Posted: September 19, 2016 in default

Recently on Ben Banyard’s excellent and well-respected Clear Poetry site he featured four of my poems, Empty Spaces, Jackdaws, Wembury Beach and The Fire Has Gone Out. You can read them all via this link https://clearpoetry.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/paul-mortimer-four-poems/. I highly recommend following Clear Poetry …. it brings a wonderful breadth of quality work. Meanwhile here’s one of my four poems featured.

Harsh chatter cuts through the baking
air seething across our roof tiles.
They are arrogant, ice-eyed, chopping up
a blackbird’s melody that’s been flooding
the river’s beat. Theirs is not birdsong,
just nature’s practical edge.
Functional. A rooting in the ordinary.
Like that faint rocking of traffic.

Bob Dylan On A Dirt Road

Posted: June 6, 2016 in default

Recently Bob Dylan celebrated his 75th birthday and in Taunton there was a great evening to mark the occasion featuring six bands and four poets – of which I was one – performing in front of an audience of more than 100! It was a great night and here’s one of the poems I wrote and performed that night..

How was I not going to get you
after being brought up on a diet of
Ella Fitzgerald,
Nat King Cole,
George Gershwin.

You were a storm building
on the horizon, thunderheads
flashing discordant lightning.
A strident hammering at the door,
notes off centre,
your voice whining
through cracks in our establishment.

The life-blood of a new generation
zinged through my veins. You
were right. The times were
changing, more than any of us knew.

And now?
Your waspish music
and whip-crack lyrics
are milestones on dirt
roads in a foreign country.
Many of us still live there.


That’s me ~ please note Joan Baez looking on!

Frosty reception

Posted: April 29, 2016 in default

Today at Toads Bjorn Rudberg wants us to take a picture from the nearest window and write a poem of not more than a 100 words- see http://withrealtoads.

toads poem pic

May is a breath away but
this morning a cold-bladed wind
chills the river,
puts ice in the sun.
Gulls gather at the weir’s edge,
scattered broken teeth holding
fast in a steel blue current.
It threatens to flush them down
to the river mouth
and fling them back out to sea.

Your Hands Are Not Still

Posted: March 15, 2016 in default

at http://dversepoets.com/this-is-us/tonight we are looking at hands – and writing something about them. This is a poem about my mother shortly before she passed away a few years ago. I also use the technique where the title is also the first line of the poem.

Unlike the rest of you.
They constantly twitch and ripple.
Your fingers are not frantic, but urgent,
grasping and letting go of the bed sheet.

As if it’s a shoreline lapping at your chest.
As if it’s the edge of an ocean.
As if beyond it is a normal life you
are desperate to reach.

This place is cathedral quiet,
broken occasionally by machines
breathing with ticks and bleeps. But
it does not bring you calm.

That bird-like alertness through which
you measured life is completely dulled.
Your eyes are bemused.
Your body is still.

Just those hands working away
as if they alone can free you
from a place that is neither
prison nor sanctuary.

Taking a break

Posted: February 9, 2016 in default

at http://dversepoets.com/this-is-us/ we are meeting the challenge of writing a 44 word poem to include the word ‘lull’

Sky is beaten to the colour of slate,
brooding but briefly spent.

And for now the wind is nothing
more than a leaf-whisperer.

In this quiet the river clings to its bed,
trembling woods are still full of panic.

This lull will not last.

Moel Siabod

Posted: January 11, 2016 in Fault Line art, nature poems

This year sees a very exciting venture – a touring art exhibition based on my collection Fault Line and involving several artists ~ more details soon
This is the best seat in the amphitheatre.
It is not a place of sound. There are no streets
at your feet, life pulsing through them, a hive
whose permanently lit towers fracture a sky
where darkness never comes. This is not a city
hemmed in by noise of traffic, people, chatter,
the rattle-nest of a man-made empire
that denies the stars their right to burn their
own holes in the night. It is not a place
where the only streams are the ruby and diamond
glows of cars that never cease; a continual living
jewelled necklace threading through the whole.
This is a throne room – and only from here
can you see all three Welsh lords;
the Carneddau, the Glyders and Snowdon Horseshoe.
This is a place of granite and moss scents.
Of silence and air.
So much air.

moel siabod
Moel Siabod by artist Jo Mortimer