A collection of poems and other writings...

Thursday, 22 October 2015


I perhaps should have suspected
as we watched swallows gather
in punctuated groups on high-wire lines
that this would be an end

I noted how they were crotchets on a stave
you rejected the cliché
but at that moment
as if to save me
from an open window a nocturne played
and became the cooling breath
of that September evening
finding its way to an imperfect cadence
classic pianissimo
the music dying
into an uproarious silence
between us

and your attention drifted
to a purple horizon
where the moon was climbing -
a cream minim
floating in ink

my hand found your shoulder
and thoughtless fingers
played the coarse seam
of your cotton white blouse
creeping from soft nape
to the shrug at the joint
I sensed your tension
and the chilling breeze

and now you are no longer here
to empty my thoughts
and I swallow the lyrics I wish I had sung

Monday, 5 October 2015


The Vicarage, Morwenstow - the beautiful house
built for the eccentric Reverend R S Hawker
See also The Wreck of the Caledonia
My siblings and many cousins will no doubt remember our big family holidays in North Cornwall and Devon
and staying at the vicarage in Morwenstow
and the little room called The Eyrie that looked down into the courtyard
and how the bees had built a huge hive in the ceiling
which became so laden with honeycomb that the plaster bulged ominously
and how inevitably it had to go.

For homework from my writing class last week, we were asked to write a piece on "consequences" and we were given a poem TheWasps by David Constantine as inspiration.  This is my response.

we are the bees
(because she is here)
that fizzed in and found her (be-
cause she is here) and we have
been fuming about
the blooms

of this summer
garden (because she is here)
supping colours up from yellow
cowslips and black-ey'd susans
till we are foxglove
dust laden

with sunny set
honey-suckle pollen (because
she is here) and we are thick-covered 
with dusky jasmine warmth with
 carousing courage from
our craving labours

and we have found
the hole between blockstone
and mortar (because she is here)
worn by rain these two hundred
years that leads to the
cavern within

the roof among
the smoky joists above
the plaster and we have stocked our
larder (because she is here) full of
plenty with this season's
sucking and churning

and spittling and
wraggling and you human
can see the bulging pendulous
bagsacks of our great labours
groaning (because
she is here)

combing (because
she is here) in the flaking
ceiling and you come and crack-
make with your bullnose
chisel (because
she is here)

and your mallet
and your shrouded hat
and your tight-cuffed sleeves
and your tarry fumes and you
chop us out drowsy
(because she

is here) in this
evening as this sun's day sets
sizzling into the sailing sea and
yes you hesitate (because she is
here) but still you
burn us up