Friday, 8 April 2016


I am just back from a trip to Madrid and Barcelona.
I was sat in a square in Madrid in the bright sunshine, enjoying a drink and watching the people around me.
There was one young man who slowly savoured a glass of beer while he read a thick paperback novel. When he was approached by a young woman he knew, he came alive. They walked off deep in each others company.
A musician was playing the clarinet, and before him, a man had played the guitar for whatever coins the people saw fit to give him.
A group of men at the edge of the square were drinking from beer cans and talking.
Two pigeons bisected the air overhead and no one looked up from the details of their lives to see them.
This is the genesis of the poem. 

Madrid, 29 March, 2016

This square has no statue.
His too short trousers flash blue socks,
he does not care, she is with him,
his arm tentatively across her shoulders.
Two women serious faced,
discuss disillusionment.
Peripheral men lean on the waste bin,
shooting the shit in stained clothes,
drink beer in warm tins.
They do not spill one drop.
Synthesised music accompanies the clarinettist,
as he attempts to entertain for small change.
Overhead two pigeons turn on a cent,
right angling the still air.
No one looks up.
It was a productive trip and I am at work on shaping the drafts I jotted down whilst abroad.
I've just downloaded Laura Gibson's new album Empire Builder. Here's the title track.


  1. You don't dress it up do you Paul. Off-hand geometry gets the measure of the immeasurable. No showy back-flips just the thing itself pure in a vacuum of the moment to suck in the curious.

    Love the Empire Builder - always love the "On the road" feel to big sky American art. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Oscar, your opinion is valued, as ever.
      Laura is touring UK [briefly next week] Manchester and London- well worth catching. Live she's tremendous.
      So glad you are writing again.