It is with a certain sense of excitement, laced with a barrel’s worth of personal achievement, that I present my double epics to the world. When accepting my role as an epic poet, I ruminated on my predecessors & the models they supplied to posterity. In this I realised that while Virgil created one epic out of Homer’s two – the Odyssean voyages of Aeneas to Rome, follow’d by the Iliadic warfare – I would rather compose an Odyssey & an Iliad as individual poems. As for the length of my epics, Dante’s 100 cantos seem’d both a simple & harmonious number.

As a poet waking to consciousness at the end of the twentieth century, my Iliad would of course have to concern the dramatic double world wars in which some of those who participated I could still converse. The poem also branched out both into deep history – to achieve some kind of understanding of how the World Wars came to pass – & into my own age, where I witness’d at first hand events such as 9-11 & the terrorist attack on Mumbai. Meanwhile, my personal Odyssey is a journey thro’ England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Gozo & the entire subcontinent of India, at the end of which I return to my own veritable Penelope, Sally Cinnamon.

The first sonnets of the Sylver Rose were composed in the Autumn of 1998, when I was 22, & the last in January 2021, only yesterday. The latter sequanto saw the recreation of the Samothracian Mysteries of that island’s Sanctuary of the Gods. This was the same site where I composed my penultimate tryptych of Axis & Allies in August 2020. Then, on the next morning, I would complete my Iliadic epic at the waterfall source of the Gria Vathra, towering high over the Aegean Sea.

The first tryptychs of Axis & Allies were composed in Brighton in October 1999, when I was 23. I am 44 now & have given the last of my youth to the creation of my two epics. Not with any sense of regret, however, for these two decades gone have sent me travell’d the world composing sonnets & the twenty-line tryptych of my devising. Of this corpus, 1400 sonnets & 900 tryptychs have made the final cut, resulting in 37,600 lines of poetry. I now pass the baton on to whenever & whomever finds it next.

Damian Beeson Bullen

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……. & then there was light

Out of nothing comes substance
A universe is born out of something unknown

A galaxy of galaxies & more matter beyond



Could you possibly imagine the physical map of infinity?
When aeons live & die in the blink of an eye

& somewhere in a peripheral arm
Of an insignificant spiral galaxy
Thro’ a great cloud of interstellar gas & dust

Cocooning a cluster of effervescent spheres

A new star is born, like a trillion before,

So what makes this one special?


This is a poem for the Facebook Age,
Catching its Zeitgeist Butterfly in nets,
Ultimate ‘selfie’ swept across the page,
A blog gone viral… want to read..? then lets!

For Homer it was proud Achilles’ wrath,
For Virgil it was Aeneas exil’d,
These lead brave Dante down th’infernal path,
While Milton Gods & Mortals reconcil’d.

For Wordsworth it was Poesy’s growth within,
For Byron how the Poets moved thro’ men,
Sithen, no proper epic ‘as there bin,
Until the day I pluck’d & preen’d my pen;

Encourag’d by that manna-blasted gang
I cast myself among & strongly sang…


…I am the Silver Rose & in these words confide;
Tis better to have lived than to have died,
& in these lives of highlights that we lead,
Preserve them in plush pots where poets store their mead.

These are occasions twyx two kindred minds,
Whose love of poesia absolute
Brings those to raptures that in numbers finds
A marching drummer & a lilting lute.

To thee I leave my sonnetries in trust,
Dear reader, as in these I am alive,
Tho’ most of them may join me in the dust,
I hope, perhaps, a handful will survive,

For tho’ my soul in this no longer grows,
While we share this still lives the Silver Rose.


There is a setting of the Summer sun
& in that setting Summer’s glory gone,
Progressing slowly through my younger years
A fresh Pendragon Poetry appears,
A project on whose ridge I’ll stake my name,
My future reputation, & my fame,
Clear words conforming in authentic song,
Some metaphysic symphony among
The epic sagas of the largest kind,
When poetry shall eternize the mind;
Forms terse bouquets of ambisonic verse,
All closeted within the airy purse
That is this book, this box of words ye hold,
To gaze on when we’re young, gush praise on when we’re old!


Flush with the sensations of youth’s constant striving,
Pushing back the bound’ries of the corners of my mind,
Cultivating ways of the artistic essences,
Even kinda dabbled in a little wyrd occult,
Absorb’d the esoteric life of Aleister Crowley –
Smack-addl’d mystic of Sumerian lore –
& began to write – all energies within me,
Focused on the page… creation… literature
& my pale breath, O frail spark, chang’d forever!

An intellectual girlfriend at the time saw my glow,
Gave me her edition of the complete WB Yeats,
Acolyte of the Order of the Golden Dawn,
With eagles rising from fermenting imagination,
Led by the light of a true Gaelic bardsman,
I found I was a poet after all!


Every stanza is a planet,
Every sonnet is a star,
Fourteen sonnets constellations make,
But brighter skies by far
Are galaxies of constellations,
Fourteen in each one,
Stretching epic metaverses,
& when one’s works are done,
A host of sonnets should ye choose,
Full seven score & fourteen gems,
Most lucious whisp’rings of thy muse
Set in those precious diadems,
Crowning the sonnetteer who sings
To Ceasars & the petty kings.


At this stage of Mankind’s devolution,
We live in an age of air pollution,
Fat-cats & taxes, taxi fares, faxes,
Serial killers, silky leg waxes,
Condoms, modems, gimmicks, gadgets, gizmos,
Two rubber ducks & comic book heroes,
Football… rock & roll… catwalk… movie stars,
Recession, depression & wonder bras,
Four packs & prozac, pylon countryside,
Anarchist daughter, schoolboy suicide,
Just-add-water, slaughter of Mother Earth,
Demise of religion, pagan rebirth,
Not one inch left of this globe to explore,
The whole world itchin’ for its third World War!


I love the smell of garlic on mi fingers
& The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe,
Can’t stand a night of karaoke singers,
Or the pain after stubbin’ mi big toe.

I’m angry when the chippies charge for ketchup
& Burnley losing to a stupid goal,
I’m noble when defusing a punch-up,
Or savin’ spiders from a water-hole.

It’s silly watchin’ synchronised swimmers
& daft to have a shave & leave a tash,
It’s mellow trimmin’ lawns wi’ mi strimmers
& buzzin’ when mi settee coughs-up cash.

‘Cos when I’m not writin’ mi poetry
The little things in life are what make me!


Mine art asleep, yet she dreams in beauty,
Paints tangible scenes to adorn the page,
Illuminous thoughts to milk a mild age
Of mellowing souls, sing a song freely,
Triumphant notes draped in resplendency,
Rhoot lucid stars cross an opaque stage,
Rare spirits released from a mortal cage,
I have a new song for thee, poetry!

In raptures receiving the sacred states
Of an enlighten’d mind, virtuous heart
& resurgent soul, I’ll follow the fates,
& tis a fine thing to play at an art,
To champion Renaissance, join the brave
Who sought the greatest glory of the grave.


Time has swung swift to this un-noticed hour,
Here is a shift in her most dearest care,
Now at the dawn of age I am aware
Little of life is truly in our power;
O for a lizard & a wizard tower!
To launch a Pegasus on swooning air
Far from parades of this, the daily wear,
When little lives, in an instant, grow sour.

To give so much, to give & give some more,
To strive in flux, to strive with writhing soul,
To banish from the mind the thoughts that gnaw,
To keep the faith when others may lose theirs
& heed an inner call, however small,
Shall set a person right in life’s affairs.

When, knowing that this life is no rehearsal,
I’ll do my best to make them universal!


If the world that you live for is noble
& to do yer damn best is yer dream,
You must train through the pain & the rain, son,
Then you might just get in the team.

When its time to alight on the beaches
For your captain, your country & all,
When yer passion turns into yer duty,
& yer name might just hang off a wall.

Aye, c’mon son, you know yer can do it,
Digging deeper than e’er dug before,
With the grace of the Gods in thy favour,
You’ll might just win one, no matter how sore;

Yes, you might be a true bloody hero,
           What the hell are yer waiting for?


Provencal buglers spill through morning sky
With tones of man & all his myriads,
Stood tip-toe on a nobler watch am I,
The period of these epylliads,
Planted within the soil of sonnetry,
Lore-nurtured, glazed in gloried eaglesong,
Has rais’d her stakes, chord-scented poetry
Must play the river card for right or wrong.

Not for prosaic titles do we write,
Nor flitting fame shall guide our appetite,
But poets take a bow toward their souls,
With me, as topics turn to speckl’d scrolls
About my neck they’ll hang a Silver Rose
As in my mind what great adventure grows.


We are here
This is our song
This is the Song of Man
Who am I to sing it
Who are you to hear it
Moments of tingling remembrance
From this life to the last

You can hear it in the dog-days of summer
The giggling flutes of children’s voices
Pianos smashing angrily down the stairs

No wonder ancient pagans
Depicted Paradise a place of Angel Song
For their song is our song
Better halt so we can hear it


Son, come let me tell you something
          Of life & her mysteries,
You have to be drunk in a dustbin
          To see the planet as it is.

Listen, let me tell you something,
               For life always comes with a twist,
You have to make time for your women,
              Because our women are why we exist.

& to see the man that you are, son,
             Go wander alone with the fells,
Help sail a fine ship cross the ocean,
             Or sing to your soul in the cells.

What the hell are you waiting for, my son?
             Get up off yer arse & explore!

THE THISTLE & THE ROSE:- I: The Return Of The Rose

Nobilissimi civis est, patriae suae augmenta cogitare



A ship may be seen seafaring the green
Waters ‘tween sister-shored England & France,
Lone upon deck, in private elegance,
A figure stands motionless, tall, serene,
Whistling a tune for his Island Queene
& her warrior race, his stoic stance
Emits glimmers of sublime arrogance.

Sweeps windblast gaze across widening scene,
Spotting a circling flock of white sea-birds,
He blocks out Sol’s gel glare with arching hands,
Charr’d silver by tours of sultrier lands,
Peering thro’ mystical seascapes as he
Utters forth these famous, rosy-lipp’d words,
“Is this shadow a glimpse of my contree?”


From hazy sea rose those famous white cliffs,
England’s first castle stands watch above the straight
Sea-cat reaches the quayside ten minutes before set-off
Allowing for time-zones I’d in fact travelled back in time

Passport control is a ball, breeze
An uneasy, luminous-vested border geezer
Doesn’t take too kindly to me claiming asylum
I pretend to be Moldovan: gag gets them every time.

Scruffy tobacco smugglers quaint streets of Dover stroll
I find a tea-shop full of nattering old dears,
Sip slowly on a pot of aromatic Earl Grey
Quintessential flavour of a fine English morning.

With native isle spread majestically before me
I caught a clanking carriage outta town…


I’d enter’d England by the milky cliffs
Arise round Dover, from the shores of France
My ferry had traversed the Gallic trench
That Ceasar & the Conqueror once forced,
A thousand & a thousand years ago;
From thither Kentish garden golden grew,
Relique of Anglo-Saxon Andreadswald,
Peopl’d by leopard-leaping Eurostars,
The rugged gulls of Margate & Ramsgate,
Rochester’s castle, Canterbury’s charm –
Where always I spare a thought for Chaucer
Working half-way twyx Aneirin & I –
& now the River Medway to the heart
Of England’s soul, where the old Thames doth flow!


This is a city of two thousand years,
In every street the feet of destiny
Have stamp’d a mark’d upon its history,
From winklepickers to the kingly Lears;
How different to each of us appears
That river’s ruddy roll, are souls set free,
Or is this more a penitentiary,
No more great place than crocodiles have tears?

Finding the civic splendour of a state,
Tasting the trappings of imperium,
The pinnacle, perhaps, of human fate?
Or some cauldron’s worth of delirium?
I’m leaning to the latter, latterly,
Unknowing, yet, what could the matter be…


Upon Tower Hill the angry mob calls
To the ‘ooded axeman,
“Off wi’ ‘is ‘ead!”

Traitors believe they’d be better off dead
Than ghoul left rotting in the devil holes…
Thousands of epitaphs scrawl’d into walls
Tongue worn by black tongues…
In this clammy dread
A doom-dripping gloom from which all hope hath fled,
The tales of dark practice claws & apalls.

Thumbscrews, iron maiden, stretch’d on the rack,
Flailing cat ‘o’ nine tails raking the back –
Foul instruments of an inquisition.

What cruel devices have we in their place,
In this age, forming an equal grimace?

Try sittin’ thro’ a full Eurovision


On Being Turn’d Down For a Date By An Ex-Girlfriend Who Preferr’d To Spend The Evening Training For The Forthcoming London Marathon

Since Xerxes time, whence from the Attic shore
Fair Hermes & forced marches made their way,
Phidippedes, before the throne of war,
Fields Marathon, forever, & its bay.

There is a race, a race so nobly run,
By those who dare to fly upon the wing,
Whence from the music of the starter’s gun,
Pain overwhelms, first dull, then searing sting.

These aching roads I share with thee my sweet,
Toiling today as with the dashing mass,
For thrifty time I deem’d my life complete.

But now it seems commingling lives must pass,
Being two runners of different pace,
Should I, perhaps, have settled at thy grace.


Galleon-smooth from the crest of the hill,
I browse thro’ old galleries, antique stores,
Order up my morning cappucinos,
Whose steaming, hot frothiness numbs my chill.

Beside this placid flow I calmly stride,
Waterfowl watching in lazy day’s play,
Easing down the riverside’s scenic way,
Following swans’ elegant barge-like glide,

At Richmond Lock a clock reads early day;
Waters rush and fall, Bargeman waits to pay,
House-boats huddle on the Thamesian tide,
Gentleman tugs his dog’s defensive bark.

I turn to see a Stag stood in the trees,
“Panic not fellow creature…”
yet he flees.


On returning from foreign places been,
With many a fine tale to tell great friends,
I check out the crux of our music scene,
For trawls thro’ yesteryear’s retroing trends.

Down a hustle-bustle store-lin’d road, vibes
Blare, blurring as one – this southern Afflecks
Is the Mecca to London’s fashion tribes.

The chick on the sixties stall oozes sex…

I rummage through scarves, suedes & velvet pants,
Ponder on which Ben Sherman shirt to ,
She’s serving a geezer…
I seize my chance
Along with a new pair of cool, blue shoes…

At my worn-out Elleses funeral;
Soles to shoe heaven, rest in the canal.


Now the landlords shouted, “Sup up!” at some jam night down Camden,
Time has come for me to sum up some cool shit which have done;
I have had mi share o’ ladies, & some of ’em together,
Played football round the counties proudly for mi Lancashire,
I have caught the Venice ferry, composed poesy midst Pompeii,
Trudged through muddy Glastonbury off my nut to see Brown play,
I have master’d Fare Evasion, troubadour’d thro’ all my crimes
(Excepting one ‘boitelle du vin’ they reported in the Times), *
I have watched my team at Wembley, been a champion at chess,
Dodg’d the workplace prison mis’ry, many years now, free from stress,
I have writ a wicked album, formed a company of kings,
Chased romantic ghosts through Belgium… these, & many other things,
For I’m flush with understanding what it means to be alive –
With a spirit so demanding now that I am Twenty-Five!

  • September 15th, 2000


There is a strain of personality
Surrender’d in the birthrealm of the soul,
When grown men cry release the beast in me
& stranglers do their work behind a wall.

What is this strain, this stigma of the brood?
The multitude will never understand
Cursed phantasies so sickening & crude
Worst motives guided by a higher hand.

From what source does this restless spirit spring?
When perversion rejoices in killing
From the whore-rippers of Leeds & London
To the Son of Sam & Dennis Nielson –

Not one of them dares do their ‘work’ today
A mutant strain put down by DNA!


She shivers in vain under the old clock tower;
Drizzle spate, lover late, fizzling date.

“The 17.17 from Dover Priory
Has been diverted via Bat & Ball…”

She morbidly walks into Unwins,
Buys a bottle of cheap red Chianti
To take home to its depressing glass;

Tonight she’ll romance Albert Square
& a fisherman’s pie from Tescos –
Laced with white-hot jalapenos.

The EUREKA knock at the door
Terrence stands there, slick-soaking hair,

Saying, “Sorry, Daphne, I’ve had a total nightmare!”
“Drive next time,
” she says, kissing him prodigously.


In London …

… every person, £vri person,
everí person, ever the person, evri person,
Beverly Beeson, £very person, (every person),
everí person, every per$on, iga inimene,
every person, ogni personne, Ava’s prison,
evrí Persian, evil curses, weather is worsening,
heavenly verses, devlish curses? chaque personne,
everí person, e^ery person, Eva’s aspersian,
£very person, <very person, ev{ry per$on,
everí mason, clever wee person, every person,

… is a passing thought!


Where art thou now, dead poets, the fine dust
Of each soul-wrought line by time is scatter’d,
& lies, a thin shroud, oer plaque, tomb & bust,
Til colomns of church & state lie shatter’d.

My fingertips grace the grooves of the names
Of those rare few who sought a nobler truth,
Imperious thoughts, empyrean flames
Embarking on eminent paths of youth.

My mistress muse, O temptress dragoness!
Why bring me to this hallow’d space today,
Do I claim right to be here? I confess,
Willowing blindly down the poet’s way.

There’s something in this Abbey makes me smile;
Dee Double Bee will be here – in a while!


Come join my merry jaunt
Thro’ unplann’d rat-run streets
That English bardies haunt –
Will Shakespeare, Chaucer, Keats –
First go to Gatehouse Square
Where Avon’s Virgil play’d
& with his quarter share
A Stratford townhouse made;
Next go to George Inn Yard
Where from the lost Tabard
Rode Canterb’ry’s parade
Think Dickens on parade,
See Keats, fresh outta Guys,
With poet-burning eyes!

II: Bohemia


There’s no gas, electricity, nor water in my bohemian paradise
Section Six in the window of a townhouse caravan
Five grand fine or six months if you try & drag me out
Decorated by wicked paintings some artist left in the attic
Furnished by street rummages & the local Oasis shop
I mean, I transported my fuckin’ bed in pieces on the buses
Cookery on a calor gas stove – paper plates & plastic cutlery
No brain-rotting TV – just Classic FM on a wind-up shower radio
Snap & crackle of an open fire fuell’d by wood from the skips –
Exercise: a home-made hockey pitch in an empty room downstairs
Tesco’s toilets, job centre phones, Battersea library’s internet
Britain’s largest sports screen at Clapham’s old Grand Cinema
Tuesday’s pay-what-you-like theatre at the Latchmere & BAC
& for washing a wicked swimming pool with a slack front desk.


All the artists would be forced to enrol
Without those wages the taxpayers share,
But life sure stinks when you doss on the dole
Like a whiff of Cherie Blair’s underwear.

It’s great work if the pride will allow it,
One-twenty sterlin’ for signin’ your name,
An hour’s idleness on state benefit
Beats the dumb humdrum of that workin’ game.

I wait an hour in the soul-sappin’ queue,
Watchin’ the wraiths to while away the while,
Cruise my way thro’ the stupid interview,
Then sign on the line, spurt out, with a smile,

Ask not what I can do for my country,
But what can my countrymen do for me?”


I pause in my stroll, roll up a smoke,
Settle these dewstone eyes across the Lea,
A Thai-grass joint, & drawing the last toke,
Its time, I think, to drop that LSD.

On cellophane’s unwrap I take great care
Not to touch the blotting with my fingers,
Deftling the edges teeth tear off my ‘dare,’
Remembering nonsense this bite must bring us;

Spinning, staring into abyssal eyes
Of my fellow Man, together we are
Unity; to see Universal skies
O’er Astral ocean, ‘neath gyring Lodestar!

As the acid dissolves upon my tongue
I smile miles wide, for real this stuff feels strong!


Our fore-fathers conquer’d many a land,
Superiously ruled the seven seas,
But when the empire crumbl’d into sand
She placed her subjects in badlands like these;

Inner city boroughs of airless stacks,
Bob Marley booms from a thousand windows,
Heartless, hopeless, eighty-three percent blacks,
& gangs of ragas hanging in shadows.

Old Ford Escorts lie burnt out & rusted,
I walk down a litter-strewn corridor,
Must use the stairs as the lift is busted
Graffiti filling up the whole fifth floor.

Then, rap-rapping upon a letter box,
Shakes the rat-rattle of numerous locks.


From Queen Speed-Fiend I score ketamine,
Snort some upstairs on an empty 63,
Drop down a K-hole…

* * * SPACE * * *

…dig the din
Of an ever-living, never-sleeping City.

It kick’d off Friday, still going on strong,
For Sleep seldom visits the Techno Tribe,
Four days in pills are going for a song,
I drop eleven for that heaven vibe.

Buildertypes labour by workshy shirkers,
Daydream zombies, meat-cleavers in hand,
Ravers wave at crazy go-to-workers,
Rushing cell-block slickers along the Strand.

Caught in an Us & Them mentality,
I thought I’d scoff another half an E.


Of Ketamine I took a little line
& steer’d into the depths of Babylon;
Found the Channel Tunnel link at Leyton
There on a concrete slab took my recline
Sun-dried tomatoes, pannini & wine
Luncheoning La Meditteranean
As when I march’d north with Napoleon
To Waterloo, when that cool muse was mine.
What brings us here, moment mysterious,
To choke upon a modern, barren scene
Of fences, stone, steel girders, wheels & weeds?

Ah yes! I see, passing imperious
The Eurostar, inspiring south serene,
For destinations fill’d with dash & deeds.


Traffic encircles the concrete conurbations,
Mobiles by the million melt the mind,
Germs galloping underground stations,
O microcosmic mirror of mankind !

Tapestry of lights & colours surround
The mighty fountain of Trafalgar Square
Intermingl’d with orchestras of sound,
Blending as one in the cool evening air.

I find a jam sesh in a cellar bar,
Dig the free jazz, down a triple Jack D,
Borrow a wannabe star’s flash guitar,
Whine an arrangement in the key of E

So, as the Sylver Rose, thro’ Soho goes,
There’s more to fun in London than the shows.


I have me a line for a stroll round the town,
A poet’s night out, those random & aimless
Saunters through cities which always roll good.

Could you spend a day with no money at all
& still eat well & feel thoroughly entertain’d”

I found myself at the Queen Elizabeth Hall,
Perch’d riverside in all it’s civic splendour,
Milling with punters – it must be the interval,
I slip in amongst them, flow free to the music,
(Well, would you buy a half-eaten sandwich?)
Bert Jansch is playing a sublime solo gig,
Five hundred hair-do’s & one smiling face
Picking so haunting with a wild-western tuning,
Applause so astounding as I do one from the building…


A girl I gave a line to caught me up
Fancy a smoke… that’s what I call karma
She’s an artist… Poets & painters
Boets & Bainters!’ said King George the First
We catch taxis to Clapham, she cooks up chi
Post-gig glow, smoking skunk in my kitchen
She’s fit-as-fuck in an unkempt kinda way
We chat about life & poetry & music
Then she asks me did I wanna do some art
& strips naked, I guess she meant life drawing
Elegant & energetic she was my kinda lady
I start to sketch her tits… thought what the hell
Am I drawin’ em for & pleasantly suggested
A congress of the Tiger, the Cat or the Deer…


Pocahontas, The Marquise de Pompadour
Sarah Bernhardt, Emma Hamilton, Vivien Leigh
You are a Cruz or Diaz in my mind

Volcano pits for eyes I sketch my new lady
Chit chat, a cheeky half, radio-tuning
I play at the DJ, buzzing on classics

I am dragged upstairs & I am shagged upstairs
My ecstasy goggles beginning to slip
I made my excuses & found the morning sun

In the distance the Wheel slowly revolving
While garbage-can tramps hum vague music
Unable to mention something so abstract as time

& now I feel Ginsberg & Keruac at either shoulder
Asking was I a seraph or a man


I hop on a train
little fuss
few passengers
watch me sit
a black woman
a young punk
old man twiddles his tash
& in a flash
the train sets off
planes wing over London
& as we reach Brixton
my brain
pretends to be elsewhere
dreaming of mysterious fancies


Down in Brixton, hustle, bustle, vibes & muscle
I’m offered a travel card & weed within moments
Carribean scent tickles saliva trachts
As I saunter South past the prison
& the petrified policemen
To the arty-farty King of Sardinia
An old pub taken over by even older hippies
Urban refuge for madmen & rejects
Cellar once full of the old booze taps
Now bristling with music gear, I join a jam
& someone double drops me with a wink
I’m soon coming up, with my mojo full rolling
The greatest rock n roll since Hendrix came to town
With a bag full of uppers, downers & all overs


My essential thoughts on playin’ the bass
Are explore the depths of your greatest riffs,
Learn moves, grooves, scales, styles, patterns, chords & grace,
Tune up before you skin-up pure skunk spliffs,
It’s not the note count that counts it’s the space,
Music must mean more than money & health,
Root-notes-while-U-wait, Blues, Funk, Slap, Fretless,
Find the best band (don’t be dust on the shelf),
Embrace the lifestyle of bass to excess,
To influence be influenced yourself;

Pepperland panache is the purest Paul,
My Generation’s Entwistle solo,
Jack Bruce on Berlin, MDM-amo,
Flea’s lightning groove & Mani’s mellow roll.


An audience steadily surrounds the stage
With everybody pillin’ thro’ the thrills
Lights so bright we couldn’t see the crowd
Blasted thro tunes, back to front, top to bottom
Letting the vibe’s crème de la crème take over
Like future veterans in the fight that made us famous
Moments on stage like you’d never believe
Marijuana jazz, hipsters junk & dreams
Psychic conversations, electrical orgasms
Of rock ‘n’ roll nirvana… & then it was over
Ladies flocking as we merged with the crowd
“Best sound since the Roses” said a guy from Kansas
& roll’d up spliffs for me & all my new best mates
Everybody high on the drugs, & up with music
Like rough-cut diamonds we shine with the stars.

III: Rosie


Twas a quintessential English evening
All about town & the capital’s core,
On my arm a wonderful flutterling,
Perfectly amenable to the tour.

We met in a wine-bar off Trafalgar,
To delve within a cosy eaterie,
Then took our places at the theatre
For the Mousetrap’s befuddling mystery.

O! The night brimm’d a goblet romantic
& our spirits, yes, they sparkl’d as the stars,
Rosie was a gentle alcoholic,
Floating, flirting, thro’ her favourite bars;

When to the chimes of Big Ben’s booming bells
We jump’d the last train down to Tunbridge Wells


Sir, just as sea-galleons need proper manning,
To act like a stallion needs dapper planning,
Ride out in the morning, find snappy new shirt,
Fench wine, fresh watermelons for private desert.

Whether up in the Andes, or by the Atlantic,
Reserve a nice table with view quite romantic
For love in the city seek art, tho’ not too much,
For sitting still together allows two hearts to touch.

So Sir, to get the best out of screwing,
Try the Gentleman’s Art of Good Wooing,
For a woman well-wooed in her bloom
Is a vixen when moved to the bedroom,

Where kissing her neck-line with thrilling caress
Ensures the bloom’s plucking… her petals’ undress.


Tender tongue tickles
Thigh to thigh, skipping the spot,
‘Lick it, Lick it NOW!’

Flickering snake tongue
Every tickle pleasure grips
Spasms of delight

Fingers penetrate
Beckoning her in to me
G-spot’s gleeful dream

Her smooth back arches
About to come, she’s grasping
Gasping and panting

Then kundalini silence
Saying nothing but breathing


She strokes my belly
Tickling my perinaeum
Loving the moment

Humid waves of want
She holds my hardening shaft
Playful, erotic

Aching for succor
She takes my cock in her mouth
Sucking hard and fast

Her power returns
Bursting from pools of hot silk
She mounts me, panting

Sopping sylvery juices
Over thrusts of lust and love


There is nothing like a writhing woman
Astride the throbbing member of her man,
When both of them – in panting unison –
Upclimbing to a symbiotic scream,
Surfing all florid energies between
That first flesh-lock & silence satisfied.

Her bosom bouncing & in full control,
She rode my phallus to its full climax,
Verve of man’s primal sin, lust & romance
Express’d in its most physical conjoin,
While thrusting cunny subtly pleasures both.

Thro’ clench & kiss we learn to fall in love,
‘Til wondrous woosinesses of spent lust
Endows us both with drowsy sweetness sound.


I’m alive… I’m alive for you
& all my love for you is burning strong;

You are my Rosemary & like the Hebredes
You’re in my melodies when I’m in song.

You are my Silver Rose & when my loving grows
It falls like summer snows in golden corn;

Just one look at you gets me all coo-ca-choo,
Some drop of silver dew this rosy morn.

All those things you do, they keep me inter you
Just like the winter dew, you taste of spring;

When you take off your clothes you make me curl up my toes
Your back unfurls as it grows an angel wing.

You are my Silver Rose & like a flight of rainbows
I’m never comin down this Rosy Morn.


OH MY GOD! I’m having a nightmare,
Fuck, look at the fucking time!
The kids are doin’ my head in
With their school-stuff everywhere,
“Here’s yer shoes, here’s yer socks,
Heres yer fuckin’ sandwich box!”
“MUMMY… don’t swear!”
OH MY GOD! Its ten to nine now,
& my car-keys JUST AREN’T THERE!

Will it rain, will mum call,
Will I end up on the dole
O MY GOD! Its five to nine now
& the traffics hits a WALL!


As the Tesco truck thunders back to base
I find serendipity’s space,
A certain elegance claims the crescent
Like Pimms, poetry & pheasant.

Yonder, in old Decimus Burton’s park,
Sun-scouts of Spring waken the lark,
Gracious nature constructs a spacious wreath,
Am I far from the swarthy heath?

I stroll the pleasant-peopl’d promenade,
Bask in each canopied facade
Of villas conjoin’d in Thamsian curve,
Mansion’d with Italian verve.

May I return with the lush blooms of May
For the roads here seem so far away.


Expectancy breathes in the milding air,
The flocks have returned, the trees show the bud,
Along the River Teise a poet strides,
Spies in the fields flocks of mothering sheep
Clustering newborn lambs with softling cries,
Who stare at the poet in nervous fear,
Nearby two drakes beakfighting for a mate
In spinning vortex of quack & feather,
A nipping, splashing duel of two love-lorn
Birds, fighting from instinct & not training;

Watching them wear each other down a third
Drake, nestled in the shades of a willow,
Waits for her signal to join the melee
Sure it shall be his seed that shall succeed.


Catching a feeling in the country roads,
I contemplate my residence down South,
England’s unrivall’d garden all-surround,
Beloved stretch of heaven-ness unbound,
Passing thro’ Eridge, yon the Forgewood Burn,
I, step-by-step, felt change investing soul,
An hour of velvet wonder in my youth,
Where first flew epic poetry, erstwhile,
The world bestrode a new Millenium,
Inspirational, talismanic times,
Idyllic launchpad of my lofty muse,
Commingling with the ocean drifts of life,
An architect to all I plan to build
Beyond this day, as Arks of life set sail.


A few miles west of Winchelsea we found
A perfectly poetic spot called Fairlight,
Perched atop a cliff, private beach below us,
Grey-green channel stretching out to France,
Behind us swarm’d lovely Down country,
To our right a forested coastal hill
Dotted with extravagant looking houses,
Homes of the wealthy, or famous elite,
Like Paul Macartney’s crazy second daughter,
Soon in ‘man’ mode I whipped up a fair campsite,
Found a large pallet, & with a few ninja moves
Broke it to firewood, cook’d a veritable feast
Wash’d down with wine, under romantic sunset,
Making love like lions on the tall cliff’s edge.


As bakeries stock sugar-coated treats,
Like danishes, cakes, stroodles, tarts & pies,
I skip on clouds to see thy brimming sweets,
& taste the apples spinning in thine eyes.

You are the dairy cream of an eclair,
& like fine berries of a bramble bush,
As honey dew the gold locks of thy hair,
& with rose milk your soft cheeks are aflush.

You are an hour spent bathing in the sun,
Another hour spent swimming in the sea,
But in warm rays the blazing skin grows numb,
& in seawaves salt texture vexes me.

Tho’ ecstasy should be a fleeting touch
A childhood’s candy often eats too much.

One should always give one’s woman;
Art, Adoration, Art, Bravery, Bliss
Caress, Conversation, Destiny, Desire,
Equality, Everything, Fidelity, Faith
Gratitude, Goodness, Happiness, Honesty
Illumination, Impeccability, Jewelry, Jaunts,
Kisses, Kindredship, Loyalty, Lust
Money, Magic, Novelty, Nobilty,
Orgasms, Obmutescence, Playfulness, Poetry
Quality, Quiescence, Reassurance, Romance
Security, Sensuality, Tenderness, Trust
Unity, Understanding, Variety, Voice
Wonderment, Wisdom, Xysti, Xanadu
Yearning, Yourself, Zygosis & Zest!


The triumphant train jump from dreary Calais
Our spacious rooms & balcony above Albert
Took a minute to traverse the grave-peppered land
Endur’d three brutal months of murder once to take,
Playing marbles with little rusting, shrapnel balls
Glorious weather paints the plains of Northern France
The old city of Amiens & golden Boulogne
Ice creams on the beach & laughing at locals…

At last! Our final train jump back to Calais
Pincer attack approaches, but the toilet is locked,
So Rosie crouch’d inluggage space, covered by her coat,
At one point thought we’d blown it, using schoolboy French
Nous & -ons (for we) rather then Je & -e (for I)
Luckily the lady assumed I was your typical Englishman
Sold me a single ticket, & when the coast was clear
We giggled all the way back to Blighty.

IV: The Rose Rides Again

There’s gotta be a better reason for writing than some vague impulse to produce monuments
Reed Whittemore



Good Morning Great Britain
Still great, still Britain
The sun is shining, 10:45 AM
£296.26 pence in my pocket
Time to bet it all on black & hit the road again

If time is a mere scratch & life is nothing
& nothing that occurs is of the slightest importance

From Aberdeen to Birmingham, Arundel & Deal
From Dullis Hill to Rotherham, Bristol & Peel
From Inverness to Liverpool, Leeds & Palmer’s Green
From Lewisham to Padiham & all the pubs between
From Badminton to Twickenham & Barton-in-the-Beans

‘Til my bardic breath expires

This is my Time,
This is my Rhyme,
This is my Country!


As the Starbird completes his embassy,
Beneath vibrant horizon he shall nest;
The sunken copper of a lilac sky
Dwindles to a band, hued as the harvest.

Lady Moon‘s silver filters thro’ evening,
People wait patiently for the late train;
Up pacing platforms, sat calmly reading,
Smoking a cigarette, talking of rain.

Over the tannoy a strain’d southern drawl
Heralds the five forty-five to Brighton,
Click-clack down the track train rocks to the roll,
Then slows….
& into its toilet I am gone,

Me in the mirror the in-flight movie,
Excellently ticketless & groovy!


Less than an hour’s ride from London wind the bustling Brighton Lanes,
World plethora of vests & T-shirts, oriental eats,florists, flatcaps & funky beats,
Further still the shlinky streets were buzzin’ with bookshops & babes,
Clocks, calendars, creams & rings & everyone flitting around like schmetterlings….

…Thro’ the exotic Pavilion Gardens I walk, deeper into narrow streets
Past vinyl hives & vespa mopeds, botanical lives &electric threads,
Flea markets, & duvet-dappled beds as to my ears swept the sea’s dull roar,
For Brighthelmstone’s a jewel perch’d upon the rocky English shore…

…Onto the beach I tarried, where waves crashed inonto the wet, stony sands,
Today just gulls at play & a grey-haired old geezer with scarf & beret;
This is why I travel, for moments like these, melodic music & a warm seabreeze…

…I’m gliding along the promenade unto a skeletal relic,
Where barefoot on the stones, quaffing beer beside the Pier,
I watched the gull fleet sail the spangled wave.


Money come, money go,
Where it comes from I don’t know,
Where it goes to just the same,
Everybody on the game!

I’m a poet,
& I know it,
Why do I do it?
I just don’t know,
But feel it, though!

Feel its flourish everywhere,
Hearing the flowers grow,
You just know,
Don’t ya,
You just know


When you’re in the zone
Every second turns to poesy
Those tramps sat in the park
Were they discussing Plato?

What is it about life?
She seems to twist & turn
Under shadow & sun
Without a pause, relentless…

There are those who live & those who plain exist
When realizing our natures
It is the lone individual which moves the age
Within the solitude of his page

For, as stones hold the sun’s heat long after it is gone,
My poesis here forever shall remain…


I gasp to the swish of the golden stream,
Pissing pretty patterns upon the wall,
My breath interspers’d with the risin’ stream,
I smell another shadow, six feet tall.

“Whaddaya fink ya bleedin doin mate!”

I turn…
..see a nipple-head pig in blue,
Piss on his shoes, snake shake & calmly wait
For the old,
“Roit son, oim arrestin you,
Anyfink you say may be…blah, blah, blah…

The police don’t appreciate the poet,
Too hot to handle, a Tunguskan star.

“Show some respect!”

“Hey Porky go blow it up yer brown bacon ass!”

My lawlessness
Breeds the glove & pride in nakedness.


The slow, squeaky screech of the door’s creaking
Wakes me from dreaming, my sleepy eyes stare,
Slowly beholding Duty Sarge sneaking
To my cell, her Autumnal auburn hair
Wild rivers of lusty, flowing l’amore.

There’s something so sexy ’bout uniforms,
Especially when crumpl’d on the floor.

She is a sea of Venus freed from storms

Warm flesh arouses is in my cold bed,
She whispers my poem carv’d into wall,

“I’ve never been with a poet!”
she said
As she swarm’d all over me, after all
I had no courage, nor right, to stop her,
For who dare risk fucking with a copper.


I shall be true when the land’s jurisdiction,
Shall shackle my liberty, chain my free-will,
However they fight me, with famine & friction,
Imprison’d & beaten I’ll be myself still.

I shall oppose them with all of my beauty
For while there is beauty then all is not lost,
Tender emotion means more than their mercy
As liberty onto their concience is toss’d.

I shall stand proud when the soldiers are coming,
Inviting their snipers to aim at my chest,
Play the flute smoothly to sooth the crude drumming,
Notes lulling the rifles, “Come lay them to rest!”

For this is a song that my soul sings to me,
To a poet, his call & his LI-BER-TIE!


If you are ever
Forced to dwell
In solitary station cell
There is one card
Held up your sleeve –
Duty Solicitor you’ll leave!
Until the time
Seems outta sight
Demand to see one –
Tis your right
Then soon you’ll find,
In such short time
You’ve been set free.


Time has swung swift to this un-noticed hour
here is a shift in her most dearest care
now at the dawn of age I am aware
little of life is truly in our power.
O for a lizard & a wizard tower!
to launch a Pegasus on swooning air
far from parades of this, the daily wear,
when little lives, in an instant, grow sour
to give so much, to give & give some more,
to strive in flux, to strive with writhing soul,
to banish from the mind the thoughts that gnaw
to keep the faith when others may lose theirs
& heed an inner call, however small,
shall set a person right in life’s affairs?


Goose-stepping out to morning in a daze
The time has come for me to make the fade
West on to Portsmouth …
Only a fool pays
The full fare, so in order to evade
The barrier grunts, I research & buy
A one-stop single, saving sev’ral pounds!

All along the line nine carriages fly,
Conductress commences inspective rounds,
The ticket is check’d, I move to first class
Where the face that has jump’d a thousand trains
Gazes on its reflection in the glass.

The pane awash with warm & summer rains…

Life such the rush when welded withone’s wits,
Like catching a carriage outta Colditz!


In the heart of the Maritime City,
On Albert Road, still trades the treasure store
Where first found I those gems of poetry,
Little jewels of literary lore.

As I disturb the silence of that room
Bookseller barely glances from the page,
The musty smell of leather-bound volume
After volume…
…shelf-stack’d, floor-piled…
…the sage
Deems sweeter than perfume of a lover.

I find, buried, a long-forgotten tome,
Off the dust blows in clouds from its cover,
To chance upon a book on sonnet form!

‘Tis such monumental moments as these
Which sets my craft drifting Petrarchan seas.


It’s the last ever gig of the funk-ass Mambo Juice,
Thirty-strong multi-national drumming collective,
When the last deafening bass-line comes to a close
They pull out their ear-plugs & hug like old amigos,
As a black-lipp’d, mosh-pit blonde calls ‘house party’
I’m suddenly off raving with twenty cosmic Goths,
All grooving on pills; so I play a set of classics
Got off with a red-headed vampyre in the bath
But when she went home to get her stash of weed
I got off with her mate – it was a terrible faux pas
Apparently I’d broken some sacred code or something,
& my tunes were actually “fuckin shite man!
What do you mean you don’t like Betty Boo!
I demanded as they toss’d me out to morning!

V: Way Out West


I first learned how to Fade at sweet sixteen
Top of the M1, dirty Leeds in the rain
“Fuck that!” I thought & hopped on a train
Aint ever looked back (or paid) since

When bodies have freedom the mind follows suit
Flush’d clean by flashing scenery, riding the rails

Thorsten Veben once said,
He with sufficient means to live,
Without gainful employment, is a gentleman!”

Some may call me thief but I, I am a sportsman
Hooked on adrenalin rushes of reaching destinations

Until I got caught! Yes caught! on the Bristol to Cardiff line
& I was so angry at myself I spent the whole day jumping trains
Getting off at every station headshaking in sheer disgust!


Past the heavenly upthrust of Salisbury Cathedral
To those famous druid stones of antiquity
Where after an extremely strong dose of peyote
I join’d in with all the hippyfied festivity
On an intergalactic mission, at light speed,
Thro the electrical machinery of my mind
Not knowing that my soul-mate was abroad…

As dawn’s first flush dragg’d me from my trip
I found myself dancing inside the stones,
with stonekissers, minstrels & shamen
When atop one of the stones I saw a nubile pagan lady
completely naked but for some paint markings
daubed over her, may I say, fantastic figure
Right there & then I fell in fucking love!


The steep vales of South Wales are swooshing by,
I drift away with the free birds that fly,
Glidin’ gainst a bright blue & cloudless sky.

Below graze horses, cows & fleecy sheep,
A weary drowsiness doth slowly creep,
The train’s rollin’ motion rocks me to sleep.

My shoulder tapp’d…
…“May I see your ticket?”

Train-bunkin’ is far better than cricket,
For bravado helps defend your wicket.

The Jedi stare:
“I don’t do tickets mate,
You lot charge too much & are always late
& I must get to Cardiff for my court-date.”

I finish the speech with a carefree shrug,
Bag the blag, settle in, read my journals, smug.


Pantglas Primary School
Perch’d under the Shadow of Death
Without a breath…

Morning assembly
Half-term imminent
Tsu-Na-Mi of slag

Sludge, mud, rubble,
Miners & mothers
& their mothers, clawing the sludge

Cries of babies dwindling
Just ten dug out
The rest broken-bodied

Entombed under the Shadow of Death
Without a breath


I’d enter’d Wales along its southern shore,
Pass’d many breezy towns of prime bereft;
Like Newport, Port Talbert, Haverfordwest,
Then, as I saw Saint David’s ancient spires,
The Irish Ocean met me with a smile,
Whose coast curl’d north; ghostly Aberystwyth,
Aberdovey’s dream, Harlech’s stoic stones,
Dolgellau’s mellow stream, fair Machynlleth,
Portmerions bejewell’d masonry,
Delayed my days, for this is wondrous Wales,
A David to the Saxon Goliath,
But prouder than each English heart I know,
Where, as I stood upon Glendower’s keep,
Cymru’s grey passes bash’d the flashing skies!


I tackl’d Snowdon from the low Rhyd Ddu,
Infinite furlongs from her summit view;
The little cluster that is Liverpool
& mountain masses rustic minds enjewel,
The twinkle of the distant River Dee,
The rising lion of Aran Fawwdwy,
The quaint domain of old Dolgellau grey,
The epic sweep which keep Cardigan Bay,
Dinas Emrys & her sleeping dragon,
The castles; Flint, Harlech & Caernarvon,
The isle adjacent to th’adjacent isle
& yonder, Wicklow’s shadowy defile –
The British Isles have wrapt me all around,
Though in the heavens I still touch her ground.


The Halls are filled with fragrant spring
The empire shrinking hill-by-hill
Henry closes closer still

The Halls echo with shout & cry
Battle brought to the castle walls
Godless wounded haunt the halls

The Halls are growing wan & dark
No faggots left for precious heat
No water & naught to eat

The Halls are fill’d with English arms
Henry receives the surrender
Where is Owen Glendower?

His Halls are now the wide spaces
Between the grandeur of our peaks


Nitroglycerine & siliceous sand
Mix accidental, vast a fortune spann’d!
Dynamite forging tunnels & bridges
Soon deity on blood-splattered ridges,
Thy conscience prick’d, dictates heroic will,
Your legacy shall save your conscience still,
Each year his rich estate awards a prize
To those with distant vistas in their eyes,
Abundant in life’s creativity
Or devoted to Earth’s fraternity;
Bertrand Russell, Alexander Fleming,
The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther-King
Eisnstein, Curie, (but never Ghandi… shame!)
Shall share a portion of thy global fame .


1 Remain alert
2 Always keep your cool
3 Trust your instincts
4 Never show your money
5 Know your stations
6 Another five minutes won’t hurt in the loo
7 Know your enemy
8 Know your postcodes
9 The train’s going there anyway
10 When in doubt, clout
11 Trains always comes when ya skinnin’ up
12 It is every Fader’s duty to baffle & confuse
13 Always remember your free cup of tea
14 No need to rush unless you’re being chas’d


Far from the dubya-dubya-dubya-dot
That reconciles this planet into one,
If you wander high up to the hill-slopes
There lie upon your back, massag’d by spongey moss
& look upon the sky, & muse upon a cloud
You could be anyone, anywhere, anytime
A Corinthian shepherd above the Roman fleets
A Mexican leper, driven from village streets.

It matters not whoe’er they were, or where
For this, the global moment before god,
When all mark’d equal are, this Shangri-la
Of little-ness & epic-ness, & light
When thoughts, by Urania elevated,
Reveal’d to flutter lofty, free falcons in soft flight.


Twyx Peterloo and Amritsar are passed a hundred years,
Islands of violent massacres, from oceans made of tears
They rise on rocks of dignity:- love, liberty and pride,
When desperate humanity despotic thugs defied,
When blunt and drunken yeomanry shed mothers’ blood, with child,
Saints of seditious tragedy society restyled,
Their murders ever worship’d in the wake of centuries,
Deep fervours hangin’ off the walls of holy galleries.

Not Shelley, even Ghandi, ever had our age foreseen,
When strange evolving tyranny still keep the laymen lean,
When opioids are funnel’d in to feed the phrenzied rich,
When soul restraining mortgages wounds struggle us to stitch,
While poverty’s addictions yet afflict the wider world,
The masses work is not yet done, let banners be unfurl’d.


Poised almost home we hiked up Kinder Scout
In early April when the branches bare,
Or glittering with leaves just starting out
Upon their quest to fumigate the air;
Away, below all mysterious moors,
Manchester rises from a distant plain,
With all its red brick misery & laws,
Its vehicles, its vapours, & its vain,
Whose city craziness I here dismiss,
For Burnley’s beddiness a day awaits,
Where first my spirit felt its mother’s kiss
Entangled in the fibres of the fates;
But now… a moment settled on a stone
A breath of wind, the heather… & alone!


Foxglove & thistle empurpling the trail
That modern man in motion wide discards,
It was time to return to Lancashire
Across the heights that shadow Calderdale,
& I, their poetical passenger,
Orpheus pressing hard against my sail,
& yes! It seem’d his song had form’d a gale,
Why else allude to mythic Thracian bards!

Across the fields I find the Burnley way,
Lit by those little yellow birds & bees
That lead me onto Thievely Pike, among
Such scenes of rugged beauty greening grey,
Broad Pennines sweeping distance by degrees
& fading far as bards conclude their song.


We live & we die, we are what we are
There is no more we men must understand
Stay us at home or travel near & far
Spontaneous or half a lifetime planned

Decisions? what are they but fleeting stones
Diverting fate’s ever resistless flow
These thoughts reside beside the wool & bones
On wild roads hewn 2000 years ago

I stand between two gangs of spinning mills
Twyx Cliviger & Bacup on the moors
Feeling fresh winded nature thresh the hills
When all is energizing out of doors

Now with the path steep-broken underfoot
I close the moment & my notebook shut

VI: The Burnliad


You must know Burnley to see it’s beauty,
Twixt Hambledon & Pendle where she lies,
Thou fertile region of the North contree,
Of Bingo halls & market stalls & pies,
Of cobblestones & Bovis Homes & lanes,
Of working men & the working men’s pride
Of balmy days & snowy greys & rains
& blatantly the world’s best football side.

You must know Burnley to see it’s beauty,
The arches & the chimneys & Turf Moor,
The stately halls of Gawthorpe & Towneley,
The station & the bus-stop & mi door –
You can keep yer New Yorks, Delhis & Rome
At the end of the day there’s no place like home!


I learnt to swim right at the top o’ Rosegrove
& got a ten-meter badge for mi speedos,
I was seven or so, & two years later,
Went off wi’ mi class to the baths, n’ that.

So, as I’m sat down wi’ mi mates on the bus,
A poo started moving, a real turtle-head
& instead of rushing straight to the toilet
I thought that I’d get changed first, n’ that.

Then, lo & behold, on mi cubicle floor
That self-same poo plopp’d down all goo & stinkin,’
So mi teacher made me clean the buggar up,
Then sent me to sit in the stands, n’ that,

Where I waited mi teasing classmates with dread,
But never, to their credit, was one word said!


The river flowing by is often wide & high *
Upon a timeless voyage to the sea.

Beside the scene I’m caught, connecting to the thought
Of nature & her rimless mystery.

Growing after the rains, flowing down swelling lanes,
Upon her banks a special place to be.

Beyond the smoky town that turns the water brown,
I listen to the special sound she makes.

As lower fall the skies we watch the river rise,
Up to the trees to seize the branches breaks.

At ever faster pace her swirling foam curls race
Along the course that she forever takes.

For rivers flowing by are often wide & high
On voyages out to a timeless sea…

* This opening line was the first one ever composed by the Silver Rose, for a poetry competition as an eight-year-old at Lowerhouse Junior School, 1984. The rest of the poem is forgotten, , but this first line remereged once more on a walk by the River Calder by the poet


Wool-white wilderness
Wycoller’s dene-sunk garden
Mist-lock’d, frost-shock dawn

Year’s first warm morning
Lone bee stalking Worsthorne Moor
Birds breeze on the wing

Beams of warm amber
Penetrate the Pendle mists
Snowdrops drink the thaw

O trees! such budding!
Thy delicate bursts of green
Nervous turtleheads

As colour surprises eyes
Lancashire’s alive at last!


I breeze in, kiss mi Mum, butter some bread,
“A phone call, letter, we thought you were dead!”
“Mum, chasin’ destiny, I do great feats,
But you treat me like Abbey treat Keats!”
“Yer no son of mine get a proper job
Yer nowt but a no-good, bone idle slob!”

That same old twitterin’ in mi ear lobe,
I shit, shower, shave, raid mi Dad’s wardrobe…

Down Burnley Miners where men dodge their wives
Best bitter’s well cheap & bonhomie thrives.

“Oi thats mi shirt!” “Owdo Dad? “Owdo Son!
“How was London?” “Funny
…when we were done
Back at the ranch Mum’s cursing lotto numbers,
Dad’s snoring through his twelve bitter slumbers.


Yes, I’m really glad yer mi dad, Dad,
Yer the best that a young lad could have, Dad,
Far better than the king o’ Baghdad,
Yer mi dad, Dad!

Aye, I’m really glad I’m yer lad, Dad
Cos I get to crash in yer pad, Dad
& chat to yer when I’m all sad, Dad
Yer mi dad, Dad!

Yer always so bloody well clad, Dad
& make the best eggs that I’ve had, Dad
But yer brews, bloody ‘ell, they’re so bad, Dad
Yer mi dad, Dad!

& better still, yer mi mate, mate
& I love yer, an that’s fuckin’ great!


Robbed of life & lifestyle the yeomen came
T’worship King Cotton amidst the hills,
Built terraces & the cathedral mills
Then demanded sport, the beautiful game.

On a famous site from the Bob Lord Stand
My brethren sing their ‘arts out fer the boys,
“COME ON YOU CLARETS,” what an awesome noise
Shaking the cup o’ Bovril from mi hand.

A silent prayer, a few strides, the shot – GOAL!
The crowd erupts in divine elation.

Burnley F.C. are the best at football
& that’s the Bee-hole & end of it all.


Up Manchester Road, b’ Shanks’s Pony,
Inter Scotts Park, then on up t’ Summit
T’pay mi Grandparents a swift visit
Fer a bowl o’ the best broth in Burnley.

Grampa potters about ‘is garden shed,
Granma slaps th’icin on’ slice from market,

Cake crumbs fall on mi old Batman carpet,
Big piles o’ comics & games under’ bed.

Wow! Space Marine, Gnasher Badge, Hairy Hand,
Toy Soldiers, Test Match & mi old Spectrum –

What fun,” said Gramps, “We ‘ad back in those days…”

“Yer tea’s ready!”
“Mmmm…them dumplins look grand.

“Do you like ‘em son?”
“Aye Gran, I love ‘em.”

& polish seven platefuls in ‘er praise.


In France, nineteen forty, fought the East Lancs,
Bully beef’d, armed t’teeth gainst the mighty
Marauding hordes of Messerfritz & tanks –
Grampa’s caught as last boat left fer Blighty.

Force marched long corpse-lined roads fer sun-parched miles,
Fritz kicks water buckets, shoots random fire,
Til in the bleak Black Forest begin trials –
The endurance o life behind the wire.

Half starved , worked to death, yet still Gramps stood strong,
Escapin ‘is duty, sport & order,
By day slept in fields, by night stalked along,
But each timer caught just short o Swiss border…

After five years the Russkis set Gramps free
To find a wife & start ‘is family.


With a vigour that hordes the squirrel stores,
Fair sommer’s morning drives us to the moors,
Twix’ scatter’d wracks of industry’s decay
‘Tween Leeds & Liverpool made fair way,
Then to some heathen sentinel upwind.
Treading rough fields, forgotten roads behind,

Shelt’ring from northern breeze I lounge supine
On whale-back’d peak, thou solit’ry pennine,
All in the misty vale an entity;
Those auld terraced rows of Pendle City,
Whose galaxy of lights shatters the gloam,
With one of them the hearthstar of my home,

Forever, there, my spirit shall abide,
Fair feather’d by this precious countryside.


Dick needs a table
Over the tops at Clitheroe
& its car boot country sale

Prams * jigsaws * suitcases * mothball suits
Settees * lawnmowers * crap coats * comics
& finally, a three pound table

On a wood to coinage ratio the real deal
‘Made in Czechoslovakia’ stamped underneath
Looks a bit like a bench

We bus it home, the smash & grab complete
Walk up to Healy Wood, steep from the station
Chillin’out frequently, perched upon our ‘bench’

Gazin’ on Burnley, & Townley & Pendle
Then finally home to a perfect fit!


Now where are you the class of ‘92
More time pass’d by since that day
Than we ever spent together
Now life is beginning to gather speed
& I expect we have all changed, a little
Different, yet essentially the same
People, who sped home from school
To watch Neighbours in its heyday,
Wondering what a working day entail’d
& love & kids & all that mad adult stuff

Now shine, sun, shine, on the class of ‘99
Riding bareback upon unbridl’d youth
Just seven years of schooling separates us –
The strange gulf of nature that parts
These faculties of the University of Life.


As a poignant time-lapse of the soul
Removes my child-hood street-by-street,
I brood upon an artificial meadow,
Where recently dilapidated terraces
Were brick-by-brick demolish’d, levell’d low.

Once, with life, these districts resounded,
But all is fading now, like fallen flies;
Grandmas, Grandads, Cousins, Aunties, Uncles –
A generation bounden in photographs –
Back then they laughed & cried like me & you.

My own street seems to have survived the cull –
But for how long? If others of its ilk
Were deemed ungodly, surely snobbish time
Shall banish mine beneath some grassy mound.


…Eyes down fer yer full house!” the camp caller croons,

“Kelly’s Eye, on its own, the number one,
& its thee & me, two & three, twenty three,
Heinz varieties, five & seven, fifty-seven…”

Mary glances nervously at Eileen Pointer’s sheet

& its Sherwood Forest, all the threes, thirty three,
You’ve been & gone at eight & one, eighty one!”

Tension, frustration, tutting & twitching,

A fumph & a duck, five & two, fifty two,
& its those legs, eleven!”

The room fills with wolf-whistles

“Now who didn’t flush the toilet, it’s a dirty loo, thirty two,
Ooo! It’s the top of the shop, blind ninety…

EEE-YAAAAA!” screams Mary Pie, spilling her drink.

Buggar,” puffs Eileen, “I only needed seventeen.”

VII: Rosebuds


Cupid, I offer these chaunting whimsies
To lovers fates dealt down life’s vernal lanes
Who stirred in me euonymus emotion
Manifested in various degrees
From a gentle whimper of affection
To screams of Bacchanalian passion
Admitting myself before loves altar
Wise with romance & all her stranger fevers
Thro’ these rare moments I wish to achieve
A proper cleansing of the spirits core
exploring all the avenues of love
& lyric them with a didactic sense
& pour out feelings present at these times
To recall when I’m old & in my chair


I was a six-year-child when first I felt
My soul entwining with the fairer sex,
Em’rald-eyed neighbor, who, one starry night
Said, “Have you ever kiss’d a lass before?”
“Of course!” 
I yelp’d, but grandmas do not count
& as we kiss’d she giggled at my lips
Closed shut & clamp’d by frigid innocence,
& said, “No, not like that, ya kiss like this!”
& show’d me how my mouth should act a fish.

Soon sprinting home, embarrass’d at the deed,
That never was repeated I believe,
For looking back, I was, in tender days
Contented with the kisses of grandmas
& nee-owwwwing with little Corgi Cars.


Now plummeting blindly thro’ puberty
Masturbating furiously often
I snatch’d a snog from various lasses
From the Cat’s Whisker’s under thirteen’s rave
To stolen moments in moonlit back-streets
But never really knew what it was like
To have a woman naked in your bed
& god forbid! A blow job, what was that?
But, maybe, there was strangely cute Michelle
Who for an afternoon unveil’d her breast
In mid-pubescent ski-slope, not quite firm
But food enough for me to there forget
My chippie-lunch that drooling dinner hour


One night I saw her bra all pink & soft
& underneath, a bosom good & large,
& I began to kiss her on the neck,
Lips bobbing like a robin in the snow,
A dilettante before a women’s walls,
She commented upon my tenderness,
& led me to the lands of the undress’d,
Slipping a condom on me, & aspar
Her legs invite me in, a thrust or three,
& we were lost in rhythm, groans & gasps,
Until I came & there a man became,
Up standing before a full-length mirror
I gazed upon my body, athlete-lean,
& knew, right then, I was for fucking keen.


My first experience of true romance
Was with my school’s head-girl, a cute brunette
Her hair as long & curl’d as Niagra
& now us dating, both of us sixteen
Snogging at the theatre, holding hands,
But never stepping in sordid spaces
For we had something innocent & pure
Until one Christmas, for to win her heart
I bought her an interesting jigsaw
With all her family in festive glee
While siblings giggl’d at my ill-thought gift
Her embarrassment put paid to passions
That soon talk’d less & less upon the phone
To meet again, a decade down the line…


One Easter in the nineties, still sixteen
Tho’ one year gone since tasting cherryade
I found myself in sunny Magaluf
With three good friends, & all of us ahorn
We stay’d a week & half-way thro the binge
I found myself a slightly lighter lass
Than my first fuck, she was from Chesterfield
& sent me running back to my hotel
For necessary contraceptive sheaths
& then, returning in a drunken haze,
We went awhile & clambour’d she on top
First time I’d ever seen such a glory
Relaxing as my member made her moan
Til all was done & walk’d I home alone


Now keen to see more scenes, this world of ours,
Brought me wandering over Bournemouth sands
Where, walking homeless past a busy bar
This homo leaps outside & picks me up
& as I needed somewhere warm to sleep
I took my chance & went back to his flat
& looking back I was an idiot
But when he ask’d if I had ever had
A blow job from a man, I kept my wits,
Refusing, for I knew that I was straight
& slept that night arse firmly to the floor
& in the morning found it still intact,
So let him take me to a swimming pool
Where I was happy just to have a wash!


Now, further on, my travels reach’d Minehead
& somehow I had got myself a job
A burger boy at Butlins in a hat
Where I was soon lipstick’d by Welsh Dianne
A garish Newport nymphomaniac
Full twenty three with very fit physique
Apparently she lik’d her fellas black
& tho I’m olive-skinn’d she said I’d do
& ravish’d me, but never let me in
For she was on her period, y’see
& I would have to wait another week
But before the week was out I got the sack!
The first time I would feel this frustration
From the hard-faced bitch that’s Dame Menstruation


I met a girl the first day of high school
Five years pass & the young woman departs
Thro all that ime weplayed it rather cool
Little we knew a seed grew in our hearst
We fell in love when we were just 16
I was recently retunring from spain
The doors played on our souls settle dserene
So this is love… we worshipp’d at its fane

& then she came to me one twinkling eve
Ready to settle on a lusty shore
Offered a fruit she never could retrieve
Ripe was the flesh & tho I wanted more
She went away to university
Forever with that memory of me


There is nothing in life as your first love
The one, you thought, that would forever last
Those tender hours sat in Calypso’s cove
In soft repast, warm days shone forever
Lovemaking an hour before breakfast
Or frolicking in the Pendle heather.

Of all the lassies I have ever loved
None have offer’d more comfort & more joy
A first meeting that has forever proved
What mysteries the secret fates emply

It is your spirit I have loved the most
Such raptures as I felt thy warm embrace
But as lightning strikes a Scytian host
Your love left swift, gone almost without trace


Should ye love & thy love they covet thee
Then surely sensuous Venus shall sway
Each erotic moment to please, alway
The perfumed sweetness of thine ecstasy

But if thy love is cruel as alchymie
Beloved breath dies as doth fade the day
Each memory exotic turns to greay
The pungent devastate of misery

The Rose of Love Abandon’d grows fair well
In a bed of bitter emptinesses
Fed by angry teardrop lonelinesses

Til pluck’d is the Rose & broken the spell
By scimitars, hardend in a star’s heart
Scything thro’ entwind tendrils… then we part!


She came to me upon a wynge of fire
Some meeting chances in a strange canteen
Soon we invoked the goddess of desire
Soon we were naked, contented, serene
Like poets searching for a lost conceit
When mayflowers pillow the bunch of may
I was an infant sucking at the teat
& alkl the world was child time in our play

Yet fleeting are the pretty years of youth
When love is superceded by the rose
Which grows in the hearts of ambitious men

So off I roamed, abandoning thee ruth
But on elast time top know thy kiss again
Ah me! Harsh be the wind of life which blows


Cute love is first caught in the feeling eye
An innocence in early summer heat
Fair eros beiming form her dreamy seat
Who two souls in sweet synergy sem shy
How days of love & music fleeting fly
Laying rare rugs of damask at thy feet
The moment when a sun & moon do meet
Your eyes eclipsing as I gaze & sigh

Ah, cruelty! you took away the dream
My little flower crushed before the bloom
& thr’o those days my tragic soul did seem
A lad so lonely pining in the gloom
But now, upon this page, you pass away
For after day comes night & then comes day


Mistress, you mean more than the muse to me
A sister & a lover & a friend
Wondering what the household gods intend
Thundering thro the throes of ecstasie
Decent in domestic tranquility
Love irreproachable to never end
A passion & a friendship to defend
Then why are we cloud capp’d in mystery

We are two ranging spirits & cosmic
Is the cellular season of our kiss
The flowers of our summertime grow sick
Plucked & petal-pressed into books of bliss
Thro Pneumono ultra silica mic-

VIII: Big Night Out

Lord of all Barlick, MBE, MBO, BO,
Bachelor of the Farts, Super Chick-in

Nick, ‘diddliddling,’ my bestest friend,
Do you remember our eighteenth summer,
It felt that the good times would never end
& Barry Island the only bummer.

That Ynnysddu flat, weed, laughs & wimmin,’
‘Blowin’ a reefer on Salisbury plain,’
Seven chicks in Newquay, soapbar, swimmin’
Our first Glasto – you gotta go again.

Saw… Bjork’s Debut, Newport’s Supersonics,
Peer Gynt down Stratford, Burnley rule Wembley,
Massive crowd in Brixton for the Manics
& that mad, May night near Monmouth, where we
Sat with the Roses and their album new,

“Don’t think it’s as good as the first,” said you.


We trawl the long-haul of the motorway
& pick up more pot-heads past Birmingham,
Jelly wobbles on the waves to Calais,
Mojo pukes in the lowlands near the ‘Dam.

We rush to relax in the smoky cafes;
Try Purple Haze & buy Sensemelia,
Each stella & space-cake skanks up the daze
Of a mushroom gilded psychedelia.

We tram through ‘Dam to the sleezy district,
Pluck up Dutch courage for ‘Sucky Fucky,’
Crack-ed whores slink at doors, wink’d to be pick’d-
It’s a shame when you pay to get lucky…

Skunk’d-up, smasha fuck, zombie bus, bongtubes,
Grass stash’d up Nicky’s ass, Richie’s itchy pubes.


Nick’s bleepin horns blare,
v “Show time, time t’go,”

In the front seat, skinnin’ up, sits Mojo,
In jumps up mi oldest buddy, D.J. Funk;

Pills, powder, cigs, cans, king-size, gum & skunk.

As the levelin’ joint passes around

We sample the Charlies new album’s sound-
How mellow is the music & how high?

Stars cluster the sky, headlights streakin by,
Windows wound down down the M 65,
Feelin’ Fresh Prince Funky & alive.

As we motor through Skankymancwankland,
Home to many a cocky, northern band,
Over gloomy Salford’s rain-soaked ridge crest
Manchester looms man I’m not impressed.


We park at the Arndale,
“Owdo lasses!”

Graffitiscape daubing Manchester,
Shmoasis blare from the young fool busker.

Floozies ooze by,
“Hey cuties, nice asses!”

Down the Oz Bar we bomb paste base Billy
To sharpen the edge of these smacky E’s.

Mojo buys a Big Mac Meal at Mac ‘D’s,
Spins round the Big-Wheel of Piccadilly
& chucks up in the bogs of the Dry Bar.

Live drum & bass brings us up off our face,
Superfly Shiny Riders funk the place –
A Lancashire lad’s simply superstar.

The room goes bright, a boom of mellow dub
It’s time to take the boys out to a club.


“Reyt, where next ?”
“West Bams on at the Orbit…”
“…Nah man, too late…”
“…The Hac’…”
“…Nah, the beers shit…”
“…Sankeys…”“…Nah man, it’s closed down…”
“…Wigan Pier…”
“…Nah, everyone in Wigan is a queer…”

“…Lets hit Blackpool, find a shit B & B,
& pick up fit chicks from some Hen Party…”

“…Nah, bin there, worn the crap hat, c’mon team,
Let’s unleash these libidos down at Cream!”

Razzin’ the freeway, babblin ‘bout the Dam,
With Techno Bangin


“Mint mix, Funkster,” “Yeah, Angels ninety-six!”
”…Ee-yar Damo” “…Ta Mojo, Oos next”…Nicks!”

We park by Sefton Park,
“Owdo lasses!”
Beauties cruise by,
“Hey cuties, nice asses!”


Often I, an addicted Eastender,
Love to observe mankind’s menagerie,
Especially the ‘Work-for-Weekender’
Found in town zoos or city safari.

At watering holes or in dog-eared flats;

Snakes, Dinos, Vultures, Rats, Cows, Moles & Sheep,
Packs of Fox-Hounds & scatty Pussycats,
Are crammed at Sardine bars, seven ranks deep.

Two-by-two the babbling rabble migrate
Through Gorilla doors, get tanked up on hooch,
Drink rats-piss like Fish, ass-wiggle like Bait,
The rasion d’etre the ten-to-two smooch.

Then they sing, kiss, spit, piss, shit, fight & feed,
Before scurrying back to his or hers to breed.


I mingle with a galaxy of stars,
Down double absinthes at the cocktail bars,

Strut a sleek swathe through a heaving dance-floor,
Share what this great feel for rhythm is for.

My god!!
I feel her!!
My lime light falls,
On a long-legged, raven-haired beauty
Elitely to me, she squeezes my balls,
The primal sign of promiscuity.

I had to admire her fiery swagger,
This subtle way she asked me to shag her,
Ravishing eyes, nice ass & lavish scent,
Her lips, softened by the Latin accent,
Gently nibblin the lobes of mine ear,
“Signore, I waant you, rrright here…


Manuela drags me out into the street
Outside the club, a long white limo lay
Some pussy-cat engine purring on heat,
A whirr of wheels & we are on our way

Outside the club, a long white limo lay
A pussy-cat engine purrin on heat,
A whirrin of wheels, we roar on our way,
Floorin some dibble down dead in the street.

Heading towards the first glimpse of the sun,
A sense of early morning in the air,
She unzips my fly, slipping her lips on
This pleasure, I comb fingers through her hair.

Smokin’ a cig I think of this England,
Country of civilised barbarians
Imprisoned upon one tiny island.

No wonder I like the Italians;
Easy-going temper, cultured gusto,
Musical language & great felatio.


Gravel crunches up the hotel driveway,
Dark shaded chauffeur parks the limosine.

What ya doing in England by the way?”

“Why, bebby darleeng, I’m now a Porn Queen!”

Night Porter winks as he hands me the key

Enjoy your stay, sir!”
Of beer his breath stinks.

We enter the suite, she flicks on Verdi,
Lights incense sticks, candles, mixes the drinks,
Straightens cushions upon a king-sized bed.

“Ey get a leettle charlie, y’wan some?”

“Too reyt!”
She flings me a bag o’ Bronson,
A gold card & fifty – I snort a line.

“I must change deese clows,”
she sultrily said
As the coke kicked in, this Universe mine…


The bright night-lights of the metropolis
Sprawl away for many a built up mile…

…I hear a voice like a swanling’s hungry hiss,
I turn, my lucky lady stands in style,
Scantily attired, scarlet negligee –
Her flashing lashes urge my manhood move.

She strips to my thumb-clicks…

“We clean our bodies before making love!”

After the long tenderotic shower
We lie on a rug by a blazing fire,

My tongue caresses her lonely desire.

Glory-groaning O comes after an hour,
She lies on satin sheets, legs wide apart,
Lips sopping,
I’m in,


a fanny fart.


We embark in slow sensuality,
I hold her firm in my rythmic embrace,
The mystical look of sweet exstasi
Spread musically over her darling face.

Tempo increases, now we are fucking,
Each thrust fulfilling her lust’s willing need
Biting & rubbing & squeezing & sucking
Her raking nails making my broad back bleed.

We jockey for position, she’s on top
Of this proud sceptre, buttocks aboundin’,
A climactic shudder, the wild wails stop
Of a queen impaled on her king within.

I drown in her fragrance, kneading her hips,
She touches her bosom, sucking her lips.


She begs me for more, her eyes burning wild,

“Let’s go again again, babe?”
“Not tonight my child,
Great lovers make love all night with such verve,
Poets love beauty but once to preserve.”

Now that the wildfires of passion are gone
We lie, two pulwars tether’d into one…

I pledge myself ‘Cavalier Servente,’
Whisp’ring the Vita Nuova of Dante
Fingertips stroking lips, nipples & thighs

“So beautiful…”
She sighs, closing her eyes,
Capturing moments forever to keep
Wandering into dream regions of sleep
Growing a glowing halo, I propose,
“Love, let us be as peaceful as a Rose!”


Nick found bricks were supporting his car,
Rikki Dee fuck’d off with a Hollyoakes star,
Mojo met a limpet from Lancaster
& joined their coach… ‘Mate! can you drive faster!’

Cruising a most deserted M6
Oakenfold spinning the Essential Mix
Turns out his bird was a Classics student
& says she’d got him a little present
But he’d have to unwrap it at her pad…

After the best shag Mojo’d ever ‘ad
Mellow mist blankets castle & campus,
Drugs wearin’ off.. the lass wasn’t gorgeous
Good ol’ Mitsubishi fat-ass syndrome!

“Sorry love – ehm, I’d best get off home!”


Tis best to begin day wrapped in the arms
Of a naked angel, her drowsy sleep,
Dreams darling skies, sweet children of thy charms.
Thru draperies Morn’s airy beamlets peep,
Half lights of Avalon whose dreamy glow
Lights a vestal vision of duvet bliss,
I stroke olive skin, soft as spring time snow,
Upon her forehead plant a tender kiss.

“Benissimo…” She sighs, closes her eyes.
We lie, two lovers, welded into one,
Whispering thro light Dantean sonnets
Fingertips stroking lips, nipples & thighs
& now the wildfire of passion is gone
We lie there dreaming of stars & comets.

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