writer, artist


melt me

i said

like butter

into you

when i woke

i heard her calling

i went down stairs and

she came around me

figs flowers bees a

butterfly and

without waiting for me to

do up even one button hurried

me down the rocky path

flecking me with sunlight

past the place the snake

lies straight belly uppermost

and on, breathless

into the house

of true belonging

and the day came

in which

it was clear (devastating)

that every single thing was strung, glued,

held together, built on top of and

buoyed up on a nonsensical sea of absolute




this nun once told me

all finger raised and narrow eye:

if your room is untidy

the Buddha won’t come

it’s not true –

Look ! i’ve got clothes all over the floor

cups on the bedside table

a couple of bottles rolling near the rubbish bin

and who is that standing right in front of the window ?

all red and bright and glorious and

smiling from every single pore of his body ?

and afterwards

when they asked me what it was i loved the most

i said the wind

my squalling, uncontainable brother

coming out of nowhere

impossible, wild

ripping up the old

sometimes (often) before its sell-by

we bathed in the total simplicity of absolute nothing

over and over

until our hair was matted with it

our skins saturated

we came in on a last wave – scrambling tumbling

somersaulting triumphant

to pick ourselves up salty and laughing

clambering over each other we got in the car

and went in search of something to eat

ahead of us they unroll a new road

sticky stench of sweet tarmac in 38 degree heat

squinting men in hi-viz wave their flags and say Aspetta

i say About Time and Grazie

these are the new roads for the new ways

the ones direct from Truth

turned out it wasn’t the prince, after all

reminded cinderella who she was

or even the fairy godmother

turned out it was cinderella herself

who, one day, sick of the charade

washed the grime off her face

told the stepmother and all those uglies where to put it

woke the fuck up

bird winds the sky

rolls the sea out. then in

she brings me all her treasures

seeds, nuts, shells

a bright pink flower from the other side of the world

lays them at my feet 

i wonder : am i worthy ?

she doesn’t know what that means

doesn’t care 

brings more

says: and this 

i touched the bus

and then my eye

tell me something: 

will i die ? 

that’s what I like about

trees, fields, land etc

they pay notice (none) 

– nunca nulla nada – 

to the idea that someone owns them

mine, his, theirs etc

they’re like: que ? 

in you

i meet

for the first time

and utterly

the love

i am 

today when i went outside


trees plants people

-even the people-

said i love you

i am and i am not

we are and we are not

we never were and

we always are

i mean and WT holy F ? 

she easy on you

she hard on you

she you


believing to be 

out in the cold

you run helter skelter

across the fields


turning up the same old 

snuffling through it

looking in any and in it all

for something called the way out and


you run


when all the wishes got handed out
i got this one
the one that will burn
– roof wall rafter –
this house to rubble
that i might walk clean
as Love



and the wind blows through
rattling the old leaves
scattering them through the runnels of time
and You.
you still stand there
with me
in the place we meet
in the place we are always meeting
beside the twisted olive
on the white road
under a pink moon
on the other side of time


the beloved gave me a name
whispered it in my ear
i took it in both hands and wept
it was one i’d had before
but the truth is these cells, the ones that dance and sing
they no longer answer to letter or sound
these days they do entirely their own thing


he says he’d like to be with me
i’m like: but i am with you
i’m with you. The. Whole. Time
and he’s like: but are you really ?
and i’m like: well where else would I be ?
where else indeed ? he says, smiling


believing myself not to be
(i am clear love
i am pure light)
i pick my way through the
ashes of what fear made


let me in
that i might burn to ash
what of you


for how long
are you thinking
you can keep this up ?
making as if to hide that great light
inside meaner and meaner rags of
story ducking behind the leftover scraps
of what you pretend to be

you think we don’t see it ?

i had not expected her
to be so vast so all
i searched but couldn’t
find a single thing
outside of her
even hate


as I come up
through all my incarnations
i feel like the slowest
child in school


white road
pink moon
tree twisted in time
i have been meeting my friend here forever
before the doors of time
blew open


there’s one thing only
lives outside of time and space
find It



i am she inside which
Belonging happens

this heart pain
feel it keenly
it’s also love
it’s love meeting in you
in the deepest places that are still dark

i hide here (touching heart)

in plain sight

i live in the space between

what is taken for granted and 

what is taken for granted

i am inside breathing 

(touching heart)

find me 

body of light

moving across the omniverse

in and out of days

through lives and families

in and out of story

body of light meeting itself 

in the ends of the earth

picking its way across the speckled seas 

threaded through the song of whales

(bringer of the start)

joining one with another 


for the time it takes

body of light

meeting in me 

fill me dance me make me yours 

that i too may skip across the ocean

zig zag dancing

entirely free 

outside of all of the time in the world

body of love

natural, one movement

roaming over mine 

stars through the dark

body of love

waves on the shore

foaming in its own bliss

body of love

moving across the great plain of existence

in and out of human

of grasses of rock

body of love

recognising no border

only itself 

body of light

across the eons

come now, make me

body of light 

across the stars, the galaxies

the systems outside of knowing 

body of light 

library of thinking 

all of the thoughts that have ever happened

come now, make me 

in my remembering whole

stream of love

moving always moving 

looking only for itself

inside things and 

under stones 

inside humans

in the shapes between 

stream of love

searching always for itself

moving through walls and outlines

shapes and labels 

laughing to discover itself

stream of love 

flowing through tomorrow into yesterday

body of love

respecting no wall or boundary


searching only and always

for itself in all things

body of love

restless moving 

through skin and bone

inhabiting the space between 

the silence under words

the life in stones

in rockpools

body of love

there is no place it isn’t

moving over mine

i am at the other side of what begins 

and what ends

beginning and ending happen within me

which is why there 

in those places –

(the tenderest) 

where human is without words and floundering

i am

Who are you ? 

i ?

i am the not wishing things to be different

i am the turning to things as they are

i am the ins and the outs

the ups and the downs

without the layings-on-top of the mind 

i am the dreams come true and 

the catastrophes breaking down the walls 

inside which you hide

i am the blazing fire into which all that is not 

must be tossed

i am the inside out the guts and the squalor

i am the means by which you will find your way home

i am the answer to the secret wish that burns inside you: 

you wish to raze your house to rubble

and that of your father and his father and his father before

i am the way out from all that is not 

i am home. 

you will find me when every possibility is exhausted

when all of it – the bright lights, the false promises, the lies that say FOREVER –

makes you sick

i am the mother you never had

the one behind the eyes that bathed you fed you

packed you off to school

i am the empty roar of life

the one that catches a leaf

in her teeth and spits it into forever 

i am she of the blazing lamp

the one that doesn’t sleep

the one that will burn to ash your house of secret wishes

the ones that keep you bargaining with the world

i am she the only mother, 

the one that knows her way in space and time

because i made it

i am She


Take my hand. 

I of all things

Am the only can be trusted.

Take my hand


ego loves a journey

do You ? 

it isn’t and it is

it is and it isn’t 

outside of all that

I am

why limit love ? 

sense make it none

does the great ocean (life) say :

this but not that

him but not her ? 


here are scissors

take them to the sky

Sing ! 

how am I meant to fit in to this world ? 

you’re not

paper moon looks down


it’s hard the remembering and 

it’s hard the not remembering 


(breaks my heart)

when I am a Me

thinking of a You

it hurts


it’s just Love

In order to prevent myself

dissolving utterly into light

i ate toast with Nutella

a lot of it.

it worked 

the cells of you

sing the new

she say: you came

i say: where? 

(check she mean me)

an she say (laughin): home

an I say: where?

(still aint believing)

an she say: jus right where you are 

(still aint breathin) 

she take me in close 

up inside her soft soft (green)

an I say inside quiet: yes

an she say yes

an we say each of us

both of us same same song 

same time this time 

(together an aching:  

it has been forever this time)

Yes Yes 


heart of mine

she belong to the world

an in that belonging

she sing

and so the longing 

sent out across the years

became the track

by which the Lover

sent back the arrow 

which pierced me through

from base to crown

and made me his 


everything i ever loved was taken from me 

arms fingers clinging unfurled one then one then one

everything i ever loved was taken from me screaming 

until and last no thing remained

just the thing which has no other:  

Bright. Pure. Love. 

I slowed down light to know myself

I slowed down light to become human 

I slowed down light to know myself 

In all of your days dreams boredoms

I slowed down light to become manifest 

Spread across the rocks

In amongst the berries

In the tides the days the heart aches and the victories

There is nothing I am not 

I slowed down light 

To become human

To know myself

In all of my astounding beauty 

As you

not by and by

but now 

step off the world 

into the Bright: 

One, Two, Free 

we two are old friends

meeting here without border

we two meeting here are old friends

same same

you and me


as we get closer in to the centre 

where nothing ever happens 

i bump into of all people you

i can’t really see the division between us

is there one ? 

the other end of this pain – feel it – is not a human

or the answer to a prayer (feel it) 

the other end of this pain – feel it – 

is you an me


sun slid up 

making new sky

orange slice

cocktail dream come true

and we was that time


born new 

as nothing 

ocean mother movement


today the Future 
(ruthless crystal blinding) 
would like to manifest
through you

because of this
please empty yourself entirely 
of every thing that ever happened

people places thoughts
& cigarettes

and i asked god

what should i do ?

and she said Be

so i said and after that ?

and she said Do

and i said What ?

and she said

Whatever You Goddam Like

My Wild Precious



i pray:
mother unfurl my fingers
one then one
where they cling
koala to the eucalyp
let me to remember myself
pure as awareness
no inner no outer
dancing in space
other side of time

she say (laughing):
that mother she you

i am the belonging
and you are the humbling
the secret honey of our union
slides down god’s thighs
shows us home

the need is
to align my cells
each one yes
then Yes Yes
to your vibration
or i die
the slow death
of new shoes
and more love
the slow death
of human


when I am not with you
i go ballistic
stark raving
upside down and freak
the fuck out
which is why I need to be with you
inside of you
outside of you
all of my bells
heart throat belly
sounding You out
all of the time

i go into the spacious
as everywhere else
anywhere in the small
in the concepts
in the i will
and the he didn’t

this freak-the-fuck agony !
what of it ?
it’s just the Beloved
calling you home

Hanuman’s day
i gave up following the mind
its insistancies
its inconsistencies
its endless measurings
it has been talking shit
the same old shit
for eons
it still rumbles on
like a brook
miles below me in the valley
but i soar above it
without limit

i am training to see
all things equal
nothing either a blessing
or a curse
apparently that’s
how the Victorious Ones did it

the sky was alive with insects
which kept the swallows busy for days
i know it’s not very Dharmic
but i saw the gnats as concepts
and the swallows as the piercing kila of of awareness
returning the mind over and over
to its natural state
untarnished, clear
the dazzle of the All Good

i keep forgettin why i’m here
i ask my mama
she don know
i ask my papa an he don know
i ask the teacher the one who says You Are Enough
i ask the other one
the one who talk on laziness an life bein short
i ask my heart
an why is it again
i am here ?
an she say Love
for, from, because of an only
i say: if it was that simple …
an she say laughing :

when i want to and i can’t
when i won’t but i want to
sometimes in that desperation
right at the edges of my place
there She is
the Everything I can never understand
the ins and outs of my endlessly breaking heart
the rubble of it all
the Everything for which
– my head pressing on the sweet sweet ground –
i am alive

this morning
in the listening
before i was fully awake
god spoke
you she said,
her voice silver
are the apple of my eye
she meant me
but not only
she meant every single one of us

here: in the silence
put your ear
to her lips

today the sky is white
bright white blinding
spirit bright
against it
the white blossom
on the cherry tree
in the car park
the other side of my house
looks dirty
the sweet hum of the world

and you may find yourself wanting
wanting to know
this or that or
any of these things
Does. He.
Will. We.
grasping mind.
nothing: ash, reaching for ash.
nothing reaching for nothing
nothing to know
except you.
in every moment:

the other day i was acting all normal
trying to sell scarves to people
in the run up to Christmas
so I’m folding them and i’m folding them
when I see outside
the felt dark rounds of the hills
the filigree of their ink black crowns
the way they have pressed themselves hungry exciting
into the gaping velvet of the night
my country.
then i heard her:
Now. she said
she’d come
the bone woman with the silver lasso
the one I have been finding and missing and
finding and missing my entire life
i stepped out from my station
and how the man
with the pashmina between his pale hands
was wanting to know do I wash it?
and i came out into the night
sloshing through the mud of the old farm yard
over the bent gate and straight up the hill
the black grass seething at my ankles
the cold air screaming in my eyes
the years of leaf lifting in their layers on the wind
laughing: a liturgy of what will not be named
i took her hand and together
we walked into the savage of my own heart:
yes I told her. Yes.
at whatever cost
i will know the only thing there is to know

on one of these days
i allowed the heart
she burst like april into being
unfurling her skirts into tomorrow
she was blinding dazzling
like the moon close up
but without the let down
she was everything i’ve never found
but always known
somewhere – find it! – inside every dull eyed thought
one of these days
i allowed the heart:
she sprang like spring into flowers

one day
i allowed the heart:
she sprang like spring into flowers

in january
amid all this flurry
it dropped (sweet relief)
honey from the tree
into my open mouth:
there is no need to pray.
i am the prayer

so i said to this tree
i want to be invisible
and the tree said
be like me
so utterly and completely yourself
that no one sees you

everything is always pointing
at something
i can’t fucking see
it reminds me of when i was young
and everyone else could read


there is no life and
no death
no me and
no you
there is just us
meeting each other
over and over
until the dry husk of everything
that is not Love
is worn away

allow the heart
for she is the way
the sweet soft arrow
pointing home
pointing to the only sweetness
available round here:
the whole of the world as good.

allow the heart

and i am reaching with my two arms
(as though it lives outside of me!)
for the place
for the thing
for the only thing that matters

i’ve been trying to fit words
to you
for fucking ever
like trying to put a cardigan
on the Queen of the Wolves:
a joke

and everything became heavy with human:
we didn’t half drag our heels and
turned Christ into Christianity
(forgive me for I have sinned)
and Buddha into Buddhism
(everything is going to take a kalpa of lifetimes)
we didn’t half love the cul de sac
the endless and the exhausting journey
going from nowhere into nowhere for ever
why is it we are so afraid of now?
Bang: Oblivion

the higher up the mountain
the cleaner the air
i am hungry for the high up places
the place there isn’t even air
just us
remember ?

i pulled myself from the river all mud and silted up
and came up through the mist new
and sinuous
rising light as air as mountains
but my feet stayed clay stuck
legs all caught up in stories of the past
the he said she said
and all those faces
but i saw the part of me
which came all gossamer and new
above the water
good without attachment
i came like that clear again
and when the voices sounded:
mother father sister brother
them us
i heard them as they are
sound nothing
my own white imagining
wind whispering through leaves

so there am I all up in my mind
busy in the what ifs the what thes
along with all the other holy fucks
when out of nowhere comes a breeze
a song
in at the window
cool, lovely it moves across my skin
wants to play
cries: this
and i remember (thank god)
and only this
the utter grace of
this wind across this skin
felt from inside
from outside
swooning unconscionable
sweet sweet bliss

the forget me not did not name itself
it has other things to do:
like be
be the ridiculous blue cloud of foamy buttons
upon which that ancient beech tree floats
No. the forget me not did not name itself
it was named for a human
by a human
who had forgotten that no one
forgets anyone
when all is laid out
on the cloth of gold


my mother says:

you have pretended to be a person
for too long now
it is time to come home.

i turn to her
(my inside outside and
silver as the moon)

and I say: how ?

and she says this:

Follow my Finger

it comes at me sometimes in snatches
a song drifting in the air
the air across my skin – exquisite
a scent so fine it makes me stop
when i’m on my bicycle say
wending through the belchblack traffic
and life drapes loose about my shoulders
loose enough, slight enough that i forget it’s there
it’s then these pieces come
each one part of a puzzle
so familiar it’s written on my bones
but I have lost the box with the picture on it
and i’m tired now and can’t remember
but it comes at me, sometimes, in snatches
fragments of remembering
says kindly: and this one, and this one too, remember?
like last night’s dream i can’t quite complete it
the picture of my life

when my pen gets close to the point
which i admit is rarely
my heart races
i am drawn
water down the plug
into the centre of things

inside John Steineck
nearly 100 years ago
the sun sets somewhere in Wales
cuts itself on the sharp of a mountain
sinks bleeding
here though over Delhi
the sun sets smiling
sinks happy job done
beneath the whole of life
puts to bed sighing
the fat man beside the road
choking on the traffic both arms in the air
turning slowly
he’s getting measured for a new suit
the woman in the scarf shop
young, beautiful, forever smiling
dead at 27 leaving here a son
the dog with its smiling face deep in a bucket of milk
the soft cows
the birthings and the dyings
the endless, careless carings
the one for the other
the right hand for the left
she puts to rest the sweet sweet scoundrels
and the colours of their schemes
for yet another day

so i stand here still and i say:
write me home
moving across landscape
moving in lightness
in direction none-in-particular
and i am laughing

swallow tastes swimming pool
blue as nearly as the sky
pool bird its heart skip beats a bloody red
and the parts i have been missing lie
scattered loose on loungers
brown as nuts beneath the tree
warm as wishes from the sun
butterflies fighting or loving
same same
it might be that I know paradise

sometimes when i’ve forgotten how
and what it is I’m meant to
and panic in me rises
when everyone around me seems to know
even the great Romanian painter
joyful – sad at his table
planet head in his painterly hands
over and over saying what i am doing ?
when even he has recognised it’s this, just this
i take myself quick stick
to the great cathedral they’ve opened up in town
the one buttressed to the heavens
vaulting bones against the stars
selling off the bright salvation
and i secrete myself inside her inner sanctum
and there amongst the stainless steel
the triple tiered bins including food caddy
the le creuset stoneware
laid out according to its season
i slide my fingers across egyptian cotton
counting threads until my mind is settled
and peace swells and when the helpful boy
with freckles asks
and can I help you madam
i smile and say: no (i have been helped enough)
and in my heart soars joy
dazzling wicked without bounds
i can taste the universe
i can hear the swallows
chatting on the wire in these last days
as they make the final arrangements
for the great journey
the part of me which still doesn’t get it, suddenly shouts
(kneeling on a claret wool loop berber up in soft furnishings)
the birds smile and click
they click and smile
they say: here or gone
we live inside you
dancing always
Find Us

i am in love with it
with all of it
with all these shapes
sighings hopings wantings
all this hair flicking turning on its heel
the bread is burnt the cake is sweet
the rain is coming
i’m in love with it all
for it is her
dancing inside of him
for he is the empty and
she is the everything and
i am their child
doubtful terrified tip toe
balanced on the screaming-through-the-dark
perpetual cresting tip of their bliss

what is my name ?
you will find it under your pillow
whom do i love ?
you will find him in the next room
and the next and the next
where do i love ?
you will not find any in which you do not
what stops me from the still divine, all of it ?
this: words, worlds, thinking

so on monday
i decided to Be-that-Longing
with every fibre of my being
(as though i had a choice)
i’ll let you know in a week
or so
how it’s working out

no one dancing anything
no one being anything
all of us being danced
all of us being nothing
and inside any of that

today i’m her
coming in my thick boots
fearless not cold
coming over mountains
one way: this
to him
him with eyes which cut all the way through
ripping up the weeds
persistent as the mind
blind me
free me
make me fucking nothing
they say it wasn’t easy that time around
the rocks have truths i don’t want to hear
licking walls inside the caves
letting the demons roll and cold so fucking cold
but who wants easy
when you could fly
but i grown soft on spaghetti and tv
and cappuccino served in cups with fucking saucers
what do i know ?

the other side of thinking
i stumbled into something blinding
i wanted to take a pen to paper
but couldn’t lift my arm
i sat there basked in stark
stapled like a beetle to a board

in india heading north
up into the high up hills
this comes through the radio:
Silence is the Language of God
All Else is Poor Translation.
it’s true
but I am in love with words
black marks carving up white
him moving inside her
love-cries echoing in empty
human screaming inside god

i am the bread and
i am the baker
the one who takes it from the oven, priceless in the morning
i am the air through which the flour fresh ground
float flees
i am white dust dreaming
i am she who stands in line
head bursting with lists and songs and
the one attempting to sew a coherence
out of straw
i am straw and
i am the sugar inside it
i am the she which has forgotten
her own name
i am that one standing in line at the overpriced
artisanal sourdough bread shop
which recently opened up in town
hair all tangly at the back
(i am all tangly at the back)
i am the one saying two of those please and pointing
to the little cakes with pink icing.
i am you


every thing i do
every mark this hand makes
every shape line dot
it’s for her
i have one eye on the page
the other it’s on her:
she’s barefoot in the puddles
kicking up the emptiness

there’s this goddess i know
goes about all bra hanging out
hooks and eyes wild
her face the face of everyone
i have ever known
she is so close
Mother i call her
Sister i call her
i call her Kali Ma
her eyes look love
and her eyes look love
and then they don’t
whirling on a sandal
she is a pint size fury with a belly like a watermelon
smashes puppets up against the wall
flicks her hair incites a riot
she is the blood drinking screaming queen of the dance
she is the alpha and the omega
she is the everything and the nothing.
one time when she forgot to put on knickers
and sat down crosslegged opposite
i was blinded:
and for a nano (heartattack-exquisite)
i remembered:
i could remember everything i had ever forgotten.


i am flung into the sky
life burns
body gets breathed
mind rampages over mountain tops
tearing down trees
overturning cars
beating its bloody breast blackblue
in the dream i am wild
savage beautiful
i crush the turning world beneath my heel

puppet dancing in the empty
every tiny
shift of mind
creates movement in the field
an instrument so finely tuned
nothing bouncing back on nothing
beautiful and exact
puppet dancing in the empty

and the fruit ripens
and the fruit ripens
and when the time comes
will it fall ?
or will the tree just let it go ?
i am scared because some
– from fear or love –
rot clinging to the tree

you are the doorway
i step through you
into light.


In every moment burn.
Don’t cling.
Dance and Die.
Die in this moment.
Die to yourself.

so i got all these birds
crows i’m thinking (rooks my dad says)
beady black careless in the dusk
shrieking out their this and that like it’s fact
they’re circling the airspace above my head
looking for a place to roost
they’re nice enough and black
but i am done with story
with birds with me and even with my dad
it’s time to move beyond
splashy in the puddles
kicking up the empty
dazzling: love

your face
this poem
marks on a map
a finger pointing to the other side
past all these tears joys loves
to the place we live

and i went with my sisters
into the cathedral of trees
the one which has known us – each – since we could walk
and there we lay down
millennia of autumns
library of light made from loving
and shoulder touching shoulder we looked up through the vaulting ceiling
and the trees rang their tiny silver bells
and the milky way poured down her amrita
through the light years into the heart of our belonging
and at last i remembered
how it is to be beloved
to belong, precious
and the trees sang our names:
i was transformed with it

after something of a hiatus
(Jesus Christ!)
i am training in falling back in love
with humans
the small the mean the angry
the ugly the stupid the growing older by the nano
i’m training in falling back in love
deeply profoundly ecstatic (amen)
with myself

over on the west of ireland
where the air is soft
and the rank vanilla-shame brand of catholicism saturates
in amongst the stay awhiles and all the loving memories
i met the Buddha in a graveyard
He was different than i thought
less gold, more grey and loose across dishevelled bones
His face glittered silver stubble when He threw a shovel in His truck
you be looking for someone? He called
no i said, just looking
ah grand He said and moved to open up the driver’s door
(magahey headstones castlebar)
it seems we’re here for such a short time
the words came thin and silly, in amongst the marble and the granite
but He, gracious, gave them space
aye He came, so make each day a good one
showed His teeth, grim or happy
and pointed with a pale finger
(looking back it was at the moon or the place it might have been were it night)
how? i asked
grey green eyes shrewd as in: Buddha Gives Teaching, He spoke:
i met a man once who said he had a grand day til he woke and the old brain box started up
He whirled his hand at the side of his head, looked at me sideways: transmission
i laughed with Him and watched Him up into the truck
He swung his tired bones and slammed the door,
released the brake and idled down the hill
on the turn He lit a smoke and fired the engine
i watched Him out of sight

why does the flower
why do birds
and why do i ?

even do i ?

there rests in me a vast space:
i can’t see in here
and keep bumping into things


she tried and she failed
she tried and she failed
until one day she realised it didn’t matter
it had never mattered
she fell into the heart of love.

Got a message for me ?
Yes. You are unbearably sweet.

even hate and lies are love
they just got twisted a little in translation

there are times i’ve been so lonely
i’ve walked under the low trees just to get touched
that was back when i was changing so fast and so much
nothing stayed long enough for me to take its face in both my hands
saying: you

having been through all the wild tomorrows
having done with time (time done with us)
we came out the other side and
put everything back where we’d found it
forks bags settees
every table made from every tree
every bucket kfc battered deep fry ripped from bird
we put it all back pristine
and came popping out one two three into oblivion

sometimes when i get up early
before the final pieces of the day have firmed up
i get to have my say with how and when
flowers things human hearts
the sky just a little emptier and yes please a small dash of horse
i can even follow the string of beads back into the soft past
turning forming innocent
(flowers things and human hearts)

one day last week monday i think i
balanced the books and
paid back time
all of the time i have ever borrowed and
fell upwards through a hole in the sky
into a pocket in the apron of nowhere and
there in the dark pieces came at me piecemeal
debris turning dizzy through the magic spell of space
every scrap story thread
even the wrapper of a used up mars bar
liveried in its smart red black and gold
the light years came went and stayed until at last
i saw myself before the door to home
breathless turning the handle in both my hands:
surprise !
i found i have been here all along :
under my head my own pillow
in the bed my entire family
and all of the things humans animals
i have ever loved

fell through living one day into dead dead
walked round in there – and round – hitting head against wall
nothing hitting nothing
nothing to hear it neither
couldn’t find my way backintolife
(i didn’t want it
it didn’t want me)
so i set up home here
ate ashes
made ashes out of ashes and sold them to ashes
and when i couldn’t think what else to do i smoked ashes
until one day when outside decreed
i would see the world as beautiful
and find myself flung up from dead dead
bursting breathing gasping into life
into every cell of every being which ever has been born

no limit

there’s this thing in me
that needs to be free

the world lives inside me
(ask any Buddhist worth her salt)
because I am unhappy
the world is unhappy
the trees, made sick by june
offer up a department store xmas
cheap with gaudy cherries
they deck their grief
in a hysteria of blossom
they’ve closed their hearts to
the man walking hand in hand
with his one true love
even he can’t raise a smile:
the world lives inside me
and because i am unhappy
it is unhappy.
do the world a favour
make me happy again

we went to see him in hospital
they lost his teeth (he’s dying)
so we couldn’t make out his final words
his mouth sucked in and blew out:
the sound came singing, close then far off
he cried when we said:
‘the room is full of angels’ (it was)
he cried again with:
‘your mother’s here’
(she was: all neat curled hair, gloves and pretty box bag)
his mouth sucked in and blew out
a dangerous sea between rocks
and his round eyes looked at us
stunned, appalled
again he spoke: wind through pipes
a grey owl moving over the landscape
across the rooftops of the places humans live
across the roof of where he lives
where all his lives are happening, unfolding, even now:
he turns to drop the black kettle on the range
rinse his cup under the tap
the strong hands – too big now –
reaching for another hand, a human
gripping on for dear life
the gift of breath
the gift of sound
the gift of love
if i could have a wish
it would be that he know peace.
not peace as in end of the night
when the TV’s switched off
but the ferocious, thunderous mother of peace
the one that rings in the ears
rips life from life
eternal wild rejoicing
tossing us over and over again
onto the foamy shores of life
that seismic peace, epic, cataclysmic, silent
the mother from which we’re torn

owl flat face pale ghost, silent
owl in the nighttime
she moves above the houses
amongst the nodding trees
it is i who calls your name
soft, persistent
so the others won’t hear
owl moves amongst the secrets of the forming berries
what tells them how to burgeon and when?
you stir but do not wake
the sound to you is simple:
simple as the breath in sleep
and just as much a part
i call you to the place
the other side of time
where there is no you
there is no me
there is no owl
no promise of tomorrow
no shadow of the past
not even the space in which
the earth turns about the universe
taking off her hat
to the stars

and everyone would become someone in order
to become nothing and then everything
but noone could understand why it was taking so long
i mean when the frequencies rose like that
there wasn’t really much choice:
relax and check in
or go stiff and check out
both worked in the long run
but the ones – most of us – who checked out
were going to have to start over
new flesh, new fur, new teeth grinding up through new gums
struggling out from new mothers
tearing biting kicking
bloodied, battered into new days
having forgotten everything we’d ever learned
and so with new eyes with new resolve
begin again the journey – the only journey –
back into the heart

you live inside me
like a maggot in an apple
eating away at
all that isn’t real

Today I’m up against it
Nose to grindstone
Plucking out from air so thin
You can see right the fuck way through it
The strands I will be needing to make this miracle
Today I will be making
Save that wood for badgers and
Save the humans for each other


in the middle of april that year spring never came
when the crows had to put back all the sticks where they’d found them
and the trees never bothered unpacking
that year she was minding her own up by superdrug
you know where they drink diamond ice and scatter their needles
all over like christmas trees
when suddenly and out of utter nowhere
the anxiety which had been gnawing away at the back of her heart
for about forever and even longer
came busting up through bone flesh sinew
slicing through the ancient coat she walked the dog in
unapologetic vitriolic spewing into light of day
she knelt on the paved area made sticky from various spillages
and in amongst the cigarette ends and the careless cartons
she put her hand behind to touch :
Oh the nub of new wings bursting
shafts as sharp as plastic, feathers wet from birth
thrusting opening screaming in the broad daylight
she wanted to sit to take it in
but the benches were full
with everyone diagonal over two seats and shouting
so she took it home with her
and all the way she practised furling and unfurling
it had been quite the day
that day in the middle of april
the year that spring never came

the days turned to Days
and the old stuff fell away
don’t know why
got burned off
in the eye somehow
the film that draped everything
dreary as Sunday lunch
inside the grandfather clock
which would not
shut the fuck up
all that yes
got ripped away
and there She stood
naked, blinding
utterly herself and
bright enough i couldn’t look
she held out her hands
i took them and fell through
to see at last
she lives inside of everything
inside of him
inside of her
even on that shelf over there
inside that ridiculously priced loaf
of San Francisco Sourdough
Twelve Pounds What Now ?
Someone is having a complete laugh
and she is
and we are
and it is this song for which my heart has waited
for which we have all waited
patient as the fucking moon
eons ever

the shape got made from thought and
the bones of animals which had roamed the earth hungry
gathering food, seeking comfort
and growth came new again
and again it came
violent alive thrusting up through the old
shouting out its new shape
the new became old and
thoughts rotted and the jaws of animals and humans
which roamed the earth hungry
seeking food, seeking comfort,
turned white then green with moss.
there was only one way to see it
there could be only one set of eyes
through which to makes any sense
all sense (miraculous!):
Mine. Ours. Divine.

you me
a house
the sea*

*and of course my dog but that’s a given as she goes everywhere with me anyway, like a shadow. Or sound.

when same old same old
came flouncing down the street
hair all nice and
perfume dragging in the past
i said ‘today will be the day’ and
took a knife to the sky:
i would live on the other side

i threw the dakinis a banana
they laughed and threw it back
i gave them my heart on a doilie
one I’d spent an hour cutting
the hell they asked is that ?
i called after to offer them the best of me
they laughed and said:
if only you knew
i didn’t though and
suspected it might be time before i did

way out on the cold face of thinking
going at it with a little silver axe
chipping at the he said i said
the bitch did what ?
dancing on a fragment
dancing on the middle point of instant
here am i i’m blinded
breaking into all these shards
every single thought
i’ve made myself from splinters

i like it when it’s hot and
the road melts
and the mind noses into the five:
sexual misconduct and icecream
and the boys sit high up on walls
silent for a change
squinting in the blinding
pulling at their teeshirts
baby fat melting into a
future bright with everything
and love
love comes pounding from every
hot wall
it beats down from every waxing tree
comes streaming from the past up through every
summer which ever rolled out abundant with
sticks and swallows and crisp top cowpats
and there are we
we’re marching out across the fields
crowds of cowparsley waving banners
applause from crows
and all of our bodies
all of our hearts
yearning for the future
and now it’s here
i find myself
when i remember
yearning for it too
yearning for it all
just as it is against all of the odds
and the trees
laden with love
say: here, sit with me
rest in my shade

white cow
bollocks pink as powder
nodding comes across the road
and the great wheel turns
night swings her lantern
as if to chide
it’s late and
come to bed
but Oh
i’ve clothed myself in story
he said
she said
i want
and all those past lives
night snuffs the lamp
and confusion draws in around my shoulders
bed is not for me
it’s for the ones who’ve proved themselves
their mind a single point
in penetration of what isn’t here
someone paints the cow’s horns orange
offers it a marigold
i hang a chain of plastic flowers from its neck
and the great wheel turns
the cow crosses back
its bollocks swing like temple bells
facebook says a man i loved is dead
and the great wheel turns
the cow tosses its dumb moon head
browses in the dazzle of the local shop
selects and wraps its blue tongue
around a parsnip
and the great wheel turns
were i only to know
to have an inkling
of how and where and when
to use this precious humanlife

from the deepest place inside
the one humans call love
i brought
five fingers slick and black with blood
a piece of flesh the size of a rock
the kind of rock – perfect- which fills a hand
i put it on the table
and with my own fingers
tore at it
sinew, white veins, muscle
all rubber, bounce and sliding disobedience
i used my teeth ripping out the leather tubes
the clots of brown the pockets
i took a knife to the interior
and pinned it with a fork
looking for the thing inside
the key the coin
the answer
the glint of metal
the Ah I see it now
the thing inside which aches
so I could fling it from the highest roof
into the deepest sea
watch it sink and lose it
walk away light and laughing
the breeze colluding with the scarf across my hair
all my summers ahead of me
i used my teeth to tear the whole thing open
probably i don’t need to tell you
there was nothing there
just gristle smashed to brown
the table smeared with blood
and nothing other
i threw it on the floor for a dog
the thing still ached

she was a sunflower
her pretty face followed the sun
when the sun went down
she didn’t know who she was
she wept.
he was a shepherd
his mind caught in other things
she things me things one day things
when he lost his flock
he wept.
i came from and next
and The Way to me was dark
i took darshan from a great saint
and even though my forehead
pressed bone into bone
on the sunbaked floor
i had forgotten how to be humble
i wept.

i received darshan from a great saint
and all the time it was happening
tears came down my face
and the fragrance of her purity lifted the air
she pinned me with the blade of her stare
and i pressed my head into the red carpet at her pale feet
and all the time it was happening
my mind said: cigarette
and: this poem
the rest of me though
over on the other side of the abacus
the side to which, across the kalpas, i’ve been adding beads
that part,
it trembled to be impaled like that
it wept

couldn’t find anywhere to be long
so stayed short
making pigs’ ears and sows’ purses
shrugging off people and occasions
with my hands i made shapes:
dog, days, house, truth, love.
one day i made something called This Human Life
stuck it on the sill between the wedding present and the wooden horse an uncle couldn’t take
washed my hands and went outside
the world sang

making just a small incision
each day
in the sky
with a scalpel
they say
pays dividends
though how much
and when
if ever
they also say
is none of my damned

today you look tired
i like it when you’re like that soft
and i can find my way in


in the fifth season
the one called harvest
when the trees hung heavy
with every promise ever whispered
mouth ear mouth
i you forever, yes!
in the fifth season
i washed my hands of shapes
horse house dog love
and lined them on the mantel
and turning too quickly fell from an upstairs window
i fell through time and in and out of every story i have ever made
i fell through every net i’d made in case of this and
after that i fell in earnest
wild inconsolable glorious
starfish bitch
i fell through black
past stars

black sheep
green field
cow parsley already blown
i’m standing there saying
i choose the fucking moksha
the trees are like and ?
they talk amongst themselves
sap rises
they sing their song of summer
and I’m like
you. listen.
do I need to break my face ?
everything’s like yeah yeah and
next it will be autumn

i belong to myself
in that belonging i soar
eagle – sky – nothing
if you put your ear to stone
this stone
you will hear me laughing
i belong to you

i love you and i don’t
i love you and i don’t
i love you and i don’t
any longer have the space for it
which is why it keeps spilling out like this
all over the place


in the south where the days hang back to back and come at a person too many and too thick
and the women slump dead at their station
down there between Colón and Rayón
where the flies hold dominion
the witch goes after her business
her fat dog strung into silence by the neck
patient as bones
she smells of the sea and the fish she peddles
but the cat won’t go near her as singing
she takes a needle to my ribs
she’s making a sutra to the new
singing of a day when the world spun the other way
and she worked the capital
black hair swinging blue past her arse
i was good at it she says and snaps the thread
(there won’t be a going back)
and if you want you can look to where she looks over her shoulder
and into the past and the face of a trick
he bucks and squeals like a stuck pig
wild for her boyish ass
wild for her boyish dick
wild for oh oh oh Perlita
oh she cackles and her teeth spark gold
i was good at it
the faces of her grandmother and her great grandmother and something other not human nor even animal flit across her like shades on a mountain
she might be ten thousand as well as fifty
and her hands move strong as thought
do you have a friend who died ?
i look into my past and see no one
you will she says and laughs
a thing we can be sure of
and if you look up in the night when every fan screams maximum
you will see her high across the face of an egg yolk moon
moving along the invisible line the spider makes
spilling from her tattered baskets the pearls of turtle eggs
the tumbling shard a shark’s fin
the illegal she takes door to door
buying passage for the ones who’ve dropped the thread
who’ve lost the place
who’ve found themselves on their knees holding nothing but the sickness of their need to leave all this behind
to take in both trembling hands the thing she offers
and what I say when her back is turned and i’m holding out the red pouch – bones and hay and skin – she’s dropped inside my palm
what do i do with this ?
but she’s already gone singing about a mountain she’s known since she was a girl
the one which walks from place to place looking always sideways for a home
and the sea goes with her
and the song goes with her
and the gate clangs shut as
outside the women are coming to
shaking sensible slumbering children
brushing flies from sticky mouths
crying out their wares again: tamales tamales
comes the rumble as time re-starts
and in my hand the lightest gleam of gossamer
i pull
it pulls back faint and frightening
i don’t know where i am going or at what cost
she alone has both sides of the bargain
but i am going


it’s Lola with her hoop
she’s dancing on the edge of time
twirling on a straw
wearing that same old dirty bikini
the one she’s worn all week
she’s whirling in her stratosphere fast enough
to bring her heart in pieces back together
you know what she says (her laughter’s in a bubble)
reaches up takes the hoop from the sky
it’s turning on the crescent of her hand and higher
(she can make the stars stop)
her anklets gone ecstatic
do you know my biggest fear ?
it’s spinning on her neck now
her leg held high like an indian god
Lola with her eyes on fire
she’s dancing on the rings of Saturn
eh ? she says it fiercer
do-you-know-my-biggest-fear ?
one two catches it behind her head
claps and laughs outloud
being alone she says and blinks as if to say :
and there’s the gift
her hips keep the world’s spin
her eyes tell the truth
what Lola doesn’t know but will find out
is it’s the only thing she’s ever known.
the only thing she’ll ever know
alone is when she absolutely burns with life


pink sky yellow field
moon sails pale as paper
over trees which haven’t heard its spring yet
(the bite would take your nose)
it stirs something in me
something ancient which tugs at my throat
at my belly
says Come
It’s This Way


New Review of Black Milk (pub. Albion Beatnik)

Nicola G: f**king genius. It’s brilliant, beautiful, heart breaking, illuminating, inventive. My breath was taken so many times. GENIUS!

buy it: http://www.albionbeatnik.co.uk/product/black-milk-olivia-stewart-liberty/



it might look like this when you piss off god:
pinned to the dust by her boot
toe heel black and business either side of your pretty throat
flaxen locks gone haywire
mala all om namah and counting
it might look like that
who knows ?


it looks like this :
a row of dots which shout out joining
it looks like my grandmother
still tall at 90
still beautiful
the one I haven’t seen in years
standing in the cold on her balcony
facing south to where the old grey river leans
bent to feed a bird
the fat brown wife of the sleek black one
her hair slightly lifting
it looks like reaching across the miles
across the years to ask her if she’d mind
if i stood with her while
the mountains i am going to are the ones
people have always gone to
to escape the constant sound of
everything always wanting
to find the thing which doesn’t want, nada
it looks like – will I need my jumper ? – home



sometimes out there on the ring road
when it’s spring but not yet warm
and the day is done but it’s not yet night
sometimes out there
when the trees are blind and
i’ve got myself untethered
from time and from the phone
from thinking even
and i’m there driving
with all the others
and we’re all driving
around sunday night and what monday’s going to mean
around the rows of houses and
all our lives lived back to back
through the months and
past the robin pert and standing
on the handle of a spade
around the pennies saved for rainy days
it’s all so fucking beautiful
this driving – all of us
around our inevitable descent into decrepitude
and sometimes out there on the ring road
my arms dissolve
the road goes blue and
there’s an ecstasy in the hum
and there we all are turning rings round being
vanished into the nub of what is left
before we’re born and when we’re gone
the thing which hides in every single thing and lasts forever
just turning circles around it
around the great plug
before we glug glug down into it
sucked into the ecstasy of everything


i will fritter my life
on tutus on glitter
on pets and on picnics
on round the world tickets
on flat soya whites
and organic cigarettes and
circles of thought around
cows coming home
on tantrums and true love
on dreams of a house
and i’ll fritter my life
– all of it –
here in my hands
my head on the floor
– take it it’s yours –
unutterably forever
this whole frittering life
on you


leaves lie in the road flat as tears
you are still leaping in my heart
how do i reconcile the two ?


so I’m sat there like i don’t know how
a piece of what must sit amongst gram for gram the world’s most expensive fish
hanging off my chopsticks
when god walks in
he’s filthy skinny and his hair is wild
he’s up on crutches his trousers torn
his shoes all gaping in the front
and those toes have not seen soap in like forever
but there is no mistake: all teeth and no teeth
then those eyes
the ones which shout out anything goes
in front of which the angels kneel
and we’re all sat there saying No and looking at our plates
No Gracias to god and whatever god is selling
whatever he’s holding out on that tray
love or liberation or chiclets chewing gum
then there’s this woman
she’s got her hand out not even looking
and god goes over
all lopsided and grinning his unhurried crutches click click click
he’s lighting up this whole fucking place
and then we all can see it
we’re fishing in our purses in our pockets
holding out our coins
pick me pick me
there’s even someone crying
oh fuck it’s me


one time when I died they asked me :
and what do you regret ?
so I told them
yeah and maybe sometimes not allowing all of me to show
and they said go back then and do it
so i did


someone taught you once when you was just a babe
it isnt safe to shine
cos when you shine
you stepdaddy can’t keep his cunting fingers to himself
o is for oceans x is for x-ray and m is for mammy turn-her-back
but I tell you girl
you shining face the only one we got
when the sun aint out
which where I come from be more than 10 month in a year
so bring you stepdaddy here
an i go rip his cancer cunting balls off
cut his stupid fingers to they stump
toss them in an arc of yes
brightest shape them fingers ever made
and you get back to what you meant for
shining shining showing showing
exactly always what means living



someone ripped the soul from this country
ripped it out rolled it up
scarfed it down for lunch
hooters, denny’s, the world famous cinnamon bun company but
iguana won’t be blunted
he spins his eye on the roulette of account
blacker than the burned out suns
black for balance
we crowd about him snapping photos
leaning up against our jeeps
our tee shirts cry out Pura Vida
he waits he blinks he walks
amongst the bottles and the butt ends and the pepsi paper cups
the endless scurf left by our living
he sees he counts he counts he sees
then slowly climbs the last tree standing
i wish my cheeks would burn with what we’ve done
with what we do in every moment
but there isn’t any fight
i will go down with this stupid rotten ship



in the dark days you slept like a fox inside my heart
your red body curled around the seed
when the light came you opened up one eye sly and counting and slid out
i didn’t see you for 1000 years
and when I did your coat was torn
burned with every fuck and fight and every trick you’d ever used
you made to jump back up
i told you no. i didn’t have a choice
i loved you and 1000 years had been too long
besides when you left you scarified my heart
scratched it tore it scored it up all over until
in the place of hard a guild had sprung
and then a forest
planet after planet after life opening into itself
spawning entire systems of untamed
and i discovered myself so damned teeming – look –
i got lost in the wonder of it all



Black Milk
Five interlinking short stories about a troubled 12 year old and her attempts to navigate the overwhelming landscape of puberty, her mother and the Smokey Haze disco, Black Milk a is published by Albion Beatnik Press and available from albionbeatnik.co.uk for £4 plus p&p.


and the cook came out
finished for the night
in his buttoned over black
dusted with tortilla flour
came right to where I sat and
took his cigarette from his mouth
and put it in the hand that held his beer
and like a randy dog and rude
pulled me fingers hard from the oven
into him and put his tongue across my neck
and laughing held me there inside the music
pinned against his thigh
while outside on the street the packs of wild dogs
hungry baying swerve across the road
it’s night
and night belongs to them


the world has something for you
she is wet with wild and waiting
i know you are thirsty
don’t go back to sleep


like a jackal he comes across the street
diagonal relentless nosing into half light
direction food and fucking and somewhere soft to rest his head
the sun’s already half way up
and the night was long
a paper cup rolls to give him way:
here he’s king


i am sick
there is so much I want
love a horse the moon
you to keep wanting me like that
and more. always more
the doctor prescribes taking off my shoes
at least three times a day
it’s how he says the women in Guatemala
won their battle against monsanto
against the genetically modified rapaciousness
which breeds death and want
and then more of it
their sturdy toes splayed in the red earth
their words coming like arrows straight from the heart of it



lamp of your great moose heart searches
riding over tree and shadow
nosing blunt into the forest
i skip among trees
quick as spit
leaping fences stubbing out my laughter in my own hand
ducking into where you aren’t
you raise your face blowing on the sharp air
one two three

i’m high above your head
holding to the last wisp of a dandelion clock
tears bursting from my face
we have only time left to play in
which is why you pretend you can’t find me
and I pretend I can’t be found



today on a spreading plain high up in the high sierra
i saw god in his garden
straw hat dust and ancient legs
as though he’d spent his life on a horse
i didn’t say anything
i couldn’t
i was on a bus just passing through
but today I saw god in his garden
and the marigolds turned their shining faces
to see him pass




i poured a drink
and named it thirst
it hit the table problem solved
i opened up longing
and called it love
and saw that lack can be the answer
and it’s language that has caused the problem
so i made a new world with
half the words
problem solution
same same
and sure enough
life came sweet again


there is something holding up all of this
holding it lightly in the palm of her hand
the clouds that roll across the mountains
the bright birds
the 43 sick to the stomach – I cannot imagine
when they knew what was happening
the men with guns lost enough to do it
the mayor and his wife dead enough to give the order
and look she holds us all – each one – so sweetly
how can it be ?


my father was away a lot try always
and my mother was the Truman Show
she stuck a dome over us
and everything as far as the eye
including thinking belonged to her
i was old enough when i ran out of air
and took a pair of scissors to the sky
it wasn’t easy
and i was on my knees
but for the first time ever i saw the stars


the soft of his mouth the
hard of his cock the soft
of his voice sometimes
when he speaks to me
the hard of his hand
just below each finger
where earlier in the sun
he held a spade
thrusting deep over and over
into the rough earth
bringing up root and potato
and root and potato
undoing what has been done
making new again



they say you meet him three times
the second was in mexico
right across from ricos raspas
and I said no
until he came on over
bold as church
in front of san domingo
the dust rallied to his clatty hooves
and all the women selling blouses
you want two fingers or three ?
por favor and
pushed me up against the cool adobe and
bit my mouth making blood
listen how my body sings
opens like a stupid flower
hasta luego
and there i am
i’m on my knees
crying to the wrong god
por favor camisas blusas
por favor
bound like that
until we meet again

sometimes when I go see god
an i am smilin smilin
pretty pretty on my toes
an she aint please to see me
giving me the old flat eye
an i start thinkin same old same old
i am bad an piss off god
get me all crunch up like that
send me back into alone
til one day someday in the blue
the stars have moved an i remember aha
god jus god
doin always her blindin god thing
helpin showin pointin out
where I still bent up crunch up not a queen
an i aint bad an she aint pissed
an there we are jus counting days an rolling dice
an i come back to smilin smilin
dancing dancing on my toes


she said :
open wide your arms
like this
(showing how)
in a gesture of receiving
and I will give you
the World *

* she did

this town is working roundtheclock
to keep out living
and something here is dying – me
the black and grey the neat lace shoes
the walking fast the always somewhere going
thinking mending future fighting so hard to keep it out
the foreign undesirable detained indefinite at the lip
i’ve started going round the back to where the bins are
smelling what it is I will remember
what it is we’re made of what is living
the crying screaming bleeding heart cut open
joy of what it is to be a human something
in me mourns the place I used to live as
filling in a sandwich safe between the whorehouse
open like a frontsoff dollshouse
and the battered women’s shelter
the men all night like baying dogs
swaying on their hindlegs lola
i know you can hear me bitch
come down here so I can break your fucking head
drunk and throwing bottles at the stars


yours is every mouth
and mine is every flesh
and ours is every bad love
ever manmade
and ground into every bobbled fibre
that does the good work
and keeps this earth from spinning wild free
off its fucking axis
into any single
howling night

a friend’s been reading my poems
i like then he said
some he went on
look like they only took one second to write
they did i said
he laughed and said
i still like them
as in despite
and as though somehow
he’d stuck out his pale neck.
i looked at him until i had remembered the rules:
a week should take seven days
fedex overnight
and a poem longer than one second to make


before language
before all this got shore up
bird tree mine his
before any that got put on
out where sky an water same same
out here kneeling
in the dark blaze earth
gonna pluck out new sounds
cut new runnels
same blood thirsty now
quick for new veins
boiling to bust open old words
get down
quick quick
to that one

used to say
make me whole
now i say
who goes back ?
so finish this job
take me direct to what will
shatter me completely
so the night sky stops looking like that:
and explodes
into nothing
into all star

i don’t remember too much about getting raped
i guess he drugged me pretty good
i don’t remember too much: try nothing
and woke up strange to
piece together clothes I couldn’t remember and
didn’t understand why are they scattered like this
and isn’t it funny ?
i didn’t even notice a part of me had died
it took me ten whole years to allow the possibility
sometimes i think about kicking him in the balls hard enough that his eyes burst
and other times i see him quiet in front of his flatscreen
he’s watching britney spears
and i ask him: sweet my love did you get the thing you needed ?
but most of the time i don’t think about him at all :
see, the part in me that died, she got reborn
she’s a lot of fun (i think you’d like her)
her name’s Kali
thing is she just doesn’t have the time for everyone

there’s a place
at the crossroads
where everyone’s welcome
the jihadis come
pulling at their trousers
and restless of foot
fistbump and never give up
and the school children’s
ties hang thirsty
as the Baobab
clustered round chocolate
and it’s here that love lands
cooling its ardor and
bickering like doves
over kitchen appliances
in the new Argos catalogue
and it’s where I come
making my jihad, drinking my chocolate
and cooling my ardor:
fistbump and never give up

these hills are dark
and this river
dropping down
through the ages of rock and iron
carving out her quiet bowl
has earned her place
you can smell her secrets
fierce, still
and much gets done over time
and everything earns her place

why, in the name of everything that is sweet
that is ripe
that is living
would you dream a thigh gap
when you have the other
twin peaches meeting
wherever you go
kissing over and over
whispering one against the other
remembering always and
everywhere you will ever walk
what is love

it isn’t in black and it isn’t
in any tree even on that day the first bud cracks
i’m not it
and nor is he
and the space between us isn’t
even when it’s festooned in words like bunting
it’s not in butter
or inside any tear even if it’s on the rapist’s own cheek
it’s not in thought
or in space between thought
(like that happens anyway)
it’s not in not and it isn’t in nowhere
so where is it ?
if you look you’ll see it
right there on the goat that nearly died
it’s in the line of her sister’s neck
the way it curves reaching to tuck and claim
to pull it down into her own
it’s in the ‘s’ of those necks linking
which says
you are and
i am
and we are
and this is how
we fit
and don’t you dare
to let that happen




i’m dreaming of a little brown horse I love which died
i’m dreaming of a bright day in which he strolls back into my life
cracks me on the skull with the lethal underside of his jaw
worries with his rubber lips the front of my shirt
and comes down systematic snapping off the buttons
spitting each one out

back then there was nothing going on under there
now it might be that he’d be surprised
and hopefully in a good way

it looked a day like any other:
the plane trees whispered same old same old
and july came hot off the fat arch road
i went to the co-op to buy food for my dog
and it looked a day like any other until
the cashier plucked the box from my basket
and looking every word into my eyes said
‘i love you and i want to marry you’
i was surprised at how deep in me each word landed
‘i might not make a good wife’ i said wanting time
‘why?’ he asked his sweet head angled as he spiralled the Baker’s Choice
the tumbling biscuits shouted applause
‘i’d probably do my own thing a lot of the time’
he smiled like that was already given
‘every time I came in you’d have to give me a discount’
with a lazy arm he caught a card which hung from the till
and i watched the numbers plummet
‘think about it’ he said
on the way home the biscuits rattled
and the plane trees whispered
and i thought about it and one of the thoughts said why not ?
let’s live a little



rain takes my face in both her hands
says see ?
i do almost and then i don’t
see what ? playing here for time
rain laughs
way the hush comes
way the leaves come
the way when you come
writing this down
words aren’t
and this isn’t
can you see it ?
i’m trying i tell her
rain laughs
shakes out her wet hair allover me

look at the cows my soul said
someone’s got to do the fat work of sitting in clover

day is dark
and wind blows greasy low
across apples slumped in rotted grass
the sun isn’t bothered
by last night’s bottles
sentinel row of sour mistakes
i’m sat here at the table
nosing into soul
this is not the worst i’ll feel today
it doesn’t matter though
and none of it matters
as somewhere on the other side of the world
standing upsidedown
there’s you
dark beautiful
holding out your arms for the stars


making something always
making sense
stitching the woman who served my lunch
rice or potatoes ?
onto my dog’s face the second time i left
sewing that onto tomorrow
and again onto my dog’s soft eyes
that onto next year
and a man i once loved
onto all of these feelings
coming and going and some staying longer

in the soft bowl of evening
i hold it up
my sewn together map
screw up my eyes
see if i can read it
see if i’ve made sense yet


i went to the matisse cut-outs
saw plain my soul need :
explode colour with colour
shunt word against word
make bombs

there’s something in me which says
fuck peace :
let’s make fireworks

i’ve changed my mind
decided after all
i don’t want to sit peaceful for a thousand years
stories life all passing through
so many clouds on empty air
i want to get my hands dirty
all the way up my arms
and then i want to flounder
day and all the night
in thick mud of my own creation
i want to get shocking filthy
deep down dirty
in everything it means to be alive

marquee of stone squats vast as pyramids
each granite arch yawns wider
no sun no warmth may enter
who owns this space ?
not god not me not the priest here
not the devoted who file through each day
ants moving over granite to kiss a picture
a pair of pigeons made black by the stone
flaps across the gaping void
wings inside this place shocking loud
they sit high up in the great dome
at home and chattering in places beyond our reach
lords here:
the meek have inherited

past sits heavy on these shoulders
leeches from the fabric of the coats
makes heavy weather on the pedestrian precinct
yet in amongst the old burns the new:
it’s in the surge of the puppy on its lead
in the flurries of the seed head swirling up
as though earth isn’t the only place
it’s in the child who offers the wink
so slow so deliberate that it’s clear:
things are not what they seem
and in no way are things what they seem:

it’s going to happen any minute
altogether now and on the count of three:
everyone unzips their anorak
throws off the past:
it’s a dance routine they’ve been working on
the whole of the past century.

the girl said
where you live you not have ownerless-dog ?
no I said expecting congratulation
on the super-efficient ownerless-dog-free land from which I come
her face turned fretful
to the open window which gaped on the street
sad she said, so sad
we loves the dogs
and the dogs loves us
i turned to where she looked
out over her city of dogs
soaring and lolling and fat in the sun
doing the good work of getting loved
receiving and receiving
in a place which has known loss
over and forever


i went to church today
and i asked jesus if i could be like him
show me i said
the way
he laughed and said
sweet thing
i showed you that already
i said
(aware of the iron hot in which i was)
is there any way you could could be minded to put me in the way of it ?
he said
you are that
i said if that’s true
how come I feel so fucking lonely ?
and he said
sweet thing
you think I didn’t ?



come to the edge of the map
take the boulevard pocked by the past
drop off the page
into uncharted
where faces read cyrillic
and sense makes other
and fear pries its fingers 
into what happened
and those lighting candles and
 signing the cross
and coming out backwards
still wear their anoraks:
they might not get home

meanwhile the dogs lie baking in the sun
fat as sausages
at home in today
grinning in what it means to be alive


thirteen years and tasting freedom
roll out dark across the tongue
blow that smoke into forever
through the open bedroom window
through the branches of the tree
through this small town getting smaller
french inhale and taste the freedom
time is mine and
on we ride
towards horizon
and a happy ever after
not yet thought
but on its way
thirteen years and dreaming freedom
blowing smoke into the face of an owl

grey sky won’t crack: can’t risk blue
dirty traffic rumbles on
people move about their days
along the pavement
across the road
off the bus
alone and all together
galaxies of dreams and plans and sadnesses spiral out through every head:
a universe within a universe moving towards a better one
some day

today i’m sat here
ok (somewhat) with any of it

wind through poplar silvers ear
lifts leaves turns them silver
sweet tongue whispers
words I cannot make
hold wide my ears to prayer
still I cannot hear
my own mouth comes :
blow through my hair
turn me silver
bowl me through this town
and out
the other side
to where the hookup
knows this hunger
keeps the food
and waits and waits and
counts his silver

words make boxes
fit things inside
like: how are you
like: i am fine
good small bite size
put on lid
shut up tight and
file under
things i like
things i don’t like

soul not happy
soul need wings
say: if you don’t got nothing made of this:
(snorts, stamps hoof, earth yields: hungry for connection)
you don’t got nothing
soul still not happy
gonna come by your place nighttime
ransack your garage
burn down your neat stack boxes
while you sound there sleeping in your little box bed filing dreams away alphabetical:
ok or not ok.
now soul happy
she’s laughing

Who knew everything would turn out so bossy ?
I’ve hardly walked in the door
When everything raises up
Comes tumbling to compete
Each voice loud:
Wash me up
Throw me out
Pick me up
And put my lid on.
Even the garden can’t keep its mouth shut.
If I’d wanted this I’d have had children
Or more parents.
I sit.
Day hangs in the balance
Balance tips and
We slide into evening.
Amid the clamour
The soul pulls out a picture
It’s of a tiny place north of here
Made of wood and along from anything
Here she says we can be free.
You me and your dog.
Here she says the three of us will lie on sheepskin
Take our turn to tend the fire
And when we’re quiet
We’ll hear the song of wolves and wind.
Of wind and wolves.
And that soaring will be our song.
And together we will sing.

Wolf throws back her head
Cries out in the infinite lack
The sound goes
Over and over against mountains
Comes back unchanged
No wolf no thing answers
Not even the north wind
For who can answer that ?

There won’t be an answer:
Everything we need to know
Is written on that first sound
That strange vowel of want
Offered and swallowed time and times over
By night
Which sits forever
Black and flung about with tears

I want to get with you.
I’ve wanted it my whole entire life.
Which is why I spend my days looking to bump into you
My nights planning my days
And the places inbetween so restless
I’m delirious.
You’re so fucking elusive
I never find you on facebook
Or outside: don’t you like fresh air ?
You are like no one
And so refined
I’m wondering if you passed through a sieve – professional grade double zero – more than once.
I’ve never met anyone who makes me laugh as much
Infact you’re dazzling
I don’t know how you do it
Or how I can be more available than this
Writing it
And sticking it up here naked:
We could make
Wow. I said it.
So how do I (stop laughing) get with you ?
All. The. Time.

The girl who’s making my coffee tells the other girl
The French one with the same earrings as me (£5.99 from the shop on the high street)
‘George met a girl’
‘Oh no’ (the French one, laughing as in: we all know what that means)
‘Yeah’ (my one) ‘and then she died’.
The French girl’s head swings round the earrings jingle her jaw drops leaving her mouth like that open.
‘Yeah’ my one  tasting something bitter, ‘she died the next day’.
‘That’s awful’.
Then the French girl asks, quickly-quietly like it might not be ok, ‘Did he like her?’
My girl, bent to swirl a pattern in the milk, frowning nods her ‘yeah’.
So this love and death.
And this is how they come and go mostly when we’re not expecting.
What I want to know is about the girl.
The one who died.
I want to know whether she liked George.
And I want to say: Yes.
I don’t know too much about death – or love – but as far as death goes, it would be nice to think there can be sweetness at that gate.

Ducklings came today
New as pins
Fast as gold
And good as ping pong balls
Zipping out all over the river
I watched one bounce a foot
And land its legs splayed wide apart
Spinning in delight
Of feather and flesh and spirit
All combusting for the first time here
And I thought
Fuck the odds
The snapping turtles
The snooping dogs
The chance of death
Most won’t survive so what?
Perhaps it’s not about survival
Perhaps it never was:
There’s only now
And here I am
So watch me jump

I came past a cherry tree all out pink in flower
It smelled so delicate, so fleeting sweet
It reminded me of happiness
And for a second I was happy.
It got me thinking
How could I be always happy?
The answer came:
If that cherry tree was mine
And stood all day outside my window
That’s how I’d be happy.
A cloud came then:
The tree would have to blossom 24/7
I felt like crying:
I’ll never be happy and yet
I’m always happy
And the tree has nothing to do with it.
It’s just day in day out a cherry tree busy doing its own generous and ecstatic cherry thing.

Last night
I saw trees
Standing over rooftops against the blue bright night
Still like card
Yet so completely jazzing
I was stunned
Then I saw the moon
How is it I had never seen the moon
Except through borrowed eyes ?
I saw houses
Each brick burned
Laid one on top by hands from years ago for other lives:
I saw them moving in and moving out and sofas stuck in every doorway.
And it was against all this jumping blazing fire-in-every-atom life
I saw that every thought I’ve ever had
Every sadness
Every plan
Even all that thinking mapping furrowed so hard making sense
Has been so out of place
So entirely ridiculous
That I am blind.



I am seared with a longing so burnt in
So hardwired
I’m afraid one day I’ll suck the whole world down
And when that’s not enough
I’ll scream tears until all of life drowns
Then I’ll come roaring through the four corners sat astride a grief to finish what’s left.
This thirst is desert: I’ll drink the galaxy dry.
The next one too.
This is me the whirling screaming ravenous one
Built on tears and thighs and noremorse
That echoes through the whole of time.
The one who has to be in bed (and ideally asleep) by 11 o’clock each night.


It’s right there on the uneven line in the cobbly upcurve of that Beatrix Potter roof
And there again in the dizzy cherry blossom stuck ridiculous all over that tree
The one that will start blizzarding anymoment candyfloss pink
And it’s there in the roundy shapes of the bright white clouds bobbing all over the sky
I’m seeing it everywhere today:
The promise of a time when everything
Makes sense
And love rules
And what matters
Are the simple things
Like family
And milking the goat.

Last week I got hold of the longing for what is missing
I swear to God I saw it all the way around and laughed.
I bundled it used bubble wrap and put it in a box.
And sent it to myself
Special delivery.
Next day when the postman knocked
I had on lipstick
And smiling took the package, signed his screen
And nodded with a secret Oh I will when he told me to Enjoy.
I closed the door and stood a moment.
So this would be the day.
And this is what that day looked like:
Yellow, buttery. Midmorning.
If there’d been a clock it might have struck.
Eleven probably.
I broke the box
I burst the bubbles
I tore it open
And there inside
Found nothing.
At all.
I’m still trying to make sense of what happened.
On top of that
The postage cost a fortune.

Apparently everything you write down in a poem comes true
Especially – they say – if the poem doesn’t rhyme
Which is why I’m writing
In particular order none
Porsche, midnight blue (cream leather interior).
Words. In wild new arrangement allowing new worlds, all worlds, possibilities, things, no things.
Flying things.
And ecstasy.
Of the endless, clifftop dancing naked kiss-the-earth variety
For all of us.
Quick sticks.

Oh and some music to go along with that.

The heart asked again today
If I could allow her sadness.
I didn’t say anything.
Just hurried around
Making plans
Planting sweet peas
Writing down words like:
‘Today I planted sweet peas
As lately there’s been a lack’.
The next time she asked
I said of course
And went up the road for cake
All the time wondering whose house
I might go round to later for a gin and tonic
Preferably I was thinking
Someone who’s ok with smoking
Later when the heart reached with her little fingers
For my hand
I was busy trying to download a TV show
Is there any way
She asked again
I could allow it ?
I didn’t know and I don’t know
And I still don’t know
But what I do know
Is right now
That little hand
Just resting there
In mine
It feels

You. Are. It.
Look down
At each of your darling little toes
And know what every one of them already knows:
That You in all your razzle dazzle stardust
You in all your fear
You in all your great small greatness:
You. Are. It.

Last night I dreamt a little red fox jumped over the round clear moon
I was the moon and you were the fox
That doesn’t matter though
What does is that right there in that moon jump was the magic I’ve been trying to get to forever
I woke sad and made it my work to find a place on the earth
Secret cool and soft
Where I could press my self my tongue into her yielding body
And taste again
That seething teaming wild place where things get made.

You weren’t in the museum amongst the illuminated manuscripts.
And I can tell you, I looked really closely.
You weren’t in the vanilla chai latte I had later on in the cafe.
(The girl who made it could have told me that).
You weren’t in the gift shop.
Nor in the cry of the seagull on the roof.
And I (for one) couldn’t find you in the endless blue sky.
As I can’t see you now on these words.
Or in the spaces between these fingers which have been with me from the start.
So where are you?
I’ve made up my mind:
I’m going to start putting it about that we’re sleeping together.
How else – unless I’m spending eight with you out of every 24 – could I put up with any of this?

I just read a Rumi poem that pissed me off:
The one about the Love Dogs
About how the howl of the dog for its master IS the connection
I can tell you right off:
This time around that’s not going to be enough.


Beautiful old willow
Last week curled and draped upon our river
Nodding sagely to the passing ducks
Today stands devastated
Split in two
 by last night’s storm
Interior milk white grinning
Gaped entirely to the world
Tragic end to noble tree?
Or just the answer to the question it was asking its entire life?





Think: does crocus put the brakes on crocus?
Brave first flower.
Pale cup reaching, opening, gold heart first into the light.
Is crocus always questioning, ordering:
Not like that. Like this.
Purple, really?
White I think:
 Improve or die unloved.
Always angry mending
Until crocus has no idea of how or why or which way now.
This must be our Fall From Grace
This mind
This Think.


Hard enough pushing through blank earth
Black with ice
Eyeless indefinable nosing towards something: light perhaps.
Hard enough without that voice:
what did I tell you?-see?-who can love you?
Hard enough
Yet not hard at all
When there’s no other choice and only one direction.

It’s late and the soul picks her sweet way through the debris:
‘I can’t believe you said that, ate that, smoked that;
of course they don’t like you; why would they?;
 look at the state of you’.
She picks her sweet way between smoldering rafters, 
over burnt out stories.
Through smoke and flame and the charred remains of what has fallen.
I don’t know how she does it,
but even her shoes stay clean.

Hard to remember always that we share a soul
You, I, the vicar who almost ran me over on his bicycle
The one who frowned before remembering.
Offered an ‘even vicars…’ kind of smile.
The one who might do a sermon on it
On patience at the weekend.
‘Even I’ perhaps he’ll start.
Ego speaks and soul separates
Into me. You.
My dog
The vicar.
On Sunday high up in his eyrie.
I’m wondering what remembering looks like:
Silent, infinite love-orgy
And what the password* for that party might be.


*PM me pls if u got it thx 🙂

Today my soul will not take flight
On flock of words to wheel and scatter
To make new shapes
Turn silver in the light
Today it stays down here sulky flat and dark as lead
It says it’s trapped between my body
And the earth
The thing is right now I can’t be bothered to get off it.
Maybe I’ll see how long I can keep it there.

Sorrow wants to know how we met and through whom and whether I’m actually entitled to know her.
‘You see’ she says in her softly voice
‘You don’t have a child who is dying
Your partner has not gone terminal
Your clitorus appears to be intact
And even the lump growing from your dog’s foot probably isn’t cancerous.
Furthermore’ she says skim-reading her notes,
‘You drive a car with the top down and eat a chocolate croissant whenever you feel like it. Even during Lent.
Well?’ She says looking over her glasses,
‘Have you anything to add?’
‘Probably not’ is the best I’ve got.
Sorrow looks at me. I look at Sorrow.
Even though my face is wet, it’s clear our meeting’s over.