Saturday, 24 January 2015


Very high in an egg-blue sky
A jet flashed in the post-noon sun
   As though an atom split;
Or in that instant did it fly
Between dimensions and thus shun
   This world for that of spirit?

In the bare April trees a pair
Of blue tits seeking insects bounced
   Between branches ceaselessly;
So, particles with a fecund flare
Artlessly nourish Being’s founts,
   Dancing creatively.

Too grand: rather, Icarus’ hand,
Touching the sun, exploded in
   Presumption; wreckage fell,
Past the blind-to-death tits, to land
In shattered skeins, dissolving in
   Matter’s ebb and swell.

© June 2013


Months: February

The poems for March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December and January in this sequence were posted on 24 February 2014, 21 March, 20 April, 24 May, 20 June, 29 July, 29 August, 27 September, 25 October, 24 November and 30 December 2014. This is the last of the poems: I shall gather them all together in one sequence subsequently.
A niggard thaw fouls pavements; filthy melt
Refreezes; encrusted snow streaks parkland
Like a scraped canvas. Spattered frost like felt
Tops hedge and soil, blighting with a thrawn hand

The muted froth of heathers. Scarlet berries
Decay in the holly though the cherry tree
Powders its crown with hesitant fancies
Of blossom. Taut daffodil wands make free
With the breeze, dipping their yolk-heads broodily
Over the beanshoot-skinny crocuses.
The tide is slack. Clouds eddy wearily,
Blotting the sun – a disc which focuses

No light nor heat. Men like woodlice in litter
Grudgingly stir, their torpid warmth combusted
By the seasons’ peristalsis. But the bitter
Monochrome wind discourages bombastic

Gesture: better to re-curl in shavings
Like a breathing nodule than be woken
By an incautious morning mob of starlings –
Their wings cracking like a black cloth shaken.

Dead water: sopping sands glitter; suede shingle
Darkens beneath indigo shadow; the waves
Lift careless heads like seals. But that wrangle
Of waters is unstable; soon that which laves

Will pound, driving up the foreshore to thrash
The sea wall and startle all drowsing flesh.

© February 2013

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Reggie Maudling: Consensus Politics 1951-79

Not my best poem and perhaps not even a good poem, but how many people have written any sort of poem about the Rt. Hon Reginald Maudling MP, leave alone a sonnet?


(After reading Lewis Baston)

“God be merciful to a soul of this gentleman’s way of thinking.”
A splendid dinner – wine, cigars and port;
Some chat of Butskellism, Keynsianism
And sad decline. Later, ‘Come Dancing’, caught
On TV, sparkles with cosy pragmatism.

And then the Sixties and the dash for growth –
Abortion, youth and drugs; coarseness creeps in;
Morning meetings idly dissect a graph,
Perfumed by jugs of Dubonnet and gin.

Corruption festers; Ireland thrashes in hate;
But the caviar and swimming pool days
Are done; the gifts and commission men wait
Exposure; a weary decade decays:

All ends in the Winter of Discontent
And Margaret Thatcher with a terse intent.

© May 2013