the lady on the bus

fragile and foetal
death picks up the chaos
she cannot collect

her eyes hide
in the slow smoke

her hair lies between
rules and regret

a brown umbrella
decorates her day

a white hat
holds the echoes
in her speech

her son died today
in dank ditches
where spoons suffocate

eyes like a soldier
a voice so tender
it narrates the
fingers of smoke




Riding on lightning

For a long while I have been riding a motorbike without a license. Shocking, huh? Not to me. I failed that simple test so many times part of me said screw the system and I flung myself onto that iron horse and rode for a good few months. I went everywhere while secretly knowing I wasn’t wearing the badge that said I knew what I was doing. Time went by and there were a few bumps in the road. The short story is I landed up in an accident and now I decided, my pony lies in the garage until I’m official.

One problem. I still have the keys. (Once a week or so I sneak a little ride in when no one is really paying attention.) Today when I hurtled out the front door this morning, I had to restrain my hand reaching for the keys. This made me stop and think, perhaps I’m the urban version of a recovering alcoholic. The bike sits there, collecting dust. It sits there collecting dust…that’s it. No rider to nurture it in the howling wind, or the regular glug of fuel into its petrol tank. Only the empty garage to hold it, and the lonely key swinging from its lanyard in the kitchen.

You might say to me, “Well, it is just a machine, you don’t need to get bleary-eyed over the whole saga”. Sad, yes perhaps…but fascinating. I can now imagine a middle aged drink walking the same arduous route to work. Gazing at the gleam, and haunting glisten of new bottles, standing out like polished soldiers. I know what it’s like to pause in front of the shop (much like I did), and carry on walking. It’s difficult and slow.

I’ve had a drinking problem in the past. Many people do, but this time it feels different. There’s just me, the bike, and the ominous garage. That’s it.



the one he buried

there was a small soul
who buried a hole
right underneath his
own carpet today

he thought that if he
could take enough
hysteria and squash it
into his jamjar with a
few simple fingers
people would come to watch

some healer had said
that putting your problems
in a jar overnight would
help you sink into the
swaddling momentum of peace

this morning he sat on his
bed and watched
the blister events
whirl wrapple quiver and
cry behind the tears of
peanut butter

watching it made him
late for work when a small
trickle of pathos rippled
down into the ground and
just above the lid

a few flies began
to sit there and watch
him hatch more
stone solid emotions

he cut his nails though
his grandmother
said a clean griever was
a righteous believer in
the book

she absorbed at night
today he only had a jar
to use and process the
heavy twinges for now.

that was ample enough
for his stamp of serenity
other folks grilled their
voices in waves of coffee
and headlines which
then made them scatter off
to imminent events

he finished his toast
wiped his hands
scrubbed his mouth
and got up feeling lighter

he pulled out the virile
tongue of his shoes and
tied the arms of laces
together to keep his
feet inside of the
brown arms that collected
at a heavy knot and

looked like a noose



the can-man (revised)

Harry was a can man
‘the best in town’
built bridges on tears
that fell
down to the

Harry had a must
bent and bothered
The rest of us
He drew with him a fair
but he could not hear the

Harry was a grand spick-an-span
man. He saw no evil
or heavy regret that
rusted in our throats.
He made the world find a laugh,
because he could not hear the music.

Harry was today’s fan, he babbled
away that he had a plan, to solve the
waste the draped the day.
That only happened in hairy tales
it told toddlers playtime was up,
a toy was about to break.

Harry lost the fans, the can
and his plan. They all fell away
like folding cards, buckled behind
bigger fears.

He cried in his stone-cloned room,
he lost the nerve to pick up
his drooping head.
Harry could whisper, a small
‘if only’ that fell onto his drawing
of the best can man in town. a
Giant who spoke resounding thoughts
(and most probably)
could hear the music.