Friday 31 December 2021


I began this poem was on the shortest day. The time, I like to believe, that held a significance for our Neolithic Ancestors, the reason they raised stone circles and the other enigmatic structures. I have no proof of this, it just feels right to me. I am drawn to celebrate the shortest day as the beginning of the new solar cycle. But  enough of my beliefs.


even as you seek

the memory

has gone

so you stare at the ceiling

in the darkness

the shortest day calls to you


you will sight that dream fragment

as you turn the steering wheel

too preoccupied

to give it attention

so it flees

is content to taunt your sleep another night

The poem records events as they happened. A tantalising echo on waking and another glimpse as I drove to the beach hut to watch the sunrise. I wrote the first draft after breakfast, literally jotting down a word sketch. The sparseness appealed.

Thanks to bandcamp for this video. I was taken by its beauty, how the music and image combine to offer a different vision. Thanks to Jeff Parker. His album is excellent.

Until next time.

Friday 24 December 2021



Here's a surreal little poem that presented itself as an idea but had to be coaxed into becoming a poem. Many thanks to the Secrets for their perceptive comments and assistance. 

Running on Empty



the page

his words

ran out

and the poem

not even captured

just sentences

in need of scaffolding

he checked his dictionary


blank pages

awaiting a refill

he did not bother the thesaurus

it tutted at him

in that annoying didactic way

he could call out the page side recovery service

but the wait would be an hour or more

besides last time they told him

you need a whole new vocabulary mate

and look at them metaphors

worn away to thin things they are!

perhaps if he made a cup of tea

it might rally the other letters

I liked the idea of words running out like a car runs out of petrol. The idea of a page side recovery service followed on from the breakdown idea. I had difficulty finding an ending. I also liked the idea of the thesaurus being too proud to help. In reality the thesaurus was my life saver.

I think the poem is complete. It shall be put to one side for a while as usual.

Here are The Mountain Goats. Their new live recordings are amazing, you can listen to them here.

Until next time.

Tuesday 21 December 2021

MEADFOOT 21.12.21


Since moving to Torquay four years ago I have not seen the sunrise on the shortest day, this has been partially due to bad weather. Traditionally I would drive to Avebury to celebrate the New Year, but these days it is too far. 

Having a beach hut on Meadfoot Beach is the next best thing. We went down and watched the sun hide behind the clouds. It was high tide and there was quite a swell.

Here's to a better year ahead. Peace, love and unity to you all.

Friday 17 December 2021



Here's a poem about a memory. I did glimpse on the horizon the sea framed between two hills. Actually the last time I was there the weather was too wet to get a photograph!

every morning

term time, early 80s

I looked to the sea

on the horizon

framed by hills

an unequal triangle

grey and distant

so very different

from the Mersey

that I had lived by

after thirty years

of life lived in the lowlands

I again live by the sea

and once in a while

I’ll drive for an hour

and reacquaint myself

with the lopsided symmetry

of that isosceles view

The poem is pretty straight forward and I think it is complete.

It is one of those ones that require to be written down and nothing more. Here is The Lovin' Spoonful, the drummer forgets what song they are supposed to open with!

Until next time.

Friday 10 December 2021


 I have said on more than one occasion that political poems do not stand the test of time. People's memories are too short, events fade, new outrages occur. Here is a poem I have been working on for some time. Thanks must go to the Secrets for their assistance in finally bringing it to the page.

post midnight


I am the unsleeping opposite of wakeful

jaundiced under the petrol station sodium lights

the empty newspaper bins wait

it’s too early for the news

but I know what they will say-

thirty one bodies fished out of the Channel

It concerns the tragic deaths of 31 people attempting to reach this country who drowned in the Channel. We need to sort out a process for accepting refugees and migrants that removes people smugglers and their miserable trade from the equation. My heart goes out to the families of all those who have died. It is a tragedy that the British government is such a heartless propaganda machine which puts placating its new voters above human life.

Now a poem on a lighter subject. An event at the university where I work. 

Just Another Day at Marjons

and we have been tasked with the making of a video

a parody of a parody filmed on a phone in the rain

the wind will steal away your words only to replace them

with the sound of the sea in a shell held to your ear 

I think it explains itself. It did have this second stanza but I think it is unnecessary.

we go inside

shoot scenes in the public rooms

no one stares

stuff like this happen all the time

Here's Lana Del Ray with Chemtrails over the Country Club. 

Until next time.

Friday 3 December 2021



Here is a poem that slowly formed around the idea that memories could be removed from a building when it is refurbished. The poem slowly formed over a week or so. 


before the house sale was agreed

buyers demanded the ghosts be removed

so contractors were appointed, a date set

an amount shaved off the price

and the workers arrived to divest the property

loading reluctant spectres into sealed skips

then driving them away to wherever unwanted memories languish

that ambushing taste on the tongue

a face half glimpsed in the crowd

the 4am telephone that rings and rings and rings

The last line of a poem can, when you have read it, make you reconsider the whole poem. This is what I wanted to achieve with this poem. I wanted to recall the feeling of the landline ringing in the night. It happened to me on occasion when I lived moved house. The landline telephone was similar to a delivery company and I would get calls in the night.

Here's Sault with Bitter Streets.

Until next time.