Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Art Makes The Man

On the wall
Two prints, limited editions
By Sally Anderson
A local artist perhaps

Both scenes are of Teignmouth
One is of four beach huts
Much as we photographed at Whitby
Or nearer home, in Mablethorpe

The other, a small, numbered, fishing boat
Of the sort suited to a singular oarsman
Similar to the picture captured in St. Ives
Across the deserted harbour beach in June

There is a lightness to Sally's touch
A care, that my son Joseph, captures on film
All around this place, called my life
There are many guides to humanity, and beauty

Available for Kindle - Click Here

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Away From Or Towards Contrition

I, I urge to write
As some might urge to draw
As some might urge to paint
As some might even urge to act

It is as if light itself
Is caught up in these words
That all the visions, and reflections
Contain certainty, of a kind

Whereas, in my other world
What some would call the real world
Clarity only flickers, arrives in fits & starts
Each new voice adds a further disparate viewpoint

The chagrin somehow must settle
Though the forces are many and able
And along the way there is to be upset
That is, or so it seems, the nature of change

Available for Kindle - Click Here

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sketched As A Slow Tide

Morning mist
Layered over
Morning sunlight
Beneath the opening morning sky

The first thing I see
Is a single tree
A sentry post
At the head of the distant field

Would that this vision was home
Also to wake here in summer
With leaf and corn up high
And my lady, laying here by my side

The madness of it all
Circulates incessantly
A mind so instantly awake
Contemplating the day ahead's confusion

Toes tingle
Above me I hear footsteps
The lamp shade is scarlet
But the pictures, they are Prussian blue

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Sunday, 28 May 2017


Old words, middle aged voices
Youthful inspiration
For a catalogue of all those past disasters

In love with salt water
Water that turned to stone
In love with climbing trees
Trees that forgot I had been there
In love with a whole load of care
Care that cares and cares and cares

Elsewhere, the noise of work
Destroys the artist's train of thought
Although to pick carrots
From the monastic garden
Would be as though stealing
The thoughts of love itself

Middling muddled words
As old age creeps up on youth
To inspire the entrance of ever more disasters

available here for kindle

Saturday, 27 May 2017

On Approaching Darkness

Rain clouds, absconded from the south
Heavy with blackened outpourings
A thin wedge of washed out red
Hovers over the far western horizon
Only to the north is there a virgin sky
Resplendent with a single solitary star
These are dramatic gladiatorial visions
As one might hope for on the eve of battle
Not that I am at war any more
For all that had to be settled, is to be settled

Love, it sure has its hunger moments
One bite is never enough, is it
Our needs need to be taken completely
Swung in waltzers and wurlitzers alike
Smoking as we race to the piers end
As we snatch and grapple to be lord of the ring
These are fantastic imaginations
Screams caught with joy and eureka
Not that I have lost my marbles
For all that is open, is open for adventure

available here for kindle

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fat And Fiddle

Would you like mushrooms
There are some in the pan
Of course you would like mushrooms
With your egg, with your ham

These are the simple temptations
Put out to feed the working man
They are though the source of cholesterol
Of which your nurse is not a fan

She would prefer that you take muesli
Or dried fruit, with even drier bran
All this to keep the blood pressure at bay
And not to die, whilst enjoying strawberry jam

available here for kindle

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Hamper At The Ready

Between the castle and the sea
Between the railway-line
And the country-estate, set out
In the style of Capability Brown

Little old man
In your little old foreign car
With overseas number plate

Do you know this place that I know not
Are you a tourist, or a local character
Someone who prefers left hand drive
Leans, to the continental way of life

Between the piano and the violin
Between the green lights
And the sail boats
That bobble up and down

Little old man
In your little old foreign car
With overseas number plate

Would you care to share a baguette
Or take pasta, sprinkled with parmesan
Drink bottled water, Perrier of course
Or perhaps champagne, sipped in place of strife

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nature And Man Not Quite At One

Light falls onto the crop field
Only a strip for now
Gifts preferential growth conditions
To the favoured corner

It is what we do is it not
To make favourites
Of those already blessed with the best
Of nutritive environments

The solitary gull glides and swoops
A scavenger to all intents and purposes
To be frowned upon at the seaside
When all he asks for is vanilla ice cream

The gull though will die a less viscous death
Than the glorious flamboyant partridge
Who for now struts his stuff without demure

But his vainglorious neck will soon be limp
Slung as game, over the gamekeepers shoulder
Or hung, as a trophy, by the gun toting sportsman

available here for kindle

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Cosmologist (Big Bang)

Under a clear star-lit sky
I know there will be frost in the morning
I know that I love to breathe and touch
This cold nothingness that consumes me

Such certainty, of undeniable truths
Perhaps it is Jung's universal consciousness
But at this moment it is my time, my turn
My chance to engage the chastity of clarity

Woman is the sole bearer of the child
Such spectacular growth from ejaculated sperm
Raised from the bare earth, ravaged yet fearless
Captured, caught on, on a clear night such as this

available here for kindle

Monday, 22 May 2017

Farmhouse B&B

Darkness is here
Electric light also
A warm bath
Energises the flow
Of the bloodstream
No fear of faint
Though also
No emergency-cord
Then, a silent telephone call
But who would stalk me

Tick and tock
Hot water through
Air trapped radiators
Sounds of the night
In the country
Upstairs, or next door
The inescapable
Joy of youth
Singing, at one
In their shower

available here for kindle

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Skin Tight & Passionate

You might name this
A cotton wool sky
That it is as if
Saturns rings of fire
Burn across the western horizon

You might sing along
To Laurie Anderson's Little fluffy clouds
That it is as if
Knives have sliced the canvas
Revealing sky-blue phosphorescence jeans

available here for kindle

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Dreaming Of Climbing

Across the rope-bridge to the temple
Fragments of papyrus flutter into the gorge
At floor level the twenty first century poets
Gather to capture the words, as though
They were the petals of snowdrops

Fear is at a distance
Fear is always at a distance
So beats my bumpy heart
So well the beads of sweat
Upon my furrowed brow

One dance step after the next
In and out of the skipping rope
To the music of whistle and drum
The twenty first century poets words are gathered
As though they were the echoes of the sunspots

available here for kindle

Friday, 19 May 2017

Music Of Life

The car is heavy with frost
Inside it is cold, a cold
That blows into the ear drums
And keeps at bay
The Bach Viennese Waltz

O to be in the ballroom
To glide, demure
Clothed in exquisite attire
With you at ease on my arm

It will take a while
For the window to clear
For visibility to become visible
I am cocooned
In my executive sedan

O to be in the winter palace
To sip the sweet Martini
Toasting friends, and acquaintances
With you, dressed in silk, by my side

available here for kindle

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sat, At The Breakfast Table

Look up the rolling hill
Towards the waning moon
Over the frosted fields
Through the crinkled hedgerow

White and silver and golden
Cast in limelight and shadow
The coup de gras though lies further
For beauty forages in the muddled woodland

From this quite significant distance
She resembles a patchwork quilt
Awash with autumnal and spring pastels
A rich mixed umber of natures equations

It all looks still, way out there
It is quiet, the day only broken
By the squawks in the very close foreground
Of the excitable, and wildly coloured, gaming birds

In these few moments of writing
The white morning moon
Falls down behind the tree line
All that is left is a sky of light missionary blue

Later, during breakfast, as if in a choreographed finale
Slow motion flocks of birds rise from the hidden valleys
They take a tour of the open air before they elegantly disappear again
Was it a mirage, the likes of which I had not witnessed ever before

available here for kindle

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

At The Start Of Day

Frost on trees, every limb
Every tentacle, every branch
Every non-linear metre

The artist may paint & pastel
Or the photographer might fix his still
But I will write; for the feel
Of the six o clock mornings
Is almost too dark to see

Only the sounds
Of the partridge and pheasants
Echo, to bring on, to serenade
The entrance of the day

available here for kindle

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

At The End Of Night

Daylight creeps into the valley, in search of the crowing voices
Beat of the pheasants wings brings their vibrations physicality to glass
It is all that stands between human warmth and the strut of winged courtship

The clocks tick tock, yet the alarm stays silent
Once again I have woken before the time to wake
To peer across the flat frosted grass, to look out, over the stream to the woodlands

Banks of trees that rise in an instant in a vast array of greens
And golds, browns, yellows and reds; and then, the wisp of eastern silver birch
For all that are chosen to stand erect, in search of the photosynthetic energy of light

available here for kindle

Monday, 15 May 2017


Hillside, of country-house
Cotton blouse, some things to say
Words that only woman can speak

Hands held
By the hospital bed
At peace, at the last

Sat, with book in hand
How to begin, on the edge of tear
It is a deep responsibility

The flowers help
How else to say, I wanted to
But do not know how

available here for kindle

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Settled For The Evening

A coffee
By the fire
I do not feel to be on my own anymore
And so I smile
Compliment the waitress
On a satisfying vegetarian dish

The lads at the bar
Talk of their mate
Having a kip in the afternoon
Of being
A morning person
Rather than a night owl

In limbo, unsure if
I am neither
One nor the other
Of course it would be good
If you were here
No doubt about that

But it is also warming
That you make me feel
Not to be on my own anymore
There it is
The coffee is here
The flames continue to flicker gladly

available here for kindle

Saturday, 13 May 2017


On this day:

When I have seen a mass of knowledge
Being used
To make some significant systematic mistakes
I am left to wonder
Is this part of the change process
Is this what happens when we move in haste

I watched the invalid
With his wheeled walking frame
He climbed two steps with ease
He managed without the need
Of the kindly offered assistance
I was gladdened by things
Well thought out
And put into use to good effect

Charles said to come here
To this pub in the village
Both he, and his mother recommend it highly
Earlier today, this morning in fact, his father said
The fried breakfast is on lad”
“Tea and toast will only be a few minutes

Is this what happens
When the pressure is off
When I eat vegetarian food and drink real ale
As if common sense
Could, or should, return
To the nonsense of corporate business

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Friday, 12 May 2017

Ley Arms, Kenn

Another hostelry, with food and fine Otter ale
Outside a stream flows under the arched bridge
Inside a fire glows in front of the comfortable settee

It might take a while
To get used to beer without a head
But all else is at hand, at ease

You might not believe this next bit
But on this day of change, on this day of newness
I have ordered vegetable curry, with rice not chips

The Monet print shows a lady in the garden
Collecting flower-cuttings for her basket
This could be you my love, if we let the Albertine roses have their day

True in Lincolnshire we do not have that same sun
Which Cezanne or his Fellow impressionists
Carved into the artistic cosmos for perpetuity

available here for kindle

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Dancers Wisdom

Caution is the watchword
Listen to the Diaghileff dancing star
Beware that exposure to new experience
Can filter out the magic of past memories

Each day your new favourite photograph
Puts a shade or a tint on yesterdays numero uno
Each day your new life places a formaldehyde cover
Over those bodies that one night pressed effortlessly together

Your stance
Should it have surprised me
To see no more dance; should it have
Stopped me dead in my tracks

That day, for what the image is worth
I framed your words, became your number one fan
Once home I pulled back the dust cloths; recovered
I lay down again on the receptive bed where we had lain together

available here for kindle

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A500/M6 Junction

Cars and lorries stream past
Their noise disrupts my enjoyment
Of the concert on the classical radio station

This is not a salubrious lay-by
Old scaffolding poles hold up the canvas canopy
At the hot & cold roadside greasy spoon

There is though no shortage of clientele
Compounding my belief in that old saying
That to be a success in catering, it is: location, location, location

Whether it be the black suited businessman
Or the more down to earth steel toe-cap construction chap
It is the bacon sandwich which today is the wealth creator

But it is not, I guess, bacon from the local Staffordshire pot-bellied pig
More likely it is bought in bulk, from the purveyors who travel
In and among the all-day-passing black marketeers

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Last Look (Without Words)

Silhouette in the shadows
All those stymied
Doubt filled bones of distrust

Home for the dust motes in the cobwebs
Easily led to those disaffected
And unattested thoughts on the bedstead

The shadow, and the silhouette
Are mere motor-memories now
It is that time of clearer light

Becoming necessary to write the final chapter
The attempt for capture is over
The exodus finally delivered the sun

The rest of us must go on
Transcending the transference
Into the silence

The silent silhouette
The silent shadow
The silence which echoes

To the loss of those disaffected
To the cost of those unattested
And to that imposter, of the one neglected

Monday, 8 May 2017

Taken (Without Receipt)

My usual pew
On the back row
Is reserved

The bench, ahead of that one
Is similarly stamped

I determine to move
Nearer to the front
But decide against recording the proceedings

My initial quest then
For a suggestion and response audio recording
Of the Buckfast Benedictine Monks is scuppered

Instead I am here for Compline
The final-minute bells are sounding
This is my new purpose

To feel the stillness
To immerse myself in the quiet
Before the misunderstood rituals begin

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Doppelgänger (Without Trace)

Why shouldn't I imagine that I see you
Sat out, in the corner of the Lavender Garden
In conversation, on your mobile-phone

How much hope can be destroyed
By those twin forces 
Of human nature, and human nurture

Why wouldn't you, choose to sit there
In the most obviously noticeable area
Of this somewhat, considerably discreet, location

And if I could listen in, to your words that is
Would I smile, with warm interest, as I identified
Your libidinous turns of phrase

Or would I
Through clearer speech recognition
Realise how foolish I had been

To have thought of you, either as my lover
Or as you wished, my friend
For all of those intervening years

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Cart Track (Without Refrain)

I kick the leaves

Not knowing
Whether to laugh
Or to cry
Not knowing
Whether to be happy
Or to be sad

I look back on my life
For signs
Of some achievement
Not knowing
If, to feel
Is not itself sufficient

I watch the leaves
Which fall onto the cart track
The cart track
Which climbs up the hill
To the five-bar gate
The five-bar gate

Which I feel
To have always, yes always
Simply to have straddled
Not determining
For one side
Nor neither, for the other

Friday, 5 May 2017

Gate (Without Chains)


I did not cross the bridge
For I remembered last year
When your mood overpowered me

You have not been with me so often this time
Though when you do arrive
You do so with no less force of magnitude


I had no choice
There were several hours
To be disturbed, distracted 
Overcome, and somehow defeated

So I did cross that bridge
I walked up the cart track
To the five-bar gate
Where, last year

I had, on three occasions
Left my camera case behind
But today I keep my eyes
Firmly focussed

On the leaf
And nutshell-strewn ground
Only at the top of the hill do I wheeze
Wishing to share another cigarette with you

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Sat In The Sensory Garden (Without You)

Early afternoon
On the second day
Of this short personal retreat
Although I have retreated
From anything but my senses

Right now I hear the gulls
And the loud raucous laughter
Of the studious young Americans
Though to be honest
I am unsure what drew them here

Only one or two
Made it into the Abbey
Only one really, on a regular basis
But I did see a vacant-looking girl
Walking by the river

And in the cafeteria
I overheard two young men
Discussing the purpose of their lives
I tell you, they had a great deal
Of street-wise verbose

Even if occasionally
They stumbled
As I also, so so often stumble
To find the right words
To make the sense of which I am after

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Simpler Chapel (Still Without High Church)

That one smile
On that one face
That one fine place
To cause such mischief

That one time
On that one clock
That one sharp shock
To cause such mischief

That one sound
On that one wall
That one late last call
To cause such mischief

That one scent
From that one flower
That one strong power
To cause such mischief

That one breath
On that one nape nerve
That one distinct verve
To cause such mischief

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Complex Chapel (Without High Church)

That one smile
On that one face
That one irreducible place
To cause such mischief

That one time
On that one clock
That one irredeemable shock
To cause such mischief

That one sound
On that one wall
That one irretrievable last call
To cause such mischief

That one scent
From that one flower
That one irresponsible power
To cause such mischief

That one breath
On that one nape nerve
That irreplaceable verve
To cause such mischief

Monday, 1 May 2017

Pictured (Without Being Framed)

I take photographs
To remind me of the light
To remind me of the season
To remind me of the vulnerability

To say to me
How good it would be if you were here
Sat, on this bench
As we sat, on that bench in Bilbao

Although today
At least here anyway
There are no flâneurs
There are no locals

Walking out, sharing life
Dressed in their Sunday best
Deep in communal conversation
As though there was no tomorrow

Of course, unlike some
We still have all, or at least most
Yes, for certain some, of our tomorrows
Which may well require a form of closer scrutiny

Perhaps a lazy, laconic, poetry video
Of the leaves, slowly drifting to the ground
At Buckfastleigh, or Buckfast Abbey
In the autumn of two-thousand-and-sixteen