detail from Sleeping Girl by an unknown 1600s artist working in Rome


I’ve heard there’s folk who sleep but never dream –
That must seem a waste of a night,
When I think how my mind is a-gleam with delight.
But point of fact, they do alright,
Just shutting down for hours on end
Affording them time to mend,
While not distracted by the random streams
That dreamers love to wend.


Vintage AM FM Memorex Radio by L. Wright


Telepathy – could it be radio ?
Could we ever evolve to receive it ?
You’d better believe it !
Pigeon already can, you know,
Or at least, the magnetic field,
So science has revealed.
And then there’s electricity,
Made by the platypus and eel
To help them stun or feel.
And, for sheer simplicity,
We all see visible light, or course –
That’s the same old force !
But could we ever transmit ?
Even bio-luminescence,
Is a rare and gloomy presence,
Yet feels like it might fit –
Lengthening the waves it sends,
Detected by its friends
Who see much deeper in the red –
Though still only line-of-sight,
And still not bright.
Next – a wire in the head –
An aerial, but what does that solve ?
How could it ever evolve ?
And the energy required
To send it further than a voice
Will never make it nature’s choice.
No, we’ll never be wired,
We’ll never fill the air with speech –
At least, not till we’re cyborgs each…

First Love is Always the Hardest

The Young Astronomer by Olivier van Deuren

First Love is Always the Hardest

I’ll gladly say I love you,
If you don’t ask if I love you
More than all the stars above –
For what mere girl can stir up so much love
To turn the sternest head ?
Nuclear fusion, supernovas, black hole cuties,
Diamond-cored and shifted ruby-red –
It isn’t fair that I compare you
To the very heavens’ beauties
Turning all the inky velvet pearled –
For they are truly gems from out this world.

I’ll gladly say I love you,
If you don’t ask if I love you
Till the saline seas run dry.
For what mere girl can draw out such a sigh
To spring the harshest heart ?
Continents crashing, mountains leaping, plates migrating,
Magma-cored and slowly wrenched apart –
It isn’t fair that I compare you
To the very land creating
Granite, quartz, and crystals, forged and furled –
For they are truly gems within this world.

I’ll gladly say I love you,
If you don’t ask if I love you
Even more than life itself –
For what mere girl can equal so much wealth
To spark the jadest eye ?
Bejewellèd beetles, primrose blossom, eagles soaring,
Helix-cored and left to multiply –
It isn’t fair that I compare you
To the fruits of blind exploring –
Trunks and scales and proteins tightly curled –
For they are truly gems upon this world

I’ll gladly say I love you
If you don’t ask if I love you
Like a this or that or other-hand
For what mere boy can try to understand
What all this wonder means ?
Ricochet rapture, all things quickly, nothing mildly,
Empty-cored and barely out my teens –
It isn’t fair that you compare me
To a firefly flitting wildly
Through the endless lures in which I’m swirled –
I’ve never known such gems for all the world.

Pump Up, Soak In, Churn Out

Pump Up, Soak In, Churn Out

Ev’ry time we turn the music on
And spin that single, dream that dream,
We’re really lis’ning to the Man.
For ev’ry time we place that needle,
Fire that laser, hit that stream,
We’re all just following the Plan.

Rock & roll ain’t noise pollution,
But it sure is toxic waste
To manufacture vinyl, drop by drop.
And digital is nothing without phones,
Upgraded in a haste –
The beat goes on, the beat must never stop.

The constant chemicals that we abuse
Ain’t pills and coke,
They’re plastic pop and heavy metal ores.
For all our music’s rock music in the end,
To burn and smoke –
We’re so unhip, we groove to dinosaurs.

And where is all this power from to fight the power ?
Nukes and coal.
Our phones get fat while the rainforest gets thinned.
How can we let the sunshine in
To let the records roll ?
The answer, dudes, is blowing in the wind.

Twins I Have Known

Photo by cottonbro on

Twins I Have Known

My first twins, way back in infants,
Were Maisie & Daisy.
Or was it Daisy & Rose…?
Either way, their parents were lazy,
Whichever version they chose.

In second’ry school, I met the Sterlings,
Didi & Tom,
(Always spoken that way round).
With an Scottish Pa and American Mom,
And nicknamed two-for-a-pound.

At college, studying quantum symmetry,
Were Alfie & Ollie,
As identical as you get.
Sharing a coffee, sharing a brolly,
Sharing a karaoke duet.

At work, on the reception desk
Sat Carrie and Claire –
Each geminus trying to be unique
With diff’rent clothes and diff’rent hair,
But dead the same in how they speak.

The last set of twins, to date, are my own –
Baby 1 and Baby 2.
So what should I call them, my clone-i-kins ?
A running theme ?  No, that won’t do,
Then they’d forever be but half a twins.

To the Future

grandad to us all
Bronze effigy of Edward 3rd in Westminster Abbey

To the Future

My world was taught in your history class,
In half a chapter your teacher rushed through.
Somewhen between a turning point
And some other event which we never knew.
My world just probably made you bored,
Learning the dates of a notable few –
But not of my name – I never was found
In the textbooks on which you scribbled and drew.

Maybe then I was nobody special,
Somebody whom you can safely ignore.
Never improved a million lives –
Never brought hatred, hunger and war.
Maybe then I was nobody special,
Maybe achieved next to nothing at all.
But still I meant to a couple of dozen,
And for those the closest, an awful lot more.

You may then think that I was unknown,
Unrecorded in sadness and mirth.
Save for the parish’s register-book
Where my name’s still getting its three-entries’ worth.
Maybe you gotten my census or tax,
My causes of death and my weighting at birth.
But never be thinking that this is my lot,
All that I left from my time on this earth.

Never you think then that I didn’t count
Just cos you think I could never succeed.
Just cos you laugh at my primitive ways,
Never forget that we nobodies breed.
And if then I played in no big starring part,
But still my existence you so many need –
For there are yet hundreds, or thousand by now
In whose chain-genetics I mean much indeed.

It is claimed that anyone living in Britain today and whose family have been living here for several generations will lmost certainly be a direct descendent of King Edward the Third, who died in 1377.   Of course, if I’m, say, 24 generations down the line, that means I have over 830,000 great*21 grandparents, though quite a few of those will be dupliates.  Not that the poems about him, of course.

Butyrumusca getii

Butyrumusca getii

I saw a lepidopter’s case,
A peon to the butterfly.
With filigree of carapace
From abdomen to compound eye.
The duffer who possessed these critters
Spoke at loving length of flitters

I wondered how this gent possessed
Their tiny feet and stain-glass wings,
For clearly one who so obsessed
Could never harm so precious things –
Therefore, it must surely follow,
Ev’ry bodyshell was hollow.

These weren’t spent, discarded parts –
For butterflies can never shed –
They never get a dozen starts,
And only gain their wings to spread
Upon their change to adulthood –
They change for once and change for good.

Maybe then they’re not rejected,
Rather they are shiny new –
Here displayed to be selected
By the crawling grubs who queue –
So they choose their new quintessence
As they quit their adolescence.

Some are brighter, some are duller,
Some are nippy, some enlarged –
Pick a model, pick a colour,
Carbon-framed and sugar-charged.
Are you a grounded caterpillar ?
You should check these stats – they’re killer !

Sheep Mayn’t Safely Graze

Photo by Nick Bondarev on

Sheep Mayn’t Safely Graze

We rack them out between bridges and nuts,
And crank till they must reply.
And those low, low throbs that we feel in our guts –
Well, the sheep feel them too, by-and-by.
But it’s never their bleats or their baas that are scored,
It’s never their voices that sing from each chord,
And it’s never their own requiem we applaud.
In life and in death, so their tension will always be high.

How many hundreds of thousands of sheep
Have our symphonies dispatched ?
Every cello has reason to weep,
And scream as its sinews are scratched.
How many flocks must we cull to the muse ?
How many sacrificed lambkins and ewes ?
On the altar of Bach shall their entrails ooze.
They live for this music, but always do strings come attached.


high six


Polly Dacktle has ten fingers,
(Well, eight fingers,
And two thumbs.)
Polly Dacktle has ten fingers,
But there lingers…
What’s that…Crumbs !
Look ! She also has a spare
Upon her hand, just waiting there –
So if another needs repair,
Then out her extra digit comes.
Of course, it’s always there, if needed –
And if not, it’s there unheeded –
Always there, the ten exceeded.
(Good for doing tricky sums.)

Polly Dacktle must wear mittens,
Only mittens,
Never gloves.
Polly Dacktle must wear mittens,
Like her kittens.
(Not like doves.)
She wants fingers free to move
With ev’ry digit in its groove –
And so with scissors she’ll improve –
She snips and tears and pulls and shoves.
Now she has contrived to riddle
There a hole ’tween Ring and Middle
Where her spare can flex and fiddle,
(Just how Polly Dacktle loves.)

Polly Dacktle learns piano,
Learns piano
From her Teach.
Polly Dacktle likes piano
(Miss Delano’s
such a peach.)
Polly has to practice scales
And stretch for keys, but never fails –
Her widened span just skips and sails
And holds all music in her reach.
Gripping racquets, catching balls,
And shooting baskets, climbing walls,
Or sculpting clay, and dialing calls –
Polly scores at all and each.

Polly Dacktle isn’t evil.
Never evil,
Often good.
Polly Dacktle isn’t evil –
(Nor’s the weevil
In the wood.)
Neither one is plotting danger
Just because their look is stranger.
Polly’s fine, so never change
Her many-multi-fingerhood.
Shake her hand – there’s no electrics,
No prosthetics, no deceptricks.
She can touch in asymetrics.
(Don’t you sometimes wish you could ?)