Onyx Mirror



For A Selfie-Taker. 



Never the form, at first: the physicality

Pressed against itself, the tendons tense

From glorious exposure; but the lips.

That is the first reflection to be felt.

Not a smile, snarl, or smirk is seen thereon,

No sneer or kindness: but perhaps, a secret

Pursed upon decision, playful silence,

And his reticence. Hidden like this,

Unspoken name, or the first word he breathed –

Those lips know something some would die to guess.

So through this lens of a distant, subtle screen,

In a handheld onyx mirror, an impossible kiss:

Feign to kiss this mirror, for me – please.






Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and guitar



ARIEL to Miranda: Take

This slave of music for the sake

Of him who is the slave of thee;

And teach it all the harmony

In which thou canst and only thou

Make the delighted spirit glow

Till joy denies itself again

And too intense is turn’d to pain.


When first we touched, you smelt of smoke,

Of one-night bars and ice.

Your perfect hollowness, as though

It echoes even mine.

That gentle protest as I stroke

Your neck; and when you bite

My fingertips and moan: I know.

Our hips and waists align.

These wires, I could strangle you,

So artful, leaning in,

I pace my breath. You’ll hurt me, too.

Hold tight, as we begin.



I called my new guitar Sapphire for a number of reasons: knowing full well that it could be the name of a good time girl somewhere in Florida. 





death's head moth.jpg


In return for my eternal wait,

You would feed me honey; and lovingly, nightshade,

Grow my comforts; keep me safe, and warm,

And place my chrysalis as the final song

Of your last victim. A flutter in the throat.


When at last, they look back on us both,

And all that we achieved, where will it tingle?

Which piece will I miss the most, once it’s removed?

Will you offer a kiss goodbye? Before

I emerge: a flutter in the heart, imago.




Inspired by Silence of the Lambs. Dedicated to Blair. 

A Crow Named Heart



A friend and follower sent me the attached artwork, his own creation, and challenged me to write a poem. When asked whether there was a particular structure he had in mind, he suggested a limerick. That was not, however, going to be the end of the story for me. 



There once was a crow, named Heart,

Who was trapped in a painting of art.

He attempted to flee,

But was only 2D,

Which is hardly a promising start.


Black Heart lived in twilight so blue,

From which there could be no adieu.

And he cried, and he flapped,

And he cried, and he cried,

And there was only twilight.


He pecked, gouged streams

Of black ink from himself, night-black,

Trailing like the branches of withered trees,

Tendrils, veins, capillaries:

And he cried and he cried,

And he flapped and he cried,

Adieu, adieu, adieu.

The Merman, the Vampire and the Boy

Mont St Michel


I was asked by a friend and follower to write a particular poem, a sonnet of two creatures who love the same boy but cannot find happiness. It was great fun to write, particularly adopting marine themes to describe the vampire’s anguish and vampiric devices for the merman’s.

The image is of Mont-Saint-Michel, a place which I return to in dreams: gothic and maritime.



Shipwrecked: destitute upon the strand,

Proud merman, drowning in a night of cares,

Watches the boy who only loves on land.

The vampire, shrouded in a sea of fears,


Meanwhile drinks deep a ruby glass of rue,

That cruelest wine: for, haunted in his tower,

He tastes the hunger for that same lad, too.

But the boy delights in every daylight hour,


A bright child of the sun: no deathlike shroud

Should hide his honeyed skin and petal smile.

No grave-like water holds his body, drowned.

So from the tower, and from the ocean’s hold


The pale duke cries salt tears, all the while;

The sea king wails a savage stream of blood.








A violet flower, in its palest

Phase, as its most ghostly white.

Imprisoned in her own rose palace,

Deathlike, and inviolate.



For Charlotte. 



The Twins Turn 25


James and Edward young pic.jpg

For Edward. My brother and I turn 25 today. 



I held the glass, looked heavenward,

And toasted to the sun.


We are no longer young, you said.

We are no longer young.


Your lips are paused before the glass,

Smiling as you say


That we shall die this way. Three cheers,

That we shall die this way.