24 September 2016


                      glenbrittle morning  
                           (a snapshot)                
   

                     the forest is a vault of vapour and spectral trees

                                              listen

                                         somewhere
                                        behind it all
                            a crow coughs like a colicky dog
                              choking on its own isolation

                                       beside the track
                  young trees revel in diadems of liquid light
                                               and
                        bow to the applause of nearby streams

                                                then
                          like a passing well-remembered kiss
                                                   a
                                             buzzard
                                                 mews
                                                  and
                                                 soars
                                                above
                                              the mist

                                               listen


                                           ……………….

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11 September 2016



                                                       rising 

                                                after many years
                                   i’ve just been re-reading 
                     richard brautigan’s  “trout fishing in america
                             it was a favourite backalong
                                                and 
                            made me smile on reacquaintance
                                     the first thing to say is
                              it’s not really about trout fishing
               it’s the musings of a wry and active imagination

                        when i was in my late teens or early twenties 
                                       my father came to stay
                                         this was before he died
                                       it’s important to note this
                                                        as
                           he has visited many time since his demise

                                                getting ready for bed
                                he scanned the bookshelves 
                                                         and
                                      this title caught his eye
                                    a fisherman all his life
                       he figured he’d caught a good one
                      i had to explain that it wasn’t what it seemed
                                         (like so many things)
                                          he took it anyway
                            away up the wooden hill…
                                      at breakfast
               he never told me if  the book had aided sleep
                                            or
                helped him understand his wayward son
            just munched his cereal and started a new day

                                   so
                        there you have it
         i set out to recapture  old words
                     cast out some ideas
                              and
                     landed my dad

        time to dust off more old lines
                      who else will rise
       kiss the surface and bid me well
                     leaving ripple
                      after ripple
                         after…


           …………………………………………………….

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04 September 2016


                                       Jackdaws audition 
                                   for the new 
                     avian production of Macbeth
                         

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20 August 2016





























I took this shot from my window a couple of evenings ago and was thinking of writing some suitable words but then it struck me that it was an ideal fit for this Dylan Thomas poem.  It is probably his best-known piece and its themes of mortality and the impending death of his father seemed apt for this sunset.  The poem is also a fine example of the villanelle form.

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16 August 2016

06 August 2016



                                            
             on finding frost in an avian summer

                                     sparrows
                             common enough
                                       but
                   an endless source of amusement
                         i stand in my kitchen
     nursing black coffee and an illicit choc-chip cookie
                                   they
                               meantime
     do what sparrows do in their wing-whirling microcosm
                           they chatter
                                  eat
                               bicker
                 flit-fly off to nowhere special
                                 and
                    come back revitalised
            all with a sense of random purpose
                          i give them seed and suet
              they repay me with impromptu acrobatics
                  on a gymnasium of dying flowers
                                   perching
                                   swaying
                         revelling in an endless moment

     one could do worse than be a swinger of foxgloves

                            ………………………………………

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22 July 2016

Brixham Railway Station - closed in May 1963




            


                            we are such stuff …

                                they were good days
                               days of hitch-hiking
                                days of soul surfing
                            looking for nothing much
                                         and
                      laughing when we found it

                             we’d sit on the plinth of the statue
                                     there by the harbour
                        surrounded by seagulls and holidaymakers
                               the sounds of endless summers

                       i guess we spoke of this and that
                                                of
                           long rides on starless nights
                                  new friends
                                 old friends
                                   but also
                    the hierarchy of sleeping spots
                                      beaches
                                   old houses
                                    cliff tops
                                     castles
                                        and
                           wooded clearings
  i remember sleeping in a disused railway station
                           full of silent noise
                made by trains going nowhere
                                 and
                         coming back

                                   but i held my tongue
            (no easy trick when drinking cider from a flagon)
                              listened to their boasts
                    of dossing in  empty hotels
                               ww2 gun emplacements
                                          and a dozen other dens
                                                  then i saw my truth
                                 smiled like a poker-playing hustler
                                laid my card on an imaginary table
                                                     me
                                                  i said
                                     i slept in a metaphor
                             wrapped in invisible steam

                                      …………………………



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