Your Human Rights

You have the right to be wrong
the right to imagine
to love
to think
to feel
to be disappointed
the right to whisper
to say nothing
to shout, brood, pout
You have the right to be disliked
the right to be ignored
to be sad, stupid and shocked
the right to try, sigh and cry
the right to have many more rights
You have the right to experience
and the right to know
there are consequences for exercising your rights

The Magician and the Wind

The magician turned her back to the sea
and spoke to the wind:

Come join us in our unity,
take your place at the table,
you belong among us.
Together we grow stronger than our surroundings,
we rise above the ground that supports us

Feel yourself hugged by a multitude of villagers
eye’d with affection from every squinting window.
Come inside your birthright
and sign the book of your life
written in invisible ink.

Let us understand you better
than you understand yourself.

Let us guide you past the temptations
that fester under your skin.

Let us make you whole.

Our health, your health
Your health, our health.
Unity in unity.
Lose yourself in magic.

Speak wind, Speak our language.

The Wind spoke:

You touch me,
in every orifice.
Your smell invites me into your cave
I see your shadows
beyond the fire where I was forged,
your reflections on my mind.

Have I the right to resist,
the power to deny,
The authority to cry no

I shall not be bent into shape like a plashed hedge”
whispered the Wind
This breath is not for turning.

You can keep your unity,
I’ll be no village clone,
I am grown to live alone.
I belong to a grander table,
Better fed,
Vulnerable as the weather,
Fragile as glass.
I am in elementary particle, call me Neutrino
I am so small I pass through your imaginations
Unimpeded and undetected.

Surely you see my city,

May you understand yourself
So poorly
That you sink slowly
From your throne.

I am the Authority
authorised to sing
louder than your choir

That’s what you mean to me.

And the Wind blew the Magician into her sea
where she went in search of a victim
weaker than
an Individual Gust.


Do not go naked into the flames of Hell

Stay at home with ice cream on your tongue.

In the heat of the moment when Ire screams at you


wipe that face off the devil

and smatter her to smithereens.

Remember Madiba,

the man on Devil’s Island

He lives on

Why was Job attacked by pestilence when he was so guiltless?

He’s not to be overlooked.

Stay your hand at home.

It is written

The viper is born to strike

– no malevolence there.

Like the pussy cat that catches the robin

and plays it on

till it dies with feathers flying,

The book proclaims

your pet deserves no blame by you,


an enemy deserves freedom from blame.

Eat vanilla, honeycomb, chocolate chip

Consume your stracciatella,

let it cool your fiery throat

Down Down Down …

until the storm is done.

Do not go naked through that bloody trap-door,

there’s a whisper in your ear wishing you well,

a road from Hell.

Here’s why

The black hole was sent

to gift you practice,

patience of Hibiscus

that sucks up the storm

for the sake of the flower

that blooms in the marinade

of imaginary life.


This is a second draft. (The first draft was published here yesterday, unedited.) It still deserves to be buried for incalculable time.

Someone else might like to see this first.

The Dog And I

There are women in the house

A feast of them in the kitchen



Well-dressed women

in high heels.

Seven bottles of white wine ready, chilling,

a choice of Gins, ice, quinine,

feminine time

in the back of the house.aa

The front room is for exiles.

Louis sleeps,

Paul composes

It’s too soon to know whether there’ll be leftovers

to go with le vin du Val de Loire.

That’s a masculine tipple

the dog won’t taste.

There’s Netflix for company,

that’s androgynous,


for us.

Us men don’t complain.

A house divided is a house subsided,

the women retired to storylines,

men to their separate ways.

After all, what does an English Setter desire from his master who sits enthroned on a sofa

This dog begrudges nothing,

even monkfish tails roasted in Parma ham,

even goats’ cheese coated in pomegranate and cashew nuts,

even balls of something alongside beetroot and blackberries.

They can get sloshed on Vermentino

for all a couple of testosterone junkies care.

May they scoff La Brie et Le Bleu




And when the women find tartes


may they feel stuffed.

The jaw that rests on the carpet

is turned away from the piano

the girl of the house used to play

before her lessons.

She’s out tonight

drinking Capri Sun.

That’s one less woman at the table,

one less mouth for scoops of honeycomb ice cream from SuperValu or Liam Ryan or What-You-Ma-Call-Em.

This dog begrudges nothing,

unlike the women who vie for second helpings.

He pays no attention to the hunger of women,

unless they run out of wine,

start telling dirty jokes

or leave early.

Brutus of Troy Was Here

There was nothing cold about it.

The vitality in its veins

moved in time

with my blood pressure.

It was always so.

There was fire within its walls

from the start,

since the first sod was turned.

It flows all night.

There were ashes glowing

as I flew in and slipped back to nest

inside the city

where strangers become mates.

It will be told.

There’s a world washed by fresh water

flooded by émigrés from Earth.

O River Thames,


you’ve nourished us all.

I left my soul behind

I went abroad in Moanbaun woods last nightThe air was crispy sharp and stars alight
Out of the shadow of an old oak tree
stumbled a tall figure following me.
‘ You’ve left your soul behind your back’ she groaned
‘That weight you bore from birth and never owned
it cost a fierce fortune to germinate
and raise from seed divine now rests in state.’ Underground, earthworms slept on roots below
surface, undisturbed by an angel’s flow.
My body freed from care in time for life
Immortal pest intestate cast without a strife. So all I crave and relish on this crust
is Liberty that rises from the dust.