Bidston Windmill, Wirral

Moonlight Sonata at Midnight


Let slugs slither into my parlour,

let spiders watch me from cracks

as I play the moonlight.


I sooth my ghosts with this melody,

hear them shift under floorboards

where woodlice creep in time.


The rhythm of sorrow in C sharp minor, gentle piano

slowing its breath,


Beethoven's masterpiece.


And my audience stand supportive

in gilded frames, those ancestors

in war uniforms.






Hidden Picture

(The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, 1891)


I was painted once.

I wasn't sure about the face; it seemed too long.

He got parts of me right

though the smile was a cheat

rushed for effect.


My portrait had Wilde's curse.


After dark I'd strip from my canvas

roam underworld of flesh toned oils;

every sin brushed in vodka.


Horrors cracked the surface, soul wept

warning through. I was superficial, supernatural

stinking of maggots, 


stumbling on rats.


I chose not to see an artwork

of disease and low self-esteem, instead

admired the gilded frame around it.





An Ornament of Me


I can stay still, hold breath

for days. Inside my silence

is porcelain calm


smooth and ceramic.


I don't need to blink eyes

or excercise vocal chords

as there is no face painted on me.


I learned to cope with bookcase and lamp,

and four walls. 


In daylight my figure sparkles; at night

I' m deformed into shadow

of human size.


I can have ghost effect.









The Man in the Bottle


He looks tiny inside there

pressing hands against glass,

mouthing words that we cannot hear.


He is no genie, he cannot grant three wishes

as I think he drank the lot, a routine binge that blocks out life;

and he curls up inside false happiness

with distorted reflections.


Cheap to buy, easy to drink; so easy to fall asleep,

let the sickness pass

and start all over again next day.


He is a long way down.


He needs a lengthy rope to haul himself out, boots

with a grip on this sobering world.


He must let go of friends who attempt to pull him back

and break his spine

in this alcohol soaked chasm.




Universal Kong


Here is the beast that climbed Empire State

in black and white


still rampaging through eras in stop-motion

fooling us with his Hollywood roar.


He snatches pretend planes out of the sky,

can throw people from windows

if director wishes it.


His influence is classic,

eighth wonder of the world to those

who rely on special effects

or actors faking to camera.


Shackles will not hold


they're just film props to reassure crowd

while he's shipped over seas

from celluloid to digital.




Video Nasty


A horror disease punched through

our living room walls, left bloody handprints



It grabbed me by the throat

while under age.


I shouldn't have been watching

zombie flesh eaters banned from shelves;


mind thrilled with VHS, it downloaded

my worst fears,

and I could rewind those tapes, 

stop, pause

watch them over and over

until I was infected


dripping from the mouth.






Fingers worm up inside hollow heads

feel for control,

and he never moves his lips

instead throws voice around crowds.


His dummies won't speak for themselves

they're just cloth and plastic

with rolling eyes, creaking necks,

easily operated by the master

who craves heat of showbiz bulbs.


He puts words in their mouths.


A dressing room of eerie faces, 

a shelf full of midget bodies cast for a sociopath - 

they're not much company.


It's all a performance,

he checks the smile works, the legs dangle

so they cannot ruin his act.






Barn Owl


A spectre watches

through eyes of graveyard black, silent

inside tree hollow.


Feathers flick ectoplasm

as he glides in to snatch

rodent body.


At ground level 

he's an angel of death

illuminating muck and grass

with the supernatural.







Did I murder your trust in love?

Did I lose control with my stabbing blade tongue?

Was it a violence you had only witnessed

in Martin Scorsese films?


Did I drink too much?

Did you judge too much?


Did you wrap the evidence up in your mind forever

and store it under 'hooligan'?






Urban Warlock


Emotion shocks through him.

He can surge to lamplight

and television screens, 


cause a computer virus with just one stare.


He is flesh and blood voltage,

a supernaural frequency

backed up from trauma

with static sparks in his hair,

disconnect in his eyes.


It's not his fault,


anxiety charges the busy battery mind

that can blow trip switches

if provoked.





My Personal Space


I live for my personal space.

I'm overjoyed in my personal space.


I don't need email interrupting me,

messages building up 

or other people's opinions in my personal space.


I don't need Google feeding me agendas,

or adverts in my Tetris.


I don't need advice from an algorithm 

that's collected my DNA through every purchase

I've made.


I can live without a screen?


I don't need a thousand egos

with my morning tea;

I don't need to be pestered 

about super fast fibre optic Broadband

every week.


It's personal


so leave my beautiful space alone.








The Nome King


Land of dancing scarecrows should have stayed secret,

now the girl from Kansas lies in cold asylum

strapped down for shock therapy.


Reality is insomnia and farm work

not a magic key sent on a shooting star.


No more rainbows, the memory is derelict,

a scattered mess of yellow brick and weeds;

everyone turned to stone

and the tick-tock of mechanical morals has stopped,

needs rewinding.


Spies watch from each piece of rock, minions

of the king; he took back his emeralds

so there's no currency of colour, no joy.


He swallowed up all little people, turned them

into posh ornaments for his palace

and now there is no one left who remembers Oz.


It's an old dream.


Only hope is Jack Pumpkinhead, a talking chicken,

and a fading imagination.