On Water xv

green brine of Pompey

no shallow mirror of sky

depth of character


CLP 24/04/2021

On Hope

Why are we waiting?

All the band’s friends are here

No one else will come.


n.b. Ah! Some parents have arrived, perhaps now we’ll have some music. Dutch Criminal Record were the main act. I enjoyed the up-tempo, high-tone guitar work and snappy bass with sympathetic drum accompaniment. XTC / Orange Juice for the 21st Century. Nice.

CLP 13/03/2020


Three roads, one railway

Cross Hilsea Lines to Hampshire

But we’re happy here


n.b. The connections from Portsmouth to the mainland are limited. For those travelling by car the road connections can be a source of frustration; for the residents a source of pollution. Standing traffic is commonplace on these often congested links.

All the train services to Portsmouth must cross the bridge in the photograph. Portsmouth is well-served by rail due to its history as the home of the Royal Navy, (a legacy of Henry VIII).

The proximity to seawater creates an interesting rust colour-base for the rail crossing.

I discovered a few footbridges on a recent walk around the north edge of Portsea Island, but I stayed on board, not having my passport to hand.

It will not be difficult to isolate this city if the Government contingency plans for a possible Covid-19 epidemic are implemented, but I cannot see how it would work for London, for example.

CLP 02/03/2020

Break Up

Totally cut up

Dismantled, stripped naked, boned

Empty vessels. Ssssshhhh!


n.b. Breakers yards at the top of Portsea Island have operated here for generations and although on a smaller scale than during the post-war period, it is still fascinating seeing a ship taken apart.

CLP 01/03/2020

Milton Park

Yellow and purple crocuses

Shiver in the humid wind

Fierce rattle of branches above

Dogs trot and squat

Their owners bowing down

In homage

Gathering up the shit


n.b. You have to hand it to dog-owners, they really love those animals. Thank you for cleaning up as they go.


CLP 15/02/2020


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 (www.theguardian.com) that used an image captured by a satellite sent up into near space in order to track hurricanes.

CLP 03/11/2019