All youth music
is Fado now
the breathless voice
catching on some thing
at the back
of the heart aching throat
full descending piano chord
for the lover no longer near
I wonder if we are all
in mourning
for the something more
that is forever out there
or is it
romance is another country
that we don’t hold visas for

I could’ve told you

The air on fire
in portuguese mountains
driving thru’ hot ashes
blackened forests
I’d love to do fado
but you are gone
cool mornings
on a french beach
before people spoil it
playing in the waves
surfing for me
coffee in Spanish bars
thin sweet pastries with custard
sugar wrappers on the floor
but you are not here
autumn in England
leaves, mist and rain
driving to destinations
songs on the radio
coats, hats wind in our hair
like spring picking bluebells
these we will never do again
because you are not here
my friend I thought
who would always be
has gone.

they are the hollow women

She was blonde and pretty
I thought she was beautiful
but found later
that wasn’t true
& yeah, I wanted to fuck her
with her
& yeah, we shacked a while
by the end
I wanted her to go
did not want to fuck her
with her
I got bored by the pretty
& the blonde bits took work
she thought her face should suffice
despite the boredom that thinking brings
its something I’ve found
there are certain women
that think their very existence
around you should be enough
you should at least be grateful
as ever I wanted more
than the selfish way that is
of course
her parents hated me
as if I could care about that
but it’s the betrayal that kills
the last of anything dead
once the trust has gone
there is no more space in bed
the being together
yes, I thought she was beautiful
& that wasn’t true
the blonde bits may have needed work
but it was the work inside
that lay forgotten
its hard enough to own your own
without pushing another along
I wanted her to go
did not want to fuck with her
she turned to anger
the woman scorned
& by my absence
pushed her
to her work inside.

you could’ve been mine

here in my window
looking at the bricks
counting the ways
you could’ve been mine
cos my mind is set to wander
and I wonder sometimes
why yours was not that way too
it wasn’t just those times
that way we dressed to forget
the how fickle dry people are
with short lives forever in mind
our diaries crossed in brief
now I’ve got the leisure
to think on where you got to
how I lost that lazy road
heading to profane places
not that I’m willing to return
but now you’ve gone
its simpler to reflect
those spaces in between
our things softer unsaid
ill’er deeds safest not undone.
you could’ve been mine
except for the loving
as you chose hating instead.

What must it be like to have grown

What must it be like
to have grown
with people
who loved you
guided you
something more
than they were
and were pleased
when you made it
what must it be like
to have grown
without hunger
holes in clothes
with both parents
being there for you
not lost
in their own pain
what must it be like
to have grown
in schools
that taught
you what you needed
to thrive
go on to bigger things
what must it be like
to have grown
with people
who believed
in kindness first
not violence
who prefer smiles
some kind of love?

for Pamela

I thought
You’d always be around
almost 40 years of relationship
that grew from a month together
sometimes I’d have money
more often not
there were times you fed me
in long gone darkest days
I didn’t see you daily
more yearly, twice yearly
your life grew that way
and mine
meant places new
not that any of that
meant a thing
yesterday was today
I thought you’d always be around
wanted that to be so
my friend I could always talk to
get the honest response back
no frills
you accepted my choices
as I yours
in this happy thread that bound us
the changes in life
age, health, maturity
lovers, friends
and now you’ve left
them, me, us
in love.
I thought you’d always be around
except you became a peace. 😉


Early in the a.m.
cold morning
I slipped deeper into the covers
mattress solid on the floor
I had to walk in to sign on today
In those greyer times
the queues were out the door
grumbling hungry fools
all down the street
and us?
we had nothing
no milk, no tea, no coffee
no will to sip hot water
‘I’m cold’ she sighed
I reached to hold her close
she was out pulling covers over
man, those white knickers tight
and for a while after that
we got to forget
the big nothing we had


as there is more than a few
on a busy back country road
sits a young woman
on a white plastic chair
in a layby
half shaded
by a blue jacaranda
fiddling with her phone
and I know nothing
of how she got there
how she will get to
what she may call home
I know why she is there
if not the how come
as I sit here
in my comfy chair
thinking of that high sun
and a price to be paid.


I’d been visiting a friend
who had food, beer, drugs
‘cos I had none of those
was waiting on a lift
your transport
was all I had at that time
there was something wrong
about me that day
I stood, walked a bit
but caught nothing
a bad day
to be hitching a ride
after 12 hours
beyond tired, hungry, cold
over the way a gas station
and I sidled over for warm
this young black kid
looked at me
knowing I’d been there a while
‘you ok?’
and I began to bargain
no choices
for the cowboy boots
on my feet
got a plastic of water
and a bag of sweets
like he was doing me
the biggest favour
I made it back over
to my side of the road
and a half hour later
got a ride back to my