Limerick #3

There once was a man from Kilkenny

who swallowed a very big penny

Oh, the coin, it was large

and as wide as a barge

it was a pity he couldn’t spend any.


Doorways and Gateways #2

What came first:

the gate or the door?

To stand and to wait

at a door or a gate

is the perfect expression

of humanity’s progression:

closing and enclosing things

fencing things and rowing things

or even to take offence

at what is without or within

this gate or that door.


Doorways and Gateways

A silent ceiling of green,

the canopy curves over the

head of the hunched figure hurrying below.

Feet rustle over leaves

with careful tread

as darkness gathers

at the edges

and creeps inwards.

He licks his lips,

a nervous twitching at the corner of his eye

as he turns his head from side to side

and listens.

The door rears up;

the end of the tunnel glows dully.

Polished wood, each pane of glass a watchful eye

tapered to a point at the crest of the curve.

The figure stops, falters,

shifts from one ball to the other.

The door leads neither out nor in

only through,

only forwards,

behind it the tunnel of green has closed

like the mouth of a beast.

The bricks in the wall of the arch of the door lay sealed,

one on top of the other

like bodies in a mass grave.

To knock

or to wait?

It grasps the handle and

pushes with all of its weight

on the body of Time itself.

Our void,

the black that swallows,

the cage that encloses,

not beginning or ending

or feeling or willing.

The break

then the fall.


Acrostic Poem: Weiterbildung

Small amount of background: I wrote this on the tram early on a Saturday morning, disgruntled at being roused from bed at the weekend for the teacher training course I’m currently on in Germany.

When I wake up I turn the alarm off

Envious of my friends out late

I ingest a coffee,


Enter the bathroom

Rub my face with a towel

Bags packed the night before

Into the stairwell of my flat

Long strides to the

Door which I open, bleary-eyed

Under the statue of a girl on a horse

Nearing the test centre, I think to myself,

Getting up was a chore!


Haiku: Early Morning

a rose-cream sunrise

the rattling of a streetcar

through empty stations


The Despot

A lonely despot sits

at a long, long table

looking at his hands

lined with age

and the lives that he’s taken.

The camera turns

and he fills the frame

his closest generals and advisors

a few metres away.

Delusions of empire

but what can be done?

He sits atop the ivory tower

of his own making

while others slept

or lined their pockets.

Now those advisors grumble quietly to their wives in the evening

as the bombs rain down

in a war without faces

or front lines:

designed to punish the innocent.



The gentle shudder of a street car

Pulling away,

Or of a woman

Rubbing sleep out of her face:

The promise of warm

In a rose-cream sky

As the sun

Pokes up its first rays.

Scraps of thought

Amongst a turning in my gut,

A pushing, pulling, churning,

Life-giving rawness.

Frida Kahlo

Her monobrowed sexual energy

Losing a tooth in a dream

What did that mean again?

The gaps between the towns are always fun:

The streetcar rattles along

Coiled up

I can only imagine the driver’s face

As she puts her foot down

Pedal to the floor

With an expression like cycling downhill.



A response to Dag T. Straumsv√•g’s ‘Endless Plains, Clouds,’ which you can read on Asymptote here.

Was the thought that someone,

a woman, of course

might vacuum up a Ming Dynasty vase

a moment of cold, clear irony

or an admission of ignorance?

A tacit confession to never having vacuumed

to not understanding how the heavy shards would destroy the machine

from within?

Like playing an offshoot of charades in theatre class

And one woman

from our circle of women

throws out a suggestion

to the one man

in our circle of women

“How about ironing?”

He looks up

and starts doing these strange hand movements

reminiscent of spreading pancake batter around a frying pan with the back

of a ladle.

“My wife does that.”

And me?

I don’t iron

and I don’t own an iron.

I’ve made sure this never becomes an inconvenience by also not owning

anything that needs to be ironed.

And I sweep my room.

Less can go wrong with a broom.


Straight Line

To sit and wait,

or to breathe in the day,

head bowed –

follow the white line

painted there

a humming, a thrumming, a click.


Haiku #3

With rain pouring down

I sip and wait for the wheels

of bureaucracy