LOB 4: Denoument

The lady watched her lover – & that hour
Of Love’s, & Night’s, & Ocean’s solitude
O’erflowe’d her soul with their united power
Lord Byron


Aslant vast snowstorms billowing about th’Atlantic stream,
We soar’d our way wind-willowing like twin wolves in a team,
High over waves where Tristan fell enraptur’d with Isolde,
For Love is Love, its captive spells entwining hearts enfold.


Now reach we France, where in a trance, Heloise & Abelard
Once sens’d that Love’s continuance the truth we all must guard,
Despite them parted by the Pope, Parisians exhumed
Their corpses to impart love’s hope, by Bounaparte entomb’d.


Hen, let us wend o’er Aquitaine’s pyramid Pyrenees,
As fast as faerie aeroplanes, slick-bullets on the breeze,
Yon Corsica & Aegadi’s dauntless Marettimo,
Where mountain Lords of Sicily oersail Monte Falcano.


Soon Gozo shuffles ‘neath us, where Calypso kept her cave,
& forced Odysseus to lust her as some slept-in slave,
Pining for his Penelope, heartbroken on the coast,
A martyr to love’s panoply, the pain that burns the most.


Beyond Arabia we fly, surfing its fabled sea;
Feel India, Garuda high, reveal star synergy,
As if searching for Seeta, sweetest of the East by far,
Til parakeets come greet us by the fleets of Tranquebar.


We, whipping west to Nicobar, view pearl-like necklace strings
Of islands perched on coral bar, O grand & sandy rings,
They beckon us to Andaman, where on the Jolly Bouy
Let us land as man & woman, world abandoned to our joy.


As ye lay naked in the sun, wild jasmine tarting air,
A banquet Pandaisian for thee I shall prepare,
The flesh-fruits of the mango tree, the oysters of the pearl,
The honey of the bumblebee, I’ll gather for thee girl.


As we settle down together to a dinner, you & I,
Under calm, unbroken weather of a balmy, breathless sky,
We saw, to sea, a fisherman stirring his craft along;
Mellifluous converse began, lips purring as in song.


‘The priggishness of Britishers is something to admire,
For without this the best of us could not afford an Empire!’
‘These prison isles seem little globes’ ye say, ‘as on the sea
& glebes, Ra trails his precious robes, golden exceedingly!’


As sunblaze zenith reaches let us bail from boil, lets trade
Cinder-sands of peachy beaches for a cool & leafy shade,
I’ll build for thee a hammock-bed from creepers, when complete,
Day-lazing, on thy stomach led, attending to thy feet,


My fingers pack vast reverie at pressure points festoon’d,
Touch-petall’d reflexology brings balance, if attuned,
A pretty pitter-pattering has flitter’d to each side,
Just like a witty sanderling… thy tension-knots untied.


As fishermen bring back the catch & sunset reddens sky,
I lie beside thy lavish thatch, our vibes intensify,
Ye are an island to explore, thy valleys, peaks & wood
Entice my wanders more & more, arous’d my carnal blood,


As ravish’d paradisean thy nipples bloom for musk,
Some easy Polynesian, as moon consumes the dusk,
My puckered lips did nip & suck, my tongue-tips tickled light,
I took the dip & slowly stuck two fingers up, & tight!


As Scop-Owl started up, ‘midst spritely violet foliage,
We set about our passion-rite, our private privilege,
With looks of love & lust let free, exquisite kisses please,
‘My love ye are so good to me,’ ye whistle to the breeze.


Still gorging an indulgent breast, still forging deep inside,
My thumb-club rubs thy nubbl’d nest, it cannot be denied;
While pleasure-beating, juice-secreting tissue wraps around
My dulcet-bleating, pulse-repeating passion pound-on-pound,


I found thy love-lined eyes aflame, I gaz’d in them & saw
The terrors of thy tigress tame, the truth behind the door,
We sat awhile all lotus-style, lock’d up, full face-to-face,
Immured, erewhile, transfix’d, tactile, we upwards ruck’d the pace.


As senses tantric-touching climb like rivers in a spate,
Commencing now the clutching time, two beings penetrate,
Those easy cygnets by the bay, those maidens squeezing milk,
It pleases me my man-flesh lay in hay-bales laced with silk.


As to the Scop-Owls perfect pump-like wuck-chug-chug I push,
My fingers find a secret stump-like nook… a geyser’s gush
Has fed thy heavy-petal’d fig, thy moist & golden flower,
Unfolding as my fingers dig with pois’d & potent power.


As up against a tree we stand a leaf falls on thy face,
I ease it off with soothing hand & smooth my movement’s pace,
When every time I heave my way into thy moist delights
Ye’ve moan’d up to the Milky Way’s sky-hoisted satellites.


As like a fox my cock’s withdrawn I spin ye round rear-end,
& pinning ye to floral fauna, we shall both descend;
As cherry rectum muscles for my final entrance steeled,
Thy perineum rustles to thine anal purse unpeel’d.


My left hand curls about thy chest, some heavy pressing robe,
Gripping the nipples of thy breast while tongue-tips earlobes probe,
My right hand hook’d inside ye is, exploring, while my thumb
Sits jitters on thy clitoris, this bliss shall make ye come

LOB 5: Swansong

I had a feeling that Pandora’s box contained the mysteries of a woman’s sensuality, so different from man’s & for which man’s language was inadequate. The language of sex had yet to be invented. The language of the senses was yet to be explored
Anais Nin


Sweetheart, ‘tis time to enter thee, tae bore thine armour’d dark,
An awesome <GASP> thy fingers grasp tae claw the palm-tree bark,
As all my astral love employs such esoteric touch,
At first ye cannae hold the joys, the motion feels too much.


When bodies settle down into the spirit of our task,
Thy face furls fairly round, & with a brazen look ye ask
To, ‘fuck me harder baby, fuck me into ecstasy!’
‘Ten minutes be my pardon, babe, & then I’ll set thee free,


Til’ then my strokes stay soft, stay slow, there’ll be no sharp surprise,’
Stoking a warm orgasmic glow in flame-encinctured eyes,
The Ocean brings a cautious breeze, the Moon the still of night,
A coconut crashes thro’ trees & bird disturbs to flight.


‘Nine minutes…’ let us sample what it’s like to fly a kite,
Sat in the rhythm temple of our temporal delight,
Singing the Karma Sutra, Saraswathi on sitar,
‘My love you are my future, are my life-raft’s guiding star.’


‘Just eight more minutes…’ breathe I as my darling strokes maintain
All the sultriness of Shanghai, smooth as Dubai’s darkling plain,
As to the vast skies, lightening an oratorio,
Flock’d high & flightless songbirds sing for morning’s holy glow.


On seven minutes pleasure-channels throb lip-bitingly,
Sliding the sex celestial, enmesh’d elatedly,
We are two Lovers natural, expressless, yon all speech,
Our Love the body beautiful on sempiternal beach.


‘Six minutes sweetheart, more for ya…’ still hail’d my steady hand,
Thy cortex cornucopia regaled at my command,
For while I softly stimulize thy spirit’s lissome dreams,
What lofty zephyrs phantasize of coming in the sunbeams!


‘Five minutes love…’ this thrust unties the keystone to unlock
Thy trust-exhaling orchid cries, the lilting for my cock
Cries acquiescence more & more, ye wishing I’d go faster,
But as I’ve told ye once before, good woman I’m yer master.


‘Four minutes…’ let us halt the hooves, we’ll watch the world stand still,
When looking at your body proves in thee my lives fulfil,
‘Ye are so fucking sexy lass,’ as with a gentle creak
I push into thine underpass & nipples ‘gan to tweak.


‘Three minutes…’ fainting lambs at play, life’s frolicking connects us,
A soft, sensory holiday of the foxy senses,
On flexing back converg’d a spell, night’s freckling starry chart;
Ineffable love-surges swell… felicitous my heart!


‘Two minutes more…’ the penetrating melody fulfils
Of sweet syrinxes resonating praise… the cloudy grills
& sunrays spear exotic… all my smoothness snaps to jolts,
Forbidden & erotic, clapping swarthy thunder-bolts.


‘One minute dear,’ into thine ear I whisper, ‘to complete
This countdown sensual seconds steer,’ increasingly our beat,
Invokes seething Vesuvious, her lava set to blow,
Fiances fucking furious, our virtuoso flow!


O Liberations! Celebrations! Racers Riding Skies!
Acceleration-laced Sensations Splice Colliding Thighs!
Champagne Decanters Set to Pop! Bees Hop upon on a Rose!
‘Im Coming Babe, Don’t Stop, Don’t Stop,’ Urging my Further Blows,


Thy Breath Cascades! My Shakeress! My Bel imperia!
Blending Tremendous Hand Grenades! Compell’d Hysteria!
Explosion-Quaking Uterus! From Flexile Meteors,
Voluptuous & Unctuous… fled rabbits from the wars.


Bee buzzing sweetly to thy squealing sequelae ablaze,
We gush completely to the keeling craze the sky portrays,
Faces of handsome certitude, grace ceases to exist,
Releas’d from randsom’d servitude, cheek-cuddling as we kiss’d.


With lips of pleasure pushing floods of brushing gossamer,
A tipsy-measur’d gulsh of blood eclipsed the dulcimer
Fern-angels play’d above us, perfum’d oxytocin clouds
Surrounds two perfect lovers, bound in one another’s shrouds.


Lass, we are one another’s best, our eye-beams twist & thread
On double beams, cemented chest, it seems as if we’re dead;
An integrated, satiated sense the storm was done,
As all about us celebrated swallows with the sun.


Inconscient in the gilded gaps twyx sex & ecstasy,
Lovegasming, our limbs collapse beside a shimm’ring sea,
Our randy & romantic pile, as frantic pantings fade,
Struck up the songbirds of this isle a sylver serenade.


We lay awhile… becalm’d… asleep… I rose without ye stirring,
I found a sea-shell round & deep, I fill’d it to yer purring,
Washing away yer sea-salt sweat ye sail’d a wistful sigh,
‘My love, I am not finish’d yet…’ ye whisper’d, ‘my, oh my…’


Ye sitting up, I slid behind, cupping a supple breast,
Letting my favour’d fingers find the moist & swollen crest
Of thy most tender labia; with searing, stealthy stroke,
I’ll have my lovely way wi’ yer, when with a slender poke


I push my fingers deep once more… surf shines upon our feet…
Transported to this lapping shore as alchemies complete;
Lass, let us cease this wooing song my cooing kisses seal,
Come here to me… come taste my tongue… try doing this for real!

The Rose Goes North



There comes a time for mental reflection,
When a man turns forty-two, forty-three,
Burning brazen youth to circumspection.

I wander’d as a cloud with wee Daisy,
Thro’ Grasmere, on a January morn,
Just me, her, & Dawn’s first fell-top fancy.

Those moments saw a memory reborn
Of Wordsworth strolling gaily to Townend,
Dreaming of Mary & the Matterhorn.

A little later let the world ascend
Up steep-slop’d Rydal Mount, in thought enshrin’d,
Above the waters, as the clouds suspend,

Eternity has won us in a bind,
With snow-hoary King Norse sky-flung behind!



Sing the sonnets of a nation,
Famous in her rightful station,
First mistress of Britannia’s face,
Where Pictish clansmen merge in race
With Viking, Angle, Celt & Scot,
Forever kept in tangl’d knot,
That such a spangl’d nation fills
Beyond the three-prong’d Eildon hills,
Thro’ Stirling & beyond Orkney,
There is a stretch of endless sea,
Where only Shetland parts the wave;
Brave men nam’d thee Scotland the brave,
Of ancyent race & noble kind,
More than a place, a state of mind!



I’m cringing every time I see a garish Paisley tie,
I’d just popp’d hungry into Greggs a hottish pie to buy
& chose a steak & kidney offer’d up for ninety pee,
I took the pie, she took the change & said, “It’s ninety-three!”
I said, “Love, that’s false advertising,” stormin’ out the door,
But never mess with Weegie Birds, they’re all fuckin’ hard-core,
& leaping from her hum-drum she pursued me down the street,
Looking as if an earthquake were shaking a slab of meat,
& panting now beside me squeez’d the pastie from my hands,
Smugging with satisfaction at her petty jobsworth’s stand
& turns her tail in triumph, as back to her shop she skips,
You coulda balanced ninety-three bridies on thosefat hips,
Then looking down on what was left, my skin all bruis’d with mince,
I thought I’d catch the first train out – ain’t ever been back since!

Glen Coe.jpg


Before Glen Coe’s ghostly & ghastly peaks,
Lost Merlin lochs of savage Rannoch Moor
Move the soul to tears… what challenge surmounts?
Inviting topaz slopes, we park the car,
Pop a wee pill & begin the ascent,
An arduous climb, at first with no fear
& then with no choice as danger fills the way,
Soaked deep to the bones, soon greeted by our aim,
O perfect precipice, perching beneath the clouds
We pause a fine moment, eyes keen to the skies,
My love, these are the days of our lives,
World-keltering vista… East… West… breathtaking
But rains closing in now, lets begin the descent,
We bare-chested hill warriors in the breeze.



What is more beautiful than Knoydart in the Spring?
More lovely than the thrill, dawn’s wee Storm Petrels bring?
Dancing, perchance, along to sylvan seraph strings?
Perhaps, or sat among wee faeries in their rings?
Deeper than heart sublime, tender than all of this,
I fade & pass the time ‘til Sally’s silky kiss.

Ah! Sally’s silky kiss, the taste still lingers long,
A surge of perfect bliss; of lips & teeth & tongue,
Feel Cytherea rise as spirit centers meet,
My Danae in disguise, how can life seem so sweet,
Complete, & in my mind, behind the half-closed eye,
Fair waters as I find forever passes by.

Tho’ sun & moon eclipse, tho’ flowers fragrant petal,
By Sally’s silky kiss, what is more beautiful?



I found myself on the edge of civilization,
Not Tierra del Fuego or frozen Archangel,
But Portree, place to be, ‘metropolis’ of Skye,
Two thousand Highlanders sheep dip high,
Europe’s second highest suicide-rate amang
Those young & blooter’d men.

The port seems far too quiet as we are drawn
To a clishmaclaving ceilidh at the Gathering Hall,
“Can we have a drink?” “I’m afraid ye cannae!”

Sally hands me the flyer
18th annual Isle of Skye
Alcoholics Anonymous gathering –
Tonight’s theme… Tolerance

…& the place is heaving.



As Kestrels surf the mountain-fringed spaces
Road twists between saturnine gargants,
Romantic mounds of monstrous magma,
Marvelous munroes of aulden minstrel-song,
Lost in the moment, eyes keen to the skies,
Hard traveling unravels, sailing above us
Silver-fire mists of the sylvan alpine rise,
& beyond, entering the stunning scope
Of another planet, another Jupiter,
Sodden expanse of treeless waste,
But beautiful land, stupendous Cuillin hills,
Seats of Titans, where thrusting solar shafts
Induce startling notions of timelessness
Here there is no time, only milky flowing waterfalls.



As times have swung again to strike the road
My eldritch muses glean a glint of gold
Perhaps a mile away, perhaps abroad,
Shall I be searching still when I am old?

How gorgeous is the red sun as she sits
Upon the haunch of Hoy, the Pentland Firth
As glass tonight, no epic pitch of wits
Twyx oceans girdling all this happy earth.

A bannock moon hangs over John O Groats
& Dunnet Head us summons to a path,
That leads down from this pinnacle of sorts
Along the sea-bashed coast to wylde Cape Wrath.

Aye, let us seek our rosaries once more
Tomorrow, yon the dreich Duncansby Bore.



We were strolling thro’ Thurso hunting for food
When I had one of those mad moments,
This black dude brushes past me talking Japanese
On his phone, & I’m like what the hell,
That’s incongruousness incarnate, innit?
Then, from behind, this guys’s peddling his bike,
Wobbling about like a right proper nob-head,
& every five seconds his bike went <CLICK>
& I’m like, fer fucks sake, what was I thinkin’ again?

There is no such thing as matters of abject slightness,
The smallest drop of rain can feed a bush,
Bushes feed a shrew, shrews make falcons’ feast…
…and so on, until man begs at the conference of angels,
Squatting under tables for scraps.



Eurasia, Eurasia, from tip to toe,
Men may wander thee forever in vain,
From the sensuous sierras of Spain,
To the towers of spangling Tokyo,
Men have stumbl’d thro’ Siberian snow
To the jungles where Ganges parts plain,
Enough to send a troubadour insane,
For Shangri-La a myth most never know.
Yet, here lie the shores of Arabia
& the fjords of the Skull-helms of old,
Here, an angel-throne’d high Himalaya,
There, a castle of Prince Leopold,
For here be defining Eurasia,
Reminding us with weathers manifold.



Let us scamper under Munroes
As the rivers thro’ them move,
There all this love for you girl
‘Midst the mountains I shall prove.

Lets us skip along the loch banks
Where the coupling salmons leap,
In the heat of highest summer
Lie two lovers sound asleep.

Let us waken with the moondrift
As she shingles thro’ the glen,
Energizin’ haelan’ songsmiths
For a fireside tale or ten,

When, love, we’ll wander onwards,
Under Munroes, once again.



The sun has set as steer & stereo
Accompany the roads to Samarkand
& I sing back, renewed lothario
Opens a page, pulling his pen to hand;
Enough light is there in this lovely glow,
Lighting the mountains of a clansman’s land,
Some stoic slept, some capp’d with blocks of snow,
Being a region ancyent eagles spann’d,
The muse now omnipresent as we go
Past Inverness & Perth, as paths were plann’d,
Soon moon-diffusing clouds pale lights bestow
On epic structures looming gloom & grand,
Where through these rough sea coss-winds all ablow,
We cross the Forth for fair Queensferry strand.



Twelve thousand years ago Crammond was swept by a higher sea
Where on the beach our ancestors eked out a winning existence
Living embodiments of the migration of intelligence
“The proof is in the pits of nut-shells!” mutters archaeology
Paleolithic, Neolithic, whatever they may be
Flint tools were used, stone arrowheads flew, so they must have had some sense
More for practical eventualities, not to please futurity

Mankind is older than the dust of lost forgotten cities
& the monkeys & the dogs & the lizards we all once were
There is a wondrous common-ness to which all creation must answer
A pond of ancient memories, you can hear them in the ditties
Sung by blind bards, & in the Spring when deep down we remember
Being those plants gasping for life across thirsty, frozen tundra
Like a baby turning towards the milky breast of his mother!

Junkie Fucks


He tried to tear the horror from himself,
Searching in the sockets of his eyes with needles
Till they burst blood
The Phoenician Woman


There’s a Junkie Fuck
Everywhere you look
: in Leith

Great Junkie Street
Zombie-crowded cash-machines

Kids like, ‘Where’s-my-crack-pipe?’ boy
Grinnin’ into school
Thinkin’ he was cool

‘I’m never injecting,’ he blusters upsetly
Blazin’ about his Best Friend’s funeral:
At the Wake… to ease his grief… shoots up first time!

His crack-whore ‘Wudya,’ works the Leith Links’s edges
A posh-painted Picture pick’d up by drunk dockers
While her daughter chews straws at McDonalds

Her looks are fading, she turns to friends
Getting them hooked so maybe they’ll pay
For these needles fresh ‘besties’ dare share

There’s a Smackie Kunt
Always on the hunt
: in Leith



When I think aboot the future… I’m nae in it.
I can see my mither & abiddy I ken,
I can see them a’… but I cannae see me
The Artist Man & the Mother Woman


There’s a Junkie Worm
Every corner turn’d
: in Leith

The Skag is a slippery, shrieking Beast
Cunning as Fox, strong as Lion
Foul as farting Pig

Don’t listen to what they say, but how they say it,
Bullshit Defence Mechanism takes control
Insiduous serpent contorting thought

How the hell can ya call it glamorous?
When glamping means begging up the North Bridge
Contemplating suicide in torn, soggy shoes

Viledom’s finest scourge Leith Walk
Piping, ‘We are young… We can handle it…’
‘…We could drop it just like that.’

But when they join the clucking Cold Turkeys
& Methadone Monkeys in gibbering clinics
It’s more  { { p e a c e f u l } }  just to try it one last time

There’s a Bag-Head Prick
Itching itself sick
: in Leith


I’m rather afraid that we’re going to get tough.
The gentlemen of Britain have had e-bloody-nough!
The Common Chorus


There’s a Junkie Fool
Shuffling past yer school
: in Leith

I was twenty-one once,
Busking down Bournemouth
Boozing wi’ beggars

I’d follow’d ‘em into a nappy-dirty yard
Watching ‘em cook up their hard-earned stuff
& said, ‘I’ll have a go,’ in all innocence

‘You don’t wanna try,’ said Feathers,
‘Do I not?… alright…’ three days later
I found him overdosing in his tent

Never babysit a Smack-Head!
If you show signs of weakness they will take
& take & take & lie & take & steal & take & scrounge

& take & take & lie & steal & take & scrounge & take &…
…when you’ve stopp’d giving they’ll turn round & hiss,
‘I thought you were my friend?’

There’s a Junkie Shmuck
Lonely, Soul-less, Stuck
: in Leith

The Lothiad


I am the Silver Rose,
& with these streets shall fuse,
To etch my gift in rhyme;
For as my starbreeze blows,
This still provokes the muse
To join us, for a time!

She, for a time, shall serve
My lines twyx every wynd,
Thou heart-pulse of the realm,
Swan flight of Scotia’s verve,
By Eldritch dream design’d,
Some hell-witch at the helm,

In dragon’s furnace born,
By faerie fingers worn!



When Noah’s Ark left two-by-two,
They’d hurry back in if they’d knew
They’d one day end up in a zoo
For all the fucking world to view;
The Wolverine, the Kangaroo,
The Lesser Spiral-Horn’d Kudu,
The Chimpanzees in pirate crew,
The Turacoo of violet hue,
The coarse-quill’d, stiff-claw’d, casque’d Emu,
Flies flocking to the Rhino poo,
The Pygmy Hippo, & what’s new
The Ocellated Turkey too!

I climb the walls, midst human herds,
An Alcatraz of Beasts & Birds!


A gift it is to leave a legacy,
Decanting lipless ghosts into a room,
Who wander with rapacious clemency
Among the pearl-eyed maulers by the tomb.

Drawn to this fabric garden of the North
By soft retiring voices on the green,
They sing to me, this sextet, funnel’d forth
Thro’ judges sate admiring, smiles serene;

They speak to me, these paragons of youth
In lyrical semantics, midnight-hewn;
From dreams they fashion’d poems, born from truth,
Unfetterd by presaging Lady Moon,

Her bauble gleam… thro’ dark, serrated skies…
Thro’ hearts endors’d… words vault aerated eyes!



Swamp’d in a sea of impedimenta,
Scuzzily creative,
All classes of late-night characters converge
For what can only be call’d an UBER-RAVE,
All watch’d over by the diligent eye
Of the indisputable Queen O’ Leith.

What magic myst’ries in her mistress eyes,
Puzzlingly elated,
Still sumptuous in style, Scotch Lady Ga-Ga,
Like a mixture of the new Leith & the Old,
Better than Bet Lynch & Betty Moss put together
& a lady to be serv’d by;

Pamplona to Napoli, Galway & Colne,
It’s definitely the maddest pub I’ve supp’d in.



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h                             *   to  *                           n
h                  17     *     llboo     *     36             n
e                      *             th             *                   a
a              *                                          *            i
r      *                                                   *   h
t                                                  t
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f                      l
m        d




There is a certain knack to becoming an immortal;
As Orpheus’ heartbeat passes thro’ Pluto’s portal
& Burns arriv’d at Baxter‘s Close, by Lady Stair’s fine house,
Singing of reeking haggises & a wee tim’rous mouse,
When, even on that first mad day, he copp’d a‘gardy-loo,’
Went shit-caked, wand’ring city streets, without a bloody clue,
He knew if he could sing his songs the world wassure to hear,
So, as oor sweet Sordello fell on Johnnie Dowie’sbeer,
With enough space for a fiddle, him just like theArgo’s cox,
He beats enchaunting rhythm thro’ his native tides &rocks,
Eftsoons, at Mrs Carfrae’s door, his destiny wouldstand,
“Your little book of poetry the gossip of the land!”
That night the muse came calling as oor bardie’s pen address’d
Verses to fluff his new edition, both Edina-bless’d.



O for a walk along a printed line!
Remove the vagueries of random paths,
For when we from the city disincline,
Reach for soul-peace away from public baths!

There’s so much pleasure in a trodden route
That stays unhidden in the memory
Of generations, perrennial fruit
Ripens afresh ever-exemplary.

With each footstep a sort of hypnosis
Descends like manna on the pacing host
That enters into cute symbiosis
With nature, rills & forest, hills & coast,

And history! The ghosts go with us too,
Enacting deeds, phantasma in the dew.



A diamond in the Dawn that clears the rains,
I early woke in scintillating sun,
By Yester drove… Carfrae, then Garvald Mains…
The only man alive in Lothian.

By Morham blossoms mingle with the greens,
By Renton pigeons play daredevil games,
Then drop into most favour’d of field scenes,
Of rapeseed tips lush-flipping into flames.

On Garleton ridge, by gorse exploding gold
I choose to think eternal, we who choose
To store zeitgeist, ghosts raise, futures unfold,
All for that rose-raked token of our muse;

From Fate’s outstretching fingers all comes clear,
Good lord! I am a Silver Sonneteer.




We talk’d last night
& after we made love
I read to you the Lao-Tse Tung;
In my voice rose ancyent chimes,
Funell’d thro’ the Jiayuguan Pass
In elegant simplicity –
Lass, after we made love, I cherish’d thee!
Night comes again,
The drift of day deserts us,
The dusk is all that matters now, my love,
The light is dimming, but thine eyes are bright,
As cradl’d in these arms
You smile to me once more,
Love, let us talk again.



Elevated by the Votadini,
We scrambl’d up the Laccolithic side,
Found picture frame three-hundred-sixty wide,
Elating vision to a sweet degree.

Under rocks of volcanic pimplerie;
Dunbar, East Linton, Haddington abide,
Fields reach the Forth, soft beaches spread beside,
Or lonely Lammermuir where thought soars free.

I cast mine een along the Garleton ridge
To settle on a far-off Forth Road bridge,
Little with distance, misty like a ghost.

This is the length of Roman Lothian,
A noble home my roaming soul hath won
To recollect when Britain miss’d the most.



There was a time I felt compell’d to race
Round London at a hundred miles an hour,
Hopping twyx train & bus, but now my pace
To footstep slows.
Fuell’d by pureself power
I’ve noticed, here, the needlessness of car,
Walking between East Linton & Dunbar,

I feel so… so alive… fresh country pile
By Whittinghame, beyond the Baro gloom,
For zephyrs bless me with a certain smile
Erewhile fate blows!
As cottage smoke-curls plume,
Tho’ yesterday craved I city bustle
I just heard a gnat’s wing in a rustle.


Feel the feeling on the edge of summer,
Hours before your first foggybummer,
April, perhaps, or March on a good year,
Out on the tracks with the shy pregnant deer,
Wearing that hat that you’ve worn all winter,
Skimming thro’ Plath or the plays of Pinter,
Warming each pace in your courdoroy clothes
As petals do abud before the rose.

As all at once we lessen from our haste
& cardigans are tied about the waste,
We soonest feel, upon the naked arm,
A zephyr-waft; so soft, so cool, so calm
& I shall follow them wher e’er they will
Free spirits, ‘til the first Autumnal chill.



Upon the steep slopes of Spott Dod
I sat, observing as a God
Surveys creation, all below,
Thro’ fields sunburnt by summer’s glow,
The London train creeps past a car;
The wavy mane beside Dunbar
Grew angel blue, no northern sea
In glassy, grey conformity,
But more an Adriatic Bay,
Ecstatic with this cloudless day
& I above it with the sheep,
Some rustic Croat half asleep,
Dreaming where men have rarely trod
Upon the steep slopes of Spott Dod.


Haiku From Heather Lodge


When will winter end?
A wind too wild to walk in
Or swing nine irons

Golden gorse aglow
Oxen roam Rucklaw West Mains
Sheep claim Clint’s green lawns

Yews yearn for romance
Females hanging single seeds –
Males, sun-bronzed catkins

Nettles start their show
& midst these virgin stingers
Single bumblebees

Molehill mountain range
Subterranean violence
Soil-swept volcanoes

Welcome wee calves!
Doglike in thine agile skips
Jigging pig-snouted

Dew-sparkling Markle
Twixt Traprain & Berwick Law
Drear clouds, clear skies clash

Green tinted treetops
Clint’s floral bells – pinks, reds, whites
Rhododendrums rare

Glorious sun-stream
Gorse gleaming ne’er so golden
Hedgerows gain the gleam

Sunbeams pierce the pane
Seed trays fill the window sills
Little lettuces

Last week all was bare
This week woods are green again
Summer’s luscious spread

Adolescent lambs
Mothers shedding winter fleece
Strange, like melting snow



Rabbits everywhere
Panicking before my feet
Catacoombing hills

Uugh! Crossfield foot squelch
Cowpat soft in sweating sun
Perpetrators laze

Frantic buzzing spree
Wasp wound up in spider’s web
Rescued with a wink

Warm & windless walk
Dunbar’s windfarming becalm’d
Like spitfires sleeping

Gleeful Smeaton lake
Duckling diaspora down
Peerless cedar’s high

Countryside scamper
Face-high fern at Woodhall Burn
Scrambling up steep slopes

The serene greenhouse
Full fruits of summer sunblaze
Fourteen tomatoes

Garden thick with flies
Insectoid diaspora
Rainbow sheens & sounds

Something flicks my hair
Daddylonglegs on the roof

Apples on the tree
Reddening & ripening
Young-fall floods the floor

Wet Whittinghame woods
Mushrooms rising from dank soil
Weedery decays

Bank holiday bliss
Barbecues & tennis shoes
Geetahs neath the stars



Nether Hailes’ tractor
Fresh-hewn fields of harvest hay
Into huge balls roll’d

Wee spiky sputniks
Playgrounds of champions
Conker carcasses

Wee fruits tint the trees
Elderberry baubelrie
Perfect pies & wines

Fluffy forest floor
Midst lush fernage & branchfall
Mushroom wonderland!

Ghosts surround the house
Hurricane sweeps Heather Lodge
Leaf-fall snow flurry

Leaves fill up the lawns
Leaves trailing all thro’ the lodge
Leaves still clinging tall

Year’s first barren tree
Wintry reminiscences
Autumn’s leaf lament

These thinning woods
Decaying vegetation
Lines of sniper sight

Rustling leaf pile
Scampering midst forest ferns
Squirrels tend their stores

Whirling icy winds
As treetops twist & twindle
Last leaves full of fear

A sharp morning frost
Across the sprinkling snowdust
Robin happily hops

Sunset, half-past four
Red, ribb’d sky yon Whittinghame
Papple’s fields aflame

A&A image.jpg


Chocolate calender
Muddy roads & rotting leaves
Drear December’s dawn

All-seeing Horus
Far from Sommer’s hazy gaze
Wan, weak & wind-worn

Glacial sea-frost
Ice scatters oer Pressmennan
Elegant zing-sounds

To the great North Sea
Gallops Whittinghame Water
Icy, insect free

Snowflakes a flurry
Nature’s cotton candy realm
Bumbling tumbledown!

Woods too cold to walk
Ten minutes – bitter retreat
No Antarctic Scott!

The years first flowers
Miniature metropolis
Whimsical snowdrop!

Distant Pentland snows
Cloud cover growing thicker
Wind & wooly hats

Heron flaps wide wings
Whittinghame Water’s lifewell
Swells with melting snow

Skorries Park corner
Crocus circus comes to town
Marquees half-masted!

630 A.M
Dull o’er murky Lammermuir
Deep Homeric Dawn

Daffodils explode
Explosions in slow motion
Move the child-like soul


The Thistle & The Rose



This land so very different from the map,
Whose shades of green & grey fail to divulge
The beauty of this place I now call home
I now call home, these words unreal to hear,
How many times I sing them to my mind,
If this is so, I must now be prepared
For all eventualities life keeps,
But balanced in my years let fear subside,
My body following its shining soul,
For she has led me safely here thus far,
Where now I feel a Caledonian,
Sent here by love, by love deposited,
Sensing a while yet I have to remain,
For in this place & time three things converge –
An art, an artist & his heart’s ain surge.



you         are
poetic     clever
o baby
I love




How much do I adore thee?


A thousand kisses worth!

Mayflowers (2).jpg


You’re not perfect babe
But I love your imperfections
I love the way we’ve been fucking all day
& your orgasm is lasting hours
& I’ve just found a last ounce of strength
& you say, ‘O Darling’
I just can’t do it anymore,
& I’m left listening to your dream-breath
Thinking of fucking you
Instead of fucking you
& I love that
& I love you
You’re not perfect babe
But it’s your imperfections that I love



There moves a motion within every artist’s life, irrefutable,
Hauntingly beautiful, as when Tommy Wiseau dreamt his ‘Room,’
Mine came with Sanskrit measure’s entry into conscience cosmic focus
One evening’s peace, observing brown bats pinging from Heather Lodge,
Like stormbolts from an Indian god – but of these gods knew nothing,
Tho’ sensing them summoning me, some spirit beyond religion…
I gaze at Sally glancing me on the sails of transitional meaning.

Bats came back at Dawn, woke me with a scratchy chit-chat,
So off to purple Lammermuirs I go with a thousand thought-strands;
All passing place pepper’d, White Castle’s wind-blasted eminence,
Spartlelton, Whiteadders wind-waves; salubrious Longformacus…

As I met Sally down Gifford I pain’d for a love now different,
And I could smell Cupid’s dark agents sharpening knives for tortures –
Thus blows the balance deferential betwyx love, muse-love, & ambitions!


She moans about her hormones every second week in four
Goes clattering the cutlery & slamming every door
Like when we yearn’d tranquility, then found a paradise,
But she was full of PMT & said, “It’s not THAT nice,”
Yet women are man’s reason, so when swings the pendulum
Put on your safety helmet for the fireworks to come,
She sulks & yells, her belly swells, her paranoia grows,
Now fear the snarling werewolf where you once could smell a rose,
Cos’ women synch up to the moon, thats just the way things are,
So never say “irrational,” or let her drive the car,
& if you feel frustrated in a very vocal war
Letting your lady win will just infuriate her more;
But when the fun is over, son, there’s one thing you should do –
Embrace your woman, kiss her lips & whisper, “I love you!”



Ah Sally! Sweet Sally Cinnamon, hear!
Even now, after all that we’ve gone thro’,
From halycon highs to those awful lows,
The fact we chose to share together
Repose in Scotia’s fertile land; where fruit
Grows wild; remember gooseberries were found,
Where Falcons vie with Crows to claim the sky,
Where vista-on-vista splendidly glows
Before eyes remember them when they close,
Where Whittinghame Water flows carefree,
Free as these souls of ours; suppose they met
When they were sleeping, as windy fate blows
Life grows, so rose us from dim city streets
Like poesy from prose, come cherish this truth.



“Do you remember the good old days?” asks Sally,

“The good old days were SHITE!” I reply,

“Just four television channels
The pubs shut at eleven
TV over by midnight
ZX spectrum games taking ages to load
& all that poverty & austerity
‘We were happy,’ people said
But we weren’t really,
Just ignorant & oblivious to progress!”

“I meant me & you,” says Sally,
& I think I see a tear in her eye.

“I do,” I say, “I do very much!”
& hugg’d her as a lover & a friend.



The spirit of romance is with us,
A man a woman & a dog,
Listening to sea-girt, violin concertos.

The weather turns unsettl’d by Tintallon,
Globs of gallivanting gulls, dancing waves
& this single black eagle…

Senses shatter’d by a drunken Seattleite,
I mean… Sally + PMT + alcohol
Equals hell-sent banshee hell-bent on fury.

Relationship psychobabble pierces our nirvana
“We could have stay’d at home to have a row!” say I,
But she keeps on scowling.

I slink to the tent, leave her staring out to sea,
A fisher-widow searching for her long-drown’d love.



As chemistry glues people together,
However great or toxic love may be,
Relinquishing the flight of the feather,
Let us ride this stormy weather, you & me.

As like that lone fuggazi on the sea
Which saw poor Shelley’s galley torn in two,
Its pilot haunted by the memory,
Oft fled in fretful thought, like me & you,

To troubl’d shells our turtle minds withdrew,
Where I observ’d thee when you were withdrawn,
Searching your soul for something bright & new
& with that search a chance to be reborn!

If that is so, my love, I shall depart,
& rest these bitter testings of this heart.

Linkey Lea festival


I came, I saw, I ceilidh’d with the Scots,
Veni… vedi… a private victory,
My lady swooning to wild lily-knots,
Oor homestead settl’d in serenity,
Soaking in Scottish sensibility,
Itching beyond mere whistle binkie bards,
I strove for all that’s good in sonnetrie,
Woodwound, museyon the New Town boulevards,
Seertitle shining thro’ the teller’s cards,
What Lothiads dolphin’d across the stage,
Sturdy as Napoleonic grognards,
Peerless as pioneers upon the page,
As with a host of sonnets safe in store,
From Rydal Mounts must makars take their tour.


As planets, in their stolen orbits, sway
Enfizzl’d by the sun’s eternal day,
Thus so the dark emotions of the heart,
Tis best two broken lovers cleave apart;
So, let me go, some Rama far from Seeta –
On second thoughts, maybe I’m yet to meet her.

As Autumn’s vegetation makes decay,
Down Goldenacre-Warriston’s pathway,
I see the sun rise up on Arthur’s Seat,
To silhouette the city’s spinal street;
This is, I think, a hint of things to come –
Like Sufi’s singing Sindhi to a drum.

What joy it is to hit the roads this morn,
Rejuvenated, soul-spruc’d & reborn.

Men's Loos.jpg


Well I’ve been here for years, but it’s time to do one,
I’ve sank a load of beers & I’ll thank ye for the fun,
Spinnin’ thro hootenannies with a bonnie halean howl,
Purrin’ with pretty pussies on an m-cat prowl,
I’ve driven round Loch Lomond, walk’d five hundred miles yon Tain,
Gone roamin’ in the gloamin’ wrapped in midge-proof cellophane,
I’ve organis’d four Jock Stocks with a need to make ye dance,
& scampered up yer Cuillin rocks as mountain mists advance,
I’ve mused thro’ an Ediniad of sonnets Reekie round,
The best nights that I’ll ever have with best friends that I’ve found,
But something in a poet’s soul must sail his craft abroad,
To leave behind the rock n roll, when lightening the load
They’ll furrow forth down foreign streams, forgetting never they
Those places full of god-sent dreams, like Garvald & Carfrae.

The Lost Poem




that was


in the



I wrote a poem once,
At Stockport, not far from the gates of Europa
My friend was driving there one sunny day
Smoking reefers & talking about life’s changes
We ended up in a funky metal scrapyard
One of those places you never thought existed
Like when you were younger & joked
About where all the lost odd socks went
But this place was the real deal,
Full of Volkswagon carcasses,
Camper vans & Beetle hulks
& a couple of greasy mechanics,
chilling with the sun

While Nicky looked at a ninety-nicker bumper
I was suddenly inspired to write a few desolatelines
About the decaying Earth & the dwindling fuelreserves
& finished it off with an arty kind of twist
About discovering an old photograph of myself
Holding a pretty young lady,
She was wearing beads
Sat upon the beach of, perhaps, San Remo
We’d been drinking red wine to the rise of the sun
While our friends were making fire shapes beside us

…It never happened like that, but all poems need an end

So I stashed it away,
A single sheet of paper folded several times
Constantly forgetting to type the blighter up
Until it turned up in a book I was reading
Livy’s remarkable Early History of Rome
I’d packed it to study on my mission round the Baltic
Where, trawling about the soft streets of Stockholm
Wondering what the hell the plastic cows were for
Every time I picked it up the sheet fell out the pages
Constantly reminding me that I should make it safe
It would only take a second, but I never took the time…


I found myself having one of those moments
The sun setting sublimely as I made my evening meal
On the forecastle of the hotel boat I was staying on
The splish-splosh of the waves & a gust of seabreeze
Blew out the sheet as I turned a page
To float on the air like a falling feather
Time was standing still but the paper started       F
To slip thro’ the narrowest of cracks tween the     L        boards
To be found one day in the distant future                L
By somebody breaking up the hold for scrap           I

From Stockport to Stockholm had flown my fine words
& now I’d gone & bloody lost ‘em
I was well gutted at first,
Like the time my girlfriend ran off with a German
But, as I ponder’d home to my cabin empty-handed,
Past painted memorials of the age of sail
I had a remarkable epiphany
At last my poem had a proper end!

La Rosa D’Argento


Tis a fabulous day to be soaring
Over England & her summer-bronz’d fields,
Her towns & cities shaped like knitted shields,
Then… over the Channel’s kitchen flooring.

Old Antwerp passes under in a ring,
With Amsterdam a pleasure to behold,
Huge cumuli glide under glinting gold,
As Europe’s plains bytrundle under wing.

From cloudy masses rank & file emerge
In polka dot procession to the Alps,
Stones tumble upwards ‘til their snowy scalps
Upstrain to touch us with a granite surge,

When… all at once… our spirits flurry free
Above the orange rooves of Italy!



There is a way to make a poor man rich,
Bedazzle him with beauties, to distill
Life’s quintessential essence, without which
Drouth drains the inkwell, uncouth cracks the quill!
Yes, set him free, some large & open hall,
Where from the soft & guileless rise of strings
Both passing urchins & the wealth-set stall
Rais’d on adagionic angels’ wings;
Then let him listen synasthesean,
Turning to worderie those mimesi,
Which bubble from the orb’d empyrean,
Wall’d-workshop of a makar’s primal eye;
Where listening to some lush-string’d Quartet,
The Mousai bless him with ae fond bousette!



Serene afternoon… the streets of Rab are quiet, the stones
I step on as smooth as silk – the sky cloudless, deep azure,
Collar turned up I begin an ascent, the terrain
A plethora of white, jagged, quartz-like stone.

Half-way up the yellow, flower-trumpet dotted peak
I gaze back on an island, evergreen forest-realm
Silky-still lagoons, snow-capp’d mainland mountains
& Rab’s marble township jutting out like luxury liner.

My ears strain for noise, relieved by buzzing fly,
& bleating phalanx of sheep, led by rustic Croat
Whose rocks usher stray ewes & lamb back to the flock.

As the sheep disappear I resume my scrambling climb
Up this lizard-strewn gully to the stony summit, & feel
Some mighty wind thundering across a thousand islands.



O Sally if ye’d come to Italy,
Some honeyfly upon a Tuscan eve.
Beneath these happy stars we could conceive,
Join life-threads in a living tapestry;

Then to this Papal shrine our love I’ll lead,
Where Lord God’s salvific omnipotence
Shines thro’ this Black Madonna’s soft presence,
Where pleas of budding mothers angels heed.

How quiet are the walls of Nazareth
Beneath Maccari’s frescoed dome sublime,
Here let us two entwine our hearts, our breath
& ask for little life to bliss our time.

Where pinning sacred ribbon to thy breast
Our triduum, we hope, by dio blest!


Into Gagliole the ticker-train drew,
Scenes full of secrets fresh vistas renew,
Poetical delight!
Citta del molto chiase ahead
I have hope, I have wine, I have shoes, I have bread
& I have appetite!
Siamo amiche, Guiacarmo Leopardi,
Vedo la sua mura, gli archi e le colonne,
& belvedering bliss!
Where, desiring infinity in an astro mirabil,
Il pensier del presente do race & reel,
As amorose kiss!

As nationhood creates its native forms,
Into my mind new predeliction storms.

DSC01214 - Copy.JPG


I was an eight-year-old Burnley boy when I wrote my first lines,
& the next lot would not come until Carlisle College ten years later;
So, full of song, I went to Barnsley, to leave a budding poetaster,
Perusing Byron under pines in the pleasant parks of Portsmouth,
From there I found the Silver Rose one glorious sunset over Portovenere,
To return a spirit dedicated to the ancyent art of poetry.
Explorations of my nation followed, all corners of England’s garden,
Finding myself directed by the driving lights of Calliope & Clio,
Who open’d up the sonneverse of grand sequanza galaxies,
Fourteen clusters of sequanzas each made up of fourteen stars,
Every stanza is a planet, every line is musical terraforma –
Twas strange to sense the harmonies between poetry & physics,
Epiphanies that paved the way for exhibitions of epic sonnetry,
Before tripping here to Tuscany to crown these youthful years.


Across the sheer Consuma Pass the Papal Guelfs did steer
To permeate the Poppi plain, the Ghibellines appear,
Noble Swabian lineage with rival war ensigns,
Amplified by Catenaian Alps & spangling Apennines;
The sun had risen muggy on Saint Barnabas’s day,
Where over Verna, Francis of Assisi’s hands did pray,
Dante Alighieri, far beyond his metaphors,
Stood in the first line of the Guelfs, the fearless Feditors,
Facing the dancing enemy, & yes he was afraid
Protected by Apollo many mortal parries made
As now the Pavesari wrap around the fading foe
Who drop their shields & fled the field, splashing thro’ the Arno,
The Guelfs did claim a victory & furthermore the pride
‘Come Dante,’ said Boccacio, ‘Let us to Florence ride!’



More tranquil than the murmour of a rose,
The piazzas of Pratovecchia,
Bethlehem-twinned, harbour a sweet repose,
Calm cluster shepherds call Casalino –
Here Dante mused upon his fifth canto,
For Paulo & Francesca tears did pour,
Mixing with the streamlings of the Arno,
Flowing to ev’ry Italian shore –
A place to set poesia in store,
Where sacred sisters break the ancyent bread,
There, summoned by the grunting of wild boar
Into a place where feet have seldom tread,
Not life nor history shall help mine art,
Just fragrant music of the valley-heart.

Pui tranquilo del mormorio della rosa, la piazza di Pratovecchia, Betlemme-gemellare, rifugio una villagio dolce, amosso calmo il pastori chiamato Casalino – Ecco Dante meditato il suo cante cinque, Lacrime versate per Paulo & Francesco, Mescolato con il fiumicello giovane del’Arno, Scorando a tutta la riva d’Italia – Un posto per consevara la poesia, Dove les suore sacreto spezzanno il pane antico, La, convoco presso il gruniri dei chingialo selvaggi, Dentro un bosco dove un piede ha calpestato raramente, Non vita ne storia auiteranno la mia arte, Solo musica fragrante del cuore delal valle.



As Dante found himself in some dark wood
My soul has been tormented since ye died
But holding back time’s tears, my weary flood!
I waited for your light to be my guide.

As Virgil took step with the Tuscan bard
Thro’ Hell’s inferno to the face Divine
I travel’d far & tho the way was charr’d
I climb’d a peak & waited for a sign.

About, the bells of church & cattle sound,
As I pursue the dry bed of a stream
My sad heart breaks! An ickle trickle found
Lit by the leafy sunbeam-dappl’d gleam.

These highest headwaters of the Arno
Scatter’d her ashes in the flashing flow.





D rawn to Florence I found myself alone,
A rch-festival, Savonorola’s fame
N umb’d parch’d senses, searching for quietude
T here came to me a lane & little church –
E scaping to the reign of Beatrix
A n apparition clad in priestly robes
L ed us to Vallombrossa’s skiey pines
I nstinctive, as when the Sacred Poet,
G od-adulating, mused to abbey-bells,
H oping for glory, since those soften’d strolls
I talians forever taste his tongue
E ’er tingling in his song-like harmony,
R oseate, or rising to royal pitch
I n sermons of Savonorolan flame!



I reckon it was not love that you saw
But manifested images of soul
For when a muse first to her care dost call
The bard, then rise dreams, vivacious & raw.

From vixen Beatrix such pictures draw,
That blazing heart, thine art set to install,
That weeping man, emotion’s pensive squall –
Then rave about these as is natural law.

Back when you ask’d us you were but a boy
Basking in your quattordici versi,
Probing excitedly for life’s answers.

In such love unrequited you found joy
Indulging in a world of phantasy
Not touchworthy realness of romances.



O sacred summit has it been so long
Since last we prosper’d high on clifftop tall,
The sea’s papparazi pleasing our song,
Lush lullaby!

Late years on dovewings fall,
When only slender pocket-books of rhyme
Truth-honouring the passages of time.

I delve back thro’ this lovely life I chose,
When rennaissance poeticals renew,
These esoterics of a Silver Rose
Deft make me sigh!

Unto this place we drew
Thro’ all my twenties, as I linger here
The zephyrs of youth’s musings re-appear.

Upper Inferno


Around me grew the pathless shadows of life’s dark wood
Three Beasts block’d my way
Leopard on the path clad in light revealing lingerie
Lion fills my ears with fear, roaring modern cacophony
She-wolf eyes my rucksack daring to rid me of money

At the point of defeat I heard a human voice,
“I am the shade of Virgilius of Rome,
Poet to Augustus & the false & lying gods!
You must take another road & if you follow I will guide you,
The place eternal waits, where shrieking ancyents wail for second death


Clapping hands * Screams of anguish
Haunted sighs * Lamentations
Loud Wailings * Strange Tongues
Horrible Lingua * Words of Pain
Behind a shifting banner I saw so many people,
Train of wretched shades by black & loathsome river
Where daemon steering hovercraft beams eyes of burning coal
“This is the Acheron,” said the poet, “& that is Charon!
Father of the livid marsh, watcher of its river crossing!”

Souls, like leaves of Autumn, ping into his craft
Driven on by divine justice, until the tree drew bare
&, as a new crowd gathers while the pilot sped away,
A red blaze shone, dark winds struck up, my senses overcome,
I shudder & fall like one seiz’d with sudden sleep

Heavy thunder awakens me
Rested eyes survey the Valley of Pain
Deep & dark & blanketed in vapours
The poet turns to me, painted death-pale with pity,
“Let us descend into the blind world down there…”

We stepp’d into that abysmal place
Serpent-realms girdling the infernal world
Where countless wailings rise, & sighs forever tremble
Where swell vast crowds of men, women & little children

The Poet turns to me with sad, sad eyes,

“These did not sin, they have merit enough,
But were born before the Harrowing of hell
Faith’s gateway by them never meant to know
& so… are lost…”



A blazing light shone beyond that forest of thronging spirits
& we went thither to a noble castle set apart;
Seven walls of intelligence protected from immorality
A gentle stream of eloquence stood watch over the dark
Guarding a gallant tribe, gazes of grand authority
Observe us as we drift there, men like the dashing Aeneas,
Ceasar, Cicero, souls of science & philosophy;
Aristotle, Plato…
then turned back to their playstations
Apart from one old man who hobbl’d over to greet us
His name was Thales, & we talked of poetry & of our
Noble school of eagle-song, when our converse over
We pursued a sloping drawbridge to a place without light.

Here Minos stands guard
Horrible, snarling, Judge of the Dead

Encircled by his spiral tail his sinners are hurl’d below
To a place of muted light where a restless, hellish storm
Blows them hither, thither, upward, downward,
Lamenting & blaspheming the great Power of God

“These are the carnal sinners that forever reap LUST’S whirlwind
Of a life subjected to their heart’s desires,
No hope of rest or comfort from the lust which drives their souls”

Thro’ battling winds long lines of shades pass like hungry cranes

“When you abandon yourself to a love that is nothing but love
You are in hell already!”
Three-headed Cerberus perceives us
Bares bloody fangs, fierce & hideous
Groveling in the sunken mire
About the Great Worm of Hades

My master throws handfuls of dirt into three ravenous gullets
Calming the devouring Beast,
Who, mumbling, lets us pass to a pitiful place,
Upon this spot falls an eternal, cursed rain
Unceasing measure, cold & heavy hail, foul water, snow,
Fallen souls lie hungry & helpless in the mud

“These know a strange & loathsome penalty,
Flesh-loving fools, far from luxurious banquetry,
Yielded their souls to food without spiritual motive!”

Then we went around that curving road, lost in conversation
To come on Pluto at the point where path fell steep

“Pape Satan, Pape Satan, Aleppe!”

Clucking monotone warning from the old god of Hades,
The baron of Zeus, Lord of the Grecian underworld,
Who once lost his kingdom to the arch-villain’s armies,
Not now forced into lowly lieutenant-hood

“Pape Satan, Pape Satan, Aleppe!”

My Master rants,
“Silence accursed wolf, our journey has been willed on high!”
As wind-swollen sails fall aheap when tall masts snap,
The cruel beast fell



Passing beyond the whimpering God of Wealth,
We follow the serpentine tail
Scampering down the dismal slope
To where fresh toils founder & pain is newborn

God’s justice flings sinners into wild tormenting whirlpools
Jostling & jousting & dueling with sharp credit cards

“Who are these souls that pierce my heart?”
“They are the hoarders & squanderers of Avarice,
Who embroil’d their lives worshipping material existence,
Now all the gold that ever was beneath the moon
Will never grant them rest!”

We left that circle & its endless scuffle
To walk on ever deeper thro’ the flame
Descending to a greater wretchedness
Entering marshy STYX beside a gloomy stream,
Gurgling Purple

This circle’s inhabitants are the Angry
Smiting each other in the sucking slime
Head, hand, breast

Virgilius turns to me & sings,
“These signal wings will sweep us deeper through the grand malign”

Phylegyas crosses the dismal hollow in his dirty, little boat
Single silent oarsmen guides us down a stagnant channel…
Defiant fallen angels mount approaching iron walls
Our poet pipes a ballad of Christ’s Harrowing of Hell
Whose memory demands those daemons let us pass this day
Thus we found unhappy Dis, woeful Satanic stronghold

From tower’s top three blood-stain’d furies wail
Tesiphore, Alecto & Megaera
Naked-breasted, Hydra-hair’d, black tongues rasping
“Summon Medusa to turn these fools to stone!”

“Turn thy back,” said the poet, “& shut thine eyes,
Lest the Gorgon show herself & trap us here forever!”

Hand-blinded we hurried on ‘til they were safe to open
Before a flamey plain full of pain & torment

“Who are these buried in those open, funerary chests?”
“They are the self-deluding, messianic, arch-heretics,
Tardisesque their followers are buried deep beside them”

Further into the Morning Star’s domain
Scatter’d massive mountains of red & ruin’d rocks
One was thus inscribed,
‘I hold pope Urban II
Whom Adolfus Hitler drew from the straight path’

‘This marker means we soon shall reach darkest depths of evil
Come let us rest awhile beside this unbelieving pope.”

Our spirits scent-adjusted to the vile stench of the Devil
We drew a breath of stagnant air & puked into the Pit
Gunk tumbling down a cliff face, three terraces divided

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