Your Morning’s Peace


Quiet, calmed, and gently roseate

The dawn wakes with you, takes you in its hold;

And, like my own arms, keeps you tended yet

From the breaking cold.


The light, it too is felt across that fine

And sleepy skin. It slumbers just as deep,

And casts its glow upon you, to enshrine

The form you keep.


Await a while; please, dream a while before

You see my seeing you: in this brief lease

Of morning light; this chance I might adore

Your morning’s peace.


For Blair. You are one of those people, those few, blessed people, whose faces even when asleep carry such beauty and slumbering dignity that it shames the rest of us. I adore you even when you are unconscious. And you’re not so unbearable when you’re awake, either. 




Back when, in one breath, our heartbeats

Synchronised, like keeping still, refrained;

Like waiting through the worst of the rain,

Small, soulful touches meant we were soulmates.

A hand on mine, keeping it pinned

As both gesture and possession,

A memory in its place; one touch of heaven.

That is what has gone. And now, I see,

We allow each other to live the same life

In different rooms. And I will, if given

One half a chance, place that very

Same old hand of mine upon your knee

And you will look me lovingly in the eye

And say, so tenderly: “Not now, baby.”


I am glad to say that this feeling of distance i not something from which I am currently suffering. It is, however, no stranger to me. It happens by accident: by time, by insidious inaction. It happens to us all. The love needn’t go, for that touch of heaven to pass. 





How does a creature, such as I,

Come to allow for beauty in its habitat?


These dexterous aspects of me, which otherwise

Would capture prey: these spindles, these

Vertices and angles which describe me;


Which would otherwise be slaves to appetites,

Servants to my unthinking purposes;


They are only limited by definition. So, true,

They can be the architects of cruelty;

And too, the eight virtues of a faith.


I have learnt to cast spells from it. I have learnt

To trace these claws on surfaces. See now,


How even sunlight becomes encased in my

Spider’s web, preserved in amber,

Martyred in dewdrops, my own device,


And is spun gold. This is my sole design.

Nature, recast in silk, to weave religion.

A spider who drew the sun: who drew with light.


Unmaking Man


Unmade by your hands; awaiting there

Those softest hurts and menaces.

I know not what delight this is:

Not a life, and less a love affair.


Distraught in touch; you hold me close

As dreams are held, until you wake.

I know not how you can unmake

A man of me, in man’s own throes:


I felt the weight; and when you rose

Away – such sorrow no man knows.



For Jac.


It’s hard now: it’s colder, and I know it is.

You’ll sit at the quay and compare the sea and sky

And find no horizon to colour which from which,

Nor a single shade of grey to choose between them.

I wish I could join you for a while, beside the seafront.


If I could sit by that bench, it would be

Not so bad. We’d mock the seagulls. We’d throw

Armfuls of laughter at them, into the sea,

Across the expanse of the open quietness

Like leftover chips, cast wide, licked with salt.


We’d catch glances of each other, the way

A stray chance of sun dazzles off the water,

As the friendly day we wasted chased itself

Right down to the edge of the pier,

Threw itself into the sea, laughingly.


You can probably feel the emptiness sat next to you.

I get that. And I know this almost-peace

Is yours, for now. We’re only a little way

Down the waterfront, you know, idling to ourselves:

Waiting for you to leave the bench, and join us.




Wait for me in June

Promise me: be there in grateful June.

We’ll lay the grass down, pour open the sun.

We’ll share it out, and watch the winds begin


Song without note or notice, dance

Disembodied, movement in itself

Casting shadows, as leaves in summer shall.


The present heat, brought easefully to us

By the distances of clouds, to high relief:

You’ll be there soon, my love. I know you will.


We’ll share it there, and breathe its presence in.

We’ll lie on grass, poured out like open sun:

So promise you’ll be there, in grateful June.



I for one am half sick of winter, now. It’s had its time. Summer must come, soon. It just has to. 


To touch, like hot wax in the

Basin of a candle’s white-hot pool,

Is exquisite. I find childlike

Delight in toying with its

Temptation, its sticking-in

And poking at its aspects.

The tranquility of the candlelight

Saturated the room and filled

All sorts of riddles in my mind,

Eyes hungry for candlelight, my

Fingers thirsty for the prod and cool

Heat of it. Perfectly innocent I

Explore its ticklish pain burning

Pleasantly away at my prints, now

Smooth as a natural formation,

Encased in once-wet wax, as if

Eroded by time, moulded in curiosity.



We have all done this with candles. And not just the kids in the audience, either. Mums and dads, you know what I mean.