Poetry Blog by Adam Whitworth


We are all authors
desperate to relate the feeling
just before the lightening strikes
We are all artists
painting the runaway wagon
hungry for time to eat
We are all builders
balancing skulls, no mortar
leaning tower, such a view
We are all inventors
I'll show you if you show me 
wild ideas saving lives  
We are all explorers
the trail of breadcrumbs has been devoured
what to do if d...

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We May Break Even

The friend we have to consider
    settles his accounts on the last day
        it is the worst possible time.

'Today's the day' his good motto
    bright eyes shine on
        a glittering stream of todays.

His darker eyes raw from seeing them
    love; tragedy; cavort like little devils 
        along lanes of fading recollection.

what should our likeness expect to find ahead

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One Autumn Twilight

A gong struck once holds the attention forever 
and ever in the meaning of moonlight
describing the limbs, drinking 
doubles in a dry land and 
moving as statues, silver the hue.

We are communicating at last
through music and poetry.
Bark and croak of howling beast
should persuade us no longer.
Above the din, on the highest peak
we make our home.

Days made sweet blending
pure minut...

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The Greedy And The Hungry Went To War...


guilty and innocent were keeping score

one step into dark, one step into light
a dance macabre betwixt wrong and right

to the boil they came together and cried
the greedy fed on fears, the hungry died

how could their minds murmer lest we forget
while trampling to oblivion their debt

the greedy and the hungry went to war
weeping and wailing grew just as before

one step to th...

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Fool's Ghazal

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Ascents most extreme scaled only by fools
he returns; he returns not; O the fools

The finest, most elevated branches!
There perch incessant songsters! And the fools

In this limited form they face the void
blue eyes closed the better to see, the fools

Prepared to take flight? Then loosen your grip
encircle the rock with this flock of fools


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The New World Requires

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the new world requires smooth elephants
hirsuit elephants go back into the earth

your eyes abhor an emptiness
people a desert with figures

the new world requires hirsuit elephants
smooth elephants go back into the earth

arms severed long ago reach out
to you the phantom hand of peace

the new world requires smooth elephants
hirsuit elephants go ba...

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In A Free Hour

Crime follows crime until the gods intervene

all my free hours I wonder

who and what these gods are



Day follows day without a break

this much at least I know is true until

stark as the eclipse a free hour steals in



A runner unaware of the race

signals the smooth ways where possible

one of many I could believe flying



Impossible to catch such ...

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For You To Judge


A town like this 
whole skies passing over

those words
had a need to be written
they don't satisfy me
I know they don't satisfy you
they had a need to be written
being written
they are satisfied

I have seen the great poet
go down to the sea
hurl a great weight of verses 
into the greedy waves
it would take so great an effort
to ensure they float
an effort too great for fles...

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      when we see that
      we are still afflicted
      but we are happy

      For the life of me I can't say
where it came from but, this fragment
made a home in my head today.
A teardrop of honey
in exquisite slow-motion, yet to fall.

      "When we see that"
I imagine THAT in capital letters.
Jesus Christ, the incredible itch
wondering what 'that' is.
Then again, that cou...

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Mama Fado

Before now was
      a song: 

You go to the graveyard to talk to yourself
      by black night remembering stars

More have sailed away
than can ever return
you have loved them all
and your love still burns

More still remain children
while trees around them grow
lilliputians of emotions
yet you love all you know

That love caught up with a miller
as he set out to sea
his sails ...

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Atlantic Cliffs

A poem can not be read slowly enough
no safe passage into dear reader's care.
Extreme as Ireland's Atlantic cliffs 
where shadow and light like imperilled life flit:
the places words snatched by shrill winds collect.
It is there we must direct our steps, only there
signal moments caught from passing time,
occasional anniversary cards dry in drawers.

I have a prediliction for serious trea...

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A Letter, As A Dry Leaf


And there is a time to imagine:

through drought to finis.

So long on the parched plain,

the city of the earthquake becoming

real as myth; silent and still.

Time to feel spent sorrows fly

drinking in the desert, the ruins,

of  sorrow multiplied. 



Unable to imagine a future

in stillness a wind prepares to blow

in silence, of anger unaware

beside a grai...

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Sheep May Safely Graze

I don't judge the flock born to this hillside

but lay down my burden to get the outlook.

So it is with the heart up the hillside and down

I stop to hear, even falteringly repeat.

It has been shown, it is believed, 

It would only be my own heart weighed

and climbing up become falling down.

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The Crowd  



Waits, noise and mess its camp followers.
The crowd is
always waiting, waiting for a festival-
music or literature even.
Awaiting the mardi gras, the revolution
the carnival, some kind of orgy.
A requiem for someone known to all.

Of course none of these things can help them
but, what could do them any good?
All our children rushing to enlist.

We have tended a patch of land

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Of Changeable Weather


     Outside the box the river I know snakes.

Crawling over the earth, days send
their shadows to the east
sit at last, drunken, leant upon a bench 
exhaling laughs.

     Inside the dreams are small, familiar.

Days, like words, made up of meaning
make sense by the sentence;
a necklace of pearls strung together
effort's reward.

     For the time being all is not lost. 


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The Leap


How the porpoise was drawn into the seas

holding a pace seeming stationary

and, bagged on a shelf in a store of years,

who would believe: love is perfected yet.



Moon-proud a sillhouette over our seas-

a second sight at the antipodes-

curving like the rainbow before she fades

just as never was: love is perfected yet.

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metaphysical poetry

V. S. Naipaul 1932-2018

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At the house of Mr. Biswas

we'd evesdrop: a bond between us.

On moonless nights like this, I swear

we had a light leading us there.


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There falls an almighty darkness
in this most voracious of cities
but one side of the mind is not yet victorious.

Being on the eve, all that is plentiful is hearsay-
new dawn carried off by black knight;
students of fashion seek martyrdom.

But like clockwork the day breaks
glittering, aircraft set their scars across the sky
a show of power 

as empty 
to the universe beyond the...

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At Present

There is light at the end of the tunnel
and it is light these eyes were made to see.
My self I have imagined, reflected
in countless frames busy with wild designs 
to my left                                            and right,
likeness after likeness for company.
Portrait of the times each step of the way
shadow caught astrals, they reach out, would speak.
How many would change their luc...

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metaphysical poetry

The World Of Slavery


Five minutes ago I learnt of a man
child of a child, windsock of an airfield.
The world of slavery is robust thanks
to him for both slaves and slave owners hang 
in his family tree. Y'see, children of slaves 
do become, sadly often, slave owners.

Red herrings swallowed could burst the guts
of infants born to slowly fade and sink,
but this world of slavery is robust 
for there's a c...

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Anonymous plays his outstanding tunes 
outside the concert hall
unencumbered by laurel or crown
anonymous beauty grows enrapt on the green
christening the field Elysian
satyrs, staggered, remark in their dualmind
remembering the vow humane.

For sweet hearts torn and modern minds shredded 
in machinelife anonymous donates red blood,
gives higher love where low quotas are imposed.

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All ThezeDreamz


     Dropped into a transparent sky;
carried far more than sight could bear;
tied to the last migrating bird;
these dreams spilt, from vagrant hearts all.

     Coalesced to a melting sun-
the daze of rare celebration.
Or taken individually,
starcount the ways to be explored.

     Written light in pencil, no more
than faintest echo waited for.
Like breath of air these words that ...

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Just So Much


I don't know the names of these flowers...
but wait, that is the road back.
I found myself here when I forgot
the royal road and the mission.
Camouflaged, a cat brushed past stems
certain of an afternoon's handful of things,
one being-  these flowers reject names.
I'm pleased to know just so much 
as some darting creature bound for rest 
when the closing sky suggests rain.
A flock l...

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The Lot Of Us


No need to confess
hair infused with smoke
hand red and burning 
from slapping a snowman hard
and all these hours late!
Once a man stamped a boot on the moon
the rest of us need no name
no need to confess
from Beijing to Bogata
the cakes are disappearing.

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The Poem:


May be read or unread
that is not our concern

bloom spontaneous in hermetic mind.

May be misunderstood
or diluted in time
no matter

restoreth a most ancient faith
by a most novel innovation.

May wield the harsh weapons 
of a vengeful orphan

distracts a fool from his folly
installs a world unnoticed.

May be a phial of stage blood
to stain the sea red


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Look- all is reassembled in a year.

For a pastel fleck comes the bee, the thorn.

But seeds who still wait lay frozen by fear

under the wheels of a machine. Unborn.


Look- flowers are walking, summer to spread

across so fine a landscape warm and green.

Yet more- and on a pitted tarmac bed

to sun, from shadows owning them, will lean.


How shall I honour them? Mod...

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The Last Giant Tortoise

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You don't understand, do you?
It's okay...
we'd lie under a crushing trove by now.
You're the dead man walking. Slowly.
Lonesome George, you are the last of your kind,
the cut already made. But you don't understand,
do you?

Going back to sleep an hour is a long time.

"Upon a hillside, sheep-dotted
a shepherd and soft flute player 
enacts the old tale without end

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It's An Optimist's World


Of the utmost pliable nature
I picture an enduring surface
the skin of a planet.

Between intolerable molten core
and absolute void where chaff may disappear
ouroborus; mobius; this surface
observes all and only the laws of Pi.
Wrapped around as on a bon-bon
its intricate designs kept clear and shiny
by all who feel entitled or obliged to care.

And here is water, somehow,
not an...

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Praia Maria Louisa


So long do I study burning sand in my flameproof palm yet 
certainly I know it must slip through prodigal fingers.
Through floors of taverns 
and the centre of the world as easy.
And the gate between two stars; 
the void blowing shining galaxies apart.
So far, it will be true at last- none of this ever was.

Clear streams chime on smoothed rock.
Hidden birds proclaim blessed...

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Olhos D'Agua

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On this day a brightness stands against blue
blue overwritten by shape- white-
an ornamental chimney
lidded, blessed with a little roof of it's own
white of paper outshone 
by vital integral scissored-out shapes
dainty as a pottery oil-lamp.
What is it to you, T.S?
Nothing significant on this day?
What can truly be said, Pablo,
on this day, how many people?
Oh, Seamus, What should ...

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The Muse's Apology


Just when it seemed I would live forever
not troubling a dentist for ten years
nor yet too gross to ride a bike
well it is said it's all downhill from here

And as it seemed that fairytales come true
'twas I saw a shooting star to be caught
so plucked three wishes too quickly
raw strength, wicked cunning and fierce beauty

But all that needs to be said has been said
so very well my...

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Here in these fields- all battlefields,

and day bit fiercely into night-

call not for final victories

but sing glad of tommorow's fight.

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With a wash, a milky sky,
she is wide awake and at the canvas.

Swallowing an olive or
sipping seawater soup
she's chuckling away 
the hours that pass. 

It's a brightening morning-
she must attempt a blue more intense.
Ultramarine, titanium white?
More, less? One thing for sure -
not everyone can be Rembrandt.

High noon and gold is fierce
as her brush now primed: 
blinding mirror...

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Questions For Introverts

Tell us all the origin
    how you live 
on the edge of town
    how you manage 
to miss the village maypole
    the fireworks over our grey river
how your wife's friends 
    are not your friends
how your hidden ways
    make sense among us.
Tell us again
tell us whenever
    we grow curious
tell us
    who really need to know.
Faraway and wild places draw you
    away from your b...

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The Poem Itself


It dawns on me at last
the storm clouds I have turned and turned to evade
yoke firmly to the schist beneath my feet, 
dark with familiar paths I can never scrub.
From here, say summer picnic leftovers, 
no bee would buzz far. The opposite of a poem, 
a passing sportscar suggests, is a bad poem. 
But a true-coloured reflection, 
the old ram at the fence boldly declares,
is indulged gl...

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Old Man


Figure of fun, stinking of piss?
That old man is Wordsworth in the field,
patriarch to small capped heads. But you
fail to recognise Socrates in the market and there 
springs your catastrophe. Yours 
is now the society of a bullet entering the head
repeated in slow motion, repeated ad nauseum.
Take pride in tall towers if you must,
who now can record faithfully their collapse?

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Mothering Moonday



A lifetime of wide-eyed skywatching but now 

a glimmering lantern I blindly clutch for

 in or out of this world. A sober Moon incises: 

songs and spells of comfort tell

she is great, synonymous with real magic.

Every part of herself from nothing to all

given and taken through every season.

Long through my benighted dramas, selfish episodes, 

never once has she tur...

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Lay in the trench 

bean, barley, corn,

twisted in silken sheets

your love dreaming.

In all the lord's land they lay 

shark-jaw traps.

Young englishman,

walk the safe way home.

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A Blob Of Science Fiction


When the caveman met the civilised man
impressively, one did not kill the other.

Each had skills the other understood
would take long practise to equal.

Instantly created sign language
deepened their understanding.

Each was amused, wondering if
they could make it in the other's world.

For simple joy in the parabola they threw 
between them a small green sphere.

I believe i...

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Emerging from grey, a cool green garden 

has no audience at all.

As the music you practise

you practise for its own sake.

As aerial larks have sung, always sing,

for very particular ears.


Resisting analysis an artwork

in silver much clearer than gold.

Your prophet's tears dew on foxes

returned to the hole for the day.

And aerial larks have sung, always si...

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Just for today, let us declare,
there is an amnesty on dangerous words-
before slammed doors, smashed cups. Broken hearts.
Calmly, quietly, lay your shocking words on the table.
In honesty there's no authority here and no criminal,
Steely words come softly from both sides of the table.
Shorn of spikey rhythm, long-writhing rhetoric 
lies still, lamb-like; object of sympathetic tears.


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Burn After Reading


Your depths wait like

a sombre boy's rockpool.

Focus of a cornflower-blue dome,

catching echoes of those

animalicules designed to hide.

Yes, your depths wait.

Fevers you feel will subside

with the blinding sapphire blue- 

loved ones consider lightly;

the kraken thinks best to hide.

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Such Sweet Sorrow


    As loath to cease breathing

the briefest interruption -count in minutes-

of young lovers begins, as so much,

with an exchange: the parting kiss.

    Thoughtfully curry-combing horses before 

one long dark trek; sharing silently 

the feast to safeguard against famine.

    Art's lady, you draw a timeless moment into time;

giving the perfect answer without a question ...

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Is the gulf so wide
that we no longer look over clearly?

However great a part of humanity: 
apart is not nearly enough.

When reason borders on unreasonable
where do you draw the line?

Conquest confounds poetry
in the soul, a trophy never enough.

Will efforts to camouflage the obvious
spiral into loveless isolation?

Alien antennae pierce armoured skies.
Beyond the pale is ...

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An Editable Feast


Silence seems to be practising on me
from that uncertain distance 
where the sky meets the sea. 
Looking so far without obstacle
I don't know what I perceive.
Is that the other bank of a vast river,
and how might things be viewed from there?

On a day like this great ocean is
laying foam upon the sands
awakening my toes way down there
miles above my head wide sky is
throwing halcy...

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Work In Progress

Once An Acorn

Handsome oak tree, one grand thread,

but split, split, split. Tangle of limbs,

cloud of leaves, your thread is

a network of veins; what is more

alive than you? What years have you

not known, and intimately:

their seasons have a particular ring

in your meticulous soul.


Unaware of my second nature

still you know how I plague a world

-it is in the air that sustains ...

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Hanging Leaves

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They're making trees out of paper!

Oh, it's all in a good cause.

One leaf says "I wish I was better."

So many others are much worse.

What leapt out at me in the cold 

corridor, where anyone might pass 

was a crinkled leaf I had stooped to pick 

from the tiles, which read

"Am I going home with you?"

Well, no one paints just to cover the canvas

as we speak politely...

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How Long Is Love Enchanted


An April morning in silence crept past the night

but she the dreamer had woken and found 

lodged in her mind a bare line...


At once she knew it was a poem's title

as an egg in a nest is known to be sacred

and more- from her other world- she'd seen it

writ large for scholars on the old blackboard


When she told me- yes, forgive me

I am the most fortunate of men...

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Magnifying Glass

Here we are again for self-improvement

I see a hippo-like creature
has become a whale

and though her soul be polluted
with poison through unfair ages
she has pledged to pilot the man to safety
whose fate is with the cruel sea

here we are again

excavating on waking
at the site of the mirage

and there our nightmares are piled high
with all that cannot harm us
oddities brought u...

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When the poets hear my name

   they are humming bird tongues

burning spears converging

   they would dissolve

   the only way they know how

speak of all things past

   refuse to concede and think it victory

   steeped in sweet intoxication

   deep as death and no more



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Recent Comments

Adam Whitworth on We May Break Even (1 day ago)

Taylor Crowshaw on We May Break Even (1 day ago)

Adam Whitworth on Fool's Ghazal (5 days ago)

jennifer Malden on The New World Requires (5 days ago)

jennifer Malden on Fool's Ghazal (5 days ago)

Rose Casserley on For You To Judge (Mon, 3 Sep 2018 11:41 pm)

Adam Whitworth on The Crowd   (Sun, 19 Aug 2018 11:23 pm)

Adam Whitworth on The Leap (Thu, 16 Aug 2018 06:47 pm)

Martin Elder on The Leap (Thu, 16 Aug 2018 01:03 pm)

Big Sal on V. S. Naipaul 1932-2018 (Sun, 12 Aug 2018 03:11 pm)

Adam Whitworth on V. S. Naipaul 1932-2018 (Sun, 12 Aug 2018 11:19 am)

Adam Whitworth on At Present (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 11:29 pm)

Martin Elder on At Present (Wed, 8 Aug 2018 09:44 pm)

Adam Whitworth on The World Of Slavery (Mon, 6 Aug 2018 11:06 pm)

Kate G on The World Of Slavery (Mon, 6 Aug 2018 08:34 pm)


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