Day at Clevedon Pier


She went swimming.

Suck Inhale

Fluttering inches drop

Hands moving unthinking in old habits and rituals

Into cobalt coiling inwards, rippled fluting like arched prototypes of cathedrals,

with seaweed crested shade pink lucent nails diving through

the feet cutting an arc leaving stunned silver limescale

Like the boards on the walk submerged in air, the lights shining dully in a row into

links drawing down in pointed wake transporting the glisten of

the surface to the shadow lattice at the bottom,

pale smoke colours the light-like ink twisting again, hair misting through jade scattered and glinting from the neck of an aunt lost at sea

Still the eyes search for old spaces or spaces never been but should have been, ice-creams uneaten, sandy paths untrod, the voices raised and not raised running over endlessly

Pale bumps, hair standing, Grey, green and legs limp White eyes, swing swinging From far away sky green people hugging and feathers singing through the air to sink themselves into cork all the things known dull in panes of refracted light but with a coiling twisting around the thing that knows, not from not breathing but not letting breathe and

SHUDDER as the glossy headed flock flies past in the spaces undisturbed and a vaporous hand rests over the breast alone

leaving no trace but in memory and mind and in the record of each mad moment all flow and ebb in this dense sub terrain

with tender panels with trembling walls with the floor arching in a caught breath under eyes like planets and head inclined so

Like a poor plaster of David sending up wet flakes inscribed with the veins of leaves, Unspooling the face faithfully for the lined bud beneath

Upturned to watch blindly, up at the airy eaves

She is in the water alone, collecting her scattered sand

There is a moment twisted, constricted, the heart caught up in a hair’s breath, snug as the oar of a longshoreman in water Coming up weightless

and she half curving, prickling with the remembrance of other eyes looking across the distance Smoothly lined, from the back of the hall gazing out willingly at her willingly supplicant, stark like dew; holding caresses the frisson of movements delicate as dance bending in unison over the longing spine



escaping in a small sigh, carried forward, Outstretched, close by –

And then the beat has passed, she lies suspended, arms akimbo,

a life-long breath escaping shades of regrets

but she is pulled back up, saltwater on her face

sand in her eyes, here, back again, here

looking at the stick pale boards of the pier

mud from shoes wiped carelessly,

a half eaten pasty fat and leaking into the water,

dull in the moonlight.


Hey Doll

Take it off.

Take it all off and show your skin.

Peeling dried

smooth cheeked

sun-bleached fringes of dull jaded fern

You hate it, I know,

You hate the limits that your skin has an end

That air touches you and makes you real

That you watch so many things from a window

Orb of yellow, pool of spite

Light in your eyes

distorted with layers of temperature and current

You are not real you are a vapour trying to keep its form

What form will the spaces give your face now

Will you be pious?

Good little girl, brave face

Sliding down in beads of water

Hardly seen

Coming up again in a cloud

Hardly seen

You have no touch you are painted over

Hello, doll.

Trauerblumen 1917 Painting by Paul Klee; Trauerblumen 1917 Art Print for sale

From Space to Nothingness

Open that green door into the house


A flutter, and my heart with its visceral beat

Blackbirds and fowls running amok

Between the walls like antler velvet

Old oak beams groaning in time to the cobwebs’ string

singing black glossy feathers like comfort and warmth.


Come through the battered door, if only I could

I have everything to give, everything shaped

By you, unknown you.


The trees are silent in a gnarly golden wood

Floating above a beaten silver water’s edge

melting to sky,


And the blue paint chipped pots

Wait on the wooden table

pockmarked with soft red circles in a smoky whitewashed kitchen

I have dreamed of places to fill

And to be


It must be nice, it must be nice

To have a landscape loved pooling around

It reminded me of the burgundy shawl flapping


Bat like, bad omen, the moon rising steep,

Smoke rising, Vaughan Williams in grey skies, a false note on the river Dee

I see you, Haven.


I see myself, too.

If only I could

come home, finally, to pitted wood and

Sweet walnut gravy with caramelised onions

burnt in warm voodoo fires and old ersatz friends


The nut filled aroma of pleasant dusk and spat-out violet sparks

And light shining through the foggy day

Into unreal domesticity

It must be nice to have a thing loved,

For I will love you well, even the dead.


I have everything now

And all I am is waiting.



There was a shape on the grass

A tree rising over it like the skin line of smoke

Smooth gloss rub and

Nacre black feathers

With vanes like blades of water

lying by the tar soaked edge of a beach.

The eyes were of shifting metal,

Melting and dropping and reforming,

What or if they saw

They saw madness

I put my hand on the crow

Not crow, not alive, not beak, not black

But mine.

Faint webbed skin lying against sleek feather

kneeling curved over small crumpled body

Dotted black on a flat spread line of green,

A strand of feather against the billowing blue sky.

And the grass russet against the head,

Rushed away from the body

It rolled green towards the edges

Ran into stalks of gold swaying warily

And then down, down into the brown earth sinking into purple.



The street by the house is a frame straight line,

riddled with gaps and fixes filled with water

between now and then and now and when

these puddles lie reflecting rainbow sheen.

I forget nearly always, I forget how it felt

In the spiral of it all, the close coupling of routine,

I forget the lines beneath the skin and the flash of deep sea

The blue lines lying underneath with red

And I find it infinitely easier to remember

them as buildings and objects,

that silver foil stuck to that bench, for instance, that’s you

That red bucket upturned over prickly grass is you.

As darkness falls a memory of suspended water and light

I begin to chase the fog, down the street past the restaurant,

I chase the fog, I run

holding head above water hoping I see clearly

I run through the sky winding flutes, I don’t know where or when

Perhaps happiness breathes its breath in a lifelong meal,

strands dissected and held together over pockmarked breath

But somewhere a burning sun

now, then and when,

surely somewhere a perpetual red burning sun.



It strikes me that we will never be great

Like those grey dots separated by nothingness

On a flickering screen brighter towards the center.

The world is a tapestry woven

For each of us, to forever hold

Sacred and watch

And watch

And watch

Watch with these frightened eyes,

Frightened of what, we do not yet know.

Watch through tears running down our cheeks

Arising from the crest of the undertow.

This silk drops from a great height,

Travelling through time

Through dust born by gimlet eyed carriers

As the path leads we know not where

And the ripples scatter like ducks over a pond

Even as we cry and hope and laugh and rage,

We raise a gun, and take aim.




I really like the bleakness of cold mornings when people go hunting. I don’t know why. It seems very arborial and antiquated to me – hunter gatherers of the present.

I don’t have a lot to say about this poem, I wrote it just now, so it’s quite clear, I think. The picture is from somewhere in Canada, I wanted a very cold and foggy one of the lake district but I couldn’t find any. It’s a very cinematic shot, it’s so organic and beautiful, and those are geese curving their wings, not ducks.

The more primeval parts of the lake district make me think of Seigfried and the dragon and it’s all very medieval Germany for some reason. Or is it Saxon? I don’t know.