If, say… Christ returns
Bearded and in white burnoose
Will he be seized?
And sent to Guantanamo
If he looks like Bin Laden
Made confess odious crimes
He is innocent of
Or just say; “not again dad”
And magically disappear.
Mother used to have on the wall, a picture
of a dead boy in his coffin, surrounded by
flowers, candles and silence.
I often stared hard at the picture, willing
the boy to open his eyes, he never obliged
me, but came alive in my dreams.
The name of the boy’s mother was Olga she
used to visit us till mother and her fell out,
mother thought it rude to remove the picture.
Years went by, my brother died and mother
took the picture down, but it was still there,
a square less faded than the rest of the wall.
Snow fell between us, more and more,
I couldn’t see you, blizzard in my hearts;
when the weather cleared the landscape
was white with hares and fox tracks.
This mass of snow didn’t know where to
dig and I had no snow-spade. Waited till
April when snow thawed and hares had
been hunted to extinction and fox fur
adorned and gave warm comfort to old
ladies. You looked fine, just as before,
but there was a hole in your head, and
now they think I have had a hand in your
The Lone Parent
Active silence stalks my house, when it gets
too noisy I walk into the kitchen make a cup
of coffee and bang cooking pots lid together.
in the day my bedroom is light an airy softly
moving curtains let in the light and sound of
the street, come night it falls into melancholy
so deep I need a diver’s suit to go to bed.
I sit by the fireplace and it doesn’t roar, blue
flames move to a sound that is composed, for
them alone, by logs that do not even sigh
when made into ash; and there on the rug my
black cat is dead as a lost bedroom slipper.
my only daughter has gone to seek her fortune,
works in a Taco Bell and wears a uniform.
I had to haste home
But left my eyes on a stone
To enjoy, sundown
In the square’s corner
A fallen woman danced
With dust and leaves
A denuded phellem
Suffers in noble silence
Birds do not titter.
Window Facing Backyard.3
Snow had fallen into the yard, a boy
was making a snowman; no, not
a fat one, but a small and skinny one
much snow falls down a dark space
between tall buildings.
The boy, whose mother clean steps
and lives in the basement flat, gave
the snowman coal eyes, carrot nose
and personality, it also wore my old
When April came and snowmen in
nice people’s gardens had melted,
ours was still there, minus eyes and
nose; I kept sensing his presence, as
a work of art, after his final demise.
Window Facing backyard.2
From my window I can see the wall of
a factory where they used to make cigars.
On good days I can inhale the aroma of
bygone days that despite poverty were
in many ways, less judgmental than now
Eight month a year the wall is grey, but
come May when dry and lit by sunlight,
it is a map of the world. Lakes, rivers,
mountains, seas and arid regions where
an oily, black mass trickles down.
How nice it will be if someone comes
along scrapes off the old paint fills in
cracks and repainted the wall; pink this
time. I fear it’s too late, the wall will
soon fall drained by human disregards.
Widow Facing Backyard. 1
I keep plastic flowers on the window sill,
they are spray painted in vivid colours;
I take them in once week and rinse them
under the tap; this morning they had tiny
snow flakes on, looked pretty and lit up
a room that only sees sunlight in June.
My lady friend thought them vulgar, ashamed
of my bad taste I let them fall down into
the dark yard and we went out for dinner.
Silent and angry I left early, walked home
picked up the flowers, rinsed them under
the tap and put them back on sill.
Child of War.
I was four when bombs fell and exploded with a cool bang, burning houses free heat on a January night.
When the enemy soldiers came, big men laughing intoxicated
by victory, so different from those pale man at the factory
and, yes I became enthralled and without looking back
joined the invaders as a mascot; blue eyes and blond hair and
teeth as white as Italian marble. Yes, the warriors loved me
the child of war; an army tailor sewed me a golden uniform.
I was there riding, alongside the commandant, saluting
the troops who indulgently smiled. What they did not know
any talk of sedition from them I reported to my leader, but in
the end they knew and they feared me greatly…War is in my blood, and I’m not even British, peace didn’t bode me well it
made me tired I slept for forty five years and luckily for me
the Iraqi war came along, in itself nothing much, but it is
the ember that will set the world afire and once more we will
have world war. Sweet blood and heavenly light let me be consumed by your fire, let me see the earth burn and let me
once more sit on a steed and lead men of iron into oblivion
On the highway stretching forever, beset by
dumped cars and weed that cracks up asphalt,
a gypsy family with their tough little horses
meanders slowly through a road that is a sad
testament to a civilization that lost its way.
War of resources, everyone lost, has ruined
the economy and social cohesion, the people
lack the will to start again after the fat years.
Begging, theft and robbery are the norm, and
as usual the itinerants are blamed by people
who still cling to their bankrupt dwellings.
For travelers this means nothing, they were
poor before, and feel no triumph. Nomads in
the landscape of shimmering time.
A Portuguese Spring
Once again the almond petals snow their
silky abundance on the pebbled road in
the village, and the Nordic princess who
lives in a castle near a lake that houses
an old pike that has been here so long it
can tell tales of times, before the princess
came and made winters mild; when
the lake froze over and folks wore wooly
snakes as scarves around scrawny necks,
against the bitter child- dries her tears and
smiles again and remembers a childhood
up north were the snow was so pure that
god’s footsteps were seen by the devoted,
for the rest the silence hummed a lullaby
Filtered through green leaves
Made old moss golden
Chase the rainbow
Not for its illusory gold
But its beauty
The carob tree’s shade,
Soft as a dusky mistress
A tropical night