Friday, 15 October 2021



I have been looking at some old poems, lines I wrote over ten years ago and thinking that had I wrote them today they would have been laid out differently. This is a poem I have always liked.

I keep watch

sometimes I am invisible

pass through the crowd unseen

walked into

not noticed


in another life I would have tailed you

noted down your conversation

those you stopped to talk with

reported you for some meaningless infraction

here you bump into me

I am happy not to be seen

out of phase

you do not follow me

I keep watch

You can read the original version here. All I have done is let the poem breathe and removed the rather staid punctuation.

Similarly with this one.

Stripping Woodchip

Even with an industrial strength steamer

the paper will blister and bubble

before flensing under scraper blade.

It will take longer to remove than to fit.

Heavy paste

no worries if the paper stretched

it will cover many things.

In this case institutional green walls

the shade of urinals and forgotten wards.

It seems the whole house was this colour.

Did it comfort the painter

knowing every room was identical?

Was the woodchip a stop gap?

Or an illustration of limited thinking?

There are no pencilled signatures under the coarse paper

no record of identity or belonging.

The job expands and takes forever.

I've changed the odd word. A flensing tool is what was used to peel the fat off dead whales [I know it's disgusting but the image works]. You can read the original here.

I am on a poetry retreat this weekend with the Secret Poets, hopefully I shall have some new poems for you next week. I leave you with Loch Lomond who are recording a new album as I write.

Until next time.

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