sit & wonder

as a feckless kid

I lay on the ground

staring at the stars

thinking of space as empty

were there threads between constellations

& later

in classrooms

trying to narrow the space

between teachers & me

later me & students who sat there

wondering why they’d lost an evening

time during the day to come

& I wonder how many of us

ever bridge that gap between words

& our thoughts always

on the run

the spain I miss

backroads covered in dust

wild dogs eating roadside goat

café tabac bars dry doughnuts

hams hanging from the ceiling

swaying in the cigarette smoke

sweating into paper cups

strange faces with a soft smile

for the stranger guarded

yet open to what may come next

miles of olive trees

on ancient sculpted ground

black bulls standing ferociously

waiting for death in the afternoon

gold fields where the wheat has been

dry rivers to walk in the mornings

travelling for miles hoping to find

cold beers tapas into long evenings

la España lo hecho de menos

caminos vecinales cubierto en polvo

los perros salvajes que comen cabra de  borde del camino

café-estanco bares rosquillas secas

los jamones que cuelgan del techo

el influjo en el humo de cigarrillo

la sudación en tazas de papel

caras extrañas con una sonrisa suave

para el forastero guardado

aún ábrase a lo que puede venir después

millas de olivos

en tierra esculpida antigua

los toros negros que están de pie ferozmente

la espera de muerte por la tarde

los campos auríferos donde el trigo ha sido

ríos secos para andar por las mañanas

los viajes para millas que esperan encontrar

cervezas frías tapas en tardes largas


we just don’t do it

look around count the empty spaces

parents family friends


lost along the way

sure we catch our friends

talking on loved ones gone

the pain of missing the love given

do this sometimes ourselves

but we focus on the living


not dwelling on those gone before

filling the spaces in our hearts

with those living amongst us now

only allowing moments

to dwell

on the to come

which was it to be please?

fifteen alone & lost

I found myself stuck

late in the mountain night

in Snowdonia

the cars had stopped

walking had ceased to get me anywhere

as my steps slowed in the dark

I slipped over a dry stone wall

huddled in a corner against the wind

& slept dreaming of giants a giantess

gold hair cascading on her shoulders

promising better days to come

if I would drink the water there

& woke in the dawn to silence

but for the crows cawing in the distance

I was powerfully thirsty with nothing

climbed back over the wall

put my thumb to the first truck

he stopped then asked me: which is it then?

I had no answer no understanding

he drove me into the local town

& drove away smiling shaking his head

as I went to buy water Dwr yr Wyddfa

drinking sitting on a low grey wall

later as I stuck my thumb out to leave

the same truck stopped again

& as I climbed inside he asked again

which is it then?

& as I shrugged he told me

of Idris the giant sitting gazing the stars

there on his mountain Cadair Idris

& if anyone slept the night on his mountain

in the morning they wake either

a poet or a madman

so which was it to be please?

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


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