I hear my words in my voice

I hear my words in my voice.
Of course.
But if you then roll them round your tongue,
smooth sour sweet pebbles of thought I have,
are they still mine or are they now yours and yours only?

There lies the man who will not hear his words
repeated by another.
He closes his ears and eyes.
Another’s interpretation must be
of and in itself
a wrong one
and this dissonance will misshape the future.

But I am willing to take a risk.
Words past written are the past
and your voice overtaking is just one of many.
I shall sit and record and listen and wonder
and perhaps never write again.


He hid in full light, a shadow invisible between the beacons. Damp light is easy overlooked and overshone, raw talent takes pressure to spark diamond sharp. With time his eyes became clearer and noticed, but the glow of his words faded in spotlights. The crash of a lightwave foreshadowed flowing; life stories stuttered and ended.

Living with a poet

The nets on the quayside are not the wiles with which I charmed you. They’re nets. They’re not the fisherfolk’s dreamcatchers that took our ambition. They’re nets.

The dinghy bobbing on the incoming tide is not your spirit that soared when you first saw me at the party. It’s a boat. It’s not our hopes and dreams before the love tide turned. It’s a boat.

The gulls that swoop down on the flecks of foam are not poembirds. They’re gulls. They are not lyric snatchers from the frothing deep. They’re gulls.

My heart is not – my heart is not a cartoonish pink, arrow-pierced. It’s my heart. It’s not, I’m afraid, any words that you may say. It’s my heart. And yes, it’s broken, but it will mend.

I wake up early in the morning

I wake up early in the morning and do not understand why you are not here. The bed and the room look strange, perhaps a hotel. I don’t remember checking in. I’ll write you a poem for when you walk through the door. I fold the paper and leave it on your pillow.

I don’t recognise the woman who walks me along to the breakfast room but she seems very friendly. I feel a bit of an idiot that I still don’t remember checking in but breakfast is tasty. They have all my favourites.

Our bed has been made when I get back. I think I left something on it but can’t quite remember what it was. You’ll know, you always do. I’ll ask you when you get back.

As someone once said, a sleep is always welcome. When I wake up, you are not here. I think I’ll write you a poem for when you get back but am interrupted by that nice woman again. She shows me a pile of papers she is holding. What do I think of them? The first one is a poem. It’s rather good, if derivative. I think I may have seen it somewhere before. I look at the others. She has made a mistake! They are all the same! I don’t want to embarrass her so I say I like the first one but am not so sure about the others. She smiles. She’s very pleasant.

I can only get one channel on the TV but that’s ok – I haven’t seen the programme they’re showing. It’s a bit amateurish, some sort of reality thing, but I like the look of the young woman. Lovely smile. I’ll tell you about it when you get back. I’m not sure why, but I’m exhausted. It’s night time already. I’ll write you a poem in the morning.

I wake up early in the morning and do not understand why you are not here.