Saturday, 28 February 2015


I could write as if I was a tree, but I am not, nor ever have been a tree of any kind
I could write as if I was the sea, but if you inspect closely that is not true I think you will find
I could write of seas, and trees, and wannabes, but how could I write about me

I could write of those eighteen-thousand nights of making love or masturbating, and wonder at how the body is so efficacious in recovery
I could write of those fifteen-thousand mornings of waking up, together or alone, embraced by joy or pain, and wonder at the minds ability for reinvention
I could write of sleep and sex, yet still I expect, I could not write about me

Friday, 27 February 2015


A pupil, a failure
An apprentice engineer
From a fault line, to a fault line
To becoming an engineer
A mind, a body, a man
An accomplished engineer
A person, a parent
A successful businessman
Only money, only income
A lost soul from the engineer 
A wanderer, a waster
Off the fault line
Of the engineer
A pauper, a reader
Not an engineer
A poet, a writer, a parent
A lover
Anything but an engineer

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Onwards And Awkwards

The young man recites Larkin - from memory
These words, the first I hear
Far from Lincolnshire; where my sky meets my fear

Far from sunshine Southwold's friendly B&B
These words, the first I hear
Where the ex naval officer's wife runs straight and clear

Thus traditions are built, prolonged, initiated
Slight use of the tools of fear
Breakfast will be served 8:30 to 9:00 prompt, no beer

Neither a chance for the pose of half understanding
Slight use of the tools of fear
We were meant to have arrived by three, that was the steer

The landlady asks if I am always so unreliable
I was supposed to phone when we got near
No need to worry I say smiling without a hint of dear

Next day she laughs as she tells us of last nights rape
I was supposed to phone when we saw the sea so near
As for Larkin, well, he will not be the last King Lear

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Walks Of Life

Yes it is a clock, a water clock
And so the young romantic
In full on beach bush hat
Is towed down the pier
By his pit bull terrier

Yes it is the horizon
Set up in a true line
With galvanised railings
And so we make our peace
With the visiting Hare Krishna

Yes it is a Thursday
And one more photograph
Of my advancing bald patch
Will tip me, tip me right
Over the railings edge

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Beneath the boards
Boards that vibrate
A sense of all but urgency
Into my shoe clad feet

Great fear of falling backwards
Into a non too placid sea
Secured by fine lines of railings
Links that do not set me free

Howl of wind, air resounds
Bound by the old engines
At the clay quarry or factory
Hymns wrung without a beat

Monday, 23 February 2015

Authentic Voice

A pen & ink sketch would
Have captured her wild frizzy hair
But told nothing of addiction

His voice, recorded
Would have set a place for many
But told nothing of the past

A further outpost
Once again the curse or cure
Of the one alone to tell

To talk of sand, scrub and dune
Smiles from passers by
Mobiles for those most immobile

Speak of children, who argue less
With grandparents, much as writers
Who argue more, when left alone

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Wakes Week

A thousand miles of photographs
Hundreds of leagues beneath the sea
A smile, from a lady in a plastic mac
On her way towards the North End pier

Blue skies, brief blown clouds, stiff breeze
Waves; high with roll, with surf, with crash
Out there where sky meets sea, a latency
A curved line of disbelief, believe me

Forecast; the wrinkles will arrive
Sprinkled with diamonds and pearls
Whirled as a dervish of old times portal
The long clock, the point of it all; social

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Silent Time

Patience, she too wears sandals
Models made and models cast aside
Hidden doors from floor to ceiling

I, there I go again, I
All the blood, in consecrated
Circulation; all of love

The patron saint of care & patience
She too wears oilskin lookalikes
Forbidden clothes, rags for reeling

You, there you go again, you
All the good in pre-perfected
Veneration; all of love

Patience, he too wears sneakers
Members rooms and members only
Hidden codes, the keys of leaving

We, there we go again, we
Misunderstood, in desecrated
Contemplation; all of love

Friday, 20 February 2015


A taste of the world
From the black olive delicatessen
A saucerful of secrets
From the United Reform Church

Across the way a middle aged zealot
A man at least many more ways committed
Than the big issue seller stood by his side
He holds you with his near death monologue

A swan by the lake; rural-in-urban
Water lilies sent by the boy king
Whispers of breeze in the rooftop timbers
Rattled by the complicity of non-believers

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Beneath The Clock

The loud swung pendulum
Observes your minutes
Your hours, your days
Your lifetimes of reading

Otherwise silence
Except for wind & wave
Rant and rave of sailors
And fishermen's memorabilia

Tales of extraordinary confidence
You are a believer, are you not
Alone here in this overdue place
Of historic grace and personal doom

Time then to take up the call to arms
In the farms for unusual naval ratings
We are waiting for you to enlist
In the whist drive reading room

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pier Head Blues

But this is more than any breeze
Gale force, or whatever they say
On the shipping forecast

Yet all the while
Sunshine bright enough
To blind the writer in reflection

You might call it wild
I've called for a cappuccino

Which duly arrives
Resplendent on a silver tray
With jam and scones and cream

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


Spirited waves
Fearful waves
Flashes of light
Storms on the horizon

All captured
In photographs
Purposeful strides
Sprays to gather meaning

Folded with a roar
Silenced by shutter
Wildness contained
In sepia tones of confusion

To move under
Under the U turn
Under the fallen crest
Under all that ever falls over

Monday, 16 February 2015

First Light

Quarter to seven
Unable to tell you
The colour of these socks
That almost match my shirt

Summer shades, ideal
For the seaside
Less so for the black
Horizon and brown waves

Ample space here
For a beach hut
To let, or hire
Or take freehold

Early morning greetings
I call them promenader's
Flaneur's, or wistful folk
Who whistle on the prom

Sunday, 15 February 2015

On Rising Early At Southwold

No gentle lap of wave
Not in this town
Of rebuilt choynes and
Early morning road-sweepers

Hard to pick out one crash
Amongst the relentless onslaught
A sea angered by the southerly winds
A noise as much as any other noise

Easier to dwell on the sunlight
Dancing upon the piers tall pillars
Easier, to think of you, asleep
As I crept out of the bedroom window

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Symbolic Of

There it goes
Absolute zero
We've reached the bottom of the hill
Found the end of the natural curve of statistical decay

There it goes
On the seat
Name on the pier
Piss against the wind, towards the dark waves
Found on the end of the nameless progression of horizons

Friday, 13 February 2015

Still Life

Sat at the picture window
Studying books of Beardsley's art 
& Rembrant's bulbous self portraits

Thought old age led me to forget
Road maps, place names, guides
Or even more meaningful directions

Though all made easier by your laughter
My odd socks chosen not by design
But by dotage, or better still by happenstance

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Level Ground

When I discarded everything
I did not discard the watch
Shock proof
The watch reminded me of you

Rooks move across the field
Gathered in rows & columns
The knack of it
Order not to be abused

When I distanced everything
I did it wearing these shoes
Worn through
The shoes reminded me of you

Rooks in flight, in flock
Swirls, loops of engagement
Roost, rabbit
Rabbit, roost
The truth of it
Absence of the sullen bruise

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


I won't ever see you again
I don't honestly know that I saw you before

Breast, free of brassiere
Impeached by a tee-shirt
Assisted by a low-cut cardigan

Half a globe of silicone gel
Half a bowl of wobbly jelly
Held steady

The train is due around mid-day, as always
It will arrive, it will depart

Petit athletic frame
Yet in no small way at all
Elegant, fluid, erect

Half a mind to call and say
Half a kind of love
Warm, ready

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Vague, feint

A pub
On the corner
Only a few doors from my flat
After tea, nothing else to do
But only a couple of pints, not to get inebriated
Deserted snug room
Well worn, four-legged tables
Fabric covered seats
Old barman, with no desire for conversation
Read the Western Morning News
Killed time
Walked back to an empty home

Monday, 9 February 2015

Flash non-fiction (never impossible to try)

It struck me, in that instant
As I drove away from the railway station

The girl, on her mobile phone
She had difficulty with comprehension
The old men in the pub; roast Sunday lunch
They had friends, newspapers, beer and conversation

Impossible thoughts lingered; whale riders
Bungee jumpers and presidents of the world
Impossible thoughts of eternity that allow
All things to become all things whatever

The joy of sharing distant yet close experiences
Explicit moment; I did not know what he was thinking

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Another's memory

There we go, parting
Starting all over again

Bird droppings
On the bonnet
Corn high up on the hill

Words seemed
Once forgotten
Shakespeare was instilled

There we go, starting
Parting all over again

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Final Page

I take coffee
A croissant spread with fresh honey

Today is Health & Safety training day
Darkness came easier than silence
Insulated door pulled to
Flick of the table lamp switch
There you have it
Intense black
Complete & utter absence of light

Yet sit back, in the armchair
Hear the children call
Hear birds in the garden
Hear the wind
Whistle over the rooftops
Hear the heartbeat
Followed by the breath
Drawn a little slimmer

Stillness comes and goes
It is a pleasure
Yet to hold on to
Damn those undercurrents
Feel the need to move, to do
To make a gesture
To talk, to work
To graft
In some way, shape, or form

Hear the clock, tick-tock
Hear the car drive by
Hear the singer
On the radio
Hear the drumbeat
Followed by the love line
Drawn a little thinner

Howl, continuum of vibration
In the roof-space
Down the chimney
Amongst the physical being

Just to talk to you
To think of you
Just that brought a smile
To a noisy day; worked out
In the search for ambient silence

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Friday, 6 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 25

A year goes by
The sea was 
Millers visionary blue
The sky of a similar
But slightly lighter hue
Through our apartment window

The beach
The cliffs
The town
The view
I did love you
But it wasn't enough

But anxious to write
Each visit is important

But words push out
A take-over manoeuvre

But eyes close; a left field response
Known as the somnambulists defence

But happy to accept
Enough is enough

At the very next table
And also behind me

The camouflage boys
Talk of deserts and landing beaches
They describe tanks
Caught in cross-fire operations
Passports to and from the war zone

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 24

Beneath my bedroom window
Incognito, or leastways in the shadows
Before the call of cat & fox pervades

To be apart
On these fair fine evenings
Time to withdraw to my sleep
Set the soft words to one side

Call of time misses the verandah
Miranda whispers of Savannah
George holds her hand, say so
We may explore the Andes
We might countenance a cruise
The northern lights could attract us
But listen
George holds her hand, say so

Sculptures in the Arizona desert
Moon views from the planet Zorg
The Himalayas should draw us close
But listen
George holds her hand, say so

Call of time passes by the verandah
Miranda, beauty by any other name
George hold her hand
As I held yours
But listen, say so
Past Bodmin Parkway station
Hair stands on end
It is where I met you and your children
Sunshine in June

Two days before
Quick ticket
Fast car
Jet plane
High speed train
Tearaway taxi

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 23

Kate is far away
Moon & sodium light
Such nonsense
Not to be together
In the best years of our life

Could we afford the liquor
Would we make the time
OK these nights don't turn up too often
But when they do
We ought to grab at them together

A soft touch
For the skies that drift to cloud
A desire
To take the steps unknown

Kate would like these prints
Plymouth, Devon
In the style
Of the Great Western railway poster

Bowling green bowlers smoke
Ogden's St Bruno Flake
Southern Transports motto states
‘Fresh air for all’

Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth Gin

Did they play with perspective
Are we also, so self, so self-important
That we miss out on the main chance

Sometimes it seems
Holds the upper hand

Soft words

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 22

Thanks for the drift of smoke
A barbecue in the woods
Meat, red meat alive on the flames

So easily I turn to anger
Was it ever so with a woman
My girl says I don't criticise
But do I praise her enough

Boy could I take a cigarette
Tread out across the boardwalk decking
Take a steak with cold beer
And garnished tossed salad

So easy it is to drink
Was it ever so with vocation
Not hard to be self critical
But do I praise the self
With such self-sufficiency

Strips across the sky
Jet streams over the Atlantic
Smell of smoke fills the air
Efforts of a local woodland cutter

We could all make a case
Each of us is a strategist at heart
But tonight just guests in some hotel
Just lovers of natures night-time beauty

He moves away with his cheroot
So as not to offend; times changed

Thirty years ago, in Huddersfield
Or anywhere else in the western world
Cigarette ash trays and steel match strikers
Built into Draughtsmen's drawing boards

Engineers, the meekest of all the species
Most often chose not to decide

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Monday, 2 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 21

Where the land meets the sky
(Almost echoes here of Larkin)
Weddings of bureaucracy are my fancy

A new tenth hole
Across the valley
Level with my window

Boy the knees sure ached
All those years ago
Up and down the fairways
In and out of the familiar rough

Graham went to Malaysia
Tim is where he was, more or less
Me, well you know, memories

Maybe it is why I write so much of mist
Why it is easier to write the words of love
Than to be the giver of love

Maybe it is why I write born of compulsion
Why the moments charge at me relentless
& all trains of thought are evidently lost

Bare skin, that always does it for me
That and the silver blue pink tinted sky
Over the hills, far beyond the distance

Hear the blues guitar on the juke box
The soft crack of canons on the pool table
Another blue blood cinema paradisio

Praise for the Tory leaders maiden speech
Yes how the country was betrayed
To have built up such debt, honestly

All the while, of this sickly verbose
Their brand new BMW cabriolets
Sit pristine in the golf club car park

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

The long and the short of a part of my life Volume 1 Page 20

Yet the wisteria, in this garden also
The wisteria is anything but gone

There is a stillness today
Not a breath of breeze; the winds
Are they gone, are the winds gone
Are they gone for good

Pigeons coo; I am reminded
Of late Saturday afternoons
Out by the farmers hayloft
With Colin and Lawrence

The Tinker brothers
Waiting for their birds
To return home from France

Are their dream birds gone
Is all hope of the birds return gone
Is that sense of reference gone too

I count seven layers of detail
Between the window to
Where the land meets the sky

Cars, almost on the final line
Travel to and from the places 
That surely they must go
Sure you say, it is evidently so

It would suit me to sit here all day
Time for the book and pencil
Yet the day ahead is stencilled
Where the land meets the sky

I may gaze out of the meeting room window
Hear the rumble of aeroplanes destination bound
I might even lose my concentration
Settle this one time for unconditional ground

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