Poetry V


Your skin tastes different;
somehow, I hadn’t expected that.

Sunlight shafts through the window
as the market beneath gets underway;
the warmth of it woke me to your warmth,
its caress as soft as yours.
Spicy air floats up from the crowding stalls
and I strain to hear your breathing
above the raucous cries, the rising chatter,
the all-embracing life-bustle below.
The scent was in your hair last night,
beguiling, thrilling, intoxicating;
up here, the pace is slower,
these fading, flaking walls our palace,
backdrop to our explorations,
gentle laughter and soft sighs…

Your skin tastes different;
somehow, I hadn’t expected that.

Lying here in the early morning,
watching the dust motes spinning,
I experience a moment
of sublime uncertainty,
not knowing if I’m awake or dreaming,
simply sensing, feeling, being.
Half a world away from where I was born
your duskiness calls me home,
the contentedness you bring me
setting you apart from the pale waifs of my past,
the easy conquests and meaningless couplings
of a life so far from here in so many ways.
As you start to stir, I move your hair aside
and run kisses down your naked back…

Your skin tastes different;
somehow, I hadn’t expected that.

July 2003

Bangkok Nights

So it’s down to Nana Plaza,
we’ve been out on the booze,
and now we want some wenching
to beat the Bangkok blues;
we’ve heard a lot about it
and now we’re here for real,
a bunch of lads out on the town,
out to cop a feel.
“Come in, come in, most welcome!
There’s a special on tonight –
free admission, no surcharges,
girls for your delight!”
This is it boys, here we go,
the first one on the list
and in we stumble, placing bets
on who’ll be first one kissed.
There’s flesh of all kinds on display,
tits and bums and more,
naked writhing on our laps,
gyrating on the floor;
the hotter shows are upstairs,
we’re going to have a blast:
we’ll blow our cash and risk the clap –
paradise found, at last.

Hepped up, pepped up,
high on speed,
injections leave a mark
and they’d slow right down on weed;
they lose their inhibitions,
their clothes and so much more,
and just to send some money home
they’ll let you grope and paw.
There’s vomit in the changing rooms
but perfume on the stage,
where all the pretty dancing girls
lie about their age;
every taste is catered for –
hardcore, softcore, go-go –
the endless lines of tourists
will spend for any show.
The darkness hides a thousand sins,
nightly sinned anew,
but while you’re eyeing up the girls
do you know who’s watching you?
There are hidden hands behind the acts
and shadows by the door,
the puppeteers of fantasy,
so easy to ignore…

July 2003


“When were you last happy?
I mean, like… really happy?”

A casual question with deep undertones,
thrown across the peeling formica of
a roadside diner in that strange intimacy
of strangers travelling together.
I have no ready answer; since the wedding,
marred by selfishness, a constant litany of complaint
has sapped my strength until I hardly care.

Brief moments, maybe –
the empty, sunlit compartment
of an express train heading west;
first steps on a Holy Mountain,
finding four days for my soul;
the hush when the family slept,
and the terminal flickered in the dark.

Now, on the run at last,
escaping the ties that held me down,
I look up, look deep into the green eyes
studying me, and see a new chance
of fleeting happiness, owing nothing
to anyone and everything to the road.
I smile, and look to the future again.