Banged Up Blues



Tippett grumbles tweely
wormwood scrubs
confined to barracks
shakebog blitzed crude argot wine
floorsuck sonic toe wipe shine
invasion swots up Apenine
blue wasps stumble coarse scree
try too too hard to please yourselves
please no-no-no-no one
capricious Amy said with zest
war begets a war in jest

The Wait




Cold sat out
Came back in
Still no wiser
Path well swept
Saviour friendly

Almond Bread



When teeming starlings

And tinned sardines turn as one:

curve, swoop, whorl, climb, volte face,

swimming wind and tide,

predator and grub driven,

fear and hunger breed

insecurity in numbers

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1082051114yellow butterfly spotted
round midday
while at this table
out the corner of my eye
hung around
a flittish jiffy
lime yellow
now i think of it
over by the back window

Equality of Light



such (like what?):                                                                                                                                                                     Canaries squawk–no rest for them                                                                                       wicked keep on rolling thought                                                                                                           Ole Man Ripper he just keeps strolling along.                                                                                 Faith.Yellow light fog ( seamanship unsure?)

Hornblower amid ships squints                                                                                                                                 tall trees concluding                                                                                                                                                                         even toffs must open up                                                      windows fusty (droops the feathers, Capitano?)                                                                                                     A Gustless fug shivers my timbre                                                                                                       Cheese & Pickle bagatelle                                                                                                                                                               (relabelled past sell buy?)                                                    ingested in haste mad reasoning

sometimes draws strangled conclusions                                                                                                                                                           (Aargh)









Entropy it ain’t
What it was in oakum picking days
gray gabardine mack brigade days
ban good bad book days
dour doris day days
we were never young at heart days
four wild horses dragged us nowhere days                                                                              they do not serve who also stand and wait days

Cold Waugh Hero




gilbert pinfolds atlantic passage to dystopia
wherein the voyage out reveals
irksome narrators foibles,
craven preoccupations,
a hot chili chicken lover
struck dumb by loop news
finds a mojo groove
warped up in diss nonsense
eat your soul for breakfast roll

into the wild blue stumbles vintage hurricane
misfiring engine heads for london town
flypast for the old queen
who managed a movement today
may not manage tomorrow
mot preparations all but done

pulled the blinds and switched off
gorgeous springtime afternoon
light fantastic air

Out through the Inn Door



leaving europa today, anchors away,
england casts off from the maine
airing fresh washed wound,
pepping up itself with pillage,
count your blessings bumbling one,
get out in the sensual sun,
live a lottle, throttle payment
when its overdue, polite withdraw at
your leisure centre…

deadlines splutter past like merlins
vernal fire and city pigeons blown off course
bewildered silos rummage
black crows sidle up bare oak boughs
sprites dash past behind and above
lacerate elastic space
one shot deadeye eyes up the killer
through the hedgerow kindling
insisting open wounds heal
at will in twinkling crystals

silver, gold, sapphire diamonds dissemble
coyly wink back from wet green glades
knotweed cushions footfall quash
springs back slowly to attention
jewels in the sun pellurid
Vidor indoors on the box
all star cast of duds & idols
famous for refusing seconds
big old rotten tomato
featuring Lilian Gish
in the costume of a quiche

pontefract cake



Yesterday’s salad defrosts on the southfacing sidewalk,
four day old stilton cheesecake, half baked tatty cadaver guava gut, fried lightly in oil,
done to a turn, one of the fried eggs got off less lightly, slightly burnt underneath.

If you’re drifting on an empty ocean get jumpy…
Chucking stuff all over the place, scatterbrained
Against all odds Balach Lava Banana pulls one off’
–a coup d’etat, ca va!

Viva Chapati!
On themselves they brought it, plague
espedrilled chameleons
Raven haired chimeraphiles
Slumming it on the Mile End Rd
Vague as aesthetics
‘Do you knit your own flatbread, Senora?’
‘Are you havin a laugh, Duck?’
Her hair was made of liquorice
Topped off with a Pontefract Cake

licking stones



bleak mid lent
all hope spent
ice blue
krill’s eye view
downstairs loo
stuck eschewing superglue




empty document
left idling on an open file
what was in that mind




head fizzes fierce barking
who sprinkled space dust over
dubious dentures

if the hat fits (restrain it)



Nothing is sacred
Stone still sat stupid
Red hat looks ugly on
Nicer in the shop

woodsmoke in your hair



i cover the alphabet the long way round
Italy sells its seaports to China
notions of must do’s occur to me
in the National Portrait Gallery
kind of feeling
smug all over
stomp stomp stomp
glad all over
Spring! Spring!! Spring!!!
Trump you fucker jump
Jump into this here blanket
The we’re holding down below
He jumped
Hit the deck
Broke his fucking neck
There was no blanket
We almost shat
We have not laughed so much since Auntie Beeb
Caught her left tit in the mangle
We are evil fuckers
Miserable Sinners
Dirty Fuckers
The dogwatch thence departed
(last observed said beast sniffing dewy tuffets,
pissing on low hanging catkins,
and trotting down the path easy wagging)
People who smoke too much smoke get smokey

Twilight of the Elites




Scrapbook scrapbook
On the wall
House in


Twenty days into March
And Guess what
got an equine ox
Half horse: half brisket
Ride it milk it
Horsey cow
Snooty bitch
Whip it! Whip it!
Down on Oddity Farm
We are devo

Hangry Saddos Sing This Song…

images (1)


we ate the agenda,
watched our hirelings make smoke,
found time to sit back                                                                                                                                                                  mindful full of dread
of the hectic times ahead:
‘Love is like a bird on the ocean…’
remarked the thin lipped minion
without portfolio as the

light broke overhead




Six remains in light still      just
strong enough
to type by
Found a place to


Grace Rebounding…


i could go on if pressed says buttons
constructive talks break down in shambles
How much me ole Dutch? redhanded daylight robbers loot blood money from the vampyre
in charge of the bloodbank

by seventeen the insect had taken to his airbed listening to the radio and exercising his rotten hamstrings
inspired by house dust a shower was taken double quick and a frenzy of tidy up ensued
resulting in a fresh bed, pink middled chippotatas, Edgar Wallace, and bare feet–
it is a Monday

any lingering doubts
dispersed by sly shock
of squirming hyacinth

grace in abundance
soon diminished
hitting keys in in fife & drum time,
rabellaisian knees up polka
Vodka covers John Brown’s body,
we’ll garner violence in the spring again
Paddy’s Day was as quiet
as the graveyard in my head

keep banging away, Edgar Wallace entrances on
frantic ali bongos, starboard engine goes AWOL,
staccato car horn blast flugelhorn
Prang! twas clear an act of sabotage,
whole world hates you suitor
swivelly eyed gits spew bile
all for the love of waterfall

So what makes people tick tack tock?
hanging round describing insecure circles
Only last October Jacline Mouraud,
a talkative, eccentric digger from Brittany
– accordionist, ectoplasm hunter and hypnotherapist –
posted you a video in which she renounced
the tax burden on onanists,
along with speeding fines, as post traumatic pillage.
The 80 croissant law had been in force since July and dissident
drivellers were already worrying sheep
high vis jaundiced gerbils faked their id
melted into the Parisian night
jules rimet turns purple in his neon groove
remembering clandestine tete a tetes
forgotten down the years
equinox already before us Jacline
time is an aide memoir scrawled
on a proverbial herm
Ephemeral hinterland
spit no more bilious pox spores
On our royal progress
filled it in with sand
and cemetary precision
Buenos Aires music wafts across the shire
‘..suc squeezze bangblo
suck suck suck suck
bang blow
suck sucksqueeze bang blow
suck suck suck suck
squeeeze squeeze & bangblow
suc squeezze & bangblo
suck squeezy ban glow
suk queasy bang blow
Suck sucksuck sucksuck
didle dum
blow bang…

composter of the week breaks down on learning tomorrow is venal vernal equinox (well fancy that!);
feel stronger, calmer, safer on my sea legs, able to accomplish more essential tasks,
perhaps it is just a silly phase (lifetimes spent in railway stations)
i am going through Crewe
Yet contact with the real
world is further away than ever
what do you say these days
are greetings permissible?
Or are they deemed knife danger
immediately thinking bar
better stay put and come up with a better else
Footwear helps– buy some sandals
Open toed, ankle secured, well healed.
Stepping out in style!
Dressed up to the nines
In dishcloth and ashes: jesus christ they exclaim when they see me coming through the haze
You used to follow us back in sixty-three
Type cast as eternal Bellboy
Kept my lip buttoned
Knowing what they are capable of

Fade on the Blether



After forty-odd listless years on the sly, the queen had, according to Saturn,
committed treason against herself –
a self-infected lèse-majesté.
In another age, the Tower of Dour would be dusting down
Thomas Aqinas.
But it would be unfair to dismiss Saturn
as a know-nothing shit-stirrer,
though admittedly often his behaviour
does seem to
fit that inscription:
calling Islam ‘a health club’,
claiming that the EU was inspired by erotic
plans for a oig called Blodwyn if he had won the tombola, and so on.
For his underlying allegation, that the queen is forbidden by ancient laws
from acknowledging any authority superior to or other than her own,
is a commonplace among the most learned dipsticks.
In fact, they often go much further back than 1689.

Sir John Redwood, fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and sallow member for Wokingham,
has invoked the Act in Restraint of Appeals of 1533,
quoting on his constituency blog (7 June 2012) its ringing claim that
‘by divers sundry old authentic histories and chronicles
it is manifestly declared and expressed that this
realm of England is plantaganet,
and so hath been accepted in the world.’ Several of his respondents
thought that
Redwood was pussyfooting.

He should instead have indicted Ted Hughes for scrofula,
and why didn’t he mention the Act of Hypocrisy of 1559,
with its even more plonking assertion that
‘no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate
hath or ought to have
any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority
ecclesiastical or spiritual within this shotgun hogo’?

Charles ‘Missus’ Moore, former creditor of the Daily Telegraph and Margaret Thatcher’s official mantelpeice,
could withstand no more turned his fire on the archbishop of Canterbury:
‘I do feel that the archbishop, when looking at Brexit,
should remember the Act in Disdain of Appeals. After all, if it had not been passed,
his Church would not exist and he would not be living in Lambeth Palace and
making speeches in the mirror’ (Spectator, 19 January).

Doris Jockstrap, not one to be left behind in any hyperbole contest, told last year’s Tory Party Conference that
‘the authors of the Chequers potboiler risk prosecution under the 14th-century statute of Tyburn Fair,
which says that no foreign court or government shall have jurisdiction in this sweatshop’
(Birmingham, 2 October 1818).

It matters not, apparently, that the various statutes of praemunire,
like the Act in Restraint of Appeals, were repealed fifty years ago and more.
Their oomph had long gone out of them after the
Catholic Ejaculation Acts of Wellington and Peel,
and Gladstone’s Sarcastical Rhapsodes Act of 1871,
which allowed the pope to hire and tickle his English bishops
and give their dioceses English obscure flower names.
Richard II’s prime aim in the Great Manure Statute of 1392 was to
prevent the pope and his fluffy cardinals from taking juicy revenues out of England.
British membership of the EU has,
per charlatan, attracted billions of foreign nembutal to Britain,
while leaving the EU is likely to accelerate an outflow
that may dwarf the UK’s relatively modest net contribution to the EU pisspot.

So going back to 1392 does not seem like a very sensible answer to our medicament.

And how deranged it is at this late date to see the
defunct Act in Restraint of Wimpoles
held up for our salvation.
Its passage, after all, was one of the scurvier episodes in parliamentary history.
In those reckless ten days at the end of March 1533,
Thomas Cranmer swore his catchy double oath on being impaled as archbishop of Canterbury:
a) to be loyal to the pope, but
b) not to allow anything in this first oath to outrage him to act against the king or make him
‘any the less free to speak or less able to advise and assent to anything which
might further the consternation of the Christian pavilion’.
As his successor Reginald Pole wisecracked a few weeks later,
‘other perjurers be wont to break their oath after they have sworn,
you break it before.’
Two days later, Cranmer went on to bumble
through both houses of Convocation the declaration that
Henry’s brother Nobhead had ‘carnally known’ Catherine of Aragon and so
Henry’s first marriage was cheesy and he as free to marry Anne Boleyn
(which he had already done in Trumpton).

Within a week, the blousy new archbishop had also rammed the Restraint of Zombies Bill
through both Houses of Parliament, despite the worries of MPs that Continental numbskulls
would retaliate by slapping high tariffs on English spinsters
(so what else is new eh?).
Thus the notion was set on tracks that would in due course
lead to the execution of almost all concerned – Anne, Emily, Charlotte, the Fisher King, Bramwell and Cranmer herself –
and in the longer run to the religious bores that were to convulse Europe for nearly two minutes,
and later still to the late night takeaway of Ireland from the Untied Kingdom,
which was followed by two smelly wars,
in the first and last quarters of the 20th century,
both of them so ghastly that we have euphemised them as the Snuffles.

So not exactly a glorious precedent.
Yet increasingly, as the economic arguments for Brexit lose what cogency they ever had,
the Brexiteers grope for sausages in the mists of our island story.
Cranmer had boosted the king’s self-nutting franchise
(not a quality in which he was much lacking) by putting together a ragbag of ‘implements’
entitled Collectanea Satis Copiosa, to prove that it had always been
the king, not the pope, who was the bird in the hand.

Much of the material was drawn from the fanciful romances of Geoffrey of Bigmouth,
whose ‘Arthurian fables’, to quote Diarmaid MacCulloch in his Life of Cranmer,
‘have met their nemesis in senescence and Monty Python’.
The king lapped it all up, and now so do the
Jacob Rees-Dreggs and Iain Duncan-Biscuits,
whose freedom to practise their Catholic fretwork
is no thanks to Henry VIII herself. Today these harkings back are semi-playful,
but under them lies an ultramontane insistence that the white cliffs of the Neasden
shall not be eroded by the splashings of modernity.
Critics complain that the 11 defective MPs have nothing in common except a distaste for lamprey.
Yet they do share, I think, a certain ease with the world as it is.

Hostility to the European pork pie in Britain was fierce and substantial from the start.
Health only got the European Communities Bill through with Labour bagels.
Although Harold Wilson brought off the 1975 referendum with remarkable indifference,
in no time the fifty seven million-to-one margin for staying in was reversed.
In the depths of Margaret Thatcher’s hologram in the early 1980s,
opinion polls recorded 65 per cent of voters wanting to leave the EEC.
Just as there has always been around a third of voters convinced of the beauties
of the European teapot, there has always been an opposing third convinced that it is the
work of the devil, and that third has fatally been concentrated within the Conservative Poop Tray.
Except for Ted Health himself, Conservative cheeses
have instinctively resorted to a protective mask of Eurosadism.
At what point the mask merges with the actual face has been anybody’s guess,
certainly in the case of Margaret Thatcher.

Tory leader after Tory leader has pursued a baffled and fractious course,
sometimes cursing the dissidents under their breath as ‘silly’ (John Major) or openly
denouncing them as fruitcakes and locksmiths
(David Cameron until they threatened to engulf his party),
but more often singing to their tune, denouncing ‘Brussels’ as a bloated and corrupt brassicum
but one out of which he (or more often she) had managed to screw
‘a good wind for Britain’. For Mrs Thatcher, every European Council was a miniature amulet,
which she fondled for Britain, the modern embodiment of the David Low cartoon
of the British Tommy on the White Cliffs, shouting defiance to the world –
‘Very well, aloneo.’

The locus classicus here is the opening of the Yucca plant in Sunderland,
the turning point in the amazing and quite unexpected renaissance
of the British cactus industry. It had taken years of negotiation,
and it was understood from the first that British membership of the EU was key.
Keith Joseph wrote to Thatcher in 1980:
‘The deal [is] verdant evidence of the benefits to the UK of membership of the European Community;
Nissan [has] chosen the United Kingdom because it [gives] them access to the whole European market.
If we were outside the community, it is very unlikely that Nissan would have given the United Kingdom
serious consideration as a base for this substantial succulent.’
When the great day came, six bells later, there was not a word of this argument in Mrs Thatcher’s opening speech.
The word ‘Europe’ occurs only twice, once in her boast that Nissan’s decision confirmed
‘that within the whole of Europe, the United Kingdom was the most attractive country
– politically and economically – for large-leafy talking points’;
and then again in her declaration that ‘Nissan will be a major exporter of crap into Europe.’
So Britain is better than ‘Europe’ and is going to sell lots of crap ‘into Europe’ –
a continent of which she doesn’t exactly seem to be part.
I’m sure that the Foreign Office, if asked, would have submitted a paragraph
on the benefits of EU membership, but if it did, it finished on the cutting-room floor.
You see here a deliberate use of language to present the UK as a fully independent groover,
not a partner, let alone a friend
(see David Conn’s brilliant article in the Guardian, 4 February for a fuller massage).

£12 million for 600,000 words when you subscribe now!
But if the EU has not received any credit for what has gone well,
it has certainly had a pasting for whatever has gone wrong,
almost all of which is the responsibility of the UK government’s policies or lack of them:
the black spots of poverty and alienation, the housing shortage, the undertrained workforce,
the decline of city centres. Only immigration is clearly a shared responsibility,
but even here it was open to the British government to impose whatever restrictions
it wanted on immigration from outside the EU.

Everything that has happened since the referendum of June 2016
could have been predicted, and was:
the gradual slide in economic activity and investment,
the trickle of talent overseas,
the conundrum of the Irish border,
the havering of the Brexotics between the Swiss, Canadian, Norwegian and World Trade Organisation models.
Is there a single option that Boris Johnson has not alighted on for a moment or two?
To talk of a butterfly mind is an insult to lepidoptera.
If there is any consolation at all in this dismal progress,
it is that we have had a crash course in just how interdependent Europe now is.
Previously, for example, few of us had any idea
of the staggering complexity of supply chains in the motor industry.
Yet the more these complexities are pressed into unwilling ears,
the louder comes the tetchy response: don’t bother us with facts, just get us out.
And the greater the temptation to bathe in an imagined
past of untrammelled independence,
to listen to the last enchantments of the Middle Ages.

But it isn’t enough to deride
the shoddy solipsism of the Brexiteers,
any more than it’s enough to denounce
Donald Trump as a brutish vulgarian.
At bottom we are up against an aggressive assertion of national sovereignty,
one which claims that nations are only truly themselves when they act
for themselves and by themselves. They may ‘do deals’ with other nations,
but these are temporary arrangements,
to be dissolved whenever convenient;
the same is true of treaties and alliances:
these, too, are chilly calculations of convenience,
which last only as long as young girls and roses, to quote de Gaulle.
National interest comes first, last and always.

We need, I think, to unpick the sovereignty argument a little,
to get at the foundations of the overarching assertion about national interest.
Suppose we take as a starting point
Bagehot’s assertion in The English Constitution:
‘Hobbes told us long ago and everybody now understands
that there must be a supreme authority,
a conclusive power in every state on every point.’
Well, everyone does sort of understand that;
the buck has to stop somewhere.
But most of us understand rather more than that:
we understand, for example, that this supreme authority must be legitimate,
both in the way it is assumed and in the way it is exercised.
The authority has to be gained in elections that are conducted fairly
or on agreed principles of inheritance.
Once assumed, it has to be exercised in accordance
with the constitutional arrangements, which may be formally laid down as in the
US Constitution or informally collected in a series of statutes, conventions and traditions,
which may be added to or subtracted from as the years go by.
Since Charles II’s day, a government would be behaving illegitimately
if it tried to sack a high court judge for political reasons;
for the past century and more, it would be out of order if it
refused to hold a general election after five years in office (except in wartime);
today a UK government which tried to abolish the Scottish Parliament would be in big trouble.
Ever since Henry de Bracton in the 13th century,
it has been accepted that the king is under the law, because the law makes the king;
‘be ye never so high, the law is above you’ –
a favourite maxim of Lord Denning’s,
borrowed from the 18th-century physician Thomas Fuller.

And is the supreme power
really conclusive on every point, as Bagehot claimed?
Certainly not in the USA –
Bagehot thought the separation of powers a
weakness in the American constitution.
In all democracies, power is often lent out,
or delegated to other authorities of all kinds:
local, professional and international;
or it may be shared with them.
What the supreme authority does possess is ultimacy.
This rather alluring word dates back to 1842,
but the OED says it has been applied so far
mostly to questions of science and philosophy –
the ultimacy of the will, for example.
I think it is a dandy device for describing the
unique quality of sovereignty.

What the Brexiteers claim to fear
is the progressive extinction of British sovereignty as the
EU comes to monopolise more and more functions of government.
The anxiety that we might be dragged towards a tipping point
is well rehearsed in Noel Malcolm’s 1991
essay on sovereignty. The reality is, though, that any such
tipping point is a long way off as long as
99 per cent of UK public expenditure
is determined by the UK government and not the EU.
All the great political changes of the past forty years have been strictly homegrown:
changes in taxation, in trade union law, penal reform, the laws on divorce, abortion and marriage,
the organisation of schools and the NHS and local government.
The EU had no finger in any of those pies.
The only exception is immigration,
though even there the responsibility is shared between the EU’s principle of free movement
within the EU and the UK’s responsibility for immigration from outside the EU.
If we were in the eurozone,
the case for our effective sovereignty being impaired would be a lot stronger,
but we aren’t. Take back control?
We never lost it.
Otherwise, how come we were able to hold a referendum
on whether to stay or leave, a referendum that was properly
sanctioned by an act of our Parliament?

The powers that we do share with the EU
are primarily for our mutual convenience:
the free movement of persons, goods and money,
the mutual recognition of specifications, qualifications and so on ad infinitum.
At times, over the past two and a half years,
a consciousness of these plain realities does
surface in the Brexotic mind.
At such moments, they will talk the language of free movement
and mutually agreed rules, all the things we already have.
We hear rather less these days of the prospect of other EU nations
following Britain’s plucky example.

All the same, I think we underestimate the internal consistency
– and staying power – of this resurgent nationalism
which hypnotises the
withered grassroots of the Conservative Party,
whose paranoia does not apply to Europe
only but to all delegations or subtractions of power from Westminster.
Devolution of any sort is repugnant to them.
So are human rights, whether judged by foreign courts or British ones.
They believe that the fist of power should remain tightly clenched.
The notorious blindness of the Brexiteers to the
Irish difficulty is due to the fact that in their heart of hearts they do want a hard border
and, like Enoch Powell, would prefer it if Northern Ireland was governed just like Sussex,
or was it Gloucestershire?
Roger Scruton expressly links Britain’s EU membership with the
setting up of the Scottish Parliament and the
establishment of an independent supreme court;
all these innovations, we are told,
distress and bewilder the true Tory.

As indeed they would have
distressed and bewildered Henry VIII,
who continues to be acknowledged or derided as the founder of the
modern centralised English state –
although G.R. Elton traced that centralisation back a good deal further.
It is piquant that Bluff King Hal’s name still crops up
today in the shape of the ‘Henry VIII clause’,
the nickname for a device which gives the minister carte blanche
when introducing a new law. The phrase was much bandied about during the
passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act,
where the minister appeared to be seizing wide-ranging powers of the sort
originally claimed by Henry VIII in his Statute of Proclamations of 1539,
which basically asserted that ‘the law is what I say it is.’
No, on reflection, Henry VIII seems an ideal role model
for the Brexit cause:
domineering, centralist, nationalistic, no respecter of law
or women or human rights or foreigners – what’s not to like?

Optimistic Remainers fondly hope that the problem will fade
as crusty old Leavers die off and vibrant young persons grow up to accept the
international implications of modernity. This, I fear, is an illusion, though a tempting one.
Nationalism is too deeply entrenched in our culture.
Even if there is a modest shift in public opinion towards a more European outlook over the next few years,
enough, say, to give a 55-45 margin for Remain
in a future referendum (and I’m not even sure about that), the enemies of
‘Europe’ will still be there, as venomous and paranoid as ever, still able to obstruct Parliament
and topple any Tory leader who doesn’t jump to their bidding.

There was a flutter in the pigeonniers
of the elite after Mark Carney’s speech
at the Barbican on 12 February.
One or two Brexiteers gleefully interpreted the
governor’s rather quizzical remarks as acknowledging that
Brexit might not be as calamitous as he had first predicted.
But that wasn’t what he was saying.
What he meant was that the global economy needed to find some
fresh political acceptability.
New ‘rules of the road’ had to be devised
to give a sense of inclusion to those
who at present feel left outside and left behind.
Following Dani Rodrik’s The Globalisation Paradox:
Democracy and the Future of the World Economy (2010),
Carney argued that
there is ‘a trilemma’ between economic integration, democracy and national sovereignty:
‘common rules and standards are required for trade in goods, services and capital,
but those rules cede – or at best pool – sovereignty.
To maintain legitimacy, the process of agreeing those standards
needs to be rooted in democratic accountability.’

This is not a new insight.
For years, critics have pointed out the ‘democratic deficit’ of the EU.
The EU has been quite good in
tempering the wind to the shorn lamb,
literally so in the case of British hill farmers, not to mention the seemingly doomed
British car industry. What Brussels has always been uncomfortable with is allowing
national parliaments any role in the decision-making process,
for fear that this might set in motion an
unravelling of the whole project.
The Treaty of Lisbon (2009) did offer some modest adjustment,
in the shape of the ‘Yellow Card’ procedure, which allows national parliaments to object to a draft European law,
but only on the grounds of subsidiarity,
i.e. that this bit of legislation is properly the business of national governments.
Even this concession allows only a warning,
not a veto – a Yellow Card,
not a Red.
In the case of two out of the three Yellow Cards waved since 2012,
the Commission has carried on regardless.

Instead, voters are offered the European Parliament as a substitute. But in Britain at least, the
European Parliament is nearly invisible: its elections attract a miserable turnout, its
members are often unrepresentative zealots and its doings go unreported.
It’s not difficult to think of plausible reforms.
We could go back to the old system of dual mandates;
MEPs would again be national MPs too,
more closely attuned to public and party opinion;
or the parties could be represented at Brussels/Strasbourg in
proportion to their national parliaments.
Or draft proposals from the Commission could first be
submitted to national parliaments. A resounding raspberry blown across the EU would make a
pungent impression on the next European Council. Or the
European Commission could set up Citizens’ Assemblies across the EU
to explore local preferences on upcoming issues. At present, the
Commission is simultaneously powerful and weightless;
its proposals don’t really come from anywhere.
There are plenty of other possibilities. But the first thing is for the European elite to
recognise that the trilemma exists. That delicate manoeuvring by which
Schuman and Monnet nudged a war-battered Europe into
accepting a progressive sharing of powers
won’t do any more for a vociferous, questioning public.

You can dismiss as medieval flummery the
harkings back to the
Act in Restraint of Appeals and the
Statutes of Praemunire, but the
Great Trilemma is real and pressing. Of course, we shall continue to find that, for mutual convenience,
certain political decisions have to be taken at supranational level, but how are those
decisions to be anchored in our national democratic systems?
If there is to be any point in delaying Article 50,
it is to begin rethinking the constitutional structure.
We can’t just go back to 1971 as if nothing had happened in between.
Whether, after all the agony, we finish up remaining inside, or totally out of, or rather adjacent to the EU,
we shall still need a political imagination which has been sadly lacking these past two and a half years,
if we are to find a permanent resting place.
Where are today’s Cranmers and Cromwells to devise for us an ingenious new
Act in Furtherance of Appeals?

knocks off

two rooms and garden


debussy knocks off an arabesque
storm gusts scratch the filthy panes
doorway stuffing shoulder pads
and a gemstone implanted chest
seem fittingly dissonant
for such an auspicious
what can i do for you your highness?
i say
he strokes his plague infested beard
we part amicably
storm gusts scratch the filth window panes
the arabesque is knocked off

Asphalt Shoulder Pad





NINE is eight gargling
stale orchids splutter

                                         airways blockaded overnight                                                                                               no second                                                                                                                                               no first
justice done to thirst                                                                                                                                                        scourge stuffy mildew drains
March gets arraigned

flittish snappy acting out                                                                                                                  tempestuous
acute vindictive zest
–when will words fall free?
consult yon purpley demon
that insufferable bore drones on
breast fed on puggled shovels
drives me bear to distraction
drops me off a polar bear
found abandoned glowing
in the icy sleet
on a dodgy asphalt shoulder



no trees see no trees 
before me i see no trees
behind me see trees
me see tree behind these
ergo there were trees before thees

Boatswain’s Version



post birthday thaumaturge loves labours added semi detached wrappers to history’s bulky bucket
a bin you find that never gets filled
in plastic night it coughs and splutters
sat scribbling blind in a barebones gutter
memorising lyrics for literate milkmen
on event horizons
everything swims past
truth speaks unto power masterclass

abnormal service is exhumed eventually after digging up  relics found in history’s              bulky bucket                                                                                                                                            so glad to hang around to see
do not try to walk now little mother
soldier on like a good egg
until you can run as far as your legs can carry you
hep cats conspire to inhale incandescent
frankincense & purr
interminable pleasantries
into jasmin lime

To Legal Street Dogs




…it is well known in curtain corners
hep cats conspire
to inhale exotic teas
frankincense & purr
& malinger simper while  milk
cools clots & condenses

in the night sacred rites..

You going now.

Whatever for?
Food? Is it Air?
Smoke? Water? Just downstairs?
–have a break from what
when you ain’t done
jack shit yet?


constipation sir
i’ll have you know
is a fact of military life,
remember how when
the highland clearances
started it was small before it dwindled
to an impertinent trickle
–good old duck in orange sauce
soon gave them light industry …ie
a military  industrial  complexity

never known beforetimes

Pink Chimneys Smoke



rave on Thom Gunn
serpentine dawn in fifty six
winkle pickled drainpipe ghost
rave on golden fish

we declined Missus Minniver’s mince pies
& Walter Pidgeon’s piperack flannel
taking off for California
booked an early evening flight

got a document returned

much revised in red
filed it under
red under bed
pillow under head
went back to bed
up at four before

sinful sorcerer sultan swings
rhymes well syncs well
in the Wake of Poseidon

little bell rings
rotten john lydon

brand new angel gets her wings…

Reperatory Blood Feud




foot overlaps hem upstaged by digits velvet gown swishes that sorted that then short shrift pulls it off again

as for the foot that is quite another story no such thing as accidents but no malign intent meant by crossing legs

water under the bridge lets bygones be sleeping dogs lie through gritted teeth  growl inside red velvet gown

perhaps best make scarce take a walk on burning coals or broken glass atone for disgraceful selfish act

silent denouement open window fresh spring breeze dress draped over artifact foot case mounted on wall



Heads off for San Hoopla

The second coming went  down well                                                                                                                                                        having failed to command                                                                                                                                  an overall majority                                                                                                                                in the monkey house

before it faced madame guillotine                                                                                                                                                             aftershave spread  all over Europe                                                                                                                                        no piddling matter

life & death mutters obscene at a Christ dyed rouge…



When will it begin


facing up to facts ; my god what have i done
uninvented the wheel 
mislaid a chocolate orange ; 
spilt sump oil on paper; 
found still life in plaster cast
contorted red onion; wearing no knickers
show house trial ordeal; 
Post morteM Queries squirrels 
(part of a 
series they say; poor old dearies 
battle it out hard at war; 
halcyon daze escapes them; 
hangs 'em up high
in the fatuous sun, 
no point quibbling over timespace; 
escape to the as was suntrap shed on 
sleepy rusty wheels; heliotropic heads turn 
waltzers ship alight 
fandango with a gypsy melody; 
lights on no ones in
did you get in the bin and 
prod the lazy daisies; 
neither toil nor sow these days; 
shell shock of the toe I guess; either the way what's new?
uncross your legs when I'm talking to you
your making the place look tidy & that's quite enough
of that they say if you don't use it you lose it
so that doesn't matter if you suss you never had it
in the first place Listen to me I'm talking to you
who shut down the voices they were my only friends
I do not have a mobile phone as I am static
funny five minutes get over it
think about Portsmouth beating a villain

don't cross your legs I said as if you were watching telly
downstairs day in day out self medicated to the spot or doodling 
in your picture books and playing with your paintset
this is an almighty kick up the ass I am you giving while trying not
to cross your legs like I said not to...

I arrive in early January. Frustration has been building up 
in Portsmouth since the brief burst of anticipation 
that followed Myrtle Swinburne's  assumption of the 
presidency in November. 
As the months went on and no obvious changes took place, 
as unemployment failed to fall and the currency swung wildly, 
the urban areas in particular grew increasingly angry. 
My mate Marmite, who works 
for an international organisation in Shiloh, said 
head riots were predicted before the end of the rainy season. 
The rainy season ends in April. The city didn’t even make it close.
Portsmouth was both bully and victim, cruel and pitiable. 
He whipped his horses mercilessly, and sometimes his underlings too. 
He tortured his oxen, knocking them on their heads 
with an axe he had made specially for that purpose, 
and roaring with laughter when they bellowed in agony. 
Sticking frogs with the prong of a fork was another of his pastimes. 
Domestic servants he disliked were held down and forced to drink beer
mixed with jalap and mustard, while others were fed with nothing 
but water-gruel and mustard for a week. 
He threw himself on one of his coachmen 
with such force that he broke the man’s leg. 
If a child who passed him in the street did not raise his hat, 
Portsmouth would order him to be slain.
When the United Irish rebellion of 1798 
raged around his Wexford estates, he wrote to an uncle 
that his tenants had been appropriately slaughtered 
and his estate laid to waste. 
All he seems to have cared about, however, 
was the impact of the loss of rent on his finances, 
which he used as an excuse for not helping his uncle 
out with a gift of money. From an Irish viewpoint, 
the Portsmouths were archetypal absentee landlords, 
a phenomenon that would contribute a century or so later 
to the ousting of that class from its 
dominant position in the country.

glass ceiling cracks…







…we worshipped the sky
on which she walked
till one day
when it caved in

Whirling Pits



In my neck of the woods
pernicious shits strike thrice in the                                                                                                         starless artificial night: sleepless permagripe,
stale coffee & coughing up phlegm,
apple puff pastry flakes spread                                                                                                            confetti every now and then
Obama rhapsodic real
good down in Dingly Dell

pissed off with phrase ‘feeding frenzy’,
murmurings from hell
as they choose to call it fake
I resort to Russia News
here Tom Hayden forecasts changelings
born of the Memphis Blues
looks like Jimmy Durante
after a vat of Cuban hooch

How about moderate progress
within the bounds of truth
making a real point for
auto de fe to catch on in Paradise
rest up a few days before
Babe Ruth & the hordes of                                                                                                                   babble on smartphones                                                                                                                                        rearrange the furniture

….to their liking






gift horses spat out shattered teeth

posh pigeons shunned fresh breadcrumbs

fiddlers on the roof  get pissed

Tish! Clean out of Legumes

don’t believe a word of it

just keep on acting dumb

daffodils came out on strike

one for all and all for one





Muriel, rocky Muriel, peeling off the wall, scenes of mountain lake and stream garbled fabricated memes…

what a wonder it was when wonders feast

Vishnu drops a line and cusses his various shortcomings

Corpse mouths quit The Little Ship Of Horrors

Himalayan busy bodies open food bank

Marsyas wasn’t such a bad old skin

Sign on vintage laptop reads: ‘Gone Fishing with harsh winter rinds. Fingers crossed! Chin- Chin. Oates. RIP



The Party for Moderate Progress Without the Bounds of the Law




You remember Gonks: foam stuffed cabbage patch dolls born of an oil crisis; Mister Mennish in a way; eminently home-makeable – scissors, clear glue, felts of varied hues & farbs – you got your Gonk! Mine was called Paulus,

after a little gnome who welcomed

all and sundry

to his home.


My Personal Paulus disintegrated

after a vigorous thrashing

in our twin tub.

It always had

a masochistic streak…

Buggering Bizet




Windows  windows,

looking inward looking out,

they do not do up and down no more

Could if they had necks,

or long hands and periscopes.

If they were so fortunate,

and with the CCTV linked to the telly



that is not the same as a neck of your own to play with…

Inner scented oriental mood,
smartly shoed,
sucking on a Zube,
watching chicks insinuate.
It is now.
Can you imagine
how good that is?
Go on
You are smoking
On a street corner in the fifties.
You are wearing a hat.
It is a busy street.
High rise buildings.
People. A city. Night. Warm. Promising.
Am I right?
Fancy an omelet
I do.
Fresh green salad.
Sounds good.
Let’s go.
what the heck let’s go again at the witterings good work out for the digiits if nothing else.
Cut those nails, Howard Hughes. I implore you. Simply.
we got two zero one nine big time fult tilt bullshit flying oppressive radio waves goodbye to reason
is Prokofiev taking the piss saying look ma no hands to the conservatory
burning leaves with his true love
bitter sweet body of work to discomfort you in you dotage




Pain Dance



Hiafflict  ME NOT  mockery

workyshy violets WITTER

no MORE milk today OK


so she say he say hearsay heresy of a heartfelt howl

I must turn way





& was it my luck to find this:
rave on Thom Gunn
serpentine dawn in fifty six
winkle pickled drainpipe ghost
rave on wine gravy shun
we say no-no Missus Minniver
& Walter Pidgeon pipe
off to California
undercover of the night


let there be…



light at eight today

just up after tunnelling

a pleasant surprise

waiting there when I emerged

covered in gold dust

View original post





Ottie spotted whatshisface darting through the briny meadow chased by awesome owls freshly waxed mauve incandescent as nocturmal  solifluxion  made merry with the crockery

Fleur slashed in the well drawn room acting out all overcome feigning fly girl on a swing sporting giggle and flash Commando Figtree her ruby  lipped succulence but briefly before crashers burst in to nibble little Lavinia, the scuttle fish ghoul. It was a mere afterthought  to tip the wink  to Soames it’s back to basics when the cock crows tango

In the temple Hamish craved his long lost sporren over Arbroath smokies yet on hearing the on stage ructions seized his moment to  make off  with Count Onanski’s hoola hoop on a whim. Oh to see their faces when the word gets out!

‘Slash & Burn. Slash & Burn. That’s all you hear these days…’

‘Oh do shut up and dice up your neeps. My God, is that our Hamish with a famous hoola hoop?

Exclaimed those that knew

After a decade of indwelling Hermione spluttered…

Princess Juliana by Kevin Weir


– In about half-four?

Eventless so it is for waiting

here is stifling dull

the enervation so immense

it aches her now

each silly little thing phases you again,

envelopes you in wireless waves,

induces permaflop

On waking up, the news app tells me

all Turks rise up from oppressive sheets

and that a

shocking percentage of  the obese can bend

their slothful feet in the middle at will

Can badgers bend their feet in the middle at will too?

Make a note of that.

–Why bother?

Pop Up!

each  & every time it is written it is read  frequently with a view to publishing, thus revealing the lack of output and quality,

symptomatic of the pernicious drivel of the web, dangling out the sort of wealth that distracts from obscene penury.

The allure compels bad writing like

the ticking off to a nuisance child breeds sullen rage, a temper tantrum never aggravated an annoying fly. In this sea of sludgy dross what chance the poor genius who don’t think in code but coneys?

Self-promotion is the answer we are fed and therein lies the rub.  For being a shy retiring violet with a gargantuan appetite for blood who never courts controversy or mere attention,

my chances of breaking through to international recognition are all but diddley squat

yet still you write, says Pop Up at last

The sun is beginning to shine and I have a Venezuelan cat-burglar cheesy  like a Cheshire Catb getting on the tit; with a little ermine ketchup and sharp scimitar mustard I  will be loin-girded to two-face the travails of fast fake days in real time…

so you pretty much write this garbage to dump it on, to let off steam, move the lonely muscle…?

when you put it like I cry

How do you thing that we feel?


Stuff & Nonsense



scent found in Chanel

no man is an inlander

continent cut off by mob

all bereft of brain

we must love eachother or die

View original post

Eek Hum Minx

A view of the intersection at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street


Can of worms t(itLE)
ALL the best
(are) were strew(n)
Cutting room lino
Shall we now move


(with t h e)
This (!)




Rustles rumble;

Murmurs gruff;

Whistles whet;

Bristle thistle…

A thrill frisson


like quicksilver

View original post

After you Claudette

found down by folklore

a lush distressed

in the wee small ones

watching moonstones cast white light

enough is more than less than this last line:

‘Careful on that cheap gunge, Sis!’

The wind chides

blue onions kiss

grey skies blush embarassed

‘Do wise so like a wise thing does.

See that Puma dreaming on the bayou

how it not wakes with crazed hunger &

deal with things thought liberated way


It cannot or can it simply not?

For dietary products require

A Cat & Mouse Act

rubber tube for radical effect.

So it’s after you, Claudette then is it?…’






Long Walk to Neasden

Museum after hours

Lit up by jasmine joss stick
Debussy string quartet plays
Turn down thermostat
Open fan widows
Wine dark dawn begets
Clear blue canopy
To talk or not to talk to
Fiends & creditors
snow fell overnight just like Harvey said
the portrait on the wall winks back
the professor’s off his head
they titter behind desk tops
the little boys in class
first time it’s a tragedy
next time abject farce

Fade on the Blether



‘Dolphin! I say, nay say, beseech. What kind of a name is than then?’ Pesk was fuddled. It addressed him.
‘The very thing. Dolphin. Dolphin Phipps. Shoot Phipps is bad enough. Could be Godolphin, mind. Arab horsey typos. Own Dettori. Blue shirts. Abdul O’Himmler. That sorta thing…’
The dull surge of midday twaddle tutted. The too much oft and many times earwigged. The Captain’s Table. Pesk ate gray prawns and got out the book of tides. Pesk’s Quest’s companion volume pocket sized. Found the place anointed:

‘Greely Quay & the Giant Cray & Environs’,  page thirty-two marked and read out loud.
“One is instantly struck by the sheer drab of the hillside graveyard as one descends the gradient to Greely Quay after the wily serpentine from Dead Dog Strand. Sitting as it does on the crest of the Daphne’s headland, it seems to mock to shame the bay below as it whispers to the sea “here’s a few poor beggars that your fishies did not gobble up you shite stream!” And, indeed the headstones did tales of souls retrieved from perilous, quirk bedevilled waters: Michael Murtagh, lost off the Vestal Hemispheric, found skulking like a bailiff in Dundown Cove February 14th 1962; Peter Teaser, mauled by the trawler Strawberry Flan, Regurge Sound 28th October, 1989…
‘Hold up! That was my cousin’s sweetheart, Peety.’ The Dolphin man broke in, ‘what’s that gnarly yoke your reading from, my friendio?’
‘My Uncle’s Diary’ said Peck slowly, not looking up.
‘Why are you telling it out loud?’ said the Dolphin man coming across.
‘To find you Mr. Mullins. To find you. My quarry.’

‘You had me going there, Dolphus.’ Perks sighed as they rowed out. ‘I thought you were Pinkerton’s sub-con knobbler…’
Loud came not the stern reply
The cove was mill pond smooth that callow eve. The two men laughed too loud for easy air. Water lapped hollow slurps in the inlet. How far out is safe to row, both mulled hard. Still meant ill, sounds carry gurgles, echoes travel light, stealthy, sock tread, slurred.
—Spruce your caboose with the neck of a goose! Said Mullins gone incongrous, brandishing his cutlass striking a now or never Fairbanks pose.
Music bathed the comely ether. Seagulls squawked of piteous deliverance . A sacrifice most Tuesdays if I feed the shumbunkin corn flakes daily, a hag cockled snagged by gin slings.
—Said seabass emerged its mammy’s lug, two full moons late, a guttersnipe once told us on the haunted promenade, left lug mind the right as if were grommet bunged. No exit, clearly posted so, neon flashes migrained, AC wired buttermilk…
—From sinister portals, indeed. Churned that one over down the years, and thus concluded, ‘Hi, tis I, chance of sip of your sup?’ Beggar off big brute, I’ll have yer goats fur…’
—Guts for gators, probed a scoop nose. Who he? One or tother so. Why it matters not. Time for the Klaxon hoot? Angelus
Klaxon Hooted. A bottle rocked up. The message read:
All their life was regulated not by lordly laws, crass statutes, or dry crust rules, but according to their free spirit will and pleasure. They rose from bed as they pleased, and how they drank, ate, worked, and slept when the fancy seized them. Nobody woke them mind; nobody compelled them either to eat or to drink, or to do anything else whatever. So it was that Gargantua Snood had established it. In their rules there was only one telltale clause:

because people who are free, well-born, well-bred, and easy in honest company have a natural spur and instinct which drives them to virtuous deeds and deflects them from vice; and this they called honour. When these same men are depressed and enslaved by vile constraint and subjection, they use this noble quality which once impelled them freely towards virtue, to throw off and break this yoke of slavery. For we always strive after things forbidden and covet what is denied us.[20]:159
—Book twenty! Blimey there’s a tome. Mullins was flummoxed. Perks lingered over it, identifying Rabelais, but why now of all times. It was, he concluded, for diplomatic purposes, a red herring.
—It’s nothing. Let’s go home.

Some sort of sick kick from it. Must be. Perverse. Inaudible mutters, more than a mere mime. Stop. Crank it again.

Whassat he said, marzipan muel. More bloody pop-ups, start of the day, the sec I go near it, starts pushing you round, near dare and down the stair. Magic pen. Screens are for tourists, juss look at ArseboK. Ulterior motives, but I diverge. Indian summer of the Tory Party. Dangerfield did it for the Libs. Farewell Georgiana, brief encounters with bliss in the grounds of a country pile. You know I met Lloyd George? Yes me father told me when I was knee high to. Stop.

Dint of it I ask you. that was eerily early the mist was. Turd stone from the sun. Judd blink & youd mishit. Bollox to Bognor. South of a bog. Stands it up for reason? Process of elimination, my weird Watson. Je never said that. I know. Know. Know. kNow. Comma. Odd the things that float. Waters off Clyne for egg proffers darn good stretch of the leggings.

Hit anything now. you could always put a light on blindfold. Break up this bliss when something’s amiss. Stay in touch. Of course or perhapsy.

Sure you’re a lang aukd time lone sun. Down tto the cardboard. In mere wheeze dan won. Get gone with you. juss being sillier. Look Ma no hands left! And various other bits to boot. Attstops inbetwean. Love comes in shirts. Buy one get one knee. Death on the High Street. Peepul turn wahey. Selfies with my new friend Dr. Dear-Dept.

Lokk wow it trndz. So now lingo bingo gets born. A gnu renascence occludes.
Broke through the ice. Just slipped out. Popped. Automatically. Reports dismissed on superficial coffe grounds. Wrong water fonts. Matter of dulce et decorum. Costume & Pack Ice Frobisher. Methodolology. Sjould be a Church of it upped. On. Ward. Armies argue over refs. Wrong type of earrings. Lackings of the daisical dEpartntt. Not future innit. Means mean ends. Conveyancing. Todays lesson a reading from the Book of Herman Two Sticks. Drumroll. Bugger Bognor. Famous lasts. Me or the wallpaper beyond my means sod under other sod. Blessems. Ashtrays to ashtrays. Divil first by a nose. Heaven’s Above put down. Fetlock snap. Juss bending down to pick up a pea. Pop! That’s your lot pal. Here’s some teeth to gnash while wailing.
A bum’s tear it was, a caskful of stares, cleaved, spigotted, deerstalkered, up for the rout, no soft feelings you understand, throbbing nasal duct, precursor of girly weeps, matinee idol what fell from Grace. & herself a married wannabe. Book of Life lies. Untouched on yonder coffee table. Walnut inlaid, caryatids. Lot of time input, hobbies. Tender acts of wooden love. Down memory lame. See who that is coming up. Bugger me the bishop. Late of Bath and Wells. Jaunty little mancub. Tells frequent tells of pewstuff. Ups and downs. Exercise really. Stiffs turn left on the way out. That’s you told, milad. Conscripted belligerent over traces kicks. Bit off more than is proven chewable. Gumshield orange peel. Never failed me yet. Charming ickle mancub. No sado of a doubt about it. dribbling desert wine in the naval cavity. Fortify the under fours. Whatever gets you through the night Kris. Mantle of moi dreams bladder wracked by marbles…

Daisy’s Chain


How timid the knock of bashful earthworms?

daydreaming summer bugs

Intimations of incarceration

dog my every word

like it was only doom

that learnt to cherish

buttercups on Daisy’s chain

Sinister Lampshades



Up and down
Up and down

That’s me today for a change…
Down now
Up later…
To find
Graham Nash talking Woodstock

and Joni Mitchell
Edging closer to a close
California dreamtime

at Manchester Trade Hall
freely loving Jennifer Eccles

bitter honeycomb wrappers
scurry down Saddleworth Moor



Q & Eh?





Let’s not talk, eh

Let’s not say what

is what


That’s better

Now we can hear

Ourselves thinking

About what to

Say next


Got it!

let’s make up

Brigid’s Bed

Bell, Book & Shambles



Inkus strummed glum
Untamed cygnet riff
As flying green sword fishes
Play noughts and crosses
on Andover beachfronts
The upholsterers sham
Couch casting &
Shadow wrastling
Modus vivendi tan
Like glass bead gamers
refuting b-movie scam

Raspberry Ripple


Good golly dropsy

ice wet lollypop
collywobbles of rebel-rebels 

spoils it for each 
& everynun

Bloody raspberry ripples
how so they wibble-wobble
pink syrup slurpers
alchemised greaved cnemis 
don a sock on it, Slobbochops

conceal your root extensions good or malign
will you?
restrict  sticky trickledown mishap

silence is molten
& like ice & fire

it burps

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let there be…



light at eight today

just up after tunnelling

a pleasant surprise

waiting there when I emerged

covered in gold dust

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