Friday 26 August 2022


Another revised poem this post. I was not happy with the previous version, you can read that here. I discussed it with the Secret Poets and they helped clarify my misgivings.

The classic murder mystery continues to disappoint

My book is read once again

I must walk through the head of the reader

and overhear to their thoughts

The author may deploy

sleight of hand

far fetched coincidences

then withhold vital information

until the final chapter

We are gathered in the library

yes it smacks of desperation I know

shamed as I am by my exposure

my outlandish confession

the other characters look away

And you dear reader sigh

think how trite the ending is

But hold on one moment

is any better constructed

I think it has a clearer narrative now and I have removed the last line. Time for it to go away again for another couple of months.

Here's Anna Ternheim and Johnossi.

Until next time.

Friday 19 August 2022


I usually title my posts from a line in the poem but last week I used a line from this revised poem by mistake. First time I have ever done that in 11 years. Apologies.

This poem is a rewrite, with thanks as usual to the Secret Poets for their invaluable input. You can read the original here.

summer project

we broke all the glass

in all the windows

no one stopped us

it took time

but the sounds were so addictive

the crack and cascade of glass

eyeless in autumn

a cold wind hummed in the gaps

the snow went wherever it would

Essentially the ending has changed, the Secrets felt that it was not clear. Hopefully the poem is much improved. I would be interested in your opinion.

This past week I have been immersing myself in the exciting world of The Mountain Goats, this is a song entitled Cotton. The last verse is sadly beautiful.

Until next time. 

Friday 12 August 2022


Thanks must go to the Secret Poets yet again, both for such an enjoyable day on Monday and for their perceptive feedback on the revised poems in this post. 

This first poem has transformed from third to first person.

travelling in times of unusual weather

I had expected more delays

but the trains ran through the heatwave

slowed only by a series of failed signals

we were handed

plastic bottles of warm water

until the supply ran out

the heat in the final station

stole the sweat from our skin

this is how the world burns

You can read the earlier draft here. The use of first person makes it far more immediate.

This second poem has been winnowed down, each word appraised and only the essential ones remain.

Poems Are Everywhere

airborne invisible

they circle the world

one of us may catch

a whisper in the ear

some write down

the words they hear

he simply gave thanks

for every poem that chose him

I think it is now a sparer and better poem. You can read the earlier draft here. It is good practice to question every word in a poem and to ask if the poem works without it.

Annabelle Chvostek has just released a new video. You can buy the song here.

Until next time.

Friday 5 August 2022


Some poems write themselves, others are never finished, at least not to my satisfaction. This post's poem is one of those. You can read my last attempt here. I was looking at it the other day and thought that I had not done the concept justice. What I wanted to do was to make the situation clear, the man who sold us all down the river is justifying his actions, inventing gratitude and praise where none existed in real life.

inside the head of the man who sold us all down the river

I am in his thoughts again

however briefly

manifested inside his head

the puppet me embodied

simply to make his point

A steward orders me to stand on this spot

I am given appropriate clothing

[nothing I would have chosen for myself]

and told exactly what to say

bland badly written dialogue

to support his noble actions

[not the words I spoke to him at the time

or even a rough approximation]

I have been thought into existence before

not very often, usually when he needs

to illustrate his marvellous achievements

or the nobility of his actions to some new acquaintance

so I step forward to speak my lines

sickly words of gratitude

how I could only ever have respect for the man

I stand in his consciousness

one of many phantoms

we bow and scrape, thank him

[the opposite of what happened in real life]

before we disappear again

as I said this sort of event doesn't happen often

usually the likes of me never enter his head

not even for one second

Have I caught it this time? Let's see if there is another draft five years hence. Here's another little poem I've been playing with for years. Again have I done it justice?

domesticated me ironing

unexpected you gift bearing

we watch the bad brewed home brew

shoot towards the ceiling

marvel as it foams undrinkable

you left in the rain

in-between the slanting drops

infinity winked at us and smiled

Here are The Mountain Goats with a song about vampires.

Until next time.