Chapped Lips

They say that if you shrink the world down to the size of an egg,

Then it’s surface is smoother than a brand new snooker ball.

The godly peaks of Everest and Olympus,

The sunken depths of the Mariana Trench,

Or the towering structures of man,

Are all insignificant,

Unnoticeable despite their majesty.

Just as every crater, canyon, and mountain fades beneath scale,

So too do the cracks and gaps in red lips that are chapped.

In the cosmic scale of souls adrift in the universe,

The lines of your lips go unnoticed,

Behind the interlocking of soft sweetness that is your kiss.

But then beyond the infinite is more,

Your lips planets of their own,

Each ripe with wonders to explore.

Those chaps are maps of hidden places,

Pathways through the Goblin King’s Labyrinth,

And journeys across mountains of mist.

They draw me in, gateways to the soul,

Every strip of peeling skin a mark of life lived

Like wrinkles, laugh-lines, and scars.

So call me Columbus setting sail for new lands,

Your body a temple that calls to me.

I’ll let my heart lead as we entwine hands,

And forget the ups and downs of this insignificant world.

For nothing could ever eclipse,

A kiss from your chapped lips.

A Voice Through the Wires.

Do you remember when we used to talk?

Real talk. Talk with sound.

Vocalisations from our heart and through our lips

That crossed the distance between us no matter the miles

So far apart yet bound together

Tethered by coiled wires that we twirled dreamily between our fingers

Each curl and swirl reflecting the giddy loops of our heartbeat

As we laughed and traded secrets 

In those quiet moments we could snatch

Like thieves in the night while parents slept.

Even now, I hear your voice,

The memory trudging up a smile,

Or occasionally the ghost of a shiver down my spine.

Your breath in my ear,

Like whispers of what could be.


We still talk now, I guess.

Idle words through the ether

That materialise before us on glowing screens

But the electrical warmth is no match for the warmth of your voice.

These words now slide from thumb to glass 

Rather than from those soft lips that smiled

Yet, at the tap of a finger we could reconnect,

A light brush of that imitation green receiver

An icon of that plastic crescent I held so tight

Because I couldn’t hold you.

But now, not only distance separates us, but life

Different turns in different roads

As we shed the fragments of our childhood selves

Until little of those lovesick dreamers remained

And our hearts hardened with the years.


Still, each pinged message summons your face in my mind

And the photos you post for the world fill my screens.

I see you more, know more than ever before

But somehow it all seems hollow without that static buzz

That once was the backdrop to every word. 

Somehow, that old, yellowed phone had stripped us,

Undressing our struggles and hangups until only our souls remained

Meeting somewhere in that tangle of wires 

Our private haven where only we existed

Without anything but our truest selves

That the rest of the world could never see. 


My finger hovers over the call sign now

And you are but a tap away,

But why?

Why would I call you? It isn’t like the old days.

A call is an event, especially out of the blue.

Would your voice still sound the same?

Mine certainly doesn’t. Would I interrupt the new life you live?

The life you built where I’m just one of many sets of words on a screen?

And how would I stay calm without that blessed wire to fidget away anxiety?


Maybe we, like those old phones, are a relic of the past.

The coil that bound us has gone wireless, severing us,

Setting us adrift. Setting us free. 

Or, perhaps there is still a chance.

I desperately want to hear your voice again,

So I breathe,

And bring my finger down as though to reach through the glass to you,

Searching in hope that your hand is reaching out too,

As the first rings sound.

Will you even answer?

The Lost Watchmaker


The Father, the Son and the bastard ghost

The mirage in the sweltered landscape of humanity

As true as anything in a false world

Of false people who wander through life

Like sheep to be flocked

Wish away our problems

Wish away our responsibilities

To dwell in the darkness of our minds

Lit by a flickering bulb of yellow

When the sun is just outside

Who are we to deny the Lord

We the animals grown beyond our bounds

We who are gods and madmen

Warped mirrors of ourselves

As we are warped mirrors of Him

And He is a warped mirror of us

All powerful in a powerless world

All seeing among the blind

All knowing to those bathed in ignorance

Never forever the one and only collective

Love is the sacred soul spread thin among us

Eternal like a legal contract wrought from toilet tissue

The Lord our savior

Our Creator

Our creation

Our damnation

Free will gifted as a catch twenty two

Excuses for abandonment

Blood and flesh is wine and bread

Artificial constructs created to appease our wants

Needs augmented to suit our tastes

A need for answers embodied by our minds

To fill our forms and childlike search

For guidance from the wise infallible parents

We left behind to become who we are

He who burns cities, floods worlds

And requires the blood of children

This thing that we call Father

This king of men who died for our sins

Yet still we suffer and always sin

We hate like we love

With a passion burning from unnatural fires

Yet never do we stop to think

To think is to find thoughts that we fear

And fear is to realise we are but beasts

Beasts in the dressings of a civilised society

Under a civilised God pissing enlightenment

Like the Bible cursed rich who piss money to the poor

God’s chosen children orphaned

As their father is dragged drunk to the insane asylum

Babbling at the walls

Screaming for a mother never had

Lost in a sea of faith that none can know

Because who could know the unknown

The flows of life and death

That bind and separate us in chains of fate

Chains that we as humans make

To live, to die, to procreate

Beneath the eyes of Heaven

The eyes so misted by the time

Between each blink eternity

How could we comprehend it all

The vastness of the universe

And how could the universe possibly feel

Comprehension of an ant in space

An ant, a man, a race

A myth to our own imagination

An idea blowing in the wind 

A cry to God and Allah and Buddha

And to Thor and Superman and Santa

And the ghosts who lurk in the peripheral vision

The visions of madness and glory and destiny

The ravings of the lost souls

Desperate for a hand to hold.

The Hymn of Humanity

I walked down the streets and the only thing natural I see is the sky.

Stone walls surround me, tarmac ground supports me 

and fake people are everywhere I go.

Am I fake too? I never knew.

What is fake and what is true?

My eyes look up and I spy a cloud, or is it just toxic smoke?

I don’t know. Do I even care? Does anyone?

Is that why God no longer guides us, blocked from us by our own poison fumes?

Is that the deal we made, equivalent exchange?

The world for our comfort is so obviously fair?

I cast my eyes down to avoid more philosophical thought

And try to spy ground between the carpet of waste.

I despise all this scum. What have humans become?

Just when will it end?

A drop hits my hand and my head becomes raised

Another and another and soon the clouds pour.

So fast does it come that it obscures my view

Covers the buildings and cleanses the floor.

Even the heavens cries for the Earth’s pain.

Rain keep a coming and wash the world clean

Because no matter how hard we try it is too late for us

Rewrite the wrong that became our undoing 

And sing us a song for the start of our ruin.


“Because it is your job.”
“But I do not feel like smiling.”
“Nobody does. Act. Put on a mask and smile.”
          “Because that is how you form social interaction.”
          “We form bonds through lies? Wrap ourselves in deception to deceive the deceiver?”
          “What about reality? The truth?”
          “Truth is what the masses believe. If everyone is fake it becomes reality.”
                    “Because you are having your photo taken.”
                    “So I must grin like a fool?”
                    “It is a moment locked in time forever. You must look happy.”
                    “Like a wax model? Constructed by others? Locked in falseness forever?”
                    “Wax and photographs last while flesh rots to dirt.”
                    “I surrender to opinion.”
                              So I must smile. Wear the face that is kept in a jar by the door.
                              Coat up in my imitation leather jacket and synthetic shirt,
                              Walk among the dyed hair, bottled tan and altered bodies.
                              Eat the processed meat and drink the juice untouched by fruit,
                              See the reality shows that could be from another universe.
                              I question life and life questions me. I question myself.
                              You can do anything you want in life if you try.
                              That is what they say as you are forced through school,
                              Forced into a job that you hate. Forced to grow old and die.
                              I use to watch the wildlife from my window as a child.
                              Rabbits ran through hills, frogs swam through ponds and I smiled.
                              Then the bulldozers came. Nature was replaced with housing
                              And left me stranded in a sea of humanity.
                    “Because you are alive.”
                    “A smile is just muscles that are used to express emotion.”
                    “Do you not feel happy?”
                    “I am happy. There is no need to express it every second though.”
                    “That is what is expected of you.”
                    “I do not understand.”
                    “Good. We are making progress.”
          “Because the world is watching.”
          “Watching what?”
          “You, me, and everything. Nothing.
          “But I am unimportant.”
          “That is why you have no right to frown.”
“Because I have told you to.”
“I am my own man. I will be passive because I am free.”
“You will smile because you are a puppet of society.”

Ode to Education

I realise why we students drink


Lest we remember all that

Is shovelled uselessly into our brain

Idiocy in academia’s robes

Oh, why but we the tortured souls

Who listen to minutia incarnate

Pretentious intentions


Intervention for the love of Dog

Drink to dull the ache

The ache that bullshit must create

To me the curtains are forever blue

The interpretation as clear as the vodka in this glass

Border Collie Ballad

Lush fur of black with streaks of white

Brown highlights to add colour

A small black nose and eyes so bright

A mischievous sleeve puller


The way she whines when she’s ignored

Those dazzling big toothed smiles

She keeps me active when I’m bored

And loves to run for miles


Though she may have an angels face

She’s got a nasty mood

If you ever get upon her case

Your hand will be her food


She’s not a dog who likes a hug

But rather likes to fight

Her favourite game is pull and tug

She cries alone at night


And now around my feet she’s curled

I watch her fast asleep

I wouldn’t change her for the world

She dreams of chasing sheep.


I stare out into the night-drenched countryside beyond the train window

But there is no world to be seen.

All is gone, like the hopes of youth.

The black pool of glass stares back at me with my own eyes

A ghostly reflection of my own cursed visage

Bathed in the golden light of fluorescent strips from decades past

Like the holy aura of a lauded saint

Effervescent before the sins of man.

Those eyes accuse me of a wasted life

And I accuse them of dreams outside my reach

While darkness mediates between us.

Our silent complaints are lost to the void

Like the lives of men in the choking night.

Then, the birth of a cosmos in a thousand lights

As stars of humanity cast away the other me

Scouring my soul of reflection

And leaving me to face the tides of reality alone.

Reminiscent Futures

Our lives extend out around us as a nexus of interconnecting paths of chance,

Shining golden threads leading off into unseen darkness like jellyfish in the ocean’s abyss.

A million unknown directions and encounters, each a siren singing us to an eventual demise.

Some we see with dread, others we paint as opulent images of bliss,

Grasping for the right threads to cling to as we drag ourselves from present to future,

Over a concurrent chain of neglected days that pass away beneath our calloused notice.

Dreaming of the future like a precious childhood memory,

Even as we twin these thoughts with past nostalgia that never was.

Always we flee blindly from the cliff ledge of death,

Yet are keenly aware of its creeping presence as the void erodes the earth.

Final, inevitable, it follows at our heels and awaits us at our destination,

But we continue to run, some thrashing with life while others are numb,

Chasing a tomorrow that never arrives,

Or a dream that never dies…