Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


Recently returned from sunny Italy, I find the island weather chilly and that, during my three week's absence, autumn has begun to give way to gloomy winter. 
What better time, then, to publish a few warmly humorous poems and challenge the falling temperatures with a smile.
Today's is about that most supercilious beast, the llama.


The haughty Llamas of Bolivia,
are quite uninterested in trivia.
They are, undoubtedly, a class
above the buffalo or ass.
They’re into art, admire fine prose,
and have amazing cloven toes.
A beast, in short, we should admire:
a fellow of an order, higher.
Sadly, they have one major flaw:
they are decidedly bourgeois
and see it as their bounden duty
to sneer at others and be snooty.
They always manage to deplore
those creatures they consider lower
who should kow-tow and know their place,
and that includes the human race.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


This month's Open Mic Night for poetry will take place at La Villette Hotel on Monday, 20th November at 8pm.

As always, all are welcome. Come along to read, chat or simply listen. The optional theme for the evening is "Remembrance"


I remember
the over-furnished room, cold as a cave,
where they had laid him
between the aspidistra and a spotted mirror;
the sunbeams, slanting by the window, shoaled with dust;
the silent street beyond, devoid of passers-by.
Immaculate in laundered shirt and
suit so rarely worn in life; in death he looked
more like a character from a story than himself.

I remember
myself dressed in a suit that day;
the parlour’s silence broken only
by the ticking of a clock;
the sense of unreality, of ritual without feeling;
an odour of chrysanthemums.

I remember him
alive and huge and I so small,
watching geese fly
high over wetlands blurred with morning mist,
our upturned faces wet with perfect joy;
the swing he built me in the secret clearing
in the green-wood;
his hearty laughter booming in the treetops.

I remember
the warm, familiar smell of him;
his callused, gentle fists
thrusting the timber swing-seat
higher, ever higher.

I remember still,
though years have crowded in between then and now,
the reckless humour ever-dancing in his eyes,
blue as songbirds' eggs;
the sweetness of the lulling tune he hummed at ending day
as, sleepily, I rode his shoulders home to bed.

Each passing generation
prints its image on the next: an echo of the parent
in each gesture of the child.
So his essential being rides my adult shoulders now,
as I transport his spirit towards another century.

We dress ourselves unknowingly
in garments of departed love, in remnants
of lost voices or half-remembered smiles.
The length of stride, a turn of phrase
betrays the other, hidden traveller in our skin.

Preserve in me
the things that once I loved in him.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


There is immense appeal in wild, remote places and the almost-silence to be found there. For a fugitive from the frenzied jabber of modern life there is no better sanctuary. 


The path, that winds its way as though by chance,
leads to a blue-green, sweeping, verdant plain,
coarse heather and an unexpected lough
where swans, like hawthorn blossoms, dreaming, drift. 

Here, rock and weathered boulders form a realm
where nothing dwells that has not earned its place
where day and night, like lovers, intertwine
and season into season gently slips. 

Bold standing stones, with ancient runes inscribed,
face four wild winds to boldly outwit time
while stunted trees, distorted into shapes,
unnatural, cling to the earth and scream 
like wailing ghosts in blackened widows’ lace
for all the speechless sadness of the world.

Moor ponies watch, with grey, impassive eyes,
the hawk that circles slowly like a god
high in his realm of silence, stark, sublime,
untouchable, impossibly remote.

They bow their heads, as though in reverence,
for fear that god, ignored, might take offense.




I read the sign and climb a stair.
The office door is smokey glass.
Inside a radio plays jazz.
I go in. He points to a chair.
He’s shabby but he don’t look dumb.
His voice is booze and cigarettes:
a weary voice, full of regrets.
A gumshoe, laid back, chewing gum.
I say, Man, you’re a Psychic Eye:
I got a problem, something’s changed.
It’s like the whole world’s rearranged,
gone crazy but I don’t know why.
When joshing with my buddy, Pat,
there was a mishap with a gun:
the pistol was a loaded one.
Things turned peculiar after that.
Down at the pool room, I’m ignored.
Guys talk and laugh like I’m not there:
goddam invisible, I swear.
I was their pal once: now they’re bored.
I crack a joke. They look elsewhere. 
I shout: Hey Guys! They just don’t hear.
I ask for whiskey or a beer:
the barman gives me a blank stare.

The psychic nods. I tell him this:
I visited my gal today:
she looked right through me, turned away
when I leaned forward for a kiss.
He lights a smoke, says: Some survive
a bullet from a careless gun,
a lucky few, but you’re not one.
Son, you’re a ghost. You ain’t alive.
I’m psychic so I see a bit,
the gumshoe gives me this critique:
For you, the future’s looking bleak.
You’re dead. You gotta live with it.


Saturday, 4 November 2017


With another birthday looming, it's difficult to summon up hopefulness in a world seemingly bent on self-destruction.
The post-war era of the 1940s, when I was a child, was a time of serious deprivation, with UK cities still bearing the scars of conflict.
The Luftwaffe bombs had stopped but shortages and rationing continued well into the 1950s. 
There was, however, during that grim and grimy period, an air of optimism which seems sadly absent now.
Perhaps we need to pay heed to these words of advice from the late Dr Martin Luther King: Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can. 


A bad-news day, so typical
of what we, daily, learn to call

Another war, a bomb outrage,
an earthquake,

a hurricane,
a virus rampant, uncontrolled,
another routine genocide,
the usual starving dispossessed
with hands outstretched
in supplication.

Another day. So swiftly now
discarded hours, like autumn leaves,
accumulate. So we grow old.

Another birthday. 
Earnestly, I tell myself, 
be unafraid;
believe that, daily, hope sustains,
that, by some grace, tranquility
will fill the earth like sudden flowers;
that, somehow, 

love will be enough.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017


With Hallowe'en 2107 behind us, let's spare a thought for a much-maligned section of the population, Zombies.
Often discriminated against, Zombies are surprisingly friendly and long for cultural recognition and acceptance.
They believe that, whilst many regard them as evil and repugnant, nevertheless, in the modern spirit of diversity, they should be made welcome in all social situations.


Others, they call us The Undead
and everywhere we go, they flee;
if trapped, they shoot us in the head;
they simply cannot let us be.

For we can’t help the way we are:
with rotting skin and clothes not fresh.
It’s hardly our fault if we all
enjoy the taste of human flesh

and clump around on shaky legs
or claw at people that we meet,
so you should not discriminate
and keep your distance in the street.

We tore the postman limb from limb?
Hands up, we did that: a mistake.
But these things happen, life’s not fair.
We only kill when we’re awake.

So what, if we smell of the grave?
Most days we are polite and good.
We are not the repulsive bunch
portrayed on screen by Hollywood.

Okay, we ate your Mum and Dad,
and maybe others, quite a few,
but you must make allowances
for Zombie folk are people too.

Compassionate society
should make us welcome and be fair,
enjoy diversity, be cool.
Embrace a Zombie, show you care.