Bright Satanic Mills



Bright Satanic Mills

My bow is of dull brown wood,
For gold does not spring:
My arrows have less divine good,
And more barbs to sting:
My spear is aimed not at cloud,
But targets more solid:
My chariot’s unburned and proud –
Efficient, if stolid.
Examined, explained, demystified,
There’s no room left for your god of Zion.
With science and reason, his will is defied –
For mine is a chariot of iron.



Chromium Dreams

Vintage Sci-Fi
Vintage Sci-Fi by Josh Newton


Chromium Dreams
They promised us of Things To Come:
The Future’s oscillating hum,
When dreams of Progress are unfurled
And pitched to claim this Brave New World.

We always knew it’s coming soon,
Those holidays upon the moon,
The robots, ray guns, rocket boots,
The purple hair and silver suits.

But look at what infact we get:
The wind-farm and the internet.
Organic foods, not protein pills,
And terrorists, not air-raid drills.

We never got to live like gods
In fully-automated pods,
We never got to touch the stars
In UFOs and flying cars.

There’s no-one chilled in cryo-sleep,
There’s no-one dreams electric sheep,
There’s no-one swashes laser-swords
To saves the Earth from Martian hordes.

We’ve waited, just to find, too late
The Future now is out of date,
Yet still unripe its promised plums –
Alas, Tomorrow never comes.



Rock Pocks



Rock Pocks

Speckled is your Öyster and freckled is your Crüe,
Spıñal is your Motör and Hüsker is your Dü.
The diacritic critics may de-tittle in their punditry –
But I say, let umlauts roll with wänton-döt fecündïtÿ.


The ‘n’ in Spinal should of course have an umlaut, not a tilde, but the WordPress font just isn’t up to such awesomeness.




Once Upon a Midnight Dreary by Gustave Doré



Whenever I’m stumped for an effortless rhyme,
Whenever the words won’t fall easy,
When wheezing about on the gravely climb –
So that’s when the words come to tease me;
Late-night linguistical lethargies seize me,
Whenever the trumps are the harder to find.
And oozing from creases all over my mind
Come scuttle the lazy, the sham and resigned:
“Who needs a poem to rhyme ?” so they whisper,
“Nobody else is much bothered these days.
You labour at making all endings the crisper
But is it all worth it, the pittance it pays ?
ry poet, from preacher to lisper
Has long since rejected this overgilt craze.
Why must it be you who won’t flinch at their goosing ?
Still clinging to structures when others are loosing.
Oh, haven’t you seen all the standards reducing ?
And haven’t you seen all their rhythmless fame ?
All of the while, so your petty obtusing,
Is leaving you sleepless and out of the game.”
And so on, and so on.  I hear them, I hear them;
At three in the morning, it’s hopeless to clear them.
For all of their carping and mocking and chiming,
And trying, so trying to foul and coerce.
But still my resistance I’m loading and priming
To shoot down their posy and prosy-like verse.
If only, if only I unearth some rhyming,
Some trove of concordance to echo my timing,
Some anything, anything with the right sounding –
Some something to stifle my wheedle’ing head.
Something to root for, to bring their confounding,
Something of proof that will shutter their hounding,
Anything splendid and outright astounding –
Anything quick, or the voices will spread !
I must end the poem, I must end the pounding,
To let this poor poet at last go to bed !

Index of First Lines



Index of First Lines

I just can’t think who wrote it,
And I never learned its name.
But I know it begins
With a line about sins;
Or maybe a line about shame.

I know I used to quote it,
But it’s long since slipped away.
But I know at its head
Is a line about Fred,
Or maybe a line about Ray.

I always meant to note it,
But I let the words grow faint.
But I know at its start
Is a line about art,
Or maybe a line about paint.

My mem’ry just can’t float it,
For I’ve racked yet can’t recall
But I know at its lead
Is a line that I need –
Just that line, just that first line is all.

Sex & Death



Sex & Death

“Sex and death are the only things that can interest a serious mind.”
– W B Yeats

Expunge from mind your blue-remembered hills,
Put out your tyger tyger burning bright,
Dig up your host of golden daffodils,
And walk no more in beauty like the night.
Don’t take the golden road to Samarkand,
Or raise a lamp beside a golden door,
Don’t meet with trav’lers from an antique land,
Or laughing fellow-rovers anymore !
Ignore the stately pleasure-dome,
Forget the lays of ancient Rome,
Don’t hear the steeple peeling its half-chime.
No Raven or ascending Lark,
No Jumblies or the hunted Snark,
In rose-red cities half as old as time.
Don’t fill the unforgiving minute
With a nightingale or linnet,
Hiawatha or Macavity.
And wish not cloths of Heaven,
Nor for Player Queens or Seven-Woods,
And do not rise and go to Innisfree.



Dusty Jackets

pile of assorted novel books
Photo by Min An on


Dusty Jackets

If we can’t judge a book by its cover,
Then doesn’t that just tell us that their marketing is junk ?
Amateur and changing with their ev’ry new edition –
How can they hope to build a brand when faced with corp’rate bunk ?
So why are all these authors acquiescing to the bland,
And hiding all their bindings ?, shied away behind such flimsy card
That creases up and tatters through the simple act of reading.
You wouldn’t catch a band conceding for such vagaries unkind,
That leave their babies ripped and scarred
Cos publishers won’t go the extra yard.
After all, who thinks that Sgt Pepper should be redesigned ?
Or Dark Side of the Moon, perhaps, or Bad, or Nevermind ?