on Ukraine

and while people die
defending their homes and land
wordsmiths question them


n.b. I have been writing about Ukraine since the Russian invasion started. One thing I hope that I haven’t done is tried to explain from the West, or anywhere but my own perspective. It is inexplicable, unfathomable, unless you question why one man in Moscow is happy to murder people in their own homes, streets and farms.

CLP 09/02/2023

on Ukraine

nuclear assault?
how might Pravda report it?


n.b. It is said that Russian protests against the war have begun in several town. Putin mobilising 300,000 more troops. Russians considering how to avoid being called up.

Putin’s Vietnam.

CLP 21/09/2022

on Russia

farewell Gorbachov
you helped restructure Europe
curtains now re-drawn


n.b. Revolution is followed by counter-revolution. Are we back to Red Square One?

CLP 30/07/2022

on Europe

new lines being drawn
much like the red lines of old
could this be curtains?


CLP 01/07/2022

In Stone

What’s the price of peace?

From this small village two men.

Duty paid in full.


n.b. In the churchyard of St. Margaret of Antioch, Cley-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk.

W. Porter, Sapper No. 31585

31st January, 1915


G. Mellor, Sapper No. 6743

6th April, 1915


CLP 23/03/2021

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

On Pain (Norfolk)

Young men side by side

British, Czechs, Poles, and Germans

Buried together.


n.b. Farmers’ fields reclaimed from airfields, except this hallowed ground that holds sons of Europe, (and Australia, Canada and New Zealand), whose souls have flown.


CLP 10/09/2020

On the Road V

Cycling through the country lanes of Norfolk I found myself at this footpath. The English knew the money lay on The Continent in the C13th. The Weavers’ Way is a long-distance tourist footpath acknowledging the importance of the wool trade with Europe in the historical development of England’s economy.

If you would like a copy of the route so you can follow this path yourself, download a .PDF from Norfolk County Council here. The countryside of Norfolk is beautiful.


CLP 27/7/2020

In Boulogne

Did the artist understand

Hands extended across the waters of La Manche

Would be a friendship

So easily diluted?


n.b. This piece of ironwork is a suitably trite jokey comment on the tenuous connections between England and France that stands in Boulogne-sur-mer.

Boulogne was an assembly point for the invading Romans, the forces of Napoleon’s armada that did not set sail, as well as the likely jumping off point for the Nazis, who thanks to the RAF (with its young pilots from the UK, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Poland and Czechoslovakia (amongst other places), also never set sail.

The economy of Boulogne was hit hard when cross-Channel ferries stopped calling there following the opening of the “Chunnel”, the 50km railway tunnel linking England with France. This wondrous feat of Anglo-French engineering started after UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President Jacques Chirac signed off the project in 1987.

Following Brexit it is likely that smuggling will prove lucrative once more between the coasts of Northern France and Southern England, an industry that was prolific over 200 years ago when trade barriers and protectionism was in full force.

Incidentally it was protectionism enforced by the English on its thirteen colonies of North America that led to the Revolutionary War of 1775 – 1783. The French weighed in successfully on the side of the colonies from 1778 to ensure the Americans won their independence.

However, the expense of joining this colonial war contributed to the impoverishment of the French treasury leading in part to the French Revolution of 1789.

Who knows where Brexit leads? The notions of “United” and “Kingdom” both look increasingly fragile.


CLP 27/02/2020