Friday 26 April 2019


I cannot remember where I took this photograph, or if it is the chair, the head or the fez that was £28. The scene just called out to be photographed.
A revised poem. You can read the earlier version here.

Human Geology

the band crank it out, urgent, loud,
such a brief time to impress

below them hands in the air
almost a single mass of flesh
caught up in their moment

others further away
drink, talk, laugh, vape
the festival the backdrop to their private dramas

unnoticed in viz-vests
people paid by the hour,
stoop to collect cans into plastic bags

I know that when I last revised it I was concerned with layout and this time I have let the poem breathe more. It can be illuminating to play with layout. I think you have to live with a poem for some time before it reveals its true shape.
This next poem wrote itself. It is what I would call a character poem, rather than a poem based on experience.
so he gets older
his ghosts draw closer
elbow each other aside
hurl memories into his face
his life is far from calm
there can be no plain sailing through the storm

throughout his waking hours
his consciousness is wearing riot gear
the city of his self burns through the night
dreams are one long firefight
in this present one

he pretends he does not know the rules
but you too would deny all knowledge
with the muzzle in your face
more cold than interstellar space
and dawn five hours distant

It came as a series of images that I wrote down and linked later. Then I left it undisturbed for a couple of months. It is not yet complete.
This week I have been listening to lots of jazz. I think that could be my default setting these days, but here is something different.
I've long been a fan of Traffic and I've just found this video of Steve Winwood from 2012.

Until next time.

Friday 19 April 2019


Last Saturday I was staying with friends in Lancaster. I awoke in the middle of the night and saw the moon. I took a photograph of the scene and was inspired to write this.

a calm moon
over the railway signals
against the darkest of blue skies
as the world turns
I give thanks 

Another short poem. I had been working on something longer but was getting bogged down because the poem wasn't working. I salvaged this.

he will leave her
two years later
for someone younger
and she will ask me why she did it
shaped herself to fit his world
and I will have no answer

I think it stands alone.
Here's a video from the legendary Annabelle Chvostek. It's wonderful to have a new video and rumour has it she has been recording recently. 

Until next time.

Friday 12 April 2019


The Brownshill Dolmen allegedly has the largest cap stone in Europe. It is very impressive, especially when you are standing in the centre space.
I was in Ireland last week and on the way back to Dublin airport I stopped to visit the site.
I have been pondering the heat death of the universe since I was a teenager reading New Worlds. I blame Michael Moorcock!
This is a the long way round to explaining the title of this post.

Quartz Inaccuracy

the house at Kilrossanty
is a space of stopped clocks
two or three to each room

in the kitchen
a second hand spasms
like a dead frog’s leg
wired to a failing battery

entropy writ large

I also wrote this little piece.

the wineglass I was just about to use I realise cups the sticky residue of its last drink
how long has it waited in the darkness of the cupboard for this moment?

It arose from actually finding a dirty wineglass in the cupboard of the house we were renting. 
I was listening to a lot of Sufjan Stevens while I was away so here is a beautiful song. 
Until next time.

Friday 5 April 2019


As usual the photographs bear no connection to the poem.
This time a revised poem. You can read the earlier draft here.

he walks down the street
going to the supermarket
in his hands
bag and shopping list
but in his head
- an asteroid is towed towards Metaluna
the magnetic field glows, bright red and
he’s looking Eli Wallach in the eye
We deal in lead mister
while the boat burns
as the black bird disappears
then she’s just taken that photograph
the one of the last supper
with the camera her mother gave her
and the feathers fall
almost drifting out of the silvered screen
he’s watching her face
something has changed
the impatient world interrupts
and now he must choose a cabbage
as the onions clamour for his attention

Essentially the punctuation has been removed but is is the better for that.
This second poem has had the layout changed from the first draft
Thanks to the Secret Poets for their insightful feedback.
A couple of superfluous words have been removed  and one line rewritten.

Poem for Sheila

brittle as bone china
ever more fragile
she tells me what she sees
it is not my reality

I am glad she is talking
attempt to see her reality
I’ve known her half my lifetime
so I can follow the clues

gently we talk
until head bowed
she slips into sleep
the magazine falls from her hand

We had a discussion about whether the word brittle was suitable because it could be interpreted as implying hardness, which is the last word I would use to describe Sheila. It has stayed in the poem. Our thoughts are still with Ryley Walker. Get better soon.

 Until next time.