31 October 2007

Even That Fell To Pitiable Opinion

Used to see more people in the village
back in those days when the weekend
beckoned, tending an irreverent energy
suppressed I guess, a Mondayitis sprawled
across the working week – and all released
on Friday. I’d buy a few bottles of wine,
Henke put up specials by midday – we’d yarn,
weigh up opinion on the previous batch
but when the shop changed hands so did
the brands – had to contend with national
distribution he explained. Supply chains
ruined the Newsagency too – demanded
crap appear in racks I’d gladly dredge for
ancient magazines. Never went back.
Ate at the Italian Restaurant on the corner
regularly (fine excuse to buy wine from Henke)
but even that fell to pitiable opinion. The
reason they said was wood-fired pizza
and hamburgers with fries for crissake,
hardly what you’d call real competition.
You know, in the space of eight years you’d
find no difference from our village and the
nearest three, all run by essentially identical
franchisees. Geeze, no-wonder we left!
© 23 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

30 October 2007

Words Aligned To Harmonies

So predictable he said, no surprise
therein that I can find – (and I’m of
mind to rate it less than of my very
best). I’m not surprised you missed
the canticle I said – that’s what it
was, a light and rhythmic set of
words aligned to harmonies one
finds within the head. A tune of
mood that you deduced would
have a happy ending. Rest assured
I tried to find a rousing note to jar
the rhythms free – but happiness
and harmony combined to win
the current round – hands down!
©26 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

29 October 2007

Paid No Favours

A clique of limp, dim-witted
insects invaded the sweet
and sacred place. They were

recently hatched, hormonally
inspired, swarmed in seasonal clouds
of soured bile – feeding greedily
on the crumbs and the leavings of

yesterday’s feast – mixed freely
with their own excrement. Today
they gaze vacantly at an abandoned
tent blankly, uncomprehending.

Despite their lack-lustre wit displayed
in a derisory gaudiness, courted rituals
of barren ideas with foul jest, they
made no amendment, paid no favours.
© 15 October 2007, I. D. Carswell
*Stink Bug Picture:
Graphosoma italicum

28 October 2007

Like Waiting For Rain

Like waiting for rain – or the sun to shine
after the tempest has torn every vestige
of blurred belief to shreds. Like praying –
hands clenched, eyes closed, for relief
from spectres dread singing uneasy in
tortured ears. There is no comfort in
wearing steep ambition bequeathed
by years of greed and utter gluttony.

You howl at the moon in desperation –
avow to repair damage your hands can
reach in fine surgery of heart and mind,
swear oaths bearing antique truth at
ancient runes of your ancestors – but 

you’ll despair. Like waiting for rain and
dying in the drying air, like seeing signs
saying there is no truth but that which is
and that which is not, too aware which
are lies and which are beyond repair.

Like wearing the refuse of disunity as a
distinction – ‘tho whether the sun will
shine again after the tempest won’t
matter to you – you won’t be there.
© 26 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

27 October 2007

Neither Drunk Nor Lonely

His quest to stave off a creeping loneliness
stalled in the bitter ardour of stale breath;
a night of scotch whisky and beer imbibed
raucousness with sex less than a fingers
come-hither breadth away failed to save
him from falling face down explaining he was
neither drunk nor lonely. It was the breath
exhaled from blackened teeth and bruised
lips which saved the day, breath which said,
who the hell died here? When no-one replied
he assumed it was he.
© 23 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

26 October 2007

Images Of Whom We Think We Are

without a concrete sense
of attachment, no physical
presence of wires or chains
or restraints – nothing that
abates freedoms taken for
granted. Connected only in
an equivalence of affective
events, frank commitment
absent without leave, free
to fly and flee as whimsy’s
fancy takes virtual license;
connected in a World sans
links, friends, family, of the
associations defining who
and what we see in images
of whom we think we are.
© 25 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

25 October 2007

Last Place You Knew, the

Running the wrong way on a one-way
street, seeing signs saying slow down
in mirrors that shouldn’t be, blinded
by lights screaming out of the future.

Closing eyes that refuse to remember,
denying a mind’s-view which lies dead
ahead in yesterday’s truth. Lurching on
in an autonomous momentum, lost two

turns short of the last place you knew.
© 21 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

24 October 2007

Sustained (and tamed) Reality

I’ve seen the fire that runs the hills
at night, a mystery light that paints
the sky alive. Its eerie flames slash
bright across a line of sight and die
an instant death too brief to take in
hand – gloom reclaims the land and
crouching hills again but etched by
powers arcane it stays portrayed in
muted shades within our eyes for
endless days – a stark relief outlined
against a fragile sky in nascent blue,
solidity combined with subtlety our
living words will try to say but fail to
do. A jealous dawn replays the scene
in slower time, recidivists rejoice,
delighted in the rising sun that stays
unease – they snore again at peace
within sustained (and tamed) reality.
© 23 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

23 October 2007

Tilt Our World

I’ve been accused of many things in life –
to some I am a villain, others a villein.

To top the lot I am a shamefully execrable idiot,
which is not, I hasten to add, my favoured view

of me. But someone I care for gave me the
title so I wear it with an impartial sense of duty.

Believe me, it is not easy being a fully-fledged,
practising, idiot-at-large. Roadsides are littered

with the remains of those who failed – as if we
need reminding! Life expectancy of an idiot is

an ephemeral idea to be stirred, not shaken –
nor imbibed unless safely seated at the time.

Consuming two idiot by-products consecutively
is potentially injurous to the health so take care!

I know these things from a lifetime’s experience.
But did you know that when two idiots agree

the earth-shattering consequences tilt our World...
© 17 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

22 October 2007

Jewels You’ve Thrown Away

The gems you ever thought to find didn’t
litter paths you never walked on anyway;
the stones you threw you claimed were
stones in every eye – stones are stones
unless they shine, that’s what Grandpa
used to say. Head bowed you stand at a
grave your ideas rest in – tears in stone
eyes shine, splash in eternal flow, play in
dust with jewels you’ve thrown away.
© 19 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

21 October 2007

Nowhere To Turn Away

You carried the
sentiment a cancer
within for each day
courted after a
rude awakening –

a schooling in
innocence completed
when innocence was
sacrificed to
abject apathy.

Listened to ghostly
voices sing sotto voce
chorales countering each
new reality with elaborate

growing more fragile and
dreamlike; avoided hard
answers and dark places,
sought soft curves
and warm cavities.

Your feet did not move from
the sweet earth they grew in;
roots hold you firm, unwavering
where wild winds tear
lesser anchors free.

You bear your pain
with stolid gravity;
face the way
you will return.
Nowhere to turn away.
© 18 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

20 October 2007

Solidity And Harmony Hold Hands

The themes are still the same where
sleep evades; your warmth is shared
with bounteousness unchanged in all
these years – I cling to edges of your
reverie, listening, jealous in a sense,
aware your mood is equally as clear
to me. In certainty of knowing where
my heart is placed I leave your warm
embrace to greet a day that dawns in
mists of grey. Jacaranda blossoms call
through greening trees – eyes drink
thirstily of peaceful scenes, solidity and
harmony hold hands as day begins.
© 18 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

19 October 2007

My View Of Fair Or Real

Which is the greater crime –
to take democracy, run it
through with metal skewers
and barbeque as party planks
of politics – or take the total
vote received as all one needs
to change the sacred rules?

I don’t care for government –
bemused by monkeyshines divined
as dirty tricks to fix the lists; let the
bastards fight it out day by day in
hand to hand, last man standing rules –
where we can thumbs-down each
and every one of all the sorry dicks.

Let the People judge the shady
deals and death decide democracy.
I stand there, astride a notion that
my vote exists as sacrosanct; to have
some Rep elected say he’s traded it for
rancid deals of greater good is not
my view of fair or real democracy.
© 15 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

18 October 2007

Effervescent Nothingness

Tried hard to say something nice
about the World last night, even
went to lengths to tell the whole
& glory-be-to-godforsaken truth;
I failed – it was to be expected.

My mind was in another place,
another time. I grappled with a
graceless sense of uselessness,
the advent of ennui meant to
pierce the drought and bring the 

barren days to end. I sailed into
today as aimlessly as when I set
the helm, rigged a sheet to catch
a fractious wind and went to sleep
to dream of sweet and endless
effervescent nothingness.
© 13 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

17 October 2007

Size Not Relative To Bite Implied

Okay, you’ve saved my soul today,
my theme should be that odium we
share – the scream of racist offense
where pretenders pose as poets
with no defence but their selfish
interests. But you suggest a theme,
arachnophobia – no less.

Of thousands of Australian
spiders, arthropods and insects,
only three have bites alone which
are capable of causing death –
the funnel-web spider (and thus
an atrax clique), red back spider
and humble paralysis tick!

The rest perchance, can make a mess
with rest and elevation and
local application of icepacks
and lotions, simple analgesics,
antihistamines. In rare cases
anaphylactic effects are seen
which of itself is life threatening.

The fear is phobic enmity
neither rational nor securely
embraced in legend or history,
even children’s rhymes despair a
fair and dispassionate guise –
while spider size is not relative
to the venomous bite implied.

© 12 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

16 October 2007

Tintern Abbey (on a Thursday)

A long day cruising between Lancashire
and Wales, crossing rivers which were
canals which were streams which were
bidden borders – seeking union in order.

‘Croeso i Crymu’ the signs say, ‘Welcome
to Wales’ – tranquil valleys and trees wore
autumn shades but no claim to complacent
indifference. The Abbey’s ruins greeted

us without fanfare – toilets clean and busy;
across the street the pub stared. While you
stalked the stones, took photographs, I sat
and drank a pint or two of the local brew.

And where you have photographs I have
clear memories of my first Welsh beer;
you’ll share your pictures – I’ll keep my
mine alive too, completely satisfied.
© 15 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

15 October 2007

May I Ask Forgiveness Too?

If I could have my needs arranged
in mood of generosity I’d ask an
easy boon. All I want to see is the
nail clippers were they used to be.

It shouldn’t be an ask to make you
shy away – you are not to blame,
didn’t place them out of reach or
wafted them away. In your defence

you say you have no use for them –
but that is not to say you didn’t
see my deep attachment to
the blessed things. When you

queried me where I had searched
I tried to keep my cool. Of course,
I say, with certain irony, looked there
I did – perchance it is an errand’s fool.

They are, no doubt, not where I’m sure
of leaving them, nor in the room I used
them in, nor anywhere between for
unknown reasons inexplicable to me.

Try the dressing table once again,
you say with vehemence; I shake my
head to signify I won’t comply. You
sigh, glance a pitiable glance; and in a

trance-like state of grace return to place
the clippers in my hand. My needs are now
redressed by you within your mood of grand
civility – so please, may I ask forgiveness too?
© 10 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

14 October 2007

The Aisle Seat Made A Difference

The aisle seat made a difference between
feeling inhibited or contained in another
passenger’s lack of interest. A long flight in
any manner of speaking, twenty two hours
end to end, endurance of spirit over time and
distance, solid transition from where to when.

The mind jumps ahead where the body lags
in slow death of a manic, midday Heathrow
departure. Delays, our captain says, when we’re
seated, due to passengers caught in London’s
endless traffic jam – small beer to we who got lost,
waited disengaged in a queue going nowhere.

With gravity pressing us to seats the wait
seems inconsequent – we’re airborne, on
our way. Eleven hours, dawning light reveals
Suvarnabhumi airport beneath, three movies,
two meals and the delight of Thai Stewardess’s
inarguable largesse. I think we even slept.

Mementos to buy, gifts for the new-born, tokens
of thanks; wiser this time we get the best. Aboard
again, nine hours to touchdown, an hour to bed –
unwinding. The news we flew via Sydney came as we
overflew Darwin, a sequel to restrained relief; even
Jesus wept, three more hours wasted to Brisbane.

Said to Immigration, feels like I’ve been home
for weeks with all this waiting. Yeah, he replies,
and you’ve got more ahead at Culture & Customs
mate. They’ll assess your core beliefs. They’ll ask
you who was our first PM* – that’s right;
a newby kind of entry test.
©11 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

*For the record: Sir Edmund Barton, 1901 - 1903

13 October 2007

Too Many False Prophets

A faint nausea near overcomes you – sourness
in the oesophagus one might digress, but truth
be told its bile distressed by envy.

There’s nothing left construed digestible except
the facts and you are less an influence, or at the
very best, a symbol of lost confidence.

It is clear in margins kept of arithmetic
consequence you failed the test.
Didn’t collect enough relevance.

And yet your friends all sailed
to gather plaudits by the score
and trappings of acceptance.

The evidence you say obtains a measure in a
form of placid mediocrity and not success,
called the criterion effect –

where soothsayers claim
there are too many false
prophets to revere anyway.
© 10 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

12 October 2007

This Time, It’s Far Too Late

A misty dawn to greet the day, no sight
of brutal heat – but heat will come as day
draws on, the signs forlorn for fears allay
as ever was the loathsome way by blight
of mankind’s calumny. We alone did light
the fires, felled the trees in a grand parlay,
gamed at dice on a losers stake gainsay
and lost the pot; the thief of time delights
our plight, he stands aloof, ignores debate,
cogitates our certain fate, sees us leave
the promised land a-feared and intestate –
a-pleasured by our parlous state bereaved,
while we demur, digress, pontificate
in fear – and learn, this time, it’s far too late.
© 10 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

11 October 2007

Cower Before Its Arcane Might

The storms begin away out West
in softened shreds of flimsy clouds
which coalesce above our heads in
starkly frigid atmosphere – driven
there by rising air scorched fiercely
in springtime sun. These bringers of the
dousing rain, the brutal hail, the rabid
winds, deranged and cruel, wreaking
hurt insane but real – breaking
hearts and felling trees, drowning
us in plenitude. We sit and watch
the lightening flash, attend the crash
of thunder peals that echo over land
annealed by powers unleashed with
no appeal. We cower before its
arcane might, hope that we
survive the night.
© 10 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

10 October 2007

In Glory Of The Form

Dear friends and some enemies, prithee please,
the topic is not the poem! We’ve raved about
the what it was and how it came to pass that we
agreed or disagreed with authored words, sought
agreement or dispersed our discontent but hear
me out – the theme, alackaday, is just a trite and
weary conversation piece – and nothing less.

So save your pen in chary words or gravid praise.

The poem is a form, the serried words that make
a rhythm race, the tightness of a rhyme, the pace
and gleam of metaphor embraced in new ideas, the
pictures in your mind. Find the line that echoes long
and stays alive within your conscious dreams –
the line that says in fewer words learnings of a life
and times, summed sublime in cogent paraphrase.

Expend your praise in glory of the shape of these.
© 5 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

09 October 2007

Dover To Calais

Dover to Calais, a merry sail by sea
with Immigration into France aloof –
they waved us through without a
second glance. Welcome to EC they
said, but when you leave the Britishers
will daunt upon your head. And thus
it was as they alleged – a lengthy wait
without the grace of relevance.

You should rank the stance of Britain in
EC before you trade, feel the weight
of history’s length – let subtle shades
of precedence compound your fears.
By speaking loud in French you ring the
bell that says, mes amis, we’re here, let
us in now wont you please. The smiles are
then most welcome beams of relevance.

I hid a laugh and dropped pretence; I’ve
come around the World to see this scene,
the pettiness just isn’t real, it’s wasted here,
you play your games of consequence with
history’s pawns upon a stage of aged
burlesque. My friends, I cannot make a
word of sense and please believe, you
will not make pawn of me!
© 8 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

08 October 2007

Calloused Wrongs Of Tragic Old

Laggan in the highland moors, a mist descends
to soften barren peaks and greening glens, grazing
cattle fade away, voices of the watchers hesitate
as quiet wraps this lonely place in easy solitude.

We came by Pitlochry where salmon run, another
ruined church by sea at St Andrews, glimpsed the
momentous events in history played out near links
of equal antiquity, of Scotland’s famous game.

The peace and slower pace of Laggan put that day
to rest, a meal of simple Highland fare where guests
relaxed, enjoyed a rustic hospitality. One wondered
how the trenchant fierceness gained its pride of place.

Bound for Glasgow with the dawn, Culloden on the
way to Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle’s ruins and the
cloud-bound summit of Ben Nevis. We climbed there
to see again the sun shine severely over Glencoe.

Even in the depths of night I dream of Laggan’s peace,
its moor a-shroud, the quiet deceased not wild afoot,
the brutal past contained; I sleep free of a conscience
inflamed by legend bold, calloused wrongs of tragic old.
© 8 October 2007, I. D. Carswell

07 October 2007

Pistachios & Old Speckled Hen

Pistachios and Old Speckled Hen,
my way of rejoicing – I survived the
morning’s shopping. She lured me
into a false sense of security, a
cheery smile and warm hand, lead
me down Kensington High Street
towards Nottinghill Gate – past two
internet cafes locked and vacated,
failed enterprises in the wake of a
Broadband revolution – no Homeric
sense of equivalence to placate.

Whilst we walked in the muted
halls of Marks & Spencer, past
displays of opulent wares I thought
of the Parisienne who stole my cell
phone – I say it was the whoreson
Jean-Jacques, the Cellar Restaurant
lickspittle, bastard of the Latin
Quarter. Oh, I meant to ruin your
play, meant to slaughter the phone
with my internet key, find an open
cafe by going the other way.

It was not to be. No, I do not blame
you in the least, you do not live out
where the mind expands, where
diesel fumes are free of enzymes
making you a thief; in that I find an
easy comfort, a sense of grand relief.
But here and now I am released from
shopping duties by her kind consent,
at ease again, relaxed, taking pleasure
as I feast on pistachios and drink
from cans of Old Speckled Hen.
© 26 September 2007, I. D. Carswell

06 October 2007

London From A #27 Bus

Learned London from the upper 
deck of a #27 bus that day, eyes 
squeezed tight; cruising Portobello 
Road crammed with cars and a feral 
shopping throng loosely afoot on a 
grey Saturday - with inches to spare, 
eyes widening where the Somali driver 
guided us, his hands speaking volubly, 
daring vivid insults to careless drivers 
who encroached his space. It was a
breathtaking ride through narrow
streets barely wide enough for two
lanes less a row of tendentiously
parked cars.

And in the race to Camden
Town to meet Tara McH I began 

to understand Parisiennes – their
automobiles bear scars of honour
earned in le hors de combat, at
their random round-abouts and
the eternal joust for lanes, bumps
and bruises claimed in a rite of
passionate passage whilst here
the dour British avoid ‘le crash’
with adroitness just short of anal
– a sang froid less panache that
only the French would appreciate.
© 25 September 2007, I. D. Carswell

05 October 2007

Intact It Birthed A Myth

The burned-out shell of Coventry’s St Michael’s
Cathedral stands stark in contrast to shrapnel
scarred facades of Cologne’s. A claim of whom
were Godless warmongers stains belligerent’s
battle honours, disgraces the bomb-aimers
whose fingers pressed release buttons where
fear of God did not despair. Bombs are dumb,
not good messengers – the proof can be seen
with 20th Century eyes. In Cologne we bought
picture postcards of their Cathedral amidst ruins,
fourteen aerial bombs did not shame its proud
stance – intact it birthed an irrepressible myth –
whereas St Michael’s ruins stay just the same.
© 5 October 2007, I.D. Carswell

04 October 2007

Durham Town

Durham Town today with hints of a glorious past
embodied in an armed platoon’s hurried march
from the Cathedral; school cadets in camouflage
eviscerate a quick step race to emulate their adult
peers, the band with patent leather shoes smoking
cigarettes relaxed out of formal dress, rehearsals
complete. Green jacketed veterans stroll past
in berets and grey slacks to celebrate this day’s
regimental birthday while we, blissfully unaware
gaze wide-eyed at the ancient church, learn of a
need for £40,000 per day in donations to effect
maintenance. When Princess Alexandria finally
graced the rite we had moved on, wisely perhaps,
the gathering throng seemed less generous – though
you’d never have know it by reading their faces.
© 9 September 2007, I. D. Carswell

03 October 2007


Bridge End to Stonehenge and pillars in the field –
aligned with an implicit accuracy no-longer maligned
for ambiguous reasons to Solstices observed it seems
by toilets set out in a field of fat and happy cows.

We circled the stones ears glued to disembodied
voices chanting eerily from plastic larynxes, took
photographs easily of flawed, modern man posing
in a field of ancient stones understanding nothing.

Like the cows who chewed their cud we were freely
imbued with cachets of another economy, the one
where sex sells economic determinism discretely in
wonders of another estranged but surely ruined abbey.

Or is it the appeal of Bath’s cabalistic deconstruction
40 minutes down the road that ensures the stone’s
survival; while we, seduced by the ease of it, stand
bemused in long shadows of our Pagan beginnings.
©13 September 2007, I. D. Carswell

02 October 2007

Moulin Rouge (on a Friday)

Ménage; sensuous massage of senses
dined on fine bourdeaux sipped in a
seething ampitheatre’s ambience. 

We are here with closet crew of 800 at
Moulin Rouge on a Friday – wearing
a tie and a fifty-years-wide smile 

delighted eyes avidly bathing. No sense
of outrage, breasts do not titillate
– merely express vigor embraced in an 

exuberant artistry of song and dance.

Costumes brave and percussion
enhanced movement suspended

over a stage kaleidoscoping under
glazed lights, a raised tank with
coral snakes caressing a niad’s

breasts – she undressed in less
than your imagination. Bound in the
parade of passion’s narration made 

in the Can Can leg kicks rearing,
revealling glimpses, baring, teasing 

yet quaintly restrained – and we all 

rang with the same red blood
resonance as the years fell away.
© 24 September 2007, I. D. Carswell

01 October 2007

Rhine Cruising With Senegalese Dancers

Taken to task in a weary pique
of rectitude, asked where the
wide-eyed wonderment went –
the innocence. In truth I could

not say – there were moments
when the stars burned bright and
heavens glowed, events which
showed delight and naivety free

of worldly apathy – it showed
in our company but not in me.
Then the day of the Senegalese
who drank liebfraumilch from

bottles concealed in paper bags,
laughed and sang songs in French,
danced with grace on the top deck
of the boat as we cruised the Rhine.

It made sense. They acted out their way
of saying, we like the wine and we like
the view, join us if you dare. We’re not
going anywhere until the boat stops.

We left the cruise at St Goarshausen –
near Burg Katz, bound for Switzerland.
There I let a venal magic intrude, a
smile invade and purely levitate;

would we could travel with those
Senegalese I chanced, they wear
the greatest clothes, I’m amazed
at the way the women danced.
© 21 September 2007, I. D. Carswell