Me & the Don

we got it goin’ on

there on the fields of gold

as the sky cartwheels

the sun high on my head

& I don’t understand the ghosts

playing out here in dead casas

strange writing on the walls

green scale lizards skittering by

& if there was a ragged windmill

I’d tilt my rusted lance let it fly

my thoughts baked in the heat

the heat & the light enough

for this rustic choking on dust

wondering just just

who thought it might be a great idea

walking through this scorched landscape


Horse III

I think of Horse

& his whore

after the war in Paris

having to run

after the American beat her

& Horse beat him for that

is always bad form

to fall in love with a working girl

the Madame she don’t like it

& he could never go back

I think of him sitting

there corner of the bar

drinking everything drinking slow

staring into space

maybe thinking again

on who he might’ve been

& I wonder if the Madame

put up the whole show

just to move Horse on

& whether Horse ever

made that connection

soft light of another day

I could live on Skyline

looking out over the smog the bay

abide in the Sans’ doing what I do

tripping over my Spanish

my huaraches too

loping the hot asphalt colosseum swapmeet

sipping sweet breakfast chocolate

ripping butter confiture croissants your heart

in the early morning street sounds Paris

Toulouse Mont de Marsan Messange

holding my hangover head

Las Ramblas Croisette George cinq

checking my wallet still in pocket

but always knowing

if I was there

I’d want to be there & elsewhere

walking with you

holding your hand in the soft light

of another day

bully boy

the man has swagger

thinks he’s got the smarts going on

because he can throw a punch

feels can say what the hell he likes

but what he doesn’t know

somehow fails to see

is the gaptooth in the crowd

how his circle shortens over time

he asks where did Ben go?

don’t see Chris no more…

& they’ve voted with their feet

can’t stand beside

when he throws his lip anymore

they got tired of apologising for the man

felt too deep the understand

you can tell a man by his friends

& needed to get some distance on him

they tried talking about the show up

the embarrassment of picking up after

& ghosting becomes the only option

when a man wont understand

just a random bunch of fellas

holding a run

seems to be just that

just a random bunch of fellas

clattering down the road

hogging the lines

more noise than impetus

no understanding of any organisation

the road captain laying out a route

plotting stops for gas

food & replenishment of supplies

friendly faces for emergencies

accidents or worse

the sergeant at arms weeks leading up

ensuring everybody’s bikes

are fit to ride

the riders are fit to go

the treasurer has made sure

there are enough funds for bail

breakdowns beer & emergencies

& each rider has cleared their days

of work old ladies responsibilities


made sure they have enough

of whatever it is they need to get there

get back & enjoy the days to be

just a random bunch of fellas

clattering down the road

something to live by

we stripped away

with the enthusiasm

only youth has

the fat

the excesses of traditions

that weighed us down

pulling away to rubble

the edifices of age that bound us tight

savaging shibboleths

raging into the night

time was on our side

picking at monoliths

demolishing because we were right

to only have to rebuild

over time & the ages

picking up the pieces

jigsawing what we could

to create something



for something to live by

& for

the top of Scotland

between the toons

more villages really

an old crumbling pier

where the steam puffer

once brought everything

needed in & out

the puffers are long gone

as are the people now

we’d scour the shoreline

for flotsam jetsam

finding dolphin skulls

shark pods & teeth

a rusted through ancient plough

I was with you there

before you told me

your secret Scottish middle name

before the time we said goodbye

though I still have the picture

you took of me diving

into the freezing clear water loch

naked blue white & thin

for your eyes only