Dark Energy

I imagine inside the black hole
Where I have been condensed to
A point of non-existence
An image erased to nothing but faint reminders
An echo frozen

And from this point
I see the whole universe is now
Travelling in two directions
Expanding and contracting
Ever faster
Ever slower
Quantum bellows exhorting
This puffer fish engine into shape
I see everything
While I am nothing
My very substance transformed from solid
To a strange phantasm
Pouring back into the universe
All trace of me gone
And yet reborn

Beyond the quantum sum
I am released from gravity's grip
An incoherent chaos
Of nothing



Walking a lane, drowsy September waking
In the wet nettles and overhanging branch drips
With the shifting chatter of sparrows and finch

A blue sky opens up to billowing fields
And, above the hedge, long past the log piles
I glimpse a tower burnished brightly by an early sun

I am free to walk here, head unbowed
Free of the tirade of modern disappointment
So eagerly sucked into our subconscious

From the endless opinionated social dysfunction
Ready at our fingertips to download more
Here, now, I am not a consumer of contention

Not subject to a hundred ways to be more or less
(And none of it for free), postage and packing paid
For someone else's misconception of perfection

Instead, I am reflected as I am in the silver puddles
Imperfectly reduced to wiggly lines and shifting shapes
Drenched full of light and singing with wild birdsong

Poetry Day 2017


Blue Hill Town

Above the blue hill town
Swifts weave a May Queen's crown
Around the old tower

Dancing in the wide sky
They turn and quarter, flying high
With ribbons of summer

And on the moor below
A golden cloak of buttercups glow
Around the blue hill town

The air is full of summer's heat
And the river still spring water sweet
Maybe our pilgrim paths will meet
(And we will dance like kings and queens)
Like ribbons of summer
Woven through
The blue hill town

[notes: -bury, suffix ~ from old english 'burh' (a fortified place), ton (Dun hillfort) ~ old english enclosure, manor , glas ~ Cornish for blue , Glastonbury Tor is composed of blue lias stone and clays]



I have packed away the wind chimes now
One last song as I walk to the shed
Of old bells and hollow echoes
As long as the winter shadows
Chasing me

Summer is a drift of sepia tinted memories
Caught in the gutters and under pots
As I sweep up those days
A calendar of leaves

Now the snow muffles all sound
As it waits out the winter with an icy siege
Slowly numbing the senses
Weighing me down
Into silence

But in my mind a song plays
A breeze of notes in the wind
Warm as a song thrush
In spring sunshine
Wind chimes sing


Wind Chimes ~ 2017

2017 and time to start a new set of poems/songs/words.

The photo, of a cornfield in Norfolk last year, was taken on a walk while the wind played invisible tunes across it, a giant, natural keyboard.

And it reminded me of this, from ten years ago, a poem for a keyboard...

Wind Chimes (and doorbell)



October Festivals


In your heart
Safe from harm
The light of hope
Shines like a charm
Keep hold of hope
To light the way
And chase doubt
Far away


The year draws in
All harvests done
Now count the days
Till Spring is come
In the runes
A fortune fold
And in a song
Tall tales are told
Light the bonfire
For more light
We'll celebrate
Samhain tonight

All Hallows Eve, All Souls & Saints and the Day of the Dead

In the candlelight's translucent air
Full of the angels incense and prayer

Dusk and dawn rub thin
To where, beyond death's veil
All sorrows cease
And love prevails

For one night we'll walk
Footsteps across the floor
A shiver in a silver flame
Echoes of the nevermore

In the moonlight's soft embrace
All phantom spirits, ghouls and wraiths
Dance to their ceaseless song
As lanterns call the enchanted throng

By morning light sharp contrast throws
The passing night into fleeting shadows
All Hallows Eve
All Souls, All Saints
And all the Dead
Are passing now into the night
As we walk in the new daylight

All Hallows Eve
All Souls, All Saints
And all the Dead
Across Lethe sail

All sorrows cease
And love prevails


Kentish Poems / Poems of Kent

So, it seems a good idea at the moment to start collecting a set of my poems written in and about Kent and putting them all together here. As I can't think of a good title I have settled on the above for now and, I like the idea I'm doing this on National Poetry Day.
(As with all my stuff, all rights reserved, please ask for permission before use.)

While away in Wordchester  (2015, Rochester)

I think what I would like to see
Is poetry recited under trees
And in the dark gloom of a shady crypt
A reworking of a Gothic script
Upon the lawns where prams roll
A tall tale or two while we stroll
And by the cannons a dramatic pause
To spark a volley of applause
I'd let my mind wander free
In a citadel full of poesy

Mind games
In hidden lanes
To trip you up
And spells on knolls
Wishing ink wells
And wooden walls
A train of thought
To bridge the gap
Between fantasy
And prose's precise map
Engineered to fit the bill
While perched on a favourite windowsill
A bird's eye view to another town
And all along and down
These streets
I'd let my mind wander free
In a citadel full of poesy

But most of all, what I'd like to see
Is poetry recited under trees

Snake River (River Medway, Maidstone, 2013)

Mist rising from the river
Seven more miles to go
Green light city
Caught up in the flow

As dreams fly, cormorant shape on the clean sky
Who knew this heart would carry me so far from home

I can't sit and wait for you to notice
How far we've travelled from
All those things we took for granted
All those promises undone
A cold night fading into yet another day
I can't wait for you to notice
We're travelling the wrong way

Mist rising from the river
Seven more miles to go
Green light city
Caught up in the flow

As dreams fly, cormorant shape on the clean sky
Who knew this heart would carry me so far from home

Unravelling Knots (2012, Billy Childish Exhibition Review)

Large turquoise skies
The colour of old urns
Turned into monolith slabs
Watching over those
Triangles in the snow
Unravelling into
Loose ends

The story unfolds
Canvas stretched to the bare bones
Of old boats

Now you are here
Reclining on a chair
Not a peeling orange chair
As I misunderstood
But peeling an orange
All but back there
In a bare room
High above
A small town in France

The story unfolds
Canvas stretched to the bare bones
Of cold ropes

Here, in this echoing hall
Full up with the sharing of
Accidental anecdotes
This Chatham sound
Some memories we carry with us
Some we throw, dead weights
Like divers to the bottom of the ocean
Pulling through the paint
At the knots and undercurrents

This pared down room
Skinned orange
Hung with so few pictures
A book on a settle to tell the rest
Tying it all together

While the paint drips
Unravelling knots

Rochester Cathedral (plus fragment from visit to Mont Saint Michel) (2005, Rochester)

To Rochester Cathedral I go
Loitering amongst the vaulted spaces
Air redolent with prayers and hope
Old stones standing strong
Shoring me up with their fortitude

And in this space, these finite walls
I'll find an easing of my soul
Letting slip all my vanities
Stepping out of this fearful skin
Finding hope again

To Rochester Cathedral I go
As often as I have before
These old walls are my friends
They teach me how to weather all
Old stones standing strong
Shoring me up with their fortitude


(..the heart is a vaulted cathedral
where angels sing..)

Riverside (2007, Medway)

Along Riverside we wander
Up the banks and pebble beach
The tidal flats and stranded reach
Of the Medway ebbs and hues
Walking in our Sunday shoes

Old boats heave their shoulders against the mud
Seabirds quarrel in rivulets and feathered squalls
The sky lifts its brow above the Isle of Grain
Dogs dig in the mud, barking into the wind

On the island promontory pirates dwell
We’re all castaways, and ne’er do wells
Volcanoes, caves and crocodile pits
And blackberries we suck and spit

Then all too soon
It’s time to go
Back among the ebb and flow
Of walkers, kids and bicycles
Of dogs and prams and tricycles

I found a tiny empty shell
Too small to hear the tidal swell
Of the Medway as she slides
Along the shores of Riverside

On Minster Beach (2007, Isle of Sheppey)

On Minster beach
The pebbles reach
From sea wall to the bream
A jet ski glides
Upon the tides
And all of us, for free
Are counting stones
And herring bones
Old pottery and shell
A happy scene
The estuary gleams
As seaweed rides the swell

The Garden Party (Review of RochLitFest Garden Party, Rochester 2013)

Too hot really
To be walking now
The kind of heat
That blisters the pavement
And sticks it
To your feet

Coins for the car park
I forgot the suntan lotion
Hat and flip flops
But remembered
Coins for the car park

I must be mad
Mad dogs and Englishmen
It is too hot but I won't be late
I can add garden parties to that list
As roses pave the way
To The Good Intent
And, at the corner, I find the open gate

Bunting bedecked and sunlit stage
The square back yard
Now filling with expectant faces
An audience eager for a performance
Slogan t-shirts, parasols
Great big boots and bare feet
Cold drinks, crisps and finding spaces

One lone skylark
Bisects the sky
Invisible geometry
To the eye

And they transport us now
To their other worlds
These poets and storytellers
These song singers
And vibrant voices
With didgeridoo and tambourine
With rhyme and prose
Transforming the air
Into the gilded sunspun
Dreamscape places
An alchemy wrought of words

Two planes interrupt with their lazy, drawling engines

Inside the bar the cool interior
Is a tonic to the heat
And here too
Is music
And here too are people to meet

And all too soon
It's four o'clock
And I have stayed too long
In the sun
Coins for the car park
Counting down
The day
I forgot the suntan lotion
Hat and flip flops for
The garden party

Reculver Beach (2014, Reculver)

The rough leather of a dog fish skin
Spiry and age-spotted into dry seaweed
Scratching on the soles of our shoes
And a perfect crab shell, legs and all
Hollowed out by the tide
Soft parts long since departed
Now weeping scales of salt onto our palms
Bleached shells and smooth pebbles
Picked from a beach pocked with horned poppy
As we walk beyond the reach of the sea

And all along the Viking Way they cycle
Flat out, fast and free
Billowing their hair with a windy brine
From Wigmore and wherever
In serious pursuit of leisure

Here now, the old flint walls
Flinching under a blue sky
As starlings form a chorus line
High up on the rafters of the old towers
To entertain us with a song and dance
From some bawdy, birdy music hall
Reviewing the late summer sky
This weather cannot last
Rain tomorrow
And they will give one last bow
Then exit left for winter

And all along the Viking Way we walk
Dawdling at the view
Of giant windmills out to sea
And trains and tractors
Pulling the flat land taught
Below a winnowed sky

We reach the car park
Just time for a drink and a snack
This weather cannot last
They say it'll rain tomorrow
And we comment, again, on the cormorants
Fishing from the posts in pairs
And if they were young egrets we saw in that tree
And we give one last bow to the beach
While checking our shoes
Then exit left for the motorway

Dungeness Day (pre 2007)

Bleak bit of beach, this
Where we stray
For old black and white photos
Dungeness day

Linger for a while
Before we leave
And comment on the stones
Below our feet
Out of focus wood and wire
Roll up to the breakers
And dead seaweed strewn
In the wet spray
Of a Dungeness day

Bleak bit of beach, this
Where we stray
For old black and white photos
Dungeness day

At the bar I’ll
Have a pint
Don’t mind if I do
Fire warms me
Fire to burn through the cold
From the wind tunes
Playing in the fence
Cold perimeter
Of a Dungeness day

Bleak bit of beach, this
Where we stray
For old black and white photos
Dungeness day

Your garden is beautiful
Your vision is clear
Like gulls over water
Free in the air
Bleak bit of beach, this
I’ve captured it here
Black and white photos
Somehow sincere
Dungeness day

Early Morning on the Allotment (2011, Maidstone)

Sounds of birdsong
Amplified and muffled
Hang directionless in the low mist
Cobwebs strung with pearls of water
Shiver in the cold breeze
Wrapping around
Autumn's dew-hemmed skirts
Hanging heavy in the air
Unable to shake free
From the early morning chill

On the Way Back from Canterbury (2014, Canterbury)

All the rain washed world sparkles
Rushing headlong into Spring
As we rally down late potholed roads
Winter rainbows chase the wind

Cloud kites flying sunlit ribbons
Festoon the cold February sky
Spring rain sweeps the motorway
Washing buzzards from the sky

And all the rain washed world sparkles
Rushing headlong into Spring
Despite our squeaky windscreen wipers
We can hear the green buds sing

The Ballad of Blue Bell Hill  (Foreword from long poem, Blue Bell Hill, 2007)

And the last bell rang long ago
Echoing on those ancient stones
As kings of yore and pilgrims still
Walk up on windswept Blue Bell Hill

Stag, bear and baying hounds
Chased the chalk hill hunting grounds
Pilgrim, trader
Refugee, invader
Paced their tales o’er the North Downs

Sit with me, here on this hill
And hear the echoes if you will
Of ghosts and battles long since lost
And how too many paths have crossed

From ancient flint to modern drill
We’ve taken to and from this hill
But this green shoulder sometimes still
Gives up its secrets to those who will
With a care listen on the green sill
And hear the Ballad of Blue Bell Hill