playing Puck

in the school play

midsummer night’s dream

all of twelve-thirteen

they had the jerkin

shirt feather hat

the greasepaint

but could I supply

the brown tights please?

I guess now as gesture

of commitment

so I asked them at home

for these

& they gave me summer tan


so out I went

on my toadstool

broadcasting my lines

in summer tan pantyhose

giving it all my all

this youthful comely sprite

in tights

ignoring the crowd jeers

if you please

there is no space

this letting go

days are not easy

nights worse still

sitting standing alone

in the letting go

this blind man

climbing the mountain

wanting to hold on

to everything


there is nothing

but being alone

& in those times

when my floors walls

were bare

to be letting go


that one step

beyond dare

until realisation comes

unless this goes

there is no space

for new to come on in

if only

it were that easy

just a little

lump on my head

needing removal

this may sting he says

just a little

as I feel hear

the local anaesthetic needle

crunch into my skull

they give me some time

just a little

before they cut my hair

needing a clear zone

around the lump

you ok? they go

& I say yeah

I feel them pull my head

begin to hack my skin

any discomfort they ask

oh just a little

as they ignore me

I am now just

a slab of meat

requiring attention

as I drift off to my hill

planting trees

spade into the ground

create a hole

slide in the whip

firm up around

just a little

& wait a while

got that

this odd scruffy cat

is mumbling

into his beer

got that

pucker mouth thing


does not want

to spill a drop

& I lean in

y’never know

where wisdom

can come

& in between

the fuckins’

the assholes

I catch the odd word

here there

wimmin don’t unnerstan’

landlords assholes

bosses bastards

& I guess today

he’s not

quite got the poetry

just the wisdom

goin’ on

all on me

there were hints

tiny murmurs

for me to be adventurous

try new things

which being a sporting man

I was happy to do

then came recriminations

I wasn’t getting IT right

whatever IT was

never explained


made whole

& I understood

it was all on me

to give permissions

take responsibility

so for her

IT became

the things

he made me do

& fool that I am

did not know

that was a trap

feeling the silence

walking the undercliff

feeling the silence

even tho’ even there

there is no complete quiet

rustling of leaves

bird calls

the ever present

buzz in the ears

this silence exists

of no neighbours

cars passing thru’

planes passing overhead

drone of radio’s tv’s

voices nothing to say

just the noise of me

boots in mud catching stones

breathing heavy

& nothing

but this silence

holding on

feeling its way

into me

we don’t go there

driving around the city

got good songs on the radio

windows down warm afternoon

& she says innocent

let’s go down to

ain’t been there in a long while

& I don’t want to say no

as that’s a whole other conversation

so I say I’d prefer to go to

the company is always good there

set the wheels in that direction

before we she gets to oh

& what I don’t want to talk about

the poor company where she

hasn’t been in a long while

because it is even longer

since I was there with another

& that is the real reason

we don’t go there

another smaller yellow duck

I bought a large bright yellow plastic duck

a green bottle of Badedas for bubbles

another smaller yellow duck

clockwork that kicked around the tub

& put the plug in hot tap on

wondering at the wonder

of having to be taught to use a bath

oh I’d been raised with those

a lick of soap in & out please

there being others

needing the cooling water

standing cold in the freeze

so I’d never learned to just soak

let go relax feel muscles release

& I was nervous if I could perform

hold the ritual doing something for me

lie there in the water

waiting for peace to come

power of myth

stories told over ages

power of kith & kin

leaving me to wonder

which world

am I living in?

this blood has not been

thicker than water

nobody rescued me

from the rising tide

no arms stretched across

our family divides

& I remember being told

no man is an island

I didn’t know then

when I stayed apart

I was building up the strength

to live through the breaking of hearts

& now I am my longest relationship

the only person I have ever known

kept walking kept going

when everybody else

had flown

the blue light lounge

the old police station

is an upmarket bar coffee place now

called the blue light lounge

we lope by one day on our way

to someplace else

I tell her it was there

they dragged me in

put me in a cell downstairs

took my belt shoelaces wallet money

laughing as my pants fell down

searched my clothes for anything

then two of them bum rushed me

telling how they didn’t like my kind

crowded me into the cell

calling names loud long hair bum

trying to intimidate

mebbe hoping I’d throw a punch

let me stew for a few hours

then let me go

leaving me to walk back miles

to where they’d picked me up

& now people sit with high price lattes

imported beers micro brews

like horror stories

no doubt

much worse than mine

happened here