Down the Place

Latest instalment

  • 142/ in the night

    She stands up,
    “Do you like this dress?”
    I push past, buy another drink.
    She comes over,
    I go to kiss her.
    “So what was that?” she says,
    “Are you sober?”

    She pulls me to my feet.
    We’re through the door,
    into the evening light.

    I half turn.

    She walks away,
    lost in the night.

All instalments

  • 1/ Was wandering around, wondering what to do

    Was wandering around, wondering what to do,
    a corner of the sky through the window.
    Man makes God up.
    The wind has dropped
    and there’s this thought that comes from nowhere,
    I remembered I won’t be seeing her.
    Suddenly I saw her,
    then lost her along the pier,
    down the place and up the street.
    Never sober enough to remember,
    I lifted my face; up came the gulls
    over the surveillance camera,
    below, street litter.

    And over the roofs an ocean sky,
    and her gone from the café,
    skirt rising up, losing her feet,
    beneath the swinging branches,
    borrowing money, and away.

    I loved her then, some of it true.
    Love lasts a bit, you get pulled into it.
    Her blouse was undone.
    I had no opinion.
    I felt free, my heart was open.
    Now I am silent and separate
    with everything to regret.

  • 2/ she doesn’t love me

    Life can give you a friend
    and life can bring it to an end;
    she doesn’t love me,
    why should she?

  • 3/ when she danced she cried

    And from your bed you’ve come
    and back into mine, as you’ve always done.
    “I’m leaving my job,” she goes.
    I said, “I’ll do the same.”
    We went drinking and left on the evening train.
    Without money you’re in prison.
    We nicked the ladders, walked up to the house,
    put the last bit in the van.
    Couldn’t lock the front door, we didn’t know how.
    I took out a cigarette, darkness fell.

    “I’m not married,” she said.
    I pushed up against her, she looked at me.
    I looked back to see what she was at.
    She’s had every kind of love,
    with her broken down walk and high heels.
    The street lights shone on her face
    and when she danced she cried.
    There’s tears and tragedy on stage and screen.
    The fruit machine offers something for nothing,
    and takes everything.
    You get caught up in a car chase on a video game.

  • 4/ looking for someone like you

    Across the street I saw you wave,
    something unspoken.
    Now I’m sitting in a place we used to love,
    everything is as it was;
    I felt the presence of your absence,
    was looking for someone like you,
    an easy mistake to make
    as anyone might do.

  • 5/ I hardly give you a thought

    And yes, when you get to heaven
    and there’s no one there,
    it’s just another sad idea.
    From under the trees, into the shade,
    I slipped.
    The world stood still;
    as I sat by the road
    I felt the pain of remembering,
    I long to be wherever you are.
    I know what it feels like for you to be no longer here.

    Some days I hardly give you a thought,
    and the thoughts I’ve had don’t matter anyway.

  • 6/ those leaving steps gone

    And in the morning she saw me out.
    The door was open, and into town.
    A taxi swinging into the street,
    past the coffee shops, the sound of feet,
    down the slope and along the way,
    those leaving steps gone behind me.

    Clouds gathered, evening came.
    Tonight I’ll go back to where you were
    and, if you want answers, “I’m in the bar.”
    You hoped for a holiday, a forget it all;
    across the buildings rain fell.

    There are men driving up and down with money.
    If love can happen once it can happen again.
    Up with the skirt and into town,
    I can have it if I want it, but I don’t want it;
    I hang around the pub,
    last orders gone.

  • 7/ a homelessness to everything

    You can’t ever know who is where.
    And the slow sliding of her
    keeps me thinking
    about all that which makes her interesting.

    Life goes by,
    the evening blue makes us cry.
    Everyone is separate and passing.
    There’s a homelessness to everything.
    You get fed up with my looks
    and you’re off again.

  • 8/ where I normally sit

    Mornings in the shop,
    evenings never sober,
    I sit where I normally sit,
    have a TV dinner.
    What does she see in me?
    Have me stay over.
    “I’m no-one to you.”
    She says I’m free to go,
    I might just do so.

  • 9/ Not worth the worry

    In my thoughts I go thinking,
    her kisses are much the same.
    Down the slope of summer I hold her.
    There’s a notice for a model in the shop window
    by the pub near her home.
    I saw her there earlier on,
    she was with no-one.
    She’s had loads, they say,
    she’s caused plenty, me being one.
    Not worth the worry, never was.

  • 10/ messing with the girls

    And on the streets I’m messing with the girls,
    arm in arm.
    All life is rubbish.
    It almost is.

  • 11/ confused by women

    I’m a little lost, nowhere to go,
    this place is just a bit past where we know.
    She’s coming up, low-cut top.
    I’ll look at anything I haven’t got.
    I’m vaguely worried most of the time,
    I was confused by women,
    confused on my own.
    Yet it’s been said, I’m the one to open doors,
    make a deal, dress for a meal,
    sometimes with the boys,
    always with the girls.

    I was with one of her friends,
    can’t remember who.
    “Am I doing it right?” she’d say.
    “Like the last one, just ok.”

  • 12/ nothing is mine

    Behind the autumn fog,
    down the road the slow journey.

    Dirty are the buildings,
    cheap is the wine;
    there’s no privacy on the streets,
    cameras turning all the time.
    No-one is free, nothing is mine.

  • 13/ It would be a while before I would see her again

    It would be a while before I would see her again.It would be a while before I would see her again.

  • 14/ In the shadows

    In the shadows I felt alone and upset.
    Out the window I go leaning.
    The best stories I ever heard
    were always misleading.
    Everyone loves a woman
    to go back and forth,
    who does what she can,
    as many times as it suits him,
    who takes his fancy
    as the fancy takes him.

  • 15/ slams the door

    She smooths back her hair,
    “I’m out.”
    “Anywhere nice?”
    “Oh yes,”
    and slams the door.

  • 16/ too good-looking for her

    The car park fills up nicely.
    We go up when it’s sunny.
    I am no more than a few steps away,
    and you falling out of your dress.
    So there could be a God,
    there could be hell.
    I’m a bit too good-looking for her.
    She might like me, it’s hard to tell;
    in her bare feet she runs
    past the rising sea and ice-cream van.

    Then this guy comes up and says:
    “Hey, remember?
    I was going out with the one you saw me with.
    Well, it’s ended.

    I’m on the streets and keep being moved on.
    I can buy a tent, loads less than the going.
    I need a couple now,
    I’ll borrow it back.
    I won’t do it again.”

  • 17/ don’t go away

    Where are you now? I want to know,
    I won’t give up believing in you.
    Did you expect me to?
    “Girl, don’t go away from me,”
    was all I could say.
    It was never enough;
    how could I expect it to be?
    I exchange one woman for another:
    I was wrong, didn’t listen,
    found it hard to take criticism,
    hard giving up believing in you
    when it’s the only thing left to hold onto.

  • 18/ dreams come out of the blue

    Then some afternoon out on my own,
    dreams come out of the blue.
    The streets go down to the sea,
    I was near to tears,
    and coming up the slope I put my bags down,
    light a cigarette.
    Beside the wall I sit.
    The car is the best pleasure.
    To be away from everything
    with summer in the sky,
    June, July.

  • 19/ I’ll win the lottery

    I’m back in heaven, with the pubs open.
    Life fits where it touches,
    it’s all out there.
    I slip down from nowhere.

    “Tell you one thing,
    I’ll win the lottery, that will show them.
    Tell you this, I can’t trust you,
    no-one can.”

    Guess where I am.
    I’m in a cab,
    going back to mine,

    In a place somewhere near,
    in a run-down pub,
    was she a friend of yours,
    did she look lovely or something?
    I’m learning to see what we are.
    We are not our thoughts,
    we are not really here.

  • 20/ she followed me all summer

    In a doorway a woman stood
    and looked me over.
    I turned back and smiled.
    Along the path, across the park,
    and in my thoughts,
    she followed me all summer.
    And here I’ll be thinking
    the world through.

    It’s a sadness to wake up
    remembering she’s gone.

  • 21/ You can lose and miss people

    You can lose and miss people,
    as I do,
    and if I had a car
    I’d be back with you.
    Every moment being alone together,
    on your arm forever.
    I don’t know what is worse,
    being with you or hurting without each other;
    the loss of you
    is always present in me.

  • 22/ distant traffic

    I heard distant traffic,
    the sun sparkling on the car window
    and for one moment I am with you.

  • 23/ a sense of longing

    We go on holiday.
    Again I love her
    on the beach in the sunlight of the day.
    She had a wardrobe more full than empty,
    little kick-off shoes.
    I was always around her, as she was me.

    In the summertime of our days,
    in the sunshine behind your summer shades.
    Some girls remind me of girls I’ve known before.
    Everyone has a way of escaping,
    a sense of longing.
    Every woman I know
    watches the men passing.
    In my sadness I don’t notice many things.
    Someone goes by
    and there’s that perfume.

  • 24/ small circles we turn

    In the red sky the sun is sinking.
    I kiss your mouth,
    we are virgin.
    I look for you in my days.
    You made it all worth living,
    made the ordinary interesting.
    In small circles we turn.
    Everything on the planet
    is kept in its place by opposing forces.
    In the cosmos there’s something rare;
    so there is, and isn’t, a god,
    you can’t know where.

  • 25/ Cherry, bell, cherry

    She didn’t stop for long;
    I’m at a table smoking,
    up and back to the fruit machine.
    Cherry, bell, cherry.
    Bell, cherry, lemon.

  • 26/ nothing will be the same

    Let me be with the one who wants me,
    beside a mountain stream,
    listening to the waters tumbling.
    I know everything has to die,
    and when we go
    we arrive at nothing.

    And up she sat on the warm sands,
    in her white costume,
    book across her lap.
    After the hot summer comes the dark thunder,
    down to where we are.

    I know nothing will be the same again.

  • 27/ the same dreams

    The sun sinks behind the sea horses on the winds.
    We all have the same dreams;
    I wander around the amusement arcades.
    I don’t love her any more,
    just what she was waiting for.

  • 28/ she promised me

    My thoughts would take care of me.
    I would open the window,
    call the dogs over,
    they know their names;
    behind them I close the door.
    Nature is in constant movement,
    everything goes on for ever.
    I wish I was back beside a summer sea,
    the scented night, the pale moon sails away.
    All those times she promised me;
    the present is becoming the past.
    The sun slants across the room,
    it was morning.

    Along the front the silver paint on the railings.
    the holiday crowds, the café signs.
    Between the girls there was a shortage of girls.
    I was always hoping,
    my shirt was open.

  • 29/ the sunlit fields

    The sun begins its journey down.
    I wonder if I met her once,
    maybe the other side of the weekend.
    I can’t believe she’s married
    and still out with me.

    In the sunlit fields and hay-barns,
    the girls think about the boys all the time,
    go from one to another.

    She lives in the house without the upstair curtain.
    Upturned boxes and litter in the garden.
    Above the slanting roof up go the pigeons
    and when she goes out she could be anyone’s.
    I’ll be seeing her up the road when she returns.

  • 30/ life is much the same

    We are drawn in by the football screen,
    back and forth, forward and across,
    and back again.
    From outer space
    to patterns under the microscope,
    life is much the same.

  • 31/ more empty than before

    I moved the glass further away,
    my thoughts gone.
    On the table behind me
    I placed the wine glass down,
    more empty than before.
    The edge of the evening fell away.
    Later I sat outside,
    the night sky hidden.
    I drew the glass towards me.
    There were voices.
    I held a match to my cigarette,
    felt the breeze, and drew in smoke.
    There were more footsteps,
    then no footsteps.

    Was there money left?
    more than I needed, less than I hoped.

  • 32/ wind blows through me

    Under the over-cast night I slipped away.
    The train is at the station;
    down the line places wait for me.
    The weekend is getting closer.
    I walked up the road,
    I loved her more than I thought.
    The God particle is almost visible.

    I stand out the rain,
    against the doorway I lean.
    The wind blows through me,
    I feel part of everything.

  • 33/ that will be that

    “You went out with that one in his van.
    Give him two weeks and he’ll change his mind.
    He might not have you back,”
    I said with a smile, “and that will be that.”

  • 34/ as real as this

    Above the skies a dark grey;
    some believe in God.
    There’s a madness in everyone
    and the more you know it,
    the less you are alone.
    It’s the faces that reflect ourselves
    that we are drawn to.
    Across the fields I see you coming,
    splashes of shadow,
    and sunlight on the wind moving.

    My thoughts run up to the horizon.
    And when your next life has come,
    it will be as real as this one.

  • 35/ I know what she wants

    I like her, she claims to be something;
    I want to be her,
    I can’t stop looking.
    She wants to impress,
    presents herself nicely.
    I know what she wants,
    she makes her parts look lovely.

    She pushed her drink along.
    “I like your watch,” I said, as she got down.
    A few of the lads were looking.
    Outside, rain.
    The turn in the street
    that led up a flight of stairs
    through a second door,
    where the windows looked across into back rooms.
    Someone stood with her petticoat to the knee.
    Around the open curtain came the evening.

  • 36/ And here she is

    There’s little consolation in being with women.
    I’m slightly withdrawn,
    sitting in the shadow of the room.
    And if you think about the old days,
    you start to miss everyone.

    And here she is, in a cast of many,
    but isn’t anybody really,
    and in the street
    they are handing out leaflets,
    as they leave through the theatre entrance,
    into the street life of the street all day,
    passing street people on their way.

  • 37/ I hang around the shops

    Along the road the traffic’s a blur,
    cigarette in hand, I hold it there.

    I look down to see where the self ends,
    and here begins all of everywhere.

    I hang around the shops,
    it’s lunch hour.

  • 38/ you’re taken too far

    The other side of the line,
    a burnt-out car.
    The unthinkable can happen,
    you’re taken too far.
    Across the foot-bridge
    you get touched inside your clothes.
    It might be true, it could be lies.
    Along the broken track
    beyond the hill,
    I remember a song about some boy-girl.
    You glance up, a glimpse of Heaven.
    Gravity pulls you down,
    life sucks you in,
    and at the end of a disappearing day,
    there’s dancing moonlight across the room.

  • 39/ silent photograph

    The world gains in time and loses people;
    a silent photograph of a single white piano.

  • 40/ bird is blown

    From across an open field another time,
    I turn the pages of a photo album.
    The way she opens the gate,
    I notice her from behind;
    a bird is blown in the sunshine.

    Long is the night, cold is the moon;
    the evening shadows I lie on.
    The sun will soon be rising,
    together we will love again.

  • 41/ night love

    Evening to night,
    moon to sky,
    night love
    passes by.

  • 42/ angels in stone

    I wish in some way
    I could go with you,
    down some forgotten track
    where sheep graze on the hill.

    In the church, above the altar,
    there are angels in stone;
    outside, pools of rain-water.

    And if you love someone
    you want the most pleasure from them.
    Along lawns, orchards and gardens,
    summer turns to autumn.

  • 43/ I’ll show you

    I know the pubs,
    they all know me.
    I’m drawn in, I see who’s there.
    I make my way up,
    give her some hello chat.

    Last night got in late, you tell me how
    under the lights of the gambling club
    in a street brawl
    And in the morning I had some bad news.
    “Good. What is it?”
    “She’s coming to stay.
    I couldn’t quite say no.”

  • 44/ The mists lifted

    At the sound of a closing door
    I return upstairs
    and lean out of an open window.
    Below, the river road travels the forest
    through a clearing,
    and through broken sleep into rain falling.
    The mists lifted and I saw a circus horse
    and a man kneeling.

    We don’t live forever;
    time becomes smaller and smaller.
    And down from the stage she comes,
    singing slightly away from the microphone.
    We have a night out, then make our way home.
    Sometimes I get taken for a celebrity;
    I’m that much of a looker, they think I’m off the TV.
    And when I’m down the pub
    I know the world she’s after.
    She looked at me and I at her,
    we laughed again.
    As she was leaving,
    she looked back in.

  • 45/ White buildings rise

    The night streets are like a film set,
    the traffic sitting there.
    White buildings rise and descend,
    the carpet runs up the stairs
    and in the bedroom plants, shelves, mirrors,
    and from the window throwaway take-aways.
    Past the homeless,
    in her carrier bag she carries a new dress;
    you only make your first impression once.

  • 46/ CDs on the floor

    Open are her windows,
    CDs on the floor.
    My life would be no good
    if she wanted me no more.

  • 47/ Life is unstable

    Outside the train window,
    the skyline is moving away.
    Life is unstable;
    on the hillside I lay,
    slopes climbing far above the clouds,
    far beyond the sky.

    She takes herself down the pub,
    stands at the bar, waits for love.
    Into the room I come,
    I caught her looking.
    It’s a nice little size,
    fits everyone.

  • 48/ Life came from the ocean

    Life came from the ocean;
    in ploughed fields fossils are found.

  • 49/ by the canal I sit

    I know the truth,
    I can make your heart ache.
    I know she loves me,
    what can I do about it?
    Nettles and rusting tin cans
    along the summer track.
    I will always miss her,
    by the canal I sit.

    The dark sky. A pale cottage,
    I know it’s you in there,
    her place so small.
    It’s her place I’ve known before.
    I throw my coat down,
    take her in my arms,
    but one day I’ll love someone else,
    I guess.

  • 50/ I’ll be fine

    I’ll be fine, given time.
    I’ll work out the mind with the mind.
    The brain is rewarded
    by recognising itself,
    explaining itself to itself.
    We are made up of the same genes.
    When I’m gone, pray:
    it may make a difference,
    who can say?

  • 51/ the gentle rain

    She saw him pale and old,
    against the gentle rain,
    moving through the last of his days,
    slow and unshaven.
    The avenue slopes up, the cameras look down.
    In his kitchen, the light in the fridge is broken,
    the white kettle the same.

  • 52/ an empty bed

    The sun comes out briefly
    from behind the houses.
    I look down from the balcony,
    below, the women passing.

    They know what they do,
    wish I was like them.
    But I’m famous enough inside my head,
    not to mind returning to an empty bed.

    She gives me a smile, I move to the bar.
    Outside the pub, car doors slam,
    and out of the car-park,
    the cars turn into other evenings,
    stretching out along the darkening road,
    the sky falling.

  • 53/ no one can be me

    You can’t live all the things you think about;
    if only I could live in the present,
    let go of tomorrow.
    Will she see me?
    Things like that, I don’t know.
    You can only change
    if you know why you want to.
    I let my feelings stray
    and lose the meaning of everything.
    No one can touch you on your journey,
    no one can be me.

  • 54/ the meaning of everything

    And into the night we walked
    and spoke as we went,
    about everything with its meaning,
    and the meaning of everything.

  • 55/ no judgement

    We are here to understand
    something about ourselves
    and the world.
    There is no life outside life,
    no judgement,
    no route that leads to perfection,
    nothing so distant you can’t draw it in.

  • 56/ nothing is there

    She had an unreliable story.
    came from a shabby home
    with a television as big as a door
    a crucifix that hung to the floor.

    I move through the city,
    cover the streets with my camera.
    “Are you interested in coming back,
    I only live round the corner?”

    The sun’s rays come from heaven,
    a place we never gain.
    Life divides and separates,
    nothing exists without a centre.
    Life is based on thoughts,
    yet nothing is there.

    I am a survivor in the world of Our Saviour.

  • 57/ the end of an affair

    I carry a bottle or two from town.
    Across I pull the curtain;
    we made love.
    It’s hard to accept the end of an affair.

  • 58/ Everything felt far away

    She’s the one smiling in the photo,
    blue dress, blonde hair,
    she may look like a few famous names,
    what would I care?

    And there’s this one of me,
    leaning from the car window.
    She’d seen my driving, got herself insured.
    And down I look, at the car engine,
    and hardly understand a thing.
    The road rises ahead,
    and leaves in the mirror.
    Everything felt far away, as if I wasn’t really there.
    And I wonder what’s happening
    to her, in her, for her.

  • 59/ pixels on a screen

    I couldn’t take my life seriously,
    always concealed myself, was never real to myself,
    that’s why I say I wasted my life away.
    Maybe nothing exists; I could be no one,
    only pixels on a screen.
    Showers sweep along the coast,
    and by morning we are home.

    Built into creation
    is the ability of things to evolve.
    That’s the genius of everything:
    we come from the same source,
    almost nothing.

  • 60/ that reveals something hidden

    The present controls the future:
    experience is outside but experienced within.
    Every photograph is a moment in time,
    something ordinary
    that reveals something hidden.

    I remember the girl on a swing,
    the sound of the evening train,
    that bridge where the track goes under.
    My heart was broken.
    It’s the end of summer,
    I’m sitting opposite the sunset,
    I’ll wait for you here.

  • 61/ It’s been a long year

    It’s been a long year.

  • 62/ But don’t worry

    Into the early morning breakfast café I came
    and as she passed, she took a good look at me.
    An unhappy woman can do a lot of harm;
    I can’t bring peace to her mind.
    Everyone is dependent on each other,
    everything is in competition,
    everyone is on their own.

    Past the houses for sale and cheap hotels,
    the girls are spending their pay in the bars.
    I look across at the fruit machine.
    I guess most women are available,
    to the right man.
    But don’t worry, love, I’m going home.

  • 63/ up and shining

    A new day has risen, now up and shining.
    And from the dining room
    I saw the parked car, the lawn-sprinkler turning.
    The day is tinged with sadness.

  • 64/ the phone rings

    I open the window,
    the phone rings:
    “Who’s that?
    What are you selling?
    I don’t need it.
    Stop calling me by my name.
    I don’t know you.
    What’s your name?
    Now you’re calling me mate.
    Is there a problem?
    How did you get this number?
    Don’t do this again.”

  • 65/ Everyone is on Facebook

    Everyone is on Facebook.
    Everyone is now an artist,
    loves themselves.

  • 66/ that smile of hers

    Then what do I like her for?
    Trouble is, I don’t know.
    And when she leaves, she waves
    as far as the corner
    and there’s that smile of hers
    that comes from somewhere.
    The roof tops reflect the sun.
    From the leaning fence
    the police tape has come undone.

    I look at her on the bus;
    does she know she’s less good-looking
    than she used to be?
    I go out with her Saturday, but not regularly.
    Her clothes were scattered across the floor.

  • 67/ Women waste my time

    Women waste my time,
    I waste it back some more.

  • 68/ she goes where the bus goes

    Her skirt has a broken zip,
    she goes where the bus goes;
    with her shoe she touched my leg.
    She’s in love with me,
    as well as a few others.

    Someone smiles at you. I turn round,
    looking back as far as I can hope.
    I think a lot about her, I’m never quite happy.
    The harbour life goes back and forth.

  • 69/ Along comes a dance song

    The miracle of being sixteen,
    the sun shines down,
    The radio filled the room,
    I think back to my memory of her.
    The streets came to your door,
    now no longer there.

    Along comes a dance song,
    sounds like the last one.
    The best things just happen, they’re not planned;
    it’s being kissed as I kissed you that’s beautiful.
    I remember these things,
    the hill top view.

  • 70/ along the street to parties

    Down a leafy lane in October
    a rain-beaten path through the bracken,
    we walked in shadow and sun.
    “Tell him to tell her I’ve got a new friend.”

    I’m on the sofa watching the game
    and all of a sudden it was in.
    The others are already losing.
    “It’s not over yet,” she shouted across the room.

    And in the night-long cafés
    the girls in groups smiling beautiful smiles
    along the street to parties,
    along the railings pushing, pulling.
    One waved,
    the early night was warm.

    Later on, through the evening and into the pub,
    I thought she was barred.
    Looked across, gave an unhappy smile,
    lit her cigarette, and turned.

  • 71/ Remember that picture

    Remember that picture of us,
    no longer to be found?

  • 72/ the subject of artists

    Outside, the air has dropped,
    and from across the field she walks up.
    Soft moonlight creeps over her home;
    the light under the door
    comes from beyond the river.
    The sky is filled with stars,
    hills and ruins, moisture on the leaves,
    ancient forests, distant places,
    the subject of artists.

  • 73/ when I dream

    The landing goes up and down.
    The night faded, in came the day;
    through the car window,
    over the river, a child lifted by angels.
    Along the track over the mountain,
    and down the pathway I ran.
    She stood by the window.

    I missed your soft kiss, your laughter,
    your blouse, your hair.
    I walked back to the car,
    and when I dream, I’m actually there,
    on the same road winding
    but no one knows where we’re going:
    I wonder where you have to be to find out.

  • 74/ The glitter-ball turns

    I sat in the afternoon sun;
    the waves lay still
    and out along the horizon
    the waters shone.
    Along the cliff tops, in the scented heat
    small flowers,
    and on the waters a sail boat.
    The glitter-ball turns above the pier
    in the burning light.
    Music was playing,
    and from over the seas
    came the warm, sweet night.
    The breeze never stays still.
    I look into the distance,
    my arm around you.

  • 75/ love gives you hope

    I lay across the pool table,
    I never care what I do.
    Outside, evening fell.
    Footsteps sounded in the yard.

    I raised my eyes, we looked at each other,
    “What are you doing, looking at me smiling?”

    Most of life is disappointment,
    but love gives you hope.

  • 76/ I remember the moment

    Over the stream the hills rise.
    Milky sunlight reaches into pools of darkness,
    the horizon opens up,
    the track dips past the village shop.
    In the distance the sky is empty of hills.
    The mist is down, covers the church spire.
    Trees have lost their leaves
    and up through the fields, parked cars.
    And into the afternoon
    we walked, through the showers.
    I notice those park benches
    where I met the girls.

    I remember the moment you walked away.
    Now you’re on the street shopping.
    Sunlight on the buildings,
    an aeroplane trail in the heavens.
    She smiles and seems pleased to see me.
    Away go the cars, the lights are changing.

  • 77/ I looked back

    I glanced across at her unmade bed,
    and went out for a last cigarette.
    Down the corridor, I looked back
    to where you waited.
    I’m not saying there was anything,
    but there was something.

  • 78/ Where will they be

    The slow dance section is only three songs long,
    and against the wall the women.
    Where will they be when evening becomes morning?

  • 79/ the pigeons return

    From the fruit machine I had a three pint win.
    I go over, smiling.
    “I’ve got someone at home,” she says,
    “I don’t need another one.”
    A car door opened,
    and across the car park someone ran.
    I saw her turn, she had blue eyes,
    I had the same.
    Talking fast and rough, at me she looked,
    “I remember you when I had my clothes off,
    do you want it again?”

    In the morning there was a holiday feel to everything.
    And who can you make love to,
    if you can’t make love to your best friend?
    Around the days of December,
    the rain pulls the sky down.
    Into the corner shop I ran.
    The children chase the pigeons,
    the pigeons return.

  • 80/ Are you certain?

    I was looking at her when she finally noticed me.
    “I’m not seeing anyone,” she laughs again.
    “Are you sure you’ve got my number?
    Are you certain?”

  • 81/ a time, that will never return

    The distant daylight had gone;
    she lifts her dress, cigarette in hand.
    From across the road she had come.
    There was a time, that will never return,
    when I used to see you
    across the room.

  • 82/ hope vanishing

    I put my last coin in the fruit machine.
    All the women in the pub had company.
    At the bar I remain all evening,
    hope vanishing.
    Outside, a car engine turning, a woman’s voice:
    “Go home, you’re not getting in,
    I’m closing the door, you’re not staying.”

    Soon it will be another day,
    the seasons are changing.
    I lie in the orchard with the scent of flowers,
    families leave for the coast.
    Hills and cities divide us,
    minutes turn to hours.

  • 83/ made us both unhappy

    Away in the car,
    past the old men in shirt sleeves
    watching the traffic,
    and turning into the caravan site.
    And later, along to the club she came,
    made us both unhappy,
    drove us home.

    In the afternoon in the park,
    along with the actors and rogues,
    she’s topping up her tan,
    her magazines full of celebrities and personal columns.

  • 84/ people like her

    She’s like some girl off the pier;
    I’m always finding myself with people like her,
    a bit wired-up wrong.
    She lights another cigarette;
    I ask if she’ll give me one.

  • 85/ not real people

    Those skies above the holiday resort-
    they photoshop.

    Along the water’s edge figures walk;
    the internet is not real people,
    the generation to come will lose track.
    And on the sea the falling rain
    falls until morning.

  • 86/ no-one remembers

    Beyond the sea front
    I watch the weather come in
    the changing light, the water lapping.
    And back in time there were those parties
    where we couldn’t remember a thing.
    They say they were great,
    but no-one remembers anything.
    And up the sloping street
    the same crowd moving, into the next pub flowing.
    You know what, it’s only halfway to the weekend;
    she’s already dressed up, smudged eye-liner,
    and on the far side of the room:
    should have seen the noise.

    I wander back over.
    I’m sorry I made her cry.
    Someone else took her home,
    hated herself in the morning.

  • 87/ heartache and disappointment

    Art is heartache and disappointment,
    life is much the same.

  • 88/ I don’t know who you are

    I don’t know who you are;
    in the club, low ceiling.
    He’s down. It’s done.
    Quick as Concorde in the back of the police van.
    And on the last bus,
    running for nearly no-one,
    she leans over, radio on.
    “I don’t know why you don’t want me,
    I’ve got a home,”
    leans back,
    checks for messages on the phone.

    We all have a mobile now,
    put our photos on line.

  • 89/ particles that don’t exist

    In a doorway I shelter from the rain.
    It might be man that brings life to an end,
    not religion.
    We are made up of atoms and empty spaces,
    and particles that don’t exist.
    I walk past the church
    and think about things you can’t know.
    The rain hasn’t stopped, but probably will.

    Past the parade of shops,
    past the lap-dancing venue,
    along the line of second-hand cars,
    through the cloud cover
    over the square I go.

  • 90/ girls’ names on the wall

    I visit the café where the girls were,
    on their faces shadows from their long eye-lashes.
    She didn’t look up.
    I sat across from her,
    she had come from over the road.

    We walked along the pavement,
    past girls’ names on the wall.
    I wonder if she remembers
    sheltering by the bingo hall.

  • 91/ the breeze was lifting the curtain

    Through the window, the light was fading,
    the breeze was lifting the curtain,
    and in the corner of the room
    a fly settles, and lifts,
    and sinks, and rests,
    before rising.

  • 92/ I watch the street

    I’ve been walking off my grief,
    kicked every fallen autumn leaf;
    always the loner,
    making a world of photographs,
    out with the camera.

    I watch the street,
    the street you thought I’d never come down;
    I was running slightly late
    and there you were-
    walking away from someone
    only to find yourself
    running into them.

  • 93/ people look like each other

    After the pub, at closing time, I kissed some girl.
    All the people look like each other.
    That summer the land was light,
    through the night, parties.
    The sower sows, the harvest grows
    and in the fields crop circles.

  • 94/ other planets

    Our bodies are made up of other planets
    and lost worlds.

  • 95/ A photograph is a pause

    I can’t forget the evening,
    nor the place you walked away,
    and still I think of you
    as being there in some strange way.
    In the streets I lift my camera.
    A photograph is a pause,
    something I remember.

    Outside, opposite, a burger stall,
    headlights on a broken door.
    Tonight I’m with her,
    we go about, here and there.

  • 96/ outside the system

    There’s a path in society and another,
    which is hidden outside the system.

  • 97/ At the turn of the tide

    Along the coast the sea sails the boats;
    the moon shapes our thoughts,
    gives light to travellers.
    At the turn of the tide,
    in the last light
    we walked.

  • 98/ see someone is special

    I see you in your coat; I have to have it,
    till one day, there’ll be nothing more to own.
    Then I will rid myself of everything,
    look at the stars from an empty room.

    I notice you walk past me again.
    It’s easy to see someone is special
    if you don’t really know them.
    It’s December: the tree’s up,
    the lights are on.

    Outside, the snow is under my feet,
    and on the roofs of cars.
    In the morning she bends over
    pulls up her stockings;
    under the clouds the cold day begins,
    and at dusk the pubs open.

    The moon is less than half,
    shines through the evening.

  • 99/ the days float

    I came in on a boat, the sea in the boat,
    beyond the off-shore islands, a shining light.
    The sky goes a long way up,
    The sea flows both ways; we let out the rope.
    Along the sands pebbles, driftwood;
    up and down the skies, the days float.

  • 100/ texting

    The lads come along the streets,
    followed by the girls
    texting on their mobiles.
    The better looking you are
    the more they stare.