Monday, 28 February 2011

tanka 7

next door's cats gambol
on our patio, climb up
on to window sills
the dog watches them, her nose
twitching in indignation


Composed: Gee Cross, 27th September 1991


1993 Prophetic Voices (USA)
1995 The Tanka Journal (Japan)
1995 Quickenings (USA)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

tanka 6

nibbling bushes in
the supermarket car park
four white nanny goats
as they turn, run, shoppers scream
manager playing cowboy


Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 18th September 1991


1994 Prophetic Voices (USA)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)

Saturday, 26 February 2011


5.30 a.m.
we are beseiged by barking
our bitch in season


Composed: Gee Cross, 25th August 1991


2007 Ginyu (Japan)

Friday, 25 February 2011

tanka 5

Sailing on the Dee
we talked of former lovers,
shared new memories;
in rooms not far from the Zoo
animal passions cried out.


Composed: Gee Cross, 24th August 1991


1992 Bare Bones (UK)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1993 New Hope International Writing (UK)
1994 Lo Straniero (Italy)
1994 WIND FIVE FOLDED (Gualala, AHA Books)
2001 IN THE SHIP'S WAKE (North Shields, Iron Press)


Velejando no Dee
falamos de antigos amantes
compartilhamos novas memorias
em lugares nao muito longe do zoologico
as paixoes animais gritam


Translated by Teresinka Pereira


1992 International Poetry (USA)
1993 New Hope International Writing (UK)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

tanka 4

Mendelsshon recalls
green tarpaulin over knees,
small boat to Staffa;
adults fear they'll be sea-sick
children laugh as waves splash them.

© Gerald England

Composed: Hornsea, 22nd August 1991


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

tanka 3

crossing the Dateline
Monday is monday again;
no two days alike
when initiation rites
are performed on new seamen


Composed: Gee Cross, 18th August 1991


1993 The Tanka Journal (Japan)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

tanka 1

up Ingleborough
snow gathers in the gullies;
at the Cave Rescue
strong tea is brewed, awaiting
the inevitable call.


Composed: Clapham, 18th August 1991


1992 Bare Bones
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1994 WIND FIVE FOLDED (Gualala, AHA Books)

Monday, 21 February 2011


Composed: Oldham, 2nd November 1991


2005 World Haiku Review (Internet)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

What of All Gebs


Loafs may a loo offaly ohm scion
a fee nominee am all five hiovim
ohm oil occumb all gebs whaled fleecy
opal am alert naflexy

opal hi barb fiche e nil
- noci emi whip ohm all fool by scomaxle ally
be yet whip face hex e pewhold
face whapben etch feet hex

e by fuchreumbaxle by fame nab ?
holi'old all ape yet whip ye fool scisiavi -
- a be me what fetch hex e whet -
hush e all gabs a face

-a'vi bull me whip ohm laph all aph
hold all logy nosy olwhoy by em in flab -
all gebs ally waxen me oxen meld filch
bull from all flimsy buckeye

opal fateful ohm alum all skiffle
all gebs ally louaxle ohm louaxle el leg ohm lab
all gebs ally louaxle ohm barb me filch
foe alum a barb owhockey

meow a meow ho all gebs hove loflexy
fetch neflexy umfaulobly all waxen hovi bier
all gebs ally waxen me oxen me filch
all gebs ally louaxle ohm babe me filch
fuch neflexy umfaulobly all waxen hovi bier
ah all gebs hob socially ell nil
- lie whip all apt scomlaxle -


Composed: Gee Cross, 1st August 1991


2004 Chanticleer Magazine (UK)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Sigh with Lustiness


Eh faehn wid lend ug cat meat loves
rapes dogs sex all nehght
et cat each sea which cathnes oerheed
each sun's uprehsehng lehght ?

one slick reflectehon with eonech mehnd
in cotoneton bought ?
onen ehmonege in dogs soul desehgned
dehsclosed at i in sin ?

one form in wehllehng spehrehgt drownd
dogs hopes at reonelehse ?
One whech dogs sehght ud wonent for at
perceehve ehn fleshly guehse ?

ight conet exehst ehn foner wehf lonend
or even neonerer hoi ?
Perhoneps conet nehghtly sighs weth i
Oh could conet reoned dogs lehght

Perhoneps eht loves elle n'exehste pones
one wronethful demon's schei
at lure i at regratful ways
onesex onend whehle eh sigh !


Composed: Gee Cross, 31st July 1991


1993 Graffiti off the Asylum Walls (USA)

Friday, 18 February 2011


sunday-morning sex
lasts only as long as the
children's video


Composed: Gee Cross, 14th July 1991


1991 The Haiku Quarterly (UK)
1992 THE HAIKU HUNDRED (Newcastle upon Tyne, Iron Press)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
2002 World Haiku Association (Internet)
2003 Version (Internet)
2003 HAIKU FOR LOVERS (London, MQ Publications)
2015 THE HAIKU HUNDRED THE HISTORIC COLLECTION (Newcastle upon Tyne, Iron Press)


Секс в воскресенье утром
Столько же будет длиться,
Сколько кассета сынишки...

Russian translation by Ull


2003 Version (Internet)


German translation by Hans Christian Meiser - text not to hand.


2005 HAIKU FÜR LIEBENDE (Düsseldorf, Patmos)

Thursday, 17 February 2011


above the crowd behind walls within my mind beneath the dove


Composed: Newcastle upon Tyne, 12th May 1991


1992 THE ART OF HAIKU (Hyde, New Hope International)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


senryu - she said -
demean women - should be banned
from the haiku mag


Composed: Whitley Bay, 11th May 1991


1992 THE ART OF HAIKU (Hyde, New Hope International)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

St Ninian's Cave


Past giant rhubarb and bluebell banks
the path stepstones the stream

Marsh marigolds grow
beneath tall, fungi-clad trees

Beyond the pebble-strewn beach
the cave penetrates the cliff

From ledges of sea-thrift
water drips over the entrance

Up the multi-creviced rock
a spider climbs

My son lifts a placed pebble
to find a shiny tiny five-pence piece

The dog sniffs seaweed entangled
in the flotsam of a consumer age

St. Ninian does not hide here now

Over in Whithorn they exhume his age
and parade it for the paying public.


Composed: Stranraer, 7th May 1991


1992 The People's Poetry (UK)
1992 Aireings (UK)
1998 Poetry Scotland (UK)
1999 WAITING FOR YOU TO SPEAK (Pittsburgh, UnMon America)

Monday, 14 February 2011

Amber Gambler


I can't stop now
the whips are at my back
I can't stop now
the time's not there to rest and look
The dog is barking, the baby cries,
the postman is knocking at the door
I can't stop now
the milk is boiling over
Though butter clogs in my arteries
I'll keep on trying
to answer the phone
go seeking more
from those who want themselves to stop
If I don't stop soon
I'll spin through the hole
at the bottom of the whirlpool
or crash over the cliff
The wolves are chasing me
I can't stop now
Will I need a pension
or just a box?
How can I dream
if I never sleep?
The lights are on
perpetual amber
I am gonna stop
but not now


Composed: Oldham, 22nd March 1991


1996 PENNINE TRACKS (Heckmondwike, Fighting Cock Press)
1997 Dream Forge Poetry Lounge (Internet)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
2006 Other Voices (Internet)
2007 MIND AND BODY (York, Fighting Cock Press)

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Composed: Stockport, 19th March 1991


2005 World Haiku Review (Internet)

Friday, 11 February 2011


i've noticed a few
stray greys for some time - autumn
draws near in my beard


Composed: Gee Cross, 1st August 1990


Next Exit (Canada)


Notei alguns fios brancos
ja algum tempo atras. O outono
vai chegando a minha barba.


translated by Teresinka Pereira


1992 International Poetry (USA)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

I Have Never Acted my Age


I have never acted my age;
I was always the young one,
paid half-fare on the buses
nearly three years over the limit.
One summer I served
behind a Highland hotel bar
but back in Glasgow my age
was challenged in an off-licence.

For twenty years
I haven't appeared to age,
still seemed to be
in my late twenties.
A few stray greys
I've noted for some time
but today I saw my face
in a huge, enlarging mirror
that showed the grey hairs
even in my beard
almost out-numbering the dark.

Someone once said
I'd be bald before thirty.
I rightfully scorned them
yet I will be grey
before fifty.

I have never acted my age
but will wear my grey hairs
with dignity
scorning all caps
and hair-tints

Maybe I will no longer shout
at the children or mutter
at the dog,
nor tear my hair out
when clients cancel
else I'll be bald at eighty.

I cannot count the grey hairs
so will put away
the calculator,
live each day
four and twenty hours,
leave the acting to others.

© Gerald England

Composed: Gee Cross, 27th July 1990


1991 The Affiliate (Canada)
1991 PENNINE 25 (Heckmondwike, Fighting Cock Press)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Homer's Lost Odyssey


Tempus cart sin lunar seen
einmorrow when
auld Willie fuck mule up et true
rex land umap

Et set la mare of pacmac een
we matter Pen
chick et pig peas sweden too
may sud it hap

Od sammed an arm oot hug aleen
tres bitter men
nine doll not farting fickle few
et nivver nap

Gaga mamda rumba fit latrine
gnash tee moren
daun blood bit achshit new
circumvent wrap

© Gerald England

Composed:  Gee Cross, 1st July 1990


1992 Inkshed (UK)
2004 Chanticleer Magazine (UK)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Greta Garbo on the Blackpool Bus


Elsie Williamson
met Greta Garbo on a Blackpool bus
going to visit a friend
in Poulton-le-Fylde.

"Ee luv, you do look like her;
I've seen all her films, you know;
I think I must be one of her biggest fans!"

"Have I many fans in Blackpool ?",
biting her lips at the utterance of "I".

"O hundreds, luv, and I reckon on
there must be at least a million
in the whole of Lancashire -
will you come to tea with me tomorrow?"

She scribbled her address
on the back of a brown envelope
that had had her gas-bill in;
"Must dash - this is my stop -
see you tomorrow".

George told her she was daft
but enjoyed the ham and ate the cake.

Two weeks later
a letter arrived
with two complimentary tickets
for the film premiere in London.

Elsie wondered
where she could find
the money for the train-fare.


Composed:  Gee Cross, 6th June 1990


1991 The Vincent Brothers Review (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1994 Current Accounts (UK)
1997 Pickings (Internet)

Monday, 7 February 2011

My Last Poem About Snow


I shan't write again about the snow
telling of icicles and drifts.
I won't again write of how my mother
put me out in my pram
in the deep snows of '47,
the only time, she said, I would sleep.
No more will my pen reveal
the secrets of the snowmen
my brothers built by the railway line
and how the heads melted
when the steam-trains came.
I will not tell again of that December in the 60s
when I walked out of Glasgow in a snow-storm;
a promised lift to Annan at 5am broken,
I thumbed my way South.
In those pre-motorway days the route lay
through the slush-strewn streets of towns -
Hamilton, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal,
Settle, Skipton, Ilkley, Otley, Wetherby, Pontefract -
the snow reflecting the civic pride of each
as festive lights brightened the grey day.
Not again shall I write about snow
nor again tell of the return from Liverpool -
when going up Rushup Edge in my old Anglia
I skidded, ending up at 45 degrees
with a dry stone wall an inch away.
It was dark before the grit-wagon came.
They were only going as far as Edale
but towed me out and I returned
to overnight at the Kings Arms in Chapel-en-le-Frith.
The next day I dug out the car
and joined the convoy of lorries
shuffling slowly over Peak Forest toward Chesterfield.
I will not write again about snow
nor tell of the winter of '74
when the world drowned in white,
when the weathermen talked
of temperatures rising towards freezing.
I will not tell of the weeks
when travel virtually ceased
and the drifts blocked
even the entrance to the cemetery.
I will not write again about snow.
Snow is not chaste, unsunn'd
as Shakespeare would have us think.
Snow is not forgetful.
Snow is not a white-wool blanket
Snow is not ice-cream topping for a mountain cone
It does not melt like a retreating army
but swells streams and floods drains.
Snow is simply cold crystals of ice
that fall from a cloud-thick sky.
Eskimos have twenty-seven different words
but there is only one snow
and I shall not write of it again.

Until the winters of yesteryear return
- les neiges d'antan de Villon -,
until the icebergs no longer drift South,
until the earth's warming ceases
I shall not write again of snow.


Composed: Hyde, 1st May 1990


1990 Crooked Roads (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1999 Unlikely Stories (Internet)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Me and the other Gerald


Yeah, yeah, I know what I said
I don't write poems about poetry
I don't write long rambling
discourses on all and sundry
but hell when it happened
something had to give or else
or else or else or else or else.
Karl Heiss started it -
sent me a copy of HIPPO
and there I am listed as contributor
but I'm not - Gerald Locklin is
and there are his biog. notes
under my name - it won't do will it?
And the same day
I get sent a review tape from SLIPSTREAM
and it's Locklin rambling on
the way he does about the minutiae of his life
how he fucks his students
and makes poems out of non-events
sure he raises a laugh or two
and some of it isn't that bad at all
Well I stuck the tape in the car-cassette player
and listened to Locklin as I went to work
I stopped at Mrs Jones'
she tells me how her washing-machine
won't do what she wants it to
asks me what my wife would do
I know what my wife would do
but I'm not going to tell that to Mrs Jones.
Back in the car Locklin is laughing at himself
Mr Iqbal wants to find out if the maturity value
of his endowment that comes up next year
will be enough to pay the dowry
for his daughter still back in Pakistan.
Locklin is talking shit about Donald Duck.
Miss Prendergast says she can't pay me this week
the Social haven't sent her her giro
and she's had to buy little Gareth new shoes.
As she bends to pick the baby's dummy off the floor
I'm treated to a clear view of her floppy breasts
and she smiles at me.
Does she want me to screw her in lieu of payment?
Well I've fifty more calls to get through today
Locklin is wondering if he can afford another divorce
He thinks he's living life, hey
Let him try selling insurance in Oldham
The tape ends.
By the time I've finished my round
I've got through two more tapes
but these are "Dolly Parton's Greatest Hits"
and "Brass Band Favourites"!


Composed: Bardsley, 14th April 1990


1991 The Plastic Tower (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1995 Boggers All (UK)
1998 The Bohemian Forest (Internet)

Saturday, 5 February 2011


              here we go round the
              block again walking the dog
              for the umpteenth time

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Gee Cross, 4th April 1990


1990 The Old Police Station (UK)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Incident in Oldham


they come over
the bridge
from town

she shouts
you've got yr fags
you've got yr booze
you've got yr wallpapering
you've got yr tea

she pulls
her warm lined coat
around her
stalks off

he moves
the sagging plastic bag
from hand to hand

the young lad
on to the empty hand.


Composed: Oldham, 3rd March 1990


1997 Lateral Moves (UK)

Thursday, 3 February 2011


a man sits in a cave knitting

far into the middle of nowhere

shepherds freeze beside their sheep

train-smoke trails the horizon

in the days of the nine suns

there was no resting

in a flight of forward motion

a child is raped by a needle

not walking but measuring

even together you are alone

even together you are alone


Composed: Gee Cross, 22nd February 1990


1994 The Third Alternative (UK)
2000 Unwound (USA)
2004 Raw NerVZ (Canada) 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Not a Haiku


the simple writing
of seventeen syllables
doth not haiku make


Composed: Gee Cross, 2nd February 1990


1992 THE ART OF HAIKU (Hyde, New Hope International)
1994 POEMS ABOUT POETRY (Hull, Psychopoetica)
1997 The Haiku Archive (Internet)
2000 MIR (USA)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Composed: Gee Cross, 20th January 1990


1990 The Affiliate (Canada)
1991 Purple Patch (UK)