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 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 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


Posted: December 4, 2015 in Fault Line

This is from my recently released debut collection, Fault Line published by Lapwing (you can click on the link to the left to order a copy) and was inspired when found my copy of Ring of Bright Water that I bought in 1963.

Still legible on the first foxed page
of a Ring of Bright Water.
Red ink.
Sloping backwards.
The mark of a boy
50 years ago, stepping
gingerly into an adult’s world
of inky flourishes.

Now it’s bold, self-assured
A set style for so long,
illegible after
the first two letters.
A dance in black ink, leaning
into a headwind of years.
Rushing towards
the page’s right edge.


Posted: August 18, 2015 in default

at we are writing about school days. As my old reports testify, they were not the best days of my life!

Behind the door
‘This will not do’
are not memorable years
‘Could do better’
Frustration pulsating on both
sides of the desk.
‘Disappointing set of results’
No strands threading through
to the me
in the now.
Nothing formed
on a classroom potter’s wheel.
‘Quickly loses interest’
All those opinions are locked away
in an attic. Dust gatherers.
Under examination it is clear
we all missed the mark.