01 December 2023
08 October 2023
02 October 2023
22 September 2023
There is nothing
There is nothing ironic
There is nothing ironic about
The official beginning of the anthropocene
The unofficial beginning of the ecosystem taking power back
There is nothing
on a hot August night.
14 September 2023
i wear strange and ill-fitting hats to keep the thoughts warm
type type type
tap tap tap
high up above the cracked paving slabs
in this ancient cold attic
tall oaks sway in the wind, just outside my tiny window
awaiting leaves turning the dense fog that sweeps off the sea into droplets
i am engulfed in cloud
my hearing is fuzzy
my patience is low
my thoughts unclear
i will snap before the oak
mucus drips on the keyboard
i am dizzy tired
a poem a day
a poem a day
a poem a day
until i am clear
12 September 2023
i sang myself blue
thousands of years before i was born
and so i was born
my father tried to teach me to sing early one morning
but I refused to get out of bed
when he was gone
i went for a long wet walk in the damp woods
i followed the voices of birds whose name i do not wish to know
but will always follow their call
11 September 2023
I’ve been writing this in my head for years because his liberation from this earthly realm could have easily happened many times by now.
A fight, a drunken car accident, going under with a burning boat.
The burning boat keeps coming back to me. For as long as I can remember, I think I have been mentally preparing for his death. So I was ready ready ready ready….
One of my earliest memories is running head first into a brick wall. I don’t know how it happened but I do remember when I came to, I was bouncing, flopped over my dad’s shoulder way up in sky, being carried somewhere, quickly. How did he get here so fast? I wondered.
At various times in my life he was my biggest hero and my worst enemy. Over the years he’s rescued me from hospital and jail but we’d also had the scruffs of each others shirts in our fists. “Just fucking hit me!” The Buddha said you become your thoughts. Maybe you create your own myth. I grew up pretty cynical and never sure if I believed the myth of Tony Lewis but it did occasionally prove itself true. “Your dad jumped off the pier to rescue a drowning toddler.” “Turns out the captain was blind, it was getting dark and the engine conked out, so your dad jumped in the sea and towed the boat back to shore.” I saw him jump over a six-foot fence after the neighborhood bully messed with me. I immediately felt bad for the bully. “I’ll never mess with your dad again.” The bully said sheepishly afterward. And then I saw him drive the car blind drunk into the garden, speaking Urdu to the night watchman as we all lifted the car back onto the carport. The more he drank, the more languages he spoke. And then he gave up drinking. “Feel any better without the drink?” “Nope.” He stubbornly replied. I convinced myself I have been prepared for his death for a long time. One of my earliest memories is going to visit him in hospital after he tried to rustle a gang of car thieves. He could have gone out in a fight or down with a burning boat but either way he was never going to go gently into that good night. We knew he’d fight fight fight and I know that was hard for family back in Wales to witness. I have a lot to pack and unpack. A lifetime of drama to pack and unpack but for now I’ll think of him this way.
We are on a quite beach in the Seychelles. I must have been about twelve years old. My dad, tells me to stay on the beach. He’s going for a swim. He swam out way beyond the barrier reef and I’m watching in awe. A little terrified for his safety. His arms like a windmill. How did he get so far out to sea? How far is he going? When will he be back?
Pack and unpack.
20 July 2023
30 December 2022
There are rules in skateboarding
But the great thing is
you do not have to follow them.
There is a fine line between regiment and the absurd, sport and taking the piss,
and it must be walked. Precise technical moves for points or loose juggling in a drainage ditch.
The other day, someone asked me how long it would take me to teach them how to kick flip,
I should have said, “ It does not matter. Take this (hand them a board) and do what you want with it.”
Wasn’t that how rugby was invented? Someone got tired of kicking the ball, said fuck it and picked it up and ran?
Run with it.
Remember as a child, finding a good stick, for a few eternal minutes it is anything you want it to be, anything you can imagine, a sword, a light saber or a giant pen to write poems to your dead dog on the clouds. It was an imagination liberator. The skateboard is the same thing, an imagination liberator, a freedom stick. A time dissolver. Do anything you want with it. Just don’t hit anyone with it.
When I was a teenager, a security guard took my skateboard from under my feet. You’re going to take the most freedom I ever experience? No. I rugby tackled him (that’s sport for you) knocked him over and grabbed my board, ran across four lanes of traffic and skated off into the sunset. I felt bad for him, momentarily and hope I didn’t injure him.
And so to Natas Kaupas, I read somewhere that he didn’t really skate with many people early on or read magazines. He just had a board and his environment and did whatever he felt. The end result? He redefined the whole damn activity. If you know anything about him, it’s worth pausing to ponder what that means. He re-defined what we all do in a vacuum because he took that board and had some fun with it.
In the words of Peter Handke, “When the child was a child,
It threw a stick like a lance against a tree,
And it quivers there still today.”
19 October 2022
you do not tell your most sacred stories until the first frost
in the dark
since 2004 internet searches for the word ‘anxiety’
have gone up 300%
but there is ‘wisdom in insecurity’
sitting with the unknown in the dark
on an empty stomach
while the world sleeps
too much summer
the leaves are crisp kindling
and the stories are delayed
cold air in the morning
off-set by lung-tightening wild fire smoke at daylight
altered states are only useful
as long as they are just that
will i ever come back?
will we ever come back?
where there is perfection
where the known is set in stone
there are no stories to tell
just stagnant wild fire smoke
hanging in the valley
for an endless summer