A Heady Burnt



means autumn's

soft footfalls can be heard.

Sun's blaze warms my back

as I cut dry grass,

Autumn breaks out,

a rumble overhead.

A Silhouette

Winter is a silhouette.

 A definition by outline,

 colour bled into starkness

 a flat surface

 as if the world is ragged paper.

 Shy the inexhaustible shy

 of Winter, worry away the rest.

 Wear worn decay the rest

 hunkers into itself

 as if afeard, afeard for itself

Our Deep Time

From summer to winter,

from brightness to loss,

follow the memory site of the dead.


Chasms gape, open mouthed,

clefts of wounds that do not heal;

rocks hold a dissonance.


There are no constellations

in these starless rivers:

black flow decided by fall.


Hear rush in the underland, carve

of space by water's progress;

it discovers as it sculpts.


Sometimes rock is parched

Leaves chambers of echo:

bones and burial gifts return.

From 'The Dead'.

I like light to come to my eyes gradually. I would stand on the slagheap at midday and watch the fleeting clouds pass their shadows over the pit built solidly below. It reminded me of wind gusting through cornfields. White clouds moving over hills in the Lake District or the Peak. I sat on the edge of the manmade hill and saw the different shadows ripple over the great washer building, over the cylindrical slurry tanks move flat across the concrete bunkers where lay the remains of unused sand, gravel and lime. It reminded me of the darkness a few days before when I was on nightshift at this place. Freezing till the veins of my hands stood up purple and ice encrusted in the ground. It made the concrete more hurtful when you fell like when I delivered the post one Christmas in Royston and slipped, the weight of the bag hauling me down to push and prise open the sprung letter boxes put the letter through so your whole hand went inside the house and then quick out for the lid to slam shut in your face. The shadows were never what they seemed and as the long night became morning, without getting lighter, you imagined bushes were people: old men slumped down after working the pit, gentlemen in cloaks, or women in jeans so during the day real people seemed like those shadows. Never what they seemed. I always thought whoever I met wanted to hurt me.