Those whom the Gods love mostly die young
For time is the true enemy of everyone
The beauty that time cherishes
Is the beauty that soon perishes
And when time and beauty meet
It is always high noon on the street
Something has got to give;
Beauty dies so that others may live
But all dawns prove false dawns
And the payback is still to come
For time catches up with us all eventually
And not just the unlucky some.






 I feel like screaming

I feel like kicking something

I feel like my head is…exploding.

You  are…your name is…




It’s there

Buried in that sea of viscosity

That I am scrabbling about in

I can see it

It’s almost on the surface now…

On the tip of my tongue…

No…it’s gone again.

And I am standing in this room…

Looking for…

What am I looking for?

It all reminds me of my grandfather, who,

In his last tortured months,

Was convinced that somebody was forever following him about.

Then one day he spotted his own reflection in a plate glass shop window

There!, he shouted,

There he is!

Who is that man?





Tom O’Brien


You know when you’re sitting in the bar having a quiet pint, wanting nothing more than to be left alone, and yer man walks in?

The big man, the hard case. Tattoos on his forehead, a bird on his arm he’s trying to impress so much he’s floating 18 inches off the ground.

He’s John Wayne in hush puppies, the chest stuck out and the belly sucked in, eyes staring down the bar like it’s high noon in Dodge City and not five past nine on a damp Friday night in Walthamstow

The message is clear: ‘This is my woman, stay away from her or there’ll be trouble.’

I’m the nearest so the message is clearest to me. Not that I’m bothered. The war-paint is still wet, and the ‘made in Romford’ tag is still attached to her ear – not my type by a long shot!

Ground rules established, he orders a pint for himself and a pint for her and they park themselves on stools adjacent to mine. Half his drink disappears in one slug and they begin to talk.

Well, he does. Non-stop. About trucks. Great big trucks. Enormous trucks. Bloody boring trucks. At first I think Scania is his wife and I cast covert glances at his companion to see how she is taking it. Never talk in reverential terms about another woman to the woman you are with – I learned that early in life.

My bar-stool neighbour obviously hasn’t grasped this, and I can see that while he may be having an orgasm about his beloved Scania, his companion isn’t.

When I eventually twig who (or what) Scania is I realise it’s not antipathy towards another female that’s troubling her, but boredom. He’s boring the pants off her.

She is clearly trying to maintain an interest, nodding and smiling at suitable intervals, but when his gaze is averted I can see the look in her eyes. Boring, the message says, this is b-o-r-i-n-g.

She wants to dance, she wants to party, you can see it in her body language, and all this clot want to do is talk about trucks.

While all this is going on Dick comes in. I say Dick, but he could be Tom or Harry for all I know. Everyone calls him Dick for reasons…well, let’s say they have to do with a certain part of his anatomy and his tight-fitting jeans.

Now, Dick like to stand where the light is ‘kind’ to him, which – surprise surprise – isn’t a million miles from where our truck-driving man is holding court.

Most of the local talent know about Dick and pay little heed to him, but females who haven’t seen him before do find their eyes irresistibly drawn to him. I can see this one is no exception.

Busily explaining the finer points of jack-knifing, trucker-man doesn’t notice her switch in allegiance for a while, but the change in his voice, like an engine on full revs running out of gas, soon tells its tale. He stutters to a halt and stares at what she is staring.

‘When you’ve finished binning his gear stick maybe you’d care to listen to me for a while’, he says to her, softly though, like he was taunting her. ‘I mean it’s what you’re paid for, innit?’ Then he turns to Dick. ‘I’d get that lanced if I were you, mate. You can get it done on the National Health I believe’.

Bang goes my hopes of a quiet pint, I think, picking up my drink and moving back a few paces. Out of the corner of my eye I see the guvner stick his head around the corner and just as quickly withdraw it.

She starts first, the Romford doll, pouring the remains of her pint over truck-man’s head, screeching: ‘Ere, ‘ave that on me!’

She turns to the now-gaping bar-counter audience and flicks her hair back. ‘Listen to him for another minute goin’ on about trucks? No thanks. I’d rather sleep in a ditch.’

The she was gone, the only trace she had existed at all the sound of her high heels on the pavement outside.

Our collective sighs had barely subsided when Dick sticks out his chest and fixes his eyes on the now-dripping stranger.

Dick does weight-training and bouncing in his spare time…the types that’s big in muscle power but small in the brain department, if you get what I mean…and now he’s flexing those muscles and beckoning his antagonist towards him.

‘Come on, let’s see how tough you are. I bet I can handle you with one hand behind my back’.

He doesn’t get a chance to get either hand in that position because truck-man is off his stool in a flash and launches a mighty boot in the direction of his groin. Dick is still falling when he is out the door and legging it after his girl.
Several of us help Dick to his feet and he staggers off to the jacks to recover. Now that things have quietened down the guvner emerges and carries out an inspection.

Satisfied that nothing has been broken, he stoops down and picks up something from the floor. ‘Anyone fancy a banana?’ he asks casually.

That’s the sort of a place my local is.






Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


Image may contain: one or more people and people playing musical instruments

Memory Of My Father by Patrick Kavanagh

 Every old man I see
Reminds me of my father
When he had fallen in love with death
One time when sheaves were gathered.
That man I saw in Gardner Street
Stumbled on the kerb was one,
He stared at me half-eyed,
I might have been his son.
And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London,
He too set me the riddle.
Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me:
"I was once your father".



in Kathmandu

Memories come on wings of light

A shining bird, high pines in the sun

The fire in a floating leaf

The autumn heat in weathered wood

Soft lichen on a stone.

A light-filled imminence simmering and breaking,

Leaving me breathless and in pain.

This sickness of infinitude that leads to the madhouse,

This ‘self remembering’ of the present

Instead of wandering the ephemeral worlds

Of past and future.

I was a true believer in my magic carpet,

Ready to fly as far as it would take me.

The search begins with a restless feeling,

As if one is being watched.

One turns in all directions but sees nothing.

The path that leads here is not a path to a strange place

But the path home.

But you are home

Cries the Witch of the North

All you have to do is wake up.


is ed sheeran an android?


 isEverywhere you look these days he’s there
Ed Sheerin
Strumming his plastic guitar
Smiling his geeky smile
Singing in his whiny voice
Best Album, Best Solo Artist
Come on, get real!
Writing his colour blind lyrics
Peddling his simpering vanilla sound
Sounding like his tongue got stuck in a mouse-trap
Then there’s his inane grin
His funky waistcoats
And his sexless chin
There’s more sex appeal in a pillow case
And he’s not even gay!
I suspect he is an android
That makes soothing noises when you pluck a string on its back
And I bet that close up he smells of WD40