Existential Twaddle

You think you’re gonna chat about

The last episode of Game of Thrones

Or Downtown Abbey

With St Peter at the Pearly Gates?


He’ll ask you

If you danced close, 

on midsummer’s eve

drunk happily on plum wine.


And you’ll say

I spent my time, waiting and wondering,

too scared to admit

that the choice was mine.


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Edinburgh Waverley

What if I go to jail?

Would you still read my letters?

Could your faith let you love me then?

Even then?

What if you knew I was bad?

If you still loved me then

what would love be worth?

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Etched in jagged lines across your face

Trouble with no symmetry.

If God would but turn away

I would trace those lines with my lips

Memorising them, making sense of them.

And were God to turn back again

He would find all his precious work spoiled.

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Blinded by uncertainty

Carving half truths

Out of ephemeral




Seeing it clearly

Or at least you think you do,

Perhaps these are half shadows

Of that ever fickle




groping in the dark

You brush against the future

Then wake suddenly in the half light


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If you, every day, had to attempt to live up to the expectations 
Of a failed generation 
You too 
Would turn to the bottle close at hand 
And dance on the rings of light 
Flying between your feet

You too 
Would kiss strangers briefly 
Hot, damp 
Nearly love 
Fleeting freedom. 

And you too 
Would make love in the dark 
Scared of the dreams 
You would 
One day inflict on others. 

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The Men

Songs about men

men that lived,

and the women who screamed

and did what they’re bid.


A slip of the earth

you wake up cold,

cardboard between you,

and the soul that you’ve sold.


Songs about men

who fell by the way,

and the women who watched them

with nothing to say.


A slip of the hand

but who gives a fuck.

The tables have turned

and your time is up.


Songs about kings

carefully undressed,

and the nurses to whom

they wished they’d confessed.


A slip of the mind

but no harm done,

He’ll welcome you back

You’re His prodigal son.


Songs about heroes

whose tale has been told.

Songs about men

who should have grown old.


Songs about real men,

men in hell,

all it took was a slip

and like Adam they fell. 

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Darlington Station

Whizzing round and round

so fast you feel elongated

stretched and trapped in its endless

gyrating circle.


Halos about the horses’ heads

slipping off the saddle,

the metal frosty between your legs

Squeezing hard for dear life.


Eyes tight shut

you fly to that ghastly jangling sound.

Faster, teeth clenched,

clinging to the chipped purple mane.


For a moment

you spin motionless.


A power cut.


And looking about you now,

you wonder

 at your own foolish desire. 

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