Monday, 3 September 2018

My Heart Knows Where I Really Am


My heart knows where I really am,
Here with you
Beloved Ancients


It is a smooth sculpted hollow in stone.


I know that you are never far from me,
But I honour you here, today
In this place


Hard & dark as slate or river red & scallop sculpted


Mother Earth!
You are not what we think you are,
You are deeper than we can know


I do not need to pretend to understand this universe.


The age of the rocks that are the bones of this our land
Leads me to the timeless
Unborn place


My own deepest nature unites me with this jagged shore.

This poem written on the Isle of Man, August 2018. Photos by Barry.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Depleted Uranium




I haven't been very active on this blog this year, but I have been having adventures & writing a bit. I have a poem, Depleted Uranium in the recent Tomorrow Issue of Here Comes Everyone, an excellent magazine containing lots of original poetry, prose & artwork.

From the poem:
If it rhymes it must be lying because it's history
Written by our future rulers, not future Buddhas
Too late for the nucleus or the neutron
Barium, caesium, planet Krypton chain mail
Heavier than heavy earth; mind-metal
The drum solo on side two of the live album
Percussion capture cannot lie but the percussionist can.

Buy it here!

Friday, 2 February 2018

We Dare Not Confront the Mystery that We Are


most of what we are is blind in the unseen dark
the abyss between the cell membranes flutters
with delicate breathing forces for which we have no names
we are a mystery to ourselves

most of what we are is what we are doing right now
but we do not know it nor can we, nor can we take charge of it
the wild systems of of our deeper nature
do not recognise what we call a self

most of what we are is a sleeping ocean

that dreams of the world of thoughts & things
which it cannot understand but to which it must try to respond
it cannot distinguish between the creative & the stupid

most of what we are is dissolved in water
stacked in sheets or coiled in the forest networks
of a secret country for which there are no maps
in which there is no sense of direction

most of what we are is patterned in conversations
carried by our uncontrollable blood
& because we are so afraid of this we will do anything
to avoid looking within

so let us fixate upon celebrities, politicians & members of our family
let us fall in love, become angry & then watch TV
let us pray to imaginary gods with our clasped hands & lowered gazes:

we dare not confront the mystery that we are

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Eight Decades: Wroth Silver 2017

In 1938 it was a Friday:
The first edition of the Beano & first cricket on TV
Chamberlains famous meeting with Hitler;
“Peace for our time” said he:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone,
& a certain young colt aged four may have been there!

War now over, in 1947 it was a Tuesday:
Princess Elizabeth got married To Philip
India & Pakistan gained independence
The first nuclear reactor in Europe was called GLEEP:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
At Martinmas Wroth Silver was still paid.

In 1957 it was a Monday:
Macmillan became Prime Minister in Elizabeth II’s 5th year as queen
Norwich City Council was the first to install a computer
In the Sky at Night, Sputnik was seen:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
With hats & wellies on.

In 1967 it was a Saturday:
The Summer of Love was come & gone in the Golan Heights & Vietnam below
De Gaul vetoed our entry into the EU
& Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band are glad you enjoyed the show:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
One or two may have got mud on their flares.

In 1977 it was a Friday:
Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee
Abba, Starwars, Saturday Night Fever
& oh joy of joys the Sex Pistols swear on TV:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
In the icy, frosty morn.

In 1987 it was a Wednesday:
We were still reeling from the hurricane
Thatcher called a snap election & won a third term
Peugeot began building cars at Ryton:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
By torchlight, a list of villages was intoned.

In 1997 it was a Tuesday:
Tony Blair moved into Number Ten
The death of Princess Di
Welsh devolution & bird flu were the talk of the town
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
Despite the threat of rain.

In 2007 it was a Saturday, not Sunday:
That Atherstone Warehouse burned down
It was the wettest Summer ever
& the birthday of the Iphone:
While just down the road
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
But we can’t smoke our pipes indoors no more.

In 2017 it was a Saturday:
Hoods & brollies deployed against the wet
Plastic banknotes, terrorist attacks &… Trump
Brexit continues to divide us
While just down the road,
At dawn in a corner of an English field
A group of people gathered round a stone
Honour to David who bore witness to it all!


This is my fourth poem celebrating Wroth Silver as it's poet laureate. This year was special because it was David Eadon's 80th year attending the ceremony. (He is the gentleman in the cap in the foreground.) Many thanks & congratulations to him!

To find out more about Wroth Silver, go here: http://www.wrothsilver.org.uk/

To read my previous Wroth silver poems follow these links:
2014: Martinmas