Friday 25 October 2019


The farce continues. The crime minister and his puppet master are still trying to convince us that they have the best interests of the country at heart while proposing a reduction in employment rights and offering the NHS on the alter of an American trade deal. This is how desperate and bankrupt their neoliberal philosophy is.
In the midst of this posturing I attended the anti-Brexit march last Saturday. It was heart warming to see so many people protesting against the elite.

I was stood in Marjons quad the other day watching a magpie when this came into my head.

The radiation hurtled out of the sun,
flew fast across space, but still took
seven whole minutes
to touch the atmosphere,
bounce off the magpie in the quad
and into the centre of my eye.

I was stood stock still,
thinking of the flood of light
that rains down on us every day.
Meanwhile the magpie,
having made her point, flew away.

Sometimes physics is just cosmic. I was stood there just thinking of the great spaces between the planets - let alone the stars. God is all around us, beauty is everywhere.
Here's a revision. The previous version was newly minted and I when I looked at it again I saw how it could be improved.

I dreamt you last night
placed us both in fragments
of time and songs
then woke in the darkness
and strove to recall
the poem I was writing
sat on the hillside
in the rain
not getting wet

On Wednesday I saw Boo Hewerdine in Ashburton. He was excellent as always.
Boo has a new album out and it's well worth a listen.
Here he is singing Muddy Water.

Until next time.

Friday 18 October 2019


Sadly this week we are not the only country washing our dirty political linen in the street. As I write there is a general strike in Catalunya. This is a result of the harsh prison sentences handed out to the legally elected government of Catalunya by the arrogant, heavy handed central government in Madrid, who in their wsidom decided that the Catalan government deserved prison sentences of up to thirteen years. My thoughts are with the striking Catalans.
Honestly I do not support Catalunyan independence. I am living amid the chaos of our own ruling party's cack handed attempt to keep itself together, that has caused us to become the joke of Europe. I am in no doubt that Catalunya faces similar chaos but locking people up is not an effective strategy. Nor is loosing the thugs of the Guardia Civil on peacefully demonstrating citizens. 
I was prompted to write this poem after seeing the people being beaten by the police in Barcelona on Tuesday and Thursday. As Isaac Asimov once said: violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

they’ve just gone and dug up Franco
released his miserable spirit
from that cold mausoleum
so now his ghost strides the land

you could tell that yesterday
as the guardia [un]civil
wrapped their batons
around Catalan heads
and the prisoners won’t be let out
not until 2032

I know it's not very good, but it is from the heart. The voice of the people is ignored, while a small groups of opportunists play Three card Monte with democracy. 
Here is a poem whose first line comes from a podcast on dinosaurs. I thought it had potential...

We are drawn to this lump of rock
by its particular shape that speaks to us all.
Once it was a human heart.
We see many such stones these days,
they fall from chest cavities
to litter the corridors of power.
They are a marker for our future,
a sure sign of the coming extinction.

I think the line corridors of power is a little hackneyed. It's a work in progress.
Here are Electrica Dharma with Catalluna.

Until next time.

Friday 11 October 2019


 I think I must be going through a little boom at the moment the Muse is being very generous.
This first poem happened as it says. I did wake up trying to remember the poem I'd written just in a dream.

I dreamt you last night
placed us both in fragments
from meetings and songs
and woke in the darkness
attempting to recall
the poem I had written
sat on that hillside
in the rain
not getting wet

Here's one that arrived in a rush and still needs revision. 

I know that eventually
time will catch up with me
pin me to the bloody floor
in some way I will not like
let alone have foreseen
pay me back in kind
for each night
I crept in with the milk

leave me marooned on a chair
my tongue stuck on repeat

Again it is what it is. There are no hidden layers of meaning.
Sometimes that's ok. 
Oh, creeping in with the milk is something my father used to say when I came home in the small hours. You need to be old enough to remember when milk men delivered milk in bottles very early in the morning. 

Here's me being very vain. Kathryn Williams was amazing. She's on tour at the moment and if you get the chance go and see her. Last Friday was so good. I'm off to see her again on Sunday in Exeter

Until next time.

Friday 4 October 2019


I am going to see Kathryn Williams this evening in Bristol and frankly I can't wait. Given the state of the country at the moment any respite from the posturing of the privileged Jackanapes masquerading as the crime minister is welcome. Whatever happened to honourable politicians?
Two poems this post with a religious slant. The first is a true story. I was walking to Stanza Extravaganza at the Artisan Gallery here in Torquay the other evening when I was stopped by two missionaries. I suspect they were new to the game as it was raining heavily at the time and there was little chance people would wish to discuss theology in such conditions. 

When the rain arrived in heavy soaking curtains
he was stopped by a pair of bright young faces
who burned with the missionary's certainty.
Solemnly they enquired if he believed in God,
if he had received the grace of religion.

He thanked them and said he had.
As a pantheist he could see God’s beauty everywhere
even in the raindrops funnelling around them in the night.
Then they asked about Jesus Christ
and were told he needed no middleman.

This second poem has no clear cause and effect.

all that cynicism slowly chipped away
and him older scarred and weary

the infinity of different versions
meant that one would be a good fit

it was inevitable his disbelief
would transmute into faith

but behind his back
they smiled as he surrendered

The poem arrived pretty much as it is. All I had to do was swap some of the stanzas about and clean up the lines.

I have Rob Chapman to thank for this week's music. His excellent account of psychedelic music Psychedelia and Other Colours introduced me to the Geranium Pond. Only in the 60s!

Until next time.