Friday 26 March 2021



A  new poem. 

The phrase memory jogger arrived in my head and the poem constructed itself around it.

rubber banded

there was a memory jogger

buried deep

in the language of the book

and it hurled him back in time

to gaze upon his younger self

a small thing, half formed

with many miles before him

Rubber banding is a Transactional Analysis term for the experience of being catapulted back into a past trauma. In a split second you are back experiencing the heightened emotions of the event. It seemed like a good title [for once].

I had been talking with a friend on the telephone and he described how he had been reading a book set in Scotland. Some of the dialect words and phrasing took him back to his childhood, he had spent his formative years in the Lowlands. 

For once I did not think there was a poem in his words but the next morning I wrote the first draft. A slow burner.

The marvelously talented Annabelle Chvostek has a new album out today [26.3.21]! You can buy it here. She has been working with a stellar cast of Uruguayan musicians and drawing inspiration from both her own East European heritage and art of the tango. The tracks already released are wonderful, you can watch them here.

 I leave you with the latest video Come Back.

Until next time.

Friday 19 March 2021



Here is a revised poem about sleeping and the chance to dream. I was not happy with the end of the last version. The final line, I realised, I had used once before, many years ago. I did not feel comfortable recycling myself.

Also the Secret Poets suggested removing the numbers that demarcated each section. In truth as soon as I read it aloud I realised the numbers had to go. Thank you Secrets.

the night in five segments

hypnagogic patterns

or people endlessly morphing

projected on the cave wall of my skull

always I wonder if I’ve seen them before

weigh their significance

fall into the black


but for not as long

as you might expect

just one hour or two

hydrangeas flood the house with the smell of winter

the night is still


so I don’t look at my hands

though there is something I must do

this buzzing internal puzzle

I walk through that door and

am under the ocean


awake at three or four

this house a dreamscape

the floor boards in the bathroom

wooden warm smooth

the tree dances in the street light


this final waking

in the winter’s miserly light

ritual begins

the rich day waits

at the kitchen table

I think it works now.

I had forgot one of my rules- always read the poem aloud. If it does not sound right then it is wrong and requires redrafting.

I seem to have gotten over my dry period, I am glad to say. A new poem next post.

Anna Ternheim has been releasing acoustic versions of songs from her last album recently. Here's When You Were Mine.

Until next time.

Friday 12 March 2021


A revised poem again this post. 

To be honest I am finding it difficult to write at the moment. I am managing to revise though.

You can read the last version of this poem here.

Wallshill summer 2020

the three of them


by the wire fence

by the flowers

by the memories

by the sign that reads

Danger Crumbling Cliffs

the other side is all space

and sea and rocks

they take in the parked cruise ship

waiting it out in Lyme Bay

the views are amazing he tells them

you only live once 

and like the gentleman he is

he parts the wires

so they can limbo through

doesn’t matter if you die

I have changed the final stanza around. Moving some of the man's conversation until after the three clamber through the fence.

I discussed the poem with the Secret Poets and we agreed that moving the final line of dialogue and making it the last line heightened the tension, making it somehow more final, a conclusion.

Brooke Sharkey has just played a concert at Green Note and it has a limited viewing period. If you watch it and I advise you to, Brooke is superb, as always, then please donate via Paypal. Musicians are suffering terribly at the moment.

I leave you with Brooke.

Until next time.

Friday 5 March 2021



Another revised poem. 

You can read the last version here.

After The Pilgrimage

Cape Finesterre

finally the fire caught

aided in no small part

by the razor wind

that cut across the beach

we watched the clothes we had worn

all those long miles to Santiago burn

then looking beyond the sea

to where our former lives waited

no one spoke

Discussing the poem with the Secret Poets, they felt that the poem was more understandable once you knew that the narrator had been on a pilgrimage to Santiago. 

As we discussed the poem it became clear that the penultimate line was unnecessary. Small changes but hopefully they increase understanding. 

The talented Annabelle Chvostek has just released a third single to herald her new album.

Until next time.