on Ukraine xvi

Kyiv to Channel
you new Burghers of Calais
held by paper chains


n.b. UK Border Force, your first contact with England; all forms – no compassion.

It is possible to see England’s famous White Cliffs of Dover from the French Coast. Refugees trying to reach family members in the UK are haunted by England’s proximity, taunted by British bureaucracy.

CLP 10/03/2022

on light

four floodlight pylons
sunset over Boundary Park
the gathering gloom


n.b. Life at the bottom of the English Football League.

CLP 06/02/2022

original social media

it said whitewashed boldly
on the low end wall
of what is now a traffic island
crowned by a CO-OP convenience store
backed by a set of low rise apartments

of course he went
to Cardiff City
for fifty grand
spared an Internet audience
statement scratched by ancient quay
I'm not sure what it means
I want to know
was this a recommendation
or shameless
across the street
on the one way system
opposite the Sobell Centre
the bus stop by John Lewis
but did she, or he?
and if they thought they did
did Lee love you?
green gloss on a brick wall
across the tracks
between Fratton and Portsmouth & Southsea
a radical hope
that years later
stated quite clearly
the outcome
rough daubing under the footbridge
over the Witham
furious misspelling provoked
by mass murder
they were not angels
just normal children


CLP 30/01/2022

on light

precious metal
take me to bathe in sunshine
swim in heaven's blue

n.b. This is not Australia, a land of beautiful light; this is England, where such brilliance is a gift.


CLP 09/01/2022

autumn ii

as if I'd forgive
the discomfort inflicted
for your trick of light


n.b. British weather: fickle, or what?

CLP 20/10/2021

On Cricket

lost in crazy crowd

found myself wrapt in laughter

caught being happy


CLP 16/07/2021

Late June

early evening rain falling heavy on hot soil, tarmac, stone

evaporates fast, forms humid stock, soured by sweat

bubbles up in steaming cumuli that boil over

drive down dust, pollen and temperature

so that tonight we might sleep

unless it doesn’t and the thick soup simply simmers

as we pull covers off, ache for breathe, pull covers on

attempt to seduce sleep with scent

dowse it with floods of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin

and still we’ll perspire with pulses pounding

hotter, damp, worse than before

praying for a storm to break

a storm that will wake us where we fell

after sleep caught us off guard

as we lay alert to the flight of a curious mosquito


CLP 24/06/2021

L3 (Day 49): In Shorts

Seventeen degrees

Out to the broad. Quick cup of tea

Sunshine on me knees.


n.b. The warmth held until around 5 p.m. despite a strong breeze. See the striations in the late afternoon sky. A lot of wind for weather forecasters to talk about today: they talk a lot about the wind.


CLP 24/02/2021

C3 (Day 42): Lent

Who was it that had

my copy of The Football

Grounds of Great Britain?


n.b. I cannot imagine I ever let anyone borrow that from me, but no sign of my copy of the classic text by Simon Inglis and I would never have knowingly given it away. The Football Grounds of Europe is still with me, so maybe this is telling me something about my future?


CLP 17/02/2021

On Losing (24)

I realise that

England is a word I use

as much as UK


n.b. Nice work Alexander Johnson and your BXT mates – you got to me in the end too and I am part Irish, part Swedish, part Welsh and part English. The United Kingdom is history. I am proud to be a European; embarrassed to be English while The Great Clown is in Downing Street.

CLP 29/12/2020