Friday 27 October 2023


I am writing this post eight days in advance, though I'll just be back from France when it is published. I've nothing new to show but I have been looking at old poems, partly with a view to reprinting a selection of them. I've been asked a number of times recently about the availability of my books and all I have been able to say is that I have a new collection out in January. Next year will also see the publication of a greatest hits selection. Now a revised poem, you can read the original here


I can still see that steaming water

murky with suspended goodness

carefully my mother divided it

between me and my brother

The unique aroma

the comforting warmth

the long finish

Drink it all up

it will keep you well

I thought the first two lines could go as they were frame, more tell than show. I think it breathes easier now. This second one is also from Burning Music, my first collection. You can read the original here.


Even with an industrial strength steamer

the paper will bubble and blister

before stretching 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?

No pencilled signatures are revealed

no records of identity or belonging

the job expands and takes forever

Again I've changed the spacing and the punctuation. I was far more formal in those days. I don't know why I've chosen these two poems. They were favourites to read and they seem to have withstood the passage of time.

Talking of old favourites, here's The Nits, or just Nits, I'm never sure when they adopted/dropped the The. Anyway this is The Train.

Until next time.

Friday 20 October 2023


Sometimes memories surface and who knows why? Events that I have given no thought to for decades pop up and sometimes I think that might make a poem. This is the story of a crime I committed over forty years ago.


my camouflage that year was

a marjons football club jumper

I stole from the Student Union shop

the time I volunteered to accompany

Heather who was intermitting to

join Operation Raleigh for six moths

the Deputy President was anxious that

everyone should know exactly where

she had just come from

I simply picked up my prize

and failed to add it to the list

of clothing she had chosen

in the outside world

I wore it sparingly and only

when I needed fabric credibility

not that anyone ever commented

or bothered to admit they had

taken in the embroidery on my left breast

but it gave me comfort

as I navigated my new reality

The lines wrote themselves and the breaks seemed to fit. I've polished it up a little but essentially this is how the poem arrived. Operation Raleigh was a opportunity for young people to participate in a scientific adventure. I had the jumper for a number of years, it was quite well made I seem to remember. Marjons still has a football club and I still have never played football. Though I am happy to pay for my jumper should anyone wish me to.

The photographs this post are all from Wednesday. The sea at Meadfoot was choppy. Here's Spirogyra with Captain's Log

Until next time.

Friday 13 October 2023


 A rewrite this post. I was looking over some poems from last year and I saw how I could improve this poem. You can read the earlier version here

the secrets of the sun

hide in plain sight

but you need asbestos eyes

to clock the beauty

of hydrogen becoming helium

some have tried

Milton for example went blind

hunting solar flares at noon

through a borrowed telescope

but all you have to do

is accept what you are given

welcome the sun’s light on your skin

it really is as simple as that

Well, the last line of the first stanza stood out as being rather ungainly. Plus the conclusion seemed clunky. I think it reads better now and it may be there!

Lizzie Nunnery and Vidar Norheim have a new video out. The new album is excellent. I shall review it soon but here is Magical Times.

Until next time. 

Friday 6 October 2023


I confess the title of this post is a lie. I did not go swimming and the moon looked its normal size to me. However, the event did prompt this poem.


She asks me if I can see it from where I am

a balcony overlooking Meadfoot Beach

I confess my ignorance of the whole event

and no it is not visible from up here

She walks to the tideline with her friends

and they best foot it into the bay

their laughter carries on the air

we resume our conversation sip cava

Until the pink speckled tardy moon

arises from a bank of cloud

it looks the usual size to me

the water reflects its beauty

and life does not get much better

Some poems, I think, are more like sketches of memories. That is certainly the case with this. An opportunity to celebrate something beautiful. Oh, cava [pronounced Ka-ba] is a sparkling wine from Catalunya , I am assured by Catalan friends that it at least rivals a good champagne.  Here's a revision of one of the poems from last post.

listen, I’m not maudlin

ever since you ghosted me

I don’t think of you that much

but I thought I saw you today

by where your office used to be

when the sun was in my eyes

it was only when they spoke

I realised I was mistaken

that it was some other clown

in last year’s suit

attempting to be authentic

which was a whole lot more

than you’d ever done

It's still not there yet and quite frankly it may never arrive. Away it can go for a long while. 

Yahia Lababidi has just started a new Youtube channel full of good poetry and recipes! You can watch it here.

I am ashamed to admit I missed the release of a new album by Lizzie Nunnery and Vidar Norheim. It sounds amazing. you can order it here

Until next time.