Opulent squalor

In black armbands we followed the horse cavalcade. Black feathers adorned head-dresses on two black horses, pulling a black hearse bearing a black coffin. Such a grand honourable send off, for such a despicable man. Black turned the skies too, shards of lightning led thunderous drumrolls from the heavens. Black umbrellas were erected swiftly to protect black hats from the rain. The horses whinnied, as from the ether a black cart riding on blue flame approached. The cart bore a black cat of unimaginable size, it’s eyes aglow, it’s dagger fangs bared. In a flash of violence the coffin lid was shredded and with a menacing hisss the Kasha hauled the hell bound corpse away.


I am laying watching the wood, the panels on the ceiling. The grain moves in watery motion, I see ripples and waves, I see fish tails, countless eyes and bubbles floating above me. Like when the wood was tree.


The alpha male has always been a big threatening bully, a repugnant peacock of an animal, a violent overbearing egotistical thug of questionable at best values, a striding beast of a thing, trampling the fey and feminine, pissing on all in false ownership, one who wallows in their own testosterone, a swaggering bastard, a palaeolithic creep.


The thing that makes expensive cars expensive is, they cost more. If you find yourself envious of an expensive car, a supercar or hypercar, remember they are largely the same as a cheap car, you will find all the same parts, it will sit in traffic much the same, the switches will have been borrowed from a cheaper car, you will also find the cheap car is perversely more reliable. The supercar will be beautiful to your eyes yes, yet beauty is free for all to see. The cars are expensive, as many things are, to keep them from poor people’s hands, to give meaning to being rich, for exclusivity. If everyone could buy one, they would no longer be special. Being rich relies on feeling special about just doing the ordinary with phoney twinkles on.


An open mind is a wonderful thing, they should all be open, to the closed of mind we have help for you, we have chisels and crow bars and claw hammers for you. Soon your minds will be open, free to know what love is, what care is, what humanity is, what pain is..



My cat at first serene
became older then
he would stray all the day
would not come home till ten
all his love dissolved
I was so sad it seemed
he had transformed
to a bakeneko fiend
I heard howling in the night
I followed to the trees
writhing around a fire
a sight one wished not to see
a clowder on hind legs
I stumbled on perchance
wearing towels on their heads
the bakenekos danced
eyes burned down to my soul
they attacked in screeching wails
serpentine they stretched
and split their tabby tails
aghast I stumbled back
such a sight and sound is foul
but I dug the courage out
to steal their power giving towels.


I believe it,
due to witnessing it,
through someone else’s eyes.


If one believes in the next place, this place, just a test, and what test is easy? Tests are full of pain, poison and creatures that burrow into the brain. Tests leave us distressed and drained. The next place holds the rewards, the true punishment, in the eyes of the believer. So why judge a religion on a cruel god? Ignorance disguised as some higher thought. I choose to wait, respect the belief, maintain the bridges.


Our brains are far more complex than our action would have us believe.


Marching in a blinkered line
unencumbered by all wisdom
unknown must stay that way
for I do not trust the system
the abuse has set my path
I will not tread another
shackled to my prejudice
to never know my brothers.



For a sunbeam

In the lush green grass a divot appeared. In the middle of the road, scooped up into existence by who knows what, perhaps a trowel, perhaps a sand wedge, perhaps an outraged boot, a tufty turf sat and thought. It thought of movement, it thought of limbs, from thought and root it grew four legs and waggled them in a movement experiment. It’s green spines waggled, it’s dirt nose twitched, it skipped and scampered forwards a foot. For four more moments it sat upon a cat’s eye, it’s tufts blew as cars shot past, it could feel the rush, could smell the road. In rapid instinct it felt the rush was bad, to be avoided, it waited for the rush to cease. In a quiet moment legs scampered to where the fresh scent emerged, where it smelled of him. He felt the rush at his rear, just as his nose touched the verge, he made it. In the grass he sat, he stayed, there was nowhere else he wished to be.


I love our cats to bits but, Jesus, the hunting..
Two starling chicks appeared in our bedroom in the middle of the morning. One sadly had left this place early, the second was fighting on, we rescued her from the clutches of doom and put her in an egg box with tissue padding. She was barely feathered, we had no clue where the nest could be, so we fed her mealworms soaked in water. I tried to mimmic in different ways the parents coming in, dark to light, light to dark, flicking the card to simulate the flap of a bird’s wing, encouraging her to open her mouth wide, I fed her as much as I could. She transforms into a different bird when begging, a funnel of plenty, she pooped physics defying poops. Then she settled down again.
After a while we managed to find a place to look after her on this bank holiday (How inconvenient a time to arrive). She looked tired as we headed out, perhaps the wounds too much, perhaps the food not right, yet while we drove, the box shuffled in my hand vibrantly once more. Again I tried to feed her as we approached the door marked closed. She opened wide and ate some mealworms, as the vet hospital door opened too. She now resides there, in knowing hands, with a second chance at spring.


Laid out along the lush green fields
stone rolls out among the bracken
for a hundred miles the tail trails
of a slumbering stone dragon.


Sitting enjoying a lovely evening moment with a margarita, blue skies and the best company. One moment later a glass is launched, shattered across the paving and Mapacho is covered in cointreau, tequila and lime. Pop!




We bought a small hot spa, a cheap inflatable one, after all, they all hold the same water. As per the instructions I inflate it, attach the pump and fill it with water. I then continue reading the instructions. It says to make sure the pump is tested before every use, to make sure the cable has not been damaged. It then goes into water treatment. To keep the water clean there are chlorine granules, for the eight hundred litres in the tub there are two tea spoons of chlorine. At first they say to boost the dose, a double dose for a new tub. They say to wait a day for the chlorine to reduce, then to test the PH with a test strip, using another two additives to adjust the alkaline levels. There is also a filter, this is to be checked and cleaned every day and to be changed once a week. Oh, additionally, they recommend changing the entire eight hundred litres of water every three days.. The relaxation of a hot tub..


Chippy chop chop in the air again
the military are flexing their muscle
showing off huge green monsters
impressing none but the pheasants.


With my new electronic eyes I can see more colours, more colours than I ever imagined. I can see texture and temperature, I can see flavour. With my new electronic implanted ears, I can hear every tiny nuance of tone vibration, every attack and refrain as crisp as Christmas frost. I can see and hear so clearly, we have not learned a thing.


Distraction till destruction
with our heads in the sand
we will only burn our butts
We could change our ways
we could extend our days
if we only had the guts.


The Shaman settles the water,
so when you sip you enjoy your trip
she subdues the waves and clears the sky,
so you may delight with the twinkling sun in the sea.
Alone you would reside in turgid cruel waves,
plunge into the ink, swallow the foam,
you’ll be lucky not to drown.
Yet the Shaman has humour
so she might splash you
in fun.

Is there anybody out here?

What we love most are stories. We love interesting, funny, charming and romantic stories. Yet mostly.. we crave horrific stories. We subconsciously create them all the time, sacrificing our now to materialise a great gruesome memory. We drink ourselves into corners to provoke interaction, fruitful malady, we push the limits, to create interesting anecdotes of how we glimpsed death and of extraordinary behaviours. No one wishes to hear of sitting, of watching TV, not of feeding ducks or of taking tea. We wish for extravagant tales of aberrant slaughter, of how we only just survived. We could choose the peaceful path, the loving path, yet we sacrifice our now, we vote in the monsters, because if we survive, we have incredible stories to tell, the near misses and the lunacy. If we survive, we will fill the books with this idiocy we suffer. But we will not learn from this, we will sacrifice another now, to write for another generation of disbelieving readers.


While out walking through Glastonbury, the towns clock is making faces at me. The fruit trees are reaching to play with the clouds, removing their grey clumpy billowing shrouds. Clouds giggle at attention and sprinkle with glee, they deposit spring rainbow drizzle on me. All who I meet give out copious grins, two feet and growing making their eyes glow and spin. Green lap dogs bark like ten violins, squirrels cycle up trees to collect polished push pins. My legs are noodling, but never in tune, from way up here I can ride the bumps on the moon. I can feel my dizzy heart claw at my ribs, garbled and jittery it’s hitting the skids. It drums and complains, it questions my stature, I should not have come when they empty the dream catchers.


I spilt some water on the floor
the boards began to sprout
vines writhed and burst a pipe
sending gushing water out
the house is growing still
drinking every water drop
each house becomes a tree
it is never going to stop.

To feed the earth again
dilute our poisoned past
a shoot of rapid change
redress the balance fast
abandon concrete floor
climb into the canopy
back to from where we came
to swing on through the trees.


The old fragile of thought
the stubborn
the changeless
the stiff unmoving evil
Their tantrums at change
their offence at love
their blinkered obscenities
They will kill for hate
they will kill for stagnation
they will kill to keep the different away.


There is now not one grain august
Tinkerbell has had enough
she is shredding throats
she is poisoning eyes
all these monsters here must die
in lupine rage she does let loose
we are splashing around in evil’s juice
Mephistopheles shins are splintered
the devil himself is limping injured
she is tearing through in a raging trance
violent balanced righteous dance.


She wore tassels that shimmered
obsequious to her dance
she took whatever she wished for
propitious in her stance
a deserter to urbanity a demon
accident bechance.






Chimney. Part 5

He speaks it as a trope he has sung many times before. I sense a foreboding atmosphere and go to leave the circle. But I am hemmed in. A large lady confronts me, she preaches to the mob “Maybe Hell is where he belongs, to where all the deceitful go, we will give him to them”, The boy speaks up once more “We pay our token to Hell, so we may live in peace!”. Large working hands take hold of me, there is no strength in me to wriggle free from such strong faith. More people arrive with bindings, One woman carries a sack, before I can reason at all, the sack is on my head. My pleas are answered only with silence. My hands bound behind me, my legs bound together, no word coaxes any response but “We pay our token to Hell, so we may live in peace”. Where is Hell to these people? A fire? A lake? Will I be crucified? I give up pleading, I just cough as the sacking’s fray fills my lungs.
When we arrive darkness has too, when the sack is removed my eyes adjust quickly. I know this place. They remove my bindings and manhandle me to the edge of the well, I look down and see three moon-lit reflections in the water, my head flanked by two large men. “But why..?” I plead, as they heave me into the well, they chant “We pay our token to Hell, so we may live in peace”.
As I brace to hit the water, I hit the witches bend with a gruesome crunch, pain flies through my body as I splinter on impact. I ricochet and land in an impotent heap on the hearth. I have time to recover and time to reflect as to where I live.

The end.


This marks two years writing here,
a most enjoyable two years.
Thank you for reading and sharing.


Chimney. Part 4

  • The water’s energy brings curiosity where fear resided, so I rejoin the path and cross the bridge. The sky is adopting a tinge of evening orange as the detritus crunch reestablishes it’s rhythm beneath my shoes. The forest positively glows with life, yet with no life at all. But soon the forest thins and some buildings appear. First a dozen huts squat low to the ground, then a church built of logs and stone, the doors stand ajar. I am drawn inside by curiosity. On a dozen and ten pews, I see many people sit wearing unfamiliar rustic clothes, they do not see me yet. In front a woman who may be a minister is closing books and organising papers, the congregation has ended. People turn to the door, where I stand, “Hello, welcome, where have you sprung from?” Asked one lady with a kind smile. Her partner looks upon me with more suspicion than her. I reply “Um, well, far away from here, actually I’m a little lost”. She put a hand on my shoulder “Looks like we found you, your clothing is so odd, but well made, pity they are looking so tired, you must have had quite the journey”. I nod in agreement. The congregation are now all walking back to their homes, some chat, some whisper, some flash glances towards me, but the place remains eerily quiet. Walking with my new found friend I ask her “Where are all the birds, the animals? It is so quiet here”. I think I may have offended her, she looks as though I swore, “They are in Hell with the rest of the heathen sins. What do you know of these creatures?” Our conversation has tweaked a few ears, some stop, some approach to hear what this new person is spreading. “Where I come from there are many beautiful animals, birds sing and fly..” My words fade with the dropping of their faces. “They were all banished millennia ago, you are mistaken, perhaps you have been taken advantage of, fooled by a trick”. Her partner interjects “Perhaps you are trying to draw my wife on this matter? We have no such creatures here, or anywhere outside of Hell”. I hold up my hands “Clearly I was tricked, I don’t mean any harm”. The group begins to gather around me. A boy speaks up “We pay our token to Hell, so we may live in peace”.

Chimney. Part 3

I could return to the hearth, I think I could return to the hearth, below me is still the witches bend. Yet why take one step on a journey, just to go back? These curved walls still invite footholds, I decide to continue. As I rise inch by inch, foot by foot, the air is clearer and brighter, the soot is no more. I look down. Immediately I slip sending the torch splashing into water below. Scrabbling for grip I have a new found fondness for the daylight overhead, I increase my effort to make it’s acquaintance. My heart is pumping hard as I concentrate, I make every effort to hold on with cramping fingers, to ignore bruised ankles. As I finally get to the top, exhausted I slump over the edge of the well.
If I stay still it will not have happened, If I just close my eyes hard enough, if I click my heels.. But I am here, somewhere else. Resting with my back against the well, I look to my surroundings. I find I am in a small glade in the woods, perhaps a forest. Dense trees stand high tickling the clear blue sky. Looking around the circle of trees I spy a path, I take one more look down the well and see my reflection peering back at me from the water. I turn to take the path. The scent of pine washes into my nostrils, clearing the soot away, but I need some water to wash it from elsewhere. The only sound I can hear is the crunch of detritus on the forest floor. When I stop, I can hear nothing at all, no shuffle of feet, no comfort of bird call. After an hour, the sound of crunching and my own breath would be enough to drive me mad, but soon a complimentary sound, the sound of running water. The path continues over a wooden bridge, around a twist, but I pause to kneel by the waters edge. Pure clear water tumbles across a pebbled bed. I wash my hands and my face, massaging them into life, I clean my shoes, then risk a sip of water, it’s chill startles my throat, but is the essence of refreshment, reviving.

Chimney. Part 2

The next few days the house sits silently. I stand in front of the fire, daring ghosts to make a sound, willing the echoes to carry down. One week on, as I feel I am beginning to resume sanity, a voice makes it’s way to me from the fireplace, then there is a ping, a clatter, a coin rolls onto the hearth, whirling and settling, heads side up. Fetching the torch once more, I move darkness aside, but find no reason for malady, well, up to the bend, this kink conceals the answer. The brickwork is worn, the cement decayed, surely I can climb, soot be damned, climb just enough to see beyond the witches bend, to find the trick. I hold the torch in my mouth and find footholds in the flu, I begin my climb.
The air is foul, I can feel the soot burning my lungs. It is hard to find purchase, only a small circle is lit by the torch. Breathing heavily, I look down, drool drips down the torch. Any sense of vanity is suspended. Resting for a moment I look down and see how close the hearth remains, I recharge my resolve, promise myself to keep climbing till the witches bend. The shelf of the bend comes to eye level, I have trepidation over revealing what resides there. I pull my bravery up from deep down and shine the torch. Soot, straw, twigs and the glint of a coin, perhaps there are ten or more there, some old, some just shapes in the soot. Climbing up onto the shelf I get the first chance to take the torch from my mouth, take some stale air. Above me I see wispy clouds drifting through a blue sky. It takes a moment for me to notice, this is not my chimney.

Chimney. Part 1

The fireplace ticks and crackles it’s last in the morning after an evening of roaring. The massive brick opening is blackened and worn from many decades of use, perhaps centuries. The mantle sits empty. There is a bare dustless square where the carriage clock used to tick. It is away to be mended. Above the mantle a mirror reflects a pair of chandeliers, the glass is dull where once it sparkled, who has time to clean these ostentatious follies? Outside the house the crows have quietened, they have left to the fields. Now there is no sound at all, just time to mourn the fire in silence. But before the soft silence can settle, a sound interrupts, it is drifting down the chimney, voices, perhaps laughter. Just jackdaws settling a dispute maybe, or the winds echo in the pots.
Two mornings later and the fire is dead again, the house silent again. Silence settles, a small sigh resides. But then, I hear the noise again. A voice, then an echoing call down the chimney. That is no crow or wind blow, this is a trick, I walk into the fireplace and peer up into the void, nothing but darkness. So I fetch a torch to see if I can spy a recorder or sound device, all just sooty flue up to the bend, the witches bend, beyond the bend I do not know. The sound has subsided, so I retreat out of the fireplace and get on with building a fire to warm the evening. Laying the kindling I ponder my sanity. A chuckle carries down the chimney that startles me, it sends me running outside to see the roof, to see what or who is up there. Nothing, nothing but clouds up there with the pots. I stoop holding my knees, gather myself then return to the hearth.