Sour Dough

Ordering bread and coffee

Baked by desire

It’s grinding repetition

Skin not an echo

But that glistening same

The bitter Buddha kneaded here

Could not be loved

Without lust

Wisdom’s yeast

Force fatale

Yes Yes

Concentration short


Pain overwhelms

Yet where no excess and

Eager expectation ends

So ?

It is imagination that arises.



There is no time.
There is not enough time
to know what I know I could have known about you.
We all know what we know
and that is today
nothing more than that we love you.

What we wonder is not even where you have gone
but how you can have gone
other than here
with us
right now

which you are Charles
standing in a blues club you are right now
or maybe shouting at me for something stupid I’ve done

or asking me to rub your shoulders

I’ll do that. Like I did before.
And you will sleep. Like you did before.

You dropped a tear
and you shook your rattle
like so many before you
God willing
so many to come

Sleep well Charles.

When we don’t share the cheese…

The other one smells bad


That’s the advice of the sanity chef

But… Don’t forget that you’re cheesed off for a reason

There is so much more to eat and your own


Is neither sweet nor sour

I heard a voice say: without the dark you can’t find the light

They spoke of Sibelius

Of Serious

But left a caveat (no one wants war)

(of course)


It’s here and always was and it will take the cheese

And I’ve indigestion anyway

And need to clean the kitchen

Ready for the next…

Perhaps the last



write at the end

The way to write when you start being older

Is as if you didn’t feel you had to justify not having lived

that life

but this;

and pen those phrases without apology

as if you had a story that was already told

and this

an addendum

just don’t let it be a postscript

don’t permit it

as a preview

a precusor

and certainly not posthumous

unless you want to go right back to the beginning

If I look at you from afar

If I look at you from afar I can see that you’re quite scruffy

Your paths aren’t made

Your vegetation’s sparse

Rocks pilled up on you like spots

Skin is crinkled on your earth

It’s as if you’re old when you’re young

And I’m measuring being old against you

Well not me, I hope to last longer

but someone will walk past and think

I hope I live to see this all open to walk upon

Parkwood Springs Landfill

We’ve seen it happen before, dirty ground turned verdant

Here it’s the gorse and the broom and lupins that stand out

Later in the spring yellow washes of rape

the lupins stand really strong now

and I am going to measure myself against you

I’ll see you come to life and your fences taken down

I’ll walk over that young face and remember that it was old already before it was young

Very lucky to see such a cycle

If I do

goodge street station

What is the point in trying to hold onto the choking of tears

Or trying to just stay choked

Keeping words to that effect alive

It is to address the ghosts of my sister and my father

I waited not long enough for both to be here

I was always in a hurry

And missed them when I was young

Not so much as now though

When they are much closer

The Courtauld

Why am I crying when there is nothing else I can do?

Entering a room

two vast wooden chests with clawed feet

painted with scenes of medieval war

castles, nobility, succour


perspective and a little sign saying

Do Not Touch

He should want to climb in there

and return to the place he’s a child again

looking out at himself

with the pathos of his father

God it is some lovely tragedy play here

like a seeping

a wet log pressed hard and weeping

Is it loss? No.

It’s discovery of real feeling

Unavoidable at last released

It’s the First and the Last

The Time is This Time

Away from the automatic desire of lust

A glance through the window framed by the chests

where the gauze makes pointillist figures of two young women

who walk off

pointless and pointed


Somerset House

The name had been lodged in memory with no place attached

A somewhere you might have had to go


and when

you needed to know or prove yourself to another

Suddenly there it is and the Courtauld Institute inside it

the vast courtyard framed

All this was mine!

In my childhood as a London boy

It was all a given

names all known

places and palaces never visited

Lincolns Inn Fields

There it is! Next to Covent Garden

and I never knew

Yet it was all mine

and even if I always knew

the barriers of wealth

I believed that culture

stood above this

and was itself a key to something greater

This the curse of religiosity!

That there is an above

a saviour

a state of being aside wealth and pride

The Pride of the Table Turner!

but no

lack of curiosity

and a cleaving tight to tight to beauty

and it’s access through

a love

that plain work might destroy.



Two days before his son had top surgery

He dreamed he loved a young man

with a flat chest

laced with a vine tattoo

He told his son who smiled sweetly