to go into a room of people

paddle your way through

looking around


with your invisible antennae

knowing who is who

likes the same things as you

holds similar strange beliefs

will back you in a tight corner

comes from the same

broken home blended family

strange belief systems

& then we speak

& all of this dissolves

as we let words

get in our own way

& drunks man

god she was beautiful

could smile to crack a rock

but she was a drunk

& drunks man

are no fun long term

it took a while to find out

she was that way this is how she is

I was just getting into her

& then it was too late

she needs to drink

more than she needs you

or wants to see you

& the flies flock to her honey

everybody loves a good time girl

you have to learn to share her

there are too many to fight off

& nobody likes the possessive type

especially you

she tells you she loves you

even uses those exact words

but the long of it

she doesn’t love you or

the other men she fucks for the booze

it’s the drinking she loves

this addiction the real love of her life

the harder truth being

she does not love herself anymore

other than the glass the bottle

the rush to oblivion

(oh apple pie beneath the wings)


days walking to

from school

friends houses

singing to myself

more of a muttering really


poorly sung mondegreens

happy as a pig in snow

& now

the same songs

I can read the lyric

understand the words

bouncing on the screen

finally getting the import

ideas the writer

was trying to show

but people being people

I still sing the mondegreens

from long ago

(oh apple pie beneath the wings)

new friends

put my palm out

said to the man

I could take a hand

I’m struggling here

& silence came back

for a while

then the words

I don’t understand

such a simple request


for fear of failure

in the middle of life plans

nothing working out

so you learn

pull your hand back

shrug of the shoulders

ok man

I get it

this is how it stands

thanks for the heads up

I need to find

new friends


I took my white handled athame

down to the beach start of the day

& as the sun caught tip of the waves

I threw it & the last I had of you in

I’d returned the photos records

books clothes intimates of will

but for my last precious part of you

tied to my athame flung far as I could

& as I saw it arc then sink into the sea

I chanted a spell cutting the cord

that bound you to me me to you

the ocean took all of that in away

our bond was cut now not to be again

I sat on a sun burnt bench for a while

watching waiting whether for hope or fail

in case the tide brought us back again

& then for a brief moment bare waving arms

of dead sailors accepting my gift with wishes

it was then I knew the hex had taken hold

walked away with words echoing my head

I’m going to miss that pearl white handle

my faithful athame in my hand my heart

over & over now never helping spells

incantations rituals until I will get old


my thanks go to Nigel

the sickly musical kid

who first got me

to put these words together

make my own lines

I was the roughhouse kid

the out & about’er

& Nigel was the indoors kind

the kid who couldn’t

absent from school

more than he was there

he’d get me to mime along

as he played his guitars & songs

early Beatles hits

derivative Stones & blues

& now he’s married

to a rock star

got them a couple of kids

if you mentioned my name

passed on my thanks

I feel sure

he’d say


no fuss

soft blow the spark

I was waiting

on the corner

behind doors

in other peoples rooms

dark nights no friends

to take me home

looking for you

hoping for a call

& when we met

I could not tell you this

say the words to you

roads I walked alone

places I sat hoping

to catch a glimpse

something I could

claim as my own

for fear you’d feel reproach

that you were not there

where I wanted only

to soft blow the spark

build a fire

at the time

all I can say

is I meant it

there at the time

wanting for you

& me

to believe

the words were more

than a line

& it was only time

took away their meaning

the things we did

to hurt each other

keeping score

on an imagined board

evening up for karma

that never got realised

& worse over times

there were others

heard them said too

whispered straight faced

while looking into their eyes

the reading

I don’t enjoy it much

saying the words out loud

that I found in my little space

out on my own

that I crumble

under the cold stare

in hot rooms

with my low voice

now unused to speaking loud

& worse it was for free

though they promised

free beer at the bar

& at a fiver a pint

I thought it best

to earn my keep

there was quiet for most of it

with an occasional yeah!

or an oh no!

did he really just say that?

& at the end

they gave me a bottle

of decent red

some decent applause

& I learned that what I read

is not always

what they heard


hell lets go out!

was always her call

& L called me a curmudgeon

not wanting the bright lights

but I’d gather myself together

set out for the show

& sure enough

she loved the fakery

show her something shiny

bit of movement & all

& they loved her right back

while my role

seemed to be place holder

bag carrier foil to the feast

watching & waiting

something to take hold

these pretty boys recycling

old routines words & feet

to drive her home

hearing her fabulous’es

marvellous’es wonderfuls


I did not really understand

or know her

in the least

had we been in the same place?