Category: Poems

Move fast and break things

We’ve found a way to monetize breath.
It’s simply a game changer. Can you feel
the paradigms shifting under your feet?
We are shaking up the world like a snowglobe
and breaking traditions. Each inhale a cent,
each exhale is free. Thats it! Simple!

After all, we are providing a service.
We could flood the atmosphere with
deadly chlorine gas, killing everyone
painlessly and quickly, but we don’t.
We allow seven billion humans to live.
So we are providing a service.

The market has responded favourably.
All hail the market! Praise stock tickers!
We’ve revolutionised food and water,
turned the streets into profit, now we
spin gold from the air itself. Our
investors are very pleased indeed.
If you don’t like it, don’t breathe.


November

The cold makes a home
deep inside your weary bones.
Frost glimmers and grins.

Brand Ambassador

we are just hear to tell the truth / tell the good as well as the bad / counteract all the lies / get our message out there / provide some much needed perspective / all hail the benevolent bosses / let’s keep it light guys / we are just here to better inform you / no need for such language / you do not have all the facts / you are misinformed / you are a child lost in the woods / alone / with only a failing torch / we have the map / we have a gps and we can lead the way out of this forest / we know where you are / we haven’t implanted the gps in you / silly / of course not / the technology doesn’t exist yet / we know all the routes / if only you’d listen / we’re going to have to insist / please do not raise your voice / aggression will not be tolerated / please stay seated / allow the machine to do it’s work / do not cause a scene / this won’t take long / we are here to help / we are giving you another story / the one you won’t hear or read / the media hates success / your echo-chamber is too limited / not long now / stop squirming / people are jealous / those stories are false / our workers are happy / look how happy they are / they are part of our success / look at their smiles / they enjoy it / everyone wins / they have adequate breaks / of course / we are not monsters / we calculated what is enough / to the second / so nothing is wasted / we are not cruel, we are kind / everything is optimised / everything is efficient / that is what you desire / after all / embracing life fully / sometimes we give our workers a minutes rest / please stop the hostility / this is your final warning / the machine is almost finished / it is not calibrated to hurt / your pain is an act / we have the information we need / and more / we know everything about you / two seconds / stay seated / stay quiet / listen to what we are saying


How to Be Free

Draw a line before your flat door.
Put up a sign saying Do Not Cross.
Disconnect your phone, gas,
the broadband, electricity.
Tear up the quarterly newsletter
issued by the resident’s committee

Declare your flat sovereign
and the line a border.
Open any post with
bomb disposal gloves.
Push back the neighbour’s cat
when it tries to enter.

Put down barbed wire
across the corridor.
Watch everyone who passes-
they might be hostile.
Start producing your own
newsletter, telling the truth.
To be safe, destroy the post.

Wonder why deliveries stopped,
why your fridge is empty
and the taps are dry.
Blame the other flats.
Blame the resident’s committee.
Detain the cat when
it crosses the line.

Turn the barbed wire
into sheet metal, a wall.
Brick up your windows.
Stop the freeloading light
from pouring into your home.
Force the cat into a cage.
Don’t feed it. Ignore the cries.
Wonder why the neighbours
are suddenly outraged.

Sharpen your knives
and wait for the knock
as they come to invade.


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 29

Rewritten

Eyes flicker and head reels.
I am lost and dizzy from
another reality adjustment.
Precious seconds to get my bearings,
probing my memory for gaps,
a tongue checking missing teeth.

A nerve twitches, a sign of change.
Last Tuesday no longer existed.
Not the worst to reconcile,
nothing of great importance lost.
Perhaps just a rainy day gone,
work, tv and cups of tea.

Whole months have been deleted before,
years when they were inconvenient.
We accepted them without protest
not often knowing what we lost.

The subtle, gentle changes are hard-
rain when you swore it was sun.
Physics changing. The bullet
landing there, not here.

Most stopped caring about politics.
We became numb and did not register if
a speech’s reception was edited
or some minister altered a few votes.
These are the days of constant whiplash
and rising nausea. No, we mourn the
quiet moments most. Holding hands
deemed subversive and forgotten
or our laughter changed to silence.


NaPoWriMo 2019- day 28

An Invitation

Come cross the sea at night
when the moon is a target
pierced by an arrow, a jet
stream shot from distant lands.

One small solitary figure
alone under the moonlight.
No sound but your constant engine,
Your breath distant and faint.

You are not pushed forward
by constant explosions but
pulled towards us, dragged
on invisible spider’s silk.

Your perception sprawls out
over the mutable waves.
As horizon and sea blend,
you twitch, trying to wake.

Our island is a shadow
blocking stray stars at first
then growing like a revalation
you refuse to acknowledge.

Leave your beached craft behind.
Walk the route you know so well
without having been here before.
Trust your feet to guide you true,

over the shore that sighs secrets,
to the glowing lake where we bathe.
We smile. Invite you into the icy water
and wash all your memories away.




NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 27

Emergency Protocol

If you are hearing these words
then our efforts were futile.
We were an ant trying to halt
an avalanche, a single voice
trying to cross the endless void.

I was no-one important, a bureaucrat
following the train tracks left behind
by countless generations. Not many
of us can switch tracks or derail without
wrenching metal and screaming sparks.

I record this message as an emissary
from the past, from your former government,
but it will be clear to all of you listening
that all our institutions and borders
were always illusory, tricks of the light.

We congregated as one and decided
to create numerous systems together,
will them into being, change the outcome
by observation and belief. We forgot
our complex creations were just fictions.

It pains me to think of you listening to this.
We are sorry. We were blind in so many ways.

There is little to be done now
but to listen to seeds split open and grow,
feel your heart thump, reminder of life,
and to spend time with those you love.
That’s all there ever was.


All the poems I wrote for NaPoWriMo 2018 are available as an ebook that you can download for free.


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 26

Conversion Rate

You are a grizzled space marine
reporting for duty on the SS Hermes.
Humanity faces a new and terrible threat.
You are our only hope for survival.
Whilst saving the galaxy, why not
look stylish with optional upgrades?

(The waking world is a buried memory.)

Superhumans swarm above your head
battling an ancient foe, standing up
for what is good and just. You must
stay on the ground and duck for cover,
having never fallen in radioactive waste-
but you can buy their merchandise.

(A flash of dawn light.)

A dictator walks the streets alone.
You are forced to stay at home,
watch the Good Leader on television,
where we can categorise and file you.

(Eyes flicker and succumb once more.)

Today the sun expanded without warning,
consuming our glass sphere in flames
four billion years early. The future
is always uncertain. Buy insurance.

(Waking for certain now, you watch
as a bee attempts to crawl into
a drawing of a lilac, again and again.)


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 25

Tempest

When storm clouds spell put your name,
it’s hard not to take it personally.
Shifting letters, miles high, grow heavy
and dark as they fill the sky.

Sunshine appears in patches, a
mismatched jigsaw. When you step in,
it flickers and fades, the fuse board blown.

Rain, when it decides to fall,
seeks you out, small homing missiles,
following your frantic steps down the street.
As it slams into your ears, soaks through
your cheap anorak, it whispers threats,
drawn from details you only told notebooks
and kept buried in a locked drawer.

Do not think of lightning.
There are times when bolts are thrown
almost at your feet and you jump
and weave to avoid being struck.

Go where people pool and flow.
Look up. More clouds metamorphose,
more than you ever noticed before.
Each person glances at their own squall
as it follows them, unwavering.
A stranger beckons you under an umbrella.
Stand still together and be dry.


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 23

The Kite Festival

The dates are always unknown.
It is never scheduled or planned.

Rumours circulated it was banned.
A few news in brief articles
stoked our speculations. Years passed
and life happened. It was forgotten.

Until yesterday, when unusual sunlight
kissed bare skin and breeze blew blossom
making confetti. We started driving
when we saw flashes on the horizon,
bright purples and oranges that
swooped and darted and flickered.

Moving down the road, we saw it all;
saw the fishes and birds jiving
in the sky, saw the strings that
connected them to small figures
guiding their joy from the ground.

We drove past, continued home,
but my heart opened the door
raced across the grass,
climbed up the string
and in that cloudless expanse
it became part of the dance.


NaPoWriMo 2019- day 21

Thread

Plane trails cross the sky,
thin lines from one hub to another

Small boats over the ocean
drag the same white trails behind.

On a blank page, write out the names
of everyone you’ve ever known
even passing acquaintances and colleagues
you haven’t said a single word to.
Then draw lines of connection.
You will have a map of the cosmos
and a diagram of an molecule.

From above at night, the cities
towns, villages and roads are glowing
cells and veins. Grids are subsumed.
From above, the ground is a pictograph
of the inside of your skull.

One strike sends sharp signals
to everyone. We all twitch and flinch.

Somewhere within the network, you
are a single synapse, one electrical
spark dragging connection in its wake.


All the poems I wrote last year for #NaPoWriMo are available as a free ebook. Download it here.


NaPoWriMo 2019- Day 20

Seduction

The past whispers in your ear
when sleep seems so distant
with tales and promises told
in sweet singing tones
“Society was better then,
if only you could go back.”

Still humming a forgotten tune
it pulls you out of the bed
and towards the floorboards
where the sour and sweet smell
rises from underneath. “Damp
has set into the bones now,
nothing left but a slow descent
into disorder and anarchy.
If only you could go back.”

Lies, of course. The rot
doesn’t exist and neither
did that soft golden light
of a perfect childhood. All we
have is now, always vanishing.


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 18

Liminal

The sea is a distant silver chain
hugging the horizon.

Wind laughs, dances and sprints
giddy at the space.

Grains bounce and tumble through
her outstretched palms,

each and every falling dot
another universe.

The shore-line sighs and is erased
so gradually

by the careful, precise hands
of advancing waves.

Names, messages and castles
blur, then vanish.

Wind tires herself out and calms,
dampens the sea peaks.

The hidden beach slumbers underwater
waiting for the tide to turn.


All the poems I wrote last year for #NaPoWriMo are available as a free ebook. Download it here.


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 17

Unmoored

Stranded in the nothing,
spinning like a planet
My thoughts are still and calm
like the first light of dawn
through willow branches at home,
which I will not see again.

Giving myself to chance
I start to count all the
different types of infinities.

One slip and I fell upwards,
my body only a loose collection
of dust,rejoining the cosmos.

I glance over my years,still
calm. Each moment inevitable.

As oxygen runs low, all I see
is orange, red, blue and white.
The light of countless stars.


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 16

Language

I ask the rain for answers
but it offers no reply,
just a gentle tip tip tap
annointing my forehead.

I want to speak the same words
as the indifferent sun
or babble with the brooks
in quiet flowing tones.

So much remains unknown.
In thousands of lifetimes
we may, together, learn a word
of an infinite lexicon.

I try to converse with the wind
but it does not answer back.
With soft and tender hands
it ruffles through my hair.


#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 15

Always More

The sun sinks into the ocean
sending vivid indigos and ambers
to erupt like fireworks over the sky.
The water is a perfect mirror,
no horizon visible.

We grade it two point three
out of five- could do better.

Reality isn’t real enough.
Lost in somatic slumbers
we crave the perfect waves,
the right breeze over flawless skin
brighter colours, deeper saturation,
higher resolution than our eyes can process

Always seeking rare sensations
to drown the silence deep.


NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 14

Oblivion

We ask for guidance from eternal stars
burning above our heads in the night sky.
They are too distant, the void too vast,
the cosmic fires never answer our cry.
Movements we thought once to be signs of hope,
we thought they were suspended in æther.
Now we know, when we peer into our scopes,
they are long dead and sound won’t carry either.
Our atoms once were forged within their flames
before gravity spun our fragile sphere
Now no connection or link does remain.
Now falls the night. We are alone down here.
Yet through our learning, science and art
we can create new meaning in the dark.


All the poems I wrote for #NaPoWriMo last year are available as a free ebook. Download it here


NaPoWriMo 2019- Day 13

Thirteen

One time, he marched down six flights
then, panting, demanded the manager,
argued his way into a room change. Any other
number would do, would keep him safe,
but those digits were cursed. He wouldn’t
even walk in. He never stepped on pavement
cracks despite his mother turning to dust,
burnt sage and rosemary to cleanse the spirits
from his flat built in the eighties,
was always polite to magpies. In this way,
the unknown was kept in fierce control.
Life continued to intrude, long and
yet brief. He would not like this small poem.


All the poems I wrote for #NaPoWriMo last year are available as a free ebook. Download it here


NaPoWriMo 2019- Day 12

Aeolus

You would not know me in this form.
My face shifts and is never still
like the empty dunes that whistle
so sweetly or the swaying branches.
If inclined, I will fill your sails
with the steady direction of home,
and help your seeds scatter over soil.

But my origins and allegiances can change.
Within a cloth bag, I keep my rage.
Do not provoke me or otherwise
I will untie the intricate knot
and watch your houses take flight.


All the poems I wrote for #NaPoWriMo last year are available as a free ebook. Download it here


#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 11

Observations in the Dark

Walking alone at night, gravity
increases. You are dragged downwards
towards the shivering planet. Your air
becomes a compressing accordian.
The sky is a finger tip stretch away.

Halt and crane your neck upwards. See
a section of infinity sprawled before you.
Don’t you know this starlight has rushed
as fast as possible, for millions of years
to reach your eyes? Look closely

to see the start of everything.


All the poems I wrote for #NaPoWriMo last year are available as a free ebook. Download it here


NaPoWriMo 2019 day 10

Sequence

Synthetic flowers bloom through concrete
endless identical duplication.
Algorithms ensure each cluster is neat
and our coding is perfection.

Nature is chaotic, impure and free,
we discarded untidy mutations.
Better to lie under precision-made trees
than risk a genetic connection.

Despite our models, projections and all
sometimes the weeds still take root.


#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 7

Playback

Lying in bed awake as the city sleeps,
the events of the day play before her
like a scratched and dusty DVD. Incidents
unfold out of sequence, sentences
skip and repeat and fall out of sync.
As the pause button fails again, she tries
to listen to calming sirens instead.


All the poems I wrote last year are available for free as an ebook. Download them here.


#NaPoWriMo 2019 day 6

Möbius

and confusion and so you live
and this time round you learn
the universe has more dimensions
than you can possibly perceive
and you are an ant on a paper strip
and the end is darkness then lights


All the poems I wrote last year are available for free as an ebook. Download them here.


#NaPoWriMo Day 5

Dissonance

Under a static sky, we speak
in dial-up modem screeches.
Number stations replace news.
Books become junk code. Still, some
claim to see patterns in the flux.


All the poems I wrote for last year’s NaPoWriMo are available as an ebook for free. You can download it here.


#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 4

Below

Down here, light dances on my skin.
The world is a muffled radio
playing the next house over.
I sink and try to tune in.


All the poems I wrote last year are available as an ebook for free. You can download it here.