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Letter to Yuri

Letter to Yuri
(Listening to the world’s first manned spaceflight on a crystal radio set. 12th April 1961.)

From the wire in the garden
Your news came to came to me via the B.B.C. -
The Home Service they had called it -
But not for you
As you travelled further away from us than
          anyone had ever done -

Spinning in your little egg
          in the monstrous foot-pads of Laika t...

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1st manned spaceflight60 years agoYuri Gagarin

Les gens du Bocage; les hommes du débarquement - Normandy early July 1944

Les gens du Bocage; les hommes du débarquement 

During the Second World War my father served in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. He was always grateful that he trained as a Wolseley car mechanic before the war which meant that he could go into the RAF as an aircraft mechanic. Although he didn't land in Normandy on D-Day he did go within four weeks of the invasion and was pinned down for several weeks...

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Snow day

Snow Day

Snow day.
Glow day.
Every way you go day.


Untrod sheets say
"Clean, new day."

Morning light.
Crisp. Bright.
Picks out crystals perfect made.

Play day.
No-school day.
Friends day.


Deep, sheet, untouched by human boot
Or bright-yellow dog-stain marks.

As Earth was once.
Clean, new.
Paper white
Before the ability to write.

There's nothing new under t...

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Snow Daysnow fall

Twelfth Night

Goodbye goodwill,
Love, friendship, understanding.
It's time to put you back in the cupboard
With the rest of the decorations.

Farewell international peace
And co-operation.
We'll get you out again in time for next twenty fourth
So we can play at Christianity for twelve days
(And nights).
Why can't we practise Christmas
Goodwill all year, 1 wonder?
Oh well, goodbye.

Hello hate, war...

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ChristmasTwelfth NightPeace



Tear up the calendars,
Tear down the clocks;

For the evil that they do
is written in the faces
Torn to shreds by the hands of time
In a frenzy of the  workaholic’s pantomime.

Tear up the calendars,
Tear down the clocks.

Slow down the days,
Speed up the lives.
Boot out deadlines;
Bring in lifelines,
Then sigh at the oxymoron
That is “quality time”.

Time is the...

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For the third time

For the third time

Listening to the cockerel.
Waits as a tear develops
In his eye.
Kicking Love away to die.

He waits.
Nowhere to go.
Except down.
This isn’t how He meant it to be.
But here it comes.
The mounting wave of pain.
Entreating Him.
To wave His arms
And save Himself.

This is drowning.
This is drowning
In the sea of the Cross.

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Good Friday



Take me back to Vienna
Where the great musicians played
- Wolfgang Amadeus
And the members of a band called Slade.

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A visitor

A visitor
(Arthur Mee’s England: Gloucestershire; 1939)

A book arrived yesterday
- a visitor from the last century
Visiting our modern-times day.

Carries news and views
But no photographs or maps.

Tells us all about
The places
And the faces

Of the people
Who went there.

But most of all of everything
It brings the smoke
Of years gone by -
An incense offering to the gods.


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