Lull of The Bull and The Trigger-Happiness-where to get them

My two poetry collections Lull of The Bull and The Trigger-Happiness are available on the Starborn Books website:

and also :


and :

Song of David

There used to be giants
nimbly rolling the rocks
around the known landscape
to cap water spirals

the people used to be giants
now they were not
or so they thought

though suspicious of Rome
they went about unarmoured
along forest tracks that led back to them

they strained to hear the bells
of the sixteen wall towns
of the kingdom they were told lay
under the shallow bay
they believed though no sound came
save the lament of gulls
and the collapse of waves

he took his first steps and was injured
his father and his uncle
battled against snow to get his face sewn up
but a crucifix injected itself into his arteries
and travelled those routes for many years
forcing him out of shape

to grow tall and crooked
trying to sink into his shoulders
as his mother had done at that stage

the shadow of smoke
he recalled Jesus
how gentle he’d seemed
the women loved him
still he couldn’t understand why they did that to him

he was obliged to follow the old religion
though more drawn to Hell
he looked like the Turin Shroud when asleep
he kept telling them he was dead

in a country with a higher number
of castles than any other
he played at the cottage of his great grandmother
and the motte and bailey castle
next door after which it was named
the comfort of grass and a six hundred year gap
and discovering gooseberries for the first time

both his grandfathers died at the wheels of their cars
without a mark in almost inexplicable accidents

when this curse outlived its usefulness
he would learn to drive
in order to get out of this valley
where everything was washed down slopes
into the river into the sea into the ocean
into rain back to this place again

TV was new wall-to-wall war every night
Vietnam and Ulster
and the offerings of producers
who had survived the “last” war
he in turn re-enacted liberation
and freedom fighting with comrades

and guns left over from the resolved
and unresolved conflicts
of previous generations
providing ammunition
for their imagination

he put knives in his pockets
his belt his eyes
to steady his nerves
to ward off his father
whom he had exceeded in height

he was not taught the story of his country
but guessed at its events
and found that his broad accent
was nothing to be embarrassed about

he spoke two languages
but wanted to renounce one
until he learned to love it again
to revere his birthplace for what it was
and not dismiss it for what it wasn’t

at the beginning of the space age
his parents acquired labour-saving devices
that helped them in their daily chores
and in the raising of their children
but these machines took over their time
and sucked out the soul of family life

they looked after a chapel
next to their home
the silhouettes of tombstones
dancing around his bedroom walls
illuminated by car headlights

the new people arrived
they had always been there
but now seemed to be everywhere
speaking the language his tribe had absorbed

they took over abandoned farms and chapels
and the leaderships of some of the hundreds
the inflexions and drive of a different gang

he pretended he was like them
but in the uncertainty of changing North Atlantic culture
his tongue fumbled some of the old words
in their unfolding

in the summer he slept with windows open
in the mistaken benevolence of electric light
beyond which night creatures
exhaled their excited air
and burned empty homes

he grew into song
into words and deeds
his chewing gum grin
glossing over his mistrust in his seed
until the egg begged

now the blood of princes runs through him
carries him shoulder high to the computer-enhanced
rampart mountains blue with rain
where they do not overwinter the sheep
the blood of princes runs him through

For Fire


A cat hunches under a parked car

screws that don’t turn don’t want to

the sound of an apple falling heavier than the object

crashed fox grins at roadside

geese heard overhead but not seen

still on a stepladder


new rain


drum rudiment

inadvertent touching of owl feathers


suggest a jester

I’m buying socks

this is as good as it gets

a punch in the guts to start doing what I want


hitting a door to give my left hand a chance

no big deal

it hurts but not for long

and the poor quality door will survive me


don’t treat anger

use it as a tool to shape the days

lifestyle fashioned from vexation

a gift given to you


for bones have their own bones

and everything is a part of something else


the long flat views

                                                                        we never realised we were so high



the change from one season to the next

from Druidism

            to Catholicism

from Protestantism

            to Nonconformism

from hunger

            to consumerism

from farm

            to factory

from Welsh

            to English














































more slavery than at any other time in history

pirates command whole seas

Colonel Gaddafi as Bob Dylan

G.I. Gurdieff in downloaded loads
















I was thinking about my mother

how to remember her

how she used to look

smell sound laugh and walk

when we roamed the savannah together

all the things she told me



































lost at midnight in the vicinity of villages

with “Moat” in their names

I remain underground

don’t get noticed

don’t meet eyes

my imprint already known


hillocks of washing up

the wrong graveyard

in a never-ending episode of Red Dwarf

Matt’s here with the weather


local produce

she said she’d been waiting

for a tall man to come along

I handed her the milk carton she required

she pushed her trolley away


walking over a footbridge

there’s nowhere else to go

behind a young Indian woman

pushing a push chair with good legs


they wore shorts with tights

and intoxicated me

I wore a jacket with a torn inside pocket

full of a letter from a mental hospital


autumnal arousal

she gets in touch

apology envelopes

a rumoured body

a known feint
































































            (bedtime story)                                                 he lay unable to sleep

thinking about a hundred things he could now do nothing about

whirring around inside his washing machine skull

as revellers loudly made their way home in the street


he couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a good night’s sleep

he wondered how much total darkness

there was in his life in life

his heavy eyes closed and he settled into a half comfortable position


(began to dream of an embrace

a tryst he had imagined many times

this time more real than ever

deliciously feeling limbs surround him

the heat of another body

he inched closer into the cuddle)


a toenail scraped his shin

his fantasy was over

somehow there was someone else in his bed

a shape with an unknown face

who had come to lie beside him

he withdrew his hand from the other’s arm

heard their steady breathing

his own quickening respiration

his body grew cold though the stranger remained warm

cosy in a threatening way

he asked in a weak whisper

“who are you?”

no reply he asked again again no reply

he tried to wrestle free from the hug

but strong fingers gripped his elbows

his feet pinioned by athletic legs


the union of terror lasted until first light

when the intruder vanished in a moment

or so it seemed

he got up cautiously clammy with sweat

the bedroom door was still locked

he nervously searched the wardrobe under the bed behind the curtains

he peered carefully through the window

and saw that nothing was out of place











(unfit Inuit unit intuit into it)


reality TV

an adult adult on the cusp of a cusp

and how long does a long hard look take?


I assert my right to silence

                                    to oddity

                                    to isolation

to think about instantaneous evolution

until it cajoles all other thoughts from my thinking


the trigger-happiness be upon you

the heat and torpor caused by weight gain

the bacon brought home

dropping hot cakes

conventional oven

a butcher’s apron

for a three brain roast


bishop as penis penis as bishop

a word that is unable to give its word

toss but sexy in the modern way

castrated babies dodging dogging sex


where will bonfires reveal themselves

in the coal of the countryside?

the smiles of women on horseback

sunshine on tall brightly painted seaside houses


life is getting some money

spending some money

having pleasant and unpleasant interactions


I conclude that I must now be working

for Goldman Sachs

capitalist punishment

grateful servitude

to a cancerous authority

me too at times a joke

international banking conspiracy

of no specific ethnic origin


sacking me sacking you

handmaiden to a regime

misunderstood mantras repeated



race to the bottom

to impoverishment

as others make a profit out of the gap

between us and them and us

the near-mirage effects of changing the hour


I’m rusting

invaded by a single celled mould

it’s that time of our lives

they are surprised to see me

still amongst the transplanted population


when we were human

we stood with livestock

milked slaughtered and salted our way

through iron ice and snow grass

revered our ever present ancestors

opened our eyes when we looked

at the uninterrupted night sky

the way we weren’t


the syllable factory still in business

see a man about a headstone

and tolerate zero


I need someone not something

not a postcard from a postcard

“wishing you had posted me”


broken vein

haranguing God

dimming down

insects at windows at night

in a dry kind of aquarium


bigger clothes for the expanding universe

the men have the same names

they stopped taking photographs of their children

after the age of ten


gin and bath tonic

what’s “reindeer furniture” in Finno-Ugric?

what do I know?


let everything that moves move me