Thursday, 15 February 2018

When will I wear my sky blue suit ? ...

I'm idling in the Delfino Lounge - 

I've just bought an exquisite shirt - 

I'm beguiled by a wall of Soviet art - 

I've given a small coin to a homeless man - 

California soul wails a hidden jukebox - 

I think about the Chapel of Rest, deep in the hood - 

I think of all the stories I left there - 

How long will I remember them ? 


The doors had been locked on New Year's Eve - 

A fox had walked under the starless sky - 

A double Jameson Lou I said - 

Richard was wearing his older brother's coat - 

The Simple Men played their last song - 

But when will I wear my sky blue suit ?

How long will I dance to midnight guitars ?

Thursday 15 February 2018

Delfino Lounge 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Looking at a map of Lady Anne's Way ...

Penelope I recited the northern names - 

Askrigg - Langstrothdale Chase - Wharfedale - Little Ormside - Owl Gill

We'll need to use a compass Penelope said - 

Already I felt the wind against my face - 

I saw the remote farmhouses steeped in rain - 

Swallows circled the roofless nave of an abbey church - 

Chill streams joined a shining river - 

When are we going ? I asked Penelope - 

In June Penelope said - 

Tuesday 13 February 2018

The Old School House 
East Stoke

Monday, 12 February 2018

Oh, Sisyphus ! ...

My dad loved words as well as his glass

He was nimble with a thesaurus - 

He compiled crosswords for the Parish Magazine - 

I'm reading his arcane clues - 

Gilded city, sought never found -

Revolutionary necessity

Teutonic M1

Sisyphus, do make it a little easier pleaded the editor - 

Monday 12 February 2018

The Old School House
East Stoke

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Waking at four in the morning ...

I see my dad's face when I wake at four in the morning - 


I see him as a wide eyed infant in a photographer's studio - 

There's a tall plant in a vase behind him - 

The market in Charlotte Street has just started - 


I see him as a dockyard apprentice, peaked cap at a saucy angle - 

I see him in tropical whites on the Duke of York - 


I see him older, a father now, gold rings round his sleeves - 


I see him walking down a street in Lagos - 

The crowd is celebrating independence - 

He's living the joyous moment - 


I see him, with his Chief Petty Officers, on the ramparts of Fort Saint Angelo - 

I see him in his Armistice suit, in his eighth decade, smiling and dapper - 


Then I see him as I saw him last, in his new bed - 

All his faces are before me - 

The long night gives way to day - 

Sunday 11 February 2018

The Old School House
East Stoke

A new bed ...

My dad lay in his new shiny bed - 

I didn't want to leave him - 

I leant over and touched his jacket - 

How could I be afraid ? - 

But I knew everything was finished - 

He was already further away from me than the most distant star - 

Saturday 10 February 2018

Chapel of Rest
Co-op Funeral Directors 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Different shirts ...

Waiting for the comrades, I read Gareth's words -

I remembered the gaudy nights, the guitars played at midnight - 

I'd been beguiled by a puckish smile - 

There was a summer moon in the velvet sky -  

Each one of us wore our promise as though we wore a golden shirt - 


I remembered the long drive north, the clear stream flowing in the darkness - 

Rain had fallen upon the roof of the small house - 

The American mother had smoked thin cigarettes - 

We'd reeled through waist high thistles - 

I'd heard louche wisdom over a glass - 

Later, there'd been a juke box in a Southsea bar - 

Bruce Springsteen was singing we were born to run

Already there were holes in our coats - 


Now the wind that sweeps round the world is seeking us out - 

I hear its voice in the quiet streets - 

Beloved faces become chill masks - 

We put on different shirts - 

Thursday 8 February 2018

The Old School House
East Stoke

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A suit the colour of the sky ...

Soon the day will come - 

I'll wear a suit the colour of the sky - 

My shoes will be for dancing - 

Music will be heard in the empty house - 

My sorrow will become a song - 

Wednesday 7 February 2018

The Old School House
East Stoke