The medicines
make you dribble
you can only
express madness

you cannot identify faces
family melds into strangers
you stink like decay.
I should euthanise myself

rather than suffer
such incontinent humiliation
playing out my last sentences
with a robust grace.


She’s an obsessive person.
Three sipper bottles lined up
under her bedside cabinet

powerful medicines stacked
alphabetically to help insomnia

silicone builder’s ear plugs
in case of unexpected thuds.

Age brings to us
its array of disturbing tics

I myself suffer from
a raft of strangenesses.

Therefore I fill your filtered water
speak the same bedtime words

pull your door extremely softly
knowing you shall never sleep.


Stood apart from the crowd
beautiful to someone

averse to the screaming bawl
of scampering kids

bespectacled beribboned
leant against a wire fence

ineffably lonely
the red ball trickles under

your feet
howls to throw it back

mocking jeers
at your lousy kick

that sends it shuddering
way off target.

I feel your shame
your scarlet embarrassment

and I too should like to die
leastwise decline my head.


I never understood
how much you loathed
the sun.

Coming from a tropic island
perhaps I should have
comprehended how

the dazzle scorched your
frail myopic eyes
dehydrated your candle-

princess skin. I’d be horrified
how you drew the drapes
disallowing even a slither

of light. But I am a bear
from a dour climate
a singular basker

who revels under
the ozone glare
embraces melanomas

and shouts out vampire
to those who wish to dwell
in darkness.


In my fourth-world country
it is the custom
to decorate bus-stops
with lurid paintings
of our local animals.

As you motor
into my seaside town
taking the cliff bends
way too fast
there’s a jovial walrus

to poke fun at your city manners.
He is sat on impeccable sands
befriending a common
whiskered seal pup.
They make everyone smirk

forget the torrid heat
melt into the heady
sea air
purge the accumulating
angst poisoning their lives.


If I had an expansive
mahogany dresser

an attractive fountain pen
a virgin-white ink blotter

the notorious Russian winter
tempesting outside

I could compose
such miraculous music.

Wolves would sing
their implacable sorrow

the steppe dirge a ground bass
overflowing with grave

heartfelt final silence.


Under a pinus radiata
where the rhododendrons

our love flourished
sickened expired.
In the scented eucalypt

grove we exchanged vows
I wove you foolish daisy chains
we kissed and giggled

in the loud aviary
our love more gorgeous
and bewitching than the

bright macaws. You grew sick
your sunlight waned
I stroll alone

throw a gold coin
in the ornamental fountain
wish so much for you.


I know I have
one immutable friend.

The driving rain
chastises me

the grating shingle
scours my soles

the gulls squabble
like malodorous children

but my boundless ocean
is gently melancholic

a compassionate spirit
who reprimands

the night-ghasts
foams reassuringly

over my valiant
time-bitten feet

as they wade out
into history.


In front of a grubby caravan
a stringy youthful girl performs
perfect cartwheels.

I think how her hands
might be abraded
on the rough shingles

but clearly she doesn’t
give a fig. Her father
a brutal hulking man

ensconced in his deck chair
by the caravan door
is barely alive.

If I had a daughter
like you
I’d be whooping

and clapping
at your impeccable turns
until you curtsied

and gave your doting
a great sloppy kiss.