Body And Mind III.

Blustery November, and all I want
.                Is to find a quiet corner of this burnt out city
.                                               Where the ashes of my past whisper in the wind
Coating the street and alleys in a thin film of memory
That must be scraped back to see the stonework underneath.

.                                But for every brick and branch I recognise, a thousand nooks and
Crannies have appeared, breaking the lines of familiarity
.                                                Making a tattered mosaic of my memory;
.                The edges flutter in the gusts, as though any one might strip
.                                The whole sheet away, and leave me with a blank slate


Saxophone Echoes

Lamplight pools on rain spattered pavements,
Holding back winter darkness
As candles burn low, the city’s eyes closing
With every sleeping couple.

Illuminated softly,
Bathed in rippling waves of jazz
Flowing from basement bunkers
To pluck at the hearts of lonely lovers
She stands.
Shoulders hunched against November’s icy voice,
Eyes turned down to the floor, face hidden
In a thick woollen scarf.
Breath spirals through fibres in a fine mist
Wandering in to the chill of the night.
She waits.

He turns the corner,
Emerging from the black velvet of the shadows
To bathe in the lamp’s amber glow.
Tired eyes rise from the pavement,
Fixed on the approaching figure’s face
Bright with anticipation and desire

But disappointment turns them dim,
The light seeping into the chimes of midnight
Vying for supremacy with bursts of brass
Winding from the belly of the city.

He is not coming.

A sigh escapes soft lips,
In recognition of sadness, but not surprise.
Down dingy alleys she meanders
Drawn to the drums, lights, crescendos
Of the clubs, losing herself in blaring sound,
In booze, stale cigarettes and jazz.


Ravenous December Chews its way through the trees Snarling at resolute pines Devouring fragile flowers, harsh winds Scouring earth of life and sound, Leaving behind only the strong and the vicious. The night draws a veil over the sea of black firs, … Continue reading


On a breezy summer day
I walked with grim purpose down an alley
Green with the leaves of the season
To the soundtrack of a small army
Of screaming children.
Despite all the energy around me
My legs seemed to move through molasses,
Protesting against the day.

Raven hair in the distance;
Hair I had seen on a hundred nights
Splaying a sable fan on the pillow,
Black strands mirroring the branches of
Oak trees that frame the road.
Couldn’t smell it from here,
The hint of lavender stayed with me
Long after the scent left my nostrils.
I could still remember its silken touch,
Tickling my face to keep me from sleeping;
The breeze whipped it into a frenzy
Covering her face. But still

I knew it was her.
It’s odd what you remember. The
Way someone sits might as well be a signature,
How they hold their head when they’re sad,
How their legs cross, and when they’re anxious
The top one bobs like a metronome,
Bouncing to a nervous tune.
Even her hands. Still too far away to really see them, but
I knew how they would be. Thumb gently stroking
The skin on the left, as it clenched the small carrier bag
With knuckles white-hot around the handle.

I hadn’t even noticed the approach.
A few feet now, her daydream lifts
As the headphones fall from her ears.
We talk. There is an echo of affection in her words,
An effort to spark the same closeness we once shared.
But the flame falls on damp kindling, sputters

Walking away I know she is
Hazel eyes like the bark
Either side of me.


I often feel as though poets are dragons
Our tongues, flames of
Passion, fury, envy or love.
There is both creation
And destruction
In the way we burn.
Because before the fire gets out
It must work its way through
Veins, lungs and throats,
Scorching our insides in the hope
That it can scald you also.
Know, that if our words burn,
We are already blistered.