Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Friday, 17 March 2023


Another Sonnet-style poem, in that it's 14 lines and concludes with a rhyming couplet. It's not autobiographical. Often I like to use the 'poetic voice' in much the same way as an actor might 'inhabit' the character that he or she is playing to deliver a poem based largely on imagination.


The letter that arrived today was brief:

its message, neatly written, was concise.

The cold words, terse and factual, brought grief.

It had been redirected once or twice

for I have changed addresses as I’ve fled

my former life, attempting to forget

the angry ghosts of us, to seek, instead,

a place where I’d no longer be beset

by self-reproach, the pain of the divorce,

where I could start again, slough off the past

but, as I read the leaden words, remorse

burned through me and a self-disgust amassed

as I imagine tumours might expand

beneath the rib-cage, leaving me unmanned.

Saturday, 11 March 2023


First day at school, first day at work, both were unnerving experiences, both were so very long ago.


That first day, in a new-bought suit, afraid

to speak up for myself, I sat, with pen

and pencil that I’d sharpened with a blade,

in a large office with a group of men.

Next door there was a busy typing pool

of women. This was different from school.

At work that day, a green, self-conscious lad,

I joined a world of grown-ups. It felt strange

to mix with men the same age as my dad,

and be, myself, a grown-up for a change.

At sixteen, I thought I’d be there for life,

rise through the ranks, earn money, get a wife.

In fact, things turned out otherwise, of course:

I grew up fast, changed jobs, acquired a spouse,

a car, a mortgage, offspring, then divorce

and, through the years, I moved from house to house

and job to job, from pen to keyboard, till

at sixty-three I’d really had my fill.

Back in that lofty office, long ago:

who was I, the glum youngster, just sixteen, 

that listened as the jokes flew to and fro

and felt somehow excluded from the scene?

I recognise that lad out on a limb

and feel a certain tenderness for him.

For verse of a different kind, why not visit:

Friday, 3 March 2023


It happened almost every year, when the school photograph was taken, that some young rascal, who'd been positioned at the end of a row, darted round the back to the other end of the assembly as the camera slowly panned across to capture the images of several hundred boys, thus ensuring that he appeared twice when the photograph was printed. 

It generally occurred because of a dare, although quite often it was just for the sheer fun of it. The consequence of such tomfoolery was usually a sound thrashing, back in those good old days when such things were not just acceptable but expected.  


In childhood, briefly, there were two of me.

The day the old man with the camera came

and we, the schoolboys, in five platform rows,

sat while the panoramic camera froze 

our image, slowly panning round. My name

was mud when father learned I’d run

from one end to the other just for fun

and in the picture, at both ends, was me.

Friday, 17 February 2023


Sonnet-style, though not a sonnet in the accepted sense, this poem is as described in the title, a snapshot from long, long ago.


That day, with the Atlantic at your back,

you screamed when breakers splashed your thighs with spray

as though it had decided to attack

your alabaster body to repay

you for your trespass. In that moment, I

raised the Box Brownie, quickly clicked a snap, 

and trapped your image, woman, water, sky,

the romance tempered by your bathing cap.

That golden August day down in Kilkee,

I wrapped you in a towel for the heat.

We clung together so contentedly,

while restless summer tide caressed our feet,

and made a childish, reckless teenage vow.

The snapshot yellows in an album now.

For verse of a different kind, why not visit:

Sunday, 12 February 2023


As we become increasingly addicted to social media, time slips by as we scroll aimlessly through newsfeeds or tweet about trivia. 

As sentient beings, we seem to have entirely surrendered themselves to the powers of social media and this poem attempts to engage with that.



This is a tree, he said and pointed to a tree.     

We have seen images, they said.   

There are many trees, he said. This tree is cedar.

We have seen images, they said.

Here is a flower, he said and pointed to a flower.

We have seen images, they said.   

There are various flowers, he said. This is a rose. 

We have seen images, they said.

This is a cat, he said. See it moves. Watch it stretch.

Just like the images, they said.

This is a dog, he said. Watch as it wags its tail.

Images are better, they said.

That is the sky. Those small birds are swallows, he said.

We have seen images, they said.

Over there are blue mountains and a lake, he said.

May we go back inside? they said.


Monday, 6 February 2023


When my late father, proprietor of retail footwear outlets in Belfast, encountered a customer who couldn’t decide between two different pairs of shoes, he used to suggest that they bought both. 

Here I am, today, echoing that sensible suggestion.

Don’t just buy Barking Mad, written by my clever wife, Jane Mosse: why not buy Stark Raving Bonkers as well. 

Both books follow the misadventures of Rob and Christine, innocents at large in the amazing world of pet-sitting. 

They're each available through Blue Ormer Publishing!/Stark-Raving-Bonkers/p/495534517/category=48142471

or at Amazon UK.  


Sunday, 5 February 2023


Like many who write verse, I tend to be overly preoccupied with subjects such as love and death and these come together in this Gothic sonnet.


Last night I visited our home once more

but in my dream the house was greatly changed:

leaves lay, unswept, upon the bedroom floor,

the chairs, once orderly, were rearranged

as though a host of ghosts had gathered there

in heavy darkness to discuss the way

the space should be apportioned, how the air  

should be imprinted with their foul decay.

I found myself transported in my sleep,

one moment to the stairway, then the bed

where, in those final hours, I’d watched you weep

to the old priest who sat with lowered head.

That was the day when I chose to depart.

Last night, in dreams, I came back for my heart.

For verse of a different kind, why not visit: