Poetry Blog by Tom Alexander

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Recent Comments

Tom on Cairo On The Radio (1 day ago)

Tom on Holly Hagg (1 day ago)

M.C. Newberry on Cairo On The Radio (1 day ago)

Tom on Cairo On The Radio (1 day ago)

raypool on Holly Hagg (2 days ago)

raypool on Cairo On The Radio (2 days ago)

keith jeffries on Cairo On The Radio (2 days ago)

Tom on Holly Hagg (3 days ago)

julie callaghan on Holly Hagg (3 days ago)

Stephen Gospage on Holly Hagg (4 days ago)

Cairo On The Radio

entry picture

Down the endless garden 
to a hand-built shed of wonders
and little me, sitting with my grandad
listening to all the voices
pushing through the static

What magic in those wires!
The narrow band, the wide
The squelch and the gain
The whistle and the whine
sounds I’ll never forget

The spectrum of a planet 
chattering
Such wisdom in rough fingers
so deft upon the dial
gently they’d ...

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Amateur radiochildhoodexcitementgrandadhamham radiolearningyouth

Holly Hagg

entry picture

Pen devoid of poems
adventure long overdue
living room carpet
growing long in the tooth
I’m pining for movement
so keen to get out
I’ll go walking down
to Holly Hagg

Little glimpses at normality
haloed by golden rays
There’s no poison 
in the idle river
no politics
in the quiet horse
cantering to 
another chew

The clouds of working day
part while I’m out walking
bathed in nat...

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happinesshikinginspirationlockdownSheffieldwalkingwritingYorkshire

Step Change

entry picture

Tear the statues down
put them in a museum
have their achievements weighed 
against their modern moral faults
Give them context
It feels wrong to venerate
values we no longer share

Tear the problematic statues down
it’s time to move on
They’ve had their light
they’ve had their vaunted praise
let them slip into the past
I don't want to walk beside
the likeness of a slave trader
on m...

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A Most Comfortable Prison

The jailer, he's invisible
yet we're reminded, daily
he still stalks these corridors
a violent crown upon his brow
turning folk to dust
My marker-pen tally on the wall
begins to eats itself
time moves differently here
it's a snake, a valley
a constellation
in this most-comfortable prison...

The weather has a mainline to my mood
there's a shadow in my mind
it blooms or it recedes
wi...

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Jetty Song

entry picture

Her fingers tracing mine
Lily danced me out of the garden
those green eyes brimming lively 
with purest abandon
Then barefoot on the boardwalk
her summer dress riding high
she leapt onto the jetty 
and gestured to the sky

We let our tanned legs hang below
as we bottomed up the bottle
the air was hot and heavy
the sea around us peaceful
There was lust upon our minds
as a veil upon a ...

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desirefollylost lovelovesongwisdomyouth

Ocean's Roar

A raining heart, derailed
just north of love
things that must be done
to protect oneself

Despite my expectant warmth
I find you strangely cold
the trick became transparent
the magic quickly old

A remnant moon shines above us
even in this weak glow, it’s obvious
this affair
is going nowhere

You don’t care to know 
anything about me
yet still you pine for my love

You don’t dar...

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Renee By A Thread

Audio reading: https://soundcloud.com/tomalexwrite/renee-by-a-thread

 

Down the corridor, comes a scream
Was it physical pain
or the horror of finally learning
the way this game is turning
They took your clothes
gave you a gown
there was nothing to do but lay right down
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

Faint flashes behind tired eyelids
recalle...

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coronaviruscovidcovid19deathHealthHealthcarehospitalhospitalskey workerlockdownWOLBeyondTheStorm

High Tide, Low Life

You paint yourself blue, always blue
this letter brings me down
perched upon a rusty trailer
paint peels over my shoulder

I've been drinking 
since the boats were rested
on the muddy estuary bed

It's high tide, low life
high tide, low life

I won't stop my reaching out
if there's any way to help, I'll find it
you're so slow to take my hand
scratching at your skin for answers

I ...

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depressionfriendshiphelploneliness

Harm's Arms

Let me admit, to you, my fear
of those ghostly hands
twisting the knife
in the belly of our lives

These house-bound blues
echo louder some days
these house-bound blues
and their hypnotically sad song

My memories reach out for you
you’ve changed your number
my happy memories are reaching out
yet we may never speak again

And though estranged
often, I still wonder
of your gently c...

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coronavirusWOLBeyondTheStorm

Essay

entry picture

Nineteen nighty five
Nominally fourteen;
I was sitting in the sports hall
pen in hand
the desks apart
a teacher I didn’t know
patrolled the aisles
The English paper said ‘write a story
include a river
and an allegory’

The clock at the front clicks
thin hands jerk and tick
I spin my pen
study the air vents above me
there’s a dusty shuttlecock
caught up in the pipework
there’s a br...

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cancerexamsmemoriesthe first thing I wrote

Bonfires

I was living certain and sure
of the future I desired
A house by the water
sea air kissing my eyes
before I brave the morning paper

A figure framed in a gaping doorway
watching freighters skim the horizon
Rest my coffee cup on the fence
slide a nail down this foriegn envelope
draw the perfumed letter from within

The paper see-through 
like her summer dresses
My fingers beneath it
...

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letterlost lovepassionsea

You & I, Vampires

You and I; vampires
habitual creatures
you and I; hungry again
This hollow needs a fill
O, to dip our quill...

You’re chasing love
chasing fantasy
the thrill of infatuation
dutifully presenting 
its pale skin beneath
those long teeth

Ravenous
I stalk experience
joyful or otherwise
Thumping heartbreak
or whatever I can muster
any morsel of emotion
to carve apart and analyse 
D...

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New Memories

Squinting at the good old days
through a low winter sun
dreaming of those times
spent down on the sand
lost in the blue hour
or scheming on a journey
deep into the night
We could have gone anywhere
a can raised to the sky
and on our faces only smiles
for miles
and miles and miles

So many friendships
left behind at other stations
back down the tracks
My friendships; all are fraying
...

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friendship

Strangeness & Experience

I want you to be unruly
write hard and clear
about tangled emotion
those who don’t
make me suspicious
I know there are other things
like genocide and selfish parking
and the bruises received
behind closed doors

I want to know people 
who are walking antennas 
sensitive and gifted
nerves nakedly exposed
flailing in the fallout

I was raised to keep all hidden
I was raised to deny ...

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creativityemotionsensitivityyouth

Chalk-White Moonlight

entry picture

An Arctic air
pushes past the cracking door
as we step out
into the newly forming night
with many friendly cheers 
chasing us from the hall
The searing wind
grabs you by the ears
seconds abroad
and your bones will know the chill
in the chalk-white light
of this moon

Snow falls slowly
first on the cliffs above the lane
then these cobbles are scribbled out
under a virgin whiteness
...

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coastlifelovemarriagepowerseatogethernessweatherwedding

Across The Fields At Dusk

Hours spent listening to your voice
disembodied
carefully controlled
precisely chosen words
with expert intonation

I've laid with headphones on
naked and imagining 
there is no separation
no distance
that you're beside me speaking
as my knuckles snake your thigh

You tell the story of your life
you’re telling my story too
How strange, how similar
manifestly different
but emotiona...

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Books of Blake

entry picture

You saw me, even then
you knew me
back when no one saw me
I kept no one around
who knew me
I, too, was in my infancy
twenty-something
and far from knowing much
in any real way at all

Still, somehow, you found me
brought books of Blake
to the shop we worked
we’d sit and read together
on the varnished wooden counter
your summer dress 
hanging from you like a sail
we’d admire the cr...

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lost lovessummer dressesWilliam Blake

Tourist Trap

Holidaying as a teenager
back when time moved slower
and thoughts were many
I’d cruise the gift shops
reviewing tacky souvenirs
This used to be a fishing village
now it’s a tourist trap

And picking up a handmade bear
with wonky mouth and vacant stare
big button eyes and blood red lips
I’d wonder of its maker, its creator
someone dreamed 
this bear into the world
someone thought this...

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sentimentalsentimentalityteenage sentimenttoys

Lend Me Your Light

Friend, we drink together
talking at a wedding
lit blue and gold
familiar faces dance around us

Friend, secretly, I wonder
if you were to open up your essence
lift a pen to kiss the paper
to vent your heart aloud

Friend, I long to know
what your poetry would be
if you chose to write

Which desires peskily linger 
at the edges of your furrowed mind
which old flames still burn a fi...

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poetry

Don't Forget To Breathe

Stuttering awake
in the anxious hours
when white noise
no longer lets you sleep
In the mattress springs
a metronome
your percussive heartbeat
one thought then another
one worry trailed by the next
did what was said make sense?
was it understood
will this be good enough
impossible options
improbable odds
suddenly so awake
in the anxious hours
don’t forget
to breathe

Stuttering a...

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anxietybreathinginsomniasleeplessness

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