Six months on from the start of Lockdown in England, I’ve been reflecting on the good things which I’ve experienced during that period. Here is a list, in no particular order.The heightened awareness of mortality caused by the scandalously high Covid death rates in the UK, USA and other countries run by right-wing fools has… Continue reading The last six months
I’m writing this from my old friend Michael’s flat in St Leonard’s, which is by far the furthest I’ve been since before Lockdown. It’s lovely to be able to see (and hear) the Channel, though that view isn’t always so rosy: Michael says you can sometimes see boats full of migrants drifting towards the shore… Continue reading Channelling
Over on the Snapshot Press website, two new free e-books are available: a chapbook of haiku by Debbie Strange and one of tanka by George Swede. Respectively, they are Canada’s finest haiku and tanka poets, so it’s fitting that they have been published simultaneously. Both are brilliant books and highly recommended. In these weird times,… Continue reading New e-books from Snapshot Press
Yesterday I took a train or two to Dorking, one of several lovely Surrey towns which have a Georgian heart (though no doubt the prosperity which enabled that loveliness derived, at least in part, from the profits of slavery). Outside Dorking Halls, AKA ‘Mole Valley’s top entertainment venue’, as the local council boasts, and which… Continue reading On Vaughan Williams and John Greening
stone pine— a golf buggy skirts the parched fairway horse chestnut shade the tiptoes buck stretches to pilfer leaves no room on the Thames for swans to sprint into flight— loosestrife and tansy
I have two poems on the sun-drenched Odyssey poetry website today: one new one, part of a sequence responding to the life and work of Edward Burra; and one from my collection.
There is a new batch of reviews up on Sphinx, among which are no less than three excellent reviews of Richie McCaffery’s new pamphlet, First Hare, and my review of Ben Ray's New Poets’ Prize-winning pamphlet, The Kindness of the Eel. As ever, Sphinx is a tremendous resource for anyone looking for new poetry pamphlets.
Here are some of my summer haiku from over the years: summer sales a Caravaggio chalked on the kerb * heat haze a tangerine milk float jumping the lights * summer fete the Punch and Judy man losing his voices * school’s out the riverbank flush with tansy florets * behind the long pebble… Continue reading Some summer haiku
Over on her entertaining blog, Heather Moulson has afforded me the honour of interviewing me, in her inimitable fashion. A word about Heather and her poetry: many times in the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to see and hear Heather read, often from memory, her poems about life in the 1970s ; they are… Continue reading Interview with Heather Moulson
Some distinguished contributors, notably Julie Mellor, have already reflected, via blogs and other social media, on the Calder Valley Poetry anthology, When All This is Over, conceived by John Foggin. Here are some further thoughts of my own. I’ve said previously that it was a brilliantly simple idea, to ask poets to respond to Eiléan… Continue reading When All This is Over again