Wednesday, December 30, 2015

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day
all you have left is the night
When all is said and done
all you have left is companionable silence
When the fat lady has sung
all you have left are empty seats
and used plastic beakers
At the end of the line
all you have left is an empty carriage
and discarded Metros
At the end of a lollipop?
The stick
At the end of a dream?
Harsh daylight and broken blinds
a cold bed
At the end of a book
the after images of words
a maelstrom of thoughts
the plastic petals of hope and heartbreak
already leaking through
gaps in the memory bank
and sluicing along the gutters
towards the end of the poem.
And then what?
A pause for reflection
or maybe time
for a brew

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Feeling Sorry For A

Some people feel sorry for A
Few people travel there,
it’s a starting point
if you’re heading for B.
But not I.
It is a first choice destination, after all.

Some people feel sorry for B
but I think
it’s useful to have it up your sleeve.
It’s a back-up plan
It is a popular destination.

I feel sorry for C.
No one travels from A to C.
And how often does plan C come into effect?

I feel sorry for the others, too
with the exception of X of course
who is a bit of a grump,
always marking things wrong
but is very good
at marking the spot

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Spider Woman

Now we know
What's behind
The Pink Door

She enters, takes a bow
To applause and cutlery
She wears a red satin top
Black tights
She swings easily on the loops
Of blue silk
To La Vie en Rose
By Edith Piaf

You ease
a fat finger of crab
from its shell
glance up at the Spider Woman
as the music grows louder
As she spins those fantastic shapes above you
Shapes rarely configured by humans
But this doesn’t excite you

Only when she slips
Lets go of the blue silk
And tumbles
With a spider’s luck
Into a bowl
Of oyster chowder

Do you nod
A smile of satisfaction
As if you had expected that

You dab your mouth delicately
With a white napkin
Before checking
An incoming text

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tea Ceremony

In the Seattle Art Museum
We didn’t have time to watch
The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Monday, December 07, 2015

The Naming of Stones in California

Amethyst for wisdom
Obsidian for protection from unknown spirits
Rose quartz for protection from blushing
Wear a tiger stone and
you will never be caught unawares by a tiger
Likewise Lapis will protect you from rabbits
Serpentine will protect you from unusual duck behaviour
(not, as many believe, from snakebite)
Nephrite will hold your hand
at confusing road junctions
Adventurine provides an antidote
to proselytizing parsons
Greyish rock with white flecks
will help you relax after a heavy meal
Turquoise for successfully looking something up on Google
And discovering you were right all along
Nephrite Jade for stiff necks
Iron Pyrite to guard you against shoddy souvenirs
and people talking bollocks

Sunday, December 06, 2015

In the Beginning

Hello, God.
Hello, Dave.
What can you see?
That's right.
Lots and lots of nothing.
Now watch this...
What is it?
I call it Dark.
Now watch this.
That's even more awesome.
What's that?
I call it Light.
And I've something else to show you, Dave.
What's that, God?
Come back tomorrow
and you'll find out.

Friday, December 04, 2015


And so, I was wondering
how these notes and scribbles
could be fashioned into poems

The chewdog technology
at the Pampered Petshop, for example
the Tequila Mockingbird,
Hearsy’s Cartage, “Careful since 1890”,
The mythical feats of the shaman, the warriors
and spiritual beings

And then, in Victoria
I found a book of poems by Billy Collins
in a sale at Munro’s

It led me, in a series of verbal winks,
poetic gestures and the subtle movement
of vowels, along the sidewalk

And around the Writers’ Block
to this small coffee shop

I can't wait to drink
these freshly-brewed metaphors
that smell so warm and sweet
as the small, Italian waitress
with the delicate hands
pours them into
the Chinese porcelain
with its brush-stroked
mountains and bamboo