Down the endless garden to a hand-built shed of wonders and little me, sitting with my grandad listening to all the voices pushing through the static
What magic in those wires! The narrow band, the wide The squelch and the gain The whistle and the whine sounds I’ll never forget
The spectrum of a planet chattering Such wisdom in rough fingers so deft upon the dial gently they’d spin the roulette wheel and flip between tunings
I was constantly in awe at this window on the world My ear up against the glass of infinite possibility and my grandad’s gentle teaching explaining everything
We’d eavesdrop on conversations clattering fizzing through the airwaves speaking so quickly in strange new cadences We’d hear calls to prayer that sounded nothing like the tuneless church bells of home
‘Where’s the microphone’ I’d say ‘can we speak back?’ he’d remind me ‘the most important thing, sometimes is just to listen’ O, I was learning…
And when we were done he’d disconnect the aerial and gently warn me how lightning storms could blow up the receiver O, how powerful, how dangerous how exciting!
Pen devoid of poems adventure long overdue living room carpet growing long in the tooth I’m pining for movement so keen to get out I’ll go walking down to Holly Hagg
Little glimpses at normality haloed by golden rays There’s no poison in the idle river no politics in the quiet horse cantering to another chew
The clouds of working day part while I’m out walking bathed in nature’s endless beauty which never disappears only ever obscured by thought or perspective Eased back into focus on the road to Holly Hagg
With every step I take the tension unspools And there are words, waiting ideas that come to me pinned to ancient fenceposts nestled in the cracks between the stones making up the wall that keeps me on the road to Holly Hagg
The walk becomes a gallop blood pumping in my chest body now loose enough for every step to be a dance I am light and free as I close the distance on my prized poetry and the generous view expands beyond Holly Hagg…
There’s no such thing as a secret spot in this college town where strangers are just friends of friends news travels faster than light Even in the dark they’re bound to see as we embrace before we could kiss word would have blossomed across town
These people live for gossip these people live for scandal I don’t want to service them and their rotten needs (by giving in to my own…)
There’s no such thing as privacy in the glare of these glass eyes tacked onto busses, buildings, banks Casually observing every action if you and I would dare to speak we’d be captured, saved and dated before we’d even finished in this mistrusting town
These people live for drama these people bay for criminals I don’t want to fold to them and their rotten needs (by succumbing to my own…)
We cannot touch in this post-code we cannot push the slightest limit there is no shade there is no dark corner we can dwell in there is no blind spot there are no closed eyes in this paranoid town
Perhaps you could meet me on a sea-front somewhere wet and in the torrential rain this country’s eyes will be blinking so furiously, that they don’t see the true, free love that flows in us and we may finally give in and we may finally succumb to our rotten needs
The house looks like a painting yet, we can’t agree on anything What I want is meaningless to you what you want remains awkwardly obtuse and unreadable
I play my game, aligning the pieces to get me whatever I desire O, the house looks like a painting but I never know what’s right too adept at getting what I think I need
Meeting an old girlfriend who talks of monasteries and monks as I count the freckles on her nose and wonder if she still swallows…
O, the house looks like a painting yet, we cannot agree on anything Is there an urge that we can harness and repair or just our feeble pushes toward opposing goals Two firm lurches toward different shores
It’s corrosive it’s wholly limiting it’s the only way we seem to know to operate
The house looks like painting and still we’re not aligned on anything at all…
Years are piling up around us the shape we make get whittled more precisely Tongue and groove lock ever tighter I want to spell it out the way we did when we were younger I want to paint my love across his skin but I’m blocked before I try My body gets in the way…
The house we built swaddles us so comfy The nest follows our shared blueprints Complimentary thought in tessellation I want to speak this deep connection plainly The way I know he longs to Wash our busy brains for some short instant but I’m stopped before I begin My body gets in the way…
Not tonight, not any night it’s too much to deal with I’m told it’s not an issue but I can’t hear it I know the barrier won’t lift and no matter he says my body gets in the way…
Which season (Autumn, Spring, Summer or Winter) of the year best describes you?
I was a winter child but since I turned 30, I feel most alive in summer. Autumn is easily the most beautiful and inspiring season though. For me, the new year has always started in mid-September and Autumn has always been waiting there to paint it so colourfully.
In the event of an emergency home evacuation what is the first item you grab?
My pet rabbit, she loves an adventure.
Which historical figure would you most like to meet and why?
Does Carl Sagan count a historical figure yet? I’d love to talk space, humanity and the future with him.
What makes a good blog?
I’m a sucker for a simple, easy to navigate layout. I’m here for the poetry above all else. So, a blog which recedes into the background and just showers me with delicious writing is what I long to stumble across. A mix of styles, quality over quantity and something which offers a bit of background or context about the author (even if it only helps to deepen the mystery/enigma) is a nice touch.
Back to the past or forward to the future?
I would love to have traveled the world before globalisation; perhaps in the 1960s. I’m already headed into the future and quite happy where I am thanks.
Your dream vacation?
I’d love to take a year out and explore everywhere in Asia, writing about the people I see and encounter.
The greatest movie of all time?
Very hard to choose. I love the poetic cinema of Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski (particularly The Double Life of Veronique) but I think the film which ‘has it all’ (for me) is Being John Malkovich; it has big ideas, it’s funny, silly, serious, sad, sci-fi, eccentric and melancholic.
Wealth or health?
Your proudest moment?
I’m proud of my career outside of writing and I’m proud of some of my writing. I don’t think there is one moment which stands out though.
Note to nominations: Don’t feel obliged to fill this out or to respond in any way. However, if you find yourself with half an hour to spare… Why not answer the same questions that Darell asked me and repost.
Thanks again to Darell for the nomination and to all the great writers and bloggers out there who inspire me every day. Please do check them out!
Finally, here’s a little piece which sums up what I love about writing and reading poetry:
Poems are my photographs my diary my inner monologue poems are my measurement my record the fingerprints of emotions invisible no more Poems are my expression the sum of interactions they show my working out Poems are the breath of lost lovers against my neck Poems are my kisses for family and my friends the hugs I seldom give
And your poems… your poems keep me company a little light calling to my lost ship I sip my tea and slip into your mind…
They don’t understand being beautiful, being desired They have no experience of anything but broken smiles inconsequential voices feeble phrases and frightened eyes…
Frightened eyes despise everyone, everything everyone and everything Frightened eyes consider lies the currency of choice to navigate the halls of hate down which they walk every day at everyone they pass, they laugh and everything they see, they secretly want, so badly, to be…
They don’t understand being youthful, being vital with no energy for anything but… vicious side-swiping venomous debasing violent de-throning and squint-eyed loathing…
Squint-eyed loathing seeping in every hour, every day every hour of every day Squint-eyed loathing the only thing they undertake to truly know deeper goes their insight into scared-shitless creeping feelings and everyone they meet, they mistreat everything they learn, they, in return want, so badly, to burn…
October shed its skin across these pavements Now, November does its best to wash the mess away We glide down the lonely streets of night lost in appreciation for the moody glow that guides us
You carry such a heavy heart this season what was taken brought you this blackness in exchange and so I do whatever I can to lift it up for you
This dance of conversation jig of gentle humour all my attempt to paint a more hopeful picture Ease the crush of grief that’s levelled by a cruel unfeeling world And gratefully I’ll give whatever part of me might dull this pain for you…
There is hope (I know you know this) There is a hope waiting to be held again in those gentle, loving hands (I know you know this) yet it feels so far away this evening
You are loved by so many (I know you know this) There is nothing but a pure, real, love and respect flowing through my veins for you (I know you know this) but I wanted to remind you in the hope that you might cease to feel so far away this evening…
What strange gravities compel you? Which strong seasons manipulate the focus of your mind? What forces are at work governing your silences and interactions? What are the properties of magnetic north that keep you so firmly held there?
Which habits formed into crippling routine Which once-cradled ambitions did you let burn away? What hope, was it you had, for all of what you started when you laid yourself beside her?
The peeling back of quiet moments… The giving birth to living memories… The quelling of hostile emptiness… All these oiled by flasks of brewed liquid…
What source of buried passion exists? What reason for the unbridged distances of family? What cold and clear window protects you from the warm interactions of flesh and blood? On what throne beyond the claws of love exposed do you stay slumped? And what reasoning hangs from these vague choices?
The flame is weak and distant the light is dim The star that shines in you kept hidden by clouds of distance and disinterest
What do you feel when you see me expanding here growing into your shape on this reflective surface? What do you think when you see me flexing skills that must have been learnt from you? Do you worry that shared talents means shared failings Do you think to warn me against their dangers give the gift of wisdom, just an insight or two is there more that I could learn from you?
There is still some hope for healing the withered roads that link our homes There is still some hope for forging a bond that will carry us into the future
O, but where are you and where am I to you? Where are you and where am I to you?
[Please click above to listen! Right-click and choose ‘Save as’ to download the Mp3]
Two lovers traveling two lovers meeting in the East
Their affair was letters inked and photographs Now here embodied will they know what to do?
She wakes him one morning, saying ‘let’s take a boat to an island we’ll rise above the Bangkok smog’
Bike beneath them spluttering her arms knitted around him they race from bay to beach chasing the burning sun with hair wet and smiles wide
Their shoulders lapped by waves she was beautiful sitting on his knee they felt married, waist deep straw hats wilting in the brine
He thought ‘I could hold you here forever I would kiss you until the stars pepper the sky’
Between the music from the bars off in the distance and the love dripping warmly from her words a song composes itself over the ocean
Orion’s Belt above them sand dancing between their toes they rest upon the rocks and she knows that she could love him he wishes this night would never end it’s one chance in their lifetimes between a blue night and dawn
In a stilted shack on sand her black hair spreads like ink across the bed longing dialling up their eyes as the air between them boils bodies’ voices blending
Two lovers traveling two lovers don’t know if they’ll meet again this could so easily have been the love of their lifetimes
This could so easily have been yet it existed only between a blue night and dawn…