after Philip Larkin
Never again such crowds
shouldering such exultation,
no more the sea lion choir
hauled up on the stands.
The stadia and arenas
silent like grief,
the sun quenched in remembrance
of a million flowering hands.
And shutters on the High Street
tight against the abyss,
the weekend staff furloughed,
the checkout bleepers schtum.
Thursday 21st October 2021 10:53 am
Once we’d bagged the first we should’ve quit
but we are so elated
to make it safely down by noon
we press on like a perfect pair of twits,
sights set on a much-alike, elevated
cairn across the valley, reckoning soon
we’ll add another summit to our list.
We scale a gate which warns us to KEEP OUT!
and brave a barbed wire fence
before the grad...
Wednesday 20th October 2021 12:22 pm
All the fuckin’ country
is tense about some dead duck football game
tonight at 8 pm (or so I’m told).
The sea it slinked away but turned again
and stealthily manoeuvres to reclaim
the mudflats populated by the clumsy
clumps of seals. They loiter, lolled
like slack balloons, like lard
collapsing down to chip fat on the hob.
But we, we sit up straight: our sofa, st...
Tuesday 10th August 2021 10:14 am
Such jubilation every time a vessel
debarks a new contingent at the port.
So much relief when loved ones, wrested apart
for long, lone months are free again to nestle
cheek to cheek, to hug and kiss, to jostle,
guiltlessly mingling among the singing throng,
siblings swinging siblings, making rings
to dance till dawn with no one a virus’ vassal.
Ravenous variants infes...
Monday 7th June 2021 10:14 pm
Sixty tonne of metal bellowing down the sky
assails the quietude
of reeds and muddy pools
where spoonbills sift through sludge and seagulls drift nearby.
The mouth of the Ria Formosa’s a birders’ paradise:
miles of salt pans hosting
birds of low-lying coastline,
in thousands upon thousands. It’s Eden beyond price
in every way but one: the fence of Faro A...
Wednesday 19th May 2021 2:15 pm
how magical to view you
your pinstripe torso and your curtain fringe mane.
posing like a statue
licking at the dawn dew
lifting your head and sniffing for rain.
horns in a corkscrew
your muzzle with a tattoo,
a sharp white horseshoe,
you master the plains.
The bush birds of Africa
are setting up a clamour.
Friday 23rd April 2021 11:11 pm
I used to range unchallenged on this hill
keeping mankind under my surveillance.
I watched as you discovered
the wonder of the wheel
and ways to traffic goods along the rivers.
You harnessed blameless power from water mills
but we became estranged.
My name is Silence.
Once I was your day-to-day companion:
the backing to your birdsong at the daybreak
and as t...
Friday 5th March 2021 9:56 pm