Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 28 October 2018


Here's a bit of sinister fun for Hallowe'en ...


I cannot stand my ghastly wife:
instead, I love her sister, dear.
The former one pollutes my life.
The latter woman I revere.
I’ve hatched a plot to rid me of
my wife, I’ve simply had enough.

I’ve put rat-poison in a cake:
my wife is fond of sweets and treats.
One slice is all she’ll have to take:
rich cream will guarantee she eats
then she’ll be gone and I’ll have Maud.
It’s simple: just give fate a prod.

Maud’s phoned me to my work and said
she’s at our house to tend my wife
who’s got the sniffles, gone to bed: 
there’s germs around and flu is rife.
I fear I’ve made a great mistake:
Maud’s brewed some tea and scoffed the cake.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018


At an early age it becomes apparent that one way to be sure of succeeding in the romance stakes is to impress one's beloved with some extraordinary skill: playing the guitar, always seemed to work when I was a kid, though never for me with my total absence of musical ability. 
Being good at sport was certain to garner popularity or, if all else failed, being a "poet" (or, more importantly, looking like one) was a pretty good bet. 
At the fairground, too, there would have been opportunities aplenty to demonstrate one's desirability to the opposite sex through a host of daredevil activities like helter-skelter or the dodgems. 
Prowess at the rifle range, too, would almost certainly have guaranteed a chaste kiss.


He swears the air-gun’s fixed to miss,
the moving target’s somehow rigged
but still he pays and takes three shots,
and misses. 

She demands a kiss
for consolation. 

Then the slots,
small change, fixed too, 

by now he’s twigged
it’s all a con, but loads of fun,
as they go running, hand in hand.
She laughs, cries out,
Let’s get some chips!
A childish romance has begun.
He kisses her chip-salty lips
behind the Punch and Judy stand.

Thursday, 18 October 2018


It's said that we turn into our parents as we grow older.

In my shaving mirror, increasingly,
as I grow old, my father’s face
replaces mine. As I erase

the moisture, he stares back at me.

His father’s son, he too took on
his father’s brow, his father’s jaw,
his narrow nose, cheekbones and chin.
Now I, first-born son of that son,
obey dictates of Nature’s law
as fine lines autograph my skin.
So here I stand, the mirror a lake.
He signals, from the other side,
a gentle smile, a loving wave,  
while I stand here hardly awake
with soap and razor, bleary-eyed,
forgetting that I need to shave.
That thread that links us binds us tight
yet spirals outward, upward still,
to moor my daughter as she sails
up through life’s thermals like a kite,
her bright ambitions to fulfill.
Through generations blood prevails
and we retain some small imprint
of our begetters, yet display
our own uniqueness, our own guise.
We carry then, some clue, some hint,
of them, our loved, our lost, away
into the future and reprise
their smile, the way they stood, their walk.
So something of my father stays
forever in my stance, my skin,
my eyes, my voice, the way I talk,
my dialect, my turn of phrase:
an echo sounding deep within.

The bristle on my jaw is braille.
its message clear in words, sublime:
although we are devoured by Time,
souls will survive when bodies fail.

Thursday, 11 October 2018


Situated in a picturesque valley in St Andrew’s parish, The Little Chapel is a popular tourist destination and one of Guernsey’s most well-known landmarks.
Originally constructed in 1914, and planned as a miniature version of the Rosary Basillica at Lourdes, the chapel was built and demolished twice before the present version was finally completed.
Decorated with seashells, pebbles and broken china, this unique building measures just sixteen feet by nine feet, has room for about seven people, and is thought to be the smallest consecrated church anywhere in the world.


On full-moon nights the Chapel glows
with holy light. No tourists now,
with cameras or summer clothes
or catalogues to tell them how
the Chapel grew, how earth and shards
created, like a house of cards,
this tiny masterpiece that stands
here in a valley far from town;
how loving, dextrous human hands
raised it, from soil to spire and crown,
through faith for spiritual reward,
so long ago, to praise the Lord.

Only the barn owl, hunting low
over the meadow, and the shrew
crouching immobile, eyes aglow,
in the accumulating dew
of the amazing full-moon night
bathe in its spreading Godly light.

Thursday, 4 October 2018


Lord Tennyson's narrative poem, The Lady of Shalott, first learned when I was at school, is an enduring favourite of mine.
In our online world with its dependence on computer screens, I see a marked similarity with the life of that sad, imprisoned lady condemned to view the world only through its mirror image.



A river, like a passing life,
flows steadily to Camelot.
Along its bank slim aspens grow, 
wild irises, long-limbed loose-strife,
and, hourly, sloops with cargoes go
to that far place where she dare not.

She moves within a spartan room
where silence like a boulder-weight
bears down on her.
She may despise
her morning’s work upon the loom:
a woven history of lies,
at best half-truths, half-told too late,
but if she does, she puts aside
such sentiments and turns again
to watch the world swim in a mirror
where shadow-shapes, like fishes, glide
and, daily, mysteries occur.
A curse demands she must refrain
from gazing on the world beyond
her tall, arched window:
she must view
the passing moment in a glass.
Each risen morning, rosy-dawned,
incarcerated, she must pass
her time by weaving and eschew
a life unscreened, where touch and scent
enliven the most sluggish hearts:
where sunlight warms the dappled shade
and lovers lie enwrapped, content
in their belief love will not fade;
where, brightly, the kingfisher darts
and snap of twig drives startled deer,
in wingless flight, a honeyed wave,
towards the tree-line, darkly green,
where auburn foxes, without fear,
like black-eyed sorcerers, convene
beneath a leafy architrave.
Where, daily, west wind’s untamed spin
scrawls patterns on broad fields of grain;
where spring unfolds its giving hand,
and harmony exists within 
an unseen, heady-scented land 
that lies beyond her window pane.
In short, hers is a cruel fate
as, cloistered, she needs must deny
the living world:
her limpid screen,
devoid of life, can not create 
the elemental shout of green,
the singing river slipping by.

She does not view the world direct:
instead she visits on a screen
a hundred-million web-sites where
facsimiles of life collect.
One moment here, next moment there ...
Her touch-pad banishes each scene.