for the sake of that

you have to believe

working with kids

that any

all of them

can be turned around

that all you need do

is kindness

not kindness

for the sake of that

but because

kindness is the only way

to be

patience & caring too

plus the big one



the big because


is what worked

for you


I fell in love too early

the slightest kindness

I’d be a dog begging for more

& they’d ditch me

too needy or worse

a bore

until the world sent a cure

she was blonde beautiful

& I took her silence for thinking

taking her home

we did the midnight thing

her leaving in the morning

finding blood soaked sheets

these things happen I thought

forgot about that for a while

she was getting over her ex

who had already moved on

we dated a few times more

while I worked out her quiet

was cover for a nothing space

between those exquisite ears

then the last time I saw her

found her kissing her ex

locked in a lovers embrace

in the alleyway back of the bar

forgot the piss I was needing

to begin the long walk home

mystery of the missing hat

& yeah

it was a youthful affectation

matching the 30’s raincoat

I’d found in a thrift store

I thought I was Bogie

the whole channelling thing

going on

& found

it was my ex had stolen it

the whole fuck him song

singing on

there was a meeting

to give it back

to tell me she thought

I was foolish in my style

& I said yeah ok

but you wait ‘til

the rain comes along

I loved you she said sad

you rotten bastard

& I thought you knew

it’s a little late for that

my only response

maybe if you’d said before

we could have had Paris

thank you for my hat back

& headed for the door

though I don’t recall now

if it was raining outside

or not

As a musician

you don’t hear music the way

that I do

she said plain

if with a touch of malice

to add colour to explanation

tell me then I said

eyes open ears the same

what is it

that you bring to the party?

she began with words

something about subtlety

exploration affinity to rhythm

love of melodies deep joy

when the right notes hit the line

sounds like

good poetry to me

I said all subtle soft

oh no! she cried anybody

can wrote that poetry stuff

but only a true musician gets music

are we talking snobbery here?

I asked all polite

my turn for the malice pin

y’know she said face all stone

there are times

I know exactly why I hate you

that’s a great line I thought

but never said out loud

I’ll save that for another time

more than

lucky lucky me

we do these things now

because we want to

for family for love

for being the right thing to do

& yes the feeling good

contributing to the whole

but I was not raised this way

all these were a chore

that had to be done

for appearances for spite

no love no care no grace

& me I was lucky lucky

to find friends people who loved

rather than endured

gave me chances to learn

to become more than

I’d had before

whence you came

There is always more than one way out

turn your life around

you can always go full circle

go back from whence you came

sure there may be a sense of defeat

hints of shame or failure so I’m told

a learning to be gained from about

or a sidestep to pick up let rip

with the money on a train bus

go missing leave your phone laptop

take flight fright in the night run

new town new life fresh wife love


you can send me photos from your phone

of your piles of money

rag eared thousands in cash

your grinning drug running buds

stacks of full baggies plain view

& we can wait for the po po

to kick in your door

stop you in your car or street

& hey presto

your new life will arrive

new threads new friends


Living with loss

he tells me of lovers

counting them off

finger by fingers thumbs

indicating toes

people he called out love to

now gone

the way of all flesh

living with loss he tells me

as the jug empties

& we call for more

gentle under the trees cicadas moon

& my turn will come he sighs

caught in the thought

the majesty of death

of course I say quiet

reaching across for olives

& oil

I know nothing of any of this

for I am immortal

having never ever felt loss

suffered in any way

felt life’s thin cruel whip

y’know he said all bright

& firing now

for my longest ever friend

you can be such a arsehole

long term places

I was restless then

could not stay still for long

& thought if I kept moving

I could keep my hold on you

only later to find out slow

love is not built that way

& sure enough as time will do

you lost track of me letting go

maybe I’m a slow learner but

the restlessness is still all mine

only now I know for sure

all of those I really love

will slowly disappear

wanting stasis static

long term places to stay

this song senor

this song senor he smiled

es one of love the lover

who has gone away

walked the mountains

the mesa desert dunes

to go earn a peso in another country

& all she has now are letters

of loneliness new old cars

cold water shared rooms

a life of working living hard

he put some effort & soul into it

& I swear I saw a trickle

a little bead of sweat

these were sweet lies

the song was an old back country ballad

I caught references to dying vaqueros

wrapped up in homespun linen

where there will forever be

bad sad deaths in the afternoon

but who was I in this hot place

to deny the mariachi his money

this meagre prize?

no gifts flowers to find

motherless boy

no card to send

on mothers day

no gifts flowers to find

no funeral tears to make

best wishes condolences

to take appreciate

no final words to end

I am a motherless son

never having the love

I read in others cards

tiny notes on flowers

thanking for care

love support appreciation

unconditional regard

a life given held hugged

the bestest friend

not asking for pity or sorrow

save these for things we lose

have taken away

for such we miss

just to understand

when you make your

sweeping generalisations

about how mothers

make the world go round

some of us

must do this ourselves