A Fleet of Moments

Sailing in the wind

searching for the aft

in too-fro

 two-four time


lost gone

 both seconds


now have passed


when choice

had not courage

to find deep

its voice


and spoken knots

were all

that tongues

could unwind


fare laid on tables

platitude’s plates

with goblet greed


set ‘gainst fate


with singular point

of focus



where the capital M

barbs the wired fence


for brothers know

longer are


You are U

And not I


yet at end

all must die


colours and flags

their tattered




else to pause

and pose

that dreadful,

dreadful, why


 And that fleet of moments


weighs anchor

to measure twice

and cut

but one


live we must

with all




the sorrow

of tomorrow

comes fast

in seems



on cloth

in sand grain’s



knit one

pearl one

out of all

has beens


 time pinches

the eggs


quick, slow


He said that

Aesop’s foibles

are all ours

to stow


And the fleet of moments

sails by






where only

is the




A jury

on a




a mantram

and a



found not

on blade’s




for eyes

that cannot see

the fleet of moments




hear not me


gone they are

with  n’er return


I wonder

will I





Amongst the idée fixe

incroyable Jack

puts on his Mac

and searches in the rain


He sits down with Jenny

to spin out a penny

a coat of tales

that might turn heads


They think him Montgolfier

a puffed up balloon

filled with airs and graces

a powdered buffoon


But fair miss Clotho the Fate

still turns at her spindle

spick and span to allocate

all those Cunard berths


Sitting in Versailles

at his triptych of glass

he sees dressing table reflections

of all the days yet to pass


He is all powdered wigs

and syphilis sores

tolerated and yawned

by all those he bores


And now his Lepidoptera life

has grown death as a moth

despite all the naptha

they put in with the cloth


Lachesis takes up her Toise

to measure standard yards

as he sings his soliloquy

to his image, deafened  by cards


The ones he drew on lucky dip Lotto

to experience the exponential silence

with all the longevity of coffins

and its harsh and unbending violence


Yet now the apropos of Atropos

stands with scissors and knife

she waits for that moment

to cut short the darn of his  life


Strung out on a wire

a simple hanger for clothes

bent and moulded

and darkened with woes


Incroyable Jack feels it so

that sharp asymptote of today

spans the vast chasms of tomorrow

No, no matter what he does say


And while they all sit to split hairs

none has heard a single his breath

which goes round all 45s

a Colt, the last cylinder death


Life throws him googlies all Impatiens

where the every last of desiccated dreams

is petal pressed between pages and bound

and stitched and ironed in all of the seams


And now his garment

has near worn away

The Moirae are happy

and turn off the candle of day


Incroyable Jack packs up his bags

no Euromillions for him

just a penury and a poorhouse

to take square on the chin


And when the Acheron calls

out comes both his last shillings

to pay for his little terminal trip

and now Oh Boy, is he man, willing


The dice that he long ago cast

were not ever meant to long last

so now incroyable Jack finally leaves

and still no, not one, no-one, believes

Strange Calm

Here pervades in Autumn sun

dressed in filigree bird song

and the haze of meadowsweet,

a light serene in the fields


A strange calm


The faint buzz of chainsaws

prepares logs for winter hearths

and I remember when they called

called at dinner time


A strange calm


Hints perhaps at journeys new

the shiver in my belly

has now passed with the letters

eased out my fingers


A strange calm


Waits here and around the corner

in a far off land

should eyes but see and hear,

fate will take another bow


A strange calm


A most peculiar life to date

and as sure as sixpence

this is so very true.

What does that fletcher have in store?


A strange calm


As the arrows are prepared,

points are sharpened

and they are feathered for flight

then put in quivers to be cosy


A strange calm


Soon the sun will kiss the sky

all perfect pink and rosy

and when the stars have gone abed

the morning star will usher

a new day


and it will not find me

where this one left me


A strange calm

That Scabbard of Pride

How oft thy contents hast me bled

Disembowelled my hopes

And tender yearnings


I rue that bazaar

Where I found thee winking


And all those encrustations

Rub me barnacle raw


And no salty ocean of tears

Can offer yet a salve


For thou art deeply etched

my brutal loathsome inking


But I had to haggle for thee

The fuller price lay hidden


My jewelled treasure

My bitter sanguine curse


My faithful companion

My sarcophagus and hearse


I rue that bazaar

Where I found thee winking

The Puck “Dialogues”

Playing with the notion of Puck and Ariel.

How might they interact?

What might bind them?


    “Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”


    —J.R.R. Tolkien’s epigraph to The Lord of the Rings



Hail fellow well met!!


and to you Ariel my wingèd friend.


Whence goest thou, this fell and chill night?


I know not for all ways are now closed,

each that have tried hast not fruit to bear

nor purpose, nor traction, nor good cheer


Puck, what then wilt thou do?


Sure as know knot am I tied,

for there are rivers twice

that seek me yet

to fish me with their

carper’s net


One says must stay and fight

and yet

grey haven’s beckon


course is not

not, ready set


One of old

and one of new

both the two

from ages fast

invite me

to take repast


Which flavour of fate do you favour now?


Shall seek a sign

fore tear this skein

to look wherein

how lies the wine


 And those shadows pull they still?


A shimmer of a Christmas past

has sought my mind

these several hours last


A tendril of

a yore gone by

hast segued again

before my eye


What Puck then, does it mean?


Material ‘ tis it not

and vane

will show

unto me


from time hence,


the wind doth blow.


Perhaps to don the corsair’s shirt

and sail again on mystic tide?


Canst I come too

on this final ride?


Ariel would seem my words

are all now nearly spent

and sure as toffee

won’t pay the rent


With naught to do

and less to say

seems my purpose

has gone away


North then of the hindu Kush

call they to I

to drink of tea

with mountains fair

to espy


For to be liked

‘mongst like

sure, strong it pulls


And deep the night

have I wandered here

midst mortal man


Seems was always

part the plan


What roads then left to tread?

For your words call up in me

a sense of dread


Dread not sprite and friend of mine

each has his allotted time

signs they are, as yet unclear

so be hearty and not fear.


Art though lost then Robin?


No am waiting for

a cube of chance

to appear


For cubes as such

have many spots

and their roll

reveals our lot


Must the wait be so very long?


Yes man, that is the theme of my song

it  echoes now in silent glen

for belong I not

amongst these men.


Hast you lost all your sight?


Blind am I


no more dreams at



No lamp, no candle

 shows me the mortice lock

‘pon the door which

must I ever,  knock


Nor have I vision

many more,

nothing seen

no music score


What notes could e’er


without the rails

them to contain?


Where does the rhythm beat

if not held in tempo

by the heart’s vital seat


There, where sleeps the Soul

no more

and cause of that

I have no core


Oh Robin is all

then lost?


Nay my friend

have bargained

for this cost


Planned have I

through hill and dale

fear not I

to pierce the final veil


Let’s then this autumn night

gather wood

to warm with

fire and  light


Take off our woollen mitts

and finger flames

‘till ice is gone


for soon enough

the dawn will come


Hark now Puck

those are some letters

I  hear them well

and cut these deathly fetters


Have I with me

a warming brew

made with wine

and brandy too


To heat the very toes

deep within

 the leather shoe


Aye, Ariel my faithful friend

shiver not this darkened hour

within this

 our most temporary

of bower.


Salut Puck!!






Sam Gates of the Red Berets

It was five thirty in the morning when the alarm went off and Sam reached wearily over the ashtray to turn it off.  Christ he felt like crap this morning. Coughing he reached for his Marlboros and lit one. The acrid smoke hit the back of his throat and he coughed some more. Slowly he made his way through the first of the day, pausing to spit into a tissue. He didn’t remember going to bed last night and hoped he hadn’t done anything too stupid. In the front room he saw the empty crisp packets and cans of Stella. So that was where all his dole money had gone. It had been years since he left the paratroop regiment, the shrapnel in his knee still spoke to him of the weather. Here in his tiny little flat there was not much glory anymore.

When the kettle boiled, he made man coffee. It was as strong as an ox and as dark as the night. He sat on his step outside to smell the sea air and smoke some more. A pint or so later he was ready to face the world. There was a job going at Sainsbury’s for security and today he had an interview. Showered, shaved, suited and booted he now set off, wondering what sort of weak chinned school leaver was waiting to condescend him. Monitors are only dangerous to sanity he thought, no IEDs in Cardiff, well not yet at least. He wondered if he could cope with the inevitable bleep as the barcodes scanned the sheep through the tills, how long could he stay before he lost it? Strange, how it had all come to this. If only he had kept quiet.  Para Gates had gone beyond and when he came back he was changed.

Here in this plain part of the universe, he was an unemployed ex-soldier scrimping to make ends meet. When he had the money he slept with Stella and with Becks, otherwise it was Special Brew. These kept his world intact and helped him cope with the Double in him, his other self.  As he pulled into the car park, it was already busy, all buggies, died hair and fake tan. Round the back he found the entrance and reported in.

“You are a little early Mr Gates, please take a seat.   Please can we see your passport so that we can satisfy the UK Border agency requirements…..”

He handed his passport over and wondered about garrotting that boy, thinking to himself as the lad turned; “Pull up your trousers and get a haircut!!”

He looked at the date on his watch, today is a full moon and that meant much to him. He would go later to Nash Point to soak in the sea and the sound of the Atlantic, and the Irish Sea. At this time of year and at midweek it will be empty.

As he sat there listening to that clock click its fingers of eternity, the smell of the place filled his nostrils. Not one ounce of hope here, no excitement only day after day. The carpet was a little tatty and frayed at the edges. The youth had disappeared behind some screen and he could hear the strident early morning gossip from the office beyond. He didn’t care who had been on the X Factor or who had been un-friend-ed on Facebook™.  Soon he knew he had been forgotten and he started to drift.

First he felt that hint of incense on the air and then clear clean mountain air. Next, sinking into himself he began;

“gate, gate, para gate, para samgate… gate, gate, para gate, para samgate, Bodhi svaha”

A little off the main causeway to the stars in the land of Buddhi he saw the Temple steps cut into the mountain side. They were waiting for him. Now dressed in his robes and with his vajra and bell he began the procession up the hillside. They gathered in their hundreds. In file they climbed the stairway and poured into the Temple courtyard. Chanting purification he led them on. In the courtyard he paused until they all were there. Together they looked south to the snow capped Himalaya resplendent in the dazzling morning sun. When they were ready the doors to the outer chamber opened and they filed in. Some sat on mats where they belonged, few stood still. And then he moved to the white febrile door carved intricate and ivory. He opened the door and there on the dais sat Kumara and the three Buddhas. 

He brought his palms together and inclined his head in a bow. He touched his thumbs to his ajna, his mouth and his heart, Bodhi, mind and Spirit. He moved into that august place, others following him. Some took their places in the seats on the right and the left. He went forward to stand before. There in his white, white robes, he showered in the pillar of light. 

“Sit now where you belong, oh blessed one…”

The service continued all around him and when the time was right he began again, as was his custom.

“gate, gate, para gate, para samgate… gate, gate, para gate, para samgate, Bodhi svaha”

Soon the white room, his in that ineffable place, set aside from the main Temple complex, began to take shape. It was in a quiet part just to the side of the main rose garden. Soon he was in his foyer next to the marble wash basin. He washed his hands and walked past his little armoury into his room. It was just as he had remembered it, his piano, the flowers and his sleeping quarters. The windows at the end letting the light warm the tiled floor. He must dress now. His tunic white fitted snug over his mail and the blood red cross brilliant on his chest. From the cabinet he took his sword and scabbard, belting them on; he picked up his spear and held it left. Now he was ready.

He made his way into the complex. In the corridors he met Cederic his aide and batman. They embraced and hugged. Cederic’s face still bore the marks of many a campaign and so many times had they stood back to back. Cederic too wore the rosy cross and sword. Today they would meet again, the council of nine.

At that table seven were already sat with Noh at the head, our very own Gandalf the White. No one knows His name but His magnificence speaks enough, whiter than white with eyes that sparkle like nebulae. Now all seated the meeting begins.

When they were done and roles assigned it began. Down the chiselled stone corridors he and Cederic went to the antechamber door, carved of darkest wood with the crossed sword and spear emboldened out of it. The door opens and ahead is the simple altar clothed in white and crossed in red.  Before it he and Cederic halted again clasping palms together, thence to touch Bodhi, mind and Spirit. Genuflecting each drew out his sword and lay them on the floor before the altar, there to prostrate. Replacing swords in scabbards they move forward into the first hall. Together they draw and raise swords skywards. The blue flame of the One Power is virulent in the partial darkness shimmering along the length of the blades and dancing like serpents.

“Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin!”

He calls into the darkness and slowly robed and hooded in grey, figures emerge out of the darkness, called to fulfil an aeonial oath.

 “Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin!”

The figures now congregate and as he stabs the air a host of swords join theirs to create a spark fantastic which illuminates the cavern. They come from all the bands, scattered across the universe. They come to the call of Fey-da-yin.

Collected now behind him they file into the next chamber, huge and vaulted with stall seats all around its circle circumference. Each of the grey joins his fellows and soon this room too is filled. Their numbers now are much, much larger and the place is filled with murmur and greetings.  Cederic is now seated.

He lays down the spear, touches hands together as before and prostrates. He stands holding the spear in his left hand and he cries out again:

“Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin!”

The spear head now diamond bright with utter radiance illuminates the many. All around blades are drawn and raised and voices join;

“Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin! Fey-da-yin!”

Now we are ready.

In procession they march into the vast, vast Temple proper. At the front are the seven sitting behind the altar. He and Cederic take stage in front of the altar and before the crowd. On that marble slab lies only a single yellow rose still fresh with the morning dew.

Noh stands and approaches the altar, he turns and hands the spear to Noh’s open palms. He bows and turns on his heels to join Cederic. Together they stand side by side. As one they draw and raise The Swords of Power they show them to the crowd and call out into the cavernous expanse;

 “Atl’aman, Atl’aman, Atl’aman!!”

They parade The Swords a while and then re-sheath them. Cederic takes his seat on the side of the stage. He turns to the altar and bowing receives the Spear from Noh. He turns and raises The Spear of Destiny aloft, a point of brilliance, blue-white diamonds sparkle from it and he again calls;

“Atl’aman, Atl’aman, Atl’aman!!”

walking around the stage as he does so.

When the time is right Cederic joins him and alone the two of them file out that place the way they had come. The hush envelopes them and only their steps can be heard resounding. Now they are in the corridor and alone together.

“Mr Gates, Mr Sam Gates?” he hears a voice calling. He opens his eyes.

“Mr Gates?”

“Yes, that is me..”

“I am sorry but Mr Jones, the manager, has told me that the interviews today are cancelled. We are not taking on any more staff. It’s the recession you see. Here is your passport and thank you for coming…”

He steps outside that chamber and into the fresh morning air. He lights a Marlboro and inhales. Oh well, at least he can go to Nash Point this afternoon and after that, buy some Special Brew to help him sleep and numb him for the evening’s telly.


Eric’s Oboe

Quink writes all

the quirks of fate

inscribed on paper

to hang on the wall


tracing paper

with graphite smiles

busy rubbing

brasses in the crypt


turning the score

to find another page

from which to play

the reed is split


only harsh the

many tunes of fate

dealt by the Croupier

“Faites vos jeux”


unready the world

for likes of me

wandering forests

in the rain


there are not ears

nor enough compassion

amongst experts,

to hurdle vanity


the page wears thin

as the music fades

haunting, now distant

on history’s sails


time to pack up

the oboe and walk

with moccasin feet

once more


soft into the dream

gentle dreaming

back into Annwn,

where I belong

Dharma of the Day #23 {folly}

Learn to laugh,

mostly at yourself.

This makes life

less heavy


Which weighs more

a smile or a frown?

A sparkle in the eyes

is Helium and not Lead!


We all plumb the depths,

why not feather

also the sky

and, with our Joy?


It too needs a tickle

from time to time!!

Find your own champagne bubbles

And rise up in the glass of illusion


Try to effervesce

as often as you can.

What wires bind you

tighter than too many eggs?


Be oft like a cormorant

who both soars and dives.

Enjoy Atlantic spray

fresh on the face.


And when needed

plunge into the depths

thence again to surface

and spread your wings, anew


Be more fluid

than any quicksilver on a

hot summer’s day,

ebb and flow, flow and ebb.


Laughter is not a secret

entombed in a pyramid;

it is the scent of spring

as fresh as a dewdrop


Learn to laugh

and mostly at yourself.

This makes life

less heavy.


Are you a puffin or a cormorant?

Change “Haiku”

these were written on a day when the first hint, that first faint odour of spring wafted in on the breeze.



pennies in my pocket

remember all the hands

which still rub them


no genie ever granted

three wishes

in the lottery of life


freshly ploughed fields

sound a deep brown bass

while scaring crows


the winter kale

stands defiant green

on a winter’s day


Badger’s copse shivers

the naked trees

wearing ivy necklaces


the holly has lustre

vibrant in the hedgerow.

a robin watches


three wise women

kale, ivy and holly

and one shepherd


soon the change

comes from the East

watery sun, even à Dieu


the length of shadows

turns soon a penny,

few days left now


duvet tight to the chin

a bear in a cave

stretches and yawns


he rolls over

adjusting his pillow

for the alarm sounds not


the salmon of wisdom

will return

to teem in the rivers


the springy moss

adds a jaunt to the toes

and a swagger


even the egg timer

whispers “hurry up”,

enough sand!!


and brown becomes

green and yellow

the ears of wheat listen


for to deeply bathe

in the salutation of the sun,

a familiar friend


he who has been hiking

across the southern skies

for too long


he the prodigal

has been sighted!!

break out a fatted calf

Terra Incognita


Beyond the shores of illusion

of the surreal objective manifestation

the most diaphanous shade

wanders speaking in tongues


The meat of him a penumbra

no amnion or membrane

to contain him, dissipate

with only telepathic friends


A gossamer existence

no cause nor effect

a simple white tsalmaveth descending

ever, the celestial staircase


A shade standing always

just behind the living

and pointing them direct to the sun

a pillar of salt, deserted


Dancing all the limbo

without any bars

no hurdles, no gaols

in the vast austerity of Cosmos


No maps here

no lonely planet guide

just a subtle melange of spice

an entheogen for his own apotheosis


The beneficent  Mahātmā

who pyres his Soul

henceforth walking the tides

of all humanity, forever


The subtle olfactory body

his Atmic vehicle

extends far beyond continua

sniffing at all the winds in creation


Searching ever the treasure chest

to uncover the purpose

hidden on tropical isles

for his last peroration


Beyond the shores of illusion

of the surreal objective manifestation

the most diaphanous shade

wanders speaking only in tongues



Which no one else can understand… …