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Avoiding the rap – no apologies to Nadine Dorries

Inspired by this article on Write Out Loud home page.

Link to video version on Youtube.


This government’s passing some new legislation

to distract from Johnson’s shoddy situation.

As the country’s not fooled by his hollow sorries,

to avoid the rap, they’ve deployed Ms Dorries

to bluff and to bluster with her dodgy rhymes

in the hope we’ll forget her boss’s crimes.


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PartygateNadine Dorries


Beware the bear, my father said,

and he’d been taken to its lair,

read the truth, and clawed his way

from its clasp, a gasp from death

where all breath slows,

in Siberian taiga snows.


Beware the bear,

that funny, honey, sunny-featured creature

which, as a host, will greet you

to its land of ice and hut-filled woods,

with a hug and, open-armed,

insist your stay...

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On re-reading Yeats' poem, below, I realised how apt it is to our own period, and slightly larger conflicts; seasonal, too.

The Second Coming


Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  ...

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We have become a dead grandmother

We are a dead steelworks

We are a dead pit

We are a dead community

We have become a dead grandmother


We are a dead altruism

We are a dead society

We are a morally-dead nation

We have become a dead grandmother


We are a friend to Suharto

We are a friend to Pinochet

We are a friend to apartheid

We have become a dead grandmother


The ...

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Margaret Thatcher


I was moved to upload this because of the relevance of Bugarach to the end-of-the-world prognostications for today, 21st December, 2012.


Whose rocks

burn pink

in the sunset

of a fading sky.


Conversation frozen

for one half-moment,

heads turned,

eyes narrowed,

hearts miss

a beat

In memory of ancestors

whose feet

signed this ...

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new blog feature

When reading someone's blog, you can now go directly to their profile by clicking on their name - the large green letters next to the photo spot. Try it and see! and let us know if it's useful. Don't if it's not :-)

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Above and beyond

Two tattoos and a mouth of  sinew

crashed through the wicker screen

separating bar from poetry.


Battle-black eyes

scrutinised the bardic hopefuls,

quivering pacifists,

gassed by the  grizzled newcomer's brewery breath;

each wondering

which poet

might tackle the intruder.


The giant swayed:

two steps forward, one back..

What's yous doin'...

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Writing as suicide

I used to love picking scabs,

when I was a kid in short trousers –

permanently scraped knees, all that.

Or waggling a loose tooth,

it sort of hurts but fascinates.

You don’t know why

but you have to keep going

 till it’s out. Like sex without the climax.

If this was written in HTML

that last word would be in blue.

For those who don’t have them,

it cou...

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Spam, spam, spam, spam...

Gucci and Viagra,

offers cascade like Niagara

Claims to make your donger longer

and your love-life even stronger

Satisfy your female,

by responding to this email,

Electronic communication

can electrify your procreation.

Such claims, to some, seem spurious,

though made me a little curious,

You might advise, don’t buy it,

I say, don’t knock till you try...

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How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count t’ways.

I love thee to t’depth and breadth and 'eight

My hands can reach inside your top when going out for t’night

I love thee in shop doorways, in t’shadows out o’t' light

On t’way to t’pub pretend angry and spoiling for a fight

I love thee to t'level of my alcohol beverage

In t’backyard of the pub using t’wheelie bin for leverage


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Neglect in the community

NB, I risk your opprobrium by posting reportage rather than poetry. I just feel the need to do so. The following happened on Friday.


Jenny’s only been in the nursing home for a week, out of place at a young-looking 66.

She hates it, yet would hate even more being sent home, back to her life of passive neglect at the hands of uncaring ‘care’ staff who whizz in and out as if afraid ...

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The Lingerers' Renga

The Write Out Loud little Big weekend is over, and on the final day for those who lingered, there was Renga. each one of the remaining poets contributed to this one and, there should be several more being posted over the next few days. Have a squint at the photos in Galleries to see up to what we got.

They don't always have to scan, do they?


Two hours to Chorley

And the weathe...

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Catweazle Kilburn – a review

What a honky-tonking, stonking

Poetry performing, barnstorming

Guitar-strum, maelstrom,

Meek and haughty

cello and piano-their-forte

All-singing, all-words-dancing,

Dynamic, eclectic, electric

Night it was at Kilburn’s Catweazle

When I visited.

No causal link, nor said in drink

I just think

It was.


North London Tavern,

comes alive, this ...

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Review: Wondermentalist Cabaret, Radio

A new poetry show hit Radio 4 last week hosted by Matt Harvey, supported by Elvis McGonagall (aka Shouty McJacket). Elvis’s ranty radical persona is a great counterpoint to Matt’s deceptively dulcet drawl which, like Totnes muesli, contains multi-grains, his being of truth, wit and wisdom.

The Dead Poets’ Slam was wonderful (or is it wondermental?), though whether they can maintain this sta...

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Indian's Head

I thought I might propose some prose.

“Indian’s Head,” she said, out of the blue. “that’s where I want you to scatter my ashes, son.”

I almost dropped the tea I’d brought, about her twentieth that night; surprised just as much at the fact she was talking about death at all, let alone her own.

“Indian’s Head? I didn’t know you’d ever…”

“I think it was the happiest day of my life ...

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reflections on home

Rounding the corner,

The house seems unchanged,

Even those curtains I’d hated

I am now grateful to see.


I feel I could continue

down the path

Put the key in

Yale, worn brass, familiar


- funny, how each lock has its own feel –

And open the door into a life that was.


Children torn from play,

A smile through the banisters,


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And Did Those Feet – Theatre review

From clog-dancing kick-off to grandstand finish, Bolton Octagon's riveting revival of writers Les Smith and Martin Thomasson's play takes us on a swerving run through a slice of working-class life in1920s Bolton.

Bolton born, bred and buttered, and Trotters (Bolton Wanderers) fans all their lives, the writers draw from what they know to create this play, winner of best new play in the Manch...

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Farewell Michael Foot

So, farewell then, Worzell,
Orator, writer,
Peacemonger at The Cenotaph.
It was not really a donkey jacket
You, not really a leader.

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Train of thought

His weather-worn, mahogany,
Poverty-pocked face,
Slumped on his chest in
apparent slumber.
I note the bag
under his seat.
Return to my book.

We halt,
spill passengers
Onto Dewsbury’s platform.
The near-empty train
pulls away.
I don’t see him wake,
But notice him rise from his seat, glance up and down the carriage
Then head off.

I go back to my reading,
Something about a bag,
A heavy bag,
Under a ...

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Whence Write Out Loud, and Whither?

Give us your feedback
Nicola's comments have prompted me to write this, partly in recognition of her contribution to furthering open-floor poetry in Bolton, partly to plead for your help in continuing the work.

Write Out Loud was established in 2003 to encourage anyone who has a mind to, to write poetry and share it by reading it ‘out loud’ in friendly groups.
It all started with John Je...

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