It started with a kiss
it was uncalled for

you called me out
who was I to dare lean in?

how dare I presume intimacy
your anger gave you voice

your voice at last had found you
you had plenty that you had to say

plenty more to come when that was said
generations of mothers spoke through you

what these mothers spoke was truth
previously subdued, suppressed

the suppressed at last free to express
it started with a kiss


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-seven prompt: write a duplex.

This poem has a history, it is a history in a poem. I am ever grateful for what this kiss taught me, the voice it brought forth.

I hope that it is not too obscure for the general reader.

CLP 27/04/2022

L3 (Day 44): Early Morning

Woken by the first alarm calls at territorial intrusions, alerts and disputes of airspace and protection of nests at 04:45h.

Then disturbed again at 05:17h by shouting from a distant street. A man’s raised voice echoes through the break of day. Again from closer at 05:32, yet still a way from here. Is he heard by others? What ails him? It sounds like anger.

Is he wandering the city alone? Is someone else at risk? How did this start? How will it end, as it must?


CLP 19/02/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 22) Eaton

A long walk on a mild day, up through Eaton Park and around the university broad. The floods at the university have drained away and although the pathways were a little sticky underfoot, it was pleasant enough.

Eaton Park has a huge model boating pond, which has it’s own pavilion and clock. It is an elegant structure, even if made from concrete. The whole venture was a way to create work for around one hundred men for at least three years in the post-war slump in the 1920s. The man in charge of the city’s parks was Captain Sandys-Winch.

A former artilleryman who served for all four years during World War One and then in the Army of Occupation in Germany in 1919, he organised the development of Norwich’s public parks. During this pandemic his work is gratefully appreciated by the current generation of citizens, even though very few of them will know of his efforts to provide healthy recreational spaces in Norwich.

The lumpy appearance of the water on the boating pond at Eaton Park is due to the partial thawing of the ice sheet that had covered it for the previous few days.

One aspect of the Captain’s work was to organise the planting of an estimated 20,000 trees around Norwich. As a captain in the artillery for four years he would have been personally responsible for the destruction of countless trees on the Continent, so this rebalancing of nature is something to be admired.

He was not only committed to the gainful and healthy employment of local demobbed soldiers, the development of 600 acres of public parks and open spaces for the citizenry, but also a respected expert on growing daffodils.

At the broad at the UEA campus there were various pairs of distinctive birds. The brilliant white of the little egrets were hanging in the willows on the west side of the water, while in middle of the water a pair of great crested grebes were resting their elegant necks on their backs, possibly watching each other with one eye half-open.

There was a suggestion that they were contemplating starting one of their complex courting dances. The pair were floating at a distance, but facing prow to prow and displaying mirrored body language to each other. It was quite cool by the broad, so not a day to wait and see if they would dance this afternoon.

There is a recent sculpture in the willow beds of the broad, The Man of Stones. He looks as if he has stepped from a unpleasant early death in the marshland. His eyes shut, he carries large flints tied to his body. He is a grotesque figure. Constructed by Laurence Edwards, this is a controversial artwork. I think that it is strikingly ugly. I am not sure who at UEA wants this disturbing apparition lurking in the reeds of the broad, or why, but its grotesque form is unpleasant. Like the cast iron figure standing on the parapet of the library building, these ghostly figures seem to have been positioned in such a way as to cause alarm in half-light, rather than inspire. They look like immature artistic provocations, for all the craft that went into constructing them.

The Man of Stones

Robins were happy to appear right by the footpath at chest height in the bushes. Every now and then a wren would rush by and dart into the undergrowth. Back on the way to town at the Colman Hospital there were numerous snow drops in flower and some daffodils preparing to open.

On the way out to the university site there were four of the hospital staff taking a cigarette break on the footpath. No, I do not understand it either. The four women did not look as if they were particularly well paid members of the team. They work at what is the city’s rehabilitation hospital and were enjoying a natter in the previously fresh air.

The butcher’s on Unthank Road has suffered a determined attack. It looks as if it has had a sledgehammer taken to its plate glass window. I will leave you to speculate as to why this might have happened.

Around the country there is increasing anger about the Prime Minister’s statement that his government “…did everything they could” to protect the population from the pandemic. The facts and 102,000 dead people suggest otherwise.


CLP 28/01/2021

On 2020

Memorable year

One I would rather forget

Finally ends here


CLP 31/12/2020

On Anger (Finally)

And then, when it’s gone

it can’t be explained only

confusion remains


CLP 22/11/2020

Definition of…

Its odd how people

Who live in glass houses keep on

Throwing stones around


n.b. Complete the title to suit. No names, please.


CLP 31/10/2020

On Dreams viii

I awake screaming

Puss drips from my febrile heart

Each wound gangrenous


CLP 17/09/2020

On Anger iii

Even on calm days

Out of deep blue, waves wash in

Power diminished


CLP 20/09/2020

On Anger ii

Crows call Sun to work

Gently she lifts night’s compress

Its work now near done


CLP 19/09/2020

On Anger

Cool autumnal dawn

Illuminates dark corners

Pigeons’ soft greetings


CLP 18/09/2020