Here are more recent poems, linked to Haunted Evaporations.  You can also look at my archive of poems, essays and music – poems from Broken Glass and the Sea, and the album A Paradise of Shadows, as well as some longer pieces of prose exploring similar themes here

The Broken Symbol

I cough up a broken symbol –
it speaks nonsense,
it arrives with the morning
wishes to greet you.

It seeks the point
where the flame
becomes marvellous

it crumples paper,
sets a match.


i can’t explain the broken symbol

I can’t explain how i speak what is not mine
how it might come out empty or chattering,
all hummingbirds and barbed wire,
with a pressure that would crush cans,
a vaccuum, a void,

yet speaks of a yearning
for savaged mountains,
split rivers


Rilke wrote angels on the page
and they came when he called
out of ink and paper,
wings and searing fires
chanting prayers
for mankind
sorrow and ecstasy.

the moment before
I set the key in the lock
my heart dips,
because the broken symbol
prefers solitude,

I forget to write them in,
These in between moments,

I feel the ragged shards of a broken symbol
but I can’t explain it,

I fly down the hill,
with my skull cased in

pray that i won’t
strike metal,
that my bones and flesh
won’t become a broken symbol


Where is the broken symbol?

Is it in the unmet dream,
or the daily routine?

in the soul angel
that flashes through
my mind,
or the day’s iron rod?

in the roots of the oak
or the dignity of man?

in the illusion of money
or the formation of crowds?

the constellation of stars,
Or the synaptic patterns in the brain?

in the sighs of the ancestors?
Or failure of their gods?

Now we dream, a bellyfull of
neon, and meat fat,

glutted on hope,
on the phantasm “I” –

Where can I attach a handle
to pick up in the
perfectly packaged symbols
that deliver the world,
Put them to onside?

I would place in their place
A broken symbol.


Perhaps it’s an attitude of mind i crave
some distance from all the sincerity and irony
a place to let the symbol breathe, and break.

a dark cave, a cloak of leaves,
smell of earth, dank and muted.


Why speak of a broken symbol?

because still we seek reparation
in the endless fictions of the
antagonistic online comment,

the cop in the head,
forces unity upon
everyone it meets until
something cracks.

because no church breaks it’s own symbols,
yet the holy wafer  breaks on my tongue,

because no science knows the limits of knowledge
yet the bundle of
nerves, skin,  meniscus
and bones all break, crumble, fall apart
to be swallowed and reborn.


what does it mean to sing
in the key of the broken symbol?

A book with teeth.

A cave where babies crawl
out into the light from the
virgin’s skirt.


the broken symbol
keeps haunting me
i want to explain it
but instead of words
crucifixes and blue
flowers come out.


oh to walk in leisurely fashion
down the road and for the road
to greet me.
oh for the hedgerows
to come to life.

what hides in the nightmare
cracked slabs?

A high street plastered with symbols –
where are the breaks in the words to let me in?


Each dream negates one before,
until nothing happens at all –

The singer, poet, underworld guide,
who touches and moves
to the whispers,
the materials,

Speaks in broken symbols


I never learnt to steal properly
I stole a pair of sunglasses from a surf shop once,


I wanted to steal the blue flower
from the arcadian sky,
the silver that blurs on the
nightblack sea,

the uplift of energy
from the company of
fellow travellers,

The places where certainty breaks down
and becomes friendship


my soul was trapped in a thin and narrow thought,
that whirred like a clockwork beetle

an overvaluation of thoughts.

The symbol broke –
Birds flew out
Like a magician producing
a river of winged flowers
From his sleeve,

Yet still find I find hard to remember
to speak with the tongue
of a broken symbol.

The Ground of True Speech

Each day, a flow of images;
Coffee, street, work, dream.

What is it to be grounded in images?
Images have no ground, but you do.

Carrying the story of your life;
sometimes like a banner,
unfurled on shining lance
sometimes crushed inside
your jacket pocket
like a crumpled old wrapper.

Don’t plan it, this death of yours.

Don’t give it away, like bread to pigeons.

Think of  the candle on a birthday cake,
how as you blow it out, you make a wish.

It’s ok to remember the high walled garden of childhood,
It’s burnt amber maples and sticky pine cones,
smell of mint and terracotta,

how it became a ghostly prison
for a ghost child whose feral shadow
split away
to stalk the street corners and alleyways beyond,
red eyed, in a frozen glare.

And now that both ghostchild and shadow are memories,
I’ll ask a question that remembers
but doesn’t give them control:

“Can you stand on solid ground
and let those two frauds,
illusion and reality
merge into true speech?”

I Will Be Your Amulet

(a speech by Hermes Trismagestus, god of  language, magic, theft, business, alchemy,  – the guide of souls, the tricker- “the most human of the gods”)
The path up is the path down…
the way back is the way onward..
black is white and white is black..
the great secret is no secret..

come closer and i will tell you…

Spend your time on this and that
if you want mankind to be a brotherhood
go out and meet your brothers!

if you want to sit in a room and split
words apart with a knife do this…

Just remember when you cross the border
to give your gold to me
and i will be your amulet.

for in the coming time
there will be no distinctions
the shades of the dead
know not the colour they are

so live now.

know your wise heart
your foolish heart
your cunning heart
your evil heart

know them all
that you may give them
to me

when you cross the border

and I will be your amulet.

Yellowing or Citrinitas

Paper yellows
age brings cares,
the wind that blows,
the tangled hair.

She calls me from
her cave of bones
my heart is ash
I walk alone,

She calls me from
a sea of brine
whose salt corrodes
both flesh and time

She calls me from
a sealed glass case
displays her body
frames her face

oh Artemis!
oh carrion!
oh scent of sweet

Oh what’s the path
and why the fear
that clings to lungs
like lichen smear?

I have a lamp,
a sack of cards
a box of shadows
broken shards

A cup that’s full
an empty glass
a siren song
a pod to cast

a ghostly garden,
clutch of earth –
so what’s the measure
of my birth?

A cunning trick
this human frame
as silent as
a window pane;

Our world of tricks,
and fractured spells
we treat the sick
yet drain the well.

Yet something’s moving
in the deep
where yellow hides
in sterile sheets

something’s formed
that’s not a thing
that only speaks
when cracked bells ring –

She tells such stories,
silvers tongues,
She stills the bones
of yellow Suns

She passes through
from dew to frost –
she speaks
yellowed paper’s ghost

She calls me
the yellow leaves,
their chocolate spots
their crimson wreaths:

“Approach my love
with love, with care
as light does petals,
as dew does air –

approach my love
like earth, like flame:
bring to me your
yellowed name.”

The Bridge

Stillness on a bridge at midnight;
all’s paused, as if waiting
for a twig to crack,
or the moon to shine.

Night’s palace,
an unfamiliar darkness
wires the blood
with thin branches.

And perhaps God’s a woman,
who kissed me twice,
once in a crowded
room through the hidden agency

of some mortal’s lips
and again invisible, alone
on this bridge.