on time

temperature drop
counter-measures introduced
slow tick-tock of clock


n.b. Chilling in front of a fire.

CLP 17/12/2022

on heat

wonder at mankind
trains to Paris undersea
pylons lift cables
systems of power
connect us to each other
bind us to our fate


n.b. Standing here overlooking Rainham Marshes, watching another bloody sunset, you can hear the electricity cables crackle as they carry charge towards the City of London.

If you listen really carefully, you can hear the insane laughter of stockholders celebrating multi-billions of profits being divvied up by BP, Shell and a few other energy companies, while the Earth’s climate spins inexorably out of control.

Nearby at Wennington, the scenes are of burnt houses, charred trees, scorched earth. Scenes familiar to residents of France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, California. What more proof does this once green and pleasant land need that things have changed, that we must change?

People blithely talk of access to air-conditioning, not aware that more energy is now used on such cooling equipment in summer than that used in winter to heat us. It is we who are being conditioned by the air.

Things have changed. Something’s gotta change.

CLP 04/8/2022

on time

you think it's over
begin to believe you've failed
smoulder, flicker, flare!


CLP 06/07/2022

Can I come in? It’s not safe out there

…it never has been, I thought

I read the news, have seen the stats

hear the doppler rise and fall of sirens

bouncing off the city walls insistent

on untrammelled passage

scrambling wits of locked in drivers

blocked in lanes unsure quite where

the blue lights approach from

or head toward, what they are

and who they’re for


May I? For a moment, until it clears.

Could it ever, I wondered after

weeks, months, years have passed?

Some still remember how it felt

to bump accidentally into friends

or brew a fight with a stranger

or catch the light in a smile

(while sharing a smoke at the cool side-door)

agreeing to something a little more intimate


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 6 Prompt, take a line from a story as a prompt, then write the poem, then

“Actually, one of them was supposed to come today, but because of the commotion going on out there they sent me instead.” 

From Samsa in Love by Haruki Murakami first published in The New Yorker, republished in Desire Vintage Classics / Penguin Random House (London, 2017).


CLP 06/04/2021


At the Gate

A sentinel attending her borders

Set a bonnie fire of enthusiasms

Enflamed idleness

Smoked out fears

Stoked courage

Sparked resolve

Sent me on my way alight


CLP 11/07/2020



The evening the supermarket burnt down

Four miles away in the town up the road

Its smoke funnelled out to the coast

Streamed high across the marsh

Curled beneath a front pushing from the west

Where the lofty plume lost height over the cool sea

Shadowed the sunset and emerging night

Carrying smells of charcoaled meat offshore

To be minced by the churning turbine blades

Of the wind farm on the shoals


CLP 28/06/2020

Grate Full

Piled wood collapses

Rattles iron log burner

Startles lone sleeper


CLP 16/01/2020

On Fire II

Blade curls as it sweats

Dulls, dries out, shrivels and twists

Flames turn green to black


CLP 09/06/2019

On Fire

Straw lights so quickly

Dried out, hollowed out, tinder

Full flame from nothing


CLP 09/06/2019

On Fire

Straw lights so quickly

Dried out, hollowed out, tinder

Full flame from nothing


CLP 09/06/2019