my mother's eyes
my dad's demeanour
not land, nor castles
income from estates
the staff, titles
the homes, the jewels
not the taxpayers cash
interest on millions
property worth billions
no power to tweak laws
before they're set
not wealth passed on
from a rich woman
to her son
an accident of birth
no one chooses
to get born
the luck of the draw
to be fit and strong
isn't that enough
with my mother's eyes
my dad's demeanour


CLP 06/04/2023

Full Cycle

Take me in your arms
Under the full moon
In the cool air
Of early May
Owls celebrate
Their rites of spring
In the woodland
Along the ridge
Bluebells unfold
Before the foliage above
Steals all the light
Shades in silver shadows
The church bell
Chimes the quarter past
It's early yet
Still time for bed
Hold me in your arms
We'll watch the full moon set
From our warm sheets
In early May


n.b. It keeps coming round, lighting our steps, marking our progress.

CLP 05/05/2023

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

on Ukraine

how could I complain
of broken sleep caused by wine?
you wake to sirens


n.b. Day 429. Cruise missiles launched at Ukraine’s cities before first light. Moscow’s unending terrorist attack on Ukraine persists.

CLP 28/04/2023

By the Seaside

Wincing dull dawn
If grey's your thing
Does the sky reflect
the sea or sea
the sky?
This performance
Doesn't make it clear

The North-Easterly
Plays its part well
Gets in the head
With a sinuous chill
Reminiscent of
Atonal violins
That bring tears

A bit-part freighter
bound for Hartlepool
Sustains a rhythmic arcing
Of symmetric bow-waves
Silently pleasing
Musical sensibilities
As it ploughs the line
Where that grey
Meets this grey

Today the briny's
Salt-sharp scent
Fills the lungs
An air that lifts
The audience
Of herring gulls
The string section
Of promenade lights

Empty seats
Are all I see
From this end
Of the pier
What attractions
Did I envisage
Exciting enough
To drag you here?

It's what passes
For entertainment
At this time of year
Out on this pile
Of rusting iron
Planks of decking
Spitting up spume
On our shoes
From breakers below

Not everyone's flask
Of lip-scalding tea
But with a constant changing cast
And subtle improvisations
Oh! I do like to be beside
You here
I think it's worth the fare
We'll have to pretend
The mocking chorus
Of immature gulls
Don't disagree


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 24 prompt: poetic review of the rarely reviewed.

Picture shows two people swimming in The North Sea a substantial period before the laughingly labelled, British Summer Time kicked in.

CLP 24/04/2023

Upper Tier, Front Row


Kev looks across
Calls me over
There's a seat
Beside him
In the front row
A great view


A player
Jogs closer
Pauses preparation
Looks up seeking
Familial faces
Points a finger
To the right
Blows a kiss
To someone


Squeezed in tight
Beside her mum,
She sees the man
In the blue shirt
Then bursts out
My Daddy!"


Her daughter
New baby boy
On her knee
She's touched
By the joy
Of her little girl
With arms full
she can only nod
And smile
Hopes he won't
Get hurt
Not lose
Come home


Hunched over
On walking stick
So old that
The process of
His gradual
Even during
The match
He's here
At the prospect
To be here
Having been
By paramedics
Who worked on him
For three hours
Just two weeks ago
That he missed
Two matches
That they were
Pretty dull
By all accounts


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 23 prompt: Numerous numbered stanzas from various people’s perspectives at the same setting.

CLP 23/04/2023

At Length

Her final month of summer
Was all we feared that it might be
Not her tender graciousness
Left us in her wake, but that drive
Drawn from the womb's well
Fired her urgency
Made her hunger pain
We wondered at their blindness
When nothing was more plain
As they quarried her stone heart
Their stupidity no brighter
Than a dullard's dull insolence
It was life's force within her
Not pleasure drove her on


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 22 prompt, Dickinson deconstructed – restructured; reconstituted -.

Here, I offer At Length, re-formed.

CLP 22/04/2023

Aladdin Sane

The cover artwork, white
Feather cut, blue and red
Lightning flash across
Bowie's downcast eyes
Bared shoulders and torso
'He suffers from androgyny'
Mother cautioned me

I had borrowed the album
From Paul, who four years later
Became more extrovert, quite camp
After his trip to Paris
Where he sought a man
To offer up his virginity
While I played 'Time' ashamedly


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 19, cautionary tales.

Great prompt today. Absolute car crash of implications for everyone. Mine relates to half-truths, blind-siding and Catholic silence leading to confusion and ignorance around matters sexual.

As John Cleese once said, shaking his fist at the clouds, “Thank you, God! Thank you, very much!”

Link to Bowie‘s Aladdin Sane image.

CLP 19/04/2023


I recall sitting on a stone wall
in awe of Hale-Bopp trailing by
it looked all upside down
with tail splayed out above
as the Earth span
and that spectacle of cosmic light
moved counter to the common stars
I thought I could never see
such beauty with my own eyes again
until our orbits caused to coincide


CLP 17/04/2023


I am sick of the sound
of your voice
You're always moaning
I'm sick of the sight
Of you
and your tears
What do you know about it
About anything
You're stupid, pig thick
Don't start
Don't interrupt
Oh, do be quiet
Haven't you got anything new to say
Hurry up
Get on with it
I haven't got all day
Not now, later


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 16 prompt. A negation poem. Sadly too many of us have been on the wrong end of negation. Maybe, it’s why some of us write.

CLP 16/04/2023