Ding-a-ling…ding-a-ling…knock, knock

“Oh I wonder who that is at the door? Best I go see.”

“Hello my name is Alan Keys I’m here for my 10 o’clock hypnosis session.”

“Alan Keys…ah yes I remember now. You’re the poor chap who has lost all his confidence. Don’t worry about a thing I’ll have you as right as rain in no time.”

“I do hope so…I really do as my life is falling apart. The missus left me because she thought me an abject bore with the sex drive of a house brick; I haven’t got any mates, in fact if I ever do venture down the pub the place empties in seconds and even the bus driver yawns in my face and The Samaritans who I do a little voluntary work for have given me the sack as all my callers end up topping themselves.”

“How sad that is Alan. Tell you what why don’t you go sit in my special comfy chair over there while I go and put on some swoony music to help you relax and feel better about yourself…let’s see…I know a bit of Leonard Cohen should do the trick. Oh by the way my husband might be popping in and out for tools as he is putting a flat pack desk together for me, but don’t worry for once you are in a trance your altered state of being will just pick on the words you hear so the presence of others in the room shouldn’t have any impact on our session.”

“OK I’m ready I think.”

“Now for a bit of hypnotic induction then. I’m going to put my middle finger up..”


“Stay calm Alan nothing to worry about. Again then, I’m going to put my middle finger up and I want you to stare at it to start with. Good I see you’re catching on. Now let your eyelids relax and close gently while I count backward from 100 and by the time I get to 90 you will be in a trance and open to suggestion…100…99…98…97…95…94…there Alan you are totally calm. I want you to think of a time when you were not an abject bore; a time when you felt you could take on the world and focus only on that…nothing else. What do you see in your mind Alan?”

“Nothing, nothing at all…a blank canvas.”

“No worries Alan, a blank canvas is an ideal state for I can shape a new a confident persona for you have no fear.”


“Shush Nigel…do try to be quiet as I have a client in trance.”

“Fucking allen keys, fucking, fucking useless allen keys…bloody waste of space, totally crap allen keys. Never in all my born days have I come across anything quite so ineffectual and hopeless as allen keys.”

“Never mind Nigel there’s always another way…I know just how tedious and boring allen keys can be…just bodge the desk together for all I care…right I must get on.  Allan I think you are done so I am going to count forward to 10 and you will awaken a new man…1…2….3…4…you’re coming round now…5…6…open your eyes slowly…7…8…9…10…there you are wide awake, refreshed and a new man.”

“Thank you Anita though I must admit I don’t feel any noticeable rise in the old confidence levels. If anything….”

“Stop you right there Alan…I assure you you will notice a marked difference once you’re out in the fresh air.”


“Crikey Anita that was a stroke of bad luck!”

“What was Nigel darling?”

“Well there I was having made up your new desk thinking I’ll just pop outside for a quick fag when blow me down with a feather that new punter of yours walks straight out onto the main road and into the path of a lorry travelling at great speed…killed stone dead in an instant…it was as if he’d done it deliberately.”

“Crumbs what a terrible tragedy for I do believe he was really on the mend.”



a cheese before bedtime

bubbled dream the trigger


recesses of this mind

spontaneously illuminated

under trepidations own

barbaric floodlit stage


in an instant a factotum

master key in hand sets

to his task with a zeal

born of sly devotion

once upon a time yet

now discarded cohorts,

random feted breathed

undesirables all uncaged

to scatter where so ever

they wish with impunity

devil-may-car vandalism

sabotage their crusade

all this in superceded

single-strip Eastman colour


my shut fast midnight eyes

watch as the maggots crawl

and scatter from the volcanic

guts of the bayonet drawn

corpse of bloated humanity


the naked crucifixion of

the muliebrous redeemer

now blanched and bloodless

her fate long since sealed

never to rise again


a murmuration of starlings

devour first the clouds

and then the sun until

there is only darkness, I

observe the ghostly aura

of daises, the capricious

mood swings of dandelions

both sensing the coming

of the gardeners shears

then a cemetery of tired

old lichen and moss

enveloped granite

gravestones modify into

gleaming milky marble

before these very eyes


to squeeze in my helpless

hands the hunger and

empty passion of a starving

nation as vultures pick and

pull at the wasted tendons

of a million or more dead

once beautiful black babies

for whom I now weep


a well stacked inquisitress

breasts cleft defiant ever

closer, tormenting, testing

to the limit my fleshy appetite

my self-proclaimed monogamy


to discover immortality

is merely a treadmill as

the Titanic slowly and

improbably drifts past

the egress of a churchyard

its four funnels steaming lilac

its horn beating out the

tortuous monotonous

rhythm of the doomed

and in the near distance

a solitary fiddle plays

loves last lament


the unvarying dank grey

mists of dawn arrive too soon

before the dream is over



Camelot; Dark Ages – quite a long time ago: Celtic King Arthur and his much fabled Knights of the Round Table are about to set forth to fight with the Saxons in what will, with the passage of time come to be known as the Battle of Mount Baldon. However, putting the chivalry bit aside for once Arthur is a tad worried that Sir Lancelot, his best friend and most accomplished ally in combat has cried off claiming he has a mild fever about him. You see rumours abound in Camelot that Queen Guinevere has taken something of a shine to the handsome Frenchman who has a reputation for living up to the ribald nuances of the handle gifted him through lineage, namely ‘Lancelot’.  Albeit a tad extreme Arthur has concluded he should play it safe and call in a locksmith to fit upon the chastity belt that has been knocking around the castle for an age now a brand new ‘smart lock’. A device that takes its instructions to ‘lock and unlock’ using a cryptographic key and wireless protocol sanctioned from his IPhone6 and thereafter have it fitted to his ‘Gwen’. Arthur’s problem however is that all of the local locksmiths have been drafted into his army leaving him with but one option namely Denzil Keys, an apprentice locksmith and none too bright a lad – some would say insane! Additionally Gwen has the raving hump being treated thus.

Gwen: “Sexist pig.”

Arthur: “Now, now Gwen I’m just taking sensible precautions. I mean what if a swarthy enemy type personage should breach the castle walls while I am away and in doing so should attempt to ravish you somewhat…you really do have to see this affixing of a chastity belt about your very person is for your own protection.”

Gwen: “Bollocks it is…I know you all too well matey-boy. You think I’m about to let Lance get his leg across don’t you? And as for……..”

Arthur: “Pray the Lord he hasn’t already.”

Gwen: “What did you just say?”

Arthur: “Nothing dear…really it was nothing. Anyhow it is for your own good and that’s my final word on the subject. Regardless the chaps are all gathered outside ready for the off and it would be rude of me to keep them waiting any longer so I best be away. A goodbye kiss perhaps?”

Gwen: “Stuff me you’ve got more front than Caernarfon Castle. A ‘kiss’ a bloody ‘kiss’ you’ve not a snowballs chance in hell of one sunshine.”

Arthur: “Have it your way then.”

Gwen: “Really, you mean that?”

Arthur: “What?”

Gwen: “Oh I just misunderstood…naught really.”

Arthur: “Well then I can but leave you in the capable hands of Denzil here. He will fit said chastity belt directly won’t you Denzil?”

Denzil: “You do ‘ave uz word Sire, it shall be done like the second as you ‘ave left.”


Gwen: “Must you dribble Denzil?”

Denzil: “Can’t ‘elp it your Queenship for uz ‘ave dribbled since birth…more so since uz testosterone charged halcyon days of wot the zider maker called my late adolescence left uz with the curse of salivation when about womenfolk of all ages, shapes and sizes. Just can’t ‘elp uzself uz can’t.”

Gwen: “Have you no wife then Denzil?”

Denzil: “Uz! A wife! There’s not a maid in the land who would take pity on the likes of uz let alone marry uz…uz dribbling has caused any potential romantic encounters to perish in an instant. Still uz gets by since the day uz finally chucked them there boxing gloves away…any how’s uz must get on fixing this new lock thing to the chastity belt mustn’t uz.”

Gwen: “If you must.”

Denzil: “As it so ‘appens your Queenship and uz do ‘ope you don’t mind uz asking like but what exactly is this chastity belt thing wot uz is putting a lock on and which his Kingship doth say I ‘ave to affix like to your nether regions?”

Gwen: “What you mean you don’t know what a chastity belt is?  Heavens above, that’s a blinding stroke of luck in my book.”

Denzil: “Not a clue Queenship.”

Gwen: “Well Denzil a chastity belt is not unlike a knight’s armour. Tell you what, just imagine this scenario…say some Saxon swine have overrun Camelot while Arthur is away and they are minded to defile me or such like all I have to do to thwart them is to simply trip the switch on the lock you have now fitted and they’ll be thwarted in their endeavours! Simples really!”

Denzil: “Well uz be blowed so to speak…uz never heard of such a thing. There be many a clever bastard around. If only uz ‘ad more brain cells uz could invent things like that. So all I ‘ave to do is fit this ‘ere chastity belt and you’ll see to locking it up should the need come about?”

Gwen: “That’s about the strength of it Denzil. Now all you have to do is to slip it me from behind and that’ll be job done.”

Denzil: “Oh your Queenship don’t talk like that for uz is now dribbling like uz don’t know what…any hows do this be a good fit like as in is it comfortable for ‘ee?”

Gwen: “Certainly is spot on Denzil. You can be off about your business now and don’t leave a trail of dribble in your wake.”

Denzil: “Glad your ‘appy with what uz ‘as done Queenship duly affixed with unlocked chastity belt as you is. Uz’ll be off then.”


Gwen (talking to herself): “What a result that was! Now all I have to do is send Lance a swift text letting him know the coast is clear for a bit a hanky panky ce soir…right, text sent…this day just gets better and better, now I’ll just take this ridiculous contraption off” – RESOUNDING ‘CLICK’ NOISE – “Botheration, I just flicked the lock switch by accident! Bollocks, bollocks and thrice bollocks!”



Well this one got lost in the post methinks – doesn’t yet appear on my reader or on Facebook – hence the reblog thing!


owl arrow

It was an undeniable fact that that

Incessantly irrational young fellow

Cupid had been the worse for drink

The day his bow slipped out of hand

His arrow missing by a country mile

His elected target, namely a budding

Ladies’ man quested on behalf of

A captivating moll seeking a new beau

Instead the golden tip of his barb

Splintered the wing of the wisest of

Wise owls; the most perceptive philosopher

Within his enchanted forest peer group

For he who the Gods on high considered

The ultimate toxophilite, his reputation

Now in tatters worse still was to come

First there was talk among the Parliament

That the solitary logician be euthanized

For his own good as he would never fly again

Yet being old and wise he pointed out to

His compeers that these days he rarely flew

Spent much time in contemplative thought

It was thus that they…

View original post 181 more words


owl arrow

It was an undeniable fact that that

Incessantly irrational young fellow

Cupid had been the worse for drink

The day his bow slipped out of hand

His arrow missing by a country mile

His elected target, namely a budding

Ladies’ man quested on behalf of

A captivating moll seeking a new beau

Instead the golden tip of his barb

Splintered the wing of the wisest of

Wise owls; the most perceptive philosopher

Within his enchanted forest peer group


For he who the Gods on high considered

The ultimate toxophilite, his reputation

Now in tatters worse still was to come

First there was talk among the Parliament

That the solitary logician be euthanized

For his own good as he would never fly again

Yet being old and wise he pointed out to

His compeers that these days he rarely flew

Spent much time in contemplative thought

It was thus that they let the old boy be

After all profound thought is a priceless thing


The Pantheon of Gods granted Cupid’s

Extradition from the safe haven of

The Elysian Fields to stand trial and

Face the judgment of the owl elders

His charge being one of, ‘Unlawful wounding

Inflicting grievous bodily harm’

At his trial the only defence Cupid

Could offer was that by rights the

Wounded one should now be in love

With whomsoever and that regardless

Love conquers all, therefore what harm

A broken wing to a mellowing predator


The prosecution thought otherwise

Made an eloquent case for a custodial sentence

Head honcho owl made it clear that Cupid

Serve out infinity in solitary confinement

With no scope for parole nor be allowed

Bow and arrows in perpetuum thus

Severing his ability to set the plot of love

By way of chicanery in motion ever again

With that the gift of bogus love was lost

To the world henceforth and forevermore

For gifted love is at most a false state of being

And true love can only ever be chanced upon



mike june 1971 001

A verdant fool and a young lady from Switzerland
(shamefully her name is lost in time) from long ago


Add to a hairball teenage communist

A good measure of best quality

Cannabis resin plus a worthwhile

Quota of cut-price loopy juice and

You have the peerless cocktail mix

Defining the addled moron that was

Me in those sophomoric know-all days


Traded academia for two short planks

Unaware my pomegranate thinking machine

Was in constant bombed out overload

And committed the cardinal sin of all sins

Let slip from grasp the very essence of

The beauteous females of my own species

The half-witted young bonehead that I was


Playing back the broadcast of this life

I chuckle at the dislocated ideals of a

Solitary boy squatting within a ramshackle

Desultory refuge thinking no further ahead

Than the next Hendrix riff, the next tab

Of stained glass animated delusions and

Marvel that I neglected the fair damsels so


Thankfully and in the fullness of time the

Gals did not treat me with such witless distain

Nor (God only knows why) overlook this

Now weather-beaten lefty planted in the

Inexorable confessional of candid reminiscence





Breezy Curtains, Vermont, 1975

There is a much hackneyed phrase applicable to the stereotypical English winter. It goes, ‘It is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey’ although my father’s adaption thereof used to be, ‘It’s that cold they’ll be laying men off at the brass foundry son’.  Either phrase fits this specific winter, one that has lingered a little longer than usual – in short it remains well below 10 degrees and is cloudy and overcast most days.

Such inclement weather has coincided with our move to our Victorian home – one that is ‘new’ to us, yet very old to the world. That the place is insulated and double glazed should mean it is warm and snug yet ten days into our occupancy with central heating blasting away on the highest thermostat setting and both my wife and I clad in a multiplicity of thermal clothes and woolly jumpers we were frozen to the marrow. Also we had returned to active service a myriad of old electric blow heaters salvaged from our office when selling our business back in 2008 yet still we froze. Indeed some days my fingers particularly turn a horrible shade of distraught mellow yellow and I cannot not feel a single thing – not that my Shirley would let me!  There came a point just a couple of days ago that I began to doubt the prudence of purchasing this place to reside in.

At the top of the property there are three rooms that constitute a flat. Our son George has taken up residence there. As an impoverished musician, not that long out of university having gained a first class degree and seeking to start his own production business we thought that he needed both space and privacy as plainly a place of his own is off the agenda for the foreseeable future. He has a large attic room as his lounge, a rather tasty bedroom with an en-suite plus a spare room he is presently converting into a sound proof booth for recording purposes. He likes the place and we leave him to his own devices save for meal times when we all, as families should, get together around the dinner table.

Yesterday I had cause take some post up to George. Upon entering his quarters I noticed not just the doors opened wide but his widows also. I located him up in the attic room, dormer windows ajar as far as their mechanism allowed, clad in a t-shirt and shorts, barefoot strumming away on his 12 string guitar lost to the world in thought – we are very similar in that regard!

“Here’s your post…aren’t you cold?”

“Cold! You must be joking I’m so very, very hot I can’t think clearly…you haven’t got an air conditioning unit I could have anywhere have you?”

Then it dawned on me. Then I knew just where all the heat had gone. The bastard!

“Stuff me George with everything wide open I’m paying the utility companies a King’s Ransom to heat the fucking sky. It is little wonder that I’m freezing and have to swallow hard every time I feel two lumps in my throat. What on earth are you playing at mate?”

“Well you might be cold but I’ve never been so hot…well not since the Loire Valley in 2012.”

“Fucking Ada.”

Following that brief chat we reached an accord. He could have his windows open as wide as he likes on the basis that henceforth he keeps his doors shut tight.

All is well in the Steeden home once more. In point of fact Shirl and I were even a tad too hot last evening!

“Shirl what with it being so unbearably hot don’t you think you’re a tad overdressed…you know you might want to shed one, or maybe two garments…or more even…I don’t mind if you do, honest I don’t…I mean if you felt so inclined to take the lot off I won’t be offended or anything.”

“Don’t push your luck just yet sunshine,” her cruel and selfish riposte.



Woven tongues and

Murderous fisticuffs

Delectable dark places

Private blindfolds and

Hush-hush happenings

Satin sheets and stains

Four poster escapades

Murmurs and earthquakes

So sappy the substance of love


Underwood wanderings

Frivolous, blazing altercations

Tears of heartache; tears of elation

Full on hugs and serpentine bites

Digits clustered always and

Everlasting bilateral regard

To die for one another the

Imperative affirmation

Laying claim to the

Binding of true lovers


tobacco tin

Fatalism comes as second nature

To the impetuous kingfisher

‘Slim pickings today’ from

The once racing, as of now

Still water brook, ‘Whatever’

Just a fleeting thought before

Broadening his ‘touch and go’

Exploration for sustenance elsewhere

And the bird is gone in the

Blink of an eye


Unpacking his belongings the

Newcomer discovers within an

Old pine domed chest steamer trunk

A beaten, musty and somewhat battered

Brass tobacco tin, embossed thereon a

Depiction of Princess Mary and bearing the

Date ‘Christmas 1914’. His grandfather’s?


Busying himself with more pressing tasks

He sets it aside for the time being

Not before shaking it just a little for

Curiosity’s sake and confirming that

Something lightweight lay within


Come the witching hour and now

Shattered from his travails he takes

Time out, pours himself a glass of

Beaujolais under a low hanging

Naked 60 watt lightbulb lets his

Palate savour the wines acceptable acidity

The tin catches both his eye and imagination

Delving within its contents a greetings card

‘With Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas

And a Victorious New Year, From

The Princess Mary and Friends at Home’

‘How little the princess knew in 1914’ his idle thought


Of more interest, a letter plus shameless snap

Both fraying at the edges, still readable and

Oozing with scarlet details of an affair, or perhaps

Merely paternal grandfathers quest for young love


That the target of his lustful affections, an actress

Was clear enough; that she seemed an airhead ingénue

A surprise for the old boy reportedly had

A sound head upon his fabled broad shoulders

The girl spoke of “That god awful play I ‘graced’

The biggest turkey ever, threats and accusations

Followed me, not that I was overly concerned

For one day the whole world shall know my name”

Plainly to the stupid, still water runs deep and

Checking her out on Google via smartphone

Not a single mention of ‘Daisy Fry’ having ever existed


What of the ‘au naturel’ photo clipped to her tome?

By Christ she was a looker and plainly under grandpas spell

Fair game and good luck to the old boy his final thought

Before dozing off holding the picture twixt forefinger and thumb


A thousand miles away in another hemisphere

Where spring had finally given up flirting with

His winter dominatrix and mountain streams

Bristled and bubbled, the wily kingfisher his

Belly at last full, catches the eye of a sweet dumpy little dish


eternal aviator

Looking downward from atop the

Highest peak in the craggy range an

Unaccountable compulsion to leap

Took hold leaving him as confused as

A necrophiliac in a waxwork morgue


With his backpack off he felt naked

That the proposed leap had a carnal

Aspect aroused, disturbed and baffled

Small torture, petit mort, chains that bind

Then again so was that leap of faith years

Previous declaring undying love to a dying girl

Her terminal condition unbeknownst to him then

Maybe gave her some small solace down the line

When slipping off this mortal coil, certainly ruined

His life though nothing exceeds the torment of a

A lover vanished, an ethereal nothingness then

Housing such strange bedfellows as guilt and compassion

Whatever the poets of old might have you believe


From atop that peak, eyes momentarily

Shut tight he dived and then eyes wide open

Thought he had blacked out; thought wrong

All about him a starless night within which he flew

No up, down or sideways, distance or thermals

This day fall became flight

This day time stood still

This day infinity froze

A glorious blindness

The true art of flight

That day he became

The Eternal Aviator