Homeward bound

In memory of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013)

Yes, the world has grown a little colder,
a rainbow-coloured spectrum
of light bulbs shedding a crude light
on the gated communities of our minds

congregating as one, in this hour,
this severest form of reminder –
the great man is no more,
he is no longer

present to guide, yet to be remembered,
like a shaken leaf of insignificant
proportions announces the echoes
of the future winters to come in which I,

the lighter brother, may also mourn,
the one who ate in the dining room,
but whose outstretched hands you took
out of the closet;

and allowed to stand beside you
without fear; rest gently, sir.
Rest gently, unconquerable soul,
homeward bound.


Elegy in blue

for my stepfather, Peter

I screamed it:

at the top of my lungs,
facing the Mediterranean Sea,
and looking down at the subway tracks,
where broken memories dream.
I screamed it loud, at night,

in bed when I here you approaching,
and in the daytime too,
when no-one knows.
I screamed at the dead-lit stars,

at the crucifix.
I screamed it to the Lord Buddha
and to Jesus our Saviour
I screamed it at the reflection

in the fridge where the
prescriptions are;
at the empty medicine bottles
and the O2 tank
I screamed it at these empty hands

that took your cane,
and at those that laid you to rest
on the operating tables.
I screamed and got the echo back,

the foreclosure of an unrequited prayer.


Malaria in December

I tried spinning
reality round its axis
for a while but
the old remnants
of dark December
seemed to work
their way
into the very fabric
of things.
Tell me
what to do
against the dying
of the day –
and the ghosts that
go with it?
A margin of poetry
in my life.

Published in Eunoia Review


I heard you died this morning

I heard on the phone
that you died this
And suddenly,
my chair was
a piece of wood
with cloth on it;
My book
a block of paper
with black ink on it;
The TV a plastic
and glass object
with filth flowing through it.
And all the food in my
fridge was cold and damp;
Then the day lifted,
and the sun came out
and November was here.
And you:
a lamp turned off,
melted into the light.

Published in Rose Red Review



I live in a ruin.
Beside: the stormed
beaches of Normandy;
Alongside: the remnants
of Dien Ben Phu;
Inside: central New Orleans.
Any battle you care
to remember;
A disembodied self -
not quite the self

Published in Brevity Poetry Review



Here I sit, dismantled:
ice cold lips
where sweet whispers
once were.
Sealed in spite.

Published in Napalm and Novocain

Fine as Wine

So you really are gone.
Anyone there?
The flight of steps
leads to a dark-lit
wasteland of
humid bedsheets.

The room where
I died is where
you exposed me.
Cold, cold bed…

Thinking of Langston Hughes.
Life is fine,
Fine as wine…

Hey, Langston,
just for me:
sprout a
symphony of colours
out of the sound
of blue.

Published in Napalm and Novocain


I was blind.

You've gone.

Next to us,
an old man
reads a newspaper.


English boys
don't show
their feelings.

I'm cold, in August.

Words have
been emptied
from my brain.


Published in Napalm and Novocain



One more day, I awake to sadness
In our ghostly room
Because you’re gone

I walk to the kitchen,
Through the empty corridor
That was ours.

And I make myself coffee
That I pour into your cup.

I go for my morning shower,
Your toothbrush has left,
And your towel has disappeared –
Only mine are there now.

I have a lonely breakfast
Looking out the same window we used to;
I watch the news channel
And wonder where you are now.

Then I grab my coat;
My wallet,
My keys,
Go out into the day.

And realise why I called you sunshine.

Published in Red River Review


Gun Vomit

Meditations in an emergency/tragedy: Guns don’t kill people/people kill people but people with guns do it faster/psychotics do it because they can/Ben Hur you should have kissed Massala instead of dealing in death/twenty and seven fireflies extinguished forever.

Useless, words linger/but for now: silence.

Published in Visceral Uterus


My very own body electric

Morning in crimson,
slow-seeming awkwardness:
not to reality,
to a dream.

I sleep in my bed
the way you leave it;
Feeling thinking your
presence in the
morning leftovers
of nightly starry
comforting warmth.
A comfortable place
for sense and
non sense.

Murmur exiled
from the soul;
Working its way
neural networks
and blind faith. Down
pathways known only
to the hand:
motions on a blank
page: from pen into ink.

Back into eyes.
Purest form,
brought forth;
A poetry of place.
Should I sleep to wake?
Or take
my sleeping
A faintest gift
to eternity.

Published in Emerge Literary Journal