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All Day Breakfast

Your bad hours fizz

in a squirming glass,

and as cheery as they

had previously seemed

you require the waitress to

please change these flowers -

they're fake;

this head, please ... this universe ...

Hope the bellowing coffee

can fill you without any serious

danger of overflowing.



you only needed to pin down

the laughing words;

today you're th...

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A Whole New Perspective

An inner-city secondary school in Peterborough; the end of an early Autumn term day. It’s been bright and sunny, which makes you lazily regret the loss of freedoms you had only a matter of days before. Everyone has told, re-told, and swapped the stories about how they spent their summer holidays. Timetable anomalies and rooming glitches are mostly ironed out. Students and staff have started along ...

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9/11 terrorism

Green Man

The Celtic Spring begins today, so Happy Imbolc.



Green Man

on a ceramic head

by Paula Zimmermann



I know that you must be there,

innocent divine,

although at first I cannot see;

your martyrdom, daily,

amidst brick, steel, and glass

goes almost un-noticed

and has made us blind.

We have all but buried you.


But then I find ...

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The Lockdown Spring Renga Project

March - June 2020 :

During the early months of the UK lockdown, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic - I've been organising and running an online community writing project through various Facebook community boards, but in two different communities: Fakenham, in north Norfolk, where I live & work, and the Isles of Scilly, which I've known and loved for over twenty-five years. The two poems produ...

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chain-poemcommunity poemcoronavirusCovid-19haikulockdownrenga

Spring Will Be Delayed

our streets

are empty now:

spring sun tempts us - "lower

your guard, fall into this loving


                             a cinquain

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Covid- 19coronaviruscinquain form


I'm posting this following a conversation I had with the botanist John Parker (Director, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1996-2010) after a public reading from the book Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushman Rock Art by David Lewis-Williams and Sam Challis (Thames & Hudson, 2012). The South African San "bushmen" and their culture are a particular interest of John's, and we brie...

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DR reading "Epona" on Linda Thomas's Book Show - Radio Scilly 17 June 2019

This is my own edit of an appearance I made on Radio Scilly last month. I've been a frequent visitor to the islands for twenty-five years, and they feature a lot in my work.

Linda Thomas is Scilly's estimable librarian, and it's great to be able to give her this shout-out as she's been a real champion of my work for several years now. The show itself was a blast (although you may not get that f...

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CornwallfolklorehorsesmythsrocksScillystonesWest Country

Haiku: Robin at New Year

against the grey chill

a fire-red heart hammers its

fine threads of silver

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at Oíche Shamhna, time of the aes sídhe


A ragged tonsure,

Or botched surgery,

Where the sooty soul exits.

Absences for features:

Swallowing the dark through

A pulpy hell-mouth.




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Gathering Clouds

We could be


from crumpling


but atmospheres

are tempered

and all the weathers



I don't want to stay

and await the flood:

there is already

in your face

a rain that will not

soon be dried.

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Hitting the Wrong Note

Hitting the Wrong Note


Rooted next to his upright piano,

close in the tiny room,

I couldn't breathe.

He held one hand

to the small of my back,

the other across my

taut diaphragm:


(I can believe he loved

the music, but he craved

only angels, expected them -

and, by God, he was

going to have them,

even if he clipped

their wings along the way).



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childhood memories

Essay: poetry & the screen

This essay first appeared as an article in the spring 2010 edition of Wavelength, the journal (now sadly defunct) of Poetry-next-the-Sea. I'm glad to say that the festival is still extant, and grows from strength to strength. I make no pretence to comprehensiveness here - the subject is huge, untidy, and difficult to define -  the references are simply to films, television films, and presentations...

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articlespoetry & film

Final Act

For the first girl I really loved ... long gone ...


Final Act



playing the fool

with time,



his longest



in the actor's

dark asides.

Among the packed


stalls of eternity,

silence follows:



than the aeons

of applause

life received.


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Two bird poems

Heron Taking Flight


Rickety, this ruckle

of struts and ragged canvas,

a collapsing tent

of awkwardness

unmade by the earth,

by degrees cranks into

its one true element:

slipping tethers

into air.



Preliminary Findings


Preliminary findings

suggest a probable

leakage of fuel

before the tank exploded.

(Cockpit not located

at th...

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I guess that at one time or another - if we're being honest - we've all been blinded by the white hot heat and light of our fantasies, dreams, and ambitions; as poets it's practically in our job description to be thus.

The following poem owns up to flying too close to that particular sun, and the resultant crash-and-burn,

That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying for the impossible though ....

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A warm welcome ...

Hi Everyone,

The Isles of Scilly are a jumble of granite scraps thrown down twenty-eight miles west from the coast of Cornwall. Five of them offer shelter and a living for some one and a half-thousand people. Needless to say, for a community that sits permanently in the eye of Atlantic storms through the winter, and basks in beautiful, temperate Gulf Stream-fed summers, there is no shortage of ...

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wildlifenatureweatherIsles of Scilly

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