I thought that they were looking but I was incidental.

Once I tried to run off the stage straight at them

But when I got there I just stopped and asked for help

They looked concerned, then carried on; nothing happened.

And I was left standing there in the middle of the auditorium,

Humming with people seemingly enjoying the occasion,

I thought, is it me or shouldn’t something be happening on the stage?




A solid bull’s head

Bosh its dense bonce

One hard thud, thud.

I chew my nails, my eyes are sore.

A goose’s wing is dislocated

It flaps across

And runs aground, screaming angrily at itself.

Bare blunt stalks stick out of a dried pot

Like Hiroshima’s blown out black trees.

The prisoner is starving in his cage

His knuckles are on its bars

Face pressed up close for the view

“Guard!” He gasps pathetically.

I inspect myself for black pores

Reach into an ulcer-sore gob

Yank at my cracked back molar

Bite down on a bloated index

And hold it there.

Beta boy in Manchester, 22.5.17

Four times Trump said “losers”

Losers, losers, losers, losers.

Slowly, into the camera: los-ers.

It is not as if they hadn’t

Heard it the first time

They heard it.

Trump heard it before.

He isn’t a loser: he won.

Hillary lost.

Macron is a winner.

Congratulations on your big win.

And America is gonna win again.

We are gonna be winners again.

They are losers.

Lots of losers.

He is a loser.

Suicide loser

Loser bomber


Bomber loser


Suicide hero bomber




No-Theology Day

By the time you get to Easter Sunday,

You have no desire left to pray,

Say responses, sing refrains

Or ever go to mass again

No reflecting on theological things

Or the message the gospel brings

No introspection, no confession,

No angels, saints or intercession.


No rituals befit the Risen One

It’s finished, the work’s been done,

What’s left is what the angels said:

Why seek the living among the dead?

XXIII – “To use words but rarely”

To use words but rarely

Is to be natural.

Hence a gusty wind cannot last all morning, and a sudden downpour cannot last all day. Who is it that produces these? Heaven and earth. If even heaven and earth cannot go on forever, much less can man. That is why one follows the way.

A man of the way conforms to the way; a man of virtue conform to virtue; a man of loss* conforms to loss. He who conforms to the way is gladly accepted by the way; he who conforms to the virtue is gladly accepted by the virtue; he who conforms to loss is gladly accepted by loss.

Where there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith.

(*or, heaven?)


Some words are sunset

Throwing shadows across the close of day;

The sun descends softly below the horizon.


Some words are sunrise

A child peers hopefully over the garden wall

His gaze drawing earth’s shadows inwards.


Some words are downpour

Floods course through the city’s streets

Strangers are clustered in dripping shelters.


Some words are cold winds

Who forbid flippant platitudes or cheer

Who push, slam doors and curse.


Long spring or summer’s days’ words

Words which follow the way gladly

Are sung by birds and distant callings.



XX – “I alone am different from the others”

Exterminate learning and there will no longer be worries.

Between yea and nay

How much difference is there?

Between good and evil

How great is the distance?

What others fear

One must also fear.

And wax without having reached the limit.

The multitude are joyous

As if partaking of the t’ai lao offering

Or going up to a terrace in spring.

Like a baby that has not yet learnt to smile,

Listless as though with no home to go back to.

The multitude all have more than enough.

I alone seem to be in want.

My mind is that of the fool – how blank!

Vulgar people are clear.

I alone am drowsy.

Vulgar people are alert.

I alone am muddled.

Calm like the sea;

Like a high wind that never ceases.

The multitude all have a purpose.

I alone am foolish and uncouth.

I alone am different from others

And value being fed by the mother.

The season had left me behind today. I stood blankly, blinking away from the sun. The playground on a vicious spring afternoon, caught in the glare. The children were rampant, now able to climb places too far in autumn. Their mothers were excited, dressed expectantly for spring, conversing brightly, spring sentiments. Other fathers seemed present. Not just running down the clock – I sat and stood and gave occasional mandatory encouragement, very poorly acted. Things became heavier, walking, standing upright, home seemed a marathon effort away, but it came to an end.