Author Archives: adminPF


The dead
are making babies still
fucking in porno clips
on the web. That’s my mummy
opening her legs
for that hairy
man. Was I conceived just then, is that bearded
bloke my da, who hugs her
close and gentle in the year
that she was beaten for
an hour, and died in the back room
of her local pub?

I watch her
do it all again — I’m sure
she likes him, her smile’s so real, so’s
the way she comes. Does
she sense we’re all around, unseen
and watching
over her, and maybe even guess
I’m out here too, staring
at the pearly gates
that I came through?

I’m older than her twenty nine
I want to do a film of Jimmy
fucking me, and leave
it near her in the web’s forever now. You’ll find us
listed under hairy milfs, perhaps
with offspring still to come, all fruit
upon an endless vine.

But I’m glad
I can download my mum, know
the fierce embraces
that she gives, proud to have her here
in my own room, the way
she once welcomed me
into her salty womb, and kept me safe, a mad life
bouncing in its padded cell, while her red
heart roared up above, then broke
like a wave of the sea.


We glued
her head by
the right cheek to
the mirror she
had loved so much, had
gazed so fondly into, fascinated
by the mirror-face that showed her
new expressions. After much discussion (we didn’t want
to blow it) we inserted
ten acutes of
thin glass triangles
into her blue eyes, so they
fanned from the sockets
like rays. She
had pages
on social networks, with photos of herself
and a boxer
called Joe. Joe’s
dead now, of course
in the hall, beside
the rest
of her. They go everywhere
together, Joe and Jessica. For a while
there was a little
white cloud, or halo
on the glass, where her warmth
rested. We stood and watched, as
slowly, it

The Creature by the Sea

I saw a wonderous creature lay
a pebble on a sounding shore —
his voice flung wild in pain and joy,
as from his flesh the stone slipped free,
the mucus streaked with crimson threads,
he quickly bent and wiped away.

I saw the glitters flood his eyes,
as he stood and gazed upon the sea;
he turned his shining face on me,
then all my sorrows swam to him
and he ate them with his beard-hung teeth.

Then gathering up his staff and line,
so cautious of his ruined feet,
he crept among the rocks and shells,
while feathered bones twitched on his spine.

My heart cried out to go to him,
yet I turned and fled back up the shore,
in terror of this ancient one,
who potent as the timeless waves
and riven by such pain and grief,
still sacrificed his life and days,
to lay the pebbles by the sea.

The Piano Tuner

Echo, song and smoking wax make up the church entire,
as he gives himself to silent hands that take him
trusting to the bread and wine...
He turns over in his bed intrigued
at how his dying mind in its own way
gives him what his spirit needs.

He has a songbird in a cage,
blinded to improve her song,
who like the soul imprisoned in his skin,
made herself forget the skies
and the flowered forests of her home,
though underneath the sweetness of her song,
he hears her pine for some long lost love.

He likes to try to guess the world of sight:
the soil opening wide its many mouths
to receive the swaddled dead,
or the way the wings of his guardian angel
surely fill this room, as she sits beside his bed
watching him with eyes of stars.

In the end no angel came for him,
but a faun gripped him like a lover
and drew him out as joy leaping
self-forgotten through fields that blazed
like windows in the church of summer,
till he whirled to one who cried his name
and flew like a bird through his heart of flowers.

The Other Side

My grandparents went into the woods
on the day I was born,
and blessed an infant tree they found,
naming it as my guardian twin.

Throughout my childhood I never knew
I was bound to something wild,
that grew through frost and winter storms,
raising many arms to distant light.

Then one day, when school was over,
grandma took me down to the woods.
She said a time of change had come,
that I was turning into a man.

We found grandpa working there,
splitting the tree with a curved iron blade.
They stripped me naked, pulled the split apart
and gently pushed me through.

They poured cold water over me,
then bound the tree with white rags,
and told me childhood was left behind
forever, on the other side.

I hung around the tree a lot at first,
feeling abandoned and out of place,
and worried about the time ahead.
The tree healed, its bandages rotted away,

and it became like other trees,
except its bark was scarred for me.
Then I met a girl, and travelled far with her.
But I never forgot, and always returned

when major changes touched my life,
times of grief or celebration, and felt
a special union with the other side.
Once when a very dark time came

I wanted to open the tree once more
and crawl back through, but I knew deep down
that unless the slit was cut the same way
I’d find myself in some other place.

Now that I am very old and another change
is near, I often visit my guardian tree.
How massive it’s become these recent years,
joined at last to the sky above.

Soon I will enter my heart’s house and lock
the door behind. I’ll climb the creaky forest stairs,
and slip through the gap where the light
seeds the silence on the other side.


Colour drains out of things
and edges become undefined:
the difference between this and that
fading like bird call.

Then shaping the remains of our world into theirs,
the dead step forth:
a vase and a pile of laundry
and a broom that leans on a chair
is a bent old woman,
turning her head to regard you,
the drift of her cobweb hair
as fine as a murmur
you don’t want to hear.

You feel at once you’re intruding,
that you took a wrong turn in the hallway
and entered a room adrift in a mirror,
or a memory retained in the stones of the house.

She sees you reach out in your terror,
and disappears when you snap on the light
and the known returns like the rush of an incoming tide
erasing tracks from the ribs of a shore.

But the twilight is still falling,
and perspectives shift in the rooms up above,
where the furniture leaps to restore her;
somehow you know she stands by your bed —
then you start to remember your sickness last night,
and the pain as you passed through the gates of the dead,
under that tangle of bedclothes.

You’re like a child again, alone with your fear
with the dark closing in.
So you run up the stairs to the one who might help you —
she’s nowhere in sight
till you look out the window,
at the hunch of a hillside, the hair of a willow,
the crook of a pathway that fades in the dark:
the trace of a world that’s departing
for the hollow domains of starlight.

Across the road the mystic garden stands,
behind high rails, a lawn obscured by palms
and cypress. By a broken pillar, half concealed,
there is an old sepulchre, cracked and ruinous;
with passing time its mystery touches me
and moves my heart to open up its joy.
But one day, returning by a different route,
I see the garden from the other side:
that glimpse of palace, just a block of flats,
the sepulchre, now an empty garage.
The vision’s spoiled, the mystery’s gone.

Which garden really is the truth,
the garden of the heart, or of the head?
If one thinks the brutal is more real,
that garage might be secret gold: shelter
for some tired midnight couple, the woman
gravid, the man shamed by poverty;
then a miracle: two turn into three.
An old car seat, a barrow for a cradle,
a street lamp pure as any distant star,
a vagrant’s crust; all turned to treasure
by full hearts and the eyes of love:
transmutation, or maybe just seeing true.
The Ghisi Miniatures

Were you told I had a fine collection of miniatures?
I understand your sight is poor, but let me
describe some of them to you, while we wait.
Here is a lapis shell that opens to reveal

a mermaid astride a dolphin. She has two tails,
no antiseptic Hollywood creature she,
they coil in relish as they hold her sex
fast to the spine of the undulant beast.

Now here’s a locket of chaste and simple lines,
inside a lady sits on a stool,
one plump arm ‘neath a storm of skirts.
A footman lounges on a chair before her,

his long penis entering the naked maid
who straddles him and blushes with shame
and delight. The lady leans forward
and inspects their genitalia avidly.

I know the room in which this all takes place,
I recognise the land beyond the window,
it is a hunting lodge our family kept for many years.
I’ve often wondered who the artist was.

These two ovals framed in gold have black ribbons
tied in bows about them, and are much older.
They show a brother and sister aged two and four.
Inside the backs are locks of hair, still soft.

And here beside them is their mother, her lap full
of jewels, a tiara in her black hair.
She was an ancestor of mine from the far south;
a powerful family that ruled a wide domain.

She wed a handsome foreigner,
but he had an eye for women, and he fell
for the widowed mistress of a neighbouring estate
(one slightly richer and with better game)

who enticed him away. Fearing
his wife’s white fury, he took their two children
as hostage against her good behaviour.
But he didn’t understand the nature

of her love for him, for when she heard
what he’d done, her love turned to a black hatred
that filled her as if her very blood was made
of darkness. She and her half-crazed brother,

together with a mob of hired killers,
fell upon her usurper, and she slit
her children’s throats before her husband’s eyes,
and that was just the hors d’oeuvre, as it were.

The tiara she wears in her portrait
has not faded with age, as people
sometimes think. Rather, it was already pale,
being made of small bones

taken from her rival’s hands and feet.
The baubles she fondles were her rival’s jewels.
One child only did she give birth to
in the rest of her life, somehow fathered

by her brother. It was that act of incest,
perhaps, that gave our family its tone-deafness
and slight emotional instability.
Ah! I hear my wife’s footfall on the stair,

I’m so pleased she’s found a nice companion
to share her love of music. I know you’ll both
enjoy the concert, and the dinner after.
Take your time, there is no need to hurry back.
The 16A

The bus is full and thick with fug:
we’re all bundled up for winter. I take a hankie
from my pocket and wipe the misty window.
A young woman standing at a bus stop looks up at me
and I’m back in last summer’s Luxembourg Gardens,

where a young woman standing by a hedge
drops her jeans and underwear,
bends at the waist and grips her knees —
a long rope of urine shoots out of her in a glittering arc
and drums loudly on the lawn behind.
I look away, but later wish I hadn’t.

The bus stops and everyone get out:
old women who can raise storms,
children who can jump and count up to sixty,
men who know the name of the next winning horse
and smell of smoke, mums with covered prams.
I may never see them again, but their breath
is tucked in my pocket, soaking my handkerchief.
Bon Voyage

The family sat on awkward chairs
round my father’s hospital bed,
while he waited for death to come.
Cancer had already taken his voice.

He flung back the sheet
and pulled my mother into the bed.
She sat there in silence,
his arm was around her shoulders,
they looked ahead to a distance beyond the walls.

The bed was a little boat
and they were sailing away,
there among the relatives, among the other beds.
They had sailed for so long to get there;
now they were going on.

But my mother started to tremble
and hid her face in her hands and wept,
then shook herself free, jumped
to the floor and stepped away from the bed.

My father put hands together,
his mouth shaped pleading words we couldn’t hear.
My mother made a move towards him
and his crooked hands tried to grab her
as the current pulled him swiftly into the dark.