Poetry Blog by Graham Parker and his musings

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kimberly on Still here (Thu, 30 Jan 2020 02:00 pm)

Graham Parker on Into the Blue (Thu, 30 Jan 2020 09:16 am)

Graham Parker on Into the Blue (Sat, 25 Jan 2020 12:31 pm)

Graham Parker on Sweet meat (Thu, 27 Jun 2019 08:36 am)

Lisa C Bassignani on Sweet meat (Thu, 27 Jun 2019 12:37 am)

Graham Parker on Sweet meat (Wed, 26 Jun 2019 06:03 pm)

Martin Elder on Sweet meat (Wed, 26 Jun 2019 09:50 am)

Graham Parker on Father's Day (Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:24 pm)

Mae Foreman on Most Maligned (Fri, 14 Jun 2019 06:44 pm)

Graham Parker on Cultus Decorum (Tue, 21 May 2019 11:54 am)

Still here

Today is not over yet,

Which means yesterday may have been the hardest day of your life,

As if you were driving down a never-ending dead end, stuck in reverse;

But you are still here.


You can’t recall the time your mother held you out of the bedroom window,

The blaze within threatening to scorch you, your cradle and home,

The scent of smoke on your baby clothes has long sinc...

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Into the Blue

Never before had he known a colour touch him that way,

This indigo held a tenderness and cool warmth which confused him.

And yet,

As the neon lights dimmed and harsh sounds abated,

He felt drawn to the dark, to go in search of his liberty

And yet

Like a dimmed aquamarine siren, it called to and reassured him,

He would be safe, it would hold him in its arms, nothing could, woul...

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escapenight swimmingthe sea

Sophie's Moon

Outside the Atlantic rolls gently among the pebbles on the beach

Inside an unsettling tide of turmoil clamours for calming oils


In the street, in the warm night air, all seems at ease

Leaning on the bar, Sophie lifts her eyes to scan the horizon


Tied up to the quayside, boats bob easily, tethered securely in place

On the dance floor, anchored together, mermaids find safe h...

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Sweet meat

A quick Haiku that I wrote in reply to a radio dj's tweet, just for fun 


No puedo pensar

Crema Catalana

A cake ate my brain

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Father's Day

When the crushing dark ice was enclosing

And the horizon a terrible sight.

Who spoke the warm words, to comfort me at night?


When isolation became overwhelming

And there was nowhere left to hide. 

How silent were the voices, that could have asked me inside?


When so desperate was desperation

And faith withering dry on the vine.

How closed were the arms, that could ...

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family poemsisolation

Sulphur Flame 2

What did she wear that night, what was her name?

He retraces his steps to that place

The place where she waited – for him

He can still feel the cool iron rails slipping through his fingers

The warm summer night’s air on the back of his hand

He remembers being calm, very calm

But for a sense of tension rising, from inside

He stopped, almost at the top of the steps

She stood,...

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Cultus Decorum

The bladder alarm rings, it’s time to go

No platted legs will dam this river flow

Locate the door, and start to walk

This is when we cease to talk


Brace yourself, we are going in

Assume bland face, we must not grin

Place hand on wood and push the door

And hope no one’s pissed on the floor


Cabin or trough, that is the choice

Are you man or mouse? begs your inner...

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Divide and conquer

Lines that tie us, lines drawn, lines before us,

Dark nights, dark days, conscience twisted, tested

No words spoke, no hard choke, you’d missed the bus

I said yes; the easy choice would have festered


Blood, water, which to choose, which my anchor?

Turn you away, and say nay, me your son?

You gave me life; it eats me this anger

Off you stride, toward divide, bread to be wo...

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Sulphur Flame

He can't remember what she wore that night, or her name

But he can retrace every step he climbed to where he knew she waited,

The stipples on the cool iron rails sliding through his hand on that warm summer eve

No hint of sweat in his palms as he approached, relaxed, calm, sensing rising tension


He stopped, almost at the top of the steps

There she stood, his invocation, his inv...

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On her mother's step

On her mother’s stone step, she sits and dreams

The same step she cleaned and crossed so often

Her dress, crisp and clean in the sunshine gleams

This backstreet beauty, rare rose in blossom


What whims flicker through her wandering mind

Perchance what prospect does life hold in store

Will her journey be gentle not unkind?

Shall her story be one of less not more?



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Dark Mystery

He can't remember what she wore that night, or her name

But he can retrace every step he climbed to where he knew she waited,

The stipples on the cool iron rails sliding through his hand on that warm summer eve

No hint of sweat in his palms as he approached, relaxed, calm, sensing rising tension


He stopped, almost at the top of the steps

There she stood, his invocation, his inv...

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There were so many

So, so many, too many to count

None of them did count

Discarded with equal disdain to distant craving

Once they were wanted

Now they were less than rubbish


Soiled and used up

Like many that had used them

Now, no one cherished them

Destined not even to be brushed aside

Caught in a state of limbo

Between detritus and gutter trash


They ...

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15 minutes of Sonnet 25

It’s not love they play it’s another game

Where what matters is who can count the most

Playing duck and dive, surfers search for fame

Notching names upon digital bedposts


Their followers adore them with their likes

Each character praised as if from God

If their own petard hoists them onto spikes

Then surely, it’s the crowd that has turned odd.


Their ledger marking...

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And all the doors looked all the same again

He stopped at number one to sneak a look

Here he heard the clearing of ash and soot


And all the doors looked all the same, again

He stopped, at number four he stood once more

To inhale the smell of Vim on tiled floor


And, all the doors looked all the same, again

He stopped at number nine, to check the time

The cuckoo clo...

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Childhood memoriesNapowrimo 2019

Most Maligned

You may be the one that darkness calls friend

The bringer of gloom, who draws curtains on the room

But to me, you are both beginning and end


You close the door on Autumn’s warm glow

Make coats button up tight, as you turn down the lights

And freeze dew drops wherever you stroll


They say you give us so few reasons to cheer

Put no food on the table, work and schools yo...

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Quote Unquote

We were challenged to write a poem inspired by two randlmly chosenpages in a dictionary, thesairaus or encyclopedic book. This is my offering


The light grows from his bedside lamp, illuminating hitherto unseen leaves of Humorous Quotations.

He pores through dry pages of politicians' dry political thoughts

Seeking inspiration from giants of history


Is this all they left behind...

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Bears, bears, bears!

There were bears everywhere

Now he saw them, all those bears throughout his years.


The Panda Bear.

She would come out and stare, and stare.

Blinking ringed black eyes against the rare glimpsed sky.


Serene and sober

Conversely troubled but not in a rage

She'd think for a minute, slowly turn, then go back to her cage.


The Grizzly Bear.


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Bears. dreamsmemoriessurrealism

But for you

But for you

We would be one


But for you

The lack of feeling alone


But for you

The unknowing, not so cold


But for you

More joy in growing old


But for you

My mind might be at rest


But for you

Life, less of a test


But for you

A single race I have run


But for you

There are clouds above the son


But for you

The be...

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griefmissing someonesorrowTwins

Fleeting persistence

She was the one constant throughout his life

His endless reference to existence

From infancy she reflected him back at him

She was his world, the very reason he lived


She gave birth to him, ejaculating him into the air

For the first time he felt separation from her wet womb

But their connection was permanent

She was as much he, as he was him


Her brilliance dazzled...

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A litany of memories litters the rooms, the halls and walls

Here, books in loose piles are stacked from ceiling to floor

The silence is all pervading, nothing looks like it has been moved for years

And yet there is no dust, all seems clean; too clean


The rocking horse sits motionless and still, bereft of a grandchild rider

It glances idly into one of the four unused bathrooms, ...

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Watering Can

It sits on the kitchen window cill

Of the seventh house we have called home


It reminds me of its owner


And of the nurturing she bestowed


It’s nothing much to look at

A watering can and tiny garden tools


In a charity shop it would be overlooked

But in my heart, it’s a chest of jewels


It really is quite useless

It’s porous with no holes in the spou...

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There were borders everywhere

Borders of water, of steel, of brick, of money and of mind

Borders that were meant for defining, for declaring lines you and others could not cross


Over the sandstone brick wall, across the railway line lived the park people

Snotty, scabby looking folk – they feared to tread on our turf; most did

They had the club and the park, we invaded them at w...

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Walk on part

He was a bit-part actor, he never dreamt of commanding his stage

He signed on as a walk-on character, a cameo role in a one-off play,

Each night he learnt his lines, the same words he would speak every day

Rehearsing his part word-perfect, in the hope that his public would pay


No one spelled out his name in neon, the only stars he knew were in the night sky

His costume was neve...

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I wrote this two years ago, long before the Windrush scandal hit the headlines.


When them set sail on Empire Windrush

Them leave behind sun, sea and sand

Yes, them set forth upon Windrush,

Them a tropical collection of hands,

When all them set foot on Windrush;

Next stop, the promised Motherland


So, them all on board Empire Windrush

All four hundred and ninety-two...

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Born in the shadow of a mountain

When you’re born in the shadow of a mountain

You know the warmth of the darkest of shade

You know nothing will ever rise above that mountain

In whose image and shadow you were made


When cast in the shadow of a mountain

Your caste can feel defined before birth

Your path may seem predestined and written

As your feet struggle to impress in the earth


But there’s a com...

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Black Confetti

Blackened balls of confetti thrown against a slate sky

From left, from right, lines and angles they fly

Boiling clouds shuffle, sculp then conform

In kaleidoscopic monochrome; is this the start of a storm?


The mass absorbs and swells like translucent dough

An invisible baker, kneads, stretches and throws

And the amorphous miasma continues to grow

As eyes in wonderment gaz...

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Caledonian Secrets

She’s a mistress that hides her secrets under fret

A flash of Victorian ankle maybe all that you receive

Her true joys often hidden beneath dreich petticoats

She’s the master of mystery, of guile and disguise


The tales she tells echo round the glens

Off barren croft walls and empty harbours

Her booming, brooding silence hides voices

Lost on the winds of time, home, yet no...

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