Picture yourself in the woods.
Stepping on cones from the highest
pines as it crunches and oozes
under our feet in the mud, free.
Where is the song of the veiled woodlark?

A distant rumble, cars on roads
to north or south, the compass spins.

Orient towards a purpose.
Look for the sun, up there, mizzled
orb in between the near leafy
brume. It defies us our lush looks.

We soak the chlorophyllic rays
from dimming light as they are lost.

You are about to be lost in
hectares of manicured woodland.
Modernity is within sight.
Where is the song of the veiled woodlark?

In earshot, east or west. We ask
the time. And does it matter now?

You’re on the path by a crackling
stream as it stretches out carpet,
greeting the morning. Perhaps we
should be considering lunch now.

Did you forget to bring the drinks
or snacks? The tot is strapped on back.

Snug in a water resistant
canvas, the drizzle becoming
heavy torrential but briefly.

A heavy downfall, then a change.
A lighter pouring out of hope.

Misting up glasses as you are
walking, remembering, moving
but all without any thinking
where we are going to go. Home?

She’s fast asleep, her head a bob
in crooked loop at well of nape.


Picture yourself on a train.
You and the teenager visiting
London. A tracksuited man is
threatening women as they sit.
What is the world he’s inheriting?

She blankets spilling bags around
herself and looks to search for help.

Everyone stares, avoids contact.
Focus on screens to distraction.
Mute her, ignore her. But you are
looking. The teenager waits, learns.

You stand up, forward, talking to
her. Asking if she needs some help.

Man with his scars on display all
over his soul, interjects in
frothing hot anger at you, Dad.

His daemon spews its malice loud
to ears unwilling, hearing nought.

Passengers twitching in nervous
posturing, tagging of photos,
social irony defaults in
stressed ambiguity. Blank looks.

Approach too close at your own risk.
A sharp response expected now.

Just as the worries are mounting,
opening doors in the carriage
give us a respite. The man leaves.
What is the world he’s inheriting?

To check upon the woman, turn
and fail to see him return, armed.


Picture yourself in a meeting.
Dozens are running and merging
into activity, simmering.
National outcry the whirlwind
asking us, are we ready for this?

A wife, her look enframes her sense
and wisely states you need some help.

Answers for everyone, whether
truthful or sensuous pleasure
masking convenience it matters
little. We charge with conceit, guile.

The switch is turned on, stand well back.
As revenge burns, the nation turns.

Marvellous, selfless and splendid
souls to be found in the likely
places. Transcending self, greed.
Labouring towards meaning in work.

Around us culture states we lost
the story. Nothing matters now.

Values the same and of little
worth. It is tribes, mine and yours.
Couched in language of morals.

Her finger touches you and brings
the thoughts to close. And you are here.

Crossing by boat the deceitful
Thames, its arterial network
flooding renewal and wealth. Keep
asking us, are we ready for this?

We tell our pirate stories, you
the reason that we try and try.

Questions arise in the asking
over and over again. And
now she is not here to ask me:
What is the world he’s inheriting?