Particles are Everything


I slammed the shutters closed
to arrest the wind’s
vile attempts to take away
old, stale crumbs,
old stale anything –
holding my breath
I realised what I’d done,
but I was okay
once I discovered
hiding in the corners
with the musty scent
of the drawers –
dark lands
where memories
and old tobacco
still gather.
No one make a sound.
No one breathe.
Underneath my nails
the DNA of yesteryear
clings with other hopeless,
useless collections,
but I am here
trying to climb into this
fucking drawer
full of memorabilia –
desk memorabilia,
which includes
scraps and pencil dust
and smells
left behind
to ignite –
does this count as
mem or ab il ia
or temporary insanity?
I try to flick shy
strands of St Bruno –
smells imbibe –
fine blends
stiffened; quite dead,
unlike the stop cock
under the sink –
stiff, but always ready to
go – ready to drown
a person when they
least expect those floods
that, even when ankle deep,
keep afloat a lot of crap –
the flotsam and jetsam of tedium –
of waterlogged misery
measuring 7′ x 4′.
Grubby nails clutch
an old photograph
taken one Christmas,
its torn edges try to catch
all the debris there is –
pitiful really,
but irresistible
as if his embedded
black and white,
grey fingers are reaching
out to collect
all the tobacco flakes
he left
along with this vacuum.
The other corner –
severed almost,
has a floppy, creased
arm with the Christmas gift
sweater gingerly scooping
up more ghosts
for me –
for you
he says,
keep them somewhere


World War I

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Rushed scribbles of war
Cry in mud’s suffocation
Sandbags promise death

Ghosted I am here,
from No man’s land’s melted snow
The shoebox is home

Red cross parcels drip
saturation of trench war
Sixteen million tears

Poppies lost petals
tears on Flanders’ knees in prayer
Keep our children safe


Loose Lips


Lilac petals fall
like unconfined purple prose
leaping to its