We, refugees, must come to love alone

Underneath the shallow pools lies sand
Where shells are  fractured by the ocean’s blows
We learn soon what  being alive demands

To bare feet on sunny days beckoned
The warm wet trickles in between the toes
Underneath the shallow pools lies sand

In whose sums is our living reckoned?
Calculation, not so bleak it shows
We learn by pain, true living makes demands

God allows the  abacus unchained
To sum us up as if we are unknown
Underneath the  pools,  are these his hands?

Who will be allowed and who detained?
We, refugees, must come to love alone
We try  to be alive, despite the pain

Our hearts are fragile shells, not heavy stones
We, soft flesh enraptured by framed bones.
Darkly on the  beach we humans stand
The fretting waves cry out with love’s demand





I miss you, love, so slow the seconds wind.

It seemed to me  my vision and  my mind
A template to project into the world
Brought you into being by my side.

I miss you, love, so slow the seconds wind.
I crept into the space between the words
I  made you in  my vision and  my mind

Is there only chaos, no design?
Are we dust around the spaces whirled?
I bring you into being by these lines

I smell your skin and see your eyes alive
I move my head but you have disappeared
It seems  both from my vision and  my mind

Why did all the pit props fall down blind?
I crept under  black  coal, with darkness smeared
A  person alien to humankind

Where is my death, when it’s no longer feared?
Where is my love when no-one else is here.
I imagined  you in  vision and in mind
I  pulled you into being, now you’ve died




I offered him  a sandwich made by May

The old man standing by me in the bank
Fragile in the outfit of beige-grey,
Looked as if the News had made him sink

In this society, he has no rank
I asked him what he thought of polling day
This sweet man standing by me in the bank

He said that Corbyn was a fool and crank
Who must drop the  Atom Bomb  or pay
He looked as if the News had made him shrink


He sunk into the mud, I threw a plank
I offered him  a sandwich made by May
This dear man standing by me in the bank


As he walked away, he gave a wink
He may seek for a bomb with which to play
He looked as if the News drove him to drink.

I guess this country’s needs advice, so pray
For an alternative to Theresa May
I wish that old  man standing in the bank
Saw the News  as second to high jinx








If I’m feeling bored in the morning
If I’m feeling bored in the night
I  play with real numbers
While my partner slumbers
Then I fall asleep in the light

When one is bereaved and in mourning
That  makes one  feel empty within
It’s painful, not boring
To hear lions roaring
Will they bite a big hole on your skin?

Fill up the sorrow with learning
For study is rarely a sin
Unless it’s just chick lit
Or a very tawdry writ
In which case, then here is the bin


Can poetry matter?






How Poetry Diminished

ARGUMENTS about the decline of poetry’s cultural importance are not new. In American letters they date back to the nineteenth century. But the modern debate might be said to have begun in 1934 when Edmund Wilson published the first version of his controversial essay “Is Verse a Dying Technique?” Surveying literary history, Wilson noted that verse’s role had grown increasingly narrow since the eighteenth century. In particular, Romanticism’s emphasis on intensity made poetry seem so “fleeting and quintessential” that eventually it dwindled into a mainly lyric medium. As verse–which had previously been a popular medium for narrative, satire, drama, even history and scientific speculation–retreated into lyric, prose usurped much of its cultural territory. Truly ambitious writers eventually had no choice but to write in prose. The future of great literature, Wilson speculated, belonged almost entirely to prose.