My parents, unabated,
Continue their forty year fight,
Nearing its end stretch now,
A play battle for bragging rights.


Peace in Brighton


To D.H., on her birthday

The table sponged, the ashtray clean
And the shower water running,
Mingled with toasty smells and coffee smells
And the sound of gentle humming.



There is a knowledge that comes with age
That men and women are different. We knew it all along, of course,
Though setting out in life laughed it off as slight.
But try speaking Spanish when French dictates your life.

To the North


Moving back home
On German trains
Past misty mountains
On icy plains.

Small towns


A Freiburger tells me at breakfast she imagines England is ‘viel cooler’ than here.
It’s true; we live in a perpetual daze of Kinks music and outlandish fashion,
Dancing in the streets with the former subjects of our former empire,
Soundtracked by titanic pop borne of the despair of our small towns.

Has been with us for a while.
And who’s to say he won’t stay,
Selling his dreams to starry-eyed tweens,
Composing his tweets in Berlin boutiques.

Everyone gets served in the end,
And upon your Barbadosian beach,
You will never remember the wait,
And passports expire.

How it was


A lifetime of tears
Cried for a procession of friends,
Walking and waltzing on
The lovely trouble, earth.



Winter. There is grey in your hair,
And in my beard on the cold-mirror mornings.
Such quietness on these andante afternoons,
When I type, and you breathe, and the snow remains.

Beyond Berlin


Miles and miles of snow past Brandenburg
And the upraised anorexic pine trees
In careful rows. Each year, this land takes a muddy battering,
And emerges full of roses to the withering folk.