In 1787 eleven ships

Set sail from Spithead

To New South Wales

On board people

Sentenced to Penal Servitude

For their crimes

” – the birth of modern Australia”

It’s only half the story


In 1987 was there a pause, your Majesty

To consider the impending fate

Of those indigenous people

Who did not understand

What was happening

When eleven ships arrived

In New South Wales

From Spithead?


CLP 10/02/2020

On the Weekend (VI)

Determined to stay

Exploring Portsea Island

Unearthing treasures


n.b. Portsmouth is Great Britain’s only island city, the second most densely populated urban environment after London. Perhaps it should be twinned with Manhattan?

A brand called Strong Island is developing here. Pompey folk are proud of their home city and are happy to wear the label, despite the island having significant social problems associated with its high density population.

This weekend of treading the streets, stopping here and there to ask questions and to take time wandering, has already led me to establish a sizeable list of places to visit and things to do.

It’s alright here.

CLP 08/02/2020

On Portsmouth

Cramped together

On England’s island city

Flat, low vulnerable


n.b. A lively location as always, (and now quite lovable), but its topography suggests it has potential to become England’s Venice as sea levels rise.

n.n.b. Photograph taken from a screenshot from a newspaper website ( that used an image captured by a satellite sent up into near space in order to track hurricanes.

CLP 03/11/2019

The Island City

This sky darkens

Heat oppressive

Along the avenue

A leaf falls to the street

Cats forgo territorial rights

Stretched out immodestly on neighbouring walls as only cats can

Silence lays on silence

Doubled like thick cream

This silence flows into every pore

Lays as a cushion

Now a blackbird lets loose a burst of evensong

Children’s playful talk rises softly along the backyards

They sit out on the kerb-stones, feet in the gutter dust

From the main road, several streets back, a police siren splits the heavy air

We wait

Rose petals, hollyhocks, the fresh rosemary leaves float, held soft on the humid pillow

We wait

Light diffuses

Golden beneath these glowering clouds

An aircraft rumble

Like thunder

We listen, keener

Was it thunder?

Goosebumps rise to a sudden downdraft

We wait

And wait

In the silence

We wait


CLP 07/07/2019