Olde Mann



Banyanamin’s reign – the oil ran sweetly on this, his Holy isle’s embrace

Adorned as if with golden crown – of sweat and bone and fur and                                                                                   entrance

Candid skies, circle of morning grey neath both tha’ bronzed                                                                                           n’broiled long hae’ther 

Such starlight eyes, so burning sentinels within any weather                                                                                           bruised nor fine

Grizzled, matted and thick locked-hair hangs, sweet rabbit-pelts on                                                                               a poachers pole

This prince, championed by his sternest stare, snorts and swallows                                                                               purest air

Haunches bowed, the neck, the sinews set, the collar, adorned this                                                                               chosen parapet 

As if the day were born in summer-sun he bears against the cold,                                                                                   ash-broken night

Purveys a scene of longest sight, to stamp, to wrestle, then to shout                                                                               his hollow roar 

Of beasts ancient, memories found, not caged or bound – the wolf,                                                                                 the bear, the boar

And Beowulf, vacant ghost of lands, rocks and nature’s grist once                                                                                   hidden in the distant mist


red stag in mist






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The PERCHERS – a guest poem



Tyrranus Forficatus

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

                                                        ~ Emily Dickinson


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Spring 2017 – From Life Birds and “Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)” by Mark Miller

The Mind's Eye

The following is an excerpt from the much longer essay named in the title, “Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,” which in turn is part of a much longer work entitled Life Birds. This excerpt explains the genesis of the poem that follows and that ends “Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,” though that bird appears neither in the excerpt below nor in the poem.

. . . One knock against general truths, or principles, is that the freedom to pontificate about them is a perquisite of privilege, and that they do not apply to those who have been deprived of such freedom, who are the victims of persons of privilege. I once had a colleague respond to my written description of how I use Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” in my Introduction to Literature class by sending a contemporary response to Frost, Thylias Moss’s poem entitled “Interpretation of a Poem by Frost,”…

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I no longer need to be me …


The acknowledgment in no way pre-supposes any hostility or self-image harm but remains a conclusion derived by personal freedom-analysis and a careful conclusion to the submission that I have become tired of the necessity to determine my own image control – I no longer need to be me …





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the bull

Wipe the blood from my brow, I’ve seen much worse than this

Take me into the stalls, the best seats, those ruddy-red plush ones

Where centre of stage they all can feel me, glimpse this animals rage

Not bottled or canned – everyone full-on sees me bold, out of my cage

Exposed to the glare of the sun with my balls hanging free 

Ive seen the obstacles, I know the score, My chances are faint

My weak heart is racing, My sides ache – these wounds scalding-sore

The riders taunting, matador painting – splashed in this animals blood

No time for this bovine to stand aimless, guileless, chewing farmers’ cud 

My place in a march of destiny, I am a creature of meat in August-prime

No care for mens triviality, taken up with the facile of words in rhyme

Life itself, the power of brutal form adorned with behemoth’s mantle

Rid of faceless graces, all traces of the hypocrites scorn or of habits worn

I paw the earth, a storm of dust where men fight freedom & their lust

I shake my head bowed and rush to meet this foe, this final friend

Who draws my pain, my blood, my death, my final breath and lays me to the ground    




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I dunno if I am whistling in the damn wind, getting too old, barking up the wrong tree or just taking life too seriously but I am seeing something insidious wherever I go.

I used that word ‘insidious’ of a workmate in jest, not long ago. I use words like that occasionally. Words you have to spellcheck. Well, she didn’t know what it meant and hey insidious, that is a hard word to describe, especially when you are trying to make a funny gibe at someone. I’m still not sure she got the humour intended even after I had explained it’s meaning. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea? Maybe I didn’t explain the word too well? Anyway, she doesn’t talk to me as much as before now but well it was just a joke and yes, it sure is still a good word!

There are some words and expressions that say it for me and you can’t tell it any another way. It’s like a joke you have to explain can never really be funny, a cartoon that leaves you confused, just didn’t do it for you or whoever loved a picture they were told was good?

As the guy in the cinema queue in Annie Hall the movie says – ‘Its gotta hit me on a gut level’ or I personally don’t appreciate it and then again, like Woody Allen’s character Alvy Singer, rejoins in the same scene – ‘Boy, what I could do with a sock full of manure right now.’ This, because the guy in the queue keeps on speaking his dogma and personal opinions loudly within Alvy’s hearing.

‘Some things are better felt than telt’ is a saying.

I love sayings, colloquialisms, (boy only one letter out on my spellcheck on that one!) and I love learning new colloquial expressions too because even though I can only barely speak English, (Scottish and Irish) plus a little Glaswegian and maybe a few other rare and special British dialects (clue: there is a joke or three in there .. and if you didn’t see it # it doesn’t really work does it ?!).

I really do love language … Language is communication! .. Language is dynamite!

Two weeks in a Virginia jail
For my lover, for my lover
Twenty thousand dollar bail
For my lover, for my lover

And everybody thinks
That I’m the fool
But they don’t get
Any love from you

The things we won’t do for love
I’d climb a mountain if I had to
Risk my life so I could have you
You, you, you…

Everyday I’m psychoanalyzed
For my lover, for my lover
They dope me up and I tell them lies
For my lover, for my lover

And everybody thinks
That I’m the fool
But they don’t get
Any love from you

The things we won’t do for love
I’d climb a mountain if I had to
Risk my life so I could have you
You, you, you…

I follow my heart
And leave my head to ponder
Deep in this love
No man can shake
I follow my heart
And leave my mind to wonder
Is this love worth
The sacrifices I make?

Two weeks in a Virginia jail
For my lover, for my lover
Twenty thousand dollar bail
For my lover, for my lover

Everyday I’m psychoanalyzed
For my lover, for my lover
They dope me up and I tell them lies
For my lover, for my lover

And everybody thinks
That I’m the fool
But they don’t get
Any love from you

The things we won’t do for love
I’d climb a mountain if I had to
Risk my life so I could have you
You, you, you..

Lyrics to the song ‘For My Lover’ by Tracy Chapman


There are other things you shouldn’t touch but do not mess with language! … or take words out … or re-write words … Are you listening America? – Yes you can add words and maybe some words might be simplified but only if there is a very good and valid reason.

‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you oughta …’

Well this insidious deregulation is affecting everything now. Even the sacred cow is suddenly fair game, even though she has always lived out on the street in open view. Who knew that eventually visitors to countries where there is a custom, might challenge her right to be there, even if that particular sacred cow is a country’s flag on a pole, a long-standing, local and ethnic practice, habitude or the chosen national religion. It doesn’t matter that some care less for their own customs than they should. Even true ‘sacred cows’ wander the streets of India uncared for, unloved, to feed on local refuse which you might say is not what a sacred cow should have to do.

I think maybe respect is what we are alluding to here although even that particular word might need some re-definement from the deregulators curse. Respect does not mean a feigned honour just because it is old but an appropriation, an appreciation and a recognition of a things true merits, based not only on its current status but also its particular historical relevance and I may add ‘reverence’ at the risk of any implied alliteration. Now that is a whole bunch of look-up words for some people to consider and I do not mean to sound patronising.

I see that hand at the back and yes, I knew someone would make that comment. What happened to the ‘it’s got to hit me on a gut level’ point and ‘I thought you were against people telling us what is good’ and therefore worthy of our respect…. No, what I am saying is this – We do not have to enjoy something ourselves to recognise its value or its place in history. This is, after all, why we have National Exhibitions, Art Galleries, Opera Houses and National Theatres, to preserve and honour our National identity, history and culture.

The deregulation I object to, that insidious thing this piece came in on, is the one that is affecting not only a few abbreviated words and Americanisms that may have crept in on the back of our Microsoft and Apple Software ~ Why does my spellchecker continue to give me a dotted line under words like honour?! ~  No, this insidious thing is moving into the realm of our popular culture and affecting things that aren’t 50, 40, 30 or even 20 years old. These things have it seems, not even earned a mundane ‘O well it is pretty old’ kind of respect. They are bull calves, game for slaughter, processing, recycling, even vivisection of the vulgarest order

If it’s not brok’ why fix it?

Why do advertisers process ‘favourite tunes’ for their advertisements and re-record classic pop tunes with bland vocals and homogenised, even soulless soundtracks? Why do they even take just the melodies from memorable chart songs and make different versions, that are vaguely recognisable for background themes. Why do tv programme planners take classic or historic novels, even recent successful drama series  and fit them into modern sub-plots with current speech and up-dated  story lines. Is nothing sacred.

Don’t re-write what I have written

While screenwriters, film directors and writers have fun ‘deregulating’ the greatest of movies and stories by changing characters, situations, emphasis and basic story-lines to suit a new generation I sit back and wail, thinking that one day people will be denied a history of anything.

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“Marchon, the gate is wide open in the complex and I’m looking down a long, retreating corridor. Come over tonight and make me the happiest man in the valley.”

The 1940’s Studebaker rolled effortlessly down Sondrick Lane purring like a feline with its chrome pieces extended, glistening in the sun and it’s buttercream leather seats. The engine noise as soft as baby-skin and LeRou draped over the bucket seat snuggled warm in Vucana wool and Charmeuse at Marvin Bexer’s side. She looked and was a million-buck babe!

Marchon often lamented, that time was a great healer but the hurt that hurts the keenest was seeing another woman happy in the arms of your lover.

“It tears you in two, I don’t truck with jealousy. Sure, I always feel joy for the lady, except that the knife in my chest makes it impossible to smile.”

She turned from the shuttered, sash window and the sunlight left her perfect outline an orange-tinged sunburst that eclipsed the hanging, window blinds. Slant lines blanched across her trim body, striped with a lasered light that filtered through the haze from the corner window as she stood ‘smoking’ in the centre of the room and in every sense of the word!

“We think of others too much Angie! We should spend more time on ourselves. There’s love and then there is lot’s we like to do. We should get a place on the outskirts of town. Have a shack built near Thunder Falls where we could walk and you could learn to river-fish, buy a puppy-dog, you would just love a fluffy mutt. Take time for just the two of us and stop caring so much.”

She rolled the thick, black cheroot between her fingers, blowing plumes of smoke high into the tall, stone-white ceiling-space while she stepped around the room like she was a ballet star warming up. She described her words and thoughts in steps and shapes with exaggerated arm and leg movements, making arcs with her arms and pointing her toes like a regular Margot Fonteyn.

Marchon knew that he loved to watch her ‘perform’. Her body, lithe and lean and well developed in all the right places, moved effortlessly around in the diffused, shadowed aura of their room, her feet feeling the smooth, polished plank flooring or the wool pile of the large, Egyptian-Mumluk rug that Ang had bought her home from that long trip last fall.

Marchon sat on the rug, smoking the cheroot.

“Nothing makes sense anymore when your heart is broken Ang! Is it worse than a bereavement? How can you mourn the loss of a lover? The loss of a friend?” 

Ang, was he smiling? He just listened, as he always did.



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A Drop In The Pond Produces A Ripple!


The desolation of loneliness can dog you even as a child and follow you mangy and forlorn into adulthood. A bedraggled cur that slinks behind you – dirty, rain-soaked and unworthy, while you spend your life trying to prove you are friendsome and laudable. Rejection is still the bitterest pill on earth to swallow. Everybody waits like Dante’s understudy for their ‘fifteen’ minutes and if that moment stalls, the resultant backwater will smudge your sharpest features, stifle your creativity and maybe shatter your personality, like a suicide bomber with a smuggled device hidden in his back-passage that detonated prematurely. The ability to muffle explosives is not one known to advance you anywhere in life, excepting perhaps Newspaper front-pages, there to garner column inches where obituary and events often merge.

As a child, I managed to stay ahead of the lonely monster most of the time, until my father left home without a goodbye or an explanation that is. Before that, I had often heard that lonely monster following me with the sound of a repetitive rhythm close behind me as I walked. It was the sound of a deathly metal steam-train with a cattle guard trundling over wooden tracks, getting closer and closer until I could stand it no longer and I would turn suddenly whilst walking, to bravely face the ‘lonely monster’, who always was not there.

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, the lonely monster dogged me through my under-10’s and into my early-teens before I learned to effectively dispel the notion that an empty train might actually be following me. That nightmare-train eventually disappeared, to be replaced by sudden attacks of deep despair in my mid-to-late teens when an adolescent alcoholism found me drunk 5 nights out of 7 and carrying a bottle of whiskey around in my inside coat pocket at the age of eighteen. This drunken-despair would often reduce me to bouts of almost inconsolable, emotional distress and crying with my loyal friend Ian, while often fantasising and confessing to scenarios as equally loathsome and dis-loyal as I counted my father’s rejection of my mother and myself but more especially, to be honest, myself. Imagined and articulated wrongs that I had apparently succumbed to, although never actually did, caused me greater distress than the deeds surely would have if they had been real and not imagined.

The rage that burned within my turbulent history surfaced during my adolescence intermittently. It flared like an exhausted bonfire when fuelled by gusts of life and emotional experience. It flared, but never ‘caught’ to violence, not an external violence at any rate. Rejection is a wound, a tear within. It’s a rupture, a hernia, whereby raw feeling and sensibilities are exposed and extruded through an emotional hole that will not heal naturally.

The temper of life abated and I entered my adult years partly healed and certainly more grounded by a personal and spiritual awakening that gave me new hope and a set of inner convictions that I learned neither firsthand or by observation. The absence of a father figure did not seem as debilitating whilst I myself translated the inner uncertainties of my youth by learning to father myself through a kind of transferred osmosis. Being a father I found – was greatness itself!

Children carry their own joy, vitality and innate life-force and provide a transfusion of energy that benefits those around them, wholesale. Parenting, while almost manual labour, harnessed to vigorous emotional trial, provides the steepest learning curve on earth and yet a ladder to a realm of unimagined experience that is both exciting and full of curiosity and potential. That universal privilege, dubiously afforded unequivocably to humans roaming this planet, requires that that same emotional torment will continue to circumnavigate the lives of sons and daughters from Botswana to Ghent! Loneliness and rejection, the twin-legacy bequeathed by so many to so many is an unfair side-order that accompanies far too many horny males extinguished pay-loads.

Is this perhaps the true reason why males in their mid-twenties are especially vulnerable to the suggestion they find in their brains or somewhere, that curtailing this repetitive strain by ending their short-lived stories is an option they should follow. Their ‘cry for help’ unheard by the finality of their choosing and the ignorance of a generation robbed of the chance to know a real Daddy.




~ in memory of Ben Dawes – 1993 ~ 2018 ~

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David Lynch does not live here anymore …


Barry lit the fire with a match, stepped back and began to comb his ash-grey hair as the small pile of logs and tinder caught, began to crackle and spit and the flames climbed up the hearth into the chimney, lighting the walls of the room and creating dark shadows within an eerie, oscillating light. The white room danced to the rhythm of the flames and he felt his mood changing. He thought he heard the music of a classical guitar but it was only the jangle of the wind chimes that hung outside, under the extended porch. Outside, where the wind was now gusting at it’s fiercest.

Celia still naked, lay on the floor, perched on their thick, woolen rug. Her long, auburn hair draped across the rug and cascaded onto the polished, larch-timber flooring. Her arms were slender and tanned and arched behind her like a trestle-table and in such a way that made her look a little awkward and uncomfortable.  He noticed how her position thrust her breasts forward in a provocative manner and provided a pleasing, silhouette. Their pressed, pear-shape reflected the shimmering light from the open fire which grew relentlessly and flickered shamelessly. 

This was ‘serendipity’ Barry considered, that had brought about such a moment after his cold, tense day and the endless, night-time drive through the dense, pine forest and he determined in his mind, to mine the ore from the event to the uttermost.

“Would you like a drink?” he announced suddenly, as he finally tore himself from gazing at the lengthening flames, turned sharply from the fire and walked slowly toward her. 

“Yes, a Marguerita” Celia replied, a little off-hand and impatiently,

 …                                                                                                      writtenbyedenbray08.09.2018



david lynch

david lynch

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The avenue of true reconciliation is lined with olive trees …

The oil of gladness is an anointing for the soul upon your head …

My peace is caught up inside you when you smile because I am happy …

I trace the corners of your mouth and feel good when you are there …

I dream of you and in dreaming I sleep long, well, deep and soundly …

When I speak your name it reminds me there is beauty in the world …

When I hear your laugh there are angels in attendance around me …

The rain that falls when you walk by, falls lightly inside my heart …

When I am troubled I speak your name and I feel calm and consoled …

The dragons murmur when you are around them and hold no fear …

If I can skip it is when I know I am going to meet you and to see you …

The rainbow in my heart was born the day I met you and it remains …

If a soft bird flies or sings or whistles it is never as sweet as your kiss …

.. .



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