Dope on a Rope…

Fibres that make strands that entwine to make strings that in turn turn about themselves to make rope. As thick as a baby’s arm and coiled all snake-like around your own arm. And tight, tight at your wrist yet loose is the rope’s tail. You grip the helical body that runs out and up to be looped over and knotted about the knots of a gnarly branch. A hefty pull tells you it can take your weight and you keep it taut and in tune with your sinews as you run, arm outstretched like the class swat with a very pregnant answer. No time to talk to teacher though; the bank falls away and gives way to water and to your sway. Out in an arc prescribed by the oldest physical laws you swing, body stretched rigid by the constant correction of momentum.

A brief freedom, fleeting enjoyment, to leave the earth, to deviate and veer in another vector; albeit bent. And albeit all too brief, less than a pan’s flash, as into the very unforgiving tree’s trunk you curl back to – and crash.

Dr Livingstone I presume?…

A idiom that visits me from time to time, or maybe more often but I’m not home, is the one that holds the theme of ‘crossing paths’:
“Why providence has seen fit for our paths to cross?”
“Our paths have never crossed.”
“I hope our paths will cross again.”
The above I’ve heard/read more than once whilst ambling through archetypal movies/books. Always invoking an inner query, a wish to analyse the logic, the phrase in all its guises doesn’t sit well with me. Being a natural procrastinator though, I’ve never got round to giving time over to why it irks. But now, aha, the shrewd me has trapped the issue in a double bluff. You see, I have other things to do, right now, this moment, but the procrastinator in me wants me to pace up and down and ponder this curiosity instead.
In the context above what are ‘our paths’ ?
A path, to me, is a route well worn not necessarily with a passenger. A trail of incremental erosion to be seen, latched onto, used and compounded by whoever wanders near.
Or… a path to me is a plan; a future course to be traipsed only figuratively with an eye on a firmer prize–in this context though it’s irrelevant and I feel I’m being preyed on here by a third procrastinator.
Back to the track.
Truly newly forged paths of the walked kind have you at the helm, negotiating obstacles, trampling verdure, leaving your land-based contrail. Should you in that time meet another (of the walking kind) then it could be said:
“Hello Sir, I have not noticed you before, I’d wager because we’ve never been on a common intersection of the paths we’ve forged during our life at the same point in time. Why providence has seen fit for us to collide on this day at  this juncture?” Um, I don’t think I’ve managed to make that any clearer.
or, more simply… for the other “We meet at last.”
or… “I hope to see you again.”
Remember, er, it’s the journey, not the destination.

The Inkling Sylph

Now, I’m no paragon but an epigone, the keener-eyed of the eyes that chance on this will see it as a pastiche of Ted Hughes’ well-known and appreciated ‘Thought Fox’. So….my homage to him.

The Inkling Sylph

I imagine this midnight moment’s bedroom…
Something else is alive
Beside the friendless four walls’ gloom,
And this dim screen where my fingers idle.

Through the slats I see no distance;
Something more near—inside,
Though deeper within darkness,
Is tiptoeing around the silence…

Deft; as light as its own shadow,
A sprite’s air touches, drape, and veil;
To serve a movement, that now—
And again now, and now…stirs mind

Sets cobweb a-sway between lamp and shade
Between door, and surplus gown.
Motes lifted by draft, and in wake
Of a body only in spirit.

Across floorboards, two eyes,
A widening sapphiric blue,
Mesmerising—centred on me,
And their business.

Till a sudden, sharp stab of quill
Enters the dark hole of the mind.
The slats separate the fog still; the cobwebs sway.

The blog is entered.

The Leaves are Always Greener on the Other Tree…

What to make of this:

I climbed the big thug tree; a resident of a neighbour’s garden, an overgrown cypress, its moniker a natural choice as its profile cuts that of that a mugger about to mug. I had my family in tow; hand over fist and heel over instep we ascended till we reached a height a flag would be happy to flap at. Me a little more aloft in that tree than they. Bending away a couple of its bushy branches I peered through the opening as an adventurer would onto an undiscovered land. Over and a-skimming the surrounding rooftops, away, about three hundred yards, there rose another tree from the blanket of tile and slate. Far, far mightier and taller than my present podium. A fast grower I deduced, a fighter for light, a junglonian canopy maker. To a height of about a hundred feet its branches were chainsawed to be like the stumps of poached rhino horn. That was only half-way–for above this a man-made wooden structure gripped the trunk. A neat and sturdily planked treehouse; the finer quality of its detail not discernible in the distance–in the dream. And from its grasp erupted a green cauliflower like cap of foliage splayed as if squeezed from the bole to provide shade. Now, odd enough this may sound so far, it gets odder:

Decking surrounded that treehouse enclosure with nought but a fat single-stranded rope fence to ring-fence its edge. On that decking: apes, gorillas and chimps,apparently partying madly (no party hats, streamers or poppers I noted)–their gutteral whoops and muscular dancing diminished to a safe unthreatening comedy on yonder stage. That’s what I assumed, the party theme, their activity’s frenetic tone was actually quite indecipherable if it was to be thought about; my ignorance serving up only an optimistic summary. “Would you get a look at this!” I yelled to my fellow climbers, who all hoisted themselves sharpish to my soon-straining branch. There we shared the spectacle, all watching agog and perplexed at the simian miniatures’ movements and enjoying the scene’s peculiarity. That was until a bunch of apes, seemingly headed by an alpha, singled out a victim and tossed him from the tree. High spirits or jinx gone wild? Maybe. The usual merriment, I concluded, it wasn’t. Doomwardly down went the primate, the party was over for him for sure. I averted my eyes to the splat and the fluid gore those gorillas and gravity had gotten him to give to pavement. Instead I leapt for consciousness; landing awake, in my own fluid, a pool of cool sweat.

Hellbound on Chromium Rails…

I was in discussion once on a writing forum re. the reason for rhymes. When a contributor unleashed a little of his mostly rhyme-less creativity; it read thusly:


I heard a man
with spider-fingers and
picking the blues on a train
where the air stunk of brimstone.

He played with a skeletal sway
to his shoulders,
a kamikaze grin stitched
upon his face and
the shadow of a swagger in his hips.

Each chord that he wrung out
from that ragged banjo
juddered and jigged,
dancing to a hangman’s tune,
moaning like dying men on their gibbets.

Insanity gibbered there,
somewhere between
his fingers and the fretboard.

A more poetic soul than I might damn him
for the hellfire that clung
to every note he strummed,
damnation made visceral,
if not physical.

I didn’t care.
I just listened…


Rather good eh?
I know not his name nor from where he hailed – but boy I enjoyed his poem.


The Price of Progress…

The future is unwritten:

But I’d wager the following scenario is prime candidate to be a waypoint in our destiny. I’ll stick my finger in the air and pluck out a time….let’s say 12000 years from now. Despite all human trials; the conflicts, the disasters and disease we’ve managed to swell our population exponentially. Another finger in the air and another pluck and I arrive at a trillion inhabitants. All very very different in appearance to us relics of today. Those lucky to have their consciousness selected become man/machine hybrids for a rationed time. They colonise the solar system and many manufactured planets beyond. Within each being, only a few threads of humanity remain; every creation physically and mentally superior to anyone alive now. The random drift of evolution has been captured and reined for our… own self-preservation and world conservation. At least that’s how it’s portrayed to the populace. The truth is; it’s the execution of curious whims, meddling for meddling’s sake by men of weird science. Labelling themselves as Intelligent designers from our time they engender a progeny that’s a caricature of themselves…who in turn deliver their own new breed into a further future.

Many times over this repeats until we reach the aforesaid waypoint. That generation sit there.. and gaze upon US for their education, for their history, for their entertainment. Several ultra-historians I’d posit for every man, woman and child alive today and a myriad more curious enquirers. Because of the traces we’re leaving in our everyday lives, we’re easy fodder. Our physical movements, business, social, intimate and financial interactions; they’re all recorded and saved in data warehouses and archived unchanged for history henceforth…ready for recall at the flick of an impulse from a far removed descendant.

The upshot – we WILL be judged. We’ll all have our Judgement Day. Not by a mystical God of our imagination’s making. But by godlike beings of the cheap and plentiful kind–of our own engineering.

The future is written.

Would you Moonwalk for a Mate?

The funniest animal…

It has to be the ‘Red-Capped Manakin’. This little bird dwells in the tropics and has evolved over time to master the moonwalk as its mating signature. The male is jet-black in body, crimson crowned and no longer than an index finger. To see it perched atop a branch dancing its little twiglets off is a hilarious yet beguiling sight. No wonder the females swoon and fall into their seducer’s open wings afterwards. I’m the same sex and of a different species – all the same I was charmed enough to mate with it. I jest (the size issue would soon break the relationship).

Word has it that many moons..let me be more precise 684 moons ago at time of press (give or take a moon) a guy called Bill Bailey (an African-American tap dancer (not the British Comedian who is coincidentally almost as funny as the bird I speak of)) was the originator of the moonwalk, well I figure he’d made a trip out into the wilds of wherever, caught sight of this feathered enigma and mocked the bird when he returned. He’s known to be the first ever ‘moonwalker’ and rumoured to have inspired Michael Jackson no less.

A video can be found on youtube – go on, cheer yourself up.

Billie Jean


Picking Cherries from a Thorn Bush…

I had a small epiphany last night – a song came on the radio that ordinarily wouldn’t get my attention; I admit my hand quivered over the off knob. Yet I recoiled… there was a lyric in said song I found interesting nay almost profound. I lay awake later that night compiling a list born of my insomnia of good things born of a bad source:

A ray of light that bursts through the clouds on a dull day, the cream on a Bird’s Trifle (there as your reward for enduring the sponge and jelly), freewheeling down a hill after a punishing ascent, Natasha Kaplinksy’s flawless face in the trash that was Channel 5 news (feel free to disagree). Then there’s John Sergeant – it’s hard to look at him and not feel bilious – yet he’s so articulate and endearing I’d rather go the pub with him and be regaled over a guinness than have the company of a taut bodied, brainless bimbette who requires everything explained to her at every turn (at least I think I’d rather).

For what it’s worth – the song that gave me my ‘mini moment’ was ‘Womanizer’ by Britney… and the lyric ‘the swagger of a superstar’.



addendum: Britney didn’t write the song – Nikesha Briscoe, Rafael Akinyemi did so. That figures.

“Every You Every Me”

Sucker love is heaven sent.
You pucker up, our passion’s spent.
My hearts a tart, your body’s rent.
My body’s broken, yours is bent.
Carve your name into my arm.
Instead of stressed, I lie here charmed.

Cause there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.

Sucker love, a box I choose,
No other box I choose to use.
Another love I would abuse,
No circumstances could excuse.
In the shape of things to come.
Too much poison come undone.

Cause there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.
Every me and every you,

Every Me…he

Sucker love is known to swing.
Prone to cling and waste these things.
Pucker up for heavens sake.
There’s never been so much at stake.
I serve my head up on a plate.
It’s only comfort, calling late.

Cause there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.
Every me and every you,

Every Me…he

Every me and every you,

Every Me…he

 Like the naked leads the blind.
I know I’m selfish, I’m unkind.
Sucker love I always find,
Someone to bruise and leave behind.
All alone in space and time.
There’s nothing here but what here’s mine.

Something borrowed, something blue.
Every me and every you.

Every me and every you,

Every Me…he

Every me and every you,

Every Me…he

Hellboy 2 Golden Army

My observations are sometimes punched into me –  not physically, but fed serially by a fist that sits on a jackhammer… oft six, seven or eight syllables drum themselves prosodically into my mind’s memory silos…. take 2012 for example…

The Royal Courts of the mogul emperors.

Gibb in a coma with pneumonia.

Grotesque scenes in a place of worship.

Rafeal defended it well.

London Council social cleansing.

No Claims Discount Validation.

Rare earth magnets in orthodontics.

The pain and bulk of a whalebone corset.

Soon it’s the Queen’s diamond Jubilee.

Barton rants at Alan shearer.

Snorkel parka music practice room.

Mother killed in pushchair accident.

How long does a macbook battery last?

Alan Hansen’s forehead injury.

What a strike from Theo Walcott.

Don’t give yourself a Hitler parting.

Porcupine creek in Southeast Alaska.

Trapped in public storage facility.

Almighty change that’s fast approaching.

Sour cream chives and a slice of cucumber.

Di Matteo axe reaction.

Shocking scenes of storm hit Britain.

A mélange, a mish mash of all sorts at/on first glimpse/glance; a chronological list, evident maybe to the keener eyed, but there’s a rhythm too in there to be picked out whose beats repeat and compound themselves. Not to mention the psyche of its author. Another diffidently raised hand.