Total Pageviews

Friday, 31 August 2012


Sounding a little hoarse,
the man called Clint,
this magnum force,
this Hollywood hire,
our high plains drifter,
addressed the beguiled,
at Romney’s rally,
in the line of fire.

Convention promises,
filled the air,
maybe pie in the sky
where eagles dare,
Clint endorsed Mitt,
an iconic boost
with a rambling speech,
every which way.......
.....but loose.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


We know it's coming,
wind, non-stop rain,
sounding like a runaway
high-speed train,
angry gusts,
thunderous roar,
lashing, lashing, lashing
where there used to be a door,
lashing, lashing, lashing
the street's now a river,
lashing, lashing, lashing,
people cower and shiver,
lashing, lashing, lashing,
nature's menaces lurk,
lashing, lashing, lashing,
nature goes berserk.

We know it's here,
destruction and fear
of the hurricane's path,
praying for its passing,
and the aftermath,
hoping against hope
that the hurricane's wrath
will soon disappear
from the weatherman's graph,

as loved one's struggle
with an epitaph..........

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth - Wordsworth Poetry Library
Wordsworth Poetry Library Wordsworth Editions

The poet, the poetry reader, the teacher, the student of language and literature, and lovers of wonderful words generally and classical works specifically, have an opportunity with Wordsworth Editions to invest as little as £3.99 in books that have stood and will continue to stand the test of time.  Visit the Wordsworth Editions website to see the full range of books available. 

Let’s face it. A lot of poetry is stuffy and complicated. At times, poems are like cryptic crossword clues stitched together to form something incomprehensible that is interpreted, by literary high society, as intellectually and academically fulfilling.  Anything that appeals to the masses is seen as cheap and, possibly, vulgar. Of course, there is evidence of genius in complex writing but I would contest that most casual readers, who just want to be informed, moved and entertained, rightly shun the vague and the obscure for simpler poetry - poetry that turns people on after the first reading, and plants a seed to encourage further exploration, rather than turning them off, forcing them to put the book on a shelf to gather dust.  Poetry as cabaret and comfort food is much more appealing, methinks, than poetry as high-falutin’ and haute cuisine, - clumsy, but hopefully you know what I mean - which brings me to William Wordsworth.

Wordsworth looked, saw and wrote about what he observed.  Right there, we have the characteristics of a great people’s poet. His view was simple, but he was not too simplistic.  He witnessed nature, scenery and the stuff of life and dreams and wrote about nature, scenery and the stuff of life and dreams in ways that most of us can grasp and understand first time round.  He is indeed the “Daffodils” man but he is so much more.  If I put my bargain hunter hat on for a moment, his poetry fills over 1,000 pages in this splendid edition and, for £3.99, you have a book filled to bursting with joy, beauty and pleasure, poems written and presented with the aforementioned simplicity that is the hallmark of his extraordinary output.

Here are his poems of youth, of old age, records of his travels, sonnets, poems of reflection, epitaphs, elegies, poems created from imagination and flights of fancy.  I can only tease and tempt you with a few morsels in this short review:

“Written in March “ – “The cock is crowing, the stream is flowing, the small birds twitter, the lake doth glitter, the green field sleeps in the sun…..”

“To a Skylark” – “Up with me! Up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong; Up with me, up with me into the clouds! ……..Joyous as morning……Joy and jollity be with us both!”

“Tintern Abbey” – “Five years have past; five summers, with the length of five long winters! And again I hear these waters, rolling from their mountain-springs with a soft inland murmur.”

“Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” -  “There was a time when meadow, grove and stream, the earth and every common sight, to me did seem appareled in celestial light….”

The poetry of Wordsworth is a pleasure to read.  If you want stuffy and complicated poetry, there is enough of it out there, more’s the pity.  But, if you want poetry of easy charm and beautiful expression look no further than this monumental book. “For oft when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood”, I think of William Wordsworth, and so should you.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Apollo 11,
mission to the moon,
halfway to heaven,
we looked in wonder,
we looked in awe,
with  widest eyes,
and dropped jaw,
the impossible,
was possible,
Armstrong took a step..........

Now, the first man on the moon,
has left this world again,
the first man, none to compare,
missed by many down here,
forever remembered 
as we look up there.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


The wars,
the weeping,
more lost
than gained,
always more lost
than gained........

Friday, 24 August 2012


From news report today: "A Norwegian court has found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail.  Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp, told the court he would not appeal. He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, saying last year's attacks were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway."

I've never be great at math,
but I understand wrath - 
21 years in jail,
77 murdered people - 
does that add up?

A mass killer smirks and wins
for the most horrendous of sins.

Sane? Insane?
What did he think he would gain?
77 dead and gone,
yet he lives on.

Does that add up?

Thursday, 23 August 2012


(What happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas......

or should that be alas Vegas?)

Oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry, oh Harry,

Here is the news,
or should that be the nudes,
Prince Harry without any clothes,
on his Las Vegas trip,
in a hotel on the Strip,
he was naked from his head to his toes.

Oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry,
oh Harry, oh Harry, oh Harry,

Online in a flash,
was this right Royal bash,
out the window went most protocols,
he was playing strip billiards,
innuendo abundance,
about pockets and sticks and balls,

Oh Harry, oh Harry, etc, etc

After the fun and the laughter,
Came the morning after,
And all the publicity rush,
In the city of sins,
Where the house mostly wins,
Harry pulled out a right Royal blush

Oh Harry, oh Harry, etc, etc

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


candle wax,
furniture polish,

three smells
that, decades later,
remind me of St Teresa's,

our church across
the Glen Road,
our Sunday mornings

hoping for short sermons,
using prayer power
to curtail Mass 
to less than an hour.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


After news that Willie Nelson was in hospital with breathing problems, I dug out my Willie Nelson haiku. Reports say he's fine, out of hospital and, as is his theme, is on the road again.   The legend lives on, thank God.

Crazy outlaw voice,
shotgun Willie, time slips by,
raining, blue eyes cry.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


News item Saturday 18 August, 2012: "The mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett has died, her solicitor has confirmed.  Winnie Johnson, 78, fought a long campaign to get her son's killer, Ian Brady, to reveal his grave.  Twelve-year-old Keith was abducted on his way to visit his grandmother in Manchester on 16 June 1964."
Forty eight
of the long, long, longest years,
grieving, waiting,
grieving, waiting,
mother grieving,
mother waiting.........

1964 to 2012, of her son Keith, 
nothing, nothing at all,
no truth, no sign, no clue,
just prayer to pray, her quest to pursue.

His whereabouts -  
secret of the vile,
secret of the repulsive,
secret of the wicked,
secret of the heinous,
secret of the dead bitch,
secret of the live bastard.

And today,
the news of Winnie's Johnson's passing,
a mother who never gave in, gave up or gave way,
lays a new layer of sadness on her story.
Life is finite and thus at some point must cease,
even if her one question remains unanswered,
we think of her and hope she rests in peace.

Friday, 17 August 2012


The Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde - Wordsworth Poetry Library
Wordsworth Poetry Library Wordsworth Editions
The poet, the poetry reader, the teacher, the student of language and literature, and lovers of wonderful words generally and classical works specifically, have an opportunity with Wordsworth Editions to invest as little as £3.99 in books that have stood and will continue to stand the test of time.  
Visit the Wordsworth Editions website to see the full range. 

Any mention of Oscar Wilde tends to lift my spirits.  But I am fairly certain that if I had known him, he would have been, as they say, “hard work” because of his legendary flamboyance in character and attire, and his seemingly unceasing urge to promote his wit, wisdom, humour and intelligence at any opportunity.  But however I might imagine him as an acquaintance, he is, of course, firmly established as one of the most iconic figures from the Victorian era, and apart from anything else, a scholarly, brilliant and immensely entertaining writer. 

I suppose my spirits lift because his work is a joy to read, as well as to see and hear performed.  It is, as it should be with a genius, seemingly effortless in language and tone.  Twist the arms of men and women in the street and they might recall “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, but that, if you’re lucky, might be it.  He is remembered as a playwright primarily, and rightly so, but he also built up a collection of fine poetry.

“The Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde” from Wordsworth Editions is an excellent volume that illustrates Wilde’s emotions, his angst, compassion and honesty about aspects of his extraordinary life.  From the cover blurb: “He explores forbidden sexual desires, pays homage to the great theatre stars and poets of the day, and observes cityscapes with impressionist intensity.”

“The Ballad of Reading Gaol” is his greatest poetic hit.  It is a magnificent poem, intense and heartbreaking, and, like a lot of poetry, benefits the reader if recited aloud. In “Impressions De Theatre” he writes wonderful poetic letters to Henry Irving, Sarah Bernhardt and Ellen Terry.  In “Requiescat”, we truly feel Wilde’s deep sadness at the death of his young sister. In so many others we see him bare his heart and soul, and witness his immense descriptive powers.

Oscar Wilde enjoyed a meteoric rise to the high echelons of Victorian society.  He was admired for his writing talent but attracted a scandalous reputation for his sexuality, for which he suffered the indignity and shame of imprisonment. He was, and still is, an intriguing character. He was, and still is, a true giant of English literature.  This superb collection of poems, exceptional value at £3.99, is both a magnificent record of achievement and, quite simply, a delight. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012


We look at the full moon
on a warm Chartres evening,
then see a full moon
on Olympics TV in London,
and do that mock "my-God" look of surprise
as we witness two moons from one
before our tipsy eyes.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


(In a town in France, August 2012)

Growl-buzzing like giant mosquitoes,
farting pungent petrol fumes,
small motorbikes interweave with traffic,
breaking the afternoon's peace,
and while cars and buses hold dominance,
the young mosquito bikers scream loudest,
riding and whining far, far into the distance.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Student note: It is strictly forbidden to read the poem above out loud.

Monday, 13 August 2012


On reading a news report that combative writer Gore Vidal had died....

I read that Gore Vidal has died,
he might be heading your way,
so just in case God, brace yourself,
for he'll still have lots to say.

He liked a debate, to disagree,
to get things off his chest,
a sharpish tongue and rapier wit,
in peace unlikely to rest.

For in amongst his many quotes,
some deep, some funny, some rude,
he suggested get rid of religion
for religion will do you no good. 

Gore v God and God v Gore,
the ultimate debate,
so just in case God, brace yourself,
he might soon be at the gate.