POEMS on the WEB

To begin . . . ‘a killer’ poem, to quote my publisher, which isn’t on the web but printed in ‘Obsessed with Pipework’.


I nick the neck of a Fair Trade banana

strip the skin

peel the shrivel-my-tongue veins

slice it over my morning porridge

drown it in milk

IMG_0796and think of you.

AND ON THE WEB . . . South Bank Poetry Library




reflectCheck out: http://www.paintingpress.wordpress.com for your Book Cover Design and Illustration for writers with visual ideas



spider                                            Picasso: ‘Histoire Naturelle

September again and spiders in house and garden. Conker time too! I have thrown them into corners and crevices in the hall, sitting and dining rooms to keep spiders out. Only having last year’s shrivelled conker remains last month, I jumped the mile when a black, spiky feet, fat bodied, big as a dinner plate house spider, shot across the sitting room floor. James Bond and the shoe . . . that was me without the hammering soundtrack. There was another crouched on the bedroom curtains a few days ago, obliterated with a hastily fetched Radio Times and I now have conkers upstairs in the corners, on and under the windowsill. It may or may not be an old wives’ tale. But I sleep better.


Webs hang like traps in the garden. unseen unless the sun strikes them, or one spots the black carcass of a fly, suspended, eye-level.


It’s an unusual autumn, the blossom of a spring-flowering, evergreen clematis is blooming. The scent is heavenly, like frangipangi and honey.


John Keats: (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821). ‘To Autumn’, was written on 19 September 1819 after a walk near Winchester.


To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Dahn the Plug’ole


A muvver was barfin’ ‘er biby one night,

The youngest of ten and a poorly young mite,

The muvver was poor and the biby was thin,

Only a skelington covered his skin;

The muvver turned rahnd for the soap orf the rack,

She was but a moment, but when she turned back,

The biby was gorn; and in anguish she cried,

‘Oh, where is my biby?’ – the Angels replied;

‘Your biby ‘as fell dahn the plug’ole,

Your biby ‘as gorn dahn the plug;

The poor little thing was so skinny and thin

‘E oughter been barfed in a jug;

Your biby is perfectly ‘appy,

‘E won’t need a barf any more,

Your biby ‘as fell dahn the plug’ole,

Not lorst, but gorn before!’


A poem read to my children and now my grandchildren. This wonderful book of poems is still in print.

‘The Rattle Bag’: edited by Seamus Heaney & Ted Hughes; ff; 1982

check out: www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com


When all this is Over

When all this is over

I’ll sit in the sun like the grey cat

and eat toast, dripping with butter

from that white china plate with a

deep pink print of cherry trees and water and two friends

(if I don’t drop it between now and then)

I’ll watch the fish flash through the fountain

as if they were swimming upstream

and I’ll ask you to visit

and see all you left behind.


CHECKOUT: my small press: www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com


Star – 7BC seen and followed by wise men from the east: Triple conjunction in Pisces of saturn,Jupiter. Acronical Sun in Virgo. Visible throughout the night; rose at sunset, set at sunrise.

silver 037


Buddha took the form of a star
to lead us West
and having hundreds of miles before us
not knowing where we were going,
we packed for all eventualities;
sore feet, paper and pen
and little treats to keep our equilibrium
in strange places.

Buddha ploughed through familiar constellations
and after sun and moon had grown and died and lived again
he paused. We knew when He would incarnate
but not exactly where
and enquiring of the king in that place,
who knew where but not when,
his sage told us to go to Bethlehem.

And so it was that the star led us there.

We stopped above a deep, deep valley,
the closest to hell there is on earth
and Buddha took us into the unfathomable crack
to the town of Bethlehem.

Music played, children called, evening meals,
lights glowed from windows
making our path radiant.
He shone above a house in a courtyard
with honeysuckle in bloom and olive trees
and vines and figs.

Feeling like fizzy champagne and
a bottomless ocean
we came to the house
and saw the child in His mother’s arms
bound in a red red blanket.

She gazed at his face
but we were blinded and fell to the ground
offering treasures for love and death
and all those sightless, formless things
which fashion our world,
from a sparrow’s feather
to our rushing hearts.


Published; Obsessed with Pipework; 2005

New Year: look back, look forward, time for re-assessment. Rake through the mud, dig up weeds, plant seeds, storm and sun, inspire, expire.

Everything passes, everything changes, just do what you think you should do.’ Dylan, B.   AND . . .


The Journey Of The Magi


‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kiking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


‘Journey of the Magi’, ca. Sassetta, Sienese; 1423 – 1450. Tempera & gold on wood.


The Summer Day

sunskyaprilam 024

Not quite summer but it feels like it. The garden is overflowing with light, warmth and colour, blackbirds, blue tits, dunnocks and two fat pigeons, cicadas, bumble bees.

I found this poem and love it, It matches both me and the day. Enjoy!

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?




‘Atlantis’- Mark Doty 2003

I know the current wisdom:
bright hope, the power of wishing you’re well.
. . .
Which is what makes me think
you can take your positive attitude

and go straight to hell.


There are different ways to see ‘positive thinking’

Ignore the facts,
that you really are suffering from; a certifiable disease; a slow fall from a very tall cliff.
Stick your head in the sand and hope for the best in the best of all possible worlds. All you have to do is Think Positive!!!

Face it,
and instead of imagining; a slow fall from a very high cliff or a lethal disease; alter your downward trend of thinking, because this is where you’ve discovered a hell of your own making.

for example . . . . . .

Woman Falls

Think Positive

Woman falls in park from a fainting. She comes to just as she floats, gentle as thistledown, to the gritty path. She feels nothing. Surprisingly, the park is empty. It’s usually full of locals walking their dogs, everything from basset hounds, to short-legged Labradors to whippets and Alsatians. It takes her a few minutes to gather herself and get up. She breathes deeply and gets on with walking the dog, a collie who had only been concerned that she was not throwing his ball.

At home, she makes tea and feels guilty for not pulling her weight in the community. But she’s tired.
Her friend calls, the only friend she’s got.
‘Meet you in town,’ she says.
‘When?’ asks Tired Woman.
‘Three, there’s a good film on at seven, time to do a bit of shoppin’, have a bite, then see the film.’
‘ I’m a bit tired at the moment,’ she knows that 30 mins will tire her out. Any longer and she won’t be able to drive home.
‘Oh, think positive. You’ll enjoy it once you’re out.’
Finding that ‘thinking positive’ in this way, is destructive, Woman bucks up courage and replies.
‘It’s not a question of thinking positive, it’s a question of facing up to the fact that I am tired and simply don’t have the energy.’
‘Oh, it’s all in your mind. You’ll feel fine once you get out.’
Deciding to be blunt, Woman replies, ‘I fainted this morning, in the park, no one was around.’
‘Oh well, do you good . . . take you out of yourself.’
Woman puts ‘phone down. It reminds her when she was left a mile from home with two bags of groceries from the Chinese supermarket where they sell big bottles of Tamari not the piddling little ones like in supermarkets just because the ‘friend’ didn’t want to pay the toll bridge fee. All the magazines which ‘friend’ had passed on, Woman dumped in the bin by the bus stop.
Woman didn’t care if she didn’t feel ‘normal’ and able to take part in ‘normal’ activities any more and was sorry she had done so in the past. It had never done her any positive good at all, in fact, just the opposite especially the Royal Wedding street party, even though she gritted her teeth and ignored inner warnings, mental and physical. But on the other hand, Woman was glad she did it and survived, even though it took her 2 weeks to recover.
So now she sits in the sun with tea and a hot crumpet dripping with butter, and when it rains, she will sit in the conservatory with lemon and ginger biscuits and talk to old friends and family on the ‘phone and watch the blackbird nip at the mealworm
fat-ball until she feels like ‘doing something’ else.


All that is beautiful
All that is worthy of praise
Let these be the content of your thinking
St Paul

Writing Spaces



Desk in the N E corner of the dining/books room next to the French windows, conservatory with dog and cat and overlooking urban garden – relaxed and dappled, no hanging baskets.

On my desk – seven notebooks, scraps of paper (kitchen roll, envelopes, post-its) with scribbles, sometimes undecipherable, printed sheets of ‘how to blog’.

Books which change with use, ie Thesaurus, Concordia, Robert Frost, I Ching.

A ceramic mug with broken handle holding 11 pens, three pencils and 3 rulers – 1 wooden with Roman numerals, 1 see-through plastic (cobalt blue) and 1 metal (cerulean) all 12”/30cms.

Two hot drink coasters, designed and made by my grandsons – 3 active volcanoes with boy smiling and underwater with fish-hooks and whale.

Canon Printer, cardboard stage with cut out figures from a scene in my first novel. To remind me. Pen-pad, earphones for ‘Dragon Speaking Naturally’, speakers, digital camera.

Attached to walls and unused flat-screen are – post cards – BBC Writers’ Room, SOLLER in Spain, Haori with dyed rose design from the V&A, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, National Poetry Day October 2011 quote –

“I wish I could show you
When you are lonely or in darkness,

The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being!”
Photos – gymnastic Hares at the Wiltshire Sculpture Park, Sammy, 5, painting a rainbow in the conservatory, and post card, very old –

We are unaware
of what sweet
miracles may come

Two, half imperial size, oil pastel drawings of the characters in my first novel, a framed photo of a starry window reflected above the inner arch of a church.

But when I write I could be on the moon/in the grand canyon/dreaming.

Room 2

S E corner upstairs, separated from party wall faces garden and a whole row of back gardens, all blossoming in the spring sunshine, no dogs barking, machines going, or barbeques.

Desk under window, difficult to see laptop screen because the desk faces the light so made a small blind. Loud music if I need ie Coldplay, Jan Garbarek, Tracy Chapman, Mozart. When the music stops – I don’t notice.

Easel, I paint here too, have plenty of books, paintings on the walls and an Ikea chair-bed for reading and for sleeping when the house is full.

I write anywhere, my first published collection of poetry was written and illustrated while lying on the settee, and when words are spilling over, I take a small, digital recorder about with me.

Words may sprout, they may not, mostly in the dining room close to cups of tea.

                                  Writing Space