Not created by me – just a quick note to recommend a couple of places to spend some time if you happen to be in Canterbury, Kent, in the UK:

Coffee Shop


I had a dream one quiet time:
You asked, Could I be kind to you?

I answered, Yes. I would like that.
And asked you in return,
If you would care for who I am
knowing all my flaws?

– And there the matter rests
in eloquence and silence since.

My child, my child!
Why have you forsaken me?

While I cared so much for you
all you wanted was support
to maintain your wilful life
against a world that hides its face.

Scuffling along its edge
in shadows, without shoes
through choice, so as
to have someone to blame.

Refugees : outside Europe (revised)

Voting with their feet, choked of breath
in trailing sheets of dust or reeking trucks,
displaced humans torn in diaspora driven
onto miles of razor wire and cancelled trains
policed by phalanxed men in uniform –
our men on task, defending us and safety
against them:  people altogether like us
but frightened, losing, born elsewhere,
who’ve become infected by disorder
and bad luck and tainted by the zealots
who have destroyed their lives.
Incidentally, to a cause.

Resources spent on murky routes of passage
from chaos and camps and ritual beheadings
to somehow reach our cool uncertain welcome,
they bear ordeals of hope dismayed and
innocents abandoned to lunatic simplicities,
that saw two children drowned in the Aegean
recast in grief as images of savage pity,
icons of suffering humanity washed ashore
from fragile night-time boats that failed to cross,
clear voices silenced in the debris of the desperate
by a devastating wager with the mafia and the sea.
Impotent, except goodwill.

Connections : inside Europe

Long after dawn the day begins
at the murmurings of breakfast:
along the terraced enclave
wrapped in rising warmth
or inside the aircon’s drily
starched aesthetic, where

family broods enjoy a full bourgeois,
disdainful lapdog couples preen
and young flirtatious visitors are flattered
by circling earnest casual staff,
servicing cold buffet food
with warm juice and coffee, while

polite encounters assuage
the meagre company of strangers
with connections found in social settings
or missed among the lattices of comforts
hosting the eccentric, the engaging,
the observant – and the guests.