If not me


wood pigeon you deep throat

cry me to mate.

Neck ballooning with longing

you resonate

above these slates

this mist, that

diesel track to Weston.

The roof top between us

is hiding my presence.

Acting the beat box.

What have you in store for me?

What desires drive your calling

to chimneyed horizons?

How far do you fly

your bare twigs

to nest hopes on

this city bird table.

Prepare to entice me

To your perch

and if not me, then

Who, who, who?

Who, who, who?

Becoming a true city Liver


A few days after an urban retreat with fellow South West of England contemplatives, sensitively and gorgeously lead by Cynthia Borgeualt from The States, I am energised again to become a true Liver in this my city of home. To take hold the call to embody all outer and inner complexities, to have a tenderized heart towards the human folly and wastefulness, the clamour and the one-eyed nature that fills our bellies and minds, our gullies and ground with extraneous clutter and junk.

I feel moved to show love for this Bristol urban sprawl, to unravel my arms and cherish the empty crisp packets and KFC bargain buckets, the smiling faces and stress filled waste skidding by, like plucked feathers upon the city’s deep-fried breath.  Affluent effluence, only curbed by pavement edge and the ever-changing boundaries of road works invisibly labouring to still the revolution of rubber on a million VW diesel engines spewing stationary while raging for space to park their precious egos.

I feel ignited again to awaken the collective throbbing generous Heart, to engage in the wild ride of internal contemplation, to dive right into my chest region, to cough up hope to ingest fumes and to seep out goodness’s that I know already somehow flow in the elusive internal sanctifying citadel within.

To be guided by Eckhart as above and Borgeualt and Rohr and rivers from the now, to embody and allow such goodness to melt in and flow out from this sliver of light, this hidden gate. And yet more, to be

‘washed clean in contrition, heart filled, made ready, in longing made worthy,’ (Julian of Norwich Showings, Chap 39).

to fully embrace the onslaught of daily clinging to city centred passions.

To resolve to evolve.

Indeed, to go further, to microscopically, internally begin again and again to slowly grow the becoming’s of a true new Liver in and within these boundaries called home. To quietly sift  through the Avon sea salting rhythmic crest and flow, to raise up and shift asunder, to ingest in unseen, untold, unhinged Bristolian fashions and in such limited human passion to sail deeper, opening softly internal organs to sing and singe within the fire-fuelled South Westerlies.

To fill up inside-out lifetime surges of wantage, unskilled non-frilled wilful wastage and in respite to welcome all upon such purposeful blood, upon and yes despite such and such longstanding chest breath clots of sadness, to wish release-full-ness, to draw You in.

Yes harvest deep to worrisome spleen and moving on to engrain in layering’s of stomach stretch an ardour of floating bloat that slowly creeps through intestine small and largely bubbling in half-digested forms, to boil down and to Transform all this living gnawing grind into a purse perfectly formed and gently divine, honestly held until at such a time that all is well, and all is well and all re-joins this Earth sublime.


‘A (wo)man goes upright and the food of the body is sealed in a purse full fair; and when it is time of necessity, it is opened and sealed again in full honesty.’ (Julian of Norwich, Showings, chap 6).

My cups running over


‘A person who knows that he does not know and who opens himself to the truth without pride in his own personal capacities and without personal ambition may indeed experience the desire for contemplative freedom arising in himself unobserved.’ T. Merton.

He goes on to ask how can the disposition to contemplative freedom, to openness to natural signs of spirituality, imagination,originality and freshness of response to reality, be grown within the current technological world?

This was written in the late 1950’s America when the main technological interloper was the humble TV. How much harder can it be can it be to find ways to this stillness and peacefulness, reflection and restful spaciousness today. To slow down to allow, enable and encourage floods of freedom to wash freshness into our complicated city lives.



my home town

with your creative verve pulsing

just below the surface

just beyond

the no thanks Big Issues of

metro mayor council cuts  

sofa surf and sleeping rough

to the lying rhythm of

‘affordable living.’

to the laying out of

browned duvets in

darkly disappeared

shop fronts.



to all that’s becoming

encased within the bright

vacant glare of this new

shabby chic, this

industrial avalanche

of coffee chains

swallowing up

our Barista youth, our

shiny spare cash in

flat white swirls

and naked burgers for the waist

sweet potato chilly chips

warming mid-mornings

with fleeting fullness.


And Bristol

what the heck

I’m sure my genes can squeeze to

the double -whip

chocca-mocha caramel slice

displayed haphazardly beneath

your cake laden

cathedral domed glass frontage.


And the smart phone fairy dust still

doesn’t fit the bill.



in the diesel haze

of this sunny September day

you clutter me, you

raise me unknowingly towards 

a caffeine fuelled

hec-tic-tock, an

unreachable sadness of

non-specific anxiety

threatening to

distance me from coming home

to the glory be

enmeshment of dulled throb

simplicity and peacefulness

falling home within

the abundancy of expanding

flesh and thinning aging brittle bone

discovering Mind Kingdom


and on such short wing to

flutter brief and set

contentedly upon

The Silent Heart’s

communal ground.



St Mary’s Wanderings

Recently I spent a happy a few hours wandering around

St Mary Redcliffe Church, photographing the amazing gargoyles of grimacing animals and hybrid half man half pig type embellishments peeking out from the masses of concrete ivy chiselled into a vast assortment of archways and ancient crannies.

In time, with stomach rumbling and mobile phone on twenty percent , I left the carvings and the must-damp coolness, and while the quite scary religious blokes who are for ever stoned upon the high outer walls watched, I pootled my way into our lovely city in search of grub.

Somehow my car fume fuelled feet found me at The fine Cathedral on Park Street, and what the f? With almost no thought towards my need for another one of their oversized scones and strong coffee, I stopped at the Saxon plaque that is silently hung at the entrance of some murky side crypt.

I stopped and pondered the plaques blurred stone work, which, I was reliably informed, shows Jesus being pulled into the underworld by some insistent gaggle of less than lovely lost and grasping types.

The resulting disconcerted scribbles made upon a wobbly table, in between the coffee stains and buttery scone crumbs later transformed into this kind of weird poem…


Caged white folk in missed pigeon shit

And Old Testament zeal like sad poultry sit

In the sunshine, biding their perch

Until wreathed in the New-cut throb twilight

Poached by soft lamplight, they chill out

To evensong-scum-tide, as dark times approach.


Gall-gothic grimaces steep dust by the day

While intertwined surfaces are eaten away by

Diesel lead carriages until moonlight unfolds

Vine screed wine skinned ancient gargoyles and

Big bearded blokes sceptred to ride the

Four-legged tree folk, who leaping on wing

Of gossamer swift true grit, fly bold to some walled crypt

To save Christ the King from a nightly torn grippage

Through gnarled grasping cracks of red nails, wails and stoned teeth

Upon Dark Saxon plaque, dragging Passion downward

While underworlds peek up cassock to sip fresh blood

From chunks in His feet.


And paced at some distance,  two foreign faces

Both wise and benign,  emerge from stoned entrance

And follow gently behind, to spin Sufi wisdom of

Otherness and love, to encircle and question

That Heaven’s above,

That Hell is below us

That wrath may destroy us

That only we know how to define

The gateway to Oneness and thus

Truth Divine.


Let Icons be bygones,  return tamed to One womb

Of moist waves and vibrations, until desert lands bloom

And the profits lost leaders, sow loves lightening speech

To grow fresh simple cities, where the warmed rivers meet.