I’d been searching

always for something

could heal me

hoping to find

the cure for this itch

might give me

a little peace

of mind

& she came in

foxed me with her beauty

promising everything

had that smile

of riches to come

like she knew my hunger

could get that job

over & done

& instead took

whatever she could

leaving me behind

thinking at least

I’d had my healing

until just maybe

the next time

a sweet smile

on a pretty face

could get that hook

swung on a line

well honey

you expect people

to connect the dots

fill in the gaps

she said all sincere

well honey I said

equally all straight

when we started on this

the seeing each other

I had expectations

you wouldn’t be fucking others

all this screwing around

especially with my friends

that’s the bit that hurts

she got all snarly

that’s what I mean

you had not made that plain

left it as dots…

well honey I said

I believe you knew all that

as you got upset if I smiled

sat close to your friends

& the way you did those things

the hiding of it all

makes it clear

you knew it would end in pain

is that clear enough

for you?

well honey

is it?

walking by the river

thinking in shades

when I walked here with you

a little romance

some sweet summer loving

on a warm afternoon

& I wanted to keep you

but you were afraid to give

& that holding inside

scared of being alone

left me nothing but lonely

oh the irony of sweetness

what one keeps hidden

gets you overthrown

& the water slides by

I can see gin clear

the sand & stone on a rocky bed

that was us then

& I wonder

hope you have grown

found your way

to the sea

richer than I am now

faces I don’t remember

call to me

there in the night

oh they come & go

the people

there in your life

some lasting for seconds


they never let go

& the numbers stack up

slow drag in the wake

the next day they are gone

if I only knew the secret

for the good ones

to stick around

I’d be richer than I am now

that first beer

sometime around thirteen

stolen of course

nobody wants to give kids booze

be found responsible

for the fun

& it settled in

like I was born to it

that beer buzz lighting my brain

soft as a memory

bright light lifting

ending the pains

of being that loose end kid

made sense of why adults

did this

& wondering what else

they were keeping from me

tone poem

the air hung

thick & heavy

with the kind of accusation

you can’t back off from

I was being strident


where I felt I was being clear

had that sense of pronunciation

making sure

every single word was heard

while the accusee

felt it seemed that shouting

slinging shit words

tripped more easily

from that tongue I once loved

& the morning could not come

quick enough

to ease the pain

we were creating

no love left

only the hating

once the words are said

they can’t get put back

they have to be gone through


until there is nothing left

old photograph album

this person in front of me

fallen silent

in her declining years

there by her side

an old burgundy photo album

the kind where you took the film

to the pharmacy or sent by mail

waited a week or two

opened the pack took the best

put them in the album

under plastic covers

save the colour from the sun

& here she is time gone

hat at a jaunty angle

lips painted on

& there in the eyes

a sparkle glowing the fun

to be had with her friends

family recovering from war

when I place them on her lap

her light begins to shine

the years fall off

& I don’t see age

the granny no more

thin rain slow

there never is a good time

for bad news

the cancer of malice

a thin rain

slow coming down

how to understand

the need to poison the well

shred the space between

for no reason other

than spite smallness

making return

almost impossible

without a fight

terrible words

spoken loud


like a thin rain

coming slow

not that strong

she offered to take me away

& i know that I wanted to

she had a face that was kind

offered to do me better

but when I think of you there

I had to gracefully decline

what we got is something

I find hard to put words to

been those rough times

are peaks & valleys love?

some things I can’t quite define

but I do know that

I’m not strong enough

to test those years we have

I had to put her behind

a pretty face is a pretty face

but what you got

I feel true to say

is a harder thing to find