Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Staying with the ‘bird’ theme, here’s a short poem about the vagaries of love.


Tonight low lights romanticise
this drab unprepossessing room
where glasses raised
entrap a dancing candle flame.
Our hands across the table top
form two swan-shadows on the wall
as you pass me
the papers your solicitor
assures you I dare not ignore.

swan song (noun)
1 : a song of great sweetness said to be sung by a dying swan
2 : a farewell appearance or final act or pronouncement

Thursday, 10 January 2019


I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
                              T S Eliot from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Regular readers will know that birds, real or imagined, feature frequently in this blog as does dismay at the prospect of growing old. 


Like eagles perched high on a crag,
the young men scan a passing crowd,
see girls they’d blank, spot girls they’d shag,
the ugly ones, the well-endowed ...
Loud in their prime, these lads can’t fail:
their confidence is off the scale.

Then fifty years happens just like that ...  

and suddenly it’s all gone flat.
No longer young or confident,
well past their prime and run to fat,
all life’s rich chances underspent ...
Youth seems a million years ago.
No eagle ever flew so low.

Sunday, 6 January 2019


The challenge was to write a short story, featuring a well-known fictional character, in less than 100 words. This was my response.


Crusoe lay in a crumpled heap. Man-Friday stood astride him, musket smoking.  Blood from his axe made small carnations on the sand. Crusoe’s eyes opened, locked on Friday, his fingers scrabbled for a weapon. From beneath Friday’s breastbone an arrow protruded, blood trailing from it like a ribbon.
As Friday collapsed, Crusoe spotted figures along the beach. Three men struggled to launch their war-canoe in raging surf. Crusoe shouldered his flintlock, took aim. The camera panned in on his fury. “Cut” the Director yelled and suddenly the deserted beach was alive with people.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


Start the year with something lighthearted from my poet's-ark poster collection.


Penguins look like small fat men
in dinner-suits awaiting lunch.
They shuffle to and fro on ice,
their webbed feet going

They could be gangsters, penguin-style,
but which fat penguin is the Don?
The landscape may be white as snow
but something fishy’s going on.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018


My recent visit to Cornwall provided me with an opportunity to visit the graves of two significant and much loved Twentieth Century poets, Charles Causley and Sir John Betjeman. 

A rhymer at a poet’s grave,
I wonder what unwritten words
lie buried with the great man’s bones.
Would those fine verses we admire
be overshadowed were his voice
to reawaken and declaim
some better poem than his best?
Sir John, beneath this ornate stone
in his beloved Cornish ground,
knew life is far from infinite,
that poems and passion, too, must die.
The great man, dear man, gentle man,
who said his piece and rests in peace,
now lends his pen to other men

while I stand here, amid the dunes
that guard his grave, my coat a shield
against the wind, and hear the sea
declaiming words that end in waves.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018


Here's a little poem for those of you who hope to receive a gadget from Santa this year.


Once, Three Wise Men went on a quest
to seek and find the Christ-Child, blessed,
they took with them the new “must have”,
a camel-friendly, cool Sat.Nav.

A Guiding Star said travel East
and, as its radiance increased,
they harkened to this Bright Informer
and muttered, “Guys, we’re getting warmer!”

But hark! The Sat.Nav disagreed:
due North was what it guaranteed.
So off they trekked on camel-back.
(Alas, they were on the wrong track.)

They’d brought, as gifts, diamonds and fur
(sadly, no Frankincense and Myrrh)
and fancy jewellery, gold-plated,
to clothe the Christ-Child when located.

Instead of East, they galloped North
and that is why these three, henceforth,
those Sat.Nav-trusting Un-Wise Men,
were simply never seen again.

Friday, 21 December 2018


My travels in England earlier this year brought me to numerous places of interest: fine old pubs, rustic churches and tiny, peaceful hamlets far removed from the angst and clamour of urban life in the UK nowadays.  
One of the most tranquil and visually pleasing villages I visited was Grantchester, of which the poet Rupert Brooke wrote:
          Stands the Church clock at ten to three?  
         And is there honey still for tea? 

... the famous, closing lines of his poem The Old Vicarage, Grantchester.

Jane and I arrived in Grantchester on a particularly rainy day and took refuge in The Green Man pub where I jotted down the opening lines of my own “Grantchester” poem.


Like waking in a former time
from dreams of future-shock and fear,
I stare at streets devoid of grime,
expecting spray-paint to appear
on gable-ends pristinely white,
with no graffitied words in sight.

An ancient pub, a village hall,
with thatched roof, nearby meadowland,
recalls a time when this was all
the norm: a peaceful, car-less land
without fake-news or food made fast,
with fixed foundations built to last.