If I Go Tomorrow

For Jeremy, happy travels.

If I go tomorrow
He sad yesterday
In the face of infinity
Characteristicly warm and glib
And he did

Set off on his bike
Into the long shadows
Where new lands lay hid
Always one for adventure
By air, and sea, even open to a hike

Riding off to the echoes of Neil Young
Nights doused
In live music and fun
The way his his living was done

Not much left behind
But faithful friends
And half finished conversations
More thoughts and ideas
Than could ever be mentioned

Taken with him, his true possesion
A photo album of memories
Snap shots, callbacks
To earlier adventures
Across a long trodden path

Cycling into the long shadows
To see what there is
Heavenly meadows
Or arrangements of quarks that fizz
A new adventure on which to go

But not fully gone
Many standing in tyre tracks
Connected to this man still
His journey
As it goes on

And always, in those echoes
Where music ebbs and flows
Where conversation sparkles
And echoes the sunlight
Long into the night

Adding an echoe of his own
One you can hear
If you strain your ear
A voice saying
Live full, live well
Live right

Dave James Horn ©


This is a poem written about the feelings left behind after an Erasmus+ trip. This one was to Georgia, and run by Millennium Georgia and Bauhaus Cafe CIC. An amazing 10 days, with 50 great people from seven countries. The feeling of sadness and loss feels quite intense after, but these beautiful experiences are gateways to bigger things. If you have the chance to do one I highly recommend it.

This poem has also been put to music by the fabulous musician Russ Davey! It has beome the first in a series of spoken word and music fusions called The Bedroom Tapes, watch out for more soon!

Unwillingly, I am après
After the beautiful moments
Fleetingly perfect
In which I wish
I could have stayed

Après, I wonder
Through unplanned days
Sadder, finding routes
Through the maze
After, not the same as before

But in the hole left
I am richer, not bereft
For it is full of treasure
Such is the value
I dare not measure

I find smiles
I find memories
I find the beautiful moments
With sweet contempories
I find friends

This hole is more of a shrine
To the goodness of people
And the joy
of sharing a beautiful time
Après, I am fuller than before

More space
To learn, love
Discover and explore
More feathers
On which to soar

In my shrine I see
The smiling faces
Of new friends
Who dangle new futures
Like tantalising shoe laces

Après, richer and fuller
Taller not fuller
Crafting an unmade future
Made brighter by smiling eyes
And combined eyes

Ready for the tides
That weave us
Again someday
Into eachothers lives
After, après

Dave James Horn ©

From Where It Comes And Where It Goes

Somethings can only be
Alluded to
Evidence of their action
The only way conclusions
Can be reached through

They tantalise
Wearing all things
As their disguise
Plain to see
If only we knew how to use our eyes

We can only see their shadow
Casting all
That we see as friend
And that which is foe

We find them
In the gaps
Feel them
As we feel eyes
Upon our backs

We would
Put them on maps
If only we knew
What they looked like
Are they canyons or more like cats?

We find them
Hard to percieve
Because to be
Made by a lack of substance
Is hard to concieve

But we feel them
Through their echoes
Feel the subtle joy
When we stumble into them
With our mind or our toes

Tumble into them
When we ask for sleep
And in its embrace let go
That familar feeling
We love and know

These spaces
Gripping eternity
Like well tied shoelaces
These spaces that lay in the heart
Of the most special places

Dave James Horn ©

Van Gogh

I have just watched Loving Vincent and feel so incredibly moved. What an incredible man, what a tortured soul. And now I feel drawn to playing Jimi Hendrix. Here is a poem I wrote when I visited Amsterdam and his musesum last year, because it feels right.

The artist is a wizard
The paint brush his wand
Through a charmed eye
He takes the world in
As if she has shown him
Another level, of him
Clearly fond

With his wand the artist translates
The fabric of nature
On to his canvas
So life like
At times he appears
To have used
A photographic plate

These are his tools
His magic is to capture
The essence of life
The flow of movement
His works inanimate but vital
Still but active
With this world in such attunement

As Plato said
The artist can see the beauty
Where others can’t
This one’s eyes
From the ground
To the skies

It seems hard to imagine a view
That from these eyes to convas
Would not astound

Dave James Horn ©

Moon Beams

Enjoy the full moon tonight!

Over the sea
The moon rose again
Her pink glow
Carrying an invitation of zen

Her gentle beams
Across the waves traced
Illuminating the eyes
Of every face

A carpet of moon beams
An entrance rippled
And she extended a hand
Whispered a plan

A carriage of waves
Waiting to carry those
Who recognised her quiet beauty
Equal to the sun’s loud rays

The lucky few transported by their view
Simultaeously fell, stood and flew
Because when you’re already at your destination
What else would you do

Looking up to space
They simply saw a face
A shrine at which
Adorations could be placed

The moon’s magic
Was in her beams
A sight that cannot
Be unseen

A portal to now
An anchor to here
A way through the forest
To a mind that is clear

Only then do you witness her
Not with eyes, she can only be felt
A full emptyness
A complete emptyness

An invitation to stillness
A doorway to bliss
Because when it comes to it
Who searches for more than this?

Dave James Horn ©



Written for a poetry slam that never happened.

“I feel like trash”
Said one empty coke can
To the other
The other said “shush now
No one can make you
Feel like that”

The first gave a look
Only a coke can, can
Said “how can you say that
I sit here drained and emptied
Discarded and abandoned
Worse still the last sips were spat”

The second coke can
Positively beamed,
In the near miss gleam
Of a car’s headlight
Said “well now recent times
Don’t sound a delight”

“But here you stand
In this new place unplanned
Ready to take time’s extended hand
An instrument, a holder of things
A fruit tree bird deterrent
The potential practically sings”

No one can say we are trash
Maybe our use has changed
But our worth remains the same
This throw away culture
Causing the problems
But accepting no blame

Ready for a different joy
On a different day
There is still a part to play

Dave James Horn ©


They all look forward
To the cherry blossom
The joyful transformation
Achieved by that most
Delicate of things

Their arrival brings celebration
Adoration and fascination
A thousand long stares
As the people forget
Their worries and their cares
All around vibrant nature blares

But the blossom does not last long
It has a short yet sweet song
As moment by moment
Each flower falls
Heeding the march of time
And the future’s calls

The people do not cry however
Instead they are happy
Filled with the knowledge
Nothing can last forever
They are free to hold each moment
As a most valuable treasure

Blossom turn to cherries
Cherries turn to trees
Trees turn to blossom
All is one in the dance
With some great infinity

Dave James Horn ©

The House Guitar

Another song on another day
The house guitar rings out
To help the spontaneous
And the ill prepared
Always have their say

It’s body a tapestry of finger prints
It’s tuning off sometimes so much
The new player is known to wince
The house guitar hangs ready
For the next persons touch

Ready to help the next troubadour
Release their soul
And let their spirit soar
Never knowing who
Might walk through the door

A thousand different songs
Covers, one offs and originals
And still it’s repertoire goes on and on
This guitar shining out possibilities
like a bright star

More than this though
The guitar radiates the warmth
Of a thousand players
Detailing a history
That few will ever know

And a mystery
Who has used it before
Who will use it next
And whoever decided to tune it like that
The new addition is thoroughly vexed

But player after player
Leaves their mark
Leaves their spark
As someone might
Leave notches on a bedpost

Something special shared
By this guitar and them
And by us, the listener
All making a moment
More unique than a priceless gem

So, here’s to the house guitar
The beating heart
Of any bar
Something slightly

Dave James Horn ©

The Beast From The East

The weather forecast warned us
Don’t go out or the beast will get ya
Watch out for crashed cars
And a sore arse
They said

And heedless, I went ahead
Survived a few days
But when the ice came
On my feet it was
Just too hard to remain

But the beast was beautiful to
An invitation to share and talk
With strangers from every life and walk
Dropping the personal shield
Hands reaching out across the icy field

Sledging and snowball fights
Giggles and laughs
In this world
It can be a while before
They cross your path

More than this though
An enforced mindfulness
And slowing down
No choice not to take in the cold beauty
And exchange the frown

Some people say
The snow turns life upside down
But then who is to say
That to begin with
We had it the right way around?

Dave James Horn ©

In Between Lives

It’s a curious place to be
Sitting between lives
Like being on small island
Lapped by two different tides
And yet here I am
Just kicking back getting a sun tan

Looking back I can see shipwrecks
And blood specks
The water sits crowded
Simply a mess
I take a sip of my coffee
Appreciate this sunshine and peace

In front of me the water stretches
Calm and unbroken
I ask it for a direction, a token
The wind whispers an unknown tongue
Perhaps one soon to be sung
I greet the uncertainty with a feeling of fun

Some days I sit in the surf
Marvel as my feet float above
The sunken earth
Looking for that wave
Some idea or direction
It’s a reassurance I crave

It hasn’t come yet
But somehow I feel it
A feeling of optimism
Filling my soul
Like air
Fills my lungs

For now though
I’m just sitting
In between lives
With sand between my fingers
As I search through
The possibilities being advertised

Dave James Horn ©