

High banks stand above low waves

Maldives on Black Rock.

Neice eats feta and cherry tomatoes

Dog lies listening, watching

waiting for food or exercise.

Daughter flew from this sandhill

eight years ago.

Today she tried again, but

the wind wouldn’t take her.

Dog lies where Rosie was

and a woman named Neice plays

like a 12 year old in soft sand.

TIME

This beach, this beach

with the crab apple slope

and SteTomLeigha.

Hours on this beach-

hours, years apart.

Sand and wine

seabirds and sun-fall

Lyn grows pink

in a November wind

this first August eve.

On a rock near the Powder House

listening to the lurgle of weak waves

there is a promise of rain from clouds

that cup Ceridigion.

The Wright Stuff in the corner

wind sways a single tree above

tin roofs.

Daughter sleeps. Neice reads.

The old man chips in with tangental conversation.

She limped across hard sand

hair blown all ways –

taking

a helping hand up steep rock steps

wincing with pain

smiling all the way

ear to ear

all the way

my game bird mother

smiled all the way.

On a sunny sand hill

harsh wind dropped

me and Dog take in Criccieth

the white tooth town

with a castle tongue

that tastes the salt.

Above, careful clouds edge

their cargo out to sea.