Lobby talk


In air-conditioned English
The world conducts its business
Like an open diary
Our soulless global hum.


Value judgements


‘Life is futile,’ wrote the critic after a good lunch,
‘Only great minds escape the human lot.
‘Shakespeare,’ he continued, ‘was not like you and I’,
Shakespeare who writes in questions.

Good it is not to come from London and be there
To drink creative coffee and know you can go home
To a place where the diction’s clearer or the sun simply bright
Naive like this city isn’t, naive like home-made life.

The Relic


Gently weeping children
Roam the Berlin streets,
And I, old-coated widower, hurry past them,
Face puffy with rain.

Banished demons


Hands up at dawn, ‘Surrender,’ said God,
‘Leave this man, he has suffered enough.
Let him awake now like the dew on a paw,
Let him enter and withstand the encroaching day.’

Musical chairs


Take your hands, young hearts
And lead yourselves to the floor.
Dance, for the end comes quickly,
Like the silence in musical chairs.

A good cry


After a certain amount of years
I have grown used to women’s tears.
They come, they well, they scroll away;
Outpourings of diplomacy.

Song of Saxon


Next to me on the U-Bahn the language suddenly takes flight,
Assumes poetry. The Erasmus student postpones a trip as
‘Leipzig is going to be there forever’. Leipzig, city of the revolution,
International English salutes you on the Bahn.

Alliterative Zoo


The jerky turkey pecks the grain,
The fat cat laps the milk up.
And the sore boar climbs out the window
After a night of love with the horny stoat.

Angels do not smile and play their cards close to their chest;
Their games have a dead aura,
They’re a presence in our boozer,
They drink glasses of beer and always pay their debts.