Pour out more wine

There is no need to expect to create, at such a time.

Confusion, a sense of being confounded.

Disappointment, fear of what is to come.

The moon is almost full, almost  ripe,

But I am not ripe.

I anticipate no fruits.

I am dismantling dreams. wringing out the old.

The end of a year of death and irony,

Wars and the killing of the innocent.


Yule, feasts of turkey and w...

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Sunday Sky

Sunday sky the weather in the morning, please.

The night now battles round with wind and rain.

The storm plays devil with the chimney pots

The cloud descends, and drizzles down the drain.

Sunday sunlight needed in the morning please.

A swept and shining, breathless, briny sky.

Darkness is pressing hard against the window panes.

I dream of day bright, daylight, open eye.

In ...

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Mean Time

When I think it's time for bed,

You first raise a sleepy head.

When to dreamy dawn I wake

You at teatime take your break

I make lunch in noonday sun

As your long day's work is done.

You sit up till two or three

while we cook and eat our tea.

You are in tomorrow then.

Not just elsewhere, but quite elsewhen. 


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When, at the end of a complicated season

of argument and negotiation

I check, and find that the moon is dark.

And will soon be new,


I consider the things undone

That will not now be done

And the things unexplained

Which will leave large pools of dissatisfaction


And I breathe out, out, emptying the air

From my lungs, and the worries

From my head; letting it a...

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Stirred with a little spoon, the teabags swim

Like carp in golden liquid, fin to fin.

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fishsimileteatea dances

fellow travellers

They sit side by side

With their hand held devices

Patiently reading

Of virtues and vices

Exploring the world with

A questioning finger

Philosophy, politics,

Long will they linger

They speak to each other

And share their conclusions

Discounting the myths and

Dispelling confusions

Comparing statistics

Or searching for clues

Assessing investments

Or readi...

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fellow travellers

They sit side by side

With their hand held devices

Patiently reading

Of virtues and vices

Exploring the world with

A questioning finger

Philosophy, politics,

Long will they linger

They speak to each other

And share their conclusions

Discounting the myths and

Dispelling confusions

Comparing statistics

Or searching for clues

Assessing investments

Or readi...

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Octolune I

Moon a round cheese

Nibbled away

Sheared sharp

A curve of scimitar at dawn


Scything the sunset

D for destiny

Ballooning at midnight.

Dec 2015

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Octolune Moon phases lunar crescent dawn sunset na




The nines of the world curl, whole and enticing

Fat eights wobble but do not fall

Sevens sharply the space are slicing

Sixes are comforting, rock and cradle us all

Fives are boldly pregnant but sheltered

Fours chop up, down, over and square

Threes make promises, round and salted

Twos are monopods, stomping here and there

But ones like raindrops slip in, here ...

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You dropped like Peter Pan into the nursery,

And taught the younger children how to fly.

You left your shadow, which we burn in ceremony,

To set your spirit free into the sky.


They took you from your Highgate pram, (not Kensington)

From place to place your infant soul was tossed,

To settle here and there, a gentle gatekeeper.

Your sweet smile welcomed in the lo...

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My Dragon Husband

(I put this up again on request. It is some years since it went up before so I hope those who saw it before wont mind. )


My dragon husband

Lives on tobacco,

Consumes all the matches

And breathes smoke on me all night in bed.


My dragon husband

Has fire in his belly,

And roars at the radio.

Flames of his anger devour the television commentary.



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Self Image

Full rounded heart,

Eyes that are sore with weeping,

Dark like and arrow piercing,

And ever the hand is writing.


You draw yourself, so many new lines.

Role after role you sketch, and toss away.


Mind that is ever writing

My own hard epitaphs,

Blaming my eyes for weeping

Over dusty photographs.


The past is a well told tragedy

And you a...

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griefdepressionwriting poetry

Weird Words a new spoken words night

In Axilfah on Thundersday we heard a sonic boom.

The rain came down but words held sway within a tight packed room.

They came from Leeds and Lancashire, from Cleckheaton and Hudd.

They raised their arms and voices too and spoke of death and blood.

And local wordsmiths said their piece. What rants and hymns we heard

when Genevieve her coven called to utter Weird Words

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deathbloodgigpoetrywordsspoken word

Entropy Song

The Union man gets up to say that rights he fought for day by day

Are quickly being snatched away. Hurrah the Union man!

He’s calling out to you and me to show some solidarity

And march beside the TUC. Defend the Union man!


The low paid worker makes a plea to call upon our sympathy.

The state affords him subsidy to make a living wage.

When public jobs are privatise...

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Modern love

He loves me

in a modern way. He texts me

almost every day. He posts his thoughts

on facebook pages and finds

my crazy cats outrageous. I think

there is a lot we share; Music, films,

the open air. Maybe he'll make

my life complete. I wonder

if we'll ever meet?

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Tide Turn

A full moon, and the tide swollen by rain;

Rain lashing on the window, wild as rage -

My pen is stirring on the unspoilt page

In scribble circles, feeling round this pain.


Like tunnels leading deeper than my mind,

Or ropes in hopeless tangles, loosely curled,

Sprawling intestines looped around the world

My pen describes; this pain is ill-defined.


The ...

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Five Thirty am

In the utter darkness the fine piping of birds begins another dawn.

The insistent cat pushes between my fingers and the open page.

There is a meaning in the poise of my face and pen before the page,

But the cat has no knowledge of it.


She pushes her whole black purring self across my face.

Her paws step softly on the paper.

She thrusts her head against the moving p...

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catwriting poetry

In the End

At night we sealed the light in, to be safe.

There was music, and the sewing machine whirred.

We played on the rug with a painted wooden car,

Like the one Daddy used to drive, when there was petrol.


Now every night the warden was on his bike,

In the pitch black streets, checking the dark houses

In case the careless light was spilling out;

The rain on his rubber...

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Childhood memorieswartime

Pursue Transparency


In veils of secrecy the captured states

Obscure the havens of the ultra-rich,

Who claim to hover in their global cloud;

Untouched, untaxable and out of reach.


They slip through loopholes spun, in legal webs,

By spider lawyers, lobbyists, - with bribes.

They loot our assets; dodge, evade and hide;

And multiply their influence round the globe.



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Tax the Rich

There is trouble in the nursery.

The children ask for more.

They are climbing up the curtains.

They are stamping on the floor.

Nanny State is spanking them.

She weilds her wooden spoon,

But the children run about her.

They are crying for the moon.


Why don’t they eat their porridge up?

They call for toast and egg.

Where has their pocket money gone?


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The Plain Girl

This was a little exercise at one of the workshops at the Hebden Bridge Poetry weekend. I think it was in Winston's packed workshop. Looking through my notes, there are one or two bits that i like, so i thought I would share this.

The Plain Girl

 I raise a glass to the plain girl,

She who lives all her life in the shadow of night;

Who is like an oyster hiding a pearl;

May s...

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workshop poetry


How slowly turn the thoughts inside my head,

Searching for sentences that are not dead.

How difficult to find the looked for word,

Without descending into the absurd.

How hard it is to make a simple rhyme,

Yet poets do this nearly all the time.

Iambic phrases slip out easily,

But making sense is much too hard for me.

I reach for feelings, - but my thoughts are nu...

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writing poetry

As Autumn Leaves

They are hoovering the village.

I can hear the distant roar,

As they walk the heavy hosepipe

Up and down the village floor.


They are sucking up the leaf drifts

From sycamore and oak,

The matted leaves are treacherous

After a Yorkshire soak.


They are clearing out the gutters,

Defoliating drains.

Autumn will be tidied up

Before the winter ra...

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My two humans
Have long firm noses
Hot breath
Seeking fingers
Stroking palms.

My two humans
Lie long together
In the frosty waking night.
They lie in warm places
Closing me out.
My good place is
Coiled on a warm lap
Under constant hand-caring.
My good place is
Between feet
By the hot hearth.
My one place is
In the bed
Between my two ...

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Lazy Sun

Today is half gone and the sun has not come.
Winter days the sun is lazy.
Morning is past, grey to the last.
The old sun cries in his pillows.

They say the sun is a fellow to shun.
In the summer he turns you crazy,
But I sympathise with the sore, wet eyes
Of the sun in the cloud’s soft billows.
Old sun, sad sun.
Sleep sun, die sun.
The sun is grey all the wet dim day.

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I cross a moor where stars are white.

I cross a moor where stars are white.

I match the swiftest swallows flight

Over a wide, a windy plain.

My feathered feet return again.


I seek the silence after day,

I sink in shadow, purple gray.

Above I hear the raucous storm

I burrow deep, alert but warm.


I stray through ever moving shades

My dreams are drawn in misty glades

I scramble down ...

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Antique Zealot

Among the antiquities with attentive ambition

a bland beginning but burning and bold,

we carefully, cautiously, avoiding calamity,

disturb the dust; deliberate on detail;

examine the exhibits, eagle-eyed.

Feigning frivolity, going for gold,

you grip, you hold, happily chattering.

I avoid ivory; haunting instances of horror,

jaundiced ivory, stained with death in ...

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Tide Turn

A full moon, and the tide swollen by rain,
Rain lashing on the window, wild as rage -
My pen is stirring on the unspoilt page
In scribble circles, feeling round this pain.

Like tunnels leading deeper than my mind,
Or ropes in hopeless tangles, loosely curled,
Sprawling intestines looped around the world
My pen describes; this pain is ill-defined.
The tide has turned: s...

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Trying to sleep, city night

The traffic marches loudly on the roads
And groans by below me
But the cool darkness lays a finger
Gently on the traffics lips
And hushes it away.
Kiss me moonlight down from the sky
Beckon me the laughter of the stars
I will lie here contentedly
Half asleep.
Hush you many night lorries
Too busy to be thoughtful for my sanded eyes.
Leave my ears to peacefulness
My mind t...

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Songs of the Tree of Life

1. The Song of the Ovaries


The flowers of the tree of life;

The seeds of past and future

Shining in the leaves,

When she takes the fruit

The leaves yellow and fall.


The fruit of the tree of life

She will leave within the goblet

Hidden in the maze.

Will he reach the fruit

Taste the meaning of life?


The roots of the tree of life


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The Naming of Moons


Feast of New Fire, as Sun’s Moon swells in sky.

Then Earth’s Moon, as seeds sprout under soil.

Balance Day and Night: New Life Feast, Moon of Eggs.

Dangerfire: Lucky’s Moon; Green leaf and grass blade.

Moon of Blossoms, Moon of Bees, for Lith at Solstice.

Sky’s Moon: sun is overfull, but Look not Sadly.

Gatherer’s Moon: Set store by, like squirrel.

Balance Night and Day: Windy Moon blows...

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from the Bacchae

A snippet of my favourite poetry


From The Bacchae  by Euripedes

Translated by E.V.Rieu  Penguin ed.


Will they ever come to me, ever again,

The long, long dances;

on through the night till the dim stars wane?

Shall I feel the dew on my throat, or the stream

Of wind in my hair; shall our white feet gleam

In the dim expanses?

Oh feet of a fawn to the greenwood fled

Alone I the grass ...

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Resting in the Labour ward.

1.  Gestation


The stupendous climax

After a long gathering of forces:

The womb, this flexible metamorphosis,

Imbued with a living being to care for,

Struggles and grows, grows enormous.

Life given room to grow within my life.

Not as a craft, fitting limb to limb,

But opening out and accepting;

Offering strength; offering energy, food.

In this mystery, this communion;

My food tr...

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Dawn Chorus

Stillness, frost, a clear sky before dawn.
All sleeping.
A small finch settles, lifts its tail, begins to sing a brief note,
Repeating it.
Like a heartbeat, the rising falling rhythm of a distant train
Lays down a base.
The birds mark off their notes, counting uneven seconds.
Seagulls sailing over.
Trills of song, little scoops, like flower garlands iced around a cake.
Taking their own time.
Each ...

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Reading an old poem

It hits me below the belt,
A song I thought light hearted, only sad.
I never knew the meaning at the time.
Now I see it was quite out of time.
Crying before you’re hurt. I always did so.

I think, why do they talk of publications;
Of agents, magazines, markets and fees?
I ask about it, but it hurts to hear
That all the spells we weave are currency.

I will be heard. I want my voices heard.
But when you sp...

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On a Field Azure

Love is
Time rampant
Time showing
Sharp claws.
All who love
End weeping.
All who love
Have cause.

Joy is
Time volant
Time born on
Strong wings.
In good time
Time sweetens
Time brings.

Peace is
Time couchant
Time laid on
Love’s breast.
All who wish
Peace closer
Try to soothe
Time’s rest.

Life is
Time passant
Time moving
So fast.
All who live
Fear dying.
Yet is life
Soon past.


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haiku 'Fauteiulle'

My thighs rise like wings.

I am an armchair:


a hand reaching for coins.

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Winter Morning


Now the golden leaves are gone.
Winter, barefoot, stalks alone,
Through the naked trees.

Gone the warmth from sun and sky.
Gone the dancing butterfly.
Gone the summer bees.

Winter stirs the withered grass.
Trees draw back to let her pass
Fearing her cold breath.

Leaden snow clouds crowd the air.
Lonely sea birds wail up there
Crying tales of death.

All the sounds of earth and sky
Sing a mournful lul...

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Love Song

Men have made love to me, and I was separate.
Beyond my understanding.
My words were in a foreign tongue: were lies.
Burrowing among your gentle phrases,
Mouse-like, in a nest of warmth,
Finding the closest places
Where our hearts touch home,
I cannot remember where I began,
Except in your following eyes.

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I am busy working on the Moon Calendar for next year, and on Wednesdays working at the West Yorkshire Print Workshop, open access for printmaking. This week I etched the copper plate of a drawing of a willow tree that I made many years ago on the bank of the Tyne.

Poetry is a reflection on life. There are lots of skilful ways of turning a piece of writing into something that feels complete, that...

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