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

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.


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

The Littoral

This is a re-hash of Littoral, a poem by Phillip Gross rejected for his collection, “The Wasting Game”, and accessed through the Bloodaxe Poetic Archive.

Huge shells by the tide lips falling –

with a stare of how nothing closes

White, moist, loose as collies, they tensed

with a thin, a tightening breath.

Almost a canyon, a Wembley stadium out

and dead to an old numbness of staying.

Out of the hands of something colourful

and less muscular than Earth.

Under the blue terraced rocks, tame oysters

placed there like repaired crockery,

a gull came down, loosely flapping

wildly, clockwise like Bob Willis bowling

in a rain-lashed Test match. It was down on a shell

no longer clamped and wet, picking it up,

swooping and catching again and again

till a wave surrendered, dressing the rock-ledges

then hoovering the floor dry. The gull

hung smiling, over the whole rock

with his supper, everything under him

including (steadily), another’s reflection.

Phillip Gross


You Were the Wind

It’s day sixteen of the National Poetry Month challenge and today we are asked to find a poem written in a foreign language and it’s translation. Here’s a poem by Olav Hauge, the poet of Ulvig in Norway. He lived his entire life in this town, tending his apple orchard and writing haiku like poetry using the symbolism of nature’s divine meaning. The translation is by Robert Bly in The Dream we Carry: Selected and Last poems of Olav. H. Hauge

Du var vinden

Eg er ein båt
utan vind.
Du var vinden.
Var det den leidi eg skulde?
Kven spør etter leidi
når ein har slik vind!

You Were the Wind

I am a boat
without wind.
You were the wind.
Was that the direction I wanted to go?
Who cares about directions
with a wind like that!

Olav Hauge
Art Poetry Uncategorized

The Olive Trees

We have all seen it before of course,

In the art books at school,

Or as a print in a gallery.

But this morning there’s something else

Besides the blues, and the wind swept

Shapes there’s something unseen.

An energy of nature speaking direct.

And my mind shifts back to

Dave Pearson’s recreation of

Van Gogh’s bedroom in Haslingden,

Lancashire, to the finest detail

Exact and time-travelled .

Recognising the transmission,

Of a truth that great art is

Born of the heart not the head.