“Can God make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it”
Stephen Hawking
(I) The Boy
I picture you in winter
the violet flower of your breath shrivelling upon the window,
you notice rain bejewelled on a spider’s web and see stars on an abacus.
I picture your mathematical eyes like a sheepdog herding in the planets,
your Mother shouts it is time for bed, there were no monsters for you.
(II) The Adolescent
I picture you in bloom,
the crush girl smiles at everyone and today she lingered longer at you.
There is an aeroplane writing gold between the leaky moon and sun,
you want to pour out it’s nectar into two flutes and drink it with her.
You walk towards her and a foppish boy mocks your walk, she walks away.
(III) Oxford
I picture you alone with stars,
It is daytime and nobody notices the sundial of stars but you feel them,
you mine space and diamond worlds wrapped themselves around you.
This is a marriage that lasts, so throw rice into the sky and kiss the bride.
A speck of rain splashes on your spectacles, the world is now magnified.
(IV) Sexual encounter
I will not picture you with a woman,
she is an unfathomable universe made up of water and immaculate life.
There is a red sailor in her womb, she is rowing to life with you her coxswain.
I picture you both joyous holding your babe aloft like a trophy for Jupiter.
(V) The Chair
I do not hear the automaton,
your mandible is chewing up all we thought of sky and her beautiful sisters.
I see people forced to listen without interrupting you as you take them to space,
this is how we find our way back to earth by listening to the whole point made.
If we never find the meaning of the universe we find a man who took us closer,
By mind,
by chin,
by automated sincerity.

Go home he said

Posted: February 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

After Tariq Jahan


After all these years of his passing in that slow-mo riot

there is something that sustains through all that you lost.

I once abandoned a magpie twitching at the kerbside,

in my heart I knew it was gone with all its unsung songs.


To bury the dead we must unearth the roots we are from.

“Go home” he said “Step forward if you want to lose your sons”

Blacks whites and Asians when mixed are monochromes,

to develop a picture and the riots add tears and blood of youth.


In ancient Britain, Celts danced around fire to see spirits,

they painted their skins and raked upon coals to find them.

I hope to god that in the ashes of Britain we find Britain,

I hope to god that the ashes of justice do not leave three dead men.


It is cold in the hearth of a street that screeched those endings,

like an urban banshee that keeps wailing over and over.

“Go home” he said as he collapsed under the weight of home,

“Go home” he said as he collapsed under the weight of loss.


You once told me of the Syrian woman who cooked you eggs and grass,

“this is all you have” you said but her son knew your son had left you.

Take those eggs and hatch hope in the nest of the songs he never sung,

like the magpie I could have saved, I can only write you this my friend,

“This is all I have”


So proud to receive this from Hiroshima Peace Media. Thanks to Minako Okuda for the translation, The Chugoku Shimbun Newspaper and my dear friend Hideko Okamoto





Armed Teachers

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

pexels-photo-220443.jpegArmed Teachers

“This crazy man that walks in wouldn’t even know who it is that has it, that’s good, that’s not bad, that’s good, and a teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened” (followed by rapturous applause)

Donald Trump, CPAC Conference, 2018


The only flaw with soldiers in schools is the battle untreated,

imagine a Timothy McVeigh herding in the lambs at Oklahoma High,

one morning someone presses the button and detonates the post traumatic trigger.


Imagine the uploaded carnage on YouTube after the advert for Coco Chanel parfum,

the blood blotted sunsets on shrouded sheets covering American angels,

imagine the hellfire of a teacher bursting in to take down the devil(s).


The only flaw with teachers concealing guns is also the concealment of mental health,

what if one of them was laying down in secret with a crush girl who told on him,

imagine him cornered would he take her and womanhood down.


Imagine the unclaimed school bag with its insides hanging out unclaimed for hours,

picture a patiently waiting Mother screaming a name over and over and over,

the bag comes out in a plastic bag by the FBI and it kills her daily.


You should always control anger in a poem, it should be the trigger of eyes wide open.

I have quoted Donald Trump as he bounced from the strings of the NRA,

when he bursts into a room and shoots his mouth off we die a little more.


Timothy McVeigh (ex soldier suffering from PTSD who was responsible for the Oklahoma bombings.

A majority of U.S. troops discharged from the military for misconduct during a four-year period ending in 2015 had been diagnosed with mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, a new study found.


The Kiln (creating poetry)

Posted: February 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

pexels-photo-54216.jpegSomething I have learnt about writing poetry is that it’s like a potter’s wheel. I think first of all it begins with an inner compass of where we want to go with the writing and some of us choose to leave in light and arrive in darkness and vice versa. So, for me I arrive in the darkness hauling that clay where within lays the words to shape into a poem. When I write about conflict it takes control because my hands are not still and they have to be, still. Anger, emotion and passion need to be unbridled if I am to sculpture the vast landscape of narrative and metaphor. Just like the intricate patterns painted on bone china this is only possible if the foundations, that clay and control was chosen well. So, I spin then, feeling the grain and mulch of cold clay becoming hardy against the heat of my hands and it is now an extension of me, skin, bine, flesh and pulse. Sometimes I finish in one sitting, other times there are moments of genius but it does not work as a construct so I take the artisan approach and make a cup from a jug but it can still hold a vast body if I concentrate the essence well enough.

At the point of completion, the ink of silica is my war paint, my trophy that is too fragile for my name and how I define myself in this world (or strive to). At this point we ‘create’ the poem by reading it to see if it works. Is it structured? Are there any flaws? If so are those flaws part of what gives it soul. If it is functional and precision engineered but it is like every other exhibit then what is the point of it? These pieces of clay are to hold vast depths and are not arbitrary and soulless works that cannot contain anything other than empty meanings or decorative flashes that amount to nothing other than to startle other clay workers. So back to the kiln, this is the heart of a poet, the flames hiss and lathe and at the point of inspecting the finished product it has to looked over again and it might stand by morning or it might not.  Some of the sculpturers are working together with each other or other artists and they are discussing the order of the display. Other sculpturers just love the enjoyment of it and are very gracious to other workers. Some workers are covered in clay but cannot produce anything but in time those tears will shape the clay and produce something they will be proud of. Some boast about their work and some throw clay at each other when each other’s backs are turned but the kiln will always roar and the most important thing are the sculptures that move people, that inspire them to create and produce their own original works. At this point we have to ask ourselves who makes the potters wheel that makes the foundations of what we choose to write about? Well, this is the earth spinning and all that happens on it are all things that we can catch and recreate. The words are a smithery of possibilities that can change the way others see the world. Poets are nomads of the inner and other worldly. We excavate the DNA of words to show our body of work and the soul of what makes us mortal.

We should celebrate this. Poetry is life, is clay.

To the wheel then.

#Psalm 17 (for Florida victims)

Posted: February 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

via #Psalm 17 by Antony Owen

Atomic flowers

Posted: February 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

Atomic flowers
After Jackson Pollock

Hiroshima rain
gilds skew-whiff spiders web 
woven pus-yellow.

Barren blooms emerge,
bees throb as black bulbs in hoods
a worm crawls out of bony sparrow.

Nobody mourned the horses.
Hooves jutting from rivers
like petrified trees in a galloping sky.

The first nesting sang sweetly,
a man washed his tree bark skin
filling his keloids, with rain.