“Gay Cop Murdered”

Sitting at his usual spot,

his stool at the bar,

nodding now and then

to acquaintances

people he bought a drink

someone he spent a night with,

waiting for a new face

to smile at him.

Loneliness was his companion

And fated attitude a friend,

Come get me if you dare.

And of course they did.

Trust in Friendships would not

Protect him, when they

Themselves needed it more.

Bullets perhaps withal as

Worthily destined for others

Were bartered and exchanged

For his hearts blood.

Unarmed and with back turned

He received his fate and

Face down, life’s blood

Drained out and around him

His battles won and lost.






Falling in love again

Not a thing expected

love also brings pain

memories collected

Falling in love again

A thing not yet perfected

pursued with no less restrain

this time perhaps more respected

Falling in love again

The heartache to be accepted

No need to be my ball and chain

I want my love reflected

Falling in love again

Falling in love again

Falling in love again

Is bliss in my brain.



Two, young and trendy

One, in his hand a chap stick

London’s air strips him


Londoners look grim

Hurrying impatiently

Life’s relentless grind


Death message by text

Unfinished business by choice

A revengeful death


Long travelled marble

Re-used again and again

His curves adorn it


Skin so very soft

Indian hands my friends says

Caresses I seek


The mind understands

My heart and soul embraces



Gay patriarchy

Unless proven otherwise



Grow a big strong heart

Be as you wish to be seen

Loving keeps me sane


If your plan a fails

There’s 25 more letters

Trees stand, and let go


Seeking the Stone Age

Youthful feet chase Pokémon

The tide turns again


Fleeing refugees

The boy sits in bloodied shock

To have lived through this


At the grocer’s shop

I was the English grandson

Apples torn in half


Mint imperials

From tall jars on high shelves

My grandmothers treat


Patience by gas light

Blue pipe smoke, tales of New York

Bluebottles and wasps


Fun filled long summers

An old quarry, rough playground

Blacks mad bull raging


Two communities

This man has no connection

A tree without roots



Fertile imaginings

Seeds carried far away


Reckonings of life

Lives, leaves carried on the breeze

Face it, don’t look back


The mind seeks answers

Souls crave loving nourishment

Carbon is inert


What is the spirit?

A thing we cannot behold

Childish innocence


My androgyny




Gender bending men

Male dominant narratives

An oxymoron


How men think they cope

Troubling masculinities

Find that inner child


I knelt beside them

Imagining their ardour

Consummated love


They fade, loose colour

Like the love they once shared

Memories echoed


Six dry red roses

Rest, abandoned with a view

Tokens left behind


Red love tokens rest

On the edge of an outlook

Faded, dry like life


I found love tokens

Resting, left behind, marking

And I thought of you


We miss each other

Dried petals connected me

Our love reaches out


They lay on the ledge

Once blood red, filled with sap

Now discarded, lost?


Six ruby red stems

Lie in winters decaying

Ashes long gone now


First, procreation

Then recreation, ah sex

So, concentration


Chit chit chit, a wren

Robin’s solo lullaby

Lavender browning


Days grow, short again

A last bloom of butterflies

Green nuts underfoot


Late summer echoes

Red laden hawthorn boughs bend

And the sun grows cold


Convicted eyes leer

Contemptuous of our stare

Menace, starkly bare


Shimmering moist

Love and joy swim openly

The stream flows through us


Love can suffocate

My world feels a lot smaller

Autumnal breezes


The black iris chills

Their rage enhanced

The fear is in them


Sex connects us all

I stopped validating him

Relationships lie


He has a presence

His eyes smile and that’s a gift

Him revealed by it


My world feels smaller

There is less connection now

Like a lone wether


Lost and found

Coveting and loving

We need to talk, men.


Timeless weathering

Grockling rocks at bloody bridge

Cascading chorus


An otter edges

Blends in spaces, affording

Safe passage beyond


A lonely leaf falls

In my solitude I grieve

For all loves lost leaves


He said he loved me

Now he says he needs space

Driftwood & solitude


Heartbreaking is real

Heart aching physical pain

Separation hurts




A familiar voice called me

By my name. There’s darkness,

In my head and around me. I

Don’t know why, it seems distant.

Distance, I had ran, down the

Road, back up the hill, shouted

A warning, looked at the van.

Phoned down to the other place

But was interrupted, although

I heard and recall nothing.

Another familiar voice, on

The radio this time, from the other

Place I think, there’s an urgency.

The old man, the driver, had

Looked so bewildered, said

Something about his family taken,

And the van and 20 minutes.

There’s that familiar voice again

I sense light, catch a glimpse of

A flashlight and other voices now too-

“Christ he looks bad”

A pressing weight is lifted, and then I am.

Muted muffled pandemonium,

Everything has moved and is broken.

A hand takes mine, and presses it

To my head. Clarity and recall

Kick in, get searching and fuck the risk.

Three, two, then only one is missing.

Ah no, not him not Cyril.

He was laughing with me only,

Minutes ago I guess, getting ready

To go home for good in six weeks

To Carrick-Fergus, and the family business.

A familiar face, looms out at me

In my mind’s eye, but in finding him, I

Don’t see it, or a side of his scalp

His brain, feet or hands -just

Union jack boxers remain.

I lose his cheerful voice in the dark,

And say a prayer, not knowing

What else to do, and then call out;

In my own now unfamiliar voice


Not A Fighter

Bill McKinstry and

that is his name was

for a time my friend,

and colleague.

Tall, blonde and blue eyed,

A little rotund, some

Called him Billy Bunter behind

His back, a few to his face.

I guess his ex-merchant seaman

Skin was thick enough…

Most of the time.

He used to say to me,

“always remember

I am a lover not a fighter”

One night we were called

To a fast food bar,

There was a riot,

Everyone fighting inside and out

Chairs, tables, bodies,

Flying, careering crashing.

He donned his forage cap

Took a deep breath

Casually dandered in,

Up to the counter

Behind which the manager

And staff cowered and said,

“Well, what appears

to be the trouble?” He was

in that moment my hero.

A few short years later,

His thick skin wearing thin,

He and a bottle of vodka,

Fell asleep on the sofa

At his mother’s house,

And he never woke up.

I am reminded of my friend’s words,


He was a lover not a fighter.



Do you want cream with that?

A full carton of whole milk

Landed on the road as we arrived

With a dusting of window pane.

There was shouting, and then

A ramekin of jam followed.

Our presence is declared

We climb the stairs.

The flat’s kitchen is in disarray.

Two men sit at the kitchen table.

A, ‘fuck yous anyway’ indicates

Another in the room above.

He is sitting on the bed naked,

A tea towel covering his,

Embarrassment. Rocket

(Because we are all known

By our nicknames) edges the cloth

Up to ‘check’ for injury.

There, slightly the worse for wear

A Pavlova sits perched or impaled,

Hard to say now, the crisp

Outer is cracked and broken

And the soft marshmallow centre exposed.


You want cream with that mate? my colleague

Asked, I turned, beating a hasty retreat.