Move Along the Platform

Odd how sometimes chance events recorded as notes or sketches cohere even when spread over a wide time period. I make and keep notes of significant but often quite small ideas or observations that interest me. These notes, in books, on scraps of paper, hotel note pads, receipts, napkins and so on have frequently surprised me by seeming to press me to bring them together. This is one such conglomeration, a piece intended as part of the underlying narrative of Blue In Green, which brings together a chance conversation with a friend who finds calm and quiet threatening (I was shocked!) and two of my favourite timeless moments. I think of it as an observation of the pointless misuse of existence and the one life we have if that is wasted, as I would see it, on a chaotic rush to oblivion, the most timeless moment of all and for everyone of us the same.


I wear my hat as I please indoors or out.
Walt Whitman

The highest point of music for me is to become in a place where
there is no desire, no craving, wanting to do anything else.
It is the best place you have ever been, and yet there is nothing there.
Terry Riley


Over the barricade of dreams
Over the sum of unconquerables
So far that deceptions of colour and number
Dissimulating from all worlds
Coalesce into just one translation
One gentle but insistent ambient hum of being.

Major shades in light or darks in minors
With their subtle and insinuating lies
Devoid of all but common sense
Can never uncircle their tautology
But will always leave us in suspension
With the traces of our being
Ever present here as drone and throb.

Welcome to the paradise of no Paradise
To the torment of choice
To the agony of only this
To a torture of fact
And the sensuously sweet dire
Revelation of reality.

* * *

Philosophers snow the manna of their fictions
With their ends and beginnings like foam
Faked over the fruits of thought.

Brush it from your cap with contempt
Pursue a counter mythology from the warm odours lining it
The free sweat of your love
Your quiet awe still gaping out from under.


‘E’s a pain in the arse your ex’s boy
Just like ‘is dad and as useless as ……
“leave off Jim! – ‘is doctor said
‘E’s got a syndrome in ‘is ‘ed
And cannot ‘elp ‘isself so shoutin’s wrong
Leave off I said, Oh shit!”
As riotous Rita from the end of our street
Violently pukes down the back of her seat
And chocolate long eaten
Some way before Savernake
Surfed up the floor amongst crisp crumbs and bottle tops
Snack wrappers dog ends and fag packs
In one surge of detritus licking at the heels
Of Mrs Starling’s new beach sandals.
Arriving at her last sip of gin
Curses a recalcitrant hip flask and roars
“Oh I do likes ta be ……”
As precocious young sea-ready Pammy shows off
In full flight down the length of the aisle
Amid wild acclamations from uncles and aunts
And screaming into her only-just-learned-this-last-week splits manoeuvre
Injudiciously deposits herself and the new swimwear
Onto the still warm sticky spume
Lapping round Mrs Starling’s moat.

On the charabanc to Weymouth
It was dog eat bitch from one end to the other
With not one of them first to have seen the sea
As fumes of smoke on their ale soaked breath
Streamed futures numb down yellow tracks
Like rancid rain on a frosted pane
And arriving they fall out in wild disarray
Adjacent the lavatory facing all ways
All pointing in different directions at once
For the pub or the beach
For the nearest arcades
For the chips and the fish inland.

* * *

Derek the driver’s cap is inclined
His ruminative grace of hand unsurprised
Dismissively swipes the fluff from its peak
As with consecrated dustbin bag floorcloth and mop
He sets about the purging of his temple.

Ostrich Phenotypes

That interval of unrest when the Dyson goes flat
And disconsolate furniture spreads out in suspense
When the trickle and drip of noiseless charge
On solitary minds suspicious of silence
It is then that your fearful and tentative birds
Kyle or Facebook themselves into toileting asides
Retreat before the threat of enforced contemplation
Their calloused rumps astride questioning tranquillity
Buried in denial behind gull pestered moorings
Where hovels not hominids meet at the gutters
Over pavements of sea stones up from the beach
And siren fishwives bemoaning their lot
On the salt laden sting of inflammatory calm
Bid dear muscles unclam in their fear of the peace.

Thus sand denied landings
Buries heads as good as lives
Cuts threads as well as rights
For soul makers alone with themselves
Eye upon eye

* * *

Sailors realised through an eyeglass trained
On their ship’s caps tilted at humanity’s shore
Swab the decks named for us lying at anchor.

Alien Encounter

Blearily as in a morning brain fog
Stairs downward for hide-bound English
Waxed and polished in the woodwork of ages
And all reassuringly afloat on forever fumes
Contemplatively paused
Taking stock at the landing
Where down going trends
Meet upwardly seductive powerful friends
An alien peers as aliens do
At a violet scene with an orangy tinge
Through scarlets and blues
Over purple and green
To align with its life and its hues
Each motion, substance and form in view
Against catalogues of probables
Invented to suit.

Passing this or that bright morning
Glance back and slightly up questioning it
Ask that which invariably roils.
This alien
Does it look desperate enough for a smile
Or hint at intentions to exchange?
Does it?
Will there be stumbling in tongues?
Can it think of, feel or own a purpose?
Does it know its place?
Will it remain quarantined within its place
Or descend for a meeting?
Where is its place exactly?
Where your’s in relation?
Extend your thought to grasp his measurement
Hook his minute and bear them over
Undrawn lines still fuzzed
Still swept by the brush of disavowal
Sanitised in convenient dogma
And go ahead! Ask it!

Back and slightly up once more you stand alone
Profoundly alone in its absence
Knowing that if you had asked
You could have viewed through its eyes
The colours of its skies
The odour it calls home
Its wonder at the what-is-not-it
Its purpose for the what-is
Its possibilities and impossibilities
Its limitless love
And coalescing in an anonymity of oneness
The point of it
Your alien.

* * *
You doff
It doffs
Mutual nods to entangled unknowns
Possible futures joyously acknowledged
In one singular imperfect vision of self
Hovering adventurously under its cap
And so thrilled to have made your acquaintance.

The Law According to Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

Freddie took the fly at fifty three years and two months
Shortly ahead by just a couple of hours
Of an ill-favoured dawn over his East End bed
As their various good sirs and exquisite my lords
Came right on behind in their broughams and barouches
Either quickened with gout or by hunting excuses
As always quite nervously under devout
Though certain of favours bought handsomely upfront
In kind not in kindness.

Out of the west rattling prematurely perhaps
Come castings of overnight colourful types
By stages of consumption up from the country
Still trusting their betters and as ever still hopeful.

Meanwhile up north
At the confluence of aspiration
Steam powered in new money
The great unwashed in second or third
And likewise the great unworked rode relaxed
In their biblically sanctioned first class seats
All funnelled with precision and efficient beliefs
To the same end from the same start
Never mind the gap!

As ships of the south berth
So planes land to unload
Diesel delivers and petrol propels
Compels the unwilling
Impels the never ready
Traffics everyone from wherever to the terminus of now
Holding tightly on for the ride of their lives
Not knowing the law according to Coulomb
Or its practical application.

* * *
Augustin at the edge
Resigned in his loss
Endures the whole process respectfully
Cap in hand.

The Everythingness of Nothing

How the creaking clank of the last iron gate
Speaks ponderously out to the multitude sighing
Creaks out of its weight in reassuring signs
Speaks of oblivion and the long long nothing else.

Leaves in abscission descend in their myriads
Kissing with butterflies on their first day of flight
Float down to profusions of lovers in drifts
Moulding their caresses in lichens.

Here is the everythingness of nothing revealed
In an equilibrium of lines between starts and stops
In beauty made manifest by suspension of purpose
And the sensual arousal of terminal implosion.

Looking forward from here with no ends
And passages travelled mere conduits of blindness
Is winding backwards to the state of no self
Is a plenipotential pact with infinitudes.

And so you find yourself stationary
One of eighteen playing
Sitting on the only one-man bench alone
Separated from the shibboleth of conformity
Sniffling ratlike its arguments row upon row beyond the hedge
Ruling and regulatory but shaded now
Lost outside in the cold corruption of its suppositions.

You are going nowhere
Coming as you must have come
From somewhere is irrelevant
Since your only care
Is for the not going anywhere
For the bells tolling out their drone
For the universe filling with old dead leaves
For the heart now naked enough to survive
Yet another dance with your unspent breaths
For the not missed dissonances of absent corners
For autumnal warmth on the newest of worms
And the sunset sung from the oldest blackbird’s throat
For the faintest of breezes washing history fresh
For arrival at the pristine void
And awakenings to be had there
With your bare and pointless significance.


Revelation is in the lifting of caps
Not as acts of deference but defiantly purposeful
An exclusivity reserved for the scratching of heads
The reaching of conclusions
For the salvation of sentient mortal souls
Acknowledging the unknowable
And moving on.

For what is real?
The leaf that falls
Its constituents recycling
The maggots that morph
For the sake of their kind
Or imaginations in sense and mind
When standing deliciously, sensuously alive
In an empty distillation of quietude
Out of dumb memorials to the flux of all things
In the garden of no time.