by david ratcliffe


The homeboy patrolled the platform
hauling a case full of troubles;
a youth, unprepared, undercooked, fidgety,
4 minutes from departure.

He could see his half-life below,
wished to wallow in its familiar frown,
allow his timidity licence to return
to the arms of invisibility.

The village continued its sophistry;
July sunrise presented limestone ripples,
clouds created kaleidoscopic greens,
the old mill beseeched him, remain
within its simplicity,
content to drink life from cupped hands.

A cursory glance to the exit;
would he prove them right?
'would he eckerslike',
yet fearing the train's arrival
he hoped it would run out of steam,
hiss to a stop, forever
lost in the tunnel a mile
from his inward mitherings.

Through branches of dappled summer, 
he looked down at the bus stop
from where his ride to that point had
terminated at the limits of imagination, 
while he waited for adventure
far beyond ambition...


Infinite Ignition © 2015 All Rights Reserved


We're nothing alike, my image and I,
it follows me to the bathroom,
denied access, it waits outside,
I bolt the door
and the world snaps shut!

Muffled sound, flat lined outsiders
expunged from my minds persuasion,
I tune into the echo of self-indulgence,
appearing to an audience of one.

No one knows out there,
the fiction writer
hiding behind multifaceted, flawed heroes,
one page short of capture.

A little chastisement
interlaced with, odd winks to myself,
there-there old son,
the reassuring stave off of madness.

Held together by silicone
this one-liner guy,
is tongue-tied by whispers,
'bitter everything’s'
groan through taps & pipes;
"Loser! Loser! picker & chooser",
and as tiles pull faces, 
I wash my own,
to drown them out.

The scales have their say,
but they're not to be trusted,
I ignore their 'fat bastard' taunting
to peer at reflective deception,
and I buy it
with the only currency I hold.

Adjusting to 'out there' acceptance
I prepare to re-enter the peekaboo theatre
where no one is real,
least of all myself.

To John...
I dedicate this poem to my son John.
The love I have for my first born has remained steadfast and strong throughout the troubled times he has encountered.
An imaginative and beautiful person who is a gifted artist and writer of poetry…



I hide humiliation in these eyes
whilst standing tall upon a hollow bark
with choice interpretation of my cries
you’re holding out a candle in the dark.

Lost on busy streets inside my mind
as I look for inspiration from the sky,
then cross the busy road as if born blind
and search for you within the passers by.

So screaming at the altar on my knees
I wonder if you’ll ever hear my plea
as I’m sending out this message on the breeze
for surely you must feel the pain in me.

Reflections of the days you jumped for joy
excited by the gifts of days gone by
bring back my little boy in corduroy
with heartaches that still leave me asking why.






To Stevie-Rose
This was inspired by the strong bond I have with my Daughter, actress Stevie-Rose Blake.
Her bravery and brilliance in the tough and fickle acting profession is outstanding but I am there for her and always will be.
Ever since she was small I have supported her ambition and acknowledged her talent.
Stevie has my shoulder for the hard yards and my pride in everything she achieves



I gain strength from uncertain places,
to keep you safe from all you dread,

to tame the beast beyond a vision, to part
the reeds and lift you out. Guardian

of your dreams I nurture, clasping pearls
from oceans far, providing succour when

desired; open doors when it is not.
I’ll shield you from the breeze of malice,

wear your scars without regret; hold at bay
the troubled species, chase them from your

boundary walls. You’ll soar beyond the highest
raincloud, face what waits out in the dark,

till savage dogs no longer gather
and you no longer fear their bark.

Long has been the passage trodden, loudly
does the flesh bemoan; warm contentment spirit lifted,

fog dispersed in mornings glow. Naked in full
sight of gawkers, freely dancing on the

lawn, curtain calls before full houses;
I’ll hold your coat, your hat, your gown.


You see in my tired face
a vision of an old man
beaten by the time. 

Nothing of youthful abandon
from days when control
could not contain my will.

Nothing of liquid thoughts
in clouds of smoke
leading to stocking tops

and jealous men.
The flounce and lace,
the lamplight ballet

Comfort sought at too
high a price; sweet folly
in rayon sucking on 

my dignity, leaving scars
both evident and concealed. 
Flavours and textures 

forever captured in memories
you do not own. Feverish
wantonness and heartache

unimaginable, though
smugly you judge. My youth
removed by disdainful 

ignorance; craggy image
scowling through gloom. 
removed from the gallery, 

The wayward lad remains
to those choosing to look
further than time has changed. 

The once moist sheen cracked
and dry as dust settles
on my careless self-portrait.


Slowly I stroll through the
playground of my youth,
in search of the child
it cruelly conceals.

Seeking the boy, who ran
through his dreams,
to meet with his future,
headlong, far too soon.

Recalling chalk marks
from games gone by,
removed through time
into tomorrow’s mysteries,

till all that remains are
cracks he fell through
on a torturous journey
to where I now stand.

Though memories call
as I take up a stone;
cast it through time,
to where laughter returns.

This foolish old man
hears his pals call his name,
as through watery eyes
wavy chalk lines appear.

and my ears resonate
to the sounds of my youth;
back to where I began
long before the decay.


A tourist in mine own façade,
collecting bruises newly dealt,
succumbing to envenom placed
where no control do I employ.

Withstanding what I might avoid,
allowing sentence from the flawed,
I once again bail out the bile
and serve the overlord his wine.

A chancers life amidst the storm,
aware not I of contentment,
so alien to all who smile
and take the apple whole and bite.

Incapable of noble deed;
the fool I show while hiding light
that one day will ignite me whole
or bring me hope of comfort sought.


Splendour in sunlight
brings back yesteryear,
when we garnered together
to seek nothing more
than the laughter we raised
just to be who we were,
when we knew how to smile
with no clouds to descend.

Bonded in fusion
with no need to suppress,
whatever reason, behind
actions we chose,
for no one came between
what we claimed to be ours,
while the merry-go-round
spun with purpose unforced.

Resplendent illusion
would keep us alive,
on our horse with no reins
holding tight to the mane,
with the wind in our ears,
the sun on our back,
we delighted in chasing
whatever befell.


Self-worth incinerated
in this moral abyss;
roundly boastful,
the entrance is full on
in your face class,
lens craves
the adorable sight.

Direction given,
she picks up a glass,
every movement
polished, light
breathing measured,
line spoken,
we are drawn in.

Seduction unscripted,
close up, eyes smoulder,
main focus of attention,
beguiling, strong
veiled vulnerability,
mastic moment
she commands the scene.


Gulls cried in ochre skies
as waves genuflected over
stones, adding percussion

to natures lullaby. Neptune’s
briny breath filled these lungs
like fuel, as I closed my eyes

seemingly empowered, totally
invigorated yet still it hit me,
a mere passing thought,

but it was there alright,
halting my casual stride,
impacting like a door slam.

Not the end of the world
but it was in the neighbourhood;
a jumping off place for the

out of mind. Bad dream episodes
merged in accusation
hitting my mind in unison,

questioning choices, damning
existence; trial by self-appointed
jury played to a familiar gallery,

heads shaking callously, my council
seeking recess, I was taken down.
Deep down to the ocean floor;

rung out, spat ashore, revived,
all in a moment. I’d escaped
the phoney guards intact.

A Basset Hound barked
at flotsam as the sun slid
between sky and sea.

Awestruck at my surroundings
I threw a rock on the half turn,
banishing the past from my isle.


Ought I not to hide beneath this rock
remaining still though barely safe
from all who mock and snide my worth
to cause this frown upon my brow

So simple a man bereft of touch
who tugged the bell outside the gates
in search of love and closeness felt
but found suburbia's vile embrace

Oh laughter meant as something true
would be divine to ears that bleed
from laser stares that fiercely burn
a hole into my emptiness

Alas I falter here alone
afraid to face what lies in wait
beyond the blindfold and restraints
I tied myself to save concern

Pity me not for I’m content
to wallow and to bide a while
afraid not I of loneliness
for solitude protects my pride






All writing material owned by David Ratcliffe© 2015 All Rights Reserved