Thursday, 30 April 2015

On Landing

Is there phlegm when you cough
The doctor asked
Are there bicycles in Amsterdam
I should have said

Is the warm head
Another sign of my illness
Or do the busy places
Always burn so brightly

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Let Vacation Begin

Talk is of snowboards
Skateboards without wheels
Offers the grey haired older man

Father of the middle aged son
Who is doing most of the talking

Utah apparently is a good place
I therefore presume that these folks
Are related to the founding fathers

Descendants of those Boston pilgrims
Why else to be in Humberside Airport

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


The book I have in mind to write is to do with recovery, recovery from the dark lights of life, and recovery from the dark lights of a several times broken heart.

The book will deal much with therapy, with many therapies, with many witch doctors magic methodologies, with many placebos, with the many failed and the few successful cures.

Longing will remain, it is one truth of life; longing may subside but it doesn't disappear, that is my belief, one reinforced through experience.

Firstly I will lay down a few facts, in some sort of chronological order. I will then group these facts into some sort of well thought out sets, placed on co-ordinates, in that x,y,z continuum that is the three dimensions of time, space and heartache.

From this cosmos, with multiple orbits, I will explore some of the perceived wisdom in the literature; you may expect a few quotations, from Jung to Nietzsche, from Dickinson to Plath, and from all spheres in between.

Unlike the poetry, which precedes this work, I will aim to distance myself from the particular, that is except where a detailed explanation of the particular might bring a smile to our eyes.

And who is to read this book? Why lovers of course; those falling into love, those falling out of love, and those beautiful souls found wandering on the precipice somewhere between somehow being in love and somehow being out of love.

Be ready to nudge me if I ramble, I won't intend to but sometimes the streams of the sub-conscious just take over.

Monday, 27 April 2015


Is it that I have become indecisive
When mostly the only decision that I choose
To make is to write a few more words

On this next question I have truly stumbled
Should I retire, from the day job
To live the life of a writer

Let's be very clear then
I very much enjoy writing, to say immensely
Would not be stretching the point

Yet I have nothing published
And neither have I courted publishers, or agents
Save for that background noise of self-publication

I have hardly ever performed my work
Other than with a few local writing groups
And for my own internet recordings

I do care for my poetry
Some of it has stood the test of time
But it has never really got off the ground

I could carry on as a part-time writer
I have done so for eight years, or twenty five
What would another two mean; more of the same

Or I could jump, start some explorations
There would be risks, failures and successes
There would be change, I always wanted to change

Sunday, 26 April 2015


The last page was the halfway point
And now, apart from that last short ditty
We could almost say it is a new beginning

And how many more times have I begun again
How well the strain of originality is kept at bay, both
Along the illuminated way, and within the sunken shadows

The madness isn't though now present quite so often
Time, that great healer, softened many of the blows
Although, will it ever truly be over, will I ever know

If it is that the fields and the trees
In the morning frost are feeling the chill
The sky and the breeze thus redeeming me still

The thrill of the chase
And the basket case I became
No blame, no reframe, no endless shame

Always the same or all ways to change
Simply to write; sit with words to rearrange
Place this before that, in love's lost exchange

Saturday, 25 April 2015


There is a lot of tosh
Though I liked it back then
There is a lot of rhyme
O golly, o gosh

I will doff my cap, no slack
As and when
The love of lust stands in line
The lust of love hands it back

Friday, 24 April 2015


Calf leather boots
Across the Humber Bridge
Smoking sweet cheroots
Up on Bluestone Ridge

A coffee and a chocolate bar
O Monday how you tempt my bid
Riding in this motor car
As a writer, lifting off the lid

In middle, or late age England
A long way from Inter-Milan
In designer outlet gear they stand
Looking neat; I have it in the can

Thursday, 23 April 2015


As to where time alone might take me
I did not stay alone so very long

From behind the curtain
As if the love of my life forgave me
I show myself to stand square, and be fairly strong

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


There is sun on the snow back at my B&B
There is sun through the weeping willow back at my B&B
There is peace in the trees, trees without leaves, back at my B&B

I vowed to steer away
And steer away
Is exactly what I've done

I did not go in search of longing
I did not go in search of loss
I did not go in search of yearning
I did not go in search of cost

Instead I found friendly faces
Who turned around
And asked may I help you

As they complemented me on my bracelet 

There are good memories of this day, back at my B&B
There are ladders, and drains to mend, back at my B&B
There are owners, also known as friends, back at my B&B

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Retail therapy doesn't do it for me today
I find a flaw in the construction of the oak bureau
And so it is moved from the must have to the might have
But only if it's a bargain
And at close on seven hundred it isn't

Unlike last seasons Christmas lights, which it seems
Must have been substantially overstocked
They are discounted, significantly, extremely
Although in February, even though it is my birthday
I have little need for shimmering imitation chandeliers

I did see tables for the stables, but, yes I know another but
But I am quite unable to act unilaterally in this regard
And so I move on to the coffee shop, which nowadays
Unlike the days of my youth, is filled with young mothers
And all manner of pushchairs and carrying contraptions
It is, I have to say, almost the equivalent of those food pubs
Who have two for one pensioner days, just to prove
Or so I think, that pensions are keeping pace with inflation

Starbucks was no place for a struggling writer
Not that I am a writer, but if I was it would be a struggle
Not a penny, actually just one penny change from five pounds 
For a small Americano and an even smaller bar of granola, yes
I know that granola is a diet sin, and that I have to pay for my sins
But to pay through the nose, that smells more than a bit shifty

I drove back through Eastwood
Not specifically to see the schoolgirls smoking
Or to be surprised, by the young boys in anoraks
Entering the valentines card shop

It was the satellite navigation that redirected me
Apparently there was an accident on the direct route
I saw a white van, stopped by the police for speeding
Or maybe for something more sinister; I drove on by

Monday, 20 April 2015


My hands have a white sheen
As though the mornings frost
For a prolonged reception

Or that the China clay
From all those years ago
To have one more chance
To polish me off

Sunday, 19 April 2015


I knew the sky was beautiful, big and blue
I just didn't know how to take the photograph
I knew I fancied to live my whole life with you
I just didn't know you thought I was having a laugh

I might eat potatoes
I won't eat hay
I might drive forever
Till the end of the day

I saw the sadness in her eyes
Her soles hardly left the pavement
She shuffled along in her bland clothing
Could I help her
Would my words help her
Might it help to talk
Does it always help to talk
I listened to Helen Dunmore
Reading her poem Wild Strawberries

In that one instant the thought
Of the almost violent beauty
And the ever vigilant pain
At the very extremities of love

Saturday, 18 April 2015


The coffee goes cold, at home I would put it in the microwave for forty seconds, take a sip then let it go cold again; I would repeat this process several times or more, I am a stickler for repetition.

My thoughts turn to those writing colleagues who I met at college; of how they brought something into my life that I had lost whilst getting caught up on the treadmill of work and family life. They may appear to some as fleeting relationships, for what is a year or two, in a life of four score year or more.

I suspect that a sense of community was some thing to do with it, and the relief of no longer being the leader; I wasn't the boss, I wasn't the father, I wasn't the provider, I wasn't even one expected to offer love and understanding; but I think I joined in, I hope I joined in; I think I made friends, I hope I made friends.

To be a part of something brings a richness, carries a vitality into my life. Right now I am taken to that talented young footballer who asked me how we could beat our opponents from several leagues above us. Richard I said, we will bring passion, and fire, and spirit. They will be overwhelmed by our enthusiasm, our ferociousness; and you Richard, you will show them the sort of flair that most of them can only dream of. We won that cup game, but not the next; this episode in my youth helped form my now long held belief that each new challenge needs a new leader.

I change my glasses, I am considering going out into the sunlight; I would be happy to sit here all day writing, yet I know full well that there is a slight restlessness within me. I guess everyone suffers a bit from the inability to sit still, unable to be calm and quiet with a settled mind. I am lucky, I suffer from it much less than most.

Friday, 17 April 2015


I will order another coffee, in a few minutes, but for now I am indulging myself with the peaceful quiet. Even within myself I am almost peaceful, almost quiet; yet still alive to beauty, to the beauty of people and their places, I have just watched a video of my grandson Thomas singing happy birthday to me, from his holiday cottage in Wales.

Earlier I had the luxury of five snoozes, each with its own set of dreams, each with its own trail back to my youth, each with its own knowledge, good knowledge, that another snooze could so easily follow.

I am at Carsington Water in the Peak District, it is very cold and very beautiful. I walked around, took photographs; through the stones on stone island, took photographs; of the birds, in the water and in the sky.

A second cup of coffee, but no second cake, those days are over. Sunlight falls onto my table, and reflects brightly from the aluminium chairs and tables outside on the patio. The sun forges a thick, bright and solid stripe, straight down the water towards me; I am reminded of the song Do You Realise by The Flaming Lips.

I thought that today I might write something deep and meaningful, for I am reading Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude at the moment. It is a memoir; the first part being about his father and their relationship. He claims to have had little rapport with his dad, and I think that mine and my father's relationship, apart from a few sparkling moments, was much the same. I couldn't tell you much about my father's psyche or what he thought his raison d'ĂȘtre was.

Suddenly, a slight darkness comes to mind and I declare that today I will not try to remember anything that I don't want to remember. I will try to stay on the path of the ethereal light.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

62 & 63

The cafe, all to myself
It is how I hoped it would be
Except there is no verandah
Overlooking the rippling water
The coffee is neat and the cake is ok
It isn't brilliant, but it could be


Long shadows
Ice cold, zero degrees
The waves lap
I shoot a short video
Later I might listen
To British Sea Power
Being sat by your side
On our sofa-settee
Watching their video

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Big blue sky
Golden, Tate & Lyle, sunlight
The farmer, with his muck-spreader
Has been here before me
To the top of the hill
Long shadows, dry stone walls
A caravan in a cold cold field

Down the hill
Round the corner
To see that long stretch of water
To the maker of puddings and cakes
Stones and walls and geometric columns
Strolls past fire pits with frozen fingers
On snow and ice, beside expectant geese

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


One day, by the water, by the woods
Trying hard not to think
Of being beside the sea, on the beach

To drink in the nothing of nothingness
Silent in these silent times
Of no one here to share the day, or night

It is a chosen celebration, a rehearsal of sorts
Force beyond the force
Which settles, without thought, for the status quo

So with pen and pencil, and a closed
Or ever so slightly open mind
Let the weather join in and the love be with you

Monday, 13 April 2015


Three vestiges of sleep
To steep, half-dreaming, half-waking
Shaking round the youth I keep
Half-forgetting, half-forsaking

All alone and all together
Oft misused best yes forever
Now's the time, now or never
To trace the steps, reboot the leather

Time is time and time is ticking
Reset the alarm, rework the knitting
Were we standing or were we sitting
At the party in the midst of middling

Another neat volume, of plain pages
Another fresh mind, one that still rages
All the while he seeks out the sages
Living out the teenage ages

That we might reach who knows where
To find ourselves without a care
Live a life to stop and stare
Will he doubt or will he dare

Sunday, 12 April 2015


In the library I was in the park
In the park I was on the beach
On the beach I was in the bookshop
In the bookshop I was having dinner
Having dinner I was making love
Making love I was settling the bill
Settling the bill I was thinking of yesterday
Yesterday I was thinking of tomorrow
Tomorrow I will be fighting the fire once more

Saturday, 11 April 2015


I have a desire to go
Someplace to be
Maybe to bathe in nostalgia
Or glow for the first time
In the immediacy of flirtation

I have many places in mind
But what of those
Of which I don't yet know
How should the search begin
What sparkle should my eye wear

Friday, 10 April 2015


What I have
Is what I never had
What I now hold close
Is that where I didn't
Ever reach a closeness

Closer then than ever
Even without the knowing
Thus to hold tight onto
All that you gave, all
That I couldn't take away

Thursday, 9 April 2015


I once held the key
Carried it wherever I travelled
Loose, in denim jeans pocket
Close to the desires
Which desired to be unlocked

Earlier I had knocked, on 
A few doors, so many doors
Pouring out stories, and gifting
Gifts with the ease, to tease
That which becomes sacrament

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


Neither in the making
Or the breaking apart
No point in raising stakes
For already it is a broken heart

Straight lines and primary colours
As if by Mondrian from the very start
No more might Piet be her brother
Beside the surging River Dart

Impeccable if not indeed precise
Serving Martini, Vermouth chilled with ice
Nothing if not respectable; a career
That careered without a single vice

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


So far is far away, so far is by my side
So near is nearer now, so near, here for the ride

Into the canyon
Out of the stream
Into the desert
Out of the dream

So long is longer gone, so long, gone again
So time is timely now, so time, to dance in Maine

Into the starlight
Out to the moon
Into the heavens
Out there in June

So distant is distance, so distant, to define
So yearn as if yearning, so yearn one last line

Into the meadow
Out to the falls
Into the moorland
Out to the calls

So future are futures, so future, by the by
So hope for the hopeful, so hope sees the sky

Into the arms
Out of the alone
Into the embrace
Out of the stone

Monday, 6 April 2015


I ought to have risen early
What with the end of Arturo Bandini
And the poem by WB Yeats on my mind

As it is I meet the sunlight
And the raindrops, and the wonder
That life might play so many games

Sunday, 5 April 2015


I have no more idea of why than I do of why not
All I can say is that the choice was limited
And the opportunities for foraging were scarce
Yet, at that time of life, I was a business winner

I had studied mathematics and statistics
I was au fait with the odds, the chances of success
David against Goliath was a role I often played
Sense and sensibility having not yet been offered

But, just as the sunlight falls, on the painted twigs
I saw a shaft, an opening, a pathway, a reflection
Of colour and beauty, of vibrancy and joy
And that's it, I had no more idea of why than that

Saturday, 4 April 2015


I am at one, here in the present
Stoking up the fire with logs
From under cover out in the frost

I was the lucky one, then as now
Finding a shoulder to rest my arm on
Whispering sweet nothings; nothing no more

In search of symmetry
I recognise that the wood storage boxes
Need their own force of realignment

And where did that fine light go
Did it sink back into the heavens
So I suppose; suppose nothing no more

Friday, 3 April 2015


I did take the photograph
Yet already I know
The light will not be the light I saw
The dust-mites will not be picked up
As they dance in the light-beams

Neither will my yellow socks be apparent
Nor my Ralph Lauren daffodil rugby shirt
Which reflects my peace of the moment
And so, for clarity, I will write to you
Of snow on the neighbours tiled roof

Whose curved ridge is the last line 
Before the shimmering blue-silver sky
I will tell you that the doves, and the crow
Enjoy your mix of bacon rind and muesli
In the wind, and cold, of mid-winter