Poetry Blog by Rick
Rick on Poetry readings - approach with caution - they can turn deadly (11 days ago)
raypool on Poetry readings - approach with caution - they can turn deadly (13 days ago)
it was a year or so since I saw Oonagh
there had been other muses
but she was, still is,
my non plus ultra.
she was the heart of many works with
a dozen names in a dozen guises
I often wondered if she realised
how much she figured in my writing.
I told Oonagh I loved her dearly,
‘I love you too, but brotherly.’
our only date?
a theatre nigh...
Saturday 16th November 2019 10:36 am
interview with a vampire publisher
they’d read stuff I posted online somewhere,
wrote, in pro-forma letters, they were ‘impressed’,
that I had ‘potential’, they were ‘interested in my work’,
and would I like to ‘discuss matters further’ –
would I bollocks!
give them their due, they persevered,
ignored my knee-jerk ‘fuck off’ emails or
non-committal, more cons...
Friday 15th November 2019 1:25 pm
I have no words
to express the happiness
you brought to me
in quiet moments
in a wooded glade
dappled by sunlight
threading oaky leaves
those pleasant days
we thought could never end
but ended anyway
a cluster of butterflies
stitching the air
pauses its tapestry,
an endless instant
Wednesday 13th November 2019 11:02 am
I planned to read some stuff in Scunthorpe
the venue is a good one
and some of the women
have caught the eye
of this grey-head wannabe.
I packed copies of my latest book –
passable, if I say so myself,
better than my ‘prentice efforts,
not great, not good, but getting ‘there’.
I preened before a mirror
in a soigné black fedora,
‘not bad. not bad...
Friday 8th November 2019 11:33 am
my time with Tessa was pretty much up
it was on the cards -
it did not need a tarot reader -
sex had dwindled from a summer
of no holds barred
to an autumn of no chance
of a hold at all.
so, in October when she asked
if I’d be her school Santa –
I figured, despite the evidence,
I must still be ‘well in there’.
‘maybe you’ve misread the runes
it’s a ‘woman thing’ she’s going thr...
Thursday 7th November 2019 10:33 am
early morning, drunk again,
at a café-bar high-window
I watched Holly stumble from the door
of the local ‘ice-dream’ parlour,
sallow skin, sunken dark-rimmed eyes –
jagged cheek bones, unkempt hair,
ragged, staggering – far past caring
this, not the Holly I remember -
not the high-wire ballerina
who waltzed life as carefree,
as I’d danced too, some years a...
Sunday 27th October 2019 11:15 am
a final version - my comments regarding this pome are in the 'comments' below
kicking my heels in Heaton Street,
sitting in the ‘Shoe Tree’ cafe -
drinking cappuccino coffee.
at my table, not beautiful,
but oozing character and style
sat a striking woman, reading.
her soya moustache made me smile.
Sunday 20th October 2019 7:31 pm
a day of dreams and hopes
a day of losing and finding
I overslept. I missed the coach.
This was one match I had to watch,
it was long odds that Leyton Orient
would ever grace Maine Road again.
Maybe we’d scrape a miracle win -
I bought a Manchester...
Monday 14th October 2019 10:26 am
“Yes, I was very ill again, I am becoming
thinner and thinner, but my spirit cannot be crushed.
I work every minute that I’m able to.
My Merz Barn is better and more consistent
than anything I have done before.” (Kurt Schwitters, 1947)
Lichtenstein at the Hatton, Newcastle;
I suppose we were meant to be grateful
that the oeuvre of such an eminence
should be displ...
Sunday 13th October 2019 11:36 am
I would not mind that much
if some killer sneaked in
and shot me through the head
while I was fast asleep.
I would kind of welcome
dying by ‘friendly fire’
say an old amigo
taking aim, waxing me
‘pro bono publico’.
Friday 27th September 2019 5:43 pm
I remember an oak tree
on the edge of the ravine
with a looped hemp rope dangling
from an overhanging branch
we used to swing on over
the rushing boulder river,
whooping ‘Geronimo’ while
scared to death. hiding our fear
as being called a chicken
was a fate worse than dying.
playing one rainy morning
some big kid jumped the queue
taking control of the rope...
Thursday 26th September 2019 10:19 am
the first day after peace breaks out
with Cairo’s camels, heat, and flies
a rancid stifling memory
I will step down from the ferry,
onto the quayside at Papay*,
lay my kitbag on the footway
and shedding tears of joy shout praises
into the teeth of the howling gale.
Wednesday 25th September 2019 10:52 am
We had to return
a final time to catch the
calls of black head gulls
and watch for otters bobbing
in the rain-splash of the loch.
Circling the shallows;
a nuisance of grey-lag geese.
We turned our gaze to
the Ring of Brodgar, Stenness,
and the hills of Hoy beyond.
Harray was calmness...
As clouds scudded from the west
and the wind grew strong
Monday 16th September 2019 9:44 am
I looked up
few raise their eyes to look at clouds -
the skies hold intimations of eternal
considerations best left to theologians
town folk meander, mesmerised, eyes down,
skimming ‘essential news’ - others’ bargains,
Snapchat cappuccinos, cats, and kittens.
unlike those truly lost - scratching
‘S O S’ on desolation beaches,
or firing flares amid mounta...
Monday 9th September 2019 10:19 am
This is very early ramblage - I'll work on it for a few days - may even edit it a hundred times - or delete it :)
I looked up
if there are clouds they scamper unnoticed
overhead where few bother looking
as the sky opens to eternity
and eternity offers considerations
best left uncontemplated.
city people’s eyes fix on their palms
for hot news of others’ walks about town
Sunday 8th September 2019 11:36 am
each night repeats the one before; the Red Lion
then back to a cold and empty home, alone.
a narrow crumpled bed awaits me.
the heap of dirty washing’s turned sour -
I’ll take it to the launderette... tomorrow.
there was a cat - what happened to her?
the kitchen sink holds a greasy stack
of chipped enamel mugs and plates
and pots and ...
Sunday 1st September 2019 7:15 pm
clothes bank blues
early morning at the clothes bank,
filling the scoop, wondering
what will become of my
too-tight Levi 501s - black
and stretch-waist Terylene
‘sta-prest’ office slacks - grey.
will a sub-Saharan African?
cut a dash in them?
or some local street vagrant?
will they be pulped to newsprint?
sold on ebay? beats me.
Saturday 24th August 2019 10:08 am
there’s free wifi at the local library.
as I sat reading the online Express,
checking out ‘plenty of fish’ (no messages)
scoping the avenue through
diet club posters on the window,
hoping to glimpse the love of my life
(unrequited) passing by,
(no luck, I must have blinked and missed her)
a local writer, a minor poet
who bore an aura of significance
Monday 19th August 2019 9:55 am
they were young – and still are
but walk like old men
leaning on sticks
some struggle on crutches -
loaned from the Infirmary -
they never danced for joy and cannot now
their legs too stiff - their veins too brittle
the world was all before them
pleasant pathways open to them
they chose a dingy by-way
and over time their wandering steps
faltered them to Terry ...
Sunday 11th August 2019 12:05 pm
quiet music from the room
the Penguin Café Orchestra
swinging something classical
through the open window
I stand at the door
a soft sheet wraps her waist
against a breast
our new-born son
makes contented baby sounds
her milk trickles his chin
both are sleeping
I climb on the bed
lean my head
and put m...
Tuesday 30th July 2019 11:28 am
for two mad weeks
in Hélène’s mind,
though not in mine,
we were passing strangers,
flirting over beachside
cigarettes and ices.
filets mignon - a la carte
tall white wines
gold card evenings
melting into night.
we arm-in-armed the promenade...
Saturday 27th July 2019 10:34 am
I weighed up the thick manila packet
lying on the ‘Welcome’ mat
and did not bother opening it.
it would be rammed with leaflets,
‘think positive’ booklets
with hope-filled faces of young and old
from every nation,
everyone an over-comer
‘Living with Cancer’
all smiles on the covers,
and directions to ‘Oncology’.
I am tired of lu...
Thursday 25th July 2019 11:31 am
can the magic be recovered?
I picture Geraldine
kneeling tending tubs
of campion, arabis
she is wearing a battered panama
against the evening sun
baking the walls
of the white-rinsed patio
of the cottage
overlooking Carbis Bay
she had set her heart upon.
does she remember
in meadows of asphodel
Tuesday 23rd July 2019 10:52 am
[as mob rule swells did I hear]
a chant, “drain the swamp,
build the wall, lock them up, send
them back... kill the Jews?”
shouts of, “drain them back,
send them up, build the swamp, wall
the lock... kill the Jews?”
I hear, “build the drain,
send a wall, lock the sw...
Thursday 18th July 2019 10:53 am
for two mad weeks
in Jen’s mind,
though not in mine,
we were nothing more
than passing strangers,
to flirt with over ices.
or people watch
sipping tall white wine
as plush upholstered hotel evenings
melted into night.
to spite the weather,
in sunny day beachwear,
Sunday 14th July 2019 8:51 pm
après le déluge
I will love you long
after the lock we affirmed
on Le Pont des Arts
has turned to rust... and the bridge?
a memory swept to sea...
you will have forgotten me.
Sunday 7th July 2019 8:14 pm
a long wait ahead
for a replacement bus -
ours had overheated.
I sit on an iron bench
its struts griddle my legs
the sun is high and hot -
energy-sucking hot -
a tree affords shade.
I stand reading a book -
Tom Paulin poetry -
stepping into his reality.
he writes decent poetry - this is a rarity.
at my feet cigarette ends...
Wednesday 3rd July 2019 8:56 pm
I love my Pimlico girl and she loves me.
I saw her beside the Regent’s Canal,
haloed by early morning sunbeams,
a modern day Madonna,
reading La Peste.
I straightened a crooked Gauloise,
and mingled words with smoky
‘pardon, mais j’adore Camus, ‘Sisyphe’ surtout.’
‘would you imagine S...
Saturday 29th June 2019 10:24 am
a mother fondles
with loving eyes
the child she made
it is her delight
in the heavenlies
to create mankind
the Father fondles
with loving eyes
what he formed
it is beautiful
Tuesday 25th June 2019 5:40 pm
the night of open-mic poetry
kicked off in style
with a potent Americano
‘coffee to die for’
I took my seat
as dribs and drabs of earnest tyros and
self-styled bards and word-smiths
soft livers with gold plate pensions
fat bellied self important nobodies
with thick files full of
third rate pensées
bustled in, shaking hands,...
Friday 21st June 2019 2:49 pm
passing my cafe window
unhurried, dressed modestly,
she is beautiful still,
beautiful, and unaware
that behind the misty glass
she is quietly admired
Sunday 16th June 2019 1:10 pm
enshrined on the bridge (a mood piece)
tied tight to the railing
a pair of blue bootees
a print of baby’s palm
a cellophane bouquet,
a magic marker plea,
on a tear splashed goodbye,
‘please, someone, pray for me,
it is all too much to bear,
think well of me... Jilly,’
and in a wine bottle
a candle burned away.
Sunday 9th June 2019 11:34 am
when the dust falls silent
and the wind is resting
and the waves reposing
grass folding into sleep
and the heads of flowers
lean their faces toward
the earth in calm abidance
then in awe-full quiet
you may behold your God.
Thursday 6th June 2019 1:25 pm
I wake early. take the bus
to some - new to me - old town
haunting shops for nostalgias;
old movies to watch back home
feeding me with sights and sounds
that help to hush the silent
Wednesday 5th June 2019 12:27 pm
in shop doorways black bin bags
filled with unwanted
broken glass, cardboard boxes,
kitchen waste and mendicants
Tuesday 4th June 2019 3:34 pm
edited versions of these will go into my next book
they are kinda contiguous.
glad you popped by (November 2018)
the shade of Joseph,
a taciturn man,
stood ramrod straight,
tall beside the architrave,
against the kitchen wall.
he never spoke unless spoken to
so coughed discreetly
to gain my attention.
the final whistle blew on the radio,
Monday 3rd June 2019 12:14 pm
old time religion
my Nottingham church
of the Pentecostal persuasion
decreed a season of prayer and fasting
for a miracle healing
to restore the paralysed legs
of one of the elders.
I forwent my tea-break Wagon Wheel
slotted ‘sort out dodgy legs’
into my ‘exclusive’ prayer list
between an Irish Sweepstakes winning ticket,
and a parking space near the entr...
Monday 27th May 2019 11:50 am
the inexplicable pulse of joy
on seeing the bridge
crossing the Humber
at journey’s end
the memory of a night
exploring Little Switzerland
with a soon-to-be lover
rippling over one another
on the seaweed peppered shore
where the defunct windmill stands
or the locus
where my troubles
slipped their moorings?
Sunday 26th May 2019 11:18 am
while the sorry processional
of flickering drifters strides onstage,
stutters mid-stage, then stumbles off
we live together and love
in the unruffled granite bedded
crystal clear ice-blue rock pool
of my thought world
ah but you walked the nave
hand in hand with another
glinting smiles right and left
and my sorrowful sighs
are drowning in the ...
Friday 24th May 2019 1:28 pm
you are the haunting of all my thoughts
in every sleeping and waking hour
you stalk my vault of memory.
I ‘saw’ you once and that sufficed
deep spoke unto deep. a bell was rung
a bell that could not be unrung
and long long after you first blessed my eyes
my dream holds of living beside you...
with you... joined yet separate...
Thursday 23rd May 2019 10:57 am
an island Eden
cut off whenever high tide
covered the causeway.
Caz saw it, loved it, ‘we’ll camp
here, where no one can see us.’
as the tide went out
she drove across the wet strand
and parked in the dunes.
the van got stuck axle-deep
we tried, but couldn’t budge it.
Caz laughed. we cracked a
a bottle of Captain Morgan.
watching the sun set
Thursday 16th May 2019 6:21 pm
as winter yields
and April fades to May
the lengthening days
stirred cannabis haze
and Tullamore Dew
of that summer we shared
on Árainn Mhór:
you lying in the sun
reading the thickest books
we found yellowing
in a Dungloe shop window;
illustrated Life of Brian scripts,
The Last Temptation of Christ,
you liked them both –
and you, an atheist.
Tuesday 14th May 2019 5:10 pm
Angels keep watch over children,
madmen, and drunks.
We were two of three – pretty good - all in all.
with Carolyn in her
beat up transit van.
We were hanging far too loose
and headed nowhere special,
smoking five skinners
of Afghan black, drinking Rum
crossing the border
when booze and munchies ran low.
Driving slow and staying...
Saturday 4th May 2019 11:37 am
A Tower in Silence
High above Mumbai
on Malabar Hill
stands a mist caressed
A shrine of mystery
where carrion birds flock to feast
on reverently readied
cadavers of indigent beggars
and former dignitaries
waiting ravening beak and claw,
to soar high with eagles
or become flesh of vultures’ flesh.
A tower of awful silence
stands over Lo...
Thursday 2nd May 2019 1:32 pm
My Pimlico Girl
I love my Pimlico girl - she loves me, too.
We met beside the Regent’s Canal.
Haloed by early morning sunbeams,
reading La Peste
she looked like a modern day
I straightened a crooked Gauloise,
mingling smoky words with
‘Pardon, mais j’adore Camus, ‘Sisyphe’ surtout.’
My schoolboy French delighted...
Saturday 27th April 2019 12:00 pm
She stood before the mirror brushing
her curly natural raven-black hair.
Naked. She looked good enough to eat.
She jiggled giggling across the bedroom,
lifted the covers. Slid beside me.
Kissing places our mothers baulked at
we wrestled, sweated and dirty talked.
The headboard made a dent in the wall.
She reached a hand towards the drawer
Saturday 20th April 2019 11:35 am
Jackie and Jilly took the bus to town
to purchase rolls of labelling.
They peeled them one by one
as cellar to attic
every single thing they had.
This for Jeannie, that for Joe,
lawn mower for Neville,
baptism gown for baby Ivor,
Spode tea set for Glynis,
fire-dogs for Roger,
so on and etcetera.
A long long day
of upstairs and dow...
Saturday 20th April 2019 11:32 am
A Walk in the Country
Bramley End, a hamlet
nestling in a valley,
is not found on the map -
there is a ‘Brambly End’ -
maybe it’s a misprint.
I tramped the hard last miles
blistered, bleeding, limping.
Bramley End... Journey’s end;
a tree-trunk wayside rest,
church bells treble-bobbing,
a chapel, a village hall,
a ‘Welcome Stranger’ pub,
Friday 29th March 2019 2:13 pm
Was it Frannie? Might have been.
A butterfly moment - glances shared.
I was not sure. Neither she.
A hesitation. One step. Two.
The woman passed,
Melted into the station crowd -
if it was her.
Her haloed black Afro
faded grey, pinched to a plait.
Cheek bones more prominent.
Same piercing eyes
behind thick lens’
ageing woman glasses...
Wednesday 27th March 2019 11:07 am
You can’t fool me
I know you’re here,
The hint of patchouli
you wore at our last kiss,
and at our first kiss,
gives the game away.
Are you playing hide ‘n’ seek?
Remember the neighbours
thumping the walls
at our midnight parties playing
Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler,
while we snorted coke
and smoked five-skinners?
Remember nights of kiss and ma...
Thursday 14th March 2019 1:19 pm