on memory

look at our pictures
we were always so happy
airbrush out that hurt


CLP 21/05/2022

on time

Don't count your chickens
they won't be bothered at all
they're not counting you


CLP 13/05/2022

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


New moon over the lake
Perseids showering the peaks
You had to be there

So very silly
Like children repeating

You had to be there

In the Arrivals hall
After unexplained delay
You had to be there

At the station
I thought it strange
We had
You had to be there

Lockdown over Europe
My body burned for you
You had to be there


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Eighteen prompt: five answers to a single (unstated) question.

CLP 18/04/2022

The Quay

Here we are 
in the tidy, polished space
that is the captain’s day cabin
And here he is
the Captain all stiff-white shirt
black tie, braid epaulets
And this, his First Officer
taller, slimmer
And here’s Danny, the union man
from Northern Ireland, heavy set
tidied up for this occasion
See the eight crew
shyly shuffling in, lining up
unused to such static situations
like the pause after an Amen
Captain about to speak
Even a laughing gull
wheels by the window
Merchant Navy Code of Conduct
disciplinary breach
hearing begins
absence at the time of sailing
wages deducted
Outside late August
The crew file off
Except the tallest, young, blue-eyed one
He’s been asked to stay
More silence
until the cabin door closes
The first officer, less formal now
Christopher, it’s my duty
to report that your father
died this morning
We see the young man
fold at the knees caught
held up under the arms
helped to the door
This is where the story really begins


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Fourteen Prompt: The opening scene to a film about your life.

CLP 14/04/2022


with no particular place to go
spring-heeled Jack waltzed along the lane
caught a falling white feather
brushed it soft on his lips
remembered the love
he'd cruelly spurned
clutched his heart
fell down


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Nine prompt; write a nonet.

CLP 09/04/2022

on time

what is going on?
I have got all night, all day.
how long have you got?


CLP 06/04/2022

Elmer Sands

Vastness of sky
I float, a star on the shallow bay
Evening spreads; a deepening bruise
Nothing hurts for now
Tomorrow? Do not think of morning
Of waking

Darkness incoherent, bright follicles
Emergence of colours
Lights. There, the red of Mars!

Eventually this fades
Sea changes; follows the wind. I rise
Tomorrow will come, for better or worse
Even for us, my love


n.b. This provoked by the prompt from NaPoWriMo 2022: I have however, produced an acrostic from the first line of 'Crucijada' by Federico García Lorca.

CLP 06/04/2022

Absent Witch Constant Spell

within and without
about and above
on water in air
held by limbs of dark woods
spun out in high clouds
in setting sun and rising stars
broken moon on the lake
dancing through Alpine mist
sunk in thermal pools
strung out by pylons
with their infinite lines
caught in corners of rooms
by fine webs I'll be bound
while her butterfly wings no more can be found


n.b. Yes, it’s April again tomorrow and using prompts from those beautiful people at NaPoWriMo, welcome to the write a poem a day global challenge.

We have kicked off with an Emily Dickinson based prompt:

“The absence of the witch does not / Invalidate the spell”

n.n.b. Witches and their spells may be good or may be bad, but there’s always magic.

CLP 31/03/2022

on luck (on Ukraine xxii)

cold rain and Covid
are we heating or eating?
anything else?


n.b. Escape your oppressors, come to the UK. You’ll be welcomed with warm hearts once you have passed HM Border Force with your visa.

CLP 30/03/2022