Nothing matters now
save his eight pound slip of flesh
warming behind perspex,

every bloodshot palpation
of his ruby heart fastened
in its nook of mothwing,

its tent of cotton-curtain skin.
Every spark that lifts
in the dark,

every misfire
of every synapse inside
every soft, curling wire

in his head,
every womb-sluiced follicle
on every inch of his tiny body

pinkening on the tube bed
and every red beep
of the insomniac machine

that jangles the hum in my bones,
the hum of grief,
the murmur hum of love.


You were diamond
mined from raw heat,

blood-precious ruby
glittered with vernix.

I unwrapped you,
a dazed prospector

awed into quietude
by the first skin-on-skin

touch of your tiny body
on my naked chest.

Two eyes sheened
with the pain of transit

stared wide-open
into mine, peering out

from the canopy-shade
of my black t-shirt

as if from the deeps of
the womb-realm;

eyes of obsidian shining
out of the mine shaft

lit suddenly by the glare
of tubular light.

Submerged so long
in your languid wet

world of marble liquid,
we were beryl shades

whose faraway voices
vibrated the rounded rim

of your moonstone orb
in thunder rumbles of opal fire.

You made good your exit,
face-first, lifted through

the open lips of a C-sized wound,
your water walls falling

in an agony of deliverance,
in a roar of catastrophe.

You were molten once,
thrown in a tantrum of love

and now you are whorled agate,
our perfect miniature

formed after a long cooling.
I cradle your frangible

feather-head, warm nugget
body fragile as porcelain,

kiss a leaf-light lid. Little
bead in a limitless human chain

you are earth-ore, stardust, gold.

Home Town

The sun is setting on the brined rim
of my home town, arcadia
of bottle-green water where white horses

cavalcade pebbled sand, its sea-lips
redolent of grease, stout slop and piss,
raggy in its frock of bar-lit noise,

the salt-rusted jewellery of old Victoriana.
A galaxy of grey worlds,
pebble on pebble, stone on stone

beds the hump of grassy scree,
the hill Joyce named a whale
slumbering, inert on lapping waves.

The creature petrifies in the dip of sun,
oil-skin and blubber cool in a mash
of gorse, scutch and stone,

a gnarled spine of telegraph poles and cable,
scales of glinting beer cans.
No blowhole crowns the head now;

gusts of spume have hardened in concrete,
the spit of air and water mineralised
in a cross. Dusk gathers,

the bay yawns in the dark.
Lights on the promenade are a necklace unslung
and straightened in technicolour.