Category Archives: machinery

Telling Time

It’s been quite a long time since I first read a poem to a ‘live’ audience. A few years in fact. Last week I got around to standing up in front of a small group of people in a (fairly) public space again.  The occasion was an ‘echo’ event at DCA where people were responding to an exhibition of the unusual slow animations of the artists IC-98. My poem tries to do it’s own explaining, so, I think I’ll just let it…

In response to an exhibition of work by IC-98. Dundee, January 2016. Continue reading

The Sound of Merlin


A sliding purr,
Oh yes indeed!
But no tabby here.
Rolls among Royces –
The Barry White of aerial intent.






The title for this tiny poem came from a suggestion that I spotted by artist Ian Spicer. As soon as I saw Ian’s title, I could almost feel the unmistakable throb of a low level Spitfire pass.

May 8th is my birthday – as well as that of personal hero and national treasure David Attenborough (Many Happies!) – but more importantly May 8th 2015 is the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, and of the almost unbelievable relief of a horrifically hard won peace: let’s give thanks and remember.

I happened on this video later… a visceral addition to this post! Some language slightly NSFW, but you do have to have the sound up (preferably LOUD)…

The hobby drone

PtarmiganSubbuteo bombito v. Lagopus muta

“Let’s buzz a ptarmigan!”
Well, let’s not, I crab,
Silently defending,
Inwardly rankling at this sudden
Synthetic intrusion. Continue reading

Flight desk

Flight desk is a poem in three parts. I wondered if I should break it up into three separate posts.  I thought that maybe people like poetry on the web not to be too lengthy. But I then I thought that it’s not such a long poem really, and that, if I was reading aloud, I’d definitely read all three parts together.

So in the end I decided to just post all the parts together. There is also a recorded reading – I’m a bit fluey today, so my voice is a little different 🙂 !

flight-desk Continue reading


lucidaAn electronic pulse indicates
Life is supported, if uncheered. Her eyes are taped,
While field boundaries are traced and recorded.
Is there anybody there?

Fish, dog, monkey, driving the car.
Consciousness is scored on a sliding scale.
Daydreaming, life drawing, man, woman, machine,
A target only in transition. Like walking, a lifelong fall.

Continue reading


playbackBreaking news. Cutting edge.
Fresh baked in the Twentieth, McLuhan hot.
It’s all azimuth to time based zig-zags,
Sweeping by that steadfast capstan, my capstan.

Family firsts, domestic rocketry, wife, child, bike, dog.
Ephemera encoded in field fluxions of
All those analogue ages.
All our yesterdays EM waved goodbye.

I, a whirring behemoth, still know,
With a metal and rubber intimacy
Of pinch-rolled, tape-laced and spindled automation,
How to play back these memories.

Before their weary dipoles swoon
Transported in entropy’s relaxed embrace.
Chaotic ribbons of knotted linear beta
Falling fankled beyond decryption.

For now this machine knows,
But no one will make another.




The Divvy

Pneumatic Capsule

Thanks to Pathlost for use of this image.

An end-stop announcement.
A thwumping air-cushioned arrival,
Buffered by more constant background hiss.

In my internal bakery Bread Street
Remains an imagined sliced-pan provider,
An avenue of the jeelie piece perhaps,
But it was also where we would queue.

St Cuthbert took, but gave a little back,
Before loyalty was carded, or
Nectar rendered accountable,
There was The Dividend.

Continue reading