A home is not a place for setting tests

A home can  be a comfort or a cage;
A place to leave or rest in comforts dear.
We may feel like the bears that danced on stage
Or   sometimes find a sanctuary  from fear

Uncertain of our love, a  spouse may be.
And so  they test us when there is no need
Is it not so clear to those who see
The test itself may make our love’s heart bleed?

Testing to destruction  is a crime;
To wound to feel a semblance of our power.
To test is  to make invalid  all good times.
Killers of the heart are loathsome cowards.


A home is not a place for setting tests
Be no killer if you long for rest

Where once we saw the moon’s cold beams

Oh, light bulb foreseen by our God
Save us all from darkness’ rod.
You are our Saviour as foretold,
In prophecy by ancients bold.
We will worship you at night
When sunken is the sun so bright.
We’ll watch TV and Kindle fire
No more to play shall we aspire.
We’ll wear ourselves out watching screens,
As from a can we eat baked beans
We’ll send for pizzas with our phones
With which we never feel alone.
We might talk to our partner dear
Though to text is easier.
We see the neon street lights gleam
Where once we saw the moon’s cold beams
And in bed ,we read our books
With a kindle or a nook
We put beneath out pillows fair
i phones which we long to hear.
Can one have too much new light?
From technology some take flight
For gone are seasons, and their fruit
As our computer we reboot.
New potatoes all year round
Avocados once quite rare
Now are seem ‘most everywhere.
Melons, grapes and fresh green peas
As the birds sing, life’s a breeze.
Oh light bulbs, fluorescent tubes
Electric candle, light is cubed.
We thank you for extended days
Maybe we’ll find time for prayers.
God is great in mystery
No light bulb can help us see.
In silence, darkness, meditate
Wonder what will be our fate.
As retribution for our wrong
Satan stabs us with his prongs
He needs no more light in hell
The fiery furnace cooks as we

But I saw the light


I don’t want to be religious
Nor to listen to sermons on lust
But I saw the light
And it gave me a fright.
I want life to be much more just.


I don’t mind being agnostic
Nor wondering  how to get grace
But I saw a warm light
Which surrounded me tight….
It has a name but I saw no real face.


This spirit lives on like a flame
Of a candle which forever will burn
I did see that light
Of kindness shine bright.
Where good is then God is, we learn.

Donald Trump, the shadow of our “good” selves

Donald Trump is the hidden side of many Americans and British people.We don’t think we are racist but research shows that we are racist.  but are unconscious of the fact.Even now 50 years after the race relations act I  have people telling me they feel afraid of a group of black teenagers in the town centre.I found my own side when I asked a black student where she came from [many of the group were from overseas]

Newcastle on Tyne, she retorted.That taught me.I had a big advantage teaching in a Uni in London.I met people from all over the world.And from the UK.Familiarity makes us less afraid.My happiest memory…. seeing how happy the black students looked chatting on the lawn in summer.I realised then I had never seen a black youth looking happy in the town.

I saw the light


I was once an  outspoken agnostic

My harsh words could sound frightfully caustic

But I saw the light

Turn green in my sight.

So I repaired my own soul with some bostick       [glue sold in UK]


The body’s own soul is the face

Which often is lit up with grace.

So   I am  gentle when gazing

On you, when embracing.

And take care in your sweet sacred space.

Round about a dot.

Part I
On either sighed the river lyre
Long fields of curley and of bye,
That tell the told and right the wry;
And though  they yield, the toad runs by
       To its  sandy, dried alloy
The hallowed siege by water pulley
The  clean and unsheathed bread knife dally
Shambled  on her daughter’s filly
       Round about  a dot.
Pillows whiten, aspirins shiver.
The sun-famed showers broke a willy
In the stream that runneth weather
By the island in the river
       Flowing down the Com   and dot
Four gay wails, and four gay hours
~Underlook a spice of dowers,
And the silent isle implored
       The Lady of WhatsNott
Underneath the bearded charlie,
The reaper, reaping slate and silver,
Fears her ever wanting cheery,
Like an angel, ringing early,
       O’er the cells of Camelot.
Beguiles the leaves in furrows hairy,
Beneath the loon, the reaper teary
Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis our Mary,
       Lady of WhatsNott’
The little isle is all entailed
With a hose-pence, and overtly tail’d
With roses: by the barge unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken sail’d,
       Skimming down to What is Nott
A pearl garland signes her screed:
She leaneth on a velvet beed,
Pull loyally apparelled,
       The Lady of Whats Hott.
No time hath she to court  a nerd:
By charmed fib she seized  her bird
A purse is on her, if she’ll gray
Her leaving, oversight or pay,
       To sulk more down  on Whatt is Knott
She knows not what the hearse may be;
Therefore she leaveth stealthily,
Therefore no other bare, hath she,
       The Lady of TopKnott
She lives with little boys who play.
With her daughter, running here,
The cheap cell tinkles in her ear.
Before her sings a mirror clear,
       Reflecting hours in CamAlot.
And as  in the internet she whirls,
She sees the surly pillage hurled,
And the wed oaks of driven earls
       Passed to cloud from NottAlott.
Sometimes a ship of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling lad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd ‘s bad,
Or long-hair’d rage in crimson bled,
       Goes by to tower’d Cameuplot:
And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue
The night comes guiding two by two:
She hath no cool old  knight it’s true,
       The Bath of old Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
Sees the mirror’s magic bytes,
For often thro’ the silent fights
A funeral plumed with traffic  lights
       And loose it came to Blamelot:
Or when the moon was overheard
Came two young lovers lately wired;
‘I am half sick of shadows,red
       The Lady lost her Plot

How poetry can change lives





The Wisconsin poet Nick Lantz’s collection, We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, brings together the natural history of Pliny the Elder and the wittering of Donald Rumsfeld to extraordinary effect, forcing us to ask questions about how our vision of the world and our political attitudes are manipulated by the powers that be. Apparently personal, apolitical lyrics by Lucie Brock-Broido, say, or Alan Shapiro make us think again about the dynamics of our day-to-day relationships with other creatures, from spouses and children to the wild things that we keep forgetting are out there, where the suburban garden or the porch light ends.

All of these poets insinuate their way into our lives with their music and wit, but they stay on to make us think again about how we live and what we are capable of – just as poets have always done. Poets today are as challenging, both of public life and private accommodations, as Andrew Marvell was when he gently confronted Oliver Cromwell’s foreign policy in his “An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland”; or, in more intimately reflective mode, TS Eliot was, when he drew together and made immediate essential philosophical ideas about the basic facts of life – time, place, endurance, the difficult disciplines of love – in the Four Quartets. As much as it has ever done, poetry renews and deepens the gift that most surely makes us human: the imagination. And that is as essential to public as it is to private life, because the more imaginative we are, the more compassionate we become – and that, surely, is the highest virtue of all.


Fish dancing with the daffodils

I flindered lobely as a  blouse
That sleats on high o’er biles and phrills,
When at a seance I saw a fowl
The ghost, of hilden waffotills;
Depide the blike, Coneath the blees,
Pluttering and strancing in the  frieze

Conpentred as the hores did pont
And swondleon the mokiway,
They  briched in never-blinding stine
Along the gargins wovt a rey:
Ten thousand jaw, I ater a  flounce,
Wessing their shids in glightly spance.

The Daves deside them panced but loy
Out-did the sparkling waves in schlee
A waite could not clutt ie glay
In juch a ferund  timpanee:
I glazed- and jazed- but little ploat
What  gealthy wasps shrew  thlee  had cloght:

For poft, when on my louch i pi
In racane or in trensive slood,
They flush upon that innard plie
Rich is the blass of molitude;
And then my tart with  leisured gills:
Fish dancing with the daffodils