Valentine 2014 (number 25)

January has gone, thank fuck.
Now this sorry month, is bereft of cold too.
All we have is a sister’s unwanted birthday
and this day, set aside for love.

I accept there’s something about snow,
be it a softening that makes worlds new,
or an awakening that kindles something in you.
An ancestral memory of a Nordic flow, maybe.

So I hope that between now and March
arctic winds combine to blow freeze
sodden ground starch stiff.
What greater gift for your birthday?

Until then, I’ll clench an unseasonal rose
between coffee stained teeth
because, beneath this broke back exterior,
I still grow for you.

Salford Persephone

Your birthday always brings me back to flowers.
Last month snowdrops nudged off soil caps
and turned their faces to the light.
Now, heads bowed, they contemplate return.

In their place a flourish of lilac, purple and white
adorn forest floors, signals to the end of night.

Today, ubiquitous green stemmed clumps
rise by roadsides and parkland paths.
Straining to birth yellow trumpets
that will proclaim her return to earth.

Spring in Greek is άνοιξη*,
so when your mother gave you up in Hope
you were born with daffodils!
An actual Salford Persephone.

* aneaksi




There Is No Time That Will Not Come Again.


There is no time that will not come again

All ages past on weightless winds have fled

But back to here we come, I know not when.


The child has gone that we have grown from grain

and now we wear the masks of parents dead.

There is no time that will not come again.


I track our years in memories through this pen

and love you more than ever could be said.

But back to here we come, I know not when.


The seasons with their changes come and then

imprint upon the old,  genetic treads.

There is no time that will not come again.


Trees in totem beauty time distain

and climb through space to light where they are fed.

But back to here we come, I know not when.


In time the mountains tumble to the plain

And raging floods with human blood run red.

There is no time that will not come again.

But back to here we come, I know not when.


 Valentine ‘89

I came to love you 

over cheese and tuna lunches.


I came to know your fad for fish, taste for flight,

fumbling free of an old world,

coming to me.

I had to hide the visceral slide of ice

that spliced my spine each time your voice,

shuddered through the tannoy.

You’ll never know the tricks I’d employ

to ensure we’d brush in the corridor.

I read The Magus for you,

and walked around with an unread Idiot

in my top pocket.

And held a waiting rocket

in The Stairway to the Stars.




Winter Heart

You like to see the frozen trees
cloaked in crisp clung ice.
You like to tread on iron ground
sound dumbed soft in snow.
You like to see the world in white
Washed by arctic winter.
In warm wet winter
when rain drops line the branches of trees,
and hang like mirrors to the white
windowless sky. You cry ‘Let there be ice!’
 ‘Drops be diamonds! Mud be snow!’
That lies like polar bear pelts upon the ground.
When cold grows heavy in the air and rests upon the ground
and lungs are full and feel the weight of winter;
and from the sky exquisite patterns snow
swirling here and there to swaddle naked trees;
and waterways are locked by crystal ice.
You love the world wrapped up cold in white.
This bloodless bride adorned with white.
This terrible beauty that clamps the ground
all breath of life encased in ice.
You love lands locked in the frozen fist of winter,
where susurration’s silent, stilled in streams and trees
stripped of leaves stranded by snow.
On your trembling tongue soft snow
melts as you eat the long longed white.
The cold whipping breeze that rattles trees
puffs up powder snow lying on the ground.
You smile and want to carry winter
with you in a Brueghel frame of snow and ice.
Your breath billows in the air and falls as ice,
precious particles pure as snow
mingle you with winter.
Wishes won and one with white
the more you breathe you feed the frozen ground,
beneath the steadfast frigid trees.
Where white bears stare at holes in floating ice
and a million snow falls pack the frozen ground.
This tree-less land. It is here your winter heart is found.


Clutching Me

Fingers linked
like a hair clasp.
The rasp
of the engine and Georgoupoli sinks

below goat bell hills.

On the plateau
where Patrick Leigh Fermor fought,
our voices echo through villages wrought
iron ages ago.

Rain clouds kill

the sun. Your fingers tighten
at the roar of an angry God
that once hurled jagged rods
at Cronus. You lighten

looking down to the sun tilled

Sfakian Sea, clutching



Porto Roma

Porto Roma is where rocks rip
partitions through sand. Sections for solitude.
We wade waist deep from the multitude,
to seek the place of our audition.
Jags of granite prick sun drying shirts.
Arms touch, damp seeps through thin towels.

Smooth as wind formed dunes at noon they stand,
cowled in a Kalahari sun. Turning hurts,
one eighty degrees south to stir sand.
At the beach bar we pass old Ursula
and as fast as the 50cc Suzuki could stand,
we thrust through the pined peninsula.
To your SunMed studio where we fucked
each       other       up. 


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