Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Mercury swoops

I anticipate tea will be at 4 today, in these unfriendly times.  I'm happy to have a funny old poem on wretchedness posted up Ekphrastic, that’s two poems a piece for the boys below.  Good men in their field.

Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso

Saturday, 24 August 2019

How good is this!?!

An unearthed recording, back from the Bardic Days.

(My partners says: Bury it deep).

Thursday, 8 August 2019


I am longlisted for this year’s Canterbury Prize yeh!  So a place in the anthology assured & while I didn’t win with my ekphrastic shot at The Miser Who Lost His Treasure,  I will be in Earyworks next anthology as I was shortlisted for their competition as well.  I’m delighted with both of course, already.  Win or lose it is a pleasure to share print.  

Looking over the misguided register my submissions this year – aye, there are many – I see ‘longlist’ crops up: Erbacce Pamphlet, Firth Magazine.  It is plausible – as I don’t go for the big prizes and prefer the one judge reads all competitions – this is because there are more poems about. Which might be the case for all competitions.   Paddle faster.
L'avare qui a perdu son tresor

Friday, 28 June 2019

Webzine Progress

Bonnie's Crew & Runcible Spoon
I am happy to have two poems enthusiastically accepted by Katt at Runcible Spoon - Baker Street, with /Loves sweet tooth... /its fingertips and lollipops, strawberries and cream/ and another completed after many revisions, Threshold. Also an estuary poem, Sea window accepted this month by the big-hearted Bonnie's Crew. Familiar faces in both: poetry is a good place to be.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019


The usual thing: acquire superpowers, write the book, get the girl – all the girls – become Pres.  Young man’s stuff, but it’s all superheroes these days. This verse, with abandoned references to the cautionary tales and films of the past, keeps the recent film in mind, as its anchor point, even if – desperately unexpanded – the sense skates wildly on.    Sonnets, Gosh.

His ersatz candles burn nuit jour nuit jour
smoking ad-man, he recollects men haven’t
burnt full credit yet with brainboxes unspent
on pyromanic favours. Running water
from the tap burns chlorine off as we adore
bygone years of a limitless lament:
these days there's nothing left to quit for Lent,
allowing TV is the fire’s replacement.

Superman's transfixed by dreams of celluloid.
Being too greedy, love, he’s blue-eyed, GM
hints at a likeness to Dorian Gee,
in his wainscot the termites heard chomping,
senses dislocate: that’s hell. Avoid
extremes, our minds intact serve best as can be.



Monday, 25 March 2019



The dolphins seemed unfriendly
No sooner had we landed when, at a loss,
we struck out for the islands, not by airplane –
wheels on the shallows – but in the drink, again
cast off into the Med, each of us a Pangloss –
ebullience deranged –sailing for Paxos,
island of the  shotgun, Easter rain
whose white chalk gullies and a firefly lane
lit us home through the olive alleys, moss.
O’Hara was right to remind us of Pan,
the great god Pan, last seen somewhere near
the isthmus maybe down from Ithaca,
in the sparseness of the Archipelago:
I have to go there, but the boat’s tossed so, I can
not swim a stroke: the dolphins, oh! the medusae approach.

O’Hara was right to remind us of Pan
I am happy to have Poem of the Week on writeoutloud this week The dolphins seemed unfriendly, with accompanying picture of Pan. This is my second POTW and by coincidence both conjure boat trips and Greek islands.  My deep thanks for a terrific clout on the back from this week’s choosing editor, and I quote:  

“… master-class that drops us in the Med, talks of Paxos and Pan, and is delivered with the unfettered imagination and skill of a true poet. A beautiful piece of writing sure to transport you the way only poetry can…” 

The great grin of cheese.  I also have a poem in The Journal this summer, The videographer’s picnic.  (-:

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Tetbury Goods Shed

What had been the Writers in the (Cirencester) Brewery, I understand, is reincarnated at the Tetbury Goods Shed,  same sociable, questioning and supportive ambience, moved from a cafĂ© proper to this Finnish Railway carriage.  There’s a wider gauge in the cold countries.  Last Wednesday evening was very amiably hosted by Phil Kirby with guest poet, Mike Bartholomew-Briggs.  A really good poetic night out, lightly peppered with prose.  A couple of photos spliced below, taken by Nancy Mattson who has spent some time in Finland and vouched for the authenticity of the carriage maps, and, given the setting, was prompted to read her poem on finding 7 nuns at Platform One of Seven Sisters.  This is what we want.