Wednesday, 30 September 2020

 The Fishermen

The wall ran all along one side of the bay,

steps up from the port at one end,

down to the beach at the other.

I climbed up the steps

and looked over.

So many fish.

Huge fish.

Swirling silver moons in a day blue sky.

A net would have scooped them up 

and broken with the weight.

The fishermen were there with their rods set up,

like the fish almost touching, 

so many and so close, 


parallel black lines against the sky

like a blue print for lunch provision.

I walked down the steps to the beach.

Few people were there so early.

Morning was the fisherman’s time 

of day,

not the sunbather’s.

I went back along the wall 

when the fishermen were packing up,

heading home for lunch.

Carrying their fish,

I thought. 

But no,

it was a delusion

to imagine 

they would eat fish for dinner.

Not those fish, anyway.

All were returned to the sea.

Such is the sport of the fisherman.

 The Devil It Is

Play me a tune

a little light music

to sooth my soul,

to bring me cheer

in these troubled times.

Play it louder


play louder

all of you


Summon the angels.

Don’t let the devil seduce me

don’t let him take me

don’t let him carry my soul


 A Familiar Story

It’s a familiar story

well told

and many of us can identify

with some part of him -

Odysseus the escapee,

Odysseus the wanderer,

the adventurer,

the explorer

the leaver of a past life

and embracer of the new.

We’ve all desired

to sail away 

in boats that fly

as quick as thoughts

and at some point we’ve all 

ate the sun god’s cattle

and paid the price.

We’ve all described our relationships

as “complicated,”

or wanted to.

It’s a familiar story

well told.

Each landing was a new challenge

in a newly discovered land

inhabited by Other people,

Other creatures

monstrous beings

to be vanquished by superior swords

or stolen to serve 

as housekeepers or herders,

to be made into fish food if they resist. 

It’s a familiar story

well told.

Then there’s the women

the temptresses

with their beautiful voices

weaving with shuttles made of gold.

Beautiful voices 

but dangerous mouths

enticing us with their cupid lips.

And there’s always others,

the ones who seem all mouth

or have many mouths. 

We can quieten them.

We can steal them away to become our maids,

our handmaids

as Attwood might describe them.

It’s a familiar story 

well told.

And we’ll load up our ship with lotus fruit,

or lounge about while they do it,

and then we’ll forget the long swords

and how we fed the fish

with the heroes of the Resistance.

We’ll be the heroes when we get home.

It’s a familiar story

well told.

 The Power Of Gods

He would have had an easier journey

if he hadn’t harmed Neptune’s son.

He should have beat a hasty retreat

from the sailor-eating giant

leaving him unharmed by anybody

or nobody.

And Aeolus’s gift of winds to speed them homewards

was not a blessing when Neptune heard about it.

So unsurprising that he magicked the sailors

into letting the winds out of their bag 

with a chorus of  “all together now”.

What did he expect!

Gods are powerful, 

some more than others.

The blinding his son was a fairly big offence in Neptune’s eyes

and having control of the seas is a pretty impressive power.

So, Odysseus paid the price.

And then there was Circe.

Not only the goddess daughter of Titan,

Circe was also a witch,

of course she was, 

she was female 

so it went with the territory,

but her magic skills 

were more renowned than most

and thus more feared by men

and rightly so.

I wonder if he ate pork in his year long stay.

I wonder if he counted the swine restored to sailors

or if he preferred not to know if any were missing.

I like to think he knew she bested him

with her roasted pork and crispy bacon.

 Odyssey In The Afternoon

I remember that day of the voyage

from the moment the dawn rose

out of the golden globe

and stretched out

pink fingered roses

into the blue

of the morning,

without knowing 

what was to come after,

in the afternoon

when the wind took us

to a strange land.

But I embraced its strangeness

and its indolent contented people

who showed me the lotus

and smiled 

as I bit into the delight 

of its flowers and fruits,


it’s dreamy sensations

with no need to wonder

what would to come after,

there were only afternoons,

forever afternoons.

But the moment 

when I woke,

shook myself awake,

I dragged us all away

out of fear of forgetting, 

forgetting where I’d come from,

forgetting where I should go

and before 

I forgot to leave that place

with it’s sopheristic days 

of perpetual afternoon. 

And in the evening

as night fell

to envelop me

stretching out

its grey blanket

and touching me with black,

I wondered

if I would I even remember

sniffing the fragrance

of the flowers 

and tasting fruit

alive with the sleepy sensations

of the days of afternoons.

I have already forgotten

to wonder

what came after.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

 Looking Through The Windows

The windows are aglow.

A cacophony of colour

giving glimpses

of other peoples’ lives.

Snapshots into different worlds.

Shapes still

and moving.

A little exposure


a mystery revealed.

Stories to be told

from different imaginings.

A cacophony of colour


as if Monsieur Hulot

has taken his vacation

with Mon Oncle

in the twenty-first century,

until the lights go


Friday, 25 September 2020



we lay there naked

looking through the window

at the paired down blue landscape.

We thought

it was just as if waiting

for Magritte to add 

a surreal touch.

We thought

if only

a fine artist

was standing behind us

easel and paints at the ready.

What a beautiful picture

we would make lying there

even without a surreal touch.

 Above It All

I need to be out of the fray,
above the drama
and the darkness,
look down on it all,
be part of the scarlet sky
and the jagged skyline.
I will climb so high
that I’ll have no way back,
no wish to go back
only to stay
above it all.

Thursday, 24 September 2020


I was young once,
unbelievably young,
almost a child
Oh I was young once,
waiting for life
to begin
to grab me
take me
up and over.
Yes, I was young once
No end
to it
just waiting

Wednesday, 23 September 2020


I can hear the flies buzzing

since I died.

In life I could shoo them away,

open a window 

to persuade them through,

though usually they were

too stupid

to grasp the chance of freedom

offered and escape.

Now there is no window to be 


This is a closed space.

Eternal night.

No possibility

of freedom,

or escape.

Not for me.

Not for them.