Sunday, 30 September 2018

Father and child

Father and child

‘Churchill dead’ the paper said,
as the fork, meat and two veg,
hovered between the page and his mouth.
Leaning forward, breath-mouthing the words
the fork delivers and the news is chewed.
Similarly, the cup hovers at the lip sip
until such time. 
                        See now the grime
of the day’s toil in the lines of his brow
as the frowning news folds down, and his
dawn-dragged day, to his sundown night,
flickers in the coal fire glow to the one side,
and the stair-draught curtained on the right.
Not yet the bowl to wash before a pint, but
a droop-eyed snooze as the news is mute,
as a child-eyed mimicry fast follow suit.

why retype the typo?

there was a typo, but now it’s gone;
it was irritating, but it shone, in
golden ink from a twisted nib.
so now the poem is pristine,
the rub is, does it mean 
what it was meant to mean?
or has it gone and congealed ad lib?

morning musing

morning musing

four dunnocks stu-stuttering,
breakfast on the patio;
what a surprising sight, as the
cat’s tail trembles to and fro.
mew, i would eat them if i might?
but hey up, away, it’s time to go.
the cat curls up, to dream and snore.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

a sea

a sea

the surf blazing 
annealed white in the sunshine
and hammered 
against a black anvil sky
that sneered 
‘come on take me’
but we could not climb
that stairway to heaven
our feet sank in the sand
the wind in our eyes cried
for ‘mammy
take me home’

Thursday, 27 September 2018

morning musing

pianissimo in plinking
in a glass of gentle rain
cheers autumn chinking 
mist dresses swirl again

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Angst eternal

Angst eternal 

Darn child, where have you been hiding?
Why do you leap this upon me now,
at life’s late hour?
I thought you buried in time’s shallow grave,
and I had conveniently forgotten how

you called me out as second best; 
fearing to intrude where ‘them others’ smooch. 
For the hot-handed grasp of teenage angst 
had me throttled, where the hormones jest.

I’m back there ...

Would you know what to say?
You say. 
I say, they know who they are!
Who are they?
You say.
Who will they think you are?
What to do if they rebuff?
I say.
What then?    Stay away, you say,
stay away; dry as a tear at moon’s gate. 
And although I long not to yearn this way
I do; cold in ache, fearful of their sophistication,
not understanding that, or 

what drove me on through the insecurity
of those days, to arrive at the ‘stability’ of now.
Hindsight gently removes its steadying hands 
from the swinging balance of time. See how
it settles, equilibrates, but time’s too late.

Oh, you old fool, see how your angst 
is handed down to the young aches of today, 
with their own brand of sophisticated insecurity; 
that you cannot know, but can imagine secondhand.

Your need was as big as the denial.
The clenched teeth that clamped around
your brain-stem, denying rational thought;
that voiced relentlessly: do not turn around
to look upon the countenance that brought
the angst of your ‘them’ and so confound

the answer to the conundrum of why, 
is this man, now angst-free, yet still afraid 
to look upon those days, and to say,
that was the agony that unbraid 
sublime, and was the slow undoing of me. 

Oh that I could place
the proverbial old head
upon young shoulders.
But writhing in the travails of youth,
who would listen to a silly old man
who does not understand?

I angst you, tell me that?

Monday, 24 September 2018

the cradle of the day

hourglass halved at autumn equinox,
we walked the roof of gower, wild
with gentle ponies and cows at cud,
and not a sound or fellow walker
did rustle the whitening grass, or nudge
the gorse kissed flowers shottled mauve
with heather; bedazzling a fungal crown
that has mistaken this indian summer’s day 
for autumn afoot, in mist, free-roaming 
down the haze, that on this wine-clear day is
becalmed above the enchanting oxwich bay.
and falling footsure down through crawley woods,
creeping and red-berried, mossed-dank,
tree-tunnelled on the sandy path 
to the open delta dunes, and tor bay, 
set fair at half way down the day,
and lunch seated on the low water rocks,
where a last lost butterfly jigs 
to a summer out of tune.
the bluest blue, the whitest white
smoke-signal pods that ride
the sun on this perfect, perfect day.
the end of a long walk back to when
the days were, as a child’s days were,
sweet beyond recompense; and here
i will rest my soul, until such time,
as a day such as this, comes around 
to visit just one more time this life, and
oh lordy, lordy, me, is that the time!?
coffee and cake awaits at pennard stores, 
before the buggly bus chuggly chugs
to doze us back home again
lost in the cradle of the day.

Indian summer

Indian summer

then suddenly
the golden ring 
once lost in the sand
shoots a sunbeam and a tear
and we are married 
on another summer’s day 
overlooked by time 
stolen, squirrelled, interred 
in this poem       well i ask you 
was there ever such a day
in all of the golden treasuries

Sunday, 23 September 2018

All was not lost on me

All was not lost on me

Gnarled man with your gnarled hand,
bent upon your staff of ages,
dreadlocks unwashed, tied in a band;

can you lead us sir? For here we stand,
helplessly lost in old maps and pages,
we seek the valley path, that lifeline of hand;

for us city slickers, thinking we are so grand!
are hopelessly lost in an argument that rages.
Please sir could you guide our little band

down to the beach, to those miles of sand,
where the tides of life, in all its stages,
run along the shore; and with conch in hand

we will listen to the last of land,
the quince and sweet, sweet greengages;
for we have arrived, our merry band,

and my, oh my, doesn’t it look so grand,
ice cream stalls, all the flavoured sins of ages;
spades and windmills, cones on hand,
kiss me quick, here comes the brass band.

A villanelle

My coat, the hanger of the day,
collar turned against the knife of night,
upon a neon-rained and plodding way.

I find myself weeping; for needs must say,
was i right? Was i right?
How it dogs my steps this torrid day.

I look for the broken ray 
that held us fast in love’s bite;
now gone, far angst is strewn this way.

Deranged, and regaling to all who may,
or who would listen, yet some take fright,
at my flailing, wailing day.

 And my plea that would this night devour nay
 all that ever crawled back towards the light
 from down-town’s midnight dark and lonely way.

I ache for many a morning gay,
that should n’er have seen this blight,
sinking down along the day,
to be laid upon an ocean’s teary way.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

the jazz player

the jazz player

his medley of buttered lemon juice
teases my salivary glands;
trumpeting, eyes closed,
in a lachrymose blur;
my heart surrenders,
deep in my throat;
i mouth the words
to a room in full sway,
standing in an ovation
for the jazz player,
who has done us,
once again.


the old song takes wing
              i was 
pinned on the moment

Friday, 21 September 2018

the fig

the fig 
with hands that feel for 
the cool autumn rain
even as the late summer sunshine
spills through her fingers
and her conkerless fruit ripen
so slowly that we wait and wait
until all autumn has passed away
and the icing snow arrives
to coat her high church pews

Thursday, 20 September 2018

I got this amazing critique of my book:

Growing up in the Lower Swansea Valley: Memoirs of a naughty boy in the 50s and 60s

the storm

the storm 

medusa from her hair in hysteria tore
these spitting serpents’ writhing wails,
screaming headless down a jeering sea;
bitter and groaning flails the nine tails.
let the undulating black mamba’s horizon be
so dyed in the mangled day’s turgid blood,
fret and wet under this frowning slated sky,
mount up in a tsunami bore, so that although,
i am transfused, I stand transfixed,
reiterating the eternal question why?
do i feel that i once stood wide-eyed 
in terror upon this very spot before?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

storm me sea

storm me sea 

in the push and pull of a daring be
in the push and pull of a wild sea
in an all-storm on the bite sea
a seething spit in the face sea
a banshee quivering spume sea
a running running striding sea 
life passing before your eyes sea
a claw me back to land sea
in the push and pull of a daring be

Sunday, 16 September 2018

not in my craft or sudden fart

not in my craft or sudden fart

do not craft a poem;
do not fine tune a poem;
if it speaks, it speaks.
it spoke to you didn’t it?
even if it flashes
as bright as a cut diamond,
it will be from
the same seam,
in the same mine,
as my uncut diamond,
that burns with a hidden light.
so, my dear prospector of words,
move on in search of the next gem,
that, with others, will adorn the crown
of your anthology.
caveat emptor,
reader beware.
written as seen,
no rewording offered.

i’ll get my coat

i’ll get my coat
  from the hanger of a dream 
and turn my collar to a night
   split upon a neon beam
surreal in its red-rained
  cobbled way
standing and crying
   for what can i say
one step after a torrid affair
   i look for the broken chain
that held me fast and loose
   that has me now without a brain
deranged and regaling to all
   who would listen at this the late hour
to this thin and lachrymose
   plea that would this night devour
 all that ever crawled back home
   from down-town’s midnight hour
with an ache for god’s sake
   for a morning that would have been ours
before it sank down into the dark
  to settle upon the ocean floor

season of mistress and mellow fruit flyness

ah my garden, armageddon,
after summer’s slurp gluttony;
turns in fall, as the leaves fall,
to bestow the tidying up on me.

Saturday, 15 September 2018



they scattered their mum’s ashes
they saw my poem on a pebble
they went and got a pebble
and wrote on it with heart ink
i said 
i wrote that poem over there
and we were attuned
and we talked and talked 
now this seems to be a poem
about them
now isn’t that nice

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

poor avarice

poor avarice

we were poor, when i was a child.
no cars, no holidays, no smart clothes,
no perfumeries, austerity the staple diet.
but we were happy in our clich├ęd,
un-digitalised way. we were field-borne 
and sky blue sure, wind fed, rain blessed,
in a rattling of pals fast abroad the days.

then all that changed; slowly but slowly;
and, looking back, the valleys are bottomless,
for the pinnacles of modernity are in the clouds.
and now the distant "they" threaten 
deprivation after brexit, or global warming,
or overpopulation,
or or or …

well good i say !
bring the spirit of shared adversity 
back to our community of sounded souls.
let not the thirst of mammon spike in
the eyes of neighbourliness.
let the horizons close in, and let the
villager who does the doing, do the laying out, 
and let the aged wisdom be heard.

but i venture you will not agree;
what turkey would vote for christmas?
as they say - but around it comes each year. 
happiness has no boundaries,
it is found as often in the small as
in the large. so why don’t we kill avarice;
exsanguinate the rot from our modern heart,
and let our bloods mix in the alchemist’s mortar;
and let the golden days be forged again therein;
and let the good old bad times begin.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

mmm? autumn?

mmm? autumn?

the tomatoes are finished
the apples are picked
the plums long gone
the last pears to the crows
a few beans dangle the wind
the figs all promise 
the logs gathered in
the geraniums are obdurate
the rain is not
a sea swim beckons
as the rhubarb snuggles down

Monday, 10 September 2018

Sarah N Dipity

Sarah N Dipity

I talk too much she said,
and I waited for her to talk some more. 
I have had mental health issues she said,
and I waited to savour her words some more. 
To pick the juiciest morsels 
from the bones of her tongue;
to leave the dry bones, and to discard
the bones others and slipped into her pocket. 
Her nuggets of wisdom were often hidden
in poor words;
whilst the pearl words spilled cold across cold marble.
There were sidings we puffed along,
waiting for the signal.
Then we sped on the non-stopping express. 
Then we were engulfed by a tunnel. 
How long they are, these tunnels,
and how the steam fogs in.
Then Buddha, my brother, we are on the
coast track sailing above the seashine 
of her smile, when our aye ayes 
hit upon a mutual understanding, 
and the poetry flowed between us;
and the balance, so much sought, 
is no longer in the balance.
Oh, Sarah N Dipity, 
although you know you are,
because you say you are
cloaked in a medicated blanket;
the golden threads in the tapestry of
your life shine through,
and it is a privilege to be invited
to gaze thereupon.
You are the thought raconteur,
the sought raconteur,
to balance the seesaw 
of our precarious lives
in turbulent times. 
What a pleasure it has been,
and a pleasure it will be,
to talk again with you,

Sarah N Dipity.