Pareidolia

Pelagic frogfish
In the sky,
Captured by a satellite.

Religious icons are
Baptised
In bathroom tiles.

Cumulonimbus heights
Before a storm
Transformed to toads

And turtledoves
High above
The dreams of love

I found in your words,
As comforting to me as
Waves on the coast,

The sound and scent
Of my homeland.
Have I learnt nothing,

For I yearned to return
To your love, but all
I find beachcombing

On the edge of the ocean,
My sand-swept existence,
Though frantically I search,

Are flotsam thoughts,
Are the rusting returns
Of briny whelks on the keel

Of a boat, a vessel battered
By strife and winds and surf,
Messageless bottles,

A raucousness of seagulls
Being seagulls,
Conches and shells

In the foams
Of the moment
Seem like conches and shells;

The waves resurface
Their childish driftwood gifts
Offered up at my feet,

How the mind plays tricks
On a desolate beach
To rekindle itself.

Untitled Poem #7

I’ve been cleaning again;
It is a reward to myself
For cheating death.

I organised the albums
Alphabetically,
I bleached the sink and cut the nails

Of the lawn on my knees.
The daffodils are resisting.
Bread does not rise with a corpse in the kitchen.

I have a conspiracy theory:
Particles are added to polish
Which after I’m done allure dust and grease.

Similar scientists shot men to the Moon,
But not yet any women;
They will shoot them on Mars one day soon,

Yet baboons at the zoo
Masticated bags for lunch,
Ethylene red, white and sometimes blue,

Which my leaders could not recycle.
There are less post offices now
Since we dispensed with writing letters.

Outside, Spring has woken the workers;
I’ll sanitise the windows awhile,
Prepare a curry, and sleep.

Morning Storms

The God of Vexation
When Neptune was courting
Scooped up the Atlantic
And bestowed it on Norfolk,
Long before you and I were born.
The quickening Wales survived,
and the red-heathered glens of Scotland,
albeit biparted. There is a new lagoon
Which stretches from Cumberland
To the kings of Northumberland
Who vandalise shops where they can.
In a hundred awful years or more
Sightseers and tourists
Walking the shoreline,
Buying mementos and keepsake-gifts,
Will laugh at preposterous legends
Of villages consumed by the water.
Today is all I claim to own,
A universe condensed.

A canvas harried by the gale
From the patio table’s circumference,
In that moment morphed
Into an airborne octopus
Or other tentacled fabulous beast;
Flew over the poet-advocate’s garden,
And beyond his neighbour’s fence.

No More The Sea

No more the sea,

With its treacherous talk

Of adventure,

Of poetry.


No more will my soul

Yearn for the unsolicitous cliffs

Where the heart of cars

Departed once precipitously,


Left a plume of matted flowers

And an exhaustion of maternity.

No more the tortuous sea,

Its intoxicating sea-salt mist


And all the grey variants

Which number in their hundreds;

A fleet of adjectives:

The fret, the mizlin, haar


And ollund-blue boar drizzle.

The dormant sea, then,

The plastic sea, soulless,

Unfathomable, unloved,


And uncontested by molluscs.

No more the sheer sea, and its seasons

Of sudden shifting patterns,

The pale green glass


By a beach of burn-brown burrows.

No more love, no poetry,

No sea roses, no infidelities

Of language; but instead,


A constant mourning,

A dropping down of flags,

A pinching out of lanterns.

A silence. A warning.