Friday 25 March 2022


I occasionally wake in the night with a poem half formed in my head. I usually get out of bed and write them down but do not turn on a light in case I disturb  the household. The poem in this post came about when I was sat in the dark writing and yes I did see a man on a bicycle wobble by.

the muse calls me from my bed

to sit in the dark and write out my dream

in wide spaced words on blank white paper

its 4:30 am no car goes past outside

then wobbling in the tail end of the storm

a man weaves along the road

no lights on his bike I note

and from the way he steers

no exact idea of where to go

he executes a sudden turn right

and when I look up again

I take in the emptiness of the night

I think it works as reportage, but I am unsure of the final line [although confident enough to use it as the title of the post...]. Your guess is as good as mine as to where he was going to or coming from. 

Midlake have a new album out. Seems pleasant enough, though I've only played it twice, but I do miss their glory days with Tim Smith. 

Until next time.

Friday 18 March 2022


This post's poem is based on a memory that popped into my head the other week. It was about one of those rare winds that blows sand from the desert to our island. 

certain days

the red wind from the Sahara

had blown a fine sand as far as Blackpool

depositing it all over the paintwork of the cars

parked in the street of our boarding house

I traced my finger in wonder

through the thin rust red layer

on car after car

entranced that I was making contact

with somewhere so impossibly distant

now I know that happened once in a while

back when the weather could be trusted

Its strange how some memories just appear in your head years after the fact with no apparent prompt, no obvious connection to now. They just are there. The poem is straight forward enough. I like the implication of the last line. 

Last Friday evening I went to a concert by Peter Edwards and it was excellent. Here he is live.

Until next time.

Friday 11 March 2022


I am not feeling particularly chipper this week, the news is terrible. I honestly could run away and live with The Culture, if they'd have me, if they were real. A post-want, pan galactic society, sounds very attractive as we squander our last chance to limit the rise in greenhouse gasses and we murder people for territorial gain.

Enough! Here's a poem about a dream.

trying on dream clothes

that of course always fit well

and are tailored to perfection

I talked jazz with the assistant

there are worse ways to pass a night

than buying threads

but you wake 

unsatisfied with your tactile wardrobe

no matter how hard you try

on successive nights

the tailors shop eludes you

in that vast city inside your head

Not much to say about it, save that the clothes were very comfortable and well tailored. Threads is old slang for clothes. Here's a rewrite. You can read the previous drafts here and here.

the waiting room

lung wrecked in the wing back chair

my father was marooned in his house

he rewatched the programmes

he did not like the first time round

told me that there was a certain

safety in knowing what comes next

his neural pathways began to short circuit

left in him sleeping an assisted sleep

that brief whisper of exhalation

follows each creaking inhalation

until it is time to cast off

to sail outward into the deep 

I think it's finally there. Thanks must go to the Secret Poets for their amazing feedback and the suggestion of moving the stanzas about. There is a quiet satisfaction at arriving at the final draft [and a title].

Speaking of jazz, as I was in my dream, here's Emma Rawicz. She's got an album out soon. Excellent music.

Until next time.

Friday 4 March 2022


It is some time since I wrote about the actual process of writing poetry. So today I am going to talk you through how a poem came to its final form.

The poem concerns my work at Marjons when I was note taking in an acting class. The aim of the session was to present a monologue. As the actors moved around the theatre space they spoke their lines oblivious of each other which prompted me to write this:

seven people the space move inside their own words solo talk out loud the wall mirrors a silent audience  

As you can see though it is rough there is something there. I left it for a week or so as I could not see a way forward, although my first instinct was to leave it as one long line with double spaces for punctuation [apologies but Blogspot plays about with spacing so you probably can't see it as I wrote it]. 

I was not happy with that and over the next week it changed to this:

the monologue rehearsal


people the space


speak out loud

move inside their own scripts

the wall mirrors are

silent as an audience

I think it's about there. A simple observation of how actors inhabit their own spaces in a communal area. Perhaps it's a metaphor for how we all live privately in public view.

Here's Selene Saint Aime with Awarak Uhuru from her new album.

Until next time.