April 2020

It’s the cruellest month to be sure

Hanging between the dark

And the promise.

The showers of black rain

Define the horizon quivering

In the distance.

“Is this it?” it asks.

Into the great unknowing

We send digital images

In ways

We don’t understand


Distance shrinking

To our thinking.

A bin full of paper hankies brimming

With a warning like all non – living things

And living things.

“Don’t touch me“. They say.

And our hands long to touch –

To squeeze the flesh of our loved ones.

To feel their aliveness

To sense our connection.

We have no leaders

Only soul bleeders caught in the headlight

Of their deadly karma.

Rendered impotent by the simple

Power of nature.

It was coming – we can see that

Staring at the green and yellow wall

Tasting the last of the Milk Tray

Wondering what comes next.

Over the way


A Cento

A cento is a poem comprising lines from other poems. This piece uses lines from Robert Southey, John Clare, Edward Lear and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

A wooden spade they gave to me

No stir in the air no stir in the sea

For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom

They danced by the light of the moon

They danced by the light of the moon


Rev. Gary Davies

He lived alone in a shack in Harlem in the shadows

Of the hard hitting concrete projects – the ones that

Get written about. He was the only one of eight kids

To make adulthood. He was cared for by his grandma

His dad being shot by the sheriff when he was eight.

He went blind as a boy. No wonder. He took up singing

And playing guitar cos that’s what blind dudes did in

Carolina. He became pretty good – made some albums

Got forgotten about. Got rediscovered. Played his jumbo

Gibson J200 at folk festivals and with the students who

Queued at his shack for his five dollar lessons that

Sometimes went on into the cast of the night plying

Songs with his thumb and index finger melody making

In a style more reminiscent of a piano than a guitar.

And he had vision. He saw songs and stories, the fates

Of man held in the hand of something greater. He called

It heaven. And then he painted his vision all over the

City. Twelve gated city that cradled our sweetest dreams

In the forgiveness and blessing of the great unknown.

Rev. Gary Davies


Even me thoughts are sweating.

Gripping like a water bottle.

Hope she’s watching.

Sticking with me.

Seeing the message on me back soaked.

“I’m sorry”

London Marathon


A Skipping Rhyme

Today’s challenge for National Poetry Month is to write a new skipping rhyme. Here’s mine,

“Pussy, pussy in the rain

Don’t you fall into the drain

If you do, tap three times

Shake yourself, climb out again

Skipping rope

A plea to Will on his birthday

Come on Will – put us out of this misery

We lieth within.

There are those unbelievers who pose

To denieth thou bin, to some part

A Lancastrian, having dwelt

In the county where women

Apparently die of love. Hooray for that!

Spools the tragedy spinner.

The library at Houghton knows the truth,

Aired with your mystery. Woven by

The incense of your playing. The lute

Bequeathed to you by Alexander

Your employer, friend and master

Of the Tower. Stratford has had its

Share of glory (and, it may be said, money)

So let us now redress the scales and

Give the fair county it’s due. Perhaps

A blue plaque, a living museum,

Or even, heavens above, a theatre!

Hoghton Tower

Morning take

Attention seeker

Rusty coated dog

Intersects the knee warmer

With her wet air divider.

The granny annoyer

Blasts its tranny noise

To be the thought interrupter

End of my dream.

The pain reducer

Catches my new pipe

As I look, the world framer

Heralds the day starter.


In a Stew

The skirt danced, seemingly by itself

An Argentinian tango is like that. You

Need to be in the groove. Here,

In Buenos Airies, it was ok. Andrea felt

The tiny droplet of sweat on her forehead

And she thought of her fathers birthplace

In Ireland. The peat, the hills, the potatoes

But most of all, the people. Independent,

Proud. It wasn’t always like this. Leitrim,

Famous for linen and coal mines

Only became a free state in 1922. Governed by

The Queen’s lackey boy, the Lord Lieutenant of

Leitrim – she doffed her cap to the grey

Unyielding stare of the English Parliament.

Perhaps they thought, (the English that is),

That the Irish lacked the capacity to rule.

Like the wild utterances, gesturing and

Insane time signatures of the math-rock

Band, “A Minor Forest” raising the roof

In 1992 – they needed taming – like the

Modern purveyors of the Argentinian Tango.


A Poem On A Postcard

This poem will be written on a postcard and posted to a friend.

A blackcap singing

Through the quiet of a lockdown day.

Burbling and fluting, the northern nightingale

Serenades the two day old cherry blossom,

As I wash the bird poo

Off the roof of the Volvo.

The cherry blossom

I Contain Multitudes

The hours collapse into one another,

Dominos anticipating the big push,

A gentle nudge from another’s leaning.

The milk rises to the top of the pan,

Looking for escape. The custard powder,

Waits. Rehearsing it’s thickness.

Hard to find in these strangest

Of times.

Richard Thompson speaks through

The ether of his New Jersey home

Beret, beard and baritone

Booking a face to face meeting

Embarrassed by the weirdness

Of the lines.

Even Bob Dylan, in outlaw mind,

Is releasing his muse onto a YouTube

In praise of Walt Whitman

Containing multitudes,

Seeking connection,

Honouring reflection.

The minutes pass away,

And history becomes our future.

Walt Whitman