Friday 23 November 2012


One of our plots is on the left, after the shed, you can see the wood of the raised bed floating.

This week has been wet, very wet in fact, and the poor allotment has suffered a second flooding of the year. The problem apart from there being too much rain is that the wet summer has left the soil saturated and any further rain was bound to cause flooding.

 As you can see the flooding is even worse than last time. I tell you next year I am growing rice.

I was at my old university this week during the down pour and the best line I could come up with was:

Sheets of rain curtain down the drive

But I could not manage to link it up with any of the other things I had been writing. Such is poetry, it will go into the box of lines that I dip into now and again.

I have been writing a short story in the CO2 sequence, it has been weaving through a number of forms. I originally wanted it to be a set of official documents with the story weaving through them, it seems to be transforming into a third person narrative. I am unsure at the moment how many of the documents I’ve already completed will make it into the story. That is one of the joys of writing, don’t you think, the unexpected paths that you end up taking.

While waiting for the water to fall and hoping it does not reach the broad beans and peas which are just now spring above the soil (if you plant them in the autumn then you can harvest them before the black fly infest them, for all you keen gardeners out there), I wrote a poem for my old tutor.

Disturbed by the building work,
The ghost of my old professor
Skulks about the stacks,
Loiters by the books he ordered
-the few that remain,
Those authors he claimed to have known.
I just saw him,
As bored and fretful as if at a fresher’s fair.
I fucked up like he did;
For years he fought top corridor,
All for nothing, he cannot leave this place.
Management are having the last laugh.
I see him now, transparent in the fluorescent light.
I realise he will be here
Beyond the yellowing of the pages.

Magpies in the Quad

Magpies in the quad
bold as brass but more beautiful
they seem to welcome me back

some things never change

I’d be interested what you make of the first poem, let me know. 


  1. I was wondering if you were afloat down there. Much the same here in Hampshire I'm afraid. I like your poem. It has a kind of dusty sadness about it. 'Those authors he claimed to have known' Maybe he knew them or not I guess, but there is a sadness in the idea that one is enhanced (or not) by the touching of hems. I also like that idea of that slight seediness of fluorescent light placed close to the word 'Management'. It creates that atmosphere of pragmatic banality which pervades our mortality. The theme is completed in the yellowing pages.

  2. Thanks Oscar. I think the poem came about because someone asked me who had been there when I was and it turned they had all left, and this particular one was dead. As you say, he could have known the authors, at the time I don't think I cared. It was strange seeing the physical remains of his lifes work, a group of yellowing books.