The flat was in Rue Montmartre as I recall,
a sequence of pictures hung upon a wall
that explained the meaning of time;
photos in black and white of geometric shapes,
unusual shapes that held the eye, disturbed the eye.

I sat in a corner café much concerned,
ran back to find a tenant now installed,
a face I barely recognised at first,
to whom I would explain once and for all,
the meaning of those pictures on the wall.

I failed to make him understand a thing
of how as a totality all exists,
and screamed: ‘Just let me see them one last time’,
ran into the room to find them gone
and in their place instead, but lately hung,
the portrait of a mother holding child.

‘Too late,’ I said. ‘I’ve come here far too late.’

Now in my head I tread forever more,
the dingy inner stair, first up, then down,
in vain, not getting anywhere at all.

The flat was in Rue Montmartre as I recall.

no good reason

and I thought I’d wander down towards the sea
wander down the lane towards the sea
the pleasure boats have all been locked away
but pleasure’s over-rated anyway
and I found I had no further use for rhyme
so I sat upon a chair and thought of you
and rhymes came through
and rhythms too
but no good reason
no good reason came
for anything I do
without you


year after year
this oak tree has stood
with the chalk hill behind
and its acres of wood
today I’m as quiet
as an old tree can be
as cold and unmoved
as that chalk hill I see
without looking

just cooking

something deep down
unfashioned unfound
as a spring underground
on that hill I can see
without peeking

just creaking

like an old tree
will in the wind

Longing for the Sea

Oh, I too am longing for the sea,
to break free forever from
certainties and cups of tea
by firesides that we
are too familiar with.

But all those holidays we shared
by restless oceans,
didn’t we agree
that the best part
was always coming home
to mediocrity and letters
on the welcome mat
strewn like windfall apples.

I too am longing for the sea,
this evening at my table,
in verse, in memory. Inversely.

Longing for the sea | image c. Stendec | Dreamstime

The Beachcomber

He blamed the wind
and the salt-sea spray,
he blamed the gulls that wailed all day.

He blamed the rain
and the slate grey sky,
breakers breaking on the black cliff side,

He blamed the wall,
the high sea wall,
and every pebble on the shingle shore.

He blamed the storm,
as he watched it break,
and felt the sleeper within him wake.

Then he blamed no more
the quiet shore,
nor gold washed up from the ocean floor.

Words on a page
for his sorrow and pain,
the beachcomber never does walk in vain.


Out walking in the rain today,
the greenway and all points to where
the weather leads, evading clouds,
we go the two of us.

Up over hill and down again,
I drag the weary wanderer on
towards an undiscovered ground,
we go the two of us.

And when he talks, he talks in verse,
to note it down is all my work,
out walking in a shower of words,
we go the two of us.