animals bounding.

standing in the crockery isle crying in Sainsbury’s
i can’t even begin to think about Christmas
or the reality of a wasp breaking out of it’s cockroach host.

we all get ill, Mary
from time to time
sometimes we don’t know how long it goes on for
and sometimes we die
but everything looks different from the top of a double decker bus
if that’s any consolation?

i wrote a list of joyous things so i could read them over and over:
animals bounding
animals bounding on trampolines
but nothing quite as rousing as a gradient sky
blue to white and back again

now then! it’s a proper pickle, this
a doctor-doctor untangling predicament
too many arms atop locked hands
too many limp squealing bodies

and where’s my man on the ground:
my Paul Rudd on the floor?
with his dirty river of diamond rings
flushed right down the plughole

Daniel won’t even eat anything with a face
so what are we to do about anything now?


Stardust (draft 1)

Another night in the Midlands after a heavy weekend of drugs

and you are there to catch me in fresh bed linen, a square meal and cups of tea in bed.

Reminds me – You were there to catch me when I learned to ride a bike. One hand a foot behind my back.

Very little is said about the past, now we talk about the future.

You bring it up like it’s around the corner, crack open another bottle of gin and talk about big things like we’re going down in a plane crash.

Listen, I still can’t bring myself to tell you how much heartache you caused while we bounced between three houses more than a decade ago.

When you disappeared we scooped her up, brought her back from the edge and guided her back to the light.

You’re welcome.

In my experience people who talk about death feel it coming

Feel it’s weight heavy on the brain.

You cried once when you had cancer

Even those who struggle to open up do one day

What’s it really worth now anyway?

At some point in the future you’ll just be stardust.

You’ll be chairs, paper, hair follicles, cotton; twinkling, burning, drifting. Ephemeral.

I look around the living room and feel weightless on the sofa.

You gulp down the remainder of your gin and switch the TV on.

Brian Cox and his Wonders of the Universe

As we watch the swirling beautiful world in silence

You turn to me and say,

“We are all stardust. You. Me. That sofa. Everything.”

Together We Are Wider Than Anything.

We stood up and measured ourselves against everything we could find. We measured the tips of our fingers to the points of our elbows and compared them to the panels in the wooden doors, lining them up precisely; edging palms up, straightening each ulna. We took the edges of each eye and we spun and spun until we knew exactly how many Mississippi’s it took eye to eye around the backs of our living minds. How tall are you compared to this fern? Here, let me place your finger in the crack of the wooden floorboard. It’s but a fingernail wide; the baby, that is. Where is your nose in relation to this light switch? We compared ourselves to the world and this we did every Sunday; Our only way to distinguish between life and death.


You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. It’s just so out of this world! It’s hard to bring myself to even say the words.

You beg me. You say please. Please tell me your story, you say. I won’t tell anyone. 

I can’t tell you! I say. I wouldn’t even be able to describe it right. It’s impossible! You couldn’t possibly understand, I say as I giggle.

Just try me, you beg. I can’t even imagine. It must be such a story!

It’s just so crazy, I’m not sure what to say. What a story it is. Such a burden to hold.

And it goes back and forth like this until one of us dies.


I saw your face in the clouds that day
You smiled and I smiled back
Why had you come?
You were he, and she, and they. You were everyone.
The wind was your breath and it was warm and new and old too.
You were everyone. Always.
I laughed and leaned back on the grass. It was you hand.
And it wrapped me up in everything. You were everyone.
I took my shoes off and rolled my toes in the gaps between your fingers.
The sun beamed down and it was you, and her and him, and they.
You were everyone, and you were there. Always.


The man sat there, astounded.
“But it didn’t even make a sound!”
The small cube in front of him was emitting a white light which bounced off his big glassy eyes. He sat there, gleefully, revelling in his own power. He had finally created this object of beauty.
He was the master of it.
It sparkled and it churned. Light poured out from every crack. It was everything he had ever wanted and more.
With barely a sound, suddenly the cube shut down. The light stopped emitting and the man was plunged into darkness. Frustrated, he stood up from his chair and stooped over the cube to examine it. He prodded it, still hunched over. How could it be broken already? He had spent years fine-tuning each circuit and current. He had laboured endlessly. He had broken the law.
There was a faint buzzing coming from within it. It grew fainter and fainter still until it was silent.
He leaned into it.
With an enormous serge of power and light, the cube opened up and engulfed the man. He was transported into a different place, but how or by what he did not know. With no physical body now, his mind existed in an endless and vast dark space. He could feel nothing. He was in limbo. The darkness continued perpetually. He was not sure how long this went on for. Time did not seem to exist. There was no linear occurrence. Each time he tried desperately to recollect his past life, it became a blur and he had no memory. He waded through the relentless fog of his mind. How had he come to deserve to exist in this way? What had he done to place him in this hell? These questions the man pondered over and over for eternity and beyond in total darkness.
This was his eternal return.