Saturday, 1 April 2023


Same Difference

The rain was torrential,
the ground so waterlogged 
that we had to put boards
under the tent.
They had a big stack of them
for such an eventuality.
And this was Innsbruck
in August.
It was more like the English
Lake District.
We had expected better!
And we were kept awake
all night
by partying Scots
in the nearby tents.
It was just like the English
Lake District.
We had expected better!


Whistler And The Butterfly

It was a small exhibition
but it stayed in my memory.
I had never encountered Whistler
but the butterfly signature did it for me.
“The Company of the Butterfly”,
what a wonderful concept!
It really spoke to me,
I even wrote a poem
about the company of butterflies.
The title trips off my tongue so easily.

And now I am put in mind of it again
as I look at this image
and see her
in the company of butterflies
ready to whistle up the wind



Make a hole in the eggshell
so the witches won’t steal them.
They’ll sail them away like a boat
and take you with them.

That’s what her granny said
when she was growing up.
So that’s what she did
as an obedient child.

But now she leaves the shells whole,
splendidly ovoid
as she always thought they should be.
She was not afraid of witches.
She was not afraid

and she would never walk on eggshells.

 Is There Still Life

Is the dog dead?

I think not.

I think

there is still life in him.

And for sure 

the monkey lives

I can see his hunger

as he reaches out.

So there is still life there in him.

The rest are done.



Cooked or plucked

with no life left

in them.


All are still.

Friday, 31 March 2023

The Summer Of ‘89

The ice-cream man appeared 

at frequent intervals

on the corner of the street

near the large grassy area

in summery Sochi.

He had no van

just a barrow

and two cardboard cartons

of paper wrapped briquettes.

He had no fridge,

didn’t need one,

everyone knew 

Russian ice-cream

to be the best,

the best in the world

and so never got time to melt!

The evidence was all around.

The grass was full of people

enjoying the lazy sunshine,

sharing their music, smokes 

and iced creamy kisses

in the Sochi summer.

The perimeter of the grass

was edged with signs.

”Keep Off The Grass”,

an English speaker translated.

She smiled.

“But we take no notice!”

 Come On In

“Come on in the water’s lovely”

they called out to me 

with their arms outstretched

and the sweetest of smiles.

And I was tempted for sure,

even on this cold winter night

their smiles were as entrancing as sirens.

But the arms waving a welcome

reminded me of spiders

with their stretched out legs

waiting to pounce

in this watery web.

Come on in the water’s lovely




The word echoes through my head

enticing me

for sure,

entrapping me


I’ll soon find out.

 No Place

The buildings line the street.

Such bright colours

lining the street

of the holiday resort,

a place near the beach,

a living place.

But if I should transform the cars,

into their metal box shapes.

If I should paint out their windows

and doors, 

and the windows and doors

of the buildings in the street,

it would leave me 

with coloured squares

and rectangles

dividing blue from green or white

with no life left there.

No place,

no place

for life

at all.