Winged Thoughts in the Age of Air

Month: April, 2013



By the light of an old Russian moon
he moves in the white winter night,
like a man down on his luck in a frozen land
by the running of sand.

Forty leagues by the river of life
all snowbound, forty years now,
this is he known as The Prince,
all broken down.

You are more than a memory, Tanya.

Tanya, Tatyana.

There is more than the love of a man
for the life he knows about.
God bless the travellers to the truth.

In the river window-side candlelight, Tatyana.
In the rays of the moon she is sleeping tonight
like the willow-queen, ah, easy life.
But it’s paid for in full
by the affluent doctor’s wife,

Tanya, Tatyana.

There’s a crack in the wall
of a broken-hearted house.

Tanya, Tatyana.

And the man with the curse on his road
treads a circling way to get home.
He must kneel to the Lion of Judah
by the light of an old Russian moon.

You are loved, you are loved, Tatyana,
sweeter than life that we know about,.

Do you think of me, d’ya think of me,
on the night-sea crossing…


This House


A praise song and a blessing song.

I walked along a London street when the One God in early spring was smiling, passing a building-site where figures were running up and down ladders in the sun, whistling at pretty women walking below. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, just a busy scene of builders – carpenters, bricklayers and apprentices – all going about their work with a will.

I walked on, oblivious, toward some trivial destination. Then, for no reason, looked back over my shoulder.

Now the ladders were scaled by winged angels carrying news from world to world, escorting souls through pure light; now the rooftop was blazing on high like some golden throneroom. The workers were singing and I caught their melodies and their words.

Here, in This House, is a faint echo of that music.

Morning Rose


A love-song for the White Goddess of Vale Royal.


I went into
a rose garden
at dawn.

The sun had just risen.
Horizontal rays
sent pink shadows.

A light wind passed.
The flowers trembled.
I looked to see

How this wind arose.
I saw it came
from the passing of God.

She was walking
in her garden
as the sun came up

Admiring her beautiful
feet which were naked.
As she passed,

Air vibrated,
dew shimmered
like diamonds.

I understood
her feet represented
this dream-life.

The dew on the roses meant
the joy of manifestation
in the worlds.

And I was the witness.

As the wind covered
the feet of God
with rose-petals,

I was the witness.


Black Passing

Written during a period when the damned (Blair) government was cracking down on convoys and crusties, making the contemporary nomadic lifestyle impossible, Black Passing personifies Time as a dreadlocked traveller with no place to go.


The black country night of the present time
goes clinking with silver down the land,
small cries of newborn life and the constellations
in the rocking dark of late-august dog-days
when the near star rages and Isis goes howling
for the body of the summer, lately slain
in rising winds, his golden torso broken.

These early signs of death in the year,
and loss, the escaping quality of life,
show more brutally the small divisions,
ownership and loneliness everywhere here.
The year falls stumbling down, old hobo,
landless traveller across the earth,
mendicant time who wears tattered clothes,
whose hair is matted and thick with experience.

And the last country night of the royal stars
sighs in a long black avenue of limes,
pines for the outcast in deepening obscurity,
he who runs in his exodus westward,
once-green messiah of the bells and horns,
hat full of rainbows and coloured twilights,
crowned king of imperious summer gone.


Pirate Flag

This little song written at a waystation in the city of tedium…


A huddle of citizens
at the decrepit shelter
inhaling particulates
from Chelsea Tractors
barreling past, shiny
ghosts in the rain,
near the delta of City Road
down in Old Street.

One philosophic attendant
on London Transport
stands distant, back to
the traffic, at railings
separating pavement
from decrepit park,
substitute for greenery
in the urban desert.

Gazing at a fluttering
bin-bag, wind-lofted,
flying from the winter
masthead of an elm,
he’s a million miles away
on the deck of a rebel ship
navigating, without
destinations, a ruthless sea.

Here comes that red
Two One Four at last
bound for the real
green north-country.
The ship’s captain
is African naturally.
Good to get moving
on the street of dreams.


Four Haikus of Unrequited Love

Paper-and-ink were of course expensive luxury goods in most parts of the world only two hundred years ago and a career in letters was usually the privilege of men and women of wealth and means. The haiku’s abbreviated form was a democratising mechanism in Japanese literature; it meant one didn’t have to be a millionaire to write poems.

Here the form lends itself for a succinct meditation on the subject of unrequited love.


Supertax of the heart
where one rich in passion
pays to one who lacks.

Lavish feeling
on one far below,
love’s unconditional sainthood.

The unilateral romance:
vampire’s got it made

A tyrant drinks
lifeblood of the heart,
sweet transfusion of the donor.