some poems from my collection ‘STOLEN WORDS



How long have they sat there,


Granite haunches

Tensed in the sand

Brunting the snarling sea

Washed over again and again

Licking endless salt wounds away.


From these high cliffs I see them clearly

Wild creatures

Waiting patiently for prey

Yesterday it was desolate;

Now there are tigers in the bay



This windowed concrete slab

Touching the hedgerows

Bunkered in leaf-strewn soil

Chivvies me


Muskets were reddened here

By shorter men than I

Defenders of a long-gone realm

Stooped between fissured ceiling and creviced floor


What mayhem bedlamed this rocky causeway?

Its cannons foddering the deep

The stun of steel slamming granite

The stench of gunfire turning stomachs

Loose limbs cluttering pathways

Death hovering


All quiet now on this promontory;

Sheep nibbling, tea and scones in the old armoury

Picture postcards of battles fought and won

Day-trippers picnicking

In the shadows cast by the big guns



The ticking clock is silent

Articulating emptiness

Mainspring not busted

Just not required.

Time gulling it over the horizon

Speckled in the distance

The residue left behind

Not worth a light


Over some visionary hill

Virtual reality is real enough

More and more scream the worms

Turning every which way but one

More length, more depth

More leisure, more pleasure

More love, more life

Bur mostly more coin


Nothing prepares us for this

The hand that held the answers

Trembling now before new idols

Knowledge bootless as experience

New waves have old beginnings

But tired dogs own no snap

It’s the rut we’re stuck in, see?

Slow going forward but no going back


Sitting by time’s window

Waiting for the daily rebuff

To come winging by

Sifting little crumbs of comfort

From the embers

Screaming all the way…

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