Empathy Failure

The trees of the forest turn their back
the grass winnows away from me
the barbed wire twitches and the fence posts lean into the path
the clouds chase the sun
the birds scatter screeching out of the wood

and on the beach
the sand leaps up like dust and scatters in the wind
waves march towards the shore in optimistic tides
change their mind
shrug their shoulders
and return to squat in the sea

and I
topple inwards
and drown
in jelly

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Listening to Johnny Mathis in the dark

Darling
Dim the lights
Switch off the phone
Close the blinds
Silence your mobile
At last

The kids are all in bed

Here let us lie
On the couch
Like we did when we were courting
And listen to the sound
Of our singleton memories
Screaming quietly
So as not to wake the children

And if we ignore them long enough
They’ll stamp their feet and walk away

It’s ok
They’ll be back

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Shipping forecast

There will be
A man’s
Voice on the radio
At five a.m.
South
Utsira
North
Utsira

The Pope
Leading mass
From St Pauls
Square
To millions of
Rapt
Misogynists

And there will be
Santa
Stuck in the chimney
His angry face
Closed against the tired rain
Of winter

And boats on the sea
Languidly moving
In-between offshore
Wind turbines
Whose blades noiselessly await
The Cad Goddeu

And bears will
Sit
In trees
Throwing conkers
At passers-by
And missing
Mostly

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Rat-Man

A leader
(Black bold
Veritas 122pt)
Screams out to random
Strangers passing
How it smells a rat
That bathes
In black gold
Dug from sand
Muck that’s paid
For plastic surgery
Delusional
A madman
How much louder do they have to shout

If I squint
At the photograph beneath
For long enough
Then
Yes
There’s a likeness I suppose

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The quarrel

(Genesis 32:23-34)

My life is like
Jacob wrestling with the angel
Though unlike
Jacob
I’ve got nothing to prove
Except a belief
In angels

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Not Rolos anyway

If I gave Jesus my last Rolo
He’d give it back to me
He’d say we can’t live from bread alone
But from every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Etcetera

If I gave Jesus the last sweet in the pack
Because he died for me
He’d say his heavenly Father doth provide
Spiritual food that quencheth the soul
Thanks but no

If Jesus gave me the last thing he had
Which he would
I wouldn’t take it
I’d be suspicious
I’d wonder what he
wanted

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The one about

Did you hear
the one about
the marriage guidance
counsellor
who came into work one day
without her wedding ring

She said
she’d lost it
threw it at her husband
he’d pissed her off
the bastard

But what was really
ironic was
she
missed
him

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