Beneath The Sun’s Chagrin

I want to see your face again

When you first saw the sea

The car seat smell drunk as the newly dead

Uneasy in their corrugations 

The waves unmercifully high

Poised above the glassine under-swell

As if eternity were the stinging slap

Your dour grin collapsing

The shush of traffic slew

As if you had nowhere to hide

Just the fist clenched hope

Beneath a recalcitrant sun

That I will flee and sleek

With other shoreless creatures 

Risking constant reiterations

Or, standing hard against the tide

Hips braced, chin askance

The sand a living thing beneath my feet

Hand raised to shield my eyes

Against your oncoming hail

I will burn and fall like anybody else

Still Running From The Breath Of Stars

The bed falls towards the centre of the earth

Beyond the roof’s reptilian back

There is something earnest

In the dust of stars

As if the night’s sparse rigour

could sustain your waning exhalation 

Until you were empty and it was full 

The rumbling descent of slowing cars

Occludes your ghosting breath

Lights an alien red

As if you breathed out

Another world


In dark obscured distance

Still running you breathed in

Autumn’s Horses

I put my hand out, like a fire

yours is gentle, with that
tremulous shake

of fallen leaves
turning slowly
to the bronze of earth

beyond the dunes
of your shoulder
saw in the unevening sky

the roundness of your disapproval

afternoons as lithe as cats
I imagine    
you always have that face

a prosopon, de rigueur
downturned at a scrap of yellow

there are foals in autumn’s colours

the leavened wind
has an insistent touch
as soft and irrevocable as Midas

steam plumes their nostrils and furs their backs 
in their gait, unconstrained machineries

take sudden flight

(as you turn, come back inside)

the evening spills her horses

Unseasonably, Falling

The sun is blind

The old man said

Steps as elusive as wet clay

Milk blue opals in his eyes

Arm outstretched for leverage

In a mantis feeble invocation

The sky a fleck of spit

The road across the cliffs

A muddy chalk

Suitable for marking games

Of war and hopscotch

Casting stones

One knee bent

The trench foundation deep

In a kind of homage

That winter

We did not eat ice-cream

Thought how you wore

A cardigan like rope

Though really it was unseasonably mild

As late spring dancing

One and two and three and four

The pebble skipping

As if this were

A calm still lake

And not another

Stuttered evening’s fall

Still, a hand that reaches out

Measures time

Quite differently to the straightened mouth

Of discomfited laughter

Through Glass, Brightly

Inelegant metaphors 

strained at the bit

From inside

an insect gnawing


when the mandibles broke the skin


that disgruntled earth

a machine that 

mouthfuls spat

Curled to a walnut shape

heat escapes 

through scalp and anus

as if we were

some alien


obtuse kind of planet

The sites

of old injuries buckle first

bicycle crash, careless menagerie

a slight body weight 

elastic in collision

where once you flew

cleats and laurels

over the minotaur

a monster gnawing

at your thumb and wrist 

the crabbing slew

gravity’s sidelong spill

an arced trajectory

the stoic, downturned face

a theatre of cheap betrayals

enmeshed, the jackboot heart

where the andiron slipped

an upstart fire lick

the doorway guillotining

in the inadvertent pneumatic hiss

dull magnetic eye

through the safety glass

as if the web and constellation 

of all things, in the enfilade of your dismay

so easily fell apart

Pulled at the thread


A red crochet like love around your wrists

Bike Crash Under An Ancient Constellation

The night is  mostly walls and fences
we are small pieces of the sky
falling  through her corrugations 

Roaring the roar  of bicycle spokes
blurred towards the traffic’s restless cliff
lip split in defiance
streaking blood  skittish as reflectors

Thin-skinned soles, breaking, skate
grasp, let go, the road’s  grit crumbling affliction

A star around  the machine’s taut throat
hidden by  deceit’s accretions
of flaked lead paint, an oscillation
with that metronomic blur
as if  beset by wind-torn shrieks
wept meteor
a blinded giant flailed about

A guttered bite
halt  and leap
that Newtonian triangulation 
of arrows and arcs
argon blurred
a Pythagorean shout

A new sun rising  while the wheel
lazed in  radiations
devolves to froed spite
slowed as slowing  windswept pulses
a twice bitten lip

Your smile lost
pebble-skinned scowl
a constellation’s strange fixed warning
flagging pennants  and
careening misdemeanours 
a snake slewed track
the minotaur bars
bent in acquiescence
despite repose
bull’s broken neck
nevertheless defiant


The sea is always
In throes behind you
Or, uncertain where the shore
Bent in praise before your feet
I thought it quite perverse
How the red shoes
Were your painted mouth
Fingers soft as raindrops
Other vanities calculating
In their iterations 
The mona lisare of your wrist
Lips divided
Each breath salt,  and hurt 
The lace undone
Turn your neck aside, as if
(No less easy)
You would almost sing

I Saw You In The Curtains Of The Balcony Room

I remade the chair

From a few broad rails

The curtain’s billow and drape

From the goose-down shiver

Of winter’s long-drawn exhalation

The iron bed, stalwart

In curlicues and abandoned heaps

That you, in your cool insistence

Preferred neatly folded

I was never like that –fool

You admonish with the laughter of the imagined dead

In that cloud-drift adumbration


Could not remake the stillness of your face

Cello Listens For Returning Whales Amidst A Sea Of Stars

A jellyfish squirms by
Oedipal as meringue 
You are far out to sea
A stone pier defiant
The alarm shakes like a buoy 
The bell almost           insignificant 
A cello ha-haroooms
Clears her hopeful chest
Sidles to the fronds of lace
A deepwater fish
She can
With a clawed-shell fist 
Glass-cold and pressed
To jaw and brow
Deep and slow as galaxies
Almost hear
The dorsal hum
In the heaved dark, wandering
A sound as bright and lost
As a beacon

Newton, Now Quite Old

Newton lives on the anticline
Watches the dulled horizon with spyglass reversed
How far it all is, he thinks 
And from this angle, oh how close the stars
Gravity is mostly imaginary 
Wallpaper birds are seldom still
Stealing faces and strawberries 
Chairs move in fixed points around the sun
If we idly sit, if vacant
They remain a kind of sundial
Waiting for circling shadows
To forego in their orbits
All the harmonies of the spheres
And in that expected (but unpredictable)
Falling apple shaped hiatus
To reach a less 
Substantial conclusion