Open source may be a virtue –
if infinity and everything are welcome –
although accompanied by its underbelly,
the curse of discord that haunts
a public forum where consensus died
and concord on what is civilised
may be betrayed by any editor
or self-styled birdsong with a pen.

We began to build an open-ended truth –
the transparent earthly grail in silicon –
a home to hold and open up to access
all our knowledge (superficially described);
a store of instant information, if not wisdom
scripted by and for the restlessly connected
even if it’s inconsistent, incomplete or wrong
or randomly repeats offsetting errors….

Now who can contradict a sage monopoly
purported by the wisdom of the crowd?
Who’d hazard reputation against the orthodox
or forfeit entry to the cloud community?
Or be exposed, a victim to be trolled
and eaten while the blood still flows
then spat out by bottom-feeding slime
as ignorance, unsatisfied, moves on….

So what would the Johan Raeders make of this?
Did they want their posthumous fame?
Would they have even cared?
Or detected us in what we’ve made –
reflected in the unintended outcome
of our best and joint endeavours:
our disordered mirror of Utopia,
a boundless land where freedom reigns.


when? once every word I could possibly say
has been said and unsaid at least twice before
and will be heard as an outcry of fault;

since your kindness became blame
your offers hamstrung with barbs
and your understanding flickered blank,
since your interest was diverted…. contact disrupted….
as each heartbeat fades
now your face lies in the shadow / of a mask;

since my opinions were rejected
my input dismissed and disrespected
and my successes neither seen nor valued,
since my contributions were thrown in the air
to lie where they might fall
then be abandoned in the debris / of a leaving;

while some words remain: words without colour
to sketch anger suppressed and emotions denied.
everything has its time. it is time to go.


her slender body is sheathed in beauty
poised in repose and supple in dance
shining with praise in a winter’s twilight….

its grace and fluency are freely expressed
in the curve of her mouth and the arch of her neck
as toned muscles tauten to service her voice
ascending / finding ways in each octave
to touch and be touched, to project and to share….

unlike the earthbound flawed with feet of clay:
condemned by taints and twists and hooded eyes
and doubt and debt and disappointment
to see and mourn the passing / of the fleeting gift of life
in which she glories / and implicitly believes….


I could distinguish more finely, and clearly
to please an absent-minded editor;

but it’s better I think to forget
where I came from and those
whom I left there, with their voices
immediate and real – but not mine –

and to whisper fragments such as
we stretched across the silences,

words which fell into the rustling gaps
between the wheezing gasps and rasping coughs
that emptied my father’s tired lungs of air
and his TB.   In isolation.


It was peeled bare in the night
and is perfectly alive
but did not bleed; no blood flowed.

Tender and raw, tense and impassive,
the dark and livid flesh stares back
since flight became impossible;
wanting, pretending, to be old like its bearer.

Flesh lies open to infection – and afraid,
waiting at each rasping breath of air
for the imagined knife to strike
through the surface into its bed of bones.

Caught naked on the cusp of healing,
ready to heal – but not yet, not yet today –
without its thin-skinned wrinkled shell;
stretched too tightly, damaged, and now broken.

Shelter lived there once.
Now life stutters instead,
its cover scraped away.