Friday 29 April 2022


Sometimes I have difficulty writing a weekly post, the words just don't come. As you read this I am away and this blog was written a week ago. This is the 646th post, so over the past ten years plus I must have produced over 550 poems, which does work out at one a week. 

But not today however. Here is a poem I half wrote last year but at the time during the pandemic could not polish up. I am still unsure about the change in the point of view, as the first stanza is that of an observer and the second and third is that of the driver. Perhaps it does not matter...

an impossibly long mourning car

waits at the red light

side windows fogged with disbelief

the change to green offers hope

that the driver reflects

is lost on his passengers

he thinks of renewal

the advent of spring

his fifth job this week and its still only Wednesday

Brian Pattern talks about the effect a good last line can have on the reader. How it can change the meaning of the poem utterly. That was what I was trying for.

The amazing Sault have a new album out. You can buy it here.

Until next time.

Friday 22 April 2022


I was unsure about posting this poem as I think it says more than it shows, however, I shall let you decide.

better days

I returned to the scene of my first wedding night

like some voyeuristic thief who must convince himself

that he has really got away scot-free

the hotel had long gone replaced by a car park

so I supposed the only physical memory

was the coat hanger I had taken away with me

you were missing of course

I walked streets 

past closed shops

stood on the beach

the wind raised waves of fine sand

until it combined with the rain

to send us all in doors again

the cracked pavement 

a broken mirror

reflecting the street lights up to the stars

There's not much to say about it as I think the poem contains the background. I wanted it to sound weary.

Annabelle Chvostek was performing recently in Montevideo, I wish I'd been there!

Until next time.

Friday 15 April 2022


Recently I spent a morning walking round Plymouth. It was unexpected. A meeting I had to attend had been cancelled at the last moment due to Covid and I decided to have a look at the city centre. I had been a student in Plymouth, back in the early 1980's and I knew the place well. Like everywhere it had changed over time. As I meandered I could not help comparing the reality with the memory, perhaps this is nostalgia, but to me it seemed the nearest I'd ever come to time travel.

Practical Time Travel

this used to be a bookshop

that covered two floors

wall to wall books

now it trades for a charity he has never heard of

all that they can scrape together

makes constellations on the floor

next door had been an Oddbins

he would buy the house red

to take to student parties

everything had seemed so permanent then

today is an unplanned visit to Plymouth

which has him comparing now

to the city that lives in his head

and reality comes in a shabby second

The poem may not be complete, I think I need the Secrets perspectives on it. I am standing too close. I did, however, dash this off.

there is no way back

no magic door

no wormhole wardrobe

to effect the switch from here

to some romanticised past

this is where we live

so fight to change tomorrow

as yesterday’s stale bread is hard to swallow

This is not going anywhere, too much tell and not enough show. Here's the Human League from the 1980's.

Until next time.

Friday 8 April 2022


 We live in increasingly interesting times. Our politicians seem intent on ignoring the scientists pleas for action to minimise global warming. Gove has changed his tune on the pesticide that is decimating the bee population, when part of the EU he supported banning it, now we flounder he is all for using it. And the war drags on.

Phew! Here's a poem about getting old.

his hands had aged

in this room

in the late afternoon light

there was no hiding

the pipework of veins

the dry wrinkled skin

and the liver spots

were the icing 

on his old cake

Not sure about the last line. I think it needs a different word to old, just haven't found it yet.

Here's a rewrite of an old poem. I have never been satisfied with the ending, you can read it here. Part of me wonders what the significance of the poem is, why am I drawn back to play about with the words? Honestly I do not know.

I used to long to hear the sound of copters

rotors thumping the compliant air

getting louder drawing near

there were times when

such a B-movie rescue

would have suited me

I chose to forget that after the credits roll

the actors return to playing themselves

in the films of their own imperfect lives

bridges are a safer bet

you climb above the trouble

just walk away

I want to end on a positive note, Spring has arrived and this is Steve Ashley.

Until next time.

Friday 1 April 2022


I have always maintained that the raw material for poetry is all around us but that most of the time we don't realise it. A poet is a person who sees the possibilities and who tries to respond to them. Last Saturday I had the idea that the air is teeming with poems, they circle like airplanes waiting to land. This is what I did with that idea:

Poems Are Everywhere

a complex holding pattern

keeps the free range poems airborne

invisible they circle the world

we are oblivious

every now and then

one of us may catch

a whisper in the ear

a few may write down

the words they hear

and mangle the streamlined form

a fewer still will claim to know

the secret frequency with which

they could guide any poem to the page

but he was sceptical

and simply gave thanks

for every poem that chose him

It's a work in progress. I am unsure if free range adequately describes the natural state of poems in the wild. Also I am not sure if the penultimate stanza works- who are these people, hacks?

I suspect I took the word free range from the news that all free range chickens in the UK have been kept inside so long because of bird flu that they must be reclassified as barn eggs. Things fall apart.

Here is a song by the Mountain Goats that references another bird flu epidemic while lamenting the death of the reggae sing Dennis Brown.

And here is the man himself.

Until next time.