Blown

Throw them ever higher
into blue skies
to become black smoke
and blown particles

and do not care
about age – infirmity
or status of anyone –
just soaring margins

She turned into flight
as sooty confetti
A working lift?
Is this Heaven?

She saw London’s
sawtooth lower jaw
How cold she felt
dropping as ash

In her new lightness –
before wet dousings –
was a brief release
from profit seekers

but it wasn’t on her list
of urgent repairs and fixes
Those in high places
never read her misgivings


Seven Overs

For Tony Rees

Scuttled and wind-licked
we hunkered with beers
under the Shane Warne Stand

as scurried rainclouds toyed
with our long-hatched scheme
for a day of World Cup Cricket

under an English summer –
but no plan was framed for stacks
of latin-named dark formations

And a record was set at that game –
the 2nd shortest world cup match –
ever – and we were there to see it


A Step-father’s Advice

They will spit forth
foam-flecked hints of hate*
to rattle old angry folk
by distractions – to vote –
it is as if Enoch Powell
were no longer dead –
as high-born cussing –
upper-class meddlers –
play the lack-Latin fools
to the baying stalls
and set off marchers
to resurrect working-class
empirical values
of tipped flat caps
to the lovely guv’nor
whilst we Remain-bowed
middle-classes – struggling
to foot our rising guilt –
doubly weighted by costs
of over-consumption –
turn our attention off
Do not enter politics
without a deep wallet


*I’m no longer Nasty, but please stop lying
about Nice by Boris Johnson’,
Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2002.
Thanks to Fintan O’Toole


Smoke Over Paris

Their Lady of Paris burnt
in one online afternoon
Her re-imagined spire
tipped to robes of smoke

like a bloodied lance
in surrender – once more –
to politics and holy battles
in a kindless fog of war

Her heated metals ran
as dark beaded sweats
from her swealing heights
to leave cooled scabs

of Saint Thomas – and others –
spattered across worn stones
under her collapsed transept
Those slabs will be saved

with high relics – rescued
from clouds above la quatrième
No puzzle of scattered ashes –
France has her couronne d’épines