At times the buoyancy
is incredibly reassuring.
I lie in the mineral pool
and let the salt lift me.
I feel held and nurtured
by the warm gentle water.
My ears submerged listen
to the heart like beats,
as if I’ve returned to the womb.

Yet, I find a yearning
for the aliveness of the sea.
The waves keep me vigilant
and I have to fight the current,
but there is a vibrancy
that warrants the danger,
and I revel in the briny
pummeling as the water
breaks over me.

Will I ever resolve the pull
between mundane safety
and inspired torment?

Help me darling,
stop me from drowning!


Returning to the comfort of those who were once strangers;
bonds form by the meeting of minds in chance encounters,
friendships arising from luck and serendipity,
where the unknown becomes known and hearts find understanding.
Dreams and hopes spring from uncertainty,
associations rise and fall with time just as the sea does with the tide.
Yet some endure throughout the dance of life,
longing for contact and wholeness being met regardless of change,
and those who were gentle, kind, and supportive are held to be sacred,
never again to be perceived as strangers.



Violent hyacinth
standing pridefully
erect in purple display,
filling expanse of air
with vulgar perfume
of your brothel odour –
overwhelming stench
offend me no more,
your bloom is over –
give me withering peace.


To be both witness brave and innocent,
observing life with one’s compassion strong,
hoping all company is time well spent,
with joy and sadness I’ll sing my song:

from days of spring with lambs bounding in jest,
to summer greetings falling off the lip,
we’re finding pure enjoyment, perfect rest:
this ecstasy of human fellowship.

But autumn’s message comes too late to warn
that winter’s spite can freeze once glowing hearts,
and we desecrate weak love with scorn.
Alas, forlorn with hate we’re torn apart.

Now I must stand alone beside my fear:
Could human contact be my corruption?
Avoid the negative: don’t keep them near,
Ask I: is solitude my solution?

If I’m to always lack sagacity,
come pray that someone kind will witness me!


Recalling now so hazily:
Sunday spent so daisily.
Sitting smiling for all I’m worth,
feet firm on the drying earth.
Toes’ webbing grass tickled,
skylark’s song sky trickled.
Eyes fixed on the firmament,
finding relaxed temperament.
Sunday spent so daisily;
recalling now so hazily.

(a dispirited response to reading Wordsworth’s To a Skylark).

Disagreeable knot lies in the wood cankerous;
to spoil its grain is to be but cantankerous.


This poetry is merely vanity –
projecting myself on sanctity!


She fears her email has been breached:
Ending all contact with silence.
So how can she now be reached?

Concerned for a student I teach:
“Not safe” – a negative valence.
She fears her email has been breached.

Her life seems to have been seized
By threat of domestic violence.
So how can she now be reached?

She married a sex addicted leech
Who has controlled her ever since.
She fears her email has been breached.

So in debt her life’s been leased
By prostitutes of common parlance.
So how can she now be reached?

“Go and get help”, I would beseech
But I can’t bridge the distance.
She fears her email has been breached,
So how can she now be reached?


Along with the trucks,
hoses, uniforms, and drill,
a fire station always
needs its station master.

Visiting two streets away,
morning blues lead to
red lights flashing,
but where’s the station master?

No saving to be done,
only freeing the corpse
from the secured noose,
they’ve found the station master.


Charlie says
Get yourself seen

One for passenger safety
One for playing outside
One for cycling at night

Charlie says
Get yourself seen

Be safe, wear your seat belt
Be safe, don’t go off with strangers
Be safe, wear reflective clothing

All well and good.
But what about the missing warnings?

Charlie says
Get yourself seen

One to avoid cornering
One to protect innocence
One to retain virginity

Charlie says
Get yourself seen

Be safe, don’t let him lock the door behind you
Be safe, don’t go off with BBC entertainers
Be safe, stay in plain view of witnesses

Charlie says
Get yourself seen

And a final word about road safety:
You might just want to avoid marathon runs!


Fern of the Southern hemisphere,
your destiny should have been tree bound.

Alas, you’ve been exiled to a colder clime,
where your growth is hindered.
Not even the man-made jacket around your trunk.
can relieve you of the misery of winter.

Frosted cruelty stunts your plant life:
fronds that once ached to unfurl,
now curl themselves like tightened muscles,
as they try to retain their heat.

Your homeland would have nurtured you,
but no matter what your will or desire,
you’ll never see New Zealand,
and it’s koru welcome again.


Working class effort
he wears a suit
amongst smart casual.

He listens
with no impulse
to tell his story.

It is there
in the hard lines
face etched, and

the hands with
faded blue symbols
homemade – jail made.

He lives alone
save a mouse, sharing
crumbs of solidarity.

The writer can’t fathom
his passive presence –
she likes her mice dead.

She questions him
and his motivation,
whether he belongs.

The writer fails
to read his story
written in body clear.

She forgets that
every writer needs
a listener to care.


A reversal of Stevie Smith’s poem “Not waving, but drowning”

Everyone sees her, the teenage girl.
But she continues shouting:
I’m doing okay really
And not drowning, but waving.

Poor girl, she looks so pathetic
A real waif and stray.
We’d better get her some help,
They say.

Hey, just like swimming through life
(The girl tries to keep shouting)
I’m loving the thrill of the waves
And not drowning, but waving.



Lake District as a painting:
envisioning watercolours,
pretty, pastoral pastels,
a place for peaceful lovers.

Innocently beguiling
the rambling nature seeker,
for those jutting crags
can fell those less meeker.

Snowdonia as a picture:
brushed and layered in heavy oils,
so oppressive and ominous,
walking the land is to toil.

What appear to be mountains
are really sleeping dragons –
watch your English footsteps
they protect local Welshmen.

Beauteous nature’s two scenes
appear so contrasting:
one charming, one threatening,
yet both ultimately arousing.



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