Sunday 10 November 2013


Last week I had the privilege of participating in a science lesson for student teachers. I really enjoyed it. We undertook scientific investigation of a balloon filled with frozen water. Needless to say this activity sparked a poem:

Science Lesson

Straight out the fridge,
frozen three days solid,
dappled moisture on stretched skin.
What could it contain?
Don’t touch – use your eyes…
We are adults, ahead of the game,
it’s an ice balloon. A lob sided sphere.
Eager hands strip the plastic membrane,
static air pockets litter the depths,
picked out in the diffused flashlight.
Before being told I am photographing this world,
deciding which filter best suits.
Now sprinkle the salt, slowly…
and that sound as bubbles crack.
The curve flattens, the salt pulls it down,

too soon we are hurried on to the next session.

I am not sure that I have quite caught the dynamic of event, and the wonder of the torchlight illuminating the ice globe. What do you think?

I have also been revising a poem:

In the big blue bowl lie blackcurrants,
it is between us,
the place to fix my eye,
as reluctantly I listen.

Your hands comb these cobbles,
collect stalk and leaf.
We walk around your puzzlement,
you talk to make it sense.
The arguments…the silence…

You hold a large blackcurrant,
I imagine it an ivory ball,
You have placed your bet
the wheel spins,
don’t you know the house always wins?

Can you spot the difference? Silences has become silence and the last line in the first stanza has been removed. It was saying the same thing as the fourth line so for me the poem works without the line, so the line goes.

I think that my writing methods have changed recently. I usually get an idea and write it down there and then, returning to it to shape it over a period of time. But lately I have been carrying the idea, the kernel of the poem, around in my head and trying to look at it form a number of different directions before I write anything down. This isn’t a conscious decision it just seems right for the poems I am working on at the moment-time will tell.

I leave you this week with footage of Terry Allen singing Emergency Blood Courier- from his latest album. Enjoy.


  1. Well, I like your stuff!!! And I work this way...mulling over ideas until the next bit of the book emerges.

  2. Thanks Carol- i am pleased you like it. Thank you for your support.