Explaining women


A collection of poems are based on a mixture of fact, fiction, memory, gossip and myth. Where reality ends and the imagination begins? Kow towing to political correctness has no place in this collection, a rake's progress of poems.

explaining women (excerpt)


J, with collar up, like a character out of The Third Man

arrived incognito, cigarettes, wine and a Leonard Cohen LP

she kissed the air, to communicate her corrupt intentions

the regal poise of a queen at court, she sat in an easy chair

her husband’s cheque book held with the authority of a sceptre

eager to squander the ground beneath his feet

redress his neglect of his treaty obligations


with a body half her age and underwear to match

an ability to quote Ovid, in context and in Latin (I asked)

she offered herself as tribute, in a game of marital chess

to be iconised, her vulva, an apple for the artist’s eye

her drama, tempting the snake in her adulterous game

there was no eunuch in this brothel, I studied her

someone else's concubine, insomeone else's harem


in the aquarium of diffused studio light, J posed

visions of neoclassical beauty, impressionist voluptuousness

mine were strictly utilitarian, open thighs directed my eye

sexual gravity, I was sucked in by the black hole of want

she may have considered her offer ripe for the plucking

I saw it as a fish mouth sucking its prey out of a shell

her Cleopatra's grip, firm as a brush in an artist’s hand


Japanese geishas were said to be skilled at such art

training and experience enabled her to grip the brush

full of ink, then she would squat, articulate her hips

draw a calligraphic line, reflect the art of moving in coition

J was impressed, there was something else he need not know 

secrets piled up over the years, like a rack of old canvases

some masterpieces, some best discarded

The Dead Centre Of The Universe And Other Places


This collection begins with a small series of poems about when the poet moved to and arrived in Leeuwarden. The other poems are poems that were written over the years and never fitted into a project, places visited, experiences experienced and musings.

old fart


bottles stand in rows, like a shooting gallery

ceiling high they resemble church organ pipes

bars are churches, you attend to contemplate

or commune with friends and celebrate life

or like me, simply to make human contact

over a beer, another word for holy water


not that I ever attended church, though

I once attended midnight mass on a promise

a Christmas gift wrapped in Chelsea Girl underwear

I endured the drone of tinnitus dirge and voice

the suppressed excitement in my pants

threatened to explode in a blasphemous rage


I’m older now, less well maintained, on the slide

those urgent needs are not so urgent now, anyway

girls in Chelsea Girl underwear don’t promise anymore

so I sit in the chiaroscuro light of Café De Spoek

the mirror behind the bar being all too honest

I’m an old fart doing an old fart thing


I sip my beer and dither, to talk or not to talk

interrupt someone’s brooding depression

impose my genius wit on their dull existence

I could put their world to rights, council them

tell them where their life went wrong

alcoholic advice from an out of control life


the myriad brand labels on endless bottles

life is not long enough to appreciate such efforts

but I’m at a stage in life where experimenting kills

like sex, it’s appreciated but can the heart take it

adventure is another beer, it used to be smoke too

but death loiters with intent, a mugger in the shadows



Muse is a drama written in poetry from the point of view of an artist's Muse, after which the collection of poems is titled.  The poems in the collection are both experience and fictions but it is difficult to say where experience ends and fiction begins. Celebratory, lusty, cynical and love weary, these poems are sexual relationships with daggers.



Maggie with electric copper mane
brighter than fire, clad in black leather
animal skin stretched over animal
sat astride an old Vincent five hundred
its single piston thumping hard

holding the bull by the horns
a twist of the wrist, urged more power
her straightened back, took the shock
the machine belched blue and growled
spat grit then thundered up road

this could be fiction but the memory is fact
riding pillion along the Rivelin Valley
the inflated sun more orange than a Jaffa
female anatomy pushed hard into my groin
not that I was in control, I was hanging on

she handled lovers like she handled a bike
easing them into the bend, lower, lower
accelerating out, then a wheely along the straight
in awe, you surrender to your fate, knowing

if the road doesn't get you, her sex will


the addiction of life at speed, the intake of breath
overtaking and weaving through the flow of traffic

my life depending upon Amazon skills

I see her, stretched naked before me, a road

into some new adventure, just one more time

the summer, Silver Machine played on every juke box

in cafes and pubs, at all night parties
we shared coffee, beer and body fluids, her leathers
unzipped to her navel, the globes of her breasts
always threatened to push free

the sodium street lights bent like sunflower heads
pollinating the dark suburban streets we cruised
my arms belted around her waist, my hands gloved
in her leathers, jealously guarding her sex
inhaling the oily sweat of my Amazonian queen