Highland exorcism

Moor of violet moss through an evergreen crumble.
Jagged earth exposed under a highland heather blanket.

A folded ocean swelled punish, dredging
the fen for seeds and dead swallows.

This is a ritual of beauty
and decay – a wind sung
hymn of snakes and
a septic chant of weeping.


‘Pacific Color Study #1’, Jason Villeneuve, year unknown



There were whirring nerves
when they heard
about the living ghost.

He brought a bouquet
and a grey stone flail
to the people’s court.

Wilted blooms with no thorns, 
a daisy chain and a hilt
of bone – a serotonin rort.

Will he kill us,
do we invite him?
What do we offer,
will we like it?

They shook the human hand
fleshy and bland
of the holy corpse

Their minds went inert,
when they had learned
that they had killed him years before


‘Two Figures’, Keith Vaughan 1966


There was a line you drew
and it felt like questioning
It probably had something
to do with destiny

I just thought I’d mention it

The paint is flaking off these walls
and I’d patch them but
it’s hard to move when there’s
mildew in these sinews

A blank cheque and rosy rhetoric

I can take a hit when it’s
punching and gouges
And good men don’t weep when
they get hung out to dry

These chambers are derelict

But I’ll evict you tomorrow
just like I said yesterday
I’ll evict you when I’ve found
a better place to stay


‘Excursions into philosophy’, Edward Hopper 1959