the incidental ill will

of clouded reasoning

a most difficult thing

to wholly make out

forgiving explicit scorn

writing off grave words

yet tenderness demands

a flawless benevolence


how so such an event?

rosy revenge? for what?

perhaps the sweetness?

perhaps the glory quest?

the prize of grand slam?

extra points to be scored

after the game is over?

he knew not the answer

not a living soul does


the curse born of living

a pinch of make-believe

heartstrings gentle tug

none of these impressions

provoke sound reason

when spring is in the air

and the darkest recesses

of the blind one’s skull

remains dormant, lost

in yesteryears blossoming

yet found in rainy days

and red mist memories

long since studiously revoked


(picture by Karya Seni Patung Tuan Nguyen)




Come the days of retribution, the days when the remnants of shameless evil would be tracked down, hopefully eradicated, Argentina would become her home from home. As of now though, the unbearable midsummer dusty dry heat, a thing the medics had long since insisted that, with her specific condition, she should avoid, plus the foulest stench of fermenting acre upon acre upon acre of cattle dung meant she simply had to get away.

Her initial intention was to wish upon a star. In the event, she was spoilt for choice and decided to run with gut instinct and return to the tantalising decadence of Berlin. However, with the dawning of her fatherlands National Socialism epoch where blond locks and blue eyes were the safest bet, being unusual, an albino reliant upon a smokescreen mousey brown wig, darkest sunglasses and heavy make-up during daylight hours posed certain potential pitfalls of which she was aware, yet cared not.

I am blind now. My condition has worsened, reached its finality. All I can see these days are memories long since deposited within. Some fade a little, others get embellished, yet one, just the one never changes.  That night when I first laid my then functioning eyes upon her. The night she both wept and danced unmasked to the plainsong of a clumsy fiddle in a blue, blue fog loaded freaks paradise beneath Kurfürstendamm. She would later tell me her tears were nothing more than her disappointment that the only food left over for dancers was salted cashew nuts. She was allergic to those and had gone starving rotten hungry.

Inevitably, being of insanely enticing skin and bone, stark snow white all-over, amid the throng of the grotesque powdered and rouged she was to become the very symbol of the unashamed immodesty that was the Kabarett, the talk of the waning ‘Golden Age of Weimar’.  Was it the fusion of the saucy cat calls of the well-fed faces coupled with her own devilment that ensured she became notorious for dancing naked on stage? Likely it was. Also, she led an excessive style of life back then dominated by schnapps, opium and her bisexuality. How was I to know that one day soon she had it in her to become an accomplished and later, much fabled assassin within espionage echelons? Upon reflection, we must have made an absurd pairing. Me, the stereotypical reticent old school Englishman, she the wildest, whitest creature, game for anything and everything.

Oh dear, my jocular nurse now tells me, blood pressure non-existent, brain function just adequate.  A regular pulse would be a plus. Pulses should be bonded as brother and sister, yet mine are so far apart they are akin to warring siblings. What use my sanity in a sealed envelope?

Where was I? I do tend ramble with the passage of time. Whatever, I left her behind the day I climbed Everest. Her new preference, rich tea biscuits and Darjeeling, plus, inevitably, the pretty little hotel waitress she was keen on bedding in my absence.  Sadly, in her enthusiasm she had not realized that the gal was not of that particular persuasion.

Back in the day she once told me that she hated sharing a decent bottle of Chablis with anyone. How she stayed so slight is quite beyond me. Funny, the odd things one keeps in the locker.  Regardless, it was while I was trudging up to base camp, she sought the solace, then allegedly the casting couch (perhaps vice-versa, one could never tell with her) of the sauntering American we had spotted in the bar the night previous. US Secret Service chappie on a Nepalese jaunt with buddy’s by all accounts.  He must have seen in her the potential for the clandestine. The rest, for me at least, is sad history. I never saw or even spoke on the wire with her again. I will say this of her though, she was kind to the luckless, an oppressor of the wicked.  I think of her often.

This piece is a prequel to my previous post, ‘OF ASSASSINATION & GITANES’





 ‘No other capital city in the world can do grey quite like London,’ her passing thought. A thought dismissed almost as soon as it arrived. For as of now, there was the little matter of the naked Ambassador lying as prone as prone could be, upon his back atop a plainly hideously expensive Afghan rug to attend to. Clearly, her stiletto heel dug into his pudgy chest bone was causing the gratifying discomfort intended. Moreover, that he knew exactly what was coming next. Not that he needed a clue, the silencer affixed to her pistol and aimed at his forehead was, regardless, the giveaway. Was that a tear in his eye? Mattered not. She wondered how he might beg for mercy had it been the case that he had not been adeptly gagged.  How so naked? Her trademark of course, her panache, her cultivated style.

“Gosh it’s so very bitter outside. I truly thought I’d die of cold walking The Embankment on my way here. Still, your office is so lovely and warm.” Her English was perfect. She paused, took a good look at him one last time, “Heart or head…decisions, decisions?” A dull thud, a trickle of blood, a ruined carpet, job done.

Cool as a cucumber, she took the grand old Victorian lift, an original by the look of it, down to the lobby of the embassy, gave the Cheshire cat grinning boy behind the desk her sexiest smile, checked her reflection in the reinforced glass of the elegant doorway and was gone.

By nightfall, she found herself in a bath of bubbles in a swanky hotel in Deauville, occupied France. It was with an element of regret that she had had to ditch the bleached blond wig of human hair in a City of London cast iron litter bin. Albeit tarty, she had grown fond of the covert article of disguise, was rather smitten with it. Whatever, now ensconced in Women in Love, Lawrence’s masterpiece, a bottle of bubbly at her side, a small fortune in Nazi gold confirmed transferred to her Swiss bank account, all was well in her world. The prospect of the casino downstairs had some appeal for later.

One could only hazard a guess as to whether it was the grandest come-hither canyon of her cleavage or the ridiculous measure of her winnings that had the croupier in such a ruffled state. Likely both. In any event I had guessed correctly that I would find her here, she the undeniable dazzling, sultry legend no matter what side of the warring nations one was positioned. The Abwehr claimed as one of their own, the pride of the German intelligence agency, yet this gal, albeit much fabled, was in truth a freelance operator.

To a backdrop of a La Môme Piaf cabaret sound-alike singing ‘Mon coeur est au coin d’une rue’ we shared fine cognac and smoked unfiltered Gitanes in the Art Deco signature bar. She reminded me that ‘gitanes’ English translation was ‘gypsy women’.

“What’s in it for me?” A fair enough question. 

“Well, you get to live a whole lot longer and have carte blanche to work for whomsoever you wish…we’ll leave you well and truly alone…until the next time, of course!”

There was the look of doubt on her face, “No fee?”

Afraid not this time, you’ve been pushing your luck recently as the London Evening Standard has already confirmed…an Ambassador of all people! Really, what were you thinking of? Still, if it helps seal the deal, your welcome the return of this wig. You looked ever so reluctant to part with it in the City this morning.” As they say in the East End, the return of the wig was ‘the clincher’.

“You followed me?”  

“All the way.”

“So, it’s off to Coyoacán, Mexico for me then? Why on earth do you Brits want rid of this Leon chap? What interest do you have in him?” 

“I don’t recall saying I was MI5 my dear!”  




Truth Wallpaper 1920x1200

spilt words of detachment

scattered hither and yon

a barking mutt backdrop

a clutter of taxing babble

an unholy mess on the floor

a dire dilemma to live with

even the very best words

left unattended will fade

away and die in no time


passionate her lust for life

putting to shame the rhymers

earthy lust for daily bread

by night nocturnal cures

metaphors, gloves off

fist fights, black eyes

knockout punch glory


a divine thing

his corrupt destitution

he had it coming to him

she clipped his eagle wings

left him spitting feathers

helpless, set in stone

later she vacuumed up

concepts and promises

kissed his glacial lips

dusted his better day’s desk

smiled her luscious smile

replaced his missing words

with ones, better than before



beneath a narcissistic blue moon

a race empty of allusive ingenuity

yet, by dint of narrated tradition

perhaps only the wary Babylonians

could likely fathom an explanation

unravel the superfluous answer

solve the conundrum of life itself

sadly, wise Babylonia is no more

long since buried under Assyrian sands

The Book of Puzzlement with them

not so the riddle of ruthless death

too easy that ho-hum solution

we can shout from the rooftops

callously brag as never previous

for today we fabricate

most excellent bombs

better than yesterday’s

piss poor misfits

and tomorrow?

worthier explosives still

the finesse of cruel wipe-out is ours

any doubters?

ask the children of war

from their eclipsed graves

unblemished resting places

they sing their harrowing song

to those who will listen



gifting small glimmer

to soft-hued quarters

a bleary-eyed sun

has kissed goodnight

a time when reckless

silhouettes oust

unnerved shadows

and horizons are lost

to goodbye’s opaque puzzle

fireflies come out to play

kindling ponderous

fresh lover’s fragile fancy

so sweet l’heure bleue

of crepuscular invention

your world belongs

to a soothing moon

sometimes daring

sometimes sheepish

now and then shining

other times blue

captivating twilight

you are sovereign





prowler of the universe

filching heaven’s secrets

roving star of inglorious

ordained pecking order

unprincipled food chain

nourishing consciousness

and small consequences

giant leaps fore and aft

eliminating starving inmates

fattening the opulent excess

barbed benevolence unfrocked

denial for denial’s own sake

wasting what cannot be gorged


renegade the unholy magus

dissident the shielded lovers

albeit unbeknownst to these

they are all that stands twixt

limitless time and its assassin

foiling a boo hiss thorny encore




nothing exists twixt reflection

and blind bard Homer’s

doubtful dreamland

no real estate and Rolex’s

Porches, lobster thermidor

or beating hearts

just zilch


these days

he was comfortable

with just ‘zilch’


free from danger


not unlike forgetfulness

afforded small comfort

from the harsh reality

of facing simplicities stark fact

that she had so long ago departed

that he had no idea where

in the cosmos

she might be



the land of ‘zilch’ and the ‘palace’

(yes, he determined, definitely a ‘palace’)

of forgetfulness

are the stuff

of impermanent fabric


all too often

from darkest recesses

reluctantly he caves in

craves her image

feeds his addiction

a cutthroat temper, green eyes, reddest hair

upon which sat her trademark tangerine beret

cruellest thing

she left behind

the beret

as memento



matchless in and out of bed?

or had hindsight

afforded her that status?



an ever-changing canvas

painting narcotic landscapes

erroneous portraits



As ever at this time of the year, I shall escape under the radar for a short while, drink a little too much festive fine wine, scoff my delicious smelly French cheeses, read a book or two and probably count my brain cells (a bad habit, I know). Armed with just a tablet I no doubt will pop into WP every so often for a swift read.

However, I cannot take of my ‘bleak mid-winter’ leave before wishing every last one of you good souls, whatever your code or creed, the very best of good fortune.

Lastly, as some of you already know I have a passion for street cafes serving exquisite coffee (never a franchise as their cups are more like fire buckets for gluttons rather than respectable, small vessels that enhance the bean). Yes, ‘my passion’ is watching the world go by, and even in these freezing days of winter I still venture out and about. Generally, ‘people watching’ serves up ideas to write about. Earlier this week I observed in the street a hopeless, dishevelled young man attempting to chat up a sweet gal who plainly, and almost politely, had no desire for him…or indeed, to be seen with him. As she dismissed his very presence and walked away he looked bemused, hence the silly verse that follows;


All of the gals in the village

thought him the most consummate twat

finally, he got the message

went and stayed indoors with his cat


that his cat went walkabout came as no surprise

and the boys down the pub they heard tell

that not only was he now a cat-less twat

but by Christ did he chuck-up as well


plainly he’d overlooked an important thing

that when pestering sweet gals for a date

it’s best to first avail oneself of a shower

thus, one’s hygiene habits are never open to debate


moreover, he that should have been aware

that his chat up lines were generally cursed

especially so his most favoured one

‘If you were a bogey, I’d pick you first’


Have the most splendid time!





From the native girls, I sought comfort

After having sailed all the seven seas

Yet back when I first cast my eyes on Matilda

Her delicacy dropped me to my knees


Of course, that was so long ago now

The year 1925

But my time with the lovely Matilda

Was the only time I felt truly alive


I courted, wined and dined her

From Saigon to old Mandalay

On horseback across the Silk Road

Returning to Famagusta Bay


From there we headed to Paris

By Orient Express that is plain

And a garret we shared overlooking

That river of romance, The River Seine


While I took to writing and drinking

She carved out for herself a career

Singing the blues in Montmartre nightclubs

1925 oh what a year


Yet my life was one downhill slalom

Hardly fulfilling my lover’s needs

For Matilda was out singing the blues all hours

In her trademark costume of just golden beads


That is when I became somewhat jealous

Of the gentlemen friends she acquired

With me lost in my cups most times

And as a bereft writer no longer inspired


She left me of course for another

A diplomat from Washington DC

Together they crossed the Atlantic

Dearest Matilda was thus free of me


Over time the wound never healed

Although I remained a man of dubious deeds

So, I traced the path that she had travelled

And strangled her with her own golden beads


I made haste for the Tropic of Cancer

Crossed the Arabian Sea

Carved out a new life in Chittagong

But of Matilda I was never free


But hey, I’m not complaining

For the last sixty years I’ve been blessed

With a cast of much younger nubile lovers

Prepared to ‘favour’ a ripe old gentleman in a string vest!