You say, ‘It’s over.’
And I think you might be talking to the fire
As it sighs and curls, and falls asleep,
In the cradle of charcoal and tender ashes
And I try hard not to notice  
How roughly you kick your boot
Through the soggy, amber leaves
And the clagging mustard of rot
And the flat, leather mushrooms
And the beaded cobwebs
And the forgotten acorns
And the ring of pale feathers
And the cruelty of moonlight
And the meaningless sorrow of tiny bones
And the relentless smell of mildew
And the misery of all the crawling things
And all the sticks and all the stones…
And in the car park
You drive away too quickly
And don’t wait for me 
Or the unexpected fox
Caught too long in the headlights.

Krampus – the end

Two lengthy hours later and it’s all cleared away 
There’s no sign of the suspect or of his sleigh
Four men and a laptop have been transferred
And no one is talking ‘bout what has occurred 
Dan’s report is erased to sidestep a scandal
Then the room is sealed shut with an advent candle
And all of the cards with their seasonal slogans
Get turned to confetti in controlled explosions
But lessons were learned on that strange Christmas Day
‘bout Santa and reindeer and the meaning of sleigh
From next mid-November they’ve cancelled all leave
And there’s no room for merry in their Christmas Eve
As for officer Dan, he now works at the Met
Searching out weird stuff from off of the net
But the way it gets handled just seems awful tragic
Coz where’s the fun in anything if you take away the Magic?

Krampus pt.4

Then officer Dan gulps down some caffeine 
Produces the list that they found at the scene  
‘You know, Mr Santa, I’m sick of these games,
what shit will we find when we check out these names?’
Well, the suspect he slams his fists on the table
Says, ‘Don’t piss me off with your Santa Claus label.
You call something ‘nice’, you foster polarity,
then mess with the rules like bullshit’s a charity.’
In a jingle of sleigh bells he’s out of the cuffs
Pins officer Dan to the wall by the scruffs,
‘See, lists are like wishes, best mind how you use them.
They’re hard to undo and most mortals abuse them.’  
Then he slaps on his belly and roars, ‘Ho-Ho-Ho.’
As the room gets all jumbled with reindeer and snow
And he leans in real close, pulls a pen from Dan’s pocket   
Writes the word ‘Naughty’ on the wall, by the socket


Krampus pt.3

Two hours later and the tech squad are there
Using their face recognition software
A suspect is spotted just ten blocks away
A man with a sack, some deer and a sleigh
Cops take him down in a sinkhole of sirens
Flashing their torches and several firearms  
‘Are you gonna come quietly?’ a policeman yells
Over squalling alarms and rusty sleigh bells
The suspect just smirks as they unbuckle Prancer
Flips them the bird and refuses to answer
So he gets escorted on down to the station
Thrown into a van with a fearsome Alsatian
He’s stuck in an interview room with no view
And given a list of the things he should do
Police officer Dan sits down with a flurry
Says, ‘Kidnapping children’s the least of your worries.
It’s unsociable hours on the solicitor’s fee
And we’ll need a fresh copy of your last CRB
Your resident permits are rather unclear
And I hope for your sake they’re domestic reindeer
Then there’s the matter of carbon emissions
And the use of a sleigh in adverse conditions
Police officer Dan he leans back in his chair,
Says, ‘If you’re doing Santa, then what’s with the hair?
There’s more on your kneecaps than grows on your head
And that fur on your jacket don’t look like it’s dead.
There’s no judge on earth’s gonna grant you some bail,
and there’ll be quite a queue for your presence in jail.’  


Krampus pt.2

Young Toby McManners is gaming alone
Slaughtering his friends with a Fortnite drone
The Last Man Standing is within his grasp
When his door slides open with a terrible rasp
‘Do not disturb!’ he screams all ironic
But Disturbed has a list, and his name is on it
A flip and a trip and a slap round the back
And Toby is swapped for some coal in a sack
Mum hears a thump while she’s scrolling on Twitter  
She drops off the feed in a flurry of glitter
Storms down the hall and discovers the scene 
A GAME OVER tag flashing up on the screen
And a sack full of coal where the poor boy got took
She bites back a sob and updates her Facebook
‘Toby is missing,’ she types all red eyed,
‘it’s a sad day for sure, but at least he’s outside.’


Krampus pt.1

#not for Christmas, but for life

It’s late Christmas Eve on Winterbourne Road 
The snowfall is crisp and shockingly cold
When up on the rooftop of number eight
A scrabbling wind knocks some ice off the slates

And from out of the darkness rides folklore and fear
In a pale, wooden sleigh with six ghastly reindeer
He steps onto the lawn in a slithering mist
Then flicks a wry smile and pulls out a list

He checks on it once and stops by a name
Takes a glance ‘round the street and checks it again
Then he shoulders a sack, leaves the reindeer untied
Kicks down the front door and heads on inside

He picks up a scent like the stuff of nightmares 
Gives a self-assured snarl, and bounds up the stairs
His breath is all primal, he’s covered in lice
He’s not on the hunt for a kid who’s been nice


Meyers – Like a Violinist

Orchestral madness and magic from the one and only, Phil H.

Not Very Deep Thoughts

She pulled the curtain back, watched him as he walked away. Slowly. So slowly in the fog. What a wonderful man.

The fog. Everywhere. Always. She’d given up blaming the staff for smearing her glasses. That was the look of it. Vaseline. On the lens of her life. He’d said it was the medication. That was when his sadness came. Kind. Sad. Strong. Enough to carry the sadness. And so kind. Had she said that? They said he’d visited before, but…The fog…

She glimpsed her finger. The curtain. How the white bloomed in the fog when the lights were up. He’d held her fingers. Four. Her thumb dropped away. The dead sister she’d joked. He hadn’t laughed. Why not? What did he know the fog kept away? He knew her fingers…

Fine fingers. Long. He’d known a violinist with fine, long fingers. She had the fingers of an artist, he’d…

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So willingly ours

See the dawn’s
early light 
on slate-sky borrowed 
from a fractured night

Broader stripes
brighter stars
this perilous fight
so willingly ours

And the brave
came in throngs
and talked of rockets
and of silent bombs

In the pale
poisoned air
the breeze that concealed
our flag was still there

And the free
starved of breath
struck up the gallows
and clamoured for death   

Here we stand
tribute sworn
hate is a hunger
so furtively torn

such creatures most dangerous

…and paper cups double drumming the soundtrack. Girl turns away before I can; watches the streetcleaner zigzag. Slow for show in a red, hooded coat. £21 ain’t much these days. She says. My grandma she’d gotta work all week for the same. Weird, eh? Weird. Sighs the word with a brand-new skin. Weird how the world turns. She wants redemption but it’s just another tie to the straightjacket. And the streetcleaner goes on turning the liminal. Flushes out leprosy better..

…find somewhere quiet we can talk. I say. Makes no proper sense, but she smiles anyway, more than proper sense would get. Sure. She says. And moon is caught flicking scars and bars between us. What strange teeth you have. She says. Curves up, picks up, gathers up with the red, hooded coat. Dropping crumbs along the silent hedges. Even crumbs are good for something. She says. And I am ripped with a highwayman state of thinking. Stinking…

…she leans too close for my name. Heat on. I make something up, sinister to ease the mood. Blake, that’s nice. She says. Like the 7. She’s all old school sci-fi. I take the poet. Hey, Blake, you know how much I wish I could raise a flamethrower to this place. She says. Flicks tongue on lips and tells me that most the people are mean here. Spit on you soon as look at you. But not you, you have a sweet face, Blake. Uses the name like a doorstop. Won’t stop. Smiles with her mouth closed and I forget that there is anything but poison left in my mind. Take it…

…fake it in bee stings and car crashes. She moans and blood stumbles, heavy as wet sand. It ain’t all about the money, Blake. She says. And she don’t go, won’t go, wasting no more time looking for the right name on the rescue. She moans for it, scaffolded in crisp packets and paper cups. She moans for it. Please. She says. Please. And the red, hooded coat, and the wood and the wolf and the once upon a time. And the axe. And the silence. Answers. What strange teeth you have. All the better for the human traffic…

…lights keep on with the same old, tame old routine. I sit all glass and oak and miss the nicotine days. I’ve stayed too long to remember what it was like before the circus came to town. Before the snake oil gutters and sputters. We all got it tough. They say. Gotta make the best of it. They say. Hey. Ho. What do they know? What the hell do they know? I come here to sit among the humans. It’s not their company I want, it’s the damn familiarity of their existence. Their resistance…

…always leaves some bit of spit or blood under my nails. It’s not just about the hunger, Blake. I say. It’s the. Red for remembrance. Red for old time’s sake. Red for the amber, and the green, and the go. Makes me smile. Burly with it. Five points. I draw a star in pencil so I can rub it out and start again. These are the real stars; the ones in the sky are just balls of exploding gas…