Lost in Language


To be honest I have only ever really loved language;
Russian sure and Latin yes but more my friends and their words.
When I think of my friends I think of each of a language,
Of each as a language that I in time learnt.


The whale means freedom, means
A frivolous nature despite a massive bulk,
Surging mouth open worldwide underwater,
Thrusting up vastly to bask beneath the sun.



The football season is over and
The World Cup set to start. Oh friends,
Let us not think upon it but
Up tools and change the world.

After closing time at the museum bar, the owner eats the cakes:
Rejected tarts and day-old flans, Mohammed crams them in.
He looks out of the window at the still-light museum court;
I would too if I were him: enjoy the cakes, M, enjoy.

Summer Afternoon


The infinitely bored and infinitely weary friends
Sit at the garden tables in the sun.
Elsewhere, kempt hedges bake in the day’s heat
And tree branches sigh.

Above the clouds, the North Pole
With the cloud-treading bear going to and fro
And stopping, nose down, as a penguin plunges
Into the clouds and arcs up in a fluffy trail.



Somehow England is not my country today,
Nor that my suitcase, nor these my hands.
A journey has to be made by a person in my name,
My mind is elsewhere as I shut the gate.

n.b Ortsabwesenheit is a German word meaning an absence from a particular place.

Beyond words


I stay with friends and sleep and read some books.
The seagulls circle Brighton, they circle overhead.
Two people have a conversation that proceeds as you would expect.
I am too tired for words.



I love the stuff and always will
And whatever corporation owns it I will be there drinking:
Black bubbler within the sweet glass,
Secret of the Incas and beverage of modernity.

Paxman’s Grey


Paxman is grey now, head going pear,
All’s ironized by his withered brows:
Hair like eagle-feather, skin parchment,
Age has caught up with our inquisitor.