Tuesday, 21 May 2019

'To see yourself as others do'

To see yourself as others do.

That could easily happen
In an impossible world.
So if you rented out another brain,
That brain would need to vacate.
And your own would take over.
But then you wouldn't be “seeing yourself as others do”.
You'd just be fusing two selves into one.

There's no first-person purity or truth.
Acts of introspection
Exist in a gauze of theory.
There's even a veil of perception
Between your self 
And your own private items.
So, perhaps, as classical introspecters,
We don't see the wood for the trees.
All this points in the direction of third persons.
Third persons may know you better
Than you know yourself.

No Cartesian indubitability here, then.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Moor Rocks

The rocks of millstone grit
Take us back a million years.
But now they're as frozen as they ever were.
Their fleshy, hard surfaces
Can't stop the chiseling of lovers’ names
And misspelled obscenities.
I touched the sparkling sandstone
As I’d touch an old man’s face –
Curious as to the feel of his skin;
But respectful, of course.

I sniffed the rocks’ crannies
And peeped in the mini-caves
Which thrill curious kids.
Polluting one cave
Was the night-before’s leftovers.
Lager, cider and crisps (now empty cans and bags)
Had been enough for this Teen Party
And for all those young bodies -
Hyper and still budding.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Moor Heatwave

I dragged a tired body
Through the sweating air
And away from the sun’s sharp gaze.
Heather gripped my boots
To drag me back... and back again.
The heather, awash with fire a day ago,
Was now a black, unshaven stubble
That crunched and crumbled under foot-
Giving off a fine dust.
(That ritual burning was man’s remedy
For the heather’s colonial dreams.)

I then headed, straight and true,
For the moor's edge -
Which led into a welcoming sky.
The sun didn't meet me.
I stared at its cool distance.

The heat, now thick as concrete,
Dragged me down 
To the size of a trudging trooper.
I walked on...
... walked on through walls of heat
And snares of heather.
My body held me back.
But I slogged on, regardless.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

'All good things are short and sweet'

All good things are short and sweet.
So few and far between.
You wait for one more good day...
It never comes again.
So what you got?
Nowt much, really.
And what you got don't last either.
So what's good is good for a short time.
And what's bad is bad vice versa.

Grab hold of the short and the sweet;
The few and the far between.
Savor and caress it.
Keep hold for as long as you can.
Don't let go.
Keep its shelf life firmly in mind.
Or, rather, don't.

Christ! The damned transience of it all!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019


Ants, like armies of automatons,
Marched with intent genetic care
Across the moor's dusty path.
Did they know their job?
As much as any man.
So not like indolent walkers
Who moan for concrete’s pleasure.
Yes - ants get on with it!

Monday, 6 May 2019

Moor Birds


In a madness born of heat,
Skylarks twittered prestissimo calls
Like gossips on speed.
Their calls merged in the upper air.
The birds had so much to say.
And so little time to say it!

Curlews and Lapwings

Curlews wailed at my trespass,
Like worried mothers.
And lapwings showed fake nerve
By swooping toward my head -
Then putting windbreaks on, swiftly.
They too defended their land
From walkers’ boots and prying eye.


Not bred for the bullet anymore?
Now free to shoot out of heather
Like graceless rockets -
Yelling their ugly, little yells
Into a distance 
Which is theirs too.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Moor's Atomic Deaths

That day was an open coffin.
We counted five real-dead sheep.
Each rotted in its own silence
And the noise of flies 
Which consumed leftovers of flesh.
Nature’s song must keep going.


It fed the scavengers 
Aboard that day’s moor.
It taught the anthropopoets
The lessons they had to learn.


Nothing but the rented hours
Of the hunted and crippled,
The dead and the dying.

Why mourn these atomic deaths?
What do the deaths mean?
Sure, the day’s body-count was high.
But that didn't cause a flicker 
In distant hearts.
Even the mothers’ cries 
Echoed into the hills,
To merge with the perfect silence.