Friday 24 April 2020


A poem about a dream that I did not dream.
It arrived obliquely when I was thinking of something else. 

as I slept
I lived underwater

no longer earthbound
cast free as a fish in blue currents

I swam through REM and
awoke with the sun

my body strangely weighted
beached in tangled sheets

Thanks must go to the Secret Poets once again for helping me tidy it up.
I hope you are keeping safe and well during this troubling time.
Here is Electrica Dharma as yesterday was San Jordi in Catalonya.

Until next time.

Friday 17 April 2020


Thanks to the wonders of modern technology [Zoom] I was able to chat with the Secret Poets this week. It was a tonic to talk poetry for a couple of hours. 
With their help I was able to revise a number of poems including the one from the last post.

Walking in Crystal Palace

unexpectedly an iguanodon

take in its botched anatomy
how it sadly sheds its concrete skin

nothing that ever lived looked like this
truly it is a terrible lizard

Hopefully it is clear. There was some discussion as to whether people would know that there are Victorian dinosaur sculptures in the park. I am trusting the erudition of my audience.
The other change is the layout which allows the poem to breathe.

This is a new poem, hopefully self-explanatory.

Torquay 27.3.20.

I watch the empty bus
the last one of the night
indicate then turn left
the driver lost in his own thoughts

in the daylight hours I never see
more one passenger per bus
but as the sun falls
who would want to be Harbourside
in that cold wind
in this empty town

The photographs are all from Deal Fun Fair a number of years ago.

I've been listening to Graham Nash a lot recently. I think it started because I'd read Pete Doggert's book about CSNY.
Here's This Path Tonight.

Until next time.

Friday 10 April 2020


These ferocious chaps are supposed to be Iguanodons. You can find them in Crystal Palace in London.  They were constructed in 1852/5 for the Great Exhibition. Sadly they are now in need of repair
Dinosaurs were named by Robert Owen in 1842 and the name means "terrible lizard." In those days all dinosaurs were imagined as large, lumbering lizards, cold blooded and not the sleek, feathered wonders we know of today. 
When these models were made they thought the thumb spur was a horn on their nose. 
I mention all of this as background to the following poem.
It arises from a prompt from those wonderful people at #iamallstories. The prompt asked me to cut a poem in half and complete either half. I chose to cut the poem vertically and see what I could do with it. You can read the original here. I was never happy with it.
Dissected it looked like this:

A car with                                  one headlight,
the near                                     near side,
fitful, flickering                           at best.
Unexpectedly butterfingered      when it came to love,
dyspraxic                                                       even,
he dropped                                 dropped hearts.
Women remained an                    irrelevance to him,
men fared                                       no better,
a human                                                solvent
he sundered                                      ties expediently,
so the path of his life                was strewn with debris,
disgruntled                                        ex-lovers,
metaphorical corpses with too      real knives in their backs.
But how he                                         he can talk,
silver haired,                                        silver tongued
dangerous.                                             Dangerous.
An iguana basking                            in the flash light glare.

Upon reflection I came up with this:

A car with the doors open
the nearside indicator’s
fitful flickering winds down the battery
unexpectedly butterfingered, self conscious,
he dropped his act.
Women remained a mystery,
men fared worse.
A human cold fish
he sundered all ties
and the trajectory of his life
came down to a big car
nowhere to go and no one to go with.

Which is ok but nothing special. 
However the iguana set me thinking of dinosaurs which in turn led to this:

Crystal Palace Blues

unexpectedly an iguanodon
take in its botched anatomy
how it sadly sheds its concrete skin
nothing that ever lived looked like this
truly it is a terrible lizard

I think it works, but you need to know what dinosaur means to get the payoff.
This is what I've been doing all week and listening to music. 
Here is Laura Nyro.

Until next time.

Friday 3 April 2020


I  wrote this post's poem in response to a prompt from #iamallstories, a creative project that offered people 31 envelopes, each with a different prompt. I have to say I am enjoying the challenges of the envelopes. 

This particular prompt was:

What were we thinking when we wrote this prompt?

he holds up a mirror
tells me to look in the glass
left is right and I’m left handed
secure in my penmanship
even if I cannot read half of what I write

this could be the counter earth
always half a hidden orbit ahead
the other side of the sun
right is left and I favour the right now

so I’m looking for a second mirror
to make it all better again
hoping to avoid that infinity thing
left is right is left is right is
all too much for me

so I stare and stare
and normalise what I see
a man in a mirror
looking back at me

I suppose I could have been paranoid, thinking that whatever I wrote would reveal something hidden of me, but every act of creation does that. 
There will be more poems from these prompts later.

I was listening to Murray Head recently. Here's a recent version of his big hit.

Until next time.