Winged Thoughts in the Age of Air

Category: Wordscapes

The Carrier-Pigeon of the Soul


(for Father Steven Bulambo of Malawi)

The carrier-pigeon of
the soul returning
to the loft of God.

Kandinsky at Dawn


The sky has come down
to lie on the grass.
A low sun looks on
in wonder, sidelong.

Pale-blue intersecting
ice-kingdoms extend.
Someone has patterned
the lawn with diamonds.

Sapphire worlds flash.
Criss-crossed figures
coincident heiroglyphs
interlink, dazzle.

‘Everything comes too late’
say those who see nothing.
Concealed from them
the crystalline fields.

Luminous geometries
blue-green tartans of frost
snowclouds, tropospheres
carpeting at dawn.

Loomings of paradise
lapidary-work, last night
laid across the countryside
the frosted-over land.



When clouds are low
and valleys of the city
full of mist.

When my spirits
are depressed by an absence
an absence.

When a sentimental deathwish
will not be straightened out
by detachment.

When I’m down and judgement
is razor-sharp while drive
is stone-dead.

Then go looking for old
Honeyland in the distance
Honeyland in the hills
Honeyland inside.

When heaviness radiates
from my disenchanted being
like a fog.

When thoughts grind
tortuously around some small
ancient mistake.

When possible
heavens of doctrine
are the hospitals of dementia.

When three-dimensional
fallen-angels lecture
in subconscious whispers.

Then go looking for old
Honeyland in the distance
Honeyland in the hills
Honeyland inside.

When the heart is an Antarctica
because her sunlight
has vanished.

When your dream-lover’s
gone travelling
in the Golden Triangle

When any given
romance is only
the ultimate status-symbol.

When the whole hyperactive
human panorama is
a disturbance of the peace.

When you would hurriedly-hurriedly
open up the floodgates
of the afterlife.

Tired and sick to death
of any search for Edens
in the dust.

Then go looking for old
Honeyland in the distance,
Honeyland in the hills
Honeyland inside.

Honeyland on iTunes


fireball 1

Once I was
a sphere of rage
plummeting through
subjective darkness:
anything in my path

It was vindictive.
And I annihilated
one thing more
than any other:
pointedly my anger
would engage.

I hated love.
It seemed to me the trap
in which the world
perpetually mated
two things forever
trying to change places.

Children I loathed.
Their narcissistic faces
no less arrogant
than mine, grated.
I saw the shadow
over tenderness.

Regretting my own
birth as a mishap
fearing many further
births ahead, I saw
no hope in nescience
of the dead.

Raging at death
with its false promise
its posturing as
saviour, its deception
I was beyond all
imminent perception.

Up in smoke went
the rubbish of duality.
I was the bonfire
of sensuality
mocking the inferior
ones beneath.

Once I was
a fire-eaten page
where curses
had been set:
spells in a malicious

Once upon a time
I was a mage
in magic verses
exorcising life.
My way was lost;
then with love I met.

The Triple Goddess in Lamb’s Conduit Street


for M.R.

Such a smile
from Autumn herself
a withered flower
in a sunny street

In a dress of courage
in the face of change
in the midst of time
as a ghost of heat.

Her naive hat
drank in the sun
she showed the weeds
her way to shine

Her matching shoes
caressed the ground
pink shapes on life’s
stone-grey incline.


As she passed
the house of death
a child-nurse screamed
her spirit strong.

A matron cried
sank to her knees
on the sunlit street:
that soul was gone.

The matron wept
for one who died
a virgin-child
a spirit wild.


As age passed-by
Great Ormond Street
herself began to cry.

The dragon wept
where fell the bomb.
Still holding high
the old one kept

Walking on to
Queen Anne Square
solar woman
great adept.

And you were there

And you were there
playing your zither
your jet-black zither

Universal Poetry Day


A word made day (and night)
flicker of syllables
the moving image.

Decline of the Songbird


Close-up, through the round
lens of thumb-to-forefinger
two magpies captured

In second meadow sunlight
three enclosed now
in a handmade loop.

circular gesture
is my secret sign

Framed eye which says:
An intuitive wonders
you come so near

O black-and-white roadrunner
tuft-hopper on the burnt paths
mounting your watch

Two-toned, smartly-dressed
quick-witted, cynical, wry
poised and patient.

(Only you remain now
though suddenly
six could appear.)

You are to blame, I hear
for disappearing songbirds
less intelligent than you.

Is this true, master-builder
sober and sapient corvid
in conservative waistcoat?

Are the music-makers
dispossessed, destitute
in your world too?



Standing on the roots barefoot
embrace engine-housings
equipment of thrust.

Holding onto the trunk, airborne
be guided by the rocketry
into deep space.

Behind the sky discover
a small feather awning
canopy for a luminous acorn

The glade exactly as you left it
ready for another landing
in the faraway.


If the Clock had a Rooster’s Cry


If the clock had a rooster’s cry
time would no longer fly.

Long ago he lost his wings
so the alarm he sings

Kicks-off mechanically
not lyrically

Yet the cockerel of the roofscape
gives time a softer shape.

Down-to-earth among the other birds
he hasn’t many fine words.

The simple clockwork song he’s got
is punctual, but not on the dot.

Days which began at distant cock-crow
had a pace andante-slow.

Dawn was phased from vale to vale
now Satan’s in the detail.

Time pecks impatient at brittle shell
chanticleer’s an old tale to tell:

The sun is up, that proud rooster red;
and gently the world’s out of bed.


Pull Down the Hood


Pull down the hood
so the hawk can remember
his flight over the hill.