Friday, 3 June 2016

To Europe

A glorious past, and future more than full.
From salt Atlantic - crowning Caucasus,

from crystal tundra - undulate Sahara,
united, softly spoken languages.

Creed cannot matter here, for all are true
or false, or useful, superstitious too.
Race will not care here: European though
saturnine, blond, or black, blue irises.

No eagle empire with its rending conquests,
you thoughtful country of a peace expansion.
A murmuring glade, your loose bounds lasting longest
of any bloody map yet drawn by nation.
In Story's steaming alleys you'll stand tall -
a home of many mansions: room for all

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The East is Red

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (无产阶级文化大革命)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Croat card player - a ballad

I know a skilful little man,
by name of Crumbly-Pilchard.
He spends his days upon the baize
and nights he fumbles Richard

He is a wizard with his Dick,
though hearts don't always break
We gaze amazed at his great length
and wish he'd down his stake

A boy should know, a boy should learn
that though he may have skill,
the enemies he makes in life
can kick him till he's shrill

Don't target me, O little man
or I will rhyme you sore,
and every time I see your mug
I'll come and kick you more

Thursday, 23 July 2015

In memoriam: Marywin Gibbons (1926-2015)

You left in April, Mary, dear;
we're gathered here today
to say goodbye, to say farewell,
to say we loved your stay

on Earth you ne'er believed in Heav'n
but light ran through and through
all your dealings here with us.
Goodbye. Farewell. Thank You.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Kipling's Ass

The Hun is at the gate! A driven foe,
I know you love to hear how Germans die.
for body, soul an iron sacrifice.
'Ach Kamerad' they cry, then squeal like stoats.
Atrocities engorged as scarlet crazy
squirts spawn about the corpses of old toads;
menagerie of carrion and waste
shambles across a century of crows.
And then, in boiling shards of poignant beauty,
(wolves graze, and dust becomes the serpent's meat)
through a becalmed and still reflective maunder,
(trusting a day there shall be no more shooting)
erupt emotions - soaring, wheeling fleets,
leap into hope that even war surrender.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Songstone, Canto I: The Tower

is published today. A free copy from:

But Kora sat unmoving, in great magic. 
The walls, her home, faded about her. Warmth
went; all alone and on a freezing plain,
dressed in a tunic, sharp knife in her belt,
bow on her shoulder, arrows in a quiver 
behind. Her eyes gleamed; a pale cold light,
ˈlɪmpɪd ɪn ˈdʌlnəs

She looked around. Away, at vision’s limit,
a dark shape rose above the plain: a Tower,
the only thing in all this barren place:
no bird flew, no grass grew. Despite the wool 
she shivered. Breath-clouds hung in the raw air,
ˈsləʊli dɪˈzɒlvɪŋ

Then in eye’s corner something moved. She turned
to gaze across the Waste and saw a Cloud.
Far, almost straight behind her as she faced
the Tower, it too reared up black and sheer.
Unlike the Tower, moving, whirling, wisps
trailing their tentacles around a core,
ˈtwɪstɪŋ ɪnˈseɪnli

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Biking in Beijing

It's minus 5 outside: leathers, tough shoes;
a warmer bed awaits in Dongba's stews.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Day

A whispering day, alone with thoughts and whisky.
Tomorrow call a wench: I'm feeling frisky.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Progress and poverty (for HG)

The Land Tax for the nations' pain:
rent to the treasury the claim

William Hogarth
Marriage A-la Mode 2: The Tete a Tete 1745
The National Gallery, London

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Apologies to Milton

The Sisters of the sacred well be damned:
a bottle, glass, some heat and steady hand

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mulled wine

Add cinnamon and honey, fruit and cloves;
a winter's night in Bacchanalian groves

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A careless student

I didn't mean to copy!, wailed the boy
Cut n paste from Wiki? Just being coy.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Saturday, 10 December 2011

On a crisis

Financial capital's most willing slave:
Rebekah's rider, PR's 'Call me Dave'

Monday, 21 November 2011

A rebuttal

There was n old windbag called Shuttle
who wasn't particularly subtle.
N 'actual poet' by name
though her oeuvre was lame;
her verses were worth fully fuck all.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's a dog's life

Like many here I enjoy nothing better on a cold winter's evening than a few 羊肉串: delicious pieces of cumin-coated lamb on a skewer, cooked up in an instant by a myriad of street sellers. At 1 yuan per skewer, this is a pretty economical way to fill the belly.

As this is China though, things may not be as they seem. Rumour has it that some of the less ethical vendors are not using lamb at all, but pieces of various household and sewer fauna that have been soaked in sheep's piss to give them that ovine aroma. You may the victim of this scam if your 羊肉串 has pieces of meat that are somewhat smaller and gristlier than expected, especially if there is a distinct shortage of Rattus norvegicus and/or poodles in the vicinity.

Speaking of food, 
the other day some bloated bint wanted to know how to order a McDonalds' Combo in Chinese. I stared in disbelief. I mean, here we are, surrounded by one of the world's great cuisines, and this waddling whale wants a McDonalds?! I despair. I'll have the snake congee please, and hold the fries.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

猴子好吃桃子 (4)

Despite it all, BG is good company and a great source of material. In a world where the majority sleepwalk, spouting vacuous sentences, he is at least original. We march down the street together at 4am, under a limpid moon, singing 社会主义好:

and even if he is thinking of National "Socialism" it does not negate the moment.

Time to say farewell to Guangzhou; I am off to Beijing in the morning. We celebrate with a barbecue. The grilled oysters are delicious; I order a dozen more.

11th Sept: Beijing: My first semi-solid shit for six days.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

猴子好吃桃子 (3)

"You know, I'm going to visit Pommieland soon"
"Yeah, you know Pipi. Well, his wife has shacked up with a Jewboy in London, so I've agreed to go there and kill him."

BG is ex-army, Afghanistan veteran, and can hit the eye of a kangaroo from a mile.

"You'll visit England to bump off Pipi's wife's lover?"
"Yeah, then I'll go and stand outside Buckingham Palace and try to see Her Majesty." A tear wells up in BG's eye. "I swore an oath to that woman and by God I meant it."

Getting the resin that led to this outpouring of sentiment was not as easy as I had imagined. There has been a crackdown on black faces in Guangzhou, and where once the area around the Garden Hotel was a heaven of Nigerian narcotics, there is now a wilderness of cheap trinkets and overpriced bars. In the end we stumbled across a Syrian, who obligingly provided us with the necessaries at a very reasonable price.

BG takes off all his clothes. He was wont to do this occasionally when we lived together, and it was always clear that he hoped to tempt me. Alas, my taste does not encompass homicidal Nazi dwarves.