Wednesday, 29 November 2017


I see the rulers of the world,
See their come and go, their assignations,
How they bury their secrets in the sand.

The sun never sets on their wealth.

I see them in back rooms after dark
In unlit corridors, nocturnal, demonic,
Predators who steal our best endeavours
Like thieves in the night.

Friday, 17 November 2017


Here and there, we all write the memoire.

Now, then, here, there, but on the page,
Surprising in its blankness,
Sits the emptiness of pens,
Absence of vision,
Despair and counterproductivity,
Time and echoing time.

Black ink draws night in lines,
Weaving illusion on paper;
It holds out light, excludes it.

Thus it reveals starting points and errors,
Revisions and divisions, blots on the portrait.
Stare at it here, there, and forever.

It will never grow a mirror and reflect.
© BH, 1987

Another archive fragment. About writing.

There’s me with my clip-board scrawling away. It was a self-portrait of fingers.

In the end it seemed elusive so I put it away for several decades.

Yellow Light

Drab sunsets with rain drawn through;
cold cloud in the west thickening the air;
opaque and tobacco-hazed, reluctant light.

Yellow flowers of field and heath:
buttercup, dandelion, tormentil, asphodel;
leaves, falling and fallen, birch and alder;
sedge grass at this year’s end.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Compulsion and Secrets

In the corridors of power, blindness is a ruse:
a trick to fool the wary while fingering their flesh;
deafness is a disguise, assumed to hide a sham
of probity beneath plausible excuse.

The dumb do not speak, both master and slave
fear how words condemn; in this mutual silence,
the master’s grip on power tightens and the slave
conspires in it to keep his pitiful place.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


In the corridors of power
the deaf lead the blind
and the dumb do not speak.

The deranged and deluded,
have come to steal the throne.

In this world, rulers love no-one but themselves;
apparently oblivious, they lead us to oblivion.

Monday, 13 November 2017

A Discrete Glissando

Going the way of all flesh.

Ah, protection,
You fly to the four winds.

This thin ice we step upon
Deceptively does not give way
But throws away our balance
With hat and gloves bereft of purpose
Slipping into heedless oblivion.

No time even
For a backward glance.
© BH, 1988

Something for winter time.

A little whim from 30 years ago. Found when rooting around the archives.

Plus my little illustration.

God knows what I was thinking. Ah, but I was only 38!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Out of the Valley of Death

[Arctomecon Merriami]

I wore a white poppy
and someone asked me why.

As if I was a coward, I suppose,
or someone who didn’t care about those
who made their sacrifice in the mud of conflict.

For honour, I said, for our dead:
all our sons and daughters,
all the dead mothers and fathers
and for ruin, for the sake of ruination.