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Thursday, 7 September 2023

Recent trips to Paris and Dublin...

Dublin collection


Dublin at first glance the same as last time

and the time before that that I was there

kicking myself now that we didn't go

to see the Molly Malone sculpture this trip

but made up for it by discovering

a new Oscar Wilde figure plonked on a bench

outside Kennedys pub at Trinity College

We walked along both banks of the Liffey

crossing bridges several times in the heat

oh yes it was September but it was warm

I perhaps almost nearly forgot

to mention that the weather was extra hot

In sight of the Phoenix Park Obelisk

the Wellington Monument we turned back

Christ Church Cathedral Dublin Castle and

Saint Patrick's where Jonathan Swift is buried

The GPO on O'Connell Street and James Joyce

looking tired standing in the shadow of the Spire

Full Irish Breakfast at The Boxty House

Guinness straight from the river Liffey

Oyster Stout at the Temple Bar Porterhouse

More churches than the Vatican

more distilleries than Cognac in France

More singers dancers thinkers and drinkers

more writers than a library full of books

More trinkets than Las Vegas Bonanza

more poets musicians and song writers

More pubs than Greene King


Paris collection


The Eiffel Tower mellows magnificently

lit up in red and golden yellows

Above the rooftops in every arrondissement

her searchlight sweeps the Parisian night

Clockwise and counter clockwise all day long
relentless the traffic flows on the Peripherique

likewise on Rive Gauche and Rive Droite

the cars go hell for leather hammer and tongs

The Sacre Coeur Basilica whiter than white

appears ivory when lit up at night

The Bateaux Mouches cruise up and down insane

from Pont de L'Alma on the river Seine

And Paris sleeps but doesn't sleep at all

Croissants Brioche Baguettes and Pain de 'Epi

all need to be made to feed the morning crowd

Yawning we head for the Metro - Airport bound

30082023/Paris collection

Saturday, 6 May 2023

Secret Poetry

Here's something I first wrote in 2009, but this is a slightly different version...

I go to my secret place in the poetry garden
not many people know about that
but you know all my secrets anyway so it’s okay
It's my poetry patch really where I grow poetic things
my favourite poems are the weeds
I cultivate them ad hoc in my mind
But they (other poets) grow theirs naturally
as nature does sometimes
I will cut an edge perhaps prune a word or three
mostly I just watch things grow
climb up the poet tree
and sit atop the branches
where the fairies swing is tied
to watch them mirror dancing
(they only tire at sunset)
When I come back down to earth
this is the poem that wrote itself
it told me to write it down like this:
Making monkey mayhem
funky madness
sitting up the poet tree
writing down every word that she whispers to me
the secret of the ages of the rings
the way the wordy wordy wordy sings
everything she brings from where she comes
where she goes nobody really knows
she recites her wordy words to my world
my world doesn’t hear a thing she says
(the wind blows her words whispering to me)
She sister she secret society she says silently – hoping I can hear

Monday, 1 May 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/Conclusion

Amazingly we've reached yet another end to the napowrimo challenge of thirty poems in thirty days. As usual may I take this opportunity to congratulate each and everyone of you who completed it this time.

We had a little distraction mid way through the project as I had to go to Poland for a few days. Fortunately I was still able to write something each day and post it from there which reinforces not only the power of the internet, but the global appeal of napowrimo these days too.

The next setback for me was that after returning from Poland my wife came down with Covid and I followed her two days later. I'm still suffering with the dreaded lurgy as I write this, but somehow, all these possible disasters, only ever seem to give me more material to work from.

Finally, here's a little something to conclude this years challenge and to set myself up for what lies ahead.


Streams of consciousness

Violent storms and sunny days

Bursting off the page


Thank you for reading this, and congratulations again for taking the challenge this year.

Sunday, 30 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 30 The last day.


The way that I feel about you

is still the same as yesterday true

Stay hands up down town

I'm coming up I'm coming up

I'm coming up down town

I want you to stay

with your hands in the air

and your mind on mine

cause you're the loving kind

There ain't no confusion

or two bit illusion 

the way that I feel about you

is still the same as yesterday true

Stay hands up down town

I'm coming up I'm coming up

I'm coming up down town

There ain't no confusion

or two bit illusion


Saturday, 29 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 29


They said that it must have been the morphine talking

when I told different people what had happened that night

in the hospital after my operation

but you couldn't make these things up I know what I saw

and I'm sticking to it that seems like a long time ago now

but I remember it as being a very long night

forcing myself to keep awake convinced that they would kill me next

if I even fell asleep for a few minutes

In the distance I could hear a woman screaming in the corridor

and what sounded like steel trays being bashed about her bonce

it was impossible for me to move I had to lie flat on my back

with a drip in my arm

I also had two young nurses sitting at my bedside

studying a computer screen

that may or may not have been monitoring my brain

Of course the problem didn't start until the young nurses

were asked if they wanted to stay to watch the filming

or if they would like to take a break they chose to take a break

and I never saw them again the filming was absolutely mad

the rest of the staff on the ward having dressed up in outrageous costumes

in various states of dress or undress were now filming each other doing mad things

I'm sure they were taking credit card customers requests over the internet

Anyway that night was nothing compared to last night

which truly was the longest night I can remember

I had come down with the dreaded lurgy a few days previously

and had been shivering and coughing and overheating then shivering again

but last night I came down with the whole thing and I was delirious

and sweating like a pig I started to imagine that I was going completely mad

I kept on seeing a video of a disaster playing in my head

And try as I might I couldn't let it go I woke up sweating

went back to sleep wringing wet woke up again

and couldn't get the disaster movie out of my head

I was absolutely totally confused about my situation

I felt like I should call a doctor for help but that's impossible

these days as the phone rings out three or four times and then rings off

anyway I had the advantage of knowing that I had the virus

And that despite me being completely flummoxed by it

there would actually have been nothing much that a doctor could have done

so I had gone to bed at nine pm which is really really early for me

as I often don't retire until way past midnight

of course after I went to bed the bad dreams turned into chaotic nightmares

and I began sweating and shivering and tossing and turning

until I became a gibbering wreck I can't say too much more about this experience

apart from the fact that it was the longest night of my life


Friday, 28 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 28


Had the lurgy last year

but nothing as bad as this

sweating like a troglodytes uncle

overheating then shivering like a bin dog

lots of fluids no alcoholic drinks

until further notice

sneezing like an alley cat

nose blocked up to buglery

eyes watering continually

throat like a bag of nails

coughing up united all over the shop

feeling rotten

I'd forgotten what it was like

but this time it's much much worse

the dreaded virus chapter and verse


Thursday, 27 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 27


You can't get it twice can you I asked my specialist desperately

You can only get it twice if you've already had it previously

Came the swift reply from one of Britain's finest virologists

My online guru said lightening never strikes in the same place twice

Shivering and flu like symptoms don't mean you've got the virus

So the sore throat lurgy that you dread might only be in your head

What do they know about my feelings and the two and eight of things

Avian flu is doing the rounds and free range eggs are laid in barns

And there's no such thing as a free lunch the horror scope bunch tell me

We all try to beat the system or eggs sometimes for omelettes if we can

Like the Joker with an Ace up his sleeve or on his face book status

He'll love you until his house falls down flat like a stack of cards

If I know my audience you know you know that I'm talking to you

If the world is a stage like Shakespeare said then some are spectators too

Fanatics sometimes I don't know how you feel but we are all players


Wednesday, 26 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 26


I love bicycles but I don't ride them much these days

I have a shed full of the two wheeled machines

eighteen or more in different states of disrepair

and a room full of tools and bits and bobs out there

Love like lovers comes and goes

you won't need a guru or a demi god to tell you that

And I've got an Indonesian rickshaw that I really like

which I was going to turn into a cargo trike

Don't you just love bikes I know that I do

but only pre nineteen eighties or there a bouts

the ones that have cotter pins to attach the pedal shanks

I really dislike those new fangled cranks

Of course I wouldn't say no to an electric assist

especially when I live on the edge of Dartmoor now

I had the privilege of testing one once at Coalville

they must've thought I was Action Man at Bardon Hill


Tuesday, 25 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 25


Tables are like people sometimes

wooden or perhaps more like horses

sometimes pigs if they don't have wheels

I've not seen many three legged pigs

Who are you talking to I asked her

I'm not talking she replied I'm listening

Who are you listening to I asked

Myself she answered staring into her phone

If anybody needs a selfie stick that girl does

digital creator influencer call her what you will

she'll love you if you like her and follow her

not literally of course but internetintentionally


Monday, 24 April 2023


 Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 24



Snookered but not necessarily on green baize

can't see wood for trees springs to mind

not unlike crocodiles and piranha fish

but don't bite my hand off for telling you


The secrets of the inner mind unwrapped

they say nobody knows how these things work

lost beneath the sands of time somewhere

no escape from the fictional brain


You wouldn't want to complain about things

all's fair in love and cricket said the silly mid on

as the bowler chucked a maiden over

before the wicket keeper caught the last man out


Sunday, 23 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 23


Another few dollars for another days work

when she wakes up it's all said and done

Sleeping for England in a four poster bed

she thinks about the weather

imagines that it's raining

turns over and goes back to sleep

Like false teeth chattering on a marble slab

the aeroplane hits the tarmac hard then

relief as it straightens up and comes to a halt

the chattering turns to clapping and cheers

Holidays and holiday makers

making for the sands of time and Timbuktu

business trips planned and unplanned

happy as Lazarus up from the grave

When she wakes up it's all said and done

another few dollars for another days work


Saturday, 22 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 22


They think that hosing it down

won't make it wet but

they've been wet behind the ears

for a long time now

They're more naïve than an optimist

facing a firing squad

it's a dead certainty that something

is going to go terribly wrong

They take the subway train because

they think it's safer than walking

they hate buses don't like overcrowding

shopping in Oxford Street isn't their thing

They say the electricity won't go down

like it did in nineteen seventy four but it will

then all their computers and mobile things

and even their tablets of stone will be silent


Friday, 21 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 21


Right in the midst of the thick of things

stuck in a bubble

trouble like you wouldn't believe

she shouts at the other characters on the page

they too can only communicate

through speech bubbles

and she calls out to anyone

who will listen to her

Callouts shouts think bubbles

thought bubbles sometimes too

you'd have to be mad clever

to imagine them as being normal

Ordinary they are not and the faint hearted

fall by the wayside

the comic strip takes a particular skill set

the comic book another

Any publication is a compilation of minds

and mindsets can differ from day to day

from place to place

and from one funny to another

never mind the editor the owner the workers

and the sleeping partner

You can paint the page in pastel shades

but if the content doesn't stack up

the dollars will turn to cents and roll away

like money down the drain

Superman and Batman and Robin

icons of the front cover are back in the news

Spiderman too but Catwoman The Joker

and other also rans

are relegated to the inside back page

Like the day job it's here today and gone tomorrow

zero hours contract minimum wage

and no amount of rhetoric will change that

you like me are in the pocket

of the powers that be

breaking news smashing


Thursday, 20 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 20


Nothing much has changed but why would it

why indeed should it have

different people come and go

although if they come here they often stay

until they die

We had to take him out in a wooden overcoat

is the accepted response

when asking about an old friend

The decoration was different

but not noticeably apart from the fact that

the ceiling had been painted bright orange

although the manager reliably informed me that

it was actually a subtle shade of tangerine

The bar looked much the same as it always did

although I could tell that it had been refurbished

recently to accommodate several new fangled

beer pumps that were now sitting in pride of place

The decoration was different

but not noticeably

apart from the gigantic TV screens

hanging off each and every wall showing

different sports all night and day

I don't even know why that united pretender

is even playing for England

one of the screen watchers screamed

although no one else really noticed

He might have scored a cracking goal

against that Roy of the Rovers team

a couple of years ago in the mickey mouse cup

but he hasn't done a lot since

and certainly not at this level of football

the irate TV watcher continued

looking away from the big screen in disbelief

How many goals has he gifted the opposition with

over the years and why the Eccles cakes

does this manager stick with him

and pick him for the team every time

moan moan moan mister moaner moaned

The decoration was different

but not noticeably to the casual observer

the ash trays had gone off the tables and

had been replaced by an outdoor smoking hovel

choke yourself to death why don't you

I gave up seventeen years ago

the best move I ever made

as for the beer I can take it or leave it

each to his own poison though and may

whatever turns you on make you happy

The decoration was different

but not noticeably 

until I got talking to an octogenarian

he was sipping green tea

and self medicating with cannabis oil

good snuff I quipped trying to make a joke

try some of this united he said to me

it's got antioxidants in it

I think I'll stick to the beer I replied

The decoration was different

but not noticeably

apart from the cocktail bar

and the uniformed bar staff

they were all dressed in tartan waistcoats

white shirts and black Dickie Bow ties

I asked for a whisky and they gave me a menu

we have one hundred and sixty eight

different whiskies they told me

as I perused the stock list

do you not have Irish Whiskey I asked

Oh yes sir of course we do sir three bags full sir

they're on a different menu with the American

Japanese and Canadian Whiskeys sir

Phew this was hard work I only came in for

a quick pint of bitter and a whisky chaser

and here I was with my reading binoculars on

trying to decipher the small print on this daft list

I finally chose a single malt

and then made the mistake of asking for a double

sorry sir said the barman we don't do doubles

you can have a large one if you like

what's the difference I asked tentatively

about seventeen and a half pence he replied

what's that in old money I enquired

hoping to catch the youngster out

three and six sir he retorted without hesitation

okay I said give me two singles

and quickly added in the same glass please

The bottom line is

nothing was different apart from the decoration


Wednesday, 19 April 2023


Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 19


Even when the early bird wakes us up

we don't know what time it is until the clock strikes

Guilty of going somewhere

without really knowing where

why do people think that mistakes

only happen to someone else

The bigger the plan

the further the plot fails

rhythm and rhyme don't cut it

but if you don't know now you never will

From time to time someone will come along

you'll think that you can't resist her

however she's just the cash cow cutting in

she wants your dough all your bread and honey

money isn't everything it's less than half the truth

there's more to life than buying the next best thing

window shopping used to be fashionable

charity shops and bargain stores are all the rage now

We don't know what time it is until the clock strikes

even when the early bird wakes us up


Tuesday, 18 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 18


Like it's the language of love

she talks about being Italian

She raves about vintage stores

and mid century furniture

paints her chipboard kitchen floor

in different shades of blue

Hangs all the utensils up

so the animals can't spoil them

dreads that the bread bin has

ever been used for anything else

Much like a vampire

she shies away from garlic

but loves a Greek style salad

soup is permanently off the menu

Loves anything Parisian

drives a Deux Chevaux

tells me she's a Francophile

but can't speak the lingo

She talks about being Italian

like it's the language of love


Monday, 17 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 17


Sinking further and further into the mire

deeper and deeper into the same old swamp

no one really wants to go there but a philosopher

I met told me that not only were we all born in sin

and therefore fall short of the glory of God but

that we have been sent to this earth as a punishment

for something bad that we did elsewhere

So it doesn't matter what you think if you think you

are what you think then you are what you think and

nothing is going to change that in the short or long term

but there is of course another realm that you can access

when you mix thought with imagination he told me

Laughter happiness and imagination are the three best

things in life but the greatest of these is imagination

wherever your imagination goes you can go too the

imagination in the mind of man knows no bounds it frees

us from the limitations that are otherwise pressing us down


Sunday, 16 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 16


Natural as a plastic doll she paints the barn

slaps on the lippy and heads for the hotel bar

nobody actually said she was a basket case

but they were certainly thinking it all right

She wasn't going to set the world alight

but if she stands too close to the fire in

that colourful cellulose dress she might well do

herself a nasty injury and shock the customers too

At the bar she orders vegan everything and sulks

when she's told that eggnog isn't even vegetarian

I thought eggs were vegan she tells the barman

only if they come from corn fed chickens he replies

There's a yoke in there somewhere but finding it

that's another conundrum you can't beat eggs can you

as my younger brother always used to say at Easter

a bit like having your cake and eating it I suppose


Saturday, 15 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 15


Headless chickens running around

chasing non existent tails

but the story doesn't end there

doesn't even start on the farmyard

How naïve it would be to believe

that chickens don't have heads and tails

and that perhaps ducks don't quack

and puppy dogs and kittens don't count

Bin dogs and alley cats we've spoke about

them before but they keep on hitting back

like the mess that graffiti makes everywhere

and all those sewer rats that bite down there

Manchester is building towers of ecstasy

there's more than four quarters in gay Paris

and many more green spaces in London

than people give that city credit for


Friday, 14 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 14

The dog that usually comes to stay

belongs to the owner of the cat

top that top cat, top dog too

But the new dog that came yesterday

looks like a Cavapoo or a Shih Tzu

he's actually a King Charles Spaniel

Kris will be the one to look after him

feed and water him pamper him

walk him in the forest twice a day

Chodź tu mała, Kris beckons to the dog

WoW! Does he understand Polish? I ask

Yes replies Kris and Latvian too


Thursday, 13 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 13


What goes on

between the sheets

Whispering sweet nothings

in her ear

Somersaults and

press ups if you can

Dreaming about

the South coast of France

Eating biscuits

like there's no tomorrow

Sucking on sweets

till the cows come home

Watching movies

Korean or not

Dreaming about

that lottery win

As boring as

thinking of England

Somersaults and

press ups if you can

Whispering sweet nothings

in her ear

What goes on

between the sheets

stays between the sheets


Wednesday, 12 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 12


Brown or white sugar one lump or two

Coffee with or without cream

Like it never happened

He swept the thought of her under the lino

Trampling it down until it was perfectly flat

See he told himself there's no such person

Never has been never will be

If only life was that simple

Perish the thought

Pull the other one

He's finally going to the party as himself

No fake make up

Syrup of figs

Irish jigs

Coffee with or without cream

Brown or white sugar one lump or two


Tuesday, 11 April 2023



Napowrimo 2023/my15th year/day 11

The prompt for today at napowrimo.net -

This prompt challenges you to play around with the idea of overheard language. Now, write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard that made you laugh, or something someone told you once that struck you as funny.


Iambic pentameter she's not

You won't find a rhyming couplet under her bonnet

My wife lost ten pounds and she stayed there

Searching everywhere until the lights went out

Waiting at the till for her change perhaps

Went on a diet and lost a bit of weight maybe

How could she whatever was she thinking of

I wouldn't hang around there for too long big bird

After dark the ATM goes into robotic mode

Do you want to tell her or should I

I think she looks wonderful just the way she is

Who told you that she's clean out of money

She was beautiful before she lost all that weight

It's obvious the way she's scratching in her purse

You won't find a rhyming couplet under her bonnet

Iambic pentameter she's not