Fluttering petals

Daybreak marks my first complaint, as my eyes protest at the excess of light. Next my limbs forget movement, crying of heinous abuse. Horizontal turns slowly to vertical with a thump of my throbbing head. Coffee.


ugly as a silk flower
a blooms impermanence
is the essence of her beauty.


That big guy, he looks like he could earn his place on the restaurant wall, facing off against that tiny girl. Yet I should have known when I saw his warm smile, I saw her dagger stare. This is not a match of size, this is a test to find the machine, a consuming machine. Those with a soul need not apply, look into the winners eyes, you’ll find a shiver there. Pain is a switch to flick, they will cross the line with an alligator grin, no joy for the victory, just born to win.


Goals and gains, coins and notes, I never sailed that boat
this money seemed unseemly, I was just busy dreaming.


I could explain why I love them, but you would not understand, I could list examples, show them to you, make you listen, but this would not change a thing, it is my head, my world, my sculpture of perception.


The blooms shone
on a beautiful summers day
when all at once
the petals flapped
the flowers
flew away.



It is different out in the country. In our house we can hear no traffic, no honks and no revs no conversation, no argument and no music. The fly buzzing around the room is the loudest thing we will hear today, yes, as annoying here as anywhere. Yet we are not totally secluded here, we have a house next door, a small cluster of houses at the end of the long garden, to the left of those a church, on a Monday the bells sing as their tails are pulled by a small invading force of loons. There is a farm house to our right, but we couldn’t hit it with a stone, even if we wanted to. The post even comes to our door via a chatty postman. Out front, facing south, a distant green hill rises, displaying sheep and even deer from time to time. Beyond the crest hides the goings on on the other side. To the left fifty crows nests reside in a tall tiny forest, singing seasonal cackles, signalling what the crows are up to, mating, nesting, feeding and resting. To get to our home you drive along a twisted hilly narrow lane, that gets even narrower in the summer as nature impinges on the patchy blacktop. Yet the roads are surprisingly good here. No doubt all who have lived here for generations know someone who can twist an ear, to get any blemish buffed out swiftly. The lack of traffic also gifts the roads longevity. At the end of the lane and left, there resides a small village, so small in fact, it has no pub, no shops, not even a newsagents, just a small hall where meat and knitting are sold each month on a Saturday morning. If we are out of bread, it is a half hour drive to the nearest shop. Sometimes I miss being able to walk to the shop, the convenience of immediately having what you haven’t, the interactive stroll, the nods, the smiles, a small time with humanity, even from a hopeless introvert like myself. But, if we wish interaction we can find it, we are lucky to live in such peace.


What is a meta for?
seeing outside of the thing
undiluted by internal bias.


There is a fine line between cynicism and naivety.


You are a special and unique wonderful person
you are standing at the end of someone else’s rainbow.


The orangutan is upset at the changes around him
he feels powerless to change any of it
because he is.


Whichever way we leave, in sleep or terrible shreds
As violent as the action, always gentle is the passing.


It’s a shame so many feel that decadence is a positive trait.


No card shop, my Dad doesn’t fish, he doesn’t smoke a pipe, he doesn’t drive an MG, he doesn’t play darts, he doesn’t drink beer, he doesn’t watch the football, he doesn’t sail a yacht, he’s more than your cards have got.

Whizz pop

The car is reaching a junction, so to speak.. Down one road the oil burner rides, down the other the electric car. For years the electric car has been the future, a clean future, a laser zap future, yet never the now. We waited and waited, for just around the corner the advancements were promised. But this corner was much longer than we anticipated, much longer than the technicians anticipated, (when you look at AI and robotics, we are far from the end of the curve). But, the car, the car is reaching a point where the old oil burner is finally losing ground to the electric car. The electric car is more powerful, cleaner, simpler and getting more efficient every day. The junction is here and the direction is obvious, yet, I will miss the engine’s howl.


Happiness. Don’t wait for happiness, don’t look forward to happiness, don’t look to past happiness, reside in now’s happiness. Unless you are happy looking forward to future happiness, or unless you are happy thinking of past happiness.. Then reside in the happiness of then and future, or not, it’s your life.


It feels like we are grains of sand petitioning for the tide not to come in.


They’re at the brook again, dunking the blessed and the sinners. The blessed come back up again, the sinners float away. They are gibbering around the fields chanting incantations of praise to the above. Their robes are soaked in brook clay, dragging through the grass, they create swirls and sickles that hypnotise the cattle. Every month the same.


I try to every day unleash my inner worrier. Be sure to see the grief, the horror and the blight, to keep my worrier mind set right.


Alone in the woods, not a creature in sight or sound. The trees stand seemingly silently still. Yet if I quieten myself, I can hear a billion cells expanding and growing. I reside in absolute tranquility, then one birch sneezed. Followed by a woody ‘shit!’. So, when a tree sneezes and someone is there, the tree is annoyed, perhaps embarrassed. Such glorious sentinels, such proud timeless relics, such a bummer to have allergies.


The moon sprinkled sugar across the heavens
a lonely cold evening sweetened by stars.



Bashfully brave

I went to the store
to purchase a howl
no joy in this mission
the stockist did scowl
she had hollers and cries
she had whoops and screams
but these did not match
the sound in my dreams
fashion of future is ridiculed now
awaiting perfect moment
to receive it’s bow.


Watching Patterson by Jim Jarmusch, the movie walks, strolls even, at this pace we can see the pebbles glint, watch the flowers open, a pace where a knowing look is a firework.


Just a little attention, a pause to think on cause and effect, a reflection for humanity, a thought floating out for consequence, an if or a why popping into the head, could spike a sparkle of empathy through cold stone, a tingle of warmth to the marrow bone, burning the lie to a spent ember, just for love to be remembered.


You are trying to knit a future
from wool you cannot see
you may be the highest
imagination devotee.


Happiness resides
in the grass and trees
while we pursue a mirage
happiness remains in situ
in the sky and the sea.


The sun has turned to liquid
another day extinguished.



Duck race

I arrive in Brayford early in the morning, fresh from a redeye flight from JFK, well as fresh as I can manage. The race marshals are feverishly busying themselves with crowd control and river cleanliness. At 8:15am the place is already heaving with race fans and they continue to pour in through the flesh faucet. ¬†Although this is not an officially sanctioned duck race, many major officials remain in attendance, out of respect. They knew the BDR(Brayford duck racers) were screwed over by the IDRF(International duck racing federation), yet had no leverage. So the race will go ahead, despite the(highly suspicious) duck irregularities, but outside of the official federal season. Politics, the scourge that infests all. Despite this embarrassment the spirits are high, we could not have been blessed with better weather. A band noodle in a semi New Orleans style to duck fan’s backs. The ducks themselves all look resplendent in their rubbery yellow liveries, boldly displaying their regulation sized numbers. In the past there were many controversies regarding the size of the number. Some would write their own number so minutely that it was barely legible, claiming the duck would be higher in the water and thus faster. Others would virtually blacken the duck in ink, claiming the weight would take their duck down the river more swiftly. Now each bears a regulation number, each receiving the same amount of ink despite the numbers amount. Additionally each duck is inspected for butt abnormalities before embarking on their voyage.
Looking across the crowds, there is a difference between those who are here for fun and the serious observer. While some whole families are wearing the latest rubber duck regalia, flamboyant shirts, hats and novelty bills. Others are here strictly for business, their long coats are fit to bursting with books of odds and form, they study the ducks histories in these conditions, their weed weaving ability, their bobbing tendencies, every winning edge is pursued.
In the Pimms pavilion the mood is stiffening with the approach of the start of the race. I sit at the bar picking at a bowl of cashews. There are rumours that the favourite has a small scuff on her left breast, an easy thing to miss for the casual observer, but these are hardened racers! Many calls are made, many bets adjusted, these things set off ripples, suspicions, but it is too late now, the race is upon us.
In the launch-net a thousand and twenty ducks await the start. As do the feverish crowd, heaving and jostling for a spot along the bank of the river. I am bumped into the fringes, I was unprepared for the savageness of the crowd. The river looks pristine and calm, she has no idea what is about to hit her. As the jazz band fizzles out, the bullhorns crackle into life, the MC Gives some pleasantries to the sponsors, then he starts the countdown. As he hits ten the crowd join in en mass “Ten!.. Nine!.. Eight!.. Seven!.. Six!.. Five!.. Four!.. Three!.. Two!.. One!”. The net is opened and a custard cascade of rubber ducks are released plunging into the water, I crane forward but can barely make out the racers through the violence of the crowd, the crowd bob as I imagine the ducks are. Now we start our own race, to chase the race along the banks, to see the early leaders. My being bubbled from the frothing glass leaves me at an advantage. I sprint down river passing many a dozing camper in deck chairs, they are unprepared for the approaching mass of fanatics. Miraculously I find myself in front, in clean air. Looking across I see the leading ducks alongside me, serene, they make it look so easy. But reeds lay ahead, and the dreaded duck weed.
I have little time to dally as I can feel the crowd approach, yet my legs are contemplating retirement, I have no heart for the fight, so I back away from the river as an avalanche of loons pours through. I give a wish to the ducks, a blessing that none are fatally caught in the weeds, then head back to the start. Along the way I see a couple of medics are attending to some victims that could not extricate themselves from their chairs fast enough, they were trampled underfoot. As were the flowers once standing proudly by the footbridge, now purple patches on the grass. Back at the start, attendants look in a state of shock, eyeing the endless cans, wrappers and plastic forks, morosely they begin the clean-up. I ask a particularly careworn man in sagging official duck tabard if it is like this every year, he just nods and continues filling another black bin bag. I enter the bar tent and order a mint julep, sitting on my own, I contemplate how innocent rubber ducks came to this. I guess we as a race, are on an unstoppable ride of consumption, no one knows why they are on it, yet no one wishes to get off.


I am sitting facing east, turning I see the same in every dimension, I see every east, I look up and east is there, behind me east remains, every east of every dimension, trapped looking east in every direction. juddering and flickering in all rainbows, in all colours as I twist, in every shape, in every time, east, I may have been looking east forever, or a moment, but I have seen all moments, in that moment east.


Once I was lost in the water, she was the stars, the boat and the shore.


Do not listen to the table, she does not know
she was not here when the chair legs grow
contain your madness in a jar on the shelf
twist the lid off, cheers to your health
drain it all, there will be much more
listen to the yarns from the door
good to hear that you got older
I love the crazy when sober.


On Tuesday nights the oddballs and marginalised descend upon the local sports hall, to practice tai chi. The would be martial artists come in many differently shaped sausage sacks, wearing a variety of haphazard clothing. Some arrive in brogues and ties with an air of confusion, perhaps they intended to arrive at an IT course and are too polite to leave. Some float through in saffron robes, crisp and new with shiny kung fu shoes, their credit card a little ahead of their experience. Gladys has been attending for ten years now, yet never practices away from the hall, arriving to start anew every week. June floats serene in yoga pants and hoodie, breathing the form as she moves, she is eighty two yet barely looks a day over seventy four. Dave is huge, robotic, the supple subtle art rattles and clunks, reminding me of Lost in space. Flailing, stumbling and misremembering, distracted by guff and guffaw. In mind, in the time between, soft and floating, in imagination, water, effortless strength. Yet now in motion, inept and unbalanced, Looking to the instructor for anchor, there is transformation, solidity. But upon turning away, inspiration is now the flailing lost Dean, leading to a rough turgid sea of incoherent movement. But there is comfort in drowning together. Next week we shall convene to drown once more.


The secret to life is finding the way of being drunk sober.




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!