On the Marsh

Neatly bundled reeds

Cut to length, left out to dry

Thatch; grown in Norfolk

n.b. About 90% of thatching material used in the UK is imported. The renewable roofing material, best suited to the temperate climate of these islands, is that which is grown here in the same environment as the buildings it will sit on. The health and quality of the reeds to be used can also be assessed by the thatchers before purchase. However, ‘cheaper’ (lower priced) reeds are bought in from South Africa, a country struggling with a history of colonial resource exploitation and appalling housing issues in the townships, where these renewable materials might be better used locally rather than shipped off to the UK. The price will not reflect the true cost to the environment of long distance shipping, nor the loss of local resource to the producer country, nor the loss of skills and devaluing of the resource in England if reed growing for thatching is undercut by cheap imports – although Brexit’s impact on Sterling’s value may balance that up a little (as long as there are still reed cutters in business to supply the products),


CLP 16/09/2019

On Second Thoughts

Too often tempted

To speak without thinking

Two breaths save me


n.b. A lid to a pottery cremation urn found near North Elmham, “Spong Man” sits reflecting on a life long since lived. This piece of funerary art is dated from the early Saxon era, (3rd / 5th Century CE).

The image I have used of this ageless pose is available under the terms of a GNU Free Documentation license published by the Free Software Foundation.


CLP 15/09/2019

On Sand

Running through our hands

Can you see each grain that passes?

Feel them? Taste the grit?


CLP 13/08/2019

On A Strong Constitution

Since Magna Carta

Has anything been writ down

That’s worth the paper?


n.b. There is no written constitution in the UK. Vietnam’s constitution is based on the USA consitution that drew heavily on the “Rights of Man” written by Thomas Paine, an Englishman from Lewes in Sussex. He was chased from his home country for daring to write down some simple ideas that challenged the aristocratic order.


CLP 12/08/2019

In A Vacuum

You hear what you want

Without dissenting voices

Everything is true


n.b. If we only connect with those we agree with we learn nothing. How do we connect with those we stand opposite to in opinion and belief?


CLP 09/08/2019

On Relection

Glass mirrors times past

What is new that you see there?

Open the window


n.b. El Presidente visited El Paso and said to the press corps, “I wish you could have been there to see it.”

What did he mean, the appalling damage caused by a single young man with a rifle? No, he meant the respect shown to the Office of President of the United States of America. Sad.

CLP 08/08/2019

Under A Cloud

Wind chimes resonate

With whispers from weary leaves

Tears flood the desert


n.b. Texas has a complicated history; a place of moving people, territorial disputes, economic and political upheaval. More than 10,000 years of identifiable settlement, a piece of land with an ever-changing cast and shifting borders.


CLP 07/08/2019

Lost in the Supermarket

They just went shopping.

Tell me, what is wrong with that?

May they rest in peace.


n.b. There are at least 150 gun manufacturers in the USA according to Wikipedia.

Every mass murder leads to more gun sales, as people driven by fear, arm themselves just in case they need to defend themselves when they decide to nip down to the shops.

n.n.b. I have taken this title from The Clash album, ‘London Calling”.

CLP 06/08/2019

In the Bus Queue

A one act play for three voices in 17 syllables.

Oh no! It’s raining!

Yes, after such a bright dawn.

Really? I slept in.


CLP 04/07/2019

On Misunderstanding

(A one act play for two voices in 17 syllables)

You misunderstand.

I am not missing the point

You are. I am not.

CLP 03/08/2019