The journey of a thousand miles

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one cliché.


The Person 

Where does the person go once
the shell is gone that stooping low
held the small hands of children? Where

are the pictures from the palette
filled, lines blurred softly, colour
leaking playfully in the light? There is no

tremor in the earth discernible
as the steady footfall of ones we’ve
loved, nor in the hills echoes of their sounds

still flying. We cannot from the thrust
of flowers the spring reveals
cultivate the scent of what

we’ve lost. It must go
somewhere the person that is not a place
where bricks sit in their mortar

or bells toll the time bereft
in each clanging moment; somewhere
perhaps less substantial than a passing thought

but as present as the gaping sky
that holds us – cold mother –
and weeps. If you move on

like the passing summer shedding
heat, are blown with leaves
in swirling eddies

upwards, I will risk cliffs of the mind
to find you, shed all my senses to know that place
that is not anywhere

nor nothing,
to know the you that resides inside the you
I love. It must be there the person

waiting quietly
while the sea swallows the sun and the blue sky
bruises purple then ceases to be.


I’ve been writing this blog for quite some time now and have decided it’s time to broaden its scope. I am a fiction writer mostly and only write poetry and prose-poetry for a bit of ‘exercise’ when I’m not writing other stuff – novels and short fiction. I have written an adult literary novel which did the rounds of publishers but never made the cut. My latest effort is a young adult novel that is now under consideration (fingers crossed.) As a way of venturing into self-publishing and self-promotion (something I am not at all cut out for) I thought I might publish some previously published short stories and perhaps some unpublished fiction (depending how brave/foolhardy I am.) Hopefully you’ll find a moment to read the longer writing…

Dr Frankenstein

Daunted already
working in a dim predawn
light, he arranged then attached
body parts he’d secreted from countries

distant, politically strained, religiously opposed,
attempted the delicate knifescaping
of neural pathways (some cauterisation,

some re-routing and reforging)
and in an unanticipated twist
found so many negative
polarities, combined, formed

a primitive magnetism
that re-fired long dormant meridians
and sparked life. This

melded man lay
like a newborn kicking its legs
arms wide looking at him
not even a question

on its red lips.

About the end

I’m sure now, where once
I wasn’t, it ends
in some dark oblivion. Our
rubber universe is expanding and

when it snaps back in
on itself, outer limits meeting the centre,
like a windscreen insect,
nothing is more likely

than something. I imagined worlds
after this one, plane intersecting plane,
scoffing at heaven/
hell dichotomies,

dying dogmas. I even walked breathing twilights
wet and shining out of my body,
born again. But that now
eems too much to promise

myself waiting in my skin like an elephant
whose size and improbability
gives birth, in mind,
to ridiculous ideas of design.


A distant planet I once travelled to

When I came back I had
no language to tell of what I’d seen;
no one knew except a man who stood
arms outstretched

near my house, breathing. This
breathing man, unkempt,
bearded, dressed in the same clothes
every day, never spoke

of what he recognised in me, my
camouflage suit and tie,
secret planet orbiting above my head.
Many sadnesses live and die alone,

ruptures beneath the skin
like worlds you alone have seen
go unreported. Sometimes I sit
remembering the cliffs, but

it was many years ago. Others
have travelled there, I know,
seduced by siren beauty,
left with the mute ache

of having been.