Saturday, 21 April 2018


Digesting the Vita Merlini
and obsessed with the world between,
I sought and sought and sought in vain
and so finally sat and scrutinized an Oak
that for all it's rough and age-cracked bark
rapidly possessed my Soul.

Without appetite or thirst I sat
fixated, all-absorbed,
to discover that mystical place within
that worldly eyes can never reach,
for so deep it lies in solid wood
not even the woodlouse has found.

But before any shift in consciousness
toward seeing with Spiritual eye,
every crack, every wart so enraptured me;
each knot, it shone more beautiful
than countenance of a super hero
by idolatry embellished.

Struggle however I would
to penetrate that towering maze
of leaves chattering in Otherworldly tongue
and landscape of mottled and tawny bark,
still no flash of enlightenment
breached my primitive skull.

Instead a capricious sleep-starved brain
cleaved my stupefied senses apart,
saturating sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
Now transfixed by this wondrous art
I ride exhaustion's tidal wave
all day, all night.

And such perversion corrupts my vision:
I must watch the wanton wood nymphs emerge
and seduce this sacred Grove,
until not a chaste tree is left untouched
by flux of Nature's darker drives -
the Prophet's human side.

Friday, 13 April 2018


Soft brown sofa - genuine leather -
not for the faint hearted
(animal rights and the contemplation of barbarity,
the rights of all life).
And they creamed, polished and preened it
and draped themselves all over it
while watching TV and consuming popcorn,
and caressed it's neatly buttoned folds.

One Wednesday, a coffee morning.
Upholding it's burden of large ladies,
long-suffering sofa, a big obedient servant.
Then sudden spill,
a splattering of hot coffee over delicate membrane.
Instant panic: damp cloth and deodorizing cleanser,
scrubbing away all traces of beverage, cream and odour.

There was an ashtray too, on a side table,
of solid silver. It was always full -
not that the residents smoked, it was solely for guests.
One day, a guest was a little too animated
in his conversation.
He missed the ashtray, left a burn mark.
Permanent disfigurement.

But they said nothing. He was, after all,
a close family friend, a life-long one
that they could never risk offending: supportive
in all emergencies, funny - the archetypal clown
who lifted spirits: Life is to be enjoyed, not taken seriously!
He was always the centre of attention,
life and soul of every party. He said Never cry
over spilled coffee and What is a tiny burn mark between friends?
And the room erupted with laughter.

Does this sofa have a soul? A new friend asked.
Feel it. Here in the crease of the arm
there's a curious warmth.
Go on, feel it! It feels like your own skin.

There's been suffering here, you know.
And there is immunity. 
Override the latter.
Push your hand further down
until it's quite swallowed up. Reach past
the layers of stitching and stapling,
folding and gluing, with your sensitive fingertips.
The warm, pulsing dermis of the cow.

Thursday, 5 April 2018


Our stop-off in Betws-y-Coed was the result of a wrong turn.
Mike had given us directions the previous Friday. We'd been
looking for Capel Garmon, but had ended up going round in circles -
well, I am a notoriously hopeless map reader!
I was just anxious for the journey to be over, and to be settled
comfortably in our beautiful, newly acquired stone cottage.

However, it was the open fire in the pub that lured us inside.
The wine, though, when we were finally served was warm and acidic,
and it was slammed down on the table so hard
that at least half of it spilled over
and it was a miracle that the glasses remained intact.
Excuse ME!
Whose parliament oversees this entire land mass?
And whose hefty contributions fund your NHS prescriptions?
The two painted dragons behind the bar continued to scowl at us
while gabbling something obviously derogatory
in what I took to be Welsh (but could just as easily have been Double Dutch).
We could feel the poison daggers in our backs - and tossed a few back -
until it became too uncomfortable to stay any longer.
The Roman Inquisition must have been a picnic compared to this!

So we drove around in more circles, until finally stumbling upon the tiny road sign.
On it was daubed, "English OUT!" in red paint.
With mounting unease, we drove slowly on in the gathering dusk
the outline of our beautiful holiday home came into view.
Only as we drew closer did we see to our utter dismay
that it had been reduced to a burnt-out shell.
The acrid fumes from smoldering thatch
seriously irritated sinuses and throats,
making us cough and our eyes run.
On every remaining patch of whitewashed wall
were scrawled the words, "Welsh homes are for the Welsh -
NOT English holidaymakers!"

We were gutted.

But I guess they did have a point.

Friday, 23 March 2018


You caught me by the emotions today
as I glanced out through the window
and glimpsed your little forlorn form
while sipping my chilled Bordeau.

Your wistful eyes seemed to cry
"Oh please let me in.
It's cold out here and I'm all alone,
and it's so inviting within!"

Well I stared at you as though entranced
and felt the winter's freeze
touch me in a powerful way
that filled me with unease.

As you stood there looking in,
it seemed my heart would break.
Compelling desire to bring you in
overwhelmed me like an ache.

Oh how I longed to be your friend
and see you wined and dined.
But I knew I would be killing you,
so had to be cruel to be kind.

Thursday, 15 March 2018


Yesterday we touched the sky,
you and I flying high
in '76, hot July:
heavy metal lullaby
that faded into gentle sigh.

Riding the wings of Dragon flight
to rainbow castle of infinite height.
Colours, colours, blinding bright,
psychedelic fluttering kite.
Hanging on to string of light.

Finding the eye in the sky
that has the power to stupefy
and all our senses multiply.
We're phasing into lasuli
to it's azure core occupy.

Blue planet spinning fast.
There is no future and no past,
only moonbeams racing past.
Stepping onto one at last,
we're caught in cataclysmic blast.

Falling, falling, back to earth,
overwhelmed by sense of dearth:
craving something like rebirth
in fine white powder of great worth.
Relentless is addiction's curse.

Friday, 9 March 2018


"OK if I ask you something?"
Hospital porter from behind my head.
"What is the meaning of human life?"
My post-op wheelchair rattled along.

"Unfulfilled dreams and then we're gone."
We stopped at the ward reception desk,
then man in grey with compassionate glance
handed me a hard back book, Give Happiness a Chance.

I skimmed over it's glossy back cover,
trying hard to focus anesthetized eyes.
I can't remember what it said.
His counselling was wasted on my befuddled mind,

but I hadn't the heart to tell him.
With the heavily-burdened countenance of a confession priest,
he wandered off to rescue another confused Soul...
in the direction of the hospital morgue. 

Friday, 2 March 2018


"Blanche is here!" My mother's voice was harsh
with animosity (and secret envy!). I rushed to the front door.
"Love you, Auntie!" I enthused, and threw myself into her arms
while she hugged me back. Her exotic perfume
enveloped me as I stood back and admired her hourglass figure
in total awe. She wasn't just attractive, she was so beautiful:
long pale-gold hair and eyes the colour of a summer meadow.
She dressed, walked and spoke like a movie star
and smiled a lot and wore a stunning shade of pink lipstick.
But, most of all, she was so alive, so vibrant.
And she always gave me pocket money and chocolate
and something even more precious to a little girl -
the gift of aspiration. To grow up in her image
and be just like her was all I ever wanted.
But, oh how my mother resented it, that deep connection
between the two of us. It appeared to be an affront
to her conservative sensibilities that I should deeply love someone
so wild and free, so unlike anyone else I'd ever known.
"She is a bad influence," my mother would grumble disapprovingly,
"All those boyfriends, all that makeup!"

And yet...
I am who I am because of her:
her Spirit lives on in the green of my eyes
and her poetry in the depths of my Soul.