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!




a spotty little urchin

carrying a burst

previously ‘best-ever’ football

making his way home

a fish and chip supper


an impressive ruby red scab

on his elbow to pick at

managing not to walk upon

bad luck cracks in paving stones

perked him up a little

better still

a stroke of amazing luck

in the first instance

it did not seem that way

before him

lying in the gutter

a ragged old book, a big book

reading bored him shitless

the title caught his eye

‘A Guide to Time Travel for the Common Man’

curiosity killed the cat

he gathered it up

thumbed through the pages

coloured pictures

not just glaze over words

the book clearly been binned

the boy claimed it as his own

tucked it under his arm

continued homeward bound

wondering about time travel

would it work for him?

later in bed

under the cover

of a superheroes duvet

fashioned as tent

the book resting on crossed legs

a ‘read in the dark’ torch at hand

he unravelled the simple secret

of travelling through time

both back and forth

upon reflection

that the pictures

were total shit

mattered not

all he had to do

was place the palm of his right hand

upon the book

decide where and when

he intended to travel

whisper a swift prayer like thing

(the words of which he must never disclose to another living soul on pain of death)

twice click his fingers

‘job done’

the heavens timeline

his proverbial oyster


he would not be able to deduce

how to click his fingers together

until a good few years later

the thing is

it worked

the boy

now a spotless fledged handsome chap

became a kosher time-traveller

his wristwatch

a redundant piece of junk

no requirement

of permanent dwelling place

when in time’s own domain

wherever he laid his book

was his home



(musings upon The Maid of Orleans) 

for the solitary unfledged heroine

no disciples to serenade choral accolades

sweet death could not come quick enough

be it by fire or tempered steel blades


she offered up her wildest fantasies

he told not to bother he had his own

instead she danced and sang for him

until he said, ‘I only have you here on loan’


she spat out words in many tongues

their bearing he was left to guess

in freedom’s quest she offered to undress for him

he answered ‘no’ but for de rigueur would say ‘yes’


incoming gnarly waves of fleshy fat

served to sculpture the back of his once fibrous nape

testing the power of broadest shoulders

supported by the torso of a great ape


his shaven, glossy skull, a mirror

as are gaoler’s far and wide

yet his orders were explicit

not there to override


as to the fate of his much-prized prisoner

determined by her impounder’s English employers

swiftly tried, declared the heretic

so adept their artful Shire land lawyers


those one’s who wished she be forgotten

ensured her shameful, untimely demise

come first light to Rouen’s Old Market Square

and by unholy flame to severe her mortal ties


(photo credit, dialydesigninspiration.com)



Renata preferred apricots, blintzes, caviar, a little vodka at times, over ailing nightmares

she hated avid weevil’s in porridge, harvest after harvest that bore so little food

preferred the Fabergé romance of ‘St Petersburg’ over ho hum ‘Petrograd’

 a knight in shining armour kiss above being wrestled to a Bolshevik’s floor

Julian calendar’s October revolt put pay to all that she preferred

the day Red molested White, desire and daydreams died

‘Peace, bread, and land’ the big man’s assurance

Renata never believed that for a single moment

squirreled away diamonds, silver and gold

found ‘Peace, bread, and land’

in a place of opportunity

across an ocean

far away


oh, how even now, Renata so misses her Mother Russia

‘Peace, bread, and land’ the big man’s assurance

‘Peace, bread, and land’ in exchange for quashed dissent

no man, woman or child feasts its soul on such a dirtied dish


through a window in a joint far removed from logic and sanity

one where little matters and death’s door bell often rings

Renata watches intently, listens, absorbs, is saddened

now a new big man gifts words, place of opportunities words

words of flawless White displacing arbitrary Red

positive, negative words

‘back then is new now’ words


Renata knits cumulonimbus clouds these days

sings to herself the song a wasted partisan once sang


‘…Let no one build walls to divide us

Walls of hatred nor walls of stone

Come greet the dawn and stand beside us

We’ll live together or we’ll die alone

In our world poisoned by exploitation

Those who have taken now they must give

And end the vanity of nations

We’ve but one earth on which to live…’


that the songs message still rang true made Renata cry


The verse above borrowed from Billy Bragg’s version of ‘The Internationale’