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It’s in the connections we find meaning
And if your skin stays thin enough you can sense it.

Keep your skin in the game.

A membrane, a container,
Still lets in the joy and pain
The balm, and the knife
Open to the risk and gain
The bittersweet taste of life

But it’s fragile.
Paper thin.
There’s not enough to go on
So you have to go on, nonetheless.

Love is the treasure, and the map.
Have courage – don’t spurn the clues
Hiding is the only way to lose.
Fight hard for no regrets.

Hold the line; love isn’t always on time
Don’t turn your back on this living tree
Every branch another chance
Budding possibilities.

Hope will often happen, if you put your self in the way
You can’t grow unless you’re brave.
There’s only so much left to learn in any given space.
So go around, go around.
Success is just undimmed compassion,
and a moment’s grace.

It’s in the connections we find meaning
Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Wife
Hell is other people
So is life.


The pure bright light pouring through the blinds, making the walls glow,
prophesying hope.

The structure, the strength of a job.
The chance to graft, the application to a task; the satisfaction of work.

The graciousness of those who could demand a pound of blood but choose love and a gentler touch.

The gift of self expression; creating, connecting, engaging, empowering,
singing and playing and sharing together.
Your heart on a platter.
The ebb and flow of thanks. 

The air in my lungs
The heart that pumps and the legs that can run and the journey
and the test
and the destination.

The gift of transportation.

Then the meal made by a true friend
And sustenance
And warmth in my bones
And coming home.

And you, for reading this.

And you, because you exist.

And you; who all
contain the possibility of love.

First, the shocking recognition
Then the lurching fear
Finally, the confirmation, by increments
Until there is no remnant to cling to;
All that we are left with is nothing,
Into which we pour our memories and our gratitude.

Presumably, you had your reasons.

I guess we all walk close to the line

After all, who hasn’t thought

“I can’t go on like this”


What did it feel like?


It didn’t seem that way from the outside.

If only there had been more time.

It won’t always be like this.


I have to leave the house in a while

And do my best to pretend that I’m fine.

Losing a Father is a bit like losing a leg. Or again, losing a father is a bit like losing to a last minute goal, except continuously. Or like the bewilderment of an air shot; a feeling of unexpected disconnection that never really stops.

For me, it has been the epitome of loss.

There’s an open wound where my confidence should be.  It makes me soft.  That feels like a bad thing, but in the fullness of time maybe its not.

I had a reputation for being a bit of a crybaby at school, but when my Dad died, the tears dried up.  I think I’ll probably cry today though.  I’ve only ever managed to truly grieve for him at other people’s funerals.

The man in the box today was a good man. He did his best to be a crutch for my sister and me where that leg should have been.  He and his family have always cared for me and mine.  I know he loved and missed my Dad.  I wish I’d known him better, but I guess that’s always the way. I’m thankful for all that he did for me even though in many ways we weren’t all that close. 

There are a lot of reasons to be there today. For my family, for his family, for me, for my Dad. But mostly I am going to be there because he deserves it. It’s really the least I can do.  It’s something I hope I can do well.


Wansbeck road, Ilford road,

Central Station

A coffee, platform 4, and board.

Durham, Darlington, York,


Then Chesterfield, Derby, and home.



Unsure, uncertain, hope.

Derby, then Chesterfield,


York, Darlington, Durham.

Newcastle, home.

The taste of iron on the tongue,

like bloody words

Self-lacerate the mind


What price this damned and damaged psyche?

Less Id than ig:

Ignored.  Ignorant. Ignoble.


These sordid thoughts and filthy sheets

and Half arsed dreams…


What am I scared of?


Falling apart at the seams

Dying alone

All the usual things.

You: I didn’t deserve that.

Me: I know.

It’s not really about you.

You: Is that supposed to make me feel better?

Me: Its just the truth.

You: I’m not as ‘nice’ as you think.

I can be pretty fucked up too you know.

Me: I don’t want you to be fucked up.

You: Ha! I can’t win.

Me: No, you can’t.  You can’t win.  I’m sorry.  Its a shitty game.  I didn’t make the rules.

You’ll win a different game though.  You’re a fighter.  A better game, probably.

You: … If you say so.

… what happened, anyway?

Me: I took the bit of me that is still ambitious, and angry and doesn’t care about other people for a walk.  You wanted to see a monster, right? ta-daa!

You: No, I mean what happened to make you let him out?

Me: None of your fucking business.

You: Ooooh; touchy.

Me: Yeah…

You want me to talk about my monsters? Really? Do you even have any idea?

How scared I am.

How tightly I keep my fists clenched.
At. All. Times.

I mean, apart from anything else, you are just far too nice. (and you thought you were angry at me before?)

And as for you, you bastard… But then, you cursed me with always being able to see the opposite point of view. And you know how I hate to look ridiculous. One has to admire your sense of humour, if nothing else. And pathos.


Sleep now. The wind is out of my sails. The rage is pacified for the moment.

Tomorrow is another day.

Words are everything.  And sometimes words are nothing at all.  Like when we said I will.  Or when you pleaded in the Hall for the land of your fathers to remain unspoiled by the men who took your birthright away.  That convinced you you’d failed the children who would never play in their homeland the way you played.  Even though the cheiftan paid for the fancy words you learnt in the end it all burned. Your words were true, they were justice through and through but their words promised to pay the bearer and what could be fairer than that?  It all turned to crap.  The way you slumped in that chair.  The way there was nothing to say.

Like the words that you sung from your mother tongue the first time we met, and how they hung in the air and the longing was too much to bear and there was still hope yet.

Like the thunder in my blood at your tenderness.  Like the fury that you spoke, so passionate.

Like all the cares you had to carry and the cares I chose to marry, how they swallowed up my hurt into something of worth; something worth fighting for.

Like the songs you taught me to sing and the warmth of your skin and the feeling of coming home.

I sing those words alone to our son cos you will not sing the songs that you own now you’ve lost the land in which they were grown.  It’s not your fault that the world is not wise in the things that it chooses to prize.  I sing to my son cos I want him to know where his blood runs and all you did for your people and how words can be feeble and words can be strong and people and words can be wrong.  I sing what I know to our son cos he needs to know what you do not; I have the best man I could want.  I sing to make him proud.  And this is my solemn vow.