Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Thursday, 17 October 2019


To meet, to know, to love and then to part, is the sad tale of many a heart. 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


He takes her hand, then suddenly,
impulsively, embraces her.

He stands tongue-tied
while old familiar feelings stir
and she, acutely conscious
that she only dressed to shop
feels suddenly complete again
and prays that time might stop.

Still Crazy (after all these years)

Saturday, 12 October 2019


Cricket to us was more than play, It was worship in the summer sun. 
Edmund Blunden
The late Edmund Blunden was one of the First World War poets and is among those commemorated in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. 
Passionate about cricket, Blunden was the author of Cricket Country, the tale of a man whose interest in the game was, in the words of one critic, "fanatical".
In his review of Cricket Country, George Orwell referred to Blunden as "the true cricketer", and went on to say that the test of a true cricketer is that he prefers village cricket to 'good' cricket, that his fondest memories are of the informal village game, where everyone plays in braces, where the blacksmith is liable to be called away in mid-innings on an urgent job, and sometimes, about the time when the light begins to fail, a ball driven for four kills a rabbit on the boundary.


A makeshift platform in a cherry tree
afforded views beyond the garden wall
and far off in the distance I could see
some cricketers, with pads and bats and ball,
at play, all shining white. 

A stirring scene
with radiant figures on a field of green
which, to the naive child that I was then,
spoke of a wider world, somehow more true,
inhabited by dashing, fearless men:
a braver, wider world than that I knew.

Sunday, 6 October 2019


Creative writing and the imagination allow us to explore other worlds, other lives, that might have been ours had we followed a different path.


The room is furnished just enough
to qualify as furnished: a bed, a table,
chairs that look the worse for wear;
but it’s affordable and so I say
I’ll take it and hand over cash.
She nods and, with a downward glance,
leaves me to settle in.
I sit down on the threadbare bed
and study patterns on the wall,
the paper faded and forlorn,
the picture of a weeping clown
and, by the door, a pitted mirror.
The window faces to a street,
with graffiti and shuttered shops
and nothing, dog or cat or man,
is there as evidence of life.

Quite suddenly the walls encroach
and all the ghosts of tenants past:
the failed, afraid or just plain old,
assail me and the room feels cold. 

Monday, 30 September 2019


Most people are familiar with the name of Lazarus, whose reanimation features as the last of the miracles ascribed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. 
Lazarus, already dead and entombed, was commanded to return to life and duly rose in his winding sheets and rejoined his family
We assume he was overjoyed with this turn of events.
But was he? 



I suppose I should be grateful
that I have been restored to life.
Truly a miracle, they say,
for I was dead, my youthful wife
a widow. Then came that fateful
moment: the voice, to my dismay, 
of God, or something like His voice
recalled me from that peaceful place,
a still, enshrouding nothingness
where I was free in endless space.
I sat up, watched my wife rejoice,
enfold me in her warm caress,
and back came flooding all the cares,
the daily desolation, fears,
unspooling like a ball of thread.
My neighbours wondered at my tears
and crowded round me unawares.
A kind God would have left me dead.
In death, I had at last escaped
the terror, that each human knows,
of his inevitable doom. 
A feather underneath my nose
proved me extinct. My coffin, draped
with sackcloth, waited by the tomb.
Then came a Man, a God of sorts,
whose word alone awakened me,
my winding sheets fell off, my eyes
perceived, at first, a wondrous tree,
then children carrying reports
of miracles with joyous cries.
I, through this sudden jubilation, wept
for that lost, lovely place wherein I slept.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019


Driving through France this summer has been a rare pleasure, especially now that we've acquired a modern air-conditioned car.
Our lovely old seventeen year old camper-van has gone to a good home and we now own a far from new, but for us state-of-the-art, hatchback.
The roads in France are a joy to drive and it's a relief to be away from the everyday frustration of motoring in Guernsey: a depressing experience even on a good day, as the island's obsession with car ownership pushes it ever closer to gridlock.   
Here's a poem from our French travels.



A July day in southern France.
The picnic was a simple one:
cheese, ham and crusty fresh-baked bread,
a little wine to wash it down.

Post-lunch, we fell into a trance.
Our holiday had just begun.
We dozed, our paperbacks unread
I sought the sun, you slept facedown.

Waking, I chanced an upward glance.
Above us swallows wheeled and spun
as though they were unwinding thread
from an incredible blue gown.

Thursday, 19 September 2019


Whilst staying in Marsac, Jane and I walked a friend's dogs each day in early morning before the heat became exhausting. 
The area is rural and remote, the nearest cities being Cognac and Angouleme, and is largely agricultural with vines, wheat and sunflowers vying for a space in the rolling meadows.
One morning we had the rare pleasure of spotting that most elusive and mythical of creatures, a hare. 



Passing by a wheat field, early,
we saw suddenly 

a movement:
something camouflaged 

had broken  
cover and was moving slowly
with a hunched, ungainly motion
to the tree-line 

in the distance.
What had seemed, before, a boulder
now was animated, lifelike. 

As we turned to watch its progress
in an instant it was sprinting,
all ungainliness forgotten,
into sanctuary darkness
at the all-concealing tree-line.

We walked home 
to our commitments.
How we envied it its freedom.

Friday, 13 September 2019


Having experienced temperatures of 43 degrees in Europe recently and discovered that an escape to the coolness of the bedroom is the perfect antidote, I'm now a devotee of the siesta. After all, if cats do it it must be a great idea.


In noon-day sun no creature moves
and even lizards, acid-green,
designed for heat beyond belief,
remain within their creviced walls.
Dogs hide away, cats sleep in shade
if anywhere shade can be found
and noon to four the natives sleep
or skulk like fugitives indoors,
the black-clad women making lace,
the men at dominoes or cards.
They have adapted to their world
far better than we have to ours:
at ninety-three they’re still alive
while we burn out at fifty-five.