Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Peace Of Torment

A wild wild wind
And a blue blue sky
A pair of denim jeans
On the washing line to dry

Birds that soar
On thermals in June
And birds in February
Which seem to have more room

A surf that roars
As if to cause wonder for all
Coir matting at my feet
With bets open to call

That I might ever
Make anything much
Yet to think of Kavanagh’s comma
Before the word such

And how some choose to use it
While others skip gladly on by
And which is the real way anyway
And does it really at all matter why

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Mathematically Speaking

Would it do;
To count the waves
Or measure
The snowflakes

Would it help;
To stand barefoot in the surf
As the crystals settle
Then melt, on my brow

What might I hold onto
Through physically feeling
What might I gain
By experiencing real experiences

To walk on the pebbles
To stand on the sand
Me, a mid-sixties rebel
From a northern land

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018


The arm shakes, involuntarily
The physiotherapist said that was a good sign
The nerves apparently beginning to feel again
And it is true
All down the length
From shoulder to fingertip
I can hear both pain and communication
As though there are new awakenings
In spontaneous conversation

Yet the words struggle
To pass around the elbow
Formed into a right angle
By the modernist chair
Also, as if to act
As a brake on the traffic
On any other day
I would stand up
And do my exercises

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Monday, 28 May 2018

Exhibit A

And so I have to learn
The language of conversation
I have to negotiate
When and how to speak
And how to listen
In a meaningful, mindful way

I complimented you on the breakfast
Though I think you asked me
I tell you of the Tate being on changeover
But you say yes, you have looked already
And anyway it is a long way to St Ives
I ask, then what does the day hold in store
You say that there are lots of things
That you still have to do

And so I learn
The language of conversation
I negotiate
When and how to speak
And how always to listen
In a meaningful, mindful way

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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Look, Look Out, All Day Long

The vast view
For the long time

The shaking lens
Of joy and fear

The afternoon sleep
And the middle
Of the night writing

The lost for words
And the found
For words

You see
The left arm
Wavers in excitement

As the right brain
Conjures up
Another brush-stroke

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Chosen, Not By Chance

The waves slow down
Soften their landing
The afternoon rolls on
Is this the work of the moon

And if I slept
For I can’t say that I did
If I slept
Was that to dream of the moon

If I did sleep
I slept to the sound of the waves
And so indeed
I did sleep to the work of the moon

Yet this was no natural sleep
Not a sleep
Which by chance came upon me
As I sat in my chair

No, this was a purposeful affair
With bed, and duck down duvet
Plumped up Egyptian cotton pillows
And the sounds of Gregorian chanting

Friday, 25 May 2018

To Transcend

I read of transcendence
I write of transcendence
All around me
I have the search for transcendence

Or did we call it transmission
Or was transference our chosen word
Either way
Gather the days of our transcendence

Yet only now, here in the here and the now
Am I able to discover the truth

I read of transcendence
I write of transcendence
All around me
I go along with the search for transcendence

Or as we now call it transmission
Or did we say transference was our word
And in that way
Those were to be days, of the transcendence

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Shag & Oyster Catcher

O just to be
Beside the clouds and the sea
On this fine February day

O to step free
Onto the sands of the lea
On this week of my birthday

O to think on
Of poem and song
As I sketch out these few words

O to be strong
For all that’s gone wrong
As I mention the birds

O they’ve returned
To seas they once spurned
In the years before yesterday

O life so we burn
As if to regular confirm
That the past is in the futures way

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

As It Is, As It Was

That we should know this place in February
Yet not in the middle of July
That we should shape ourselves for winter
As we wait for summers past to pass us by

The waves turn; turn, then turn again; towards
Wolf Rock, by the beach at Widemouth Bay
That Johnny Cash should be the Spotify song
After your ear wax candle day

That with kindling wood, and firelighters
The wood burner fires up first time this time
We photograph waves, rocks, and pebbles
And other geological formations quite sublime

Adam, and Eve; or at least today’s equivalent
Step up, to stride across the boardwalk
The skies, the clouds, the sun, and snow
Embrace the day, which we mark with chalk

We might be grateful, and thankful
Mindful that we share this spiritual occasion
Not a party; when more came than needed to
And only one channel of television to evade

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Who To Turn To

Where are you now my calm sea
Where is it that I will never be
How far to reach from the desert of now
How soon becalmed by the wondering of how

Nothing, or little else to say
No more prescriptions, or hopes to delay
The waves are stilled, from sand to horizon
The smiles, though feint, bring the surprise on

That all will be well some day
Pain will subside for memories to play
To sit in the armchair, listening
To Gregorian chant with thoughts whistling

Without time to stand still, hearing
The ringing, hearing the tunnel of bells
Thinking of that time, in the sauna, on Skye
With a phone call from a friend

Yes, a phone call from a friend
Moving on is what we do, and so
Began the morning poem, lend
Me your time, for I am moving on

Monday, 21 May 2018

Collector’s Items

It is my old painful body
It is my tired forgetful soul
It is my mind
With recent short-fall of memory
Which sees the horizon
But misses the sea

Soothed, by a meditation mantra
Uninhibited by the flashing light
Which signifies no internet connection

I have pastels
I have pen and ink
I have the Atlantic at my window
I have an old birthday card
Which was never sent
For it also had deeper meaning

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Sunday, 20 May 2018


And so here you are
And so there you are
And so we look at you right now

And so here we are
And so there we are
And so we look at you right now

And of those times I write no more
Of those times I write no more
No, no more to write of those times

And so I write no more
I write no more of those times
No, of those times I write no more

Saturday, 19 May 2018


Yes, there did ought to be a porpoise
Perhaps also a dolphin, just emerging
Yes, there did ought to be shafts of sunlight
On those waves across the Atlantic
Yes, there did ought to be a mood created
As if one’s own dusk had not already begun

Yes, there did ought to have been love
Not unrequited
Not unreachable
Not held off
At some vast colossal distance

But there did ought to be true love
Right here
Right now
As if it was our own love
Yes, our love; yes, really; yes, actually

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Friday, 18 May 2018

Back Here; Same Place

Circle of stone
Circle of fire and water
Circle of Japanese ink brush

Circle with compass
Circle with string and paint
Circle of exceedingly well-planted crops

I write of circles only to confuse you
To hide the real story, to hide the true story
Of how the circles encircled me
How I was captured in circles of my own making

Circle of light
Circle of night before day
Circle of more than lover's happenstance

Circle with family
Circle with friends and acquaintances
Circle with people I don’t even really know

Yes I write of circles to defuse you
To bypass what I wish to hide
O how the circles circled around me
How I was within, yet also I was outside

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Rutted Ground

A cart track in Yorkshire
A cart track in Devon
A cart track in Lincolnshire

Not that I had a cart
But a way of restful walking
On sunshine afternoons

No thoughts to the labour
No thoughts to the traveller
No thoughts to the horse and cart

Not that I had a lack of thoughts
For thoughts were all I knew
Thoughts of where I was, and where I wasn’t

Then, as the thoughts ran out
And the light began to fade
It was time to turn to parchment

To write what I wanted to write
To write what I needed to write
To write what I could or couldn’t say

A house became a home in Yorkshire
A house became a home in Devon
A house became a home in Lincolnshire

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Shop Time, Love Time

Oranges and lemons
And aubergines
And what flew from the tree that day

Departures and arrivals
And baggage to reclaim
And what drove along the free highway

Moors and meadows
And water in the stream
And what claimed the words to say

Peace and love
And happiness abounds above
As the solitary walker’s words go astray

Ache and rust
And rails which will collide
Across the divide of all that's made of clay

Temptation and musk
And oils on the skin, or husk
As the notes fall slowly in the spray

Apples and pears
And cabbage savoy fairs
And o what looks we picked up on the way

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ponder This

There is always danger
Or perhaps there always has to be a hint of danger
There is always second-guessing
Or perhaps there always has to be an element of second-guessing

But what of that moment
When the thought arrives on its own
Yes, what of that moment
When the dialogue speaks for itself

It did happen, I am sure, I am certain
Yes, absolutely that did happen
Even if the recollection
Is neither true nor clear

Better though to mention it
Like the whisky with the water
Like the tonic with the gin
Better to unveil slowly

Page after page after page
Be the devil for the Christians
Be the Buddha for the monks
Let there always be danger
In the arcades of the sun

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Monday, 14 May 2018

Young Man’s Words

Over the river
Four or five times
Beside the city walls
Four or five times
Asking for directions
Just the once
Ice cream for breakfast
With yoghurt & muesli on the side
All doors to open at ten-thirty
However long that silly old lady
Argues with the security guard
Outside of the mansion house
All of this before the bliss
The pure bliss
Of the Buddhist film
Walk with me

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Sunday, 13 May 2018


And ten years on
I hear that song
As if yesterday was today

There, down The Strand
With your voice firmly in command
Your beauty at sway, there as if to say

On Cartworth Moor, as a lad
Away from places poor
In cricket whites
With disco lights
A time I was so sure

Yet to endure, the end of a romance
As Christmas came apart from love
To be told, no more; o broken heart
You were a broken boy that day
That day, just as any other

On Cartworth Moor, as a dad
Away from traces dour
With afternoon sights
Of clover so bright
This time I wasn’t so sure

Yet to the lure, of ones mum
And ones wider family drum
To be told how good you are
Even from distances far
That day, just as any other

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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Something Comes Upon You

It was that quirksome I moment
Which I know you also encounter
It was home alone in the oneness
With each move or breath we make

A pause for the soul
With no one to pass by
An effortless experience
With joy to wonder why

So I steadied the ship
And entered another’s text
Into the hard-back black-book
After A what is to come next

But it is On Raglan Road
Where first I must tread
Once more towards The Gresham
Where men of Cloth are fed

Knowing all the while
That there the doppelgänger runs loose
Catching me by the coattails
With her glimpse for a noose

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Friday, 11 May 2018

Introvert Love

I watched two videos yesterday
Poetry videos of the poem
How To Love Your Introvert

First a dreamy theme
Accompanied by a piano
A male voice, with slight echo
But the star was a woman
A woman, a bed, a house
A forest with leaf filled floor
A woman swimming underwater
And of course a view over the lake

Second, the author himself reading
Kevin Yang in a solo performance
At a poetry slam, where his words grow
As the clear encouragement
Of the audience builds up
Especially as the vehicle
Of their transmission, as he smiles
Is laughter

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

After Life

No, you are right, it is true
I don’t know anyone
Who has come back from the dead
And there have been plenty of good guys
And of course my mum

These few words spring to mind
As I see the fridge magnet
Of the fallen soldier sailor
A memento of his passing
A young man taken too soon

And how he smiles
And how well they spoke of him
Yet for all the tears on that day
He has not, to my knowledge
Made a second appearance

What chance then I
With way less well-wishers
What hope for my re-emergence
From beyond the pearly gates
If indeed that is my destination

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