The Sea #’s 1-7

The Sea #1

Foam tipped waves
like a baby blowing
dribble bubbles

The Sea #2

The rise and fall
of the sea is
to watch from dry land
not at all nice
if you’re in it
afloat in a boat
eating a sandwich
and a jelly donut

with a mug of tea

Surrounded by
wretched kiddy hysteria
bouncing on stained
rubber mats
in the kiddies play area

The Sea #3

Waves slashed
with an artist’s palette knife
slashes of brilliant white

shimmering glints
shiver and shimmy in
the afternoon sunlight

The Sea #4

Rolling black
rolling surf
whipping black wind
cutting rushing black
sinister black
rolling black
rough cut wet
turf waves

The Sea #5

Barely afloat
in this dirty boat
on the Irish Sea
writing these words
full of whiskey and
shouldered by Irish craic

The Sea #6

Rusted plates of riveted steel
slice the white tipped flat calm
of an afternoon Irish Sea

We sail nonchalantly unaware
of a wave of silent grey rinses
mouthing silent prayers

The decks itch and reel with
tall stories from smoking louts
their bellies full of Stenaline stout

Children gill green sway disgorging
frozen chips and pukka pies as
mothers sleep, catching flies

And I, the author of this piece, muse

‘If we slip into a watery grave
there’ll be no time for tears and lies
or contrived plastic bedside goodbyes

I wonder if there’s a plug?’

The Sea #7

Barely awake
through slitted eyes
I catch the echo of
winking harbour buoys
and sense the muddled
soft grey coastline
of the Emerald Isle.

I gather my stuff
in rough bundles
I gather my thoughts
in strands and bubbles
and prepare to disembark
onto the confused Tarmac
patchwork quilt of
Dublin Port

And the long journey home.

365 sleeps till Christmas

I woke up on Christmas morning
with a head like a strudel
or a poodle
on pastry
and breed

I thought about eggs over easy
but my stomach was queasy
so I revived
a day old pasty
from Greggs

Then went back to bed
where I was woken
by a tug
not a tug
more a slap
type of tug
thug tug

I woke up and
followed my
shuffling feet
my head bowed
and searching for
carpet treasure.

As Christmases go
it was
a quiet affair
just the three of us

A Christmas
ménage a trois
without much
in the way of menaging.

Five minutes later
it was all over
we sprawled
on a
cheap crinkly
wrapping paper

warm croissants
in chocolate
Buck’s Fizz
with vodka

my hand
up a bird’s bottom
I face timed
my mother.

Only 365 sleeps till Christmas.

A Penny for your Thoughts

I’m a thought picker.

I scour the barns and outhouses of your minds. I rescue your random musings and dubious treatises. Your discarded theories and erroneous posits.

I clean them, sanitize them, turn them, polish them and place them on the shelves of my shop.

Your recycled thoughts are carefully arranged: there’s even a ‘buy one get one free’ section. There’s a thought for every occasion. A thought for every religion and non-religion and there’s sentimentality aplenty.

I even offer click and collect.

The one stop thought shop.

Branches everywhere. Open late every weeknight.

My River

I sit at my window
and watch my river
and my river watches me

It is not a constant
like the grey squirrel
the kaahing rook
the scrabbling rat
but a changling

Benign and lazy
powerful and crazy
sliding by my window
as bright as glass and
as black as marble

It talks to me
as I sit by my window
on calm summer days
whipped by storm
its belly swollen
by surging runs

Most days
we just dream and snooze
play dream
and smooze
and watch each other
and watch
everyone else
watching us.

The five stages of time

Starting from the beginning
is a good place to start
even though I don’t know
if anything,
will happen next.

Starting from the end
has its advantages.
Unless it is an unhappy ending.

Perhaps it is better
to start in the middle
and reflect about the beginning
and wonder about the end.


The middle is a
bad place to start.
I cannot influence what
has gone before
and I may make whatever
is to come worse.

Perhaps it is best
not to start anywhere at all.
Just mark time,
forget my past,
ignore my future
and worry about the present.

Which is, of course, a beginning.

And so the circle closes
and my initial posit stands.

Starting from the beginning
is a excellent place to start.


Each of us should strip
our souls bare
then reassemble

We should do so
(as souls are fragile things)
(So as not to crush our Karma)
reveal each layer
and carefully clean

Then reassemble
slavishly free
from preconception
and churlish
chains and fetters.


If the world ends at midnight
Will there be several endings?
Or will the world end at midnight GMT?

Perhaps the threat of the world ending at midnight
will drive up the sales of world clocks
so that we can precisely plot the end of the world

(assuming that we know where the end of the world will start)

And what of those who are out of touch, remote, unloved?
It seems that they will have an unexpected end to their lives
and they may welcome it. Not having to choose that final pleasure.

And I? I will reprise McGough’s ‘At Lunchtime’ and hope that the world
does indeed end and no one on the bus is embarrassed or distraught
and we all go out in one final glorious big bang.

Stem ginger and marriage

I don’t know what I will say to you
about stem ginger and marriage
but I need to draw you in
so I may say what it is I will say

Before I begin let me reassure you
that it’s ok to
take your clothes off while you read
we are strangers
I am already naked

I know that you can hear me
and feel these words and
you have expectations
about what I will say

reach out to me
and I to you
and together we will
fuse in understanding

And now I have your attention
and your curiosity
let me come clean and
bare my lie

stem ginger and marriage
if they are linked
that link is tenuous indeed

So. Dear reader
you must understand that
as I write you must read
and I make no apology
and I accept no blame

A promise of an explanation
may have been implied
but I, the writer, made no such promise
and you expected too much

The clue was in the title
but the title was merely
a ruse
A mechanic, a ploy

But now we know each other a little better
perhaps we are not so alone
in the depth of our depth

Perhaps we are unique in this moment
bound together
perhaps our integrity is intact
as I write and you read and together
we have an understanding of each other

I cannot change myself to suit you
and neither you to suit me and so
you see
we are destined to live life separately
and dream of stem ginger and marriage.

The mighty Interweb

Beep beep boop

It’s been a while. It’s been some time. I’ve been kinda busy and stuff. All kinds of stuff. Firing harpoons at autocorrect mostly. Shoving a shell up autocorrect’s butt. But hey.

Putting the beep in the boop.

As I get older and stupider and more entwined in the Interweb, I find that life as I knew it is life as I knew it. As in past tense. Knew it.

I can still relate to jam doughnuts and snow and walks in the park in the scary dark.

And We as in the ‘adult collective We’ collectively stand under the bower of an oak and watch as the last leaf of Autumn clings onto mother wood, slides into space and spirals slowly downwards and kisses Mother Earth with the gentlest of whispers.

We CRUNCH through troughs of sibling leaves gathering playful armfuls and hurling them skywards giggling under splays of Autumnal crunchiness.

And children play.

A child clings to innocence but doesn’t want to be innocent. They want to be like us, kicking clouds of leaves and giggling and we want to be them and innocent but all we can do is remember our innocence in them.

And so it will continue until the last mighty tree is felled.

And then we will remember it all on the mighty Interweb.