Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Poetry  ➡  Spiritual












David Denny


Collected Works























DULL DAYS INDEED is a compilation of work from




The Siege of Beacon Hill is a collection, in the loosest sense, of poems written by me in the early 1990s. There are romantic poems, naturalistic poems, metaphysical poems and other philosophical stuff. There is the constant theme of time and its nature, threaded through this is an exploration of my own struggle with the concept of my mortality, amongst other things. Most poems where inspired by real events, or by odd thoughts and graphic dreams.


The vast majority of these poems were penned when I was a student at Staffs University. During the first year I studied English Literature so Heaney and Plath had a big influence alongside the Beckett and Joyce in the main.


Adjacent to the Stafford University site is Beacon Hill, the place which inspired the title poem about an isolated wood besieged by.arable land and the seemingly remorseless tractors and ploughs. It’s obviously a very ancient place and, for those who know, holds its place on a ley line stretching West through Stafford churches, Stafford castle and out to the old Iron Age fort at Berry Hill and possibly further to the West and the Welsh borders. It is a place of magic and power and mystery. I am still drawn to it and places like it.


When I edited the poems in this collection, many of which were written years ago, it displayed to me the magic of poetry in that emotions and feelings, felt at the time, flooded back.



From Incident at Congleton


This is a small selection of simplistic poems penned on a mobile phone and texted as an apology for late arrival at work, the number paints a dim picture of train punctuality on the Stoke to Manchester line!”

















All that is Solid melts into Air’


(Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto)
























The Siege of Beacon Hill


The wild edge of the ancient forest,

Thrusting vanguard fern

At surrendered furrows,

Sighs in alliance with the autumn wind,

Drawing breath and demarcation lines,

In bloody ochre hues.

Breathing deep,

Poised high an ominous fortress

Above an arable patchwork sea,

It spins contempt From sycamores

and mines Margins with oak egg acorns.

It is relentless like the seasons,

Mocking the ploughs dulling edge,

Tracing its annual retreat,

Creeping inch outward

With fern ands skirmishing briar,

Securing slender bastions

For sapling wood,

And testing,

Always testing,

The human gall,

At its patient limits.

















Milking the Void


At times like this,

When my visions of the world

Are obscured

By a million crawling tears around me,

My only company,

The tattoo of a rhythmic rain,

I feel hopelessly at one with my self,

Unsatisfied and Unstriving, Enlarging the gulf within,


Knowing that I can be no less than I am.


But now,


At this empty moment,

Even the faintest spark of light In this cavern is hope,

Un-subdued it will flare,

Fuelled on hopelessness,

And I would flow behind

Trailing blue irrational inks,

My footfalls silent in Nothingness.



For here in this lonely place


I could be

And am;













The Whirlpool


Trees like tall ushers

There’s shadow here

A place of myth

A place of fear

Children are warned

Of those before

Clutched in the shade

On the Valley floor.

Mist swirls like wraiths

On Summery nights

Sucked through the silence

A small noise is Fright

And the trees take shapes As they stare on

The flower wreathed slopes

The light slips from.

Here lurking deep Is a lurer of fools

A clutcher of braves

Warned of their fate In this watery grave

So sneak through the coppice

That is laden with fear

And brag to your friends

That you’ve been here.

So you threw in a log,

And watched it swirl,

Then ran home screaming

Little Boy Little Girl,


Now as your memories fade,

I return again

Seeking your story

With a poet’s pen.








The Greenhouse Effect


The flowers annoyed me,

So I threw them out,

The earths rank smell

Drew me from my Torpor,

So I laid a floor

Of cold, cruel concrete.

Now it is the light

That hurts my eyes,

And imprints upon

My perceptions of

What lies beyond.

So I painted my greenhouse black,

With long bold strokes

Of a senseless brush,

But it did no good at all.

So I sat on a stool in the darkness,

Meditating upon my blind existence.


Yet still the birds sang beyond The shadow glass,

As I sweated an ocean In the still heat Of a Summer sun.

So I plugged my ears with wax

And stripped to create

An imperfect silence,

In which my heart Tolled like a funeral bell,

And I felt my flesh crawl with meat flies.


This was the best I could do,

Short of fatal act

And all this accursed time

The world rolled within my head,

Each dark wave topped

With a white horse of hope; Anthansor, Shadowfax bridges built Back from where I retreat.

I am defeated; there is inside of me

This bright pool of hope,

Where the lost they dance,

On emerald banks amongst the Summer Forget-Me-Nots.


The Snare


An inexplicable awakening,

The slow glide to a window

To view a perfect picture painting,

Of crisp clean frozen clarity

Motionless strokes of reality,

Now coherent in residues

Of the tortured night.

The dawn chorus has failed

Its daily detonation,

The velvet beast of the night,

Retreating from its toils,

Casts a backward glance Into no mans land,

Paralyzing this godless place of halfway light

Where time has stalled

In the absence of the predawn overture,

That would herald the arrival of the Sun Coiled and ready,

Beneath the aastern horizon.


The day is dammed.


At this moment failing,

Leaving hammers cocked,

Trapdoors untriggered,

Pens poised, letters unwritten,

Plans enfolded, cauldrons unboiled,

Malignancies set to mutate;

In this thin slice of the day,

Where roads fork wreathed in infinite possibilities

Here I find myself writhing in ecstasy,

In the Snare

At the Edge of the day.










Life’s a drag isn’t it?

Who is the patron saint

Of snails anyway?


Tell me,

Have you seen out Shells?

Spirals forever inward,

An Irish design

To be Sure,

To be Sure!


Crawling out for sustenance,

We reach and grab,

Then retreat back

Inside, Bleak, Slimy and Drab.

Where we ponder existence

And fondle our dreams

Hoping our skulls

Don’t split at the seams.


Slick, shiny trails

Shells evolved for defence?

But this giant snail

Could never climb a fence.


On bright Autumn mornings,

You can seen where we’ve been,

Yet if you seek us out – nowhere to be seen!

Only heard,

When crunched,











Harvesters of the Night
















Blind purses of leather Hung from oak rafters In warm roof spaces, Above shattered shells And discarded wing cases, Clutched in the senseless, Summer Night,

By sorting invalids, In finger-like flight.

With no scented touch Nor sighted line

They reap nights bounty So

Crunchingly fine.
















Growing Pains


No harsh landscapes of

Speaking stone nor

Pregnant sectarian bog,

Only fading images

Suck me back searching.


My memories ride

The outermost ripple

In a temporal pool,

Always essentially outwards,

Escaping my flailing grasp.

Disfigured in concrete,

Trapped in tarmac tombs,

Rolled into the obscure,

That sought is concealed

Beneath cold patchworks.


Under these tumorous estates

Lies my lost light,

Distorted in a change consuming,

There a child growing

But lost in the here and now,

An adult deformed and disconnected.


Yearly I travel further From the centre of

This spreading malignancy,

Yearning for lost clarity, connection,

Which deprives and conceals my vitality.

Only green pools at extremities

Offer sustenance,

Lure and seduce with sights and smells.

Yet here others memories mingle,

Become confused and compressed,

Maddening Kaleidoscopes,

Which drive be back and inward, Inward toward brick centres

Where wellheads bulge and groan

With tortured links,

Lost beneath my feet.

Midnight Windows


Like the Digger and the Crowman,

I sit at a window,

But no Squat pen,

Aside for now,

Seeking what lies

Beyond the glass.

Yet there is Nothing

Except my refection,

In the inky well of the night;


Just me and him.


And he mocks me, Imitates my every move,

Our eyes forever locked,

I move closer my vaporous breath

Obscuring all but his eyes.

I stare back defiant and am hypnotised,

Then we become as One;

Then we cross.


Now I am ethereal, Outside looking in.


We laugh and our bridal veil dissolves, He shakes his head,

A soundless laughter ripples Across his ruddy features.

Our eyes now part

And his gaze reverts to paper, The pen rolls.

I laugh and elude the light,

Looking in from the Night,


Outside In,


Inside Out.







The Assassin


The word ricocheted like a bullet,

Around the stagnant room,

A door flew open,

The sweet, fragrant waft Of distant enchantments

Lightened her drab cell,

Forcing free the coils of Her own oppression,

Releasing the restrictions of a love.


She crossed her arms

And raised her knees

To her warming breast,

Protecting the suckling child

Fostered for so long

In a forbidden world.

Rebellion sparkled bravely In her eyes,

Subordination, the beast, retreated.

Images flew to her,

Released to an inner light,

Whilst he slept oblivious,

Wrapped in his own Dream,

In which, she played, no part.


I felt uneasy,

The blind assassin

Misfiring that Bullet Into a fragile union.

‘Do call again’ she smiled absently. I did,

But she was gone,

And he torn and alone,

A burning shadow

Surveying the ruins of his Kingdom,

Wrecked by a fairy tale, fantasy magic,

Contained in a word, a bullet,







Judgment Day?


Standing unsuspecting and innocent,

Upon a hillock thrown between roads Old and New,

I confronted an Apricot Sun,

Sinking slowly in a Summer Sky.

Upon this earth tumulus,

Cast aside by mechanical man

In the turning of tons

Of cold and sterile soil,

I stood astride a futile womb.

But under the fertile Mother Sun,

The Earth turned and warmed,

Now green, fertile,

Studded with a million

Pale anemic faces,

Smiling in reverence.

Then something somewhere,

Deep inside, turned and twisted,

Then turned again.

A dark, sinister disc

Scraped the Sun,

Which groaned hemorrhaging

Into toweling clouds.

Bloody darkness crept Across that vital disc,

Earth became bruised and swollen.

A distant bitch howled like a beaten child To a silent unhearing world.

I stood gaping as the Earth contracted

And the shifting clouds congealed,


Now exposed, where the roads spat and flowed,

In the shadow I shivered, eclipsed.









The Day After Forever





I hate the wheel,

The red eyed metal Locusts Race before me.

I hate the wheel,

Trapped in this coffin Of blood welded steel

This cold metal Pampered like a child,

Praised a ruling demi-god.

All praise to the Wheel!

It has hurled us to this point

And surely rolls forever;

Or the Day After;

When Dis shall rise

To poisoned worlds, Where men in Oil will burn

Yet even He,

Will spurn

The Ruins of Paradise.


All praise for the gift of the Wheel.



















In His Wake


I would cry,

But it would release me,

Weep for an innocent Sleek and black,

Our shadow cast upon her.

I traced your funeral march,

Confused and without hope,

To a cleft in the rocks;

An oil lined crypt.

No more proud flight,

A weakened crawl,

Your world destroyed No provocation

No threat;

No defence,

Dependant on human blinkered, Conscience.

Poison man,

Unconscious of his inky footfalls

That crush you underfoot,

Soon forgotten,

Beneath the plumes of war

And the warped lens.

But I shall never forget

Your final flutters,


Human corpses

Mean nothing to me.














Imperial Pleasures


There is a beast at work in our world,

Who withers the young and old,

Who bloats and bereaves,

Who cunningly deceives,

From beneath the cloak of western deception.


We, safe in our tombs,

Enfolded in pleasures,

Blind to the images

That threaten our leisures.

But stand like trophies

Which embellish our lairs.

For the distant we grieve,

Yet shed no tears.

We grieve in numbers,

Twist in our slumbers

As our consciences ripple.

Care? How we dare!

Conscience a consequence.

Avoid, for if we look too long

Our hearts might beat.


So we retreat to cold shrouds,

There uncrossing ourselves,

Close our coffin lids and die.

For ourselves.

Our sanities at stake.

Here we lick worn incisors,

And close down our visors,

Displaying the crowns

That shone in the sun of imperial pasts.

But now retreating,

Afraid of reflections,

That reveal and condemn.








Empty rooms, corridors, halls,

Warehouses and workshops,

All echoing with the sound of my dusty feet.



All engulfing, spectral, ghostly.

Fear that I wait in vain,

Ignorant of joy and its trail of pain; J

ust like them lost here in circumstance,

Another time,

Another place,

And all that’s left is memory,

Partial, clouded faces in the minds eye.

A faded newspaper of a bygone age,

Caught in the sunlight on a grey wall, Tragedy in print like

The graffiti scratched on toilet doors

By those who passed before, Empty rooms,

People once lived here,

Empty rooms,

People once loved here.



Unfulfilled in empty rooms,

Full of the ghosts of memory and more,

Lives incomplete and unresolved;

Their pain is all that remains,

In the mortal, manic scratchings,

The simple poetry,

Of a bygone age.



















The beat Of feet

On earthy turf,

Stake out Time

In the rise

And fall of ragged



They all Beat on

In desperation,

They all Beat on

In vain,

To escape

The rhythm Of epitaphs



In their

















We become,

When aware

Not of the clocks ticking

But the spaces in between.

In these Infernal intervals

Contemplation Gnaws

At the very heart of




Punctuation Seems a manic

Necessity of sense,

For if the breathing spaces

Become like Distant friends

We find ourselves suffocating

Between the beats

Of our own hearts.

But the clocks Tick on,

Always with time To spare

For spaces,

Their hammers beating,


On the

Nothing In

















A fortress of British granite

Formidable, soaring arches support

A venerated interior.

Concepts in transepts,


And altars.

Protective holy shrines

Of all engulfing


Built on divine promises,

Immortality that fails

In ignorance of what we seek and fear.

Self pitying indulgence

Of finite terrors,



And transcending

The void from which we come

And toward which we hurtle.

Alone, embodied in the velvet cloaks of fear

We decline our heads to processions of






Dulling diamonds, tarnishing gold,

The sparkle of life is lost

Somewhere in time,

A slow evaporation,






In birth we scream The password to death From within an empty shell, That fills with a fantasy, Condensed from Fear.


Reptilian Dreams


There is no design,

Only the timeless chaos

Of accident,

The slowly advancing tides

Of chance.

There is no order,

Only the anarchic maelstrom

Of coincidence,

The insubstantial,

Fleetingly entangled,

Yet fruitful.


We are the godless ripple

Stranded on the sand Of an ebbing tide,

Rejoicing bellies down

In a moment of genetic confusion,

So seeking an architect

Who fashions in his image.


This work, some say,

This Cathedral of Creation

Resonates with his form In every niche

In every shadowy pew,


The instilling of faith

As we wallow in the shadow of His Benign countenance

In awe of his mysterious ways


And we revel in this paradise Like the frog,

Who contemplates the exquisite beauty

Of mirror steel blades,

When lost, in the bowl of a blender.









In the midst of the still night, I twist and turn


Then arise and tear back the curtains.

The crooked smile

Of a new moon

Sneers at me.

I cannot tell the day from night,

For the sun is black and cold,

The cruel moon

Is the eye of a Cyclops god

Who would devour my mortal soul,

Leaving a void inside.

Who will fill it?


I cannot be at one with myself,

I cannot choose for

I am a chained, shackled

An emotional masochist,

Afraid of the warmth,

The Sun.

I cannot reach out

Lest my armour melts

In the searing furnaces

Of vulnerability,

And I die rejected,

In the light that divides,


The day’s distinction.













A chance, Opportunity unplanned,

Yet greeted with zeal.

You begin unbidden,

I follow hypnotized and respond,

Following your road of vital trivia,

So far from my destination.

Yet entranced I follow In control yet confined

Ensnared in a

Vicious cage of politeness.

My nature an unadventurous Zodiac paradox.

A hunter haunted, by contradiction.

But now

A sparkling eye, Subtle body language, Circles complete, Hair in fingers, Laughter.

This sweet spell where time Becomes timeless, Minutes too precious to pass.

Meetings agreed , but forgotten.


You never came.

Au Revior, you recede,

Leaving a threatening glow


A tragic, delusion.

Now confusion reigns supreme,

In my mixed up world of fact and fantasy.














Love’s Wake Dog.


Your visions of England;

Fresh, green windy towers of wisdom.

High rise blocks caked with ice. Autumn, Winter and fateful summer.



Far away and estranged,

Pursued by dark eyed wardrobes

That open doors

To release the scent Of love in mothballs.

Lost, fragile alone,

Tenuous links with a familiar world

Strained perhaps,

To breaking point.

So a strange retreat.

Doors close,

No more translations of Nasal dialects.


What did you see?


Now he shrinks to save himself

And fuels the only fire

He can warm to,

A simple numbing solitude,

Alone in the dark,

Blinded by what he always knew.

A sightless moth

That refuses the lure Of the Summer moon,

And the porch lamps lit over open doors,

Blind and deluded,


The wraith retreats,

No longer shall he trail


Like a witless Wake Dog.





Unseasonable Embrace


It is Spring,

High upon a wind whipped hill I watch for signs out in the valley, Which sprawls before me

Like the long lost Mother of a million dreams.

I watch for signs.


New Leaf,

The flash of rabbits tails,

The call of the cuckoo.

Yet the horns of winter Impale my senses.


As the clouds drag themselves

Wearily across my horizons

Their sleet strangled showers

Cooling fires that long to erupt in my heart.

I watch for signs.


Wary of the sentence of death

They will pronounce on me In a Summer execution.

I see you barbed and baited with all I desire, and fear.

I am pushed and I am pulled,

Between the anguished heat of Winter

And the frosty numbing void of June.

The seasons stand on their heads

Somersaulting inside,

With the prospect of blossoming joy.

I could reach out and attempt to touch you

Like the Summer sun I avoid and desire,

Fly close in worthless, waxen feathers,

Until all dissolves in certainty,


Just as the seasons will turn.

Spring to Summer, your barb in my heart,

I would be dragged across continents to a final resting place,

In the arctic cool of Springs cruel dreams.

Yes we could die together

In an impossible, unseasonable, embrace.




Our reality is hollow

There is nothing out there

To touch

But we ourselves are touched

And tormented

To seek the sensory

And call it rock

Blind men feeling the light

And calling it blue

Gaping at rainbows Inside our heads

Groping for gold.


Handless clocks still

Pound out the hours

Each second a toothed blade

Annihilating the flesh

Sending ripples through tortured souls

And unstable places

Building worlds out of

Human fragments.


We drift in the great hollow

Twisted, stretched and tormented

Reaching out for the ungraspable

Hearing the unhearable


Or only echoes

Of something

Lost in the dark.










Dawn of The Dead


On hot Summer days such as these,

the air is sucked from collapsing sewers and stands stagnant over the crumbling estates.


I can almost see it.


It lingers in layers, across the painfully still parks and playgrounds, the foul breath from the arse of this place is a testimonial to its inner decay, its corruption, its degeneration.


This place is forgotten, but not quite, for those who live on the Hill surround themselves with dogs and electric fences. This isn’t Toxteth.


There is nothing to fear from these, until a shift in the breeze wafts their way, but that’ll never happen because they’ll never smell the shit.


On hot Summer days such as these,


I open the windows and appeal to history, to the embryos of epochs stirring in wombs, who twist with a grin to Highgate.


Here on these still fertile estates, dead ideas are yet to germinate, still peculating


in conflict and contradiction.













Wicked Spoons






Once Upon a Time

In a land of white linen

A heart beat slowed

And a mid life mid wife man

Unstowed his wicked spoons

That thrust inside to expose

The mucus drenched membranes

Of a blood matted baby.

Mountains of thigh flesh

Blood bright and breech fresh

Accelerating metal tools

Pain is tube subdued

Un-natural and aided

A bright blue Innocent baby

Coughs and splutters

As un-choking tubes gutter

The first breath Of air

In a

















Dream (Part One the Awakening)




With faceless friends,

Dank darkness

Invades the nostrils,

A candle flutters liquid,


The overwhelming solidity

Of mildewed mausoleums,

Bulging paled plaster

And water threats.

Here I enter sliding fetal Into wombs of endangered light,

Rolling from rooms to room,

Chained by lintel links,

In this a giant downward squirm

Of earth worm architecture

Man cavern becomes water wrought,

Gypsum plasters,

Polished marbled limestone labyrinths,

That cause to stoop and crawl

Toward a fissure terminus,

A grinning abyssal maw,

Then passing through,

Suddenly subdued, and


Crushed in a giant earthworm jaw!













Dream (Part Two the Ascension)


An attic garret long deserted,

Chalky floorboards crumble insubstantial.

Here is uncertainty tangible.

Caged threats,

These white paneled doors deceive,

Touched they would dissolve

Like my mothers hair on that grave diggers spade,

Releasing the weight of fears beyond.

Here I tread softly

On hopeful beams,

Towards a four poster bed

Barring passage to sanctuaries,

Beyond solid unhinged doors ahead.

Ransacking a chest of draws,

Entwined in strangles of

Dead vines which invade

Human frailties,

I find my dead Fathers shirts

Still sealed in cellophane.

I recoil embryonic,

In dialogue with new ghosts,

In numbed

















The Rippled Edge of Time


Change here is lost to human eyes,

Even photographs deny passage,

Shape and monochrome unchanging,

Etch familiar horizons a hundred years on.

Only the living seasons attempt to refute

In their rhythms of white and grey,

Immortality is almost

Manifest in the monoliths

At Ramshaw rocks


Once at Flash,

I met an ancient man,

At the withered extremity of life.

Old Jim, every inch a part of this place,

Or so I thought,

But his bones ticked like his old bicycle.


He is still a stonewaller

He told me tiredly,

Rebuilding the bridles

Generations have slung across

The rippled edge of time.

But the hills here shrug off

That which seeks to master them,

Or drag them down’

Into the terminal rhythms of human frailty.


They stand in unflourishing defiance,

Rank after rank The Roaches,

Denying frantic finite men like Jim,

The comfort of change,

Forever rolling to horizons,

A frozen rhythmic illusion,

Stretching beyond us all.





Midnight Breathing


Long sighs and the wind in the trees

Sends shivering shafts

Of fractured moonlight

Across my sweating brow,

A salt washed beach

Between visions and the darkness

Which lies like a fundamental sea of truth

Around me sucking me slowly to despair


The night is a cruel cold beast

That crushes me down into myself

Filled of the ragged breathing spikes of fear.

What would I do if they fail?


I shall remain scarred again,

Yet no more that before,

Mere fractures healing in time,

That will me irrelevant,

Yet something will be lost,

But nothing will be learned.


The night remains the same

Cold impalement,

Cruel ragged spikes of the night

Sharpened by my fear,

Creating a vortex,

A poisoned hereditary terminus

Always open;


Like a festering wound.









The Lost Tone



In the far night

A car drones distantly

Starkly alone

This elusive tone

Thought lost Irretrievable

Sounding far off

A summons


Fast receding stirs a memory

Feelings of desperation.

Now fuels old desires to rise and fly In pursuit

To capture that tone

To perfect harmonic chords

Heard once, But fleetingly Long ago

Between the beats

Of another’s heart,

Now distant but

Once again desired,

From the darkness.





















I often wonder as I do, about your life

About dear old you,

I often look and try to see that vital you

That’s lost to me

Beneath your fleshy form,

Beneath your Serpentine smile.


I often sense, yes I do

Therein concealed some secret you,

That works its will

Surprising me, beneath that mortal husk,

Behind those brimming eyes.


Today I feel so far from you,

Search so deep to sense a clue

To your essential form,

To your elusive echo.

In my mourning mirror me,

This unfamiliar friend.


But when my unborn comes to earth,

And I sense familiar rhythm, rhyme and verse,

Will I find composed, here conclusive,

That sense of me now so elusive,

The magic of this immortal form,

Sparkling behind

Your Brimming eyes?












Poems from Incident at Congleton


The title comes from a news item on a strategically important railway line blocked by a wayward 4×4 car.. Did the owner take the claims that this car will go anywhere too literally? – whatever, the line was blocked and the resulting delay felt across the local rail network was yet another opportunity for David to put his flexible fingers to the small key board of his mobile phone and share his personal world of railway travel with the rest of us as he attempted to commute to work in Manchester from Stafford, his home station.



Incident at Congleton


By David Denny


Copyright All Rights Reserved

David Denny 2009


Foreword by Wayne Morrison


First of all, let me make it clear that this little gem will not tell you anything about any incidents at Congleton – or, for that matter, any other Town or City linked by our elaborate railway network that carries our often long suffering workers from home to their destination every rush hour of every working day.


Visit: http://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/682740 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!


  • Author: David S Denny
  • Published: 2016-11-17 21:35:10
  • Words: 7415