There is a virtual lion loose in Essex.
Its mane’s weaved from a thousand jokey tweets.
Its body is a flickering, quantum flux

between King of the Beasts and household cat.
Its only trail’s a vast swathe of newsprint,
Its roar is fibre optic and its scat

is piles of dodgy Photoshopped attempts
at peerless documentary evidence.
Tonight, it shakes its tail to leave its scent

against every suburban garden fence
and falls asleep unseen on garage roofs.
As tabbies’ shadows lengthen at sunset,

so harmless facts grow into monstrous truths.



Heraclitus has been switched to Timeline.
Needless to say, he’s philosophical
about the situation, he’s resigned

to having the world scroll down his profile
to reread all those late night, drunken posts;
his failed conquests, long periods spent single,

the just-dumped tantrums and the new love boasts.
And then there’s that urge he could never pass,
those background moonies at the Christmas toast.

It’s not the same office, nor the same arse.


As Autumn TV schedules click into gear
and families settle down in living rooms,
I think of the Nuraghe Palmavera,

those pokey little neolithic domes,
a flint head’s throw from the Sardinian coast.
I doubt each modest household stayed alone

come nightfall, nor played dinner party hosts
for that sweet couple that lived two huts down.
No doubt the people of that cramped outpost

converged round fire,  ripped rare horseflesh from bone
sang their hearts out over distant waves,
within the shadow of the largest dome,

the place where the important people lived.


As the winners of mutual lotteries
of genetic and social privilege
compete before a billion worldwide eyes—

the Curiosity Rover comes of age,
beams back her Martian panoramic snaps,
that I glimpsed scrolling down a Facebook page

to make my escape through a finger tap
to view a world devoid or rain or snow,
more cause than podiums and victory laps

to sing, “Oh man, look at those cavemen go!”


The two of us set out on shaky legs,
to walk the park’s circuit before they lock
the creaking gates on strollers and their dogs.

The hour hand saunters close to eight o’clock,
you glance up at the twilight tinted boughs,
expressing equal wonderment and shock

at everything the world tosses at you,
while I am plagued by constant inner visions—
a hyperactive, neural CPU.

Our dual mentalities are not a schism,
we are instead a dual core processor
running the same operating system.

The daddy chip eschews aesthetic pleasures
to weigh up matters of utility.
The daughter chip is exempt from the pressures

of economics and society
and wordlessly admires the evening show.
That is until the slowing frequencies

of light sustains the eerie,  gilded glow,
erasing memories of the daily grind
and I am lost for words you’re yet to know

and for this moment, we’re of the same mind.


I never, ever moaned about the rain,
I liked unfurling black, umbrella wings
over my metre wide psychic domain;

loved how grass verges flushed and gutters sang
their warbly baritones. My pasty skin
could breath in those conditions, felt no pangs

of severance from our blazing mother sun,
the hydrogen homestead, our atoms’ maker.
We might be made of stars but life began

within the churning plenitude of water.


During yesterday’s solitary bus ride
I spotted a neat square of uncut grass
fenced off by eight foot hoardings on each side.

I thought of all the creatures that reside
within its micro cosmos of wild flowers
and flora that we classify as weeds

between the storage warehouse and the towers—
a handsome piece of London real estate
waiting for omniscient developers

to pull the trigger, promptly decimate
the knee high jungle when plans are approved.
I’ll pass no judgement, nor compare its fate

to that universal size of Wales
that diggers bite from virgin forestry.
A mental image of the gods prevails,

viewing all the suffering on display
within the corporeal populace,
something briefly glimpsed from far away,

from the top of their celestial bus.


I’ve read about the Higgs Boson a few times
and forgot what it was just as fast,
but feel a little sparky just the same

on hearing that intrepid physicists
have observed it, despite it’s fabled stealth,
this speck of time in which the universe is

capable of remembering itself.


Now is gone a moment, then it’s back.
The nose knows now, your precious eyes play tricks.
Between the past and future, now’s the crack.

Now’s always the time for politics.

Canto CCCI

The baby’s slept all day and all last night,
apart from waking for a change and feed.
The hot damp air, thick clouds churn up the light,

the rent goes up next month some fifty quid.
I read about ontologies of time,
the present exists as the slight divide

between the past and the future to come,
but at the same time neither tense exists
apart from the endless continuum,

the sprawling, rolling now. Who can say which
of these two differing presents can be true?
Is present just a long thin thread to stitch

the past to the future or the blue
expanse of endless cloth that both are scrawled on?
The truth is that it just comes down to you

which now that you have chosen to live in.
Dwell on the now and it becomes immense,
dwell on the past and future and its gone,

though dwelling either way won’t pay the rent
nor keep it rising well above inflation.
The low clouds thicken just above my head

and all ideas are above my station.
See that’s the problem with ontology,
you never figure that your contemplation

will be disrupted by reality.

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