centuries of pain

Spending time on your own

creates tension

when you then

get to spend time with others

loss of expectations

about what level of connection

is necessary

feeling somehow

less is good

more not needed

& then


do I fit in?

have I given enough?

too much?

humanity becomes a chore

if you open up

means to engage in whatever

they may throw your way

having to stretch

take on their

sad, bad, mad


& god you’ve heard

known all of these yourself

in the centuries of pain

honest living brings

there is no competition here

all hold weight

all a saddening bore

when power is not in your hands

to change



& that alone

is reason

enough to withdraw

Lost mojo

I’d taken a break

no booze



had been working on me

then met this nice lady

not sure what we had

but there was something

she invited me back

come after seven she said

so I brought a bottle of white

I’d prefer red

but you never know

we talked a while

all awkward in the new

she leaned in for a kiss

& that went ok

so we did another

then as I leaned in

my hand brushed her breast

the recoil took a nano second

but man it was there

I apologised

it had been an accident

set my glass down



for a good evening

she got my coat

looking puzzled

tho’ not a word passed her lips

& I stepped out into the rain

tipped my hat

whispered good night

knew I’d not be passing

this way again

I guess my mojo

was out there somewhere

lurking across the roof tops


I sighed

put this down to experience

I was out of touch

with these ways

had taken a gun to a knife fight

my manners

were indeed

ill at ease

You think you’re good with people

& then they come at you

with stories

did you really

do x

hit x

fuck x while x watched

& on
& on

& these are not always stupid people

those you can

fuck with for fun

while x watches…

these are ones you were quietly

hoping more from

but that’s fuckwittery for you

it’s a catching disease

hang around fuckwits for a while

you’ll see what I mean

& from then on

disappointment hangs


a grey rank floppy diseased curtain

theirs with you

for not confirming the juicy rumour

& you with them

for not even contemplating

which of these fouled used tissues

may not be true

On the street

years after

I was buying oranges

you were there

cherries I think

our eyes met again

& we blinked

lets have coffee you said

tho’ I wanted a stronger drink


trying to talk

on many things

without getting to


so why did you leave?

you finally asked

you don’t remember?

no, all puzzled & face blank

I remembered we’d fought

late in the night

after some loud party

at her friends’

she was full of accusation

poor drugs

& booze

I took her shoulders


bronzed & beautiful

began to shake

to make some point

that I only cared for her

her beauty



& left

never to return

never wanting to be



I did not want to talk about that

so said:

weren’t you in love with X?

to close the memory out

oh that!

she smiled

oh that was nothing

now it makes sense

we finished our coffees

& went in different directions



I catch the sadness

in the choice of songs you play

& I’m sad too

I couldn’t teach

give you more

the choices I made

are not the ones for you

your path will


be your own

all I can hope

that on some level

you know I’m there

waiting for your call

help unstuck your feet

send love

when the hill gets steep

be there

when you need some company

to escape wolves on your path


I thought I was lonely

& that’s all that was


looking out to sea

lights in the distance

wishing someone was there

sitting with me

so much pressure

ads on tv

to be in a couple

raise your family

I narrowed down

my anxiety

to excitement

expectancy of living

in some better way

not yet unfurled

all was in front

waiting for me to reach out

pull the plums from the tree

I was only paralyzed by me

young girl

he wanted a young girl

liven up his life

& got one for his patience


in her twenties

whole life to live

he’d take her shopping

show her out to us

& we didn’t care

much for this

felt this lust

would end in tears

& she was

like a young girl

playing with a magnet

feeling the strong attraction

not yet understanding

what it could do

later he confided

spending on her clothes

Viagra for him

had killed his libido


‘man, she has to tell


of her dreams

every morning

wants to dance until 2

& I got work y’know’

he let her go

found some cheap insult pretext

rather than tell his truth

she left crying in the night

I guess we got that bit right

nobody had the winning ticket

tho’ at least

she had her youth

I see you


who looks like you

& I miss a beat

a way of biting

inner cheek

& you

those long legs

how you bent over

to see things in the street

not that I want to meet you

just that I still think

of you


what could

might’ve been

if you weren’t you

& I wasn’t me

I miss the thing

we did not have

could not create

much as I love

roses in winter

a wry word tip of the tongue

that can’t be found

turning to look in the forest

for wraiths not there

I remember night

being dark & all

bruv Dave, the dog & me

in my little black mini

had just failed my driving test

the inspector said:

do more miles son, you’ll be fine

we had a full tank of gas

bag of sandwiches

& forgot the dog food

set out late afternoon

follow the signs for London

said bruv

so I did

through London

cars coming at me

all directions

stalled twice at junctions

to the beeping horns of others

& that don’t help

at all

out the far side

head north said bruv

so I did

filled up with gas

ate some sandwiches

Yana, the dog, was hungry

so we fed her sandwiches too

all we had

it was a sharing thing

heading north

the mini developed a fault

full power one second

none the next

having to indicate

pull over quick as can

then the power would come back

we’d set off again

the dog got farty

began to whine

at the next traffic jam

we pulled to the side

she got out

ripped a huge pile


on the side of the road

she got back in

we drove on

take a right

so I did

stopped for a beer

some locals night out

wanting to punch my face in

back in the car


farting dog


woke us up

take a right

so I did

out along the coast

with red light

yellows & then gold

the dog was hungry

stopped for gas

gave her the insides of a meat pie

drove on

so few cars about

then getting busier as the day awoke

the dog kept farting

or was it bruv?

I was beginning to have suspicions

the car kept stopping


I drove on

arriving in our home city

four lanes & traffic lights with a queue

dog in distress

let the dog out

pile in the middle of the highway

she jumped back in

just as the lights changed

& we


was done


we stopped

out of gas



time for each other

the dog needed feeding


fresh air

we all did

I passed my test

two days later

What could

What I could be

was never quite plain


what I wasn’t

was made abundantly clear

plethora of more



half truths piled up

than I could see horizon over

don’ts filled my days

feared my dreams

all experimentation was wrong

keeping safe the key

be like us the mantra

& that scared me most

their deep unhappiness

so evident

in everything they did

dare not do

that settling for less

coloured my every moment

this was not love

some slighted care

it was choke

kill the dreams

with whatever was at hand

& the head will follow