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Poems on substack

A new venture for me, in an effot to reach a wider readership I've added a substack account. I'll try and publish on here in parallel - juggling a range of media now but with a litle less time devoted to theatre production ,aybe I'll do better than I have in the past! Three posts so far, each with a poem, which won't always be the case. For more see 

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poems on the websubstack


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I know that, strictly speaking, the Magi, are still on camel back following a star but I also know everyone is bored with the story by epiphany so here is my final Christmas related poetry blog. Courage, doubt, fear and wonder, in the story of the Magi. What had they been part of? Like us, they wondered whether ‘this was a future they wanted to know’…


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A Christmas blog




Brushing soot off his tunic (new, wipe clean, breathable material) he surveys the rooftops.

He belches, the last lot’s food offerings (whisky, milk and breakfast cereal) playing havoc with his digestive system.


Whistling for the team (trained to perfection by the reindeer whisperer) he prepares for the off.

Straightening, the man of dreams consults his watch


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Mary Sang

With a week to go befiore Christmas, I thought I'd ignore the noise and controversy and focus instead on music and hope


Mary Sang


Mary sang, a fine contralto, deep and pure.
Joseph played bass, metronomic, steady, 
the beat nailed to the floor.
He thought the boy should play guitar
and made him one from fine cedar;
strings of camel gut, fret board inlaid
with finest golden sa...

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hopeguitarsongmary and Joseph

Advent 2020

Image courtesy of Marilylle Soveran and Flickr; Creative Commons.




Hard to believe that it's December and we're coming to the end of a year that has presented many challenges. In the Christian tradition, candles are lit for Advent, representing hope, love, joy, peace, and the light of the world. This year we're waiting for vaccines, an end to lockdowns and tiers and I've tried to ...

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Constancy and Betrayal

I was enjoying sitting in the garden, pondering the beauty and the timelessness of nature, compared to the fickleness and unreliability we see in our leaders and found myself writing a villanelle. First draft below – may yet be edited but I wanted to share it now.


Reminders of a life, a dream now torn
Scabia, flags and tulips, forget me nots
Behind the privet hedge a rolling lawn


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The things that must be done

Encouraged by comments on my latest blog - and reminded that I always intend to post my blogs on WOL and usually get distracted before doing so - I'm repeating a blog from a few weeks ago which I didn't post here. With thanks to those who commented on the last one!


I've been thinking about what happens next. There's been a lot of talk in the press, and shared posts on social media, about t...

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lockdownfamilyfriendsfossil fuelsNHScommuterespectcare home

On line poetry - and history in the making

I've tended to have an old fashioned view of libraries - a very positive one, but limited to book borrowing, quiet spaces for reading and a children's corner. Of course, there is much or to a modern library than that and I have become involved with a couple of aspects of Surrey Libraries of which I was previously unaware.

The first of these is a poetry blog. This is a regular feature which incl...

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archivehistoryCovid- 19librariesrecoverysocial distancing

Some poems seem to stay topical

Some poems seem to stay topical, even when you'd prefer they didn't. This is one of them.




Omar is a fighter,

Arifa is a nurse

And Abdullah?

Abdullah is twelve


Omar is dangerous.

Arifa is a healer

And Abdullah?

Abdullah is twelve


Omar kills hostages

Arifa tends the wounded

And Abdullah?

Abdullah is twelve


Omar’s full of hat...

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Sea Battle


Salt spray the sensation you’d think to miss,

the heaving deck your only anchor

as the sun rises on set sails

and the canon roars.


A shout into oblivion, the black

trajectory of the missile falling

short, creating a fountain of brine

while the mate mouths

oaths and the captain shouts.


Blood on the decks as all hands

wield mops and pails ...

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Olympics in Dorking


Olympics in Dorking

When the cyclists come through Dorking

They'll do so at a speed 

that's probably illegal 

At least those in the lead

They'll shoot round Pump Corner 

As a speeding, flashing bunch

While we watch for a moment 

And then go back to our lunch

We'll raise a cheer, they'll raise some dust

Don't get some in your eye

No. Watch the wa...

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