Monday, 29 February 2016



According to the laws of the average,
if you've never eaten a fishfinger sandwich,
you and me won't ever be married.

I don't know whether that's to each other
or generally, but maybe it doesn't include dreams,
or the giving of daisy chain rings when we were three.

The ones that only had five flowers
because one of us had to be home in an hour
(and really we were seven, but that sounds like heaven

and you've never believed in that, even after
that time the nanny goat ate your Grandda's hat
because you wished and wished and wished it.)

because their Da was doing the nightshift
and his sandwiches had to be packed (not fishfingers.
That'd just be rank and strange because my Da's dead.

And let's be honest, who'd have wanted to marry that?
The way his mouth had of exploding along with his fists,
and not even just those times when he was proper pissed.)

So five was the number we murdered and mashed together.
And the daft strand wouldn't stretch to a neck, just a finger.
Then one of us laughed and said, 'now we're wed, aren't we?

So I guess it doesn't matter about a fishfinger sandwich.
Nor this ketchup I got especially, (the one with a bit of chilli)
because years and years ago, we had that Fishy Green ceremony.

So this weird extra day, it's harmless really, so let’s relax.
There'll be no questions that no-one really wants to answer.

No uncomfortable silences as a frying pan catches fire.
Not a single fishfinger massacred. Not for a happily ever after.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Going Away

Going Away.

I want to say something clever.
Pretend it's the snow that wakes me,
or a train. The sound of them, anyway.

That I know by the way the flakes
are singing, (even though they're dying)
or by the way the train's singing, (even though
it's leaving) that everything's going to be okay.

But it's none of that. The snow,
it falls because that's what it does.
And this me that sees it, that watches
it appear and disappear between the
slats and dust on the Venetian blinds,
that's just what I do, too. I watch.

And the train, well that doesn’t even happen.
It's just something clever to imagine, something
trying to pretend it’s profound.

But that was his favourite sound in

this whole, always in motion, world.

A train in the middle distance,
gathering speed and decisions.
Deciding and doing its going away.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Watch Your Language

Watch Your Language.

We put it in a jar, pad it out with moss
and love. And we water it - offer sun in winter,
give it moonbeams for its shadows. If it cries,
you sing to it of frogspawn and forgotten ponds.
The ones that cradle swifts when all the visitors
have flown off, when all the locals sleep.

Then you put on your blindness, and I drown.
In the sunken places of our secret town, the silence
wakes itself, stretches. I imagine myself a fox
with its mouth sewn shut. You rejoin the Tiptoe Tribe.
Exile me with our jar to live beyond the wildernesses;
to live among our far-gone memories of love.

The sky becomes a closed-eye-skipper.
A lighthouse with its bulb smashed. A tide
that's given up on turning, again and again.

These are the plot-points of departures.
The studying of pauses, the studying of stops.
A microscope of urgency pinned to a Petri dish.
Just a waiting and a spreading. On and on.

Science in the cultures of separation;
the language of longing you root me to -

these ever growing germs.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The appointment

The Appointment.

A man with beetle feelers growing from his fingers
tips his hat to the Mini Cooper wearing a lass inside
the skin of a seventy-eight year old woman.

Outside, clouds of heart monitors gallop from treetop
to chimney stack then back to toppled gravestones
in a churchyard full of snowdrops and drilled bones.

This is how a Friday morning wears itself sometimes;
a prescription of quirky unpeeling the ugly to the strains
of life snogging death behind reality's overturned bins.

Down a stethoscope descends, deep-seaing the depths of a desk
as slow, familiar footsteps realign with stardust. Realign with life.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Until A Phoenix Is Born

Until a Phoenix is born

Your grandma keeps a jamjar full of feathers on the mantelpiece next to your uncle's ashes and a broken cuckoo clock.

One day when we're five and most of the dead people are still alive, we'll have this brilliant idea of tipping them out and sticking them to the lid of the urn so your uncle will be able to fly again.

And one day when we're twelve, your tongue will get stuck in the mouth of some lass that's allergic to nuts and my heart will explode and disintegrate like candy floss in a plastic bag at the coast.

And it's not the heat inside that does it, or the cooling afterwards, it's just the way everything stretches sometimes when it shouldn't. Like this me and this you, exploring the world propped on dinted cans of empty baked beans strung together with string and this theory of birds always able to fly again.

And one day when your grandma's gone as well, umbrellas will stick out of our eye-sockets to catch the buckets and buckets of sadness we're leaking because someone forgot to tighten the taps of life back to stopping, back to unflapping moments from mantelpieces full of cards of condolences.

Back to feathers and ashes and hope.  Back to this imaginary trinity of everything being fixable: five year old fingers, a stolen roll of sellotape.  Stretching time into stopping until a phoenix is born.

Monday, 8 February 2016

'4 Signs Your Partner Is Madly In Love With You'

'4 Signs Your Partner Is Madly In Love With You'

- They bring you the biggest halves of dead worms, still swaddled inside stardust and clarty puddles.

- When you howl at the moon, they join in too.

- The straightjacket in their attic still has your bite marks on it.

- When someone asks where you're coming from, they'll say wherever Emily Bronte's gone.