Saturday 31 December 2011


I thought it would be good to end the year with some poetry, CO2 will be back next week. I have just finished writing the preview issue, there were a number of changes needed and it was interesting to expand on what I had previously written.

Here is another of the Road Poems series. I think it is reasonably straightforward:

We had trouble with the sun
That evening you drove to the cape,
The contoured coast transformed,
To light or darkness
As the car climbed and fell.
We stood and gawped
As the ground turned.
The regular illusion,
Of the sun seeming to set
On a spirit-level ocean.
Later, we ate in Vejer,
By the old town square.
The electric failed
And the fossilised light of far stars
Guided us home.

This one was inspired by a night out in Lisbon with some of my wife’s work colleagues.
7. 2 a.m. Trams, Lisbon 2009

They stand so empty
Half way down the hill
Stolid in the sodium light
Children’s toys preserved then abandoned
The Dutch Club in question in this next poem is the one in Singapore, my friends are members and I was lucky enough to visit again it is self explanatory:
9. Night Swimming at the Dutch Club
The placid mirror fragments,
Water triangles, shards of the sky
Pink with city overspill,
Jumbled lines of the bar,
Cracked blue neon,
Kaleidoscope by.

Now the universe is me
Moving, slowly through deep water

This last one I wrote for my Mother, sometime after she had died. It may require an explanation, in the days when people drank loose tea there was a superstition that the future could be divined from the shape of the tea leaves left in the cup once the tea had been drunk. Ok, you know this already, we used to drink Co-op Indian Prince which was a strong Assam-not sure if you can still get it. I still drink loose tea, I usually place some leaves in the cup and pour the hot water directly onto them-though I do not attempt to read my future. Most quality tea will take two or more re-infusions. Oh, a Woodbine is an old make of cigarette, all through my childhood both my parents smoked.
Poem For My Mother
It is autumn,
The fire is alight,
The world is fine.
Scan the tea leaves,
Darjeeling dust,
Coral in a white cup,
And I am small again,
My mother reads the future in
Co-Op Indian Prince Assam.
She smiles tells of omens,
Then lights a Woodbine.
She knows the worst this world can do,
In this terrace we huddle,
Behind the red bricks,
Behind this tealeaf dam.

It is autumn,
The fire alight,
The world is fine.

It’s no longer autumn -tomorrow is the calendar New Year- may it bring you happiness.


  1. Hi Paul, stopping in to wish you a Happy New Year... and many happy travels and new poems!

    Thanks for giving SWS to your daughter for Christmas. I'm glad she enjoyed it!

  2. My favorite line is "the fossilised light of far stars." What an amazing way to put it. I really like that.

  3. Doralynn: Happy New Year to you too. I intend to read SWS myself now.
    MSMariah: Thanks I'm glad you like the line.

  4. This was beautiful! I loved your poems. I didn't know that about the tea leaves. I stopped in a fancy tea store once and had to emerge with about two tea leaves because I couldn't afford anymore. Tea is big business! I had always gotten the tea at the grocery store and didn't realize it could get so costly.

    On another note, and I am sorry to post this on your blog, but I couldn't find your contact information, I want to apologize to you. I offended you on my last blog post and I am sorry for that. I didn't grow up with money, still don't have it and my mother grew up very poor. I went to a lower class high school, lived in a neighborhood that was on the "other side of the tracks" and visited family that lived in more run-down conditions than I had. The deal with Compton is that people are proud of their town, as they should be. So, I was just exploring the town they tout in hip-hop songs left and right. The deal with humor is that it never strikes every one the same and it offends some. Since I am not, by any means, well-off, I almost feel like it is self-deprecating humor. My town is probably a lot like Compton! Either way, you found it offensive and I am so sorry for that. I hope that is the last time I write something that makes you feel sad. :(

  5. Very nice! I'm nothing of a poet, unless you like cheesiness. Awesome way to start the new year on your blog. Look forward to more.

  6. Hi Kelley: Thank you for writing. I did not mean to upset you either, I think the post just struck a chord with me in a different way.

  7. David: Thank you-I also do a good line in cheesiness too!

  8. Wonderful poems. I especially like the last one!

    I hope you have a great 2012!

  9. Thank you Aguilar and Happy New Year to you.
    Golden Eagle: Thanks, I haven't written many poems about my mother and I think this captures her as I remember her.