Poem 1990 (4)



Night is so huge.
Lines mark my face
with memory.

Recalling a compliment
from her eyes
an arm intent on embrace
across our separateness.

Now lonely in this unshared world
anxiety clogs my heart.
Will I be admitted to sleep
at last?

I watch windows darken
while outside
through shuffling leaves
shake rushes of air.

Poem 1990 (3)


Resting partly on her soft flesh
impregnated by sleep
warmth coated me
in a soothing varnish
then drifting down
to new sensations
levers turning vaguely
while a conspiracy
of malformed sentences
mutated hazily
their strange fingers poised
above expression-keys
uncertain where to drop.

I woke upon the sofa
of that recent passion
or its appeasement
struggling for recall
grasping at dream’s afterglow
through receding shapes.
We lay pressed together there
at breast and thigh
our bellies made faint cries
as if tiny ocean creatures
had been trapped
behind the skin.

Poem 1990 (2)



Drained by illness
my feelings were comatose
I tried to prod them awake
or observe
in these surroundings
some unravaged vision

That pavement grey
October sky
already moon-stained

In the garden
petal remnants
yellow to brown

This mind
away again
shying like a horse
crashing over dark leaves
as my mouth
on the pen.

Poem 1990 (1)

Touch deprivation


I lay alone
while daydreams began:
seated at some vacant bar
I was soon joined
by an imaginary companion
with a thirst for my secrets.
Her leg touched mine
perhaps accidentally?
Then unmistakable warmth
from a hand on my arm.
Trying not to waver
I continued talking
in imitation of cool
just now
feeling almost alive
until my eyes
opened again
each one
empty as glass.

Post-Muse Poems

I had almost forgotten, until searching my files, that over the decades since illness hit my brain (1987) I made a few attempts to write poems without aid of inspiration. I call them “Post-Muse.”  They date from 1990, 1994, 2001, 2004. I shall include these for the sake of completeness and, perhaps, comparison.

Though I am never free of symptoms, they vary. Sometimes I can concentrate a little better. But not as often as I would like!

Losing my Muse

I lost my Muse in July 1987.  I still hope she might come back one day. It seems unlikely now. Let me explain.

I am in constant pain, aching all over, exhausted. With brain-fog. Over-sensitive to light, sound, smell, chemicals, heat, cold. Like having the flu coming on every day. For almost thirty years.

It’s M.E./CFS they said. No cure. I tried to fight. It fought back harder. Rest they said. That failed, also.

My body became a prison. I lost social life, fitness, hobbies, music, art, creativity. Without energy my world shrank. Mainly down to a sickroom, bed and books. I underwent an ordeal of disappearance. Without the strength to stop it happening.

I grew used to this limited existence until 2014, when I was hit by vertigo. Not spinning: but constant unpredictable sensations of motion. Over two years on a fairground ride I cannot get off.

Following rapid weight loss it was discovered that my pancreas was failing. Very weak and ill: I worried about the fate of creative work, lying unseen in various drawers and files. I had no-one to leave it to. I thought I could try making a blog as a kind of memorial to my lost life.

So the previous posts are my total poetic output before illness hit my brain. Thus the Muse withdrew from me after I wrote of her visit. Though I may not have written well, I wrote from inspiration. That has gone. And I miss it.

I wrote this to explain the lack of more recent work on this blog. I still write a little, but not poems.  Since I began with Poetry, I have put it here first.

I want to thank everyone for the “likes” on my poems. (I did not get any comments, however, hence I am not actually sure of what it was that others liked about them.)

I hope readers will be kind enough to continue to visit my blog as I transition into posting prose: experimental writing, philosophy, ideas and opinions.


Poem 1985

Nocturnal Muse


This Muse journeys by night
preferring gloom
a certain fog
an intangible excitement
which tinges the brain then
providing more fertile ground
for her delirious issue
in their gaudy drapery
attending neuronal galleries
there she can hold convulsive court
while darkness trembles
under her
following as impulse runs astray

to obscure cerebral boltholes
sniffing-out fusty old memory-pits
where associations have lain for years
falling fearless among bubbling synonyms
metaphors with broken claws
are quickly consumed
once nerve-fibres blaze
she gets those lines dancing
a final witching waltz
of vital verbs
before they sink
utterly spent
amid sleep’s torrid brew.

Poem 1984 (3)

Inner voice


I remember your loneliness
dark nights without soul
familiar routes across the housing estate
so many chill evenings
walking through a silent valley
I saw you falter
on wet winter pavements
felt mute prayers
covet some sluice-gate to heaven
aching for starlight
legs dragging you back toward
a morass of bad dreams
that hollow house
its old fridge humming insect vibrations
those years drifting
brain at ferment
alert for roaming dogs
or being stopped by police at two a.m.
they watched you
trailing your slug despair
along deserted streets
to a room easily lost
cold air closing over you
in damp layers
of pressure.

Poem 1984 (1)

In the sleeping eye


I sank through a burning dream
strange bodies murmuring
their outlines on fire

While in imaginary branches
black shapes began to breathe
when leaves became bats

Cloudy as fears
such creatures live where
sleep laps against vision’s shore

Molten shoals
touched in an eyelid’s ocean

I tried to reach landfall
beyond swimming uncertainties
of form.