sails on idle

I had me a ship


sails on idle

where none was expected

though they saw

the fire light glow in my eyes

thinking I’d stick around


never mind the

treat me how they wanted

pretending not to hear

the match strike

long protracted sighs

& as I sailed away

watching our bridges burn

I heard them wail

how could you

treat us so badly?

all we ever wanted

was to teach you

to learn

Give yourself

every single day
permission to
be who you really are
think what you want to think
love who you love
hate those that need hating
forgive your parents for being poor
forgive yourself for the difficult bits of you
wear what you want to wear
fuck up when you do
laugh at anything
care about the stuff you want to care about
say I don’t care when you want to
fail at being fashionable
liberate yourself
add to this list
just be
these are the permissions
every day
to everybody else

Late night rendezvous

sipping drinks at yet another
dead party full of teachers
talking shop
its not a hate thing as such
though a quick look
would show similar features
when she sat next to me
refilled my glass & smiled
hey, this is one who gets it
I thought & chinked a slainte
we talked for a long while
places we’d visited
people we knew
& then she said she had to go
then with impulse said
come with me
it was either stay & be bored more
possible adventures new
we drove in the dark streets
kinda silent & I was wondering
if there was a regret growing
she took me to her place
all whispers & quiets
my kid is asleep
wait here while I pay the baby sitter
I waited a while until she called me in
offering a drink
a seat on the sofa
where we kissed like kids
giggling in the spaces between
she kept on with the whispers
but oh she wanted
the stuff that makes noise
taking me by the hand up stairs
to the pink room with pink pillows
you know that scene
& we did what was needed
though she acted scared
like this had never happened before
until we fell asleep worn by it all
then shaken awake before dawn
to throw me out before the kid
woke up needing cereal & school
asking me to call again later
sometime after beddy bye times
lets do that all over again
all whispers & quiets
she smiled
as the door went click
leaving me to find my way home
through empty streets
where adventures may or may not be
I never went back


do not look for consistency
instead scan for contradictions
for there
lies the humanity
in the cracks
of discrepancy
between what we think
what we do
how we tell others
the why of what we did
this is the bottomless river
conversation among friends
we hear what you say
watch what you do
this is the joy
of our wonderful lives
to call each other out
& enjoy the joke
when we do
don’t you?

Some riders

we were excitable thirteen/fourteen
strung out in a thin line
middle seats in a tiny town cinema
relying on a friend in the box office
to let us underage kids see the show
this was nineteen sixtynine
& the world was in turmoil
& tonight was to be our turn
the lights went down
the colour came up
after that the old world was over
I became chained to bikes
Kev looked to the drugs
Andy loved the music, became a roadie
Steve turned hard against became a skinhead
Rob wanted ‘chicks’ who’d do those things
& John never understood a damn thing
whenever I see the film now
it is not hard to understand the impact
on the feckless youth we were
a complete subculture
a whole enchilada way of life
we wanted all of it
every last drop
out of this backwoods ‘burb
& into the colours
out of that crowd
that thin line
demanded more
only one escaped unscathed
there are late nights in strange cities
I wonder if he was the lucky one.

they tell me eyes dead

they tell me eyes dead
scanning the crowd
like they were taught to do
I listen to my constituents
well honey that’s your job
i’m meant to throw a fish?
i’m tired of being fed
my own wise words
by this freeloading fool
hair & clothed just so
by their personal aide
the people
are years ahead
of plump politicians
in what it takes to bump
grind along together
in this hand to mouth life
we know drugs aren’t always
bad for you
the cop is not our friend
that in fifty years
we will be forgotten
& their politics game will
continue to roll on
just give us what we need
without a it’s a for you
your own good ceremony
except the hanging
we don’t want that
maybe we’ll save that
for you

You’ve just to keep going

waking up
getting dressed
walking thru’ the streets
early dawns
late nights
ok this one stole your cigarettes
that one your heart
your car
china plates
& you get up
acquire it all over again
until the next split up
the one after that
& her after that
maybe you’ll take a break
remember just who
feel fit
take a girl to run with the bulls
& she’s bored
you keep going
you find one who likes
most of your sad jokes
& you stay together
you might fret a little
is this it?
will this last?
& you remember
just keep going
let life resolve this
over time
like it does
everything else.

This thing we have

we know exactly
how we got here
even if we don’t wish
to hear exact details
this thing of ours
that we must puzzle out
as we go
very few of us get to know
how we will end
& those who do
only have this by cutting short
the process
& if we could know
would we
deny spontaneity
& be
but ghosts
in love
with the idea
of living?

Your problem

she said
is that you won’t do
what women want
I think she knew
I was doing the nasty
with her friend
who wanted me to
make her my exclusive
which much as I loved
doing the nasty with
was not enough
to make her mine
I said
I love ‘em if they
get close enough
lick ‘em if they ask
& treat ‘em like equals
what more
can a poor boy
that’s it exactly
she said
that’s your problem
right there

tall poppies

there are days
like these
what would you say
If I told you
today on the bus
the train
I saw you
in the queue
waiting with such
I don’t often see
it was all right
because there are days
I miss you
in every breath
all thoughts on you
each second a picture
without your face
if we could
ever meet
in a field of green
without tall poppies
you might
look at me again
and I might
breathe free