Friday, 28 November 2014


Today's post comes from a Juncture 25 workshop. We meet twice a month and the second meeting is always a workshop. This time Gram Davies led us in an exercise he'd seen used by poet Kei Miller
The task was to write a number of random words on individual pieces of paper, then to swap them with the other poets, who wrote definitions on other pieces of paper. The idea was to have a list of words and juxtaposed definitions. We then had 45 minutes to turn this material into a poem.
I decided to try and write a poem using the definitions. here is a further revised draft.

When this life is not as you wished
and a shadow hangs heavy over your heart,
let me be your signpost. For
don't we all not sparkle brighter than
this light that falls upon us?
Please don't let this combination of skin, blood and bone fool you.
We are a fabulous idea shaken from the brow of God.
We are incandescent,
as bright as the stars that bequeathed us are atoms.  
This is the draft from the workshop. The words in italics were the ones I lifted from the exercise.

When this life is not what you wished for
and a shadow hangs over your heart,
then you live a life of dread.
I will be your signpost, point you in the right direction
for do we not sparkle brighter than the light that falls on us?
Are we not fabulous ideas shaken from the brow of God?
Do not be fooled by this combination of skin, blood and muscle,
we were created from the condensation of water at great heights.
We are incandescent, as bright as the stars that gave us these atoms.

It illustrates, I think, the power of revision. Yes, I know, I harp on about the importance of revision all the time.

I leave you with Kai Miller.

Friday, 21 November 2014


One poem again this post, and it's a work in progress. I'd be interested to know what you make of it.
reflection on a bad second marriage

think of it as a plane crash or a train wreck
any image where two complex mechanisms collide head on
no one will die but expect damage
do not underestimate it
this is a life changing event
you will be alone in the detritus
or if especially unlucky
the other will attempt to cling and suck out your life
you must devise your own escape method
find a path through the debris
you will get out eventually
try to do so with dignity

remember you need never visit this source of misery again
not even to write a poem
Here is the Albion Country Band-in their first and best incarnation.
On a less jaded note here's Liz Lawrence's video of the Bedroom Hero tour- the gimlet eyed amongst you may fleetingly clock me amidst the cast of thousands.

Friday, 14 November 2014


A small poem I have just completed- well the latest draft. it needs a little more work.

I hide crouched in a toilet cubicle until you
lock the doors, secure the building,
and return to wherever it is you came from.
Solitary now, I will wander,
my chance to view each room as they should be beheld,
clear, silent, with moonlight silvering the floors.
Burglar alarm silent I creep across the parquet,
socks shining a trail none will notice.
All this I explore until dawn brings cleaners
sleepy from dreams of better times
[when they could remain in their beds].
As they enter, I slip out, to resume someone else's life
It came quite quickly last night and I spent part of the morning trying to get it into a coherent form.
Here's a revised version of a poem from a a few posts back.

George Adamski's in the Pontiac's back seat,
the driver is from Saturn, next to George sits
a Venusian, who bigs up the mundane, claims
to love tv and be just like we are.
He feeds the con man a white bread vision, the solar system
as some banal B-movie town.
Old George for his part, keeps silent about
the flying saucer he's building in the garage.
You see, he needs something people will buy in to,
when he stands in front of paying audiences,
not even his honest eyes can quite swing it.
So he will make that chicken incubator heat
lamp housing fly on film. The Venusian
doesn't care that his world is a nightmare of
green house gasses gone made. That'll come out later,
-just tell the earthlings what they want to hear
and everyone's happy, save Amelia Earhart. Who is either
a housewife hitting the highballs at eleven am. Or
an incomplete set of bones on a Pacific island.
You takes your pick-some realities are much more fun than others.
I leave you with the wonderful Kevin Ayers from 1972. 

Friday, 7 November 2014


A couple of small poems this post. 

save for the red tail light of a vehicle
an unmeasurable distance in front
the rain has washed all colour from his world
he had to run to the car in the downpour
his hair is now the tincture of the spray
and his shirt a flood damaged watercolour
sky and motorway merged some time ago
this journey will not end
he navigates eternity

I took the idea from something my wife said as we drove in the rain. I am not sure it is complete
Here is the watch.
And here is the poem.

my analogue watch
much repaired
made in russia
by chance
this once
mirrors the digital time projected on to the wall
it will not last
gears and entropy
will for it and for me

It probably fits into the sequence I have been writing for the past couple of years about returning to my old university. 

Here is Anna Terheim and Calexico