The Bogle

Into the gloam, the cracked path descending,

You weave your way through the glen and the flood.

You crush the wild garlic, then bending,

Find claw-tipped prints, pressed into the mud.

 

A stickled oak slumps its sodden carcass,

Across the sphagnum in its beaded bed.

Slouching and yawning into the darkness,

Red ruins at the trickle burns head.

 

I am the something that swallows the day.

A taste of iron. On the tongue, a rough stone.

I leap and tear all possibilities.

Puncturing your future, I follow you home.

Miss Blair

“Everyone who cannot answer

Line up in front to get the belt”.

Miss Blair, with all her years behind her

Is comprehensive in her need to help,

With chalk and tawse and tongue and skelp.

A Message From The Queen

For a moment, the thrashing dance is still.

We find you reflected on every plate

And lens of our composite eyes. We wait

For your vibration , your shivering will.

 

Lifting up is such ecstasy, leaving

The grubs and the grinding days behind.

Sweet sons and daughters goodbye, we will think

Of your tiny bodies, pulsing, feeding

 

And not be sad. We leap into the sky

Above the hard earth, the windy spaces.

Turning, twisting in a line of chases,

Maddened by the call, the need to fly

 

And be with you. To find ourselves worming

Into the churning frenzy, the deafening hum

Wings and legs entwined, moving into one

Crawling, screaming, swarming, swarming, swarming…

Stonehenge Summer Solstice, 2012

Glastonbury festival gap year teens

Flash smiles to rival the arc lights,

Angle-poised, together around

A brazier, 10 deep in seekers of oblivion.

Warm air weaves and ducks between the

Bodies; touching the faces of the late-comers

Like a benediction.

 

Bongo cross beats collide across the

Sarcens. Electricity sleeps in a thousand

Mobile phones . Here in the centre

Of the circle the cacophony goes shooting

Up the vein of history throbbing just above;

Where the solstice has tied it off and

Exposed a habit that’s hard to break.

The Map Of Truth

Today is the day, my son, when I lay out the map of truth.

Here, run your hands across its contours, push and probe into the dips.

Happenstance, happy accidents and bad choices

Formed around the moments, turning sour or sweet upon the lips.

I lived each fucking one and now, my boy, I pass these on to you.

Look here, observe the moment when I screamed

Silently, my forehead pressed against the door.

Then emerged and smiled and lied my way to close of business,

And never let the fuckers see me cry or on the floor.

And went home to my wife whose will held mine and from whom bubbled up

An endless well of love and funny grace.

Whose boundaries touched the limits of my universe,

And drew a line upon the map to match the lines upon her face.

The Brodgar Boy

“Archaeologists found this tiny clay figurine while working on a spectacular Neolithic settlement complex between two stone circles on the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney. While archaeologists have speculated that the Orkney Venus may have served a ritual purpose, representing a goddess or ancestor, Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), who is directing excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, suggested that this latest find might represent something more personal – perhaps a casual piece of art, or even a lost toy.”

The Orkney News

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After your sharp, regular ribs,

The soft curve of your breast was a puzzled surprise.

I smelled the spent cattle on your skin and your hips,

Pressed against mine in the silence.

 

Then, during winter, you made me a boy,

There on the straw of the killing room floor.

Who was small and as quiet as the little stone toy,

I dropped in the mud by the door.