The Return of the Rose


He is a fool which cannot make one sonnet
& he is mad which makes two
John Donne


I am the Silver Rose & in these words confide;
Far better to have lived than to have died,
& lives of highlights, which we poets lead,
Preserve them in soft pots of molten mead.

This is a selfie for the Facebook Age,
Catching its zeitgeist butterflies in nets,
Psychean constructs waltz across the page,
A blog gone viral… want to read? hen lets!

To thee I leave my sonnetrie in trust,
Dear reader, as in these I am alive,
Tho’ most of them must join me in the dust,
Perhaps the better handful will survive.

When, 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 an authentic song,
Some metaphysic symphony among
These epic sagas of our mortal kind,
When poetry doth 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 ye’re young, gush praise on when ye’re old!


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


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!


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 Tallin ferry, composed poesie 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
(Except fer 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, nigh six years free now 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!


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, lad, you know yer can do it,
Digging deeper than you’ve dug before,
With the grace of the Gods in thy favour,
You might just win one, no matter how sore;

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


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.

Then, the EUREKA knock at the door
& Terrence will stand there, slick-soaked hair,
Saying,”Sorry, Daphne, I’ve had a total nightmare!”

“Drive next time!” she’ll whisper, kissing him prodigiously.


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



Mine art estrang’d, yet beauty breathes in me,
Paints tangible dreams to adorn the page,
Illuminous thoughts to mark this dark age
Of souls laissez-faire! Feel me rise freely
In triumph, as my song’s resplendency
Shoots a lucid star ‘cross an opaque stage,
A spirit releas’d from its mortal cage…

O! How I would die for thee poetry
In raptures receiving the sacred states
Of an enlighten’d mind, virtuous heart
And resurgent soul! I follow the fates,
Rejoice in the exstasi of mine art,
To champion Renaissance, join the brave
Who sought the greatest glory of the grave.


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,
Fine wine & fresh watermelons for a 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 totouch.

Well 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,

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


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.


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!


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!


Less than an hour’s ride from London wind the bustling Brighton Lanes,
A 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.

The Fader Code

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 The train always comes when you’re skinnin’ up
12 It is every Fader’s duty to baffle & confuse
13 Always remember your free cup of tea
14 There’s no need to rush – unless you’re being chased


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 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.



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,
Those Pennines sweeping distance by degrees
& fading far as bards conclude their song.

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