Goldfish Memory

Your name is gone the second it is uttered

And to ask it again now would be more embarrassing

Than admitting I forgot it latter

Hopefully someone within earshot will say it

Before I have to address you directly

Meanwhile I will call you you,

Hope you don’t catch on,

And hardly pay attention to what you are saying 

As I try to recollect the name

That I wasn’t listening to in the first places

Assured it must be swimming somewhere in my mind

Like a goldfish in a bowl


When I Am Old

When my beard is long and white

And I make people repeat themselves

To the point of shouting

I would like to say things that matter

And leave behind small talk

And observations drained of humour

I would prod you with my inevitable walking stick

Should you mention the dull weather

And yank you by the neck with its crook

Should your ears fail to hear to drink

From the well of my knowledge

Which will be as deep as space

And home to as many stars

I would also like to be a burden

To get in the way

To slow people down

To shout obscenities at parties

And drink too much

Perhaps strip naked

Get the other guests recoiling

And shacking their heads

And turning away their children

I know the toddlers would accept me

They who still feel at home in their own skin

They who have yet to learn

Everything it took me so long to forget


I can’t remember when I stopped singing
When my throat dried up and issued
Only words like coughs
When I fell out of time with life’s rhythm
All I know is that others are dancing
And I am not
I am still in the dips
And whirls of movement
I am the counterpoint to sound
The hum of absolute silence
I am alone in this crowd
Alone in this bed beside you
I am divided in myself
Until there is no one in the mirror
No one that I recognise
And I cannot bring myself to speak
Let alone sing
It is not that I cannot pick up the rhythm
Or that I like this dark corner
It is the weight of this inertia
It is the fear of losing this static shuffle
In a leap

The Ocean

Ever do the oceans move

Never do they sleep

Ever do their motions soothe

Save in the stormy deep

Ever do the tides pull

To shore or far away

Ever are the oceans full

Under star or day

It matters not who you are

Or your earthbound name
The ocean calls us back to her

Back to where we came

The Ominmind

The divine has a part in everything

It feels through the trembling of flowers

It sees through grids of insect eyes

As fish it inhales water

And synchronises the swimming schools

All unknowing share the omnimind 

That sees through everything

The hears through everything

That smells through every nostril

That holds its memory in the rings of tree stumps

And the shape of crystals

To think it has seen everything I have seen

And heard every sound that spiralled through my eardrums

Is disconcerting

Yet it accepts every part of itself

And considers none the lesser for what it has done

In my clearest moments I touch its memory

Where both the past and future lie buried

Like ancient artefacts waiting to be excavated   



Don’t shoot sparks at me now

I am flammable

My blood could ignite like petrol

Then I’d be a man on fire

Dressed in flames

Going from room to room

Burning everything

I would burn you too

When all I wanted

Was to embrace you

To tell you

‘Let’s turn the heat down’

Today I have kept my cool

I have swallowed fire

All day long and said nothing

To char anyone

But now that I am home

And you are rubbing sticks together

I can feel an explosion rising in my throat

And I know if I open my mouth

Fireballs will shoot out and strike at all I love

I try to speak water but even that boils away

And fails to come down as rain


I wish it were snowing

Right here in our kitchen

Right here on our feelings

So that the things we need to say

Could be said without leaving a mark

Too often it is only when we are on fire

That we voice and therefore burn each other

With what in cooler climates would enlighten

The Artist


So subtle and simple

Is nature’s design

Who could have fashioned it

Other than an artist divine?

With proportions flawless

And patterns clear

What kind of genius

Are we dealing with here?

There is so much detail

How much time did it take

To fashion a fingerprint

For each snowflake?

As for the sounds

Of nature’s symphony

A better musician

There will never be

Not to mention the smells

And flavours of nature’s cuisine

Surely a better chief

There has never been 

The talent is uncanny

And oh so much range

From sea creatures

To land features

From normal to strange

From atoms to planets

Circling their suns

Ponder the depths and perspectives

Of these eternal ones

From the singularity

To the supernova

From the beginning

Till it’s all over

The standard

Has never waned

The methods are only beginning

To be explained

This is an artist

Whose toil must never cease

For life itself

Is this genius’ masterpiece

Land of the Free

The following poem was written during the Bush Administration, just after the Invasion of Iraq. 


                                                        A superpower, a missile shower

                                                        A fierce foreign policy

                                                        A nation attacked, a patriot act

                                                        A farewell to liberty

                                                        A leader persuades

                                                        An army invades

                                                        To enforce a democracy

                                                        A body bag

                                                        A folded flag

                                                        In the land of the free

We Will Remember by Troydon Wainwright



Once we were blindfold, shackled and gagged
Kept in separate rooms, where we learnt to fear each other
And cast blame like stones over our divisions
A long and hard-fought struggle
Levelled the walls and we came face to face
Our nation, so long mute, could at last speak
And love broke the chains that bound us
Our eyes could see as far as they sought to see
And no question was forbidden
Again a gag has been stuffed into our mouths
Again a blindfold has been forced over our eyes
We see only what those who fastened them want to show us
We hear only what they deem fit for our ears
They who in binding us have proven themselves unworthy of power
They who seek to hide behind a piece of paper
For all we do not see we see them
For all we do not hear we hear them hush us
And while our hands are still free there is work to do
And while our minds, that know no chains other than their own,
Keep thinking we will remember
We will remember
And so will they
They will have to tell their children
That they may not speak their minds
That you played a part in gagging them
That the freedom they fought for they betrayed
That they helped dim liberty’s light and let the darkness in