on the self

Are we whom we desire to be
Or who as we appear to others
The sum of their desires
The embodiment of their hopes
The personification of their dreams
The casket for their fears?


CLP 16/06/2022

on evening

dusk draws up magic
Strawberry Moon, dragonflies
our path less certain


CLP 16/06/2022

on tenderness

this lives somewhere within and between us
exists not without, cannot survive alone
forms around us, surely not beyond us
fear not the performance, fear not the act
does time and place and circumstance persist
to permit retrieval of such gentleness?


CLP 24/05/2022

on fear

does everything change?
is it for better or worse
or is life affirmed?


n.b. How do we decide, by taking the opportunity, or by taking a risk?

CLP 03/05/2022

Collateral Damage

 what would

as we
we'd know
it's all

would we make up
where we 
could offer
necessary apologies
long overdue 
balance our
play music 
say one 
final I


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-eight prompt; Concrete poem. I have to admit to having had such thoughts lately. Day twenty-eight of NaPoWriMo 2022, but day Sixty Three in Ukraine.

CLP 28/04/2022

Sign here. Press hard. Bottom Copy’s Yours

Too late he realised
His chance to read
Terms and conditions
Had passed
Holding the contract
While still holding the smile
Mirroring the other's
on leaving
It rarely fails
This Salesman's Spell
When they've said Yes thrice
They'll sign
The handshake of the salesman
Leaves a warm impression
But unlike the signature
Soon fades


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Nineteen prompt: start with a command. Here it is in the title.

With thanks to DL for the title, taken from his summary of a job in his youth selling franking machines to small businesses in Essex.

The Sales (person’?) Spell is based on the human wish to be liked. If someone is able to elicit three consecutive positive answers, then a fourth agreement is highly likely to follow. For example after offering to take you for a test drive, despite having a busy day, you may be asked: This is a really spacious vehicle, isn’t it? Is fuel economy important to you? Can you see this vehicle impressing your colleagues?

Concluding with: Shall we step into the office and look at the payment plan?

Honest, unguarded responses to questions, betraying the buyer’s intentions are most commonly given while attention is split. For example, preparing to turn across on-coming traffic, or waiting for traffic lights to change.

You can find this stuff out for yourself, of course, by digging around on the ‘Net. It has its roots in the Ben Franklin Effect.

CLP 20/04/2022

About One in Two Hundred Thousands

Late evening, I walk past the guildhall
pride of place epitomised in stone
Victoria's solid figure set glum-faced
stares unseeing across the city square
Did imperial majesty not make you happy, ma'am?

Ahead a space, where a big block stood
reduced to its foundations with civic care
floor-by-floor removed
kitchens, bathrooms, lounges
down-to-earth homes now grounded

This rebuilt city shifts again
from its 1940s shattered remains
to quick-fix accommodation
to divided houses with doorbells arrayed
too many people in too little space

Concrete defences fight off the rapacious sea
While two hundred thousand people relax
By turning up the television volume
To hide a woman's screams
On screen that's entertainment
as for her, reality bites

I hesitate and turn
Which street? Which low-rise?
I cannot locate the source of pain
Someone surely must be closer
Police already called to intervene

I walk on clinging to my timely rediscovered belief
in love-thy-neighbour
myths of Blitz-spirit community
the local friendly British Bobby
under mocking seagull cries


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twelve prompt; something small. Here the possible odds of somebody doing the right thing in time.

CLP 12/04/2022

on reflection

what was it you saw?
something you recognised? feared?
did you not see me?


n.b. Taking things at face value isn’t always easy. Gift horses, mouths, et cetera.

CLP 14/03/2022

on Ukraine xvii

weaponry so cruel
threat of mutual destruction
dare we intervene?


CLP 11/03/2022

on Ukraine xv

dead of night silence
broken record shrieks and cries
drunk mimics your pain


n.b. There is no peace until you have peace.

CLP 07/03/2022