Friday 28 December 2018


I appear to be writing simple, self-explanatory poems at the moment. It is not part of some strategy merely what is bubbling to the surface.
This poem is no exception.

My Day

scratching the parking permit
I have to ask Ollie the date

and it turns out
you’re one hundred today

the sun still shines
for now the world goes on

later as darkness falls
I will cross Dartmoor

then I will read
how the sea is turning to acid

later still I will toast you
in clear cold water
You can read about the changing state of our oceans here.
The poem is essentially reportage. I wrote it at the end of the day when I was reflecting back on the day's events.
Here's Offa Rex singing The Blackleg Miner. I only heard the album recently, my Decemberists radar must have malfunctioned when the album came out. The song is from the North-East and I first heard Steeleye Span singing it on their debut album. It was made popular by Louis Killen.

Until next time.

Friday 21 December 2018


Happy shortest day. For me this day has special significance, it feels like the start of the new year.
More correfoc photographs this post. I am a sucker for fireworks.
An observational poem. 

lone man in a car
stopped at traffic lights

listen to his music blare
disturb the day

the bass beats at my chest
he looks calm almost bored

amber to green

he pulls away
takes his party with him
As with the last post a pretty straight forward poem. There is something to be said for just writing what you see. The main work comes with the revisions. It's always worth playing about with spacing and exactly where you end lines, carrying an idea onto the next line can alter the pace of the poem.
I came across this concert of Bob Marley from 1979. It's superb. Happy listening.
Until next time.

Monday 17 December 2018


I'm late posting this week due to the festive season and a trip to Widnes to see family.
The photographs are from the Gracia correfoc in Barcelona. It's a celebration of the local saint and I love the bustle and the fireworks. Great fun.
A brief poem.


emotions that turn on a sixpence
boredom to anger in three seconds flat

life must be a tricky, a high wire act
coping with a hair trigger like that

and i’m wondering
when my time will come

you can only look down the barrel of her rage
so many times before it goes off in your face

I honestly have not got much to say about it as I think it speaks for itself.
A good exercise is to just write for a two minutes without stopping and your critical self turned off. Don't reflect on what you are writing just do it and aim to fill at least two sides of paper.
Once you have done so then you can flick the switch and engage your critical facilities and try to make something out of your words. It usually yields something.
I'm still in a Leonard Cohen listening space and here he is.
Until next time.

Friday 7 December 2018


Recently we have started to have our milk delivered in milk bottles just like we used to have in the olden days. Last weekend we were away and decided to put the milk bottles into the freezer. This first prose poem explains why you cannot do that.

I did not realise you cannot freeze milk in a bottle because milk is at least 85% water which expands as it freezes cracking the glass and pushing off the foil top in a frozen explosion

It's one of those poems which are inspired by an image but that do not transcend their connection to that image. 
I occasionally will use an image to provoke a poem. It can be an effective workshop prompt. However the words usually need to be supported by the image, as in this case. 

Sheila’s Poem

as brittle as bone china
ever more fragile
she tells me what she sees
it is not my reality
I welcome her words
attempt to see her reality
I’ve known her half my lifetime
so I can follow the clues
gently we talk
until head bowed seamlessly
she slips into sleep
and the magazine falls from her hand

Since I returned from Barcelona I've been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen. Here he is singing Famous Blue Raincoat, the picture quality isn't brilliant but the music!

Until next time.