Archive for the ‘poem’ Category

Celebrity Messiah

January 28, 2017



I watch you scream down from the pulpit
An anonymous speck in a vast congregation
You shake your fists at the sky
As the sun bursts from a cluster of clouds
Madmen shriek back at you
One who believes he is the Messiah
God’s sole representative on Earth

Never doubt my knowledge, you say
Never doubt my wisdom
Your tune is irresistible
You are rendered powerful
By the chanting crowd before you
They see God glimmering in your eyes
They hear Armageddon in your voice

They are intoxicated by you
They are bewitched and beguiled
As you depict blood and suffering
In glorious and beautiful detail
You describe every imaginable daemon
They stand, cheer and beg for more
They are God’s newly recruited army

They surround and sustain you
Some see you as a saviour
Others as a screaming psychopath
To your enemies you scream
‘Rot in hell’ as your invoke
The acrid odour of long dead heretics
And burning witches

You are captured in a camera flash
And all over the world people
Who will never meet you
Watch your flickering image
On their television screens
Few can look upon you
Without something dying inside

Members of your congregation
Reach deep into their pockets
Purchasing immortality. I hear
The clattering of coins
As they fall into your collection basket
And iI imagine a huger and greedy grin
Forming in your mind

I knew you when you were
A street corner Messiah
Amidst the neon lights and skyscrapers
Of a vast and lonely city
How high you have climbed. How tall
You stand. But I know
That someday even you will fall

The Insipidity of Watercolours

October 13, 2010

I am troubled  by the sterility
Surrounding me in contrast
To the refined skies
Of your insipid watercolours
Dissonant and always perilous

Filled with colours that soften, that liquify
With a succession of vows I stride forth
In your world there is no being
Superior to the daisies
Or the spirit of sheep

Your sheep are omniscient, I sometimes think
Along with your hemlock and your heather
Peeping from cotton wool bodies
White as the sky
They conspire in dimwit disguises

Tasteless and colourless
No one hears them coming
Implacable as marble
Lucid and secluded
I carve patterns in their terrain


October 12, 2010

The storm forces
its way onto the horizon
The elements are integrated.
We have been segregated
Shades forever changing
According to the shape of my history
And every doctor who treats me
Tasks himself with unravelling my mystery
And so I greet them with my eyes wide,
my mouth agape and disbelief and fear
Arise beyond imagining.
Eyes squeezed shut
as the storm passes over me
We wait.

Watching as the dark wrestles with the light
and the shrinks perform their magic,
as they force the sun to snatch the night away
Everything becomes bearable. Eventually.

Blood Red Years

September 29, 2010

Blood Red Years

The blood red years
Contained losses many time larger than me
I backtrack as a balloon floats into the sky
And pops against the surface of the sun
And believe please only this

That angel’s wings sprouted from my shoulders
For that is what they are for. Isn’t it?
Isn’t it? I lie alone like a stone in the middle of the road
I shake the hand of life. You liar, you thief!
As grey as my eyes, as grey as the sky.

A bird’s eye view for those of you who die before dawn
Embracing cardiac arrests. Will you find me alive in the morning?
A promised land is snatched away. Illusory?
Oh, yes, most certainly. It is. It always was.
And it always will be.

Devil Dogs and Phantoms

September 28, 2010

Devil dogs wail at the crescent moon
A fragment of some long cherished island
Projects itself out of the sky, into the garden pond
A slice of lemon on its tremulous surface
And, to our dismay, it still remains unreachable

These are the games we play after dark
We are phantoms who have not made it to heaven yet
Instead we dance gracefully over our terrain of regret
We hold hands, we leap across the land
And, just for a moment, we are free

Invisible mostly, but every now and then
We flicker into sight. The living call us ‘ghosts’
And assault us with priests and holy water
From which we flinch because it burns
We retreat, preparing for a counter-attack

Amidst the Debris

September 28, 2010

In the cellar of some bombed out building, we wait
Detached only half willingly from the wider world
Amidst a snowstorm of desiccated icing where once
There was an underground eatery. We sit passively
Waiting for rescue. Still and silent as fossils
On proud display in an abandoned museum
And the fixed grin and the suppressed hysteria
Of the Air Raid Warden silences me, eradicates me
We are entombed, it would seem, and these stone walls
Unyielding. The end is approaching, we know that now

We have grown accustomed to the dark
And the one we call Mother Midnight sings us to sleep
She touches us, she caresses us, she clasps our hands
She is leading us to another land, to a place devoid
Of land mines, of bombs, of air raid shelters
There is something wondrous about this woman
She shimmers in the blackness. ‘No one will come now’
She says and wrenches our spirits from our earthly bodies
And leads us through the crevices in the stone
Up through the coal-choked air and up into a clear sky

Not Dead Yet

September 25, 2010


You are not dead, I tell myself
You have merely gone into hibernation
Your likeness is embedded in my core
At the centre of the hurricane
What consolation can be derived
From your dull and frigid overflow?
That will never again reach the sea
Who but you will swim through this desolate space?
You are the forbidding orb that overhangs
The marsh of my heart. An oracular symbol
Just out of view; looking down with disdain
Bleak in concept you hunt me like a hawk

The grass blows frenziedly
And, like me, it bemoans its destiny
Its feeble lack of rigidity as cruelly,
Mercilessly, the night snatches at it
What is it you want from me, I ask
For I feel that I have given you everything I had
You imprison me within your territory
Of ivory castles and bones of ebony
The atmosphere descends, oppressing me
A night as dark as a whore’s knee high boots
On which silver buttons shine.
The horizon is forever beyond my reach


September 23, 2010

Time Defied

One year out of every ten
The smiling moon eyes me

As I embark on a odyssey
Fleeing from the relics the centuries vomit

From the ashes of the ancients
That litter the shore

I cut my feet on the pebble beach
As I run towards the sea

I sail away with the ships in the harbour
Catching the tide as it comes in

At one with the waves; without substance
Disintegrating and dissolving

Time Triumphing

Last year’s beauty
This year’s sackcloth wearing whore

Some great sow smashing coffee cups
Flashing a rotten-toothed grin

Watched by a hunched black cat
A contemplative carnivore

Devoid of colour
Time – creeping and corrosive

Renders me waxen, wrinkled
Salt water washing over stone.

Turbulence Ahead

September 19, 2010

A Dancer in the Fire


A civil war erupts within
I am being torn in two
I am on the other side of the door,
In a long and dark corridor

On the wrong side of the Berlin Wall
Armies march inside of me
Soldiers I cannot see
One side adopts a scorched earth policy

Slowly destroying my body
Not with bombs but with razor blades
They are leaving their mark
Elaborate patterns on the flesh

This is when they occupy me
I have simply ceased to be
I am no longer a country
I am occupied territory.

Suffused by Silence

September 16, 2010

Sipping Red Wine

Sipping red wine
Suffused by silence
Her serenity belies
An imperfect Sunday
She wanders through
Her babies rooms
How did they die
So quickly. She sees
Dead dolls with eyes
Of lavender, protruding
From their sockets
All lined up with
Disembowelled teddy bears
Her offspring are not in Paradise
‘Heaven is for fools,’ she cries


Remnants of the past remain
In the stillness of this country. A once pleasant
Landscape. Hardly any spark of life here
We march through the leaves of Autumn
That choke up the hills, that smother the streets

In my mind this desolation
Is personified. The body of an old dictator
Hanging from a lamppost and big, black dogs
Dripping saliva through gnashing teeth
As they snarl, you back away

‘Never show your fear,’ I cry
I am one step away from becoming
A card-carrying member of the human race
I crouch down, leap upwards and then I fly
I savour the emptiness of that black sky

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