on Ukraine

this is the future
unmanned aerial vehicles
war without soldiers


n.b. Eventually, no human risk to intervention, weapons fight weapons, just civilian casualties.

Who will prevail? The belligerent with most money. Something not previously the case, as the wealthy nations don’t like to see too many of their poorer sons sacrificed. See Vietnam, Afghanistan, Suez, Iraq, Sudan.

CLP 30/05/2023

on Ukraine

'Bakhmut is Gone' now
its name remains on a map
shells have left mere shells


n.b. Today the New York Times shows film taken from a drone of the broken city. Three people huddled by a wall, checking whether it is safe to creep around the corner of a block, on their journey to god knows where, through the rubble.

An explosion splays dirt and debris in the air, as another another artillery round lands. Vandalism on a municipal scale.

So, this is what Moscow argues is the price Ukrainian people must pay to be ‘freed’ from self-rule and government by their own elected representatives. This is liberation?

CLP 23/05/2023

on time

on empty platform
I coulda, woulda, shoulda
your train long departed


n.b. When’s the last train?

CLP 11/05/2023

on Ukraine

attack on suburbs
a three year old child victim
where remains safe now?


n.b. The bereaved mother thought the war was “far awayfrom their home on the outskirts of Dnipro, but sadly not, The Guardian reports this morning.

What, with killings like this and the forced deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine, the men in Moscow and their hand-maidens in the ministries, have clearly given up hope of any salvation under the terms of their Orthodox religion.

CLP 29/04/2023


Let us not pretend
Names are unimportant

Words are deployed like
Booby-trapped IEDs

If you trip the wire
It cannot be defused
Nor put back
In the ground

Piercing hearts
Fragmenting arguments
Through misnomers

Call this war
Of words and minds
While children lie
Under collapsed
Apartment blocks


n.b. Day 427 (I think).

CLP 26/04/2023

A Broken Heart

Flapping desperately on the highway

Trying to escape its precarious position

In the centre of the outside lane

Strangely stuck to the tarmac

Black wings flashing deep blue

When catching the last light

What drew it down here?

What prevented escape?

A bit of victim blaming, I admit

Did this crow delay departing?

Stay for one last peck

of the warm flesh that caught its eye?

On-coming couples in cosy cars

Saw the distressed crow ahead

Feathers thrashing a syncopated beat

Each driver steering carefully over

So not to be the one to end the misery

Hopelessly hoping it might escape, as once they did


CLP 08/04/2023


‘We’ll laugh about this one day’ you said

As the first handful of soil smuttered on the lid

I looked at the other lads, all smart that day, in black coats

‘Unlikely’ I'd replied, ‘There’s nothing funny about it.’

Typically, it was sunny, belying the mood

Daffodils dancing happily in the onshore breeze

A few puffy clouds sliding past, against the azure

We turned back into town, found The Nelson

Stood in the backyard, Jim wanted a smoke

Dissecting the night that went so tragically wrong

People on the next table joked about our suits

Which is when our Phil finally snapped

‘You think it’s funny? We’ve just buried out mate.’

He said it was worth it, when he got out six months later


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023, a surprising laugh. Tricky prompt, to be fair.

CLP 05/06/2023

on time

three a.m. again
memories of you flood back
vixen barks in street


CLP 01/04/2023


westerly pulling at loose coat hoods
white horses whispering of rain
turnstones picking through kelp
gulls laughing from beachfront roofs
wet sand slowly filling in footprints
faint moon fading in morning azure
Venus sinking with all our hopes


CLP 30/03/2023

on Ukraine

another Spring dawns
war without clear beginning
with no end in sight


n.b. The men in Moscow prefer a war economy to something better. Ukraine is being steadily reduced to the new Flanders Fields, where the prospect of better weather, leads to the prospect of increased conflict.

CLP 29/03/2023