Throughout a long career in finance I always wrote - poems, sketches, revues - until I managed to escape and focus on writing as my prime activity. That was in 2008 and since then I have published a novel ('Blessed Assurance' 2019), written a number of one act plays and seen them performed in London and the South East; in Cambridge; in Edinburgh and, in one case, in New York. When not writing and producing plays I have also continued to write poetry and to take part in running Mole Valley Poets, a group which seeks to support members in their writing, share ideas and enthusiasms, and run open mic events and opportunities to meet other poets. Some years ago I was persuaded by friends to self publish a couple of collections and I have had some poems published in magazines but given the choice of writing or submitting I tend to write. My love of theatre and my early influences ( which included the Liverpool poets) tend to mean I like the direct connection with listeners more than the printed page. Maybe that should read 'even more'. I am also a music lover, a choral singer and a jazz lover, playing sax and am interested in the cross over between these interests.


Rooftops 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 Hours gained by time zones stretch the working night and he has had much practice, since that first open handed gesture, to ease the plight of those within his care, but dawn approaches and it’s a close run thing. Tired now, like a benevolent Flying Dutchman, he longs for ease, a return to the safe harbour of his bishopric, to share the peace, to celebrate the eucharist, to contemplate and pray. He shrugs and coughs, climbs back on his sleigh. Duty calls and the world needs Christmas cheer. To disappoint the children would be to serve the self he sacrificed for them and for his Lord. To claim a higher calling would be mere presumption. So. Back to his dwindling present hoard. Back to his sleigh, his elves, and all the accoutrements of office. Back to the growing myth, the night sky and the snow. Back to the mince pies, scotch and warming coffees. Back to the hearty laugh, the ‘ho, ho, ho’ He straightens up, his spirits lift, speaks to the reindeer, says ‘Come on, guys. With gifts we celebrate a gift; so no more slacking, let’s hit the skies’. ©Tony Earnshaw 12.12.08 Cricket You can’t play cricket quietly, it being necessary to challenge all the time, and reinvent the rules- next door’s garden is six and out, the flower bed’s a four, and once you’ve called out that you’re ‘in’ you can’t go back for more. The little ones bowl underarm. They scream and cry with pain when a clobbered ball heads straight their way and they miss the catch again. Big brother says that girls can’t play - they stand in the outfield and talk. He argues when they say he’s out , he simply will not walk; it’s unfair, he’s on 49, he’s on a roll, a record score; there’s no way he’s going now. That was never leg before. The secret for an adult seeking some repose is to watch the cricket from the house and keep the windows closed. © C A Earnshaw 31.3.11 All Hallows Eve Tomorrow the saints the visions the blessed Today the ghouls Today the face paint the fake blood the paper thin border the crossings letting stale air in Today we ward off ghosts and spectres Today no mirrors can reflect us as we scare away the fear Today the pumpkins, the costumes the tricks and treats Today the lighted candles the apple bobbing the fists of sticky sweets Today the echoes of Samhains past the ancient fears Today displays in all the shops Today they sell their wares Today the ghouls Tomorrow the visions the blessed the saints © C A Earnshaw 30.10.11

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Tony Earnshaw

The things that must be done (04/07/2020)

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<Deleted User> (24283)

Fri 3rd Jul 2020 16:32

I need to read your poems. They are marvelous. Your sample poems are just amazing.

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Greg Freeman

Tue 22nd Jan 2013 10:44

Hi Tony, thought I recognised the face! Good to meet you at Mole Valley Poets the other night, and thanks for the welcome and hospitality. Greg (Woking Stanza group)

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Tony Earnshaw

Tue 22nd Jan 2013 10:22

Thanks for the welcome - I'll do that

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Ann Foxglove

Sun 20th Jan 2013 12:00

Hi Tony - welcome to WOL. I enjoyed your poems. Why not put one on the blog section - where you'll probably get some feedback and folk will get to know you.

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