January in England

On the Malvern hills white snowdrops bloom

A cherished life but over all too soon

The grass is frosted, gives our shoes a smack

Looking West we’ll see the mountains Black.

The weather rolls and rotates like a clown.

As I walk, I am my favourite tunes

I want to run away with half a moon.

Not a human Voice to spoil the track.

No percussion,with its lively clack

Maybe there’s a witch but where’s the broom?

One way we see Wales, its Celtic sounds.

Where the Anglo-Saxons ran to ground

Behind us, Saxons’ cider we don’t lack

Enchanted orchards,Newton is in luck

The soft breezed air makes Elgar seem profound

Abandoned verbs are turning into nouns

Just watch a single leaf as it unfurls

What kind of camera shows the changing light
Upon the yellow blossom as it waves?
The wind has dropped ,the breeze is here, but slight
And on the flowers I in languor gaze

The red leaves of the acers now unfurl-
Two side by side but different in their glow.
The light accentuates  them as they curl
Gives them time to unwind  and be slow.

Without the breeze the colour  varies less.
It’s flatter, less like Monet, yet still bright.
And as a grey cloud  sags across the West
It puts my dreams of colour into flight.

Yearn not for special tools to catch the world.
Just watch a single leaf as it unfurls

Don Paterson: ‘Poetry often involves obsessive personalities’



Poetry is unlike other art forms because you can’t really do it for a living. It seems more a helpless disposition. I always think poetry may be one corner of a larger syndrome. It often involves obsessive and addictive personalities – and mental illness. Most poets can’t drive a car and the ones who do drive shouldn’t.

Mary and the pink coat

Photo by Andre David Manjon Escobar on Pexels.com

Emile woke  Mary up at 7am.It was a  Sunday in  late October, grey and damp though the sun was still not  too low in the sky
Go away, she told him.The clock has changed.It’s not 8 am yet.I have to wash my hair as well.Get the Observer out of the basket for me,please.
I can’t read. the dear animal replied.And why don’t you rebel and stick to Summer Time?
I know Stan wanted to send you to Eton but we couldn’t afford it.Yet you understand days and calenders, Mary joked  sorrowfully
She got up and found her fleece dressing gown; it was   conker brown covered in coloured spots.She went downstairs and gave Emile a Whitby kipper.Then she made some tea and took it upstairs so she could drink it while she came round from her dreams
Suddenly Annie ran into   her bedroom wearing a  long black vinyl coat and  red knee-high boots
You never locked the back door, she howled like a lost  leopard which has had no  food for weeks
I don’t suppose anyone wants my old TV as it is only 19 inches.And my Chromebook is not something worth re-selling.I do have a new coat.
How about Ray Monk’s life of Wittgenstein, Annie asked her defiantly, her apricot lips pouting childishly as the Riemann of Paris lipstick glittered uncannily like an imaginary number in a dream of Godel.
The people who might enjoy reading it are by virtue of that , not the sort to steal or buy it on the black market.
That is very racist, Annie told her.You should say:the beige market!
Then nobody would know what I meant, Mary said lovingly
Anyway, do you want to come to Marks with me? They have some beautiful coats in
I’d like a pink wool coat, said Mary thoughtfully
Quite right  ,said Annie.Bring back feminine colours
Actually, gay men might like pink coats, she continued.But if they go on the bus they might get dirty.Come to think of it, so will women’s coats
They will have to buy pink puffa jackets and we can wash them at 30 deg.Mary whispered
Using a special detergent, Annie asked?
I have never seen a detergent for washing gay men.I don’t think they will fit into the washing machine.On the other hand, you are small so you will fit in
Shall I get undressed first, Annie asked furtively.
Yes, I’ll try to put you on a  short wash for 15 minutes but it is your choice.Maybe a bath would be safer?
No problem, said Annie intellectually.Are you having one with me?
You’d better be careful, Mary ad-libbed.It might be sexual harassment.
Well, I am not gay , said Annie.
You never know till you try, Mary giggled ,like a child behind the school canteen
Why, we might become gender fluid and then who knows?
And so say all of us

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