Friday 27 April 2018


I  don't know why this poem has lingered in the shadows for as long as it has. I wrote it after going to Lisbon last year and it lay in the pages of a notebook for far too long. Always a good idea to check through notebooks on a weekly basis.


Once more
the water called to him
to renew their pact;
a life on the ocean,
beyond the horizon,
past the smudge of land and dust.

It was a repeating dream:
The Lisbon waterfront,
early in the dawn,
he walks to the cathedral,
gives thanks for his son’s birth
after the great earthquake.

If he does not heed the salt water’s song
he will not visit that city
until he is past thirty.
Catching first sight of the cathedral,
an echo, nothing more,
soon replaced by stone and mortar.

Few of us make the right choice.
I make reference to the Great Earthquake of 1755. At this moment in time I am not sure the poem needs it but I wanted to emphasise the idea of reincarnation. Though this may be served well enough in the first stanza.
The idea for the poem came from the notion that perhaps some contracts/relationships stretch over several life times.
Sadly I missed Brooke Sharkey on Saturday when she played Exeter. Here's a video as recompense.
Until next time.

Friday 20 April 2018


A couple of poems I wrote in Australia while sitting on trams. 
I am an habitual people watcher and the discipline of writing what you see can lead to some interesting results. I tend to use reality as a starting point and let the words take me where they will.

Two Tram Poems

Surrounded by the familiar,
dashboard, rear view mirror,
a steering wheel to add percussion,
she waits to turn left in her little silver car.

She sings along to the sound system,
full volume,
full expression,
and with hand movements.

I’m on the tram, watching,
sat next to a man with a beard.
We are as far apart
as the limited space permits.

There is little chance we shall follow her example
and burst forth in two part harmony.

In a grip like a hydraulic car crusher
she breaks the book’s spine.
I can almost hear the words plead for mercy,
then count the seconds between
her hand slapping the pages over,
each devoured in seconds.
Does she speed read?
Is this how she approaches life
as a thing to be subdued?
She dog ears the page,
exits the tram,
to take her place in the arena.
I don't have much to say about either poem. They are flights of fancy whilst sitting on the tram. 
Since my return I have been working on a number of ideas that I jotted down when away. Watch this space.
Here's some more Anna Ternheim.
And here's Holding On. The video is notable for the gawking, laughing people in the background.
Until next time.

Friday 13 April 2018


I  have been travelling for the past month in Australia. More on that in later posts. Here is a poem about cosmology and dysfunctional people. 

Split seconds after that Big Bang,
it all flew apart,
glad to be free from the nose to toe compression,
in that constricting cosmic egg of everything,
pushing the envelope ever outwards,
Red Shift in its wake.

This my radio tells me, explaining the science of creation
so that even the likes of me can grasp the magnitude of the event.

Then we are on to possible parallel universes.
Either the infinite yo-yoing of matter,
that creates one universe after another,
or fast/slow bubbles,
each a meta-galaxy replete with its own physical laws.

Some people live their whole lives in such places.
I know this for a fact as I was once a tourist,
spent four years in such a reality.
It was easy enough to cross over,
even though there were no guide books.
I had more difficulty getting back
but managed it in the end.

In my ear the cosmologists
continue to debate,
who’s right and why,
it doesn’t matter to you,
burdened, as you are,
by things you can never let go of.
I only discovered on my return that Tom Rapp had died. Tom who? You might not know the name but for me in the middle to late 70's he was a life saver. 
I have talked before about Pearls Before Swine and their 60's masterpiece Balaclava, but there was more to Tom Rapp than this lp. 
Tom had founded PBS back in 1966 and made 2 lps for the ESP label. He received no financial remuneration for either record. He went on to produce a further 4 for Reprise. Among these gems was The Use of Ashes, one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear. The City of Gold lp was a revelation to me, so beautiful, fragile and offering another worldly view of life. Needless to say I acquired my copies of these lps from bargain bins in the mid 70's. 
The first music I heard by Tom was from his first solo album Stardancer, I think it is still one of my favourite lps. 
I do not want to recite the facts of his life, you can read those anywhere, all of the links in this blog will take you to better written articles than this.
I however want to thank Tom Rapp for his songs and recordings. He brought illumination into my life and I give thanks for that.
This is Another Time, a song about reincarnation.
This is The Jeweller.
For The Dead In Space.
Prayers of Action. OK, this might be a tad over produced but it's still an amazing song.
Oh children don't you weep if the road is long, all of us are prayers of action, on our way to God...

Friday 6 April 2018


I've been pondering this poem for time. It's part of a long work I have yet to write, hence my shilly-shallying about posting it. To be honest i have only a vague idea of how it ends.
It arose from a line about Fredrick Street, a real street in Widnes- if you care to look it up on Google. The line originally was about rain falling in Fredrick Street and it grew into this:

Regime Change

Just after it's always the same
the false calm of people attempting to be normal
to the soundtrack of glass being swept up,

Then the round up began.
Door to door down Fredrick Street.
Silent, sullen men,
wrists locked in plastic ties,
like so much messy cabling,
pushed onto the road,
pulled aboard lorries.

She was released on a Monday morning
cell opened and told to go.
She'd been picked up at a checkpoint.
Red flagged - the conclusion
of a sequence of random questions,
turned out she had previous.

Contained, she had waited badly,
paced the dimensions of the cage.
In that she was not alone
Mixed up in the first harvest of suspects.
Some stood a chance,
other hadn't a hope in hell.
But she was released
and to begin with she couldn't leave the cell.
I'd be interested in what you make of it. I suppose it's watch this space for updates.
Here is a track of the upcoming album from the wondrous Ryley Walker. Please support this unique artist by buying his records and going to see him live.
You can download a concert from 2015 here for free.
Until the next time.