wayside hawkweed skylark after skylark burbles its best
scaffolding up hedge mustard renovates the palace wall
‘Half Board at the Alum Sands Hotel’, the poem from which the title of my collection The Evening Entertainment derives, is featured over at The Beach Hut. Now that holidays for Brits this year (if we have them at all) will have to be ‘staycations’, its posting seems quite timely.
I’ve written comparatively few tanka over the years – probably no more than fifty. Those which have any merit are fewer still. Writing worthy tanka is a difficult art, let alone doing so in English without the cultural allusions which infuse Japanese tanka. Those poets – such as John Barlow, Claire Everett and Alison Williams – who… Continue reading Five English tanka
Last night I was thinking about the 1987 television programme, It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, shown on ITV 20 years and a few days after the release of Sgt Pepper. I video-taped it and must have watched it many times in the autumn of that year, after I’d been to West Berlin for three… Continue reading Poetry and psychedelia – part 2
Here is another review for the wonderful Sphinx. There are so many reviews on the site - it really is worth a good long browse or two.
Last night, I watched Bryan Forbes’ 1966 comedy The Wrong Box for the first time in 30-odd years and found it to be as pleasantly daft as I remembered it to be. It features superb comic turns from Ralph Richardson and Wilfred Lawson – as, respectively, an elderly polymath with verbal diarrhoea and a decrepit… Continue reading Poetry and psychedelia – part 1
Here is my latest review for Sphinx.
Over on Twitter the other day, Matthew Stewart tweeted a picture of a poem concerning his childhood phone number, from his excellent collection The Knives of Villalejo, and wondered what numbers other folk remembered. When he tweeted the same question previously, it somehow sparked off the following poem of mine – not about our family phone number when I… Continue reading Numbers
I often write poems which tell stories, in either an overt narrative or in a purposefully less obvious manner, so naming characters is something I give a lot of thought to. What I’ve concluded – though this isn’t any major revelation – is that there’s a balance to be struck between names which have an… Continue reading On the use of names in poems