Friday 24 November 2023


 I seem drawn to Old Testament stories, so here's another one.

my grandfather walked out of Eden

just as it kicked off

all that casting out of paradise

that angel with a flaming sword

grandfather said it looked impressive

in a peevish kind of way

he always claimed

the trouble with that sort of history

was the tendency to focus on the famous

those they had the skinny on

and not him offspring of Lilith

the first wife

the one no one speaks of

or all the others

lost to time now

who were quietly getting on with their lives

while this angry god psychodrama

played out around them

my grandfather walked out of Eden

we are still walking

the world is large

there is room for all 

It came from the first line which bounced about my head for a couple of days before it wrote the poem. Lilith is, according to some sources, the first wife of Adam. When I was at school I could never get my head around the idea that we all came from Eve and Adam. Later I realised that myths, like metaphor, wilt under close scrutiny. I still don't like the idea of casting people out. There's too much of it going on today.

I leave you with Jezebel by Iron and Wine. Another much maligned woman.

Until next time.

Friday 17 November 2023


A poem that came to me in a dream this post. It was the kind of avalanche of words that makes you get out of bed and write them all down. It doesn't happen that often but when it does I obey. 


false flagged

the car moved through the ranks of the oppressors

and not one of them thought to check the identities

of the smiling people who waved at their enemies

and so did not discover the wounded man in the back

night would fall in an hour

sanctuary lay in the hills

the demonstration had failed this time

but nothing lasts forever

some day one day they would win 

So what's it all about? I'm not sure. The term false flag I suspect comes from Patrick O'Brien's series of novels. The poem seems to be about hiding in plain sight as the title states  and escaping to fight again. Seems a positive poem. Your thoughts on this one are more than welcomed. 

I always feel blessed when a poem arrives as I sleep, though I have no idea why one should turn up this night and not another. The muse must be acknowledged. Thinking back to that specific night I cannot remember anything but holding the words in my head while I searched for pen and paper. 

Hurray For The Riff Raff has a new album out soon. Here's the first track, apparently it's about her father. You can order the new LP here.   

Until next time. 

Friday 10 November 2023


I am revisiting a poem I have never been satified with this post. You can read the other versions here and here. I have never been happy with the third stanza. The Secret Poets felt I had not got the tone consistent and this led me to put the poem away for five years. It occasionally came to mind and I worried at that stanza. Recently I decided to overhaul the whole poem.


when I lay on my back not one day dead

having my brain extracted through my nose

while my guts were pulled out by the handful

and dumped into the jars at my feet

I did not foresee that my sleep would be disturbed

by anyone less than a God

I could even put up with the French interrupting my twilight

but to be labelled a minor figure

in the political structure of the Lower Kingdom

while accurate could have been phrased with more respect

this social event at which I am the reluctant centre piece

makes no pretence at science that has come to replace religion

for these shallow individuals who do not know their own place in the cosmos

I am simply a sideshow that allows the good matrons of Paris to gasp in awe

as their high priest professor holds aloft each wrapping

as if he was revealing a universal truth

such enlightenment is beyond the banality of his words

which reveal more the short comings of this time than my life

afterwards I will be consigned lie under glass naked

having seen too much and in my second cycle of waiting

be ignored by the passers-by making their way to the gift shop

The first stanza, I felt, was arresting enough but the others I have worked on. I think it could nearly be there. All that remains is to discuss it with the Secrets at our next meeting, having trusted collaborators is a priceless gift.

Natalie Merchant was superb when I saw her last week. It was good to see her after all these years. She was in fine voice and the supporting musicians were excellent. I leave you with a recent live recording.

Until next time.

Friday 3 November 2023


I went to a 21st birthday last weekend, it was held in a pub and the rugby was on, needless to say the majority of the people present were transfixed by the match. I wasn't, sadly I know nothing about rugby and am happy to be ignorant. It did, however, inspire this week's poem.

for whatever reason I am in a pub

the rugby is on

its a mystery to me

who doesn’t know what off side means

and has little interest in finding out

so I watch the men

watch the ball move

who sigh shake their heads

or punch the air in triumph

high five their neighbours

its all dynamic kinetic

so so serious

and I am am imposter

back in the schoolyard

the last to be picked

As you can see the outcome is me being rubber banded back to school days and that feeling of exclusion, when you're the last to be chosen for a football game. I wrote the first draft at the time. When the muse whispers, you listen and write.
Here's an old song by A. C. Marias that I'd almost forgotten about. There's a timelessness about it, even though the images are early 80's, One of Our Girls Is Missing.
Until next time.