Yer man David Attenborough


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Not everyone strives to change the world
and leave it fit for children

You found this on your travels abroad
and when you looked around.

Not everyone cares enough to cry
when others squirm from hunger

You found this as you walked the streets
with ice-cream in your hand.

Not everyone cares we lost the dodo
and barbary lions are gone

You found this as you missed the cod
and oysters in the wild

Not everyone cares the sun will shrink
and Earth will die from heat

You found this as you picked plastic
and chucked it in the bin.

Not everyone fails to give a damn
and walks the other way

You met him on the television
thank goodness for that man.




A whisper:

“Shall I give her a name,

or leave her alone

with the name her parents wrote?”


To me, she is The Robbin,

a paintbrush for travellers,

a studio on two vastless legs

of berry-blood & mineral shavings


that stand inland

from the coast of north California,

most days,

these days.


This is a still life.

An abstract painting

that deserves more details



Let me put a cat

– I call her The Molly Cat –

in the bottom left-hand corner,

next to The Book of Rilke,



the way Vermeer

placed his Geographer’s Globe

by latticed glass.


Today, I’m shoving a glistening damp canvas

out of the way

into the background

to show my subject’s still alive.


There’s more to this work of art.

This unfinished symphony

This half-arsed hommage

To My Robbin …


Note: The photo was taken by California painter and studio artist. Robbin T. Milne Dancing Denizens: In Search of Enki, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 60″x82″

The choice

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“Take your choice.

We’ll strip you,

no matter what you choose.

Are you to be dragged through nettles for a thousand miles,

or to be pressed into gorse for a thousand hours?

Alternatively, you can confess your sins, now.”

The pilgrim smiled,

scratched his beard,

and smiled.

I confess that

I have sinned, uproariously,

I have basked in the glory of indecision,

I have procrastinated with aplomb.

I confess that,

in the face of pain,

in the armpit of shame,

in floods of indecency,

I have not made up my mind

about how to suffer.

Do with me as thou will’st.”

The Resurrection is coming: Easter 2019


“It is time for the Resurrection,
Hibernation is not eternity”

Even a human being is entitled to wake up

without chocolate and haiku.

introduces confidence
after Calvary

To rise from the dead at night,

well before dawn illuminates

bare tiptoeing feet of half-believers,

thrills me.


I am come from the other place,

where everything tastes

like raw, un-salinated olives.


I am come to be

in the presence of my redeeming






I am company for an escaping spirit.


I am come for the fun,

a party to celebrate the Resurrection of the Word.

A sapling

A sapling stood,
blowing in the storm,
while a poet,
buffeted by a thunder of questions,
cut fingertips in crevices
edging along solid stone.

What’s your poetry like?
What do you write about?
What do your poems mean?
Are you published?

The composer stumbled
from stage to topsoil,
sand, silt, and clay,
strewn on limestone.

I am a translator.


You ask me
What’s your sapling like?
How does it stand in storm and flood?
What does your frail growth eat for breakfast?
How taste’s your sap?

–  in a few words we’ll understand.

“And what’s more,
tell us the story of your conception:
What magic pollinated and fertilised you?
Who gave you seeds to throw,
and drew you towards the sun?
Where have you bloomed?
What has attracted you
to such a timely death?

– in words from which we can grow rich.

O Sleep you black hole

O Sleep, my lovely boy, that sucks all fragments
from stellar gas, and swallows time from where
the galaxy resounds, and thereby draws the stuff
of dreams in bondage deep to sweet mem’ry;
If Universe awards your constant love
of generating eyes that move beyond
the Pale of slumb’ring lids, I shall
open the stars you win as prize by night.
She watches all that moves in hearts sublime
and even chews the devil’s grandest scheme.
No matter how flat she lies waiting here,
she may abstain from tales of light, and song.
Her orbit, though retreating, will awake
your smile, and transport you for goodness sake.


With thanks to William Shakespeare, Sonnet 126

Tiger, Tiger burning bright

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Tiger was in his Hell,

he crawled into his Purgatory,

cried in silence,

like a bleeding lion

speared by an unrelenting hunter,

couldn’t walk to his Calvary


Tiger fell from his Garden of Eden

into Job’s pestilence,

out of the Mouth of the Whale,

and the tomb stone,

Tiger put on the mantle of Lazarus.

He faced his Peter at the Gates of Augusta

with firm forehead, trusty swing, and magic

conjured from the old days before his Flood.

Was it a plenary indulgence

lifted Tiger into his Heaven

in four days?

The black man from the innards of a dark wood

strode out on the Last Day of the Masters,