Fokkina McDonnell’s post on her ever-fabulous blog today - here - prompted me to dig out this poem, from The Evening Entertainment:BRITISH SUMMER TIME’S ENDAs Dad lolls down in the care-home armchair,cleft double chin almost touching his shirt,I ease him upright and, for what it’s worth,unstrap his watch to wind it back an hour:that Dad … Continue reading The clocks going back
Having enjoyed reading Jonathan Davidson’s On Poetry (as much, probably, as Glyn Maxwell’s very different book of the same name) and A Commonplace, I very much enjoyed Ruth Yates’s interview with him, here.I especially related to these sentences:I would, therefore, describe my role as simply a writer who wants to be read. There’s a novelty. … Continue reading On Jonathan Davidson and James Caruth
I’m delighted that my essay on Patricia Beer has today been published on The Friday Poem, here. I greatly enjoyed the reading and research for it and I hope that it might rekindle interest in this superb poet.
It feels like a long time since I’ve rambled on about what I’ve been up to, so here goes.As well as reviews for Sphinx, I’ve written two 2,000-word essays, which will appear in the next few months. Both involved a lot of intense reading, of course, which was more enjoyable than my routine reading, probably … Continue reading Autumn almanac
This coming Saturday, 11 September, 7.30pm, British Summer Time - I’ll be one of the poets who have recorded a video for the YouTube launch of The Alchemy Spoon, issue 4. The launch link is here.
My two latest one point of interest (OPOI) reviews, of pamphlets by James Aitchison and Felicity Sheehy, for Sphinx are now online, amongst another bumper crop of reviews. I very much enjoyed reading and writing about both of these poets’ poems.
Old, obsolete office equipment is a fascinating subject to me, since I’ve spent almost all my working life in offices (including my own; well it’s more of a room with a PC in it, but hey ho). When I first started in local government in Kingston in 1992, there were cupboards still full of weird … Continue reading On office machinery and Kath McKay
It must be difficult to be a poet in Yorkshire and not feel a need to write, at least once, about reservoirs. Near where I grew up, in south-west London, the reservoirs were more often not forbidding places with no or limited access, surrounded by high walls, which kept the water out of sight, and … Continue reading On the poetry of reservoirs
The news from a few days ago that Nigel Farage, the ‘Poundland Enoch Powell’ as Russell Brand memorably called him, had berated the RNLI on social media for providing what he called ‘a migrant taxi service’ across the Channel was of course both fascist flatulence about the value of migrants’ lives and a crass trivialisation … Continue reading On Patricia Beer and the RNLI
If you’ve read either of my haiku collections, you’ll know I have a fondness for rivers; but then, who doesn’t? Living in the middle of England, fifty-five miles from the nearest coastline, landlock naturally means that I gravitate to rivers and canals. Rotherham is where the Rother ends, at its confluence with the Don.The upstream … Continue reading Quiet flows the Don
My thanks to Robert Selby for publishing two poems of mine today, over at the Wild Court website, here.
A decade or so ago, I was a member for two or three years of the Twickenham Stanza group of the Poetry Society until it ceased following the closure of Langton’s bookshop, Church Street, in which the group met. The quality of the poems we workshopped was invariably high. Among the members was the fine … Continue reading On Brian Jones (no, not that one)
If you dislike football, and QPR and/or England even more, then you probably ought, as Des Lynam used to say, to look away now.I’ve been a football fan almost as far back as I can remember, and in 1973 chose QPR, then newly promoted to the old First Division, as my team. I sometimes wonder … Continue reading On football poetry and why it matters
A correspondence on haiku and then sonnets led me to dip into Don Paterson’s 1999 anthology 101 Sonnets (Faber). I was pleased to find Patrick Kavanagh’s ‘Inniskeen Road: July Evening’ included. It’s the only poem I’ve ever ‘borrowed’ from – I used the equally punning phrase ‘blooming sun’ in the first poem, concerning a herd … Continue reading On Kavanagh, Hughes, Burra and Sisson
In these days when UK politics and world events are enough to make you despair, it’s difficult to know whether blogging about poetry and other stuff has any relevance. There are many much more important voices which need to be heard than mine. So, I post on here now more out of occasional habit and, … Continue reading On HappenStance Press, the reader and the poet