"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)

"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Public

In this offering from Atonal Hits crowds of people flow through the streets of a Japanese city like the eddies and currents of a river and its tributaries. The soundtrack that accompanies the video complements these ebbs and flows creating a compelling and absorbingly watchable trail through the streets.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Water Mother

 Click on image for Fidelma Massey's web site

This sculpture by Fidelma Massey inspired the following poem:

Water Mother

A flow of bronze, her fluid hair streaming
from the well-head of her thoughts of water,
fishes gliding on the waves she dreams
into being rippling out to swim
around her open heart. Below, the spreading
dolphin-tail of her head is echoed
like an image swelling in a liquid mirror
as she sits, eyes shut, one leg folded
behind the other, her litheness broadening
to the delta where the ebb tides of her elemental
life fall in ripples down to skirt her knees:
the fountain's flume reflected in its pool.
In her cradling hands a lunar glow,
her pivot in the cosmic ebb and flow.

Fidelma is showing her work in an exhibition opening on the 15th of March called 'The Storytellers’ at the Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk in Lancashire. The poem will feature in the exhibition.

Friday, 14 February 2014


Cloud scuds across a sky blue
as a shallow sea as if scudding
or being scudded frothed the suds
that sail swiftly from a drifting C

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Nigel Jenkins 1949-2014

Know language, know languages, know
your own language, that you may take words
beyond words: a poetry

of leaps.
So Nigel Jenkins.- in his Advice to a Young Poet. That sequence concludes with the words “a poem’s ending is not its end”. Nigel died today after a brief illness that took him from his characteristic robustness to a hospice in less than half a year.

May this poet’s ending not be his end.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Anyone Home?

It was shady where the house stood
Under the lee of the slope
Evergreens screened out the sunlight
Filtering through the valley from the south.

Anyway, it was cloudy when I came
And recent rain was dripping from the trees.
Moss on the doorstep was untrodden as if
No-one had entered for a while, but
It seemed light glimmered behind a film of algae
On the window panes, phantom smoke drifted
Out of a broken chimney into the empty air.

There was no way to say that I was here,
No bell or knocker on the door; I rapped
On its faded brown panels but they absorbed
The sound like a whisper in the wind.
I tapped on the window glass and peered
Through its opacity for any sign
Of movement inside. But there was none:

Only a sense of something that had gone.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

End Game

‘This is the end-game’, he said
sitting up in the ward for the last time
still a chess player making his last moves
routinely as the game played out
beyond any strategy he had left.
The stethoscoped referee, days later,
marked his sheet, making it clear
that this was a detail she had little time for.

The registrar read over these notes and frowned,
thought himself unable to record the result,
considering the moves invalid or wrongly noted,
but consulted, and only then reluctantly decided
with disapproval to make it possible
to hold a funeral. It was indeed a game

of endings played by rules
that changed with each move
and official dignity maintained
for all but the captured king.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Reading Henry Vaughan

"Mornings are mysteries", so Henry Vaughan and at this morning of the year as light awakens slowly with each day its mysteries will unfold slowly too, revealing themselves as new opportunities.

For each inclosèd spirit is a star
Enlightening his own litle sphere,
Whose light, though fetched and borrowèd from far,
Both mornings makes, and evenings there.

Vaughan, contrary to the opinion of other Metaphysical poets, specifically Donne and Herbert, ascribes such 'inclosèd spirits' not just to humans, but to other sentient beings, in this case a bird but also to "stones ... active winds and streams". For him the world was full of responsive fellow creatures whose mysteries might be probed, if not fully discovered.

So this New Year Day I take down my well-thumbed copy of his Complete Poems and resolve to follow, for a while, his daily observances as recorded there, avoiding perhaps those familiar poems that I have re-read many times and seeking out what other mysteries, missed in earlier readings or buried too far back in reading memory to be recalled.

His works are in that category he himself signified as

Bright books! the perspectives to our weak sights:
The clear projections of discerning lights.
Burning and shining thoughts; man's postume day:
The track of fled souls, and their Milky-Way.

The track of his fled soul burns brightly still and I'll carry his shining thoughts out of the dark night of the year into its morning mystery.