Friday 26 February 2016


 The poem in this post is half a poem and arose from that place where ideas reside- the Oort Cloud of poems. It began with [what has become] the third line. I liked the idea of the child of a poet being used to their parent being distracted.
I then thought that the distraction might be due to a cooling of passion, which in turn led me to this image of a beach where the tide has gone out. I know two seaside towns famed for their distant oceans Southport in the Northwest of England and Western Super Mare in the South-west. Southport won out due to the brevity of its name.

Like the waves on Southport beach,
his ardour ebbed away,
and though the sea occasionally returned
his appetite did not.
She was used to preoccupied looks,
her mother, after all, had been a poet.
She mapped this retreat of passion,
an ugly algorithm, but accurate.
That is a far as I have got with it. 
I have attempted to expand his unfaithfulness but, as of yet, it does not ring true.
This second poem is far more serious. I have been working on it for sometime and it is not complete. 
I give it to you as it stands.

The wind tunnels about us
and I should have brought a coat.
The third pint greases our conversation,
but what exactly is it you are saying?
I can take the world conspiracy - usually.
Now I listen to the sound of you mangling history,
making it hard to swallow.

The beer lubricates your thought,
gives you a slick argument,
as you hop from here to where?
I am at the border,
you want me to cross,
to be in as deep as you.
But your illogical seven league boots
have carried you beyond the truth.

A newsreel plays in my head
its January 1945.
The Soviet Army liberates Auschwitz.
Hollywood trickery you hastily add.
Through my eyes six million people stare at you.
A gulf that your new world order cannot bridge.

It's time to take sides.
I stand with the dead.
Here are the Mountain Goats live in concert.

Friday 19 February 2016


"Obs" is an abbreviation of observation. On certain hospital wards some patients may have 1:1 staffing due to concern that the patient may self-harm. 
I think that is all the introduction needed for this poem:

First Day on Obs.

She would have if she could.
The other nods, exhales grey clouds.
They sit in the garden area, inside a hexagonal, perspex cabin.
Their air is thick, and heavy and obscures them.

She had planned on not being here today.
Things hadn't turned out as she wanted,
pulled back to this ward, to this world.
She is still here, the other nods.

The ember reaches the once white filter.
A last suck on nothing.
She discards it in the concrete, plant pot ashtray.
She will sleep through the television afternoon.
This poem has been through a number of revisions and has been totally restructured. In the process it has become shorter and I hope more atmospheric. Thanks to both the Secret Poets and Juncture 25 for their constructive feedback. If we are to grow as writers we need to share our work with others and listen to what is said.
Here's Les Illes by Maria Del Mar Bonet. Enjoy.

Thursday 11 February 2016


A light poem this post.
As I seem to be saying about every poem lately, I don't think this is the final draft, but hey work in progress is good.


It was the end of history.
An academic told him, just before
she punched the vice principal in the face,
shouting how it was her fault
that education had gone to the dogs.

He walked outside.

The sky was still the sky,
blue, as it happened that day.
A deep blue, vast and infinite.
The earth, though bruised,
offered up green shoots.
The air smelt of smoke,
possibly because the university was a flame.

He walked away,
                into the perpetual now.
T.I.N.A. is short for There is no alternative,  a popular excuse for the excesses of globalisation used by those neoliberals who would hoodwink us at every opportunity.
Trying to limit or define the world and humanity only highlights narrowness of our own mental processes.
I leave you with Father John Misty admitting he is Bored in the USA.