Eight Stones for Simone Weil

simone twice

London is filled
with delicious little squares.
Sycamores rustle
above the lichened
bench, as I
weigh the
fullest possibilities
of self reduction.
Sparrows skip about
to search the paving.


Whatever I can
do to myself,
will it balance out
whatever is
happening beyond
the perimeter of
this sunken garden?


We consider, with
a lecturer’s wand,
the purest geometry
of existence:
cause and effect,
the mathematical
idealism of the arc.


A worker raises aloft
his hammer
before the strike.


It is painful
beyond any endurance
to feel this point.
To feel this
point is to know, with
an absolute clarity.


The God withdraws
himself almost
in his entirety
to leave a
waste of
time and
space, so
as to create
an abandonment
across which he
can come to meet us.


The humble and
obedient trees
being hacked
down to
construct the
slats of the
brutal instruments.


I am just a
microscopic crumb
to affect the angle at
which the planet rests
on Christ’s
appalling fulcrum.



Thinking about the murder of Julius

As his name-month swelters

And the Unitarian Doric of New Road

Houses a new busker


The formal portico is like a promise

Of something even better

Rational organisation of things

Simplicity of a sun-shaped god


The flute-player misses a note

Sparrows chip the paving

– No blood on these stones –

The next high improvisation he attempts


Disappears into the blue and out of history.

Columns indent like inert components

Of some unwieldy gear

Which has run down now and lies


Disassembled in the workshop –

Cog-wheels and grease, the smell of solder.





Sitting inside
one of the

graffitied wooden
shelters on

Hove seafront
beside the

peeling green
and brown

paint with
the empty

lager can set
against the

precise horizon
of the railings,

approaching rain
visible as

a greyish membrane
connecting clouds

to the sea.
An unanticipated

sense of
love animates

my perception
of the frothy sound

of toing and
froing waves and

the smell of
stale human piss

that pervades
the shelter.

I notice
a seagull

as it
flutters upwards

carrying a pebble
in its bill

and lets the stone
drop back

down onto
the beach.

It has
some reason

for doing this
as it repeats

the action.