on distance

Your correspondence
Shapes a response within me
It's as if you're here


CLP 03/06/2023

on time

it's crept up on us
separation stretches to
another Moonrise


n.b. That’s enough now.

CLP 03/06/2023

on time

Rough old seaside town
When not putting on a front
Can be quite charming

n.b. Brighton, if you were asking. Yes, I know it is a city now, but not when I first knew it.

CLP 16/05/2023

on time

on empty platform
I coulda, woulda, shoulda
your train long departed


n.b. When’s the last train?

CLP 11/05/2023

on train windows

I forgot how raindrops
Run in ribbons
Across the pane
Coalesce, bursting through
The meniscus of droplets
Which are then swallowed up
By bigger drops
Which swell at each impact
Until the tension becomes too great
And they peel away
To form a drunken line
Plotting the relationship
Between the train's velocity
And the pull of gravity


CLP 06/05/2023

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

April Showers

ancient paving smooth as mirror
underfoot as slick as ice
reflects back mountainous clouds
rolling around the fenland skies


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023. Day 15. Prompt: feet of clay. Beyond me today.

CLP 15/04/2023

Passing Conversation at the Service Station, Folkestone, Kent, October 2019

They’d not seen each other for simply ages

It used to be regular, when they’d got their wages

Off for an evening, best clobber on

Leaving at home Bert, Harry and Ron

(except, that Ron’s been long since gone)

You still doing those dating sites?

Asked Sheila, needing to adjust her tights

Yes. replied her friend with a weary sigh

Knowing they were bound to ask, after a while

Remember, I said, when you first gave it a try

It’s about quality not quantity. That was my advice.

That’s if you don’t want to be left up on the shelf.

Well, I think, at last, I worked that out for myself.

Oh! That’s such good news! Is that the truth?

No, not really.
Owned up, disillusioned Ruth.


n.b. Napawrimo 2023. Day 11 Prompt: an overheard funny.

Honestly, what you hear when travelling. I nearly stepped in and said, “I’m free. Would you like to join me for supper?”

Then I thought better of it, I had just had a very late lunch.

Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the protagonists, as well as to fit the loose rhyme scheme.

CLP 11/04/2023


On four separate pylons, one per corner
The things to look for, Proper Lights
Not strung out beads along the top of each stand

A symmetry of steel sentries attending the stadium
Perspective rotating the shining pins
As the train curves into town
Or the main road breaks into capillaries
Until proximity fixes the view

Neck craned I'd seek the service ladder
Wondering who had nerves steady enough
To climb, climb, climb, climb up
Change a bulb, weather the descent

Would he need to count the rungs up to do his work
And then again, count down until safely grounded
To help concentrate on scaling each spire
one hundred and thirty-four feet six inches high

Visible from the crest of Portsdown Hill
Lights that marked my Home, Pompey
Lights that turned Roker's terrace roofs silver
Or from the M6, over Birmingham
Lights arranged in two pairs A and V
How bright they were at Aston Villa

The No 19 moving slow on the High Road
Spilling passengers outside the ground
Beneath the illumination of White Hart Lane

At Barnsley, the lights' glow drawing the crowd
Into Oakwell over the gentle rise
gantries emerging from below
as we step closer through feeble snow

Easing into Crewe, Peterborough, Swindon, Ipswich
Eyes fixed on the lattice work
Head rotating to hold the sight
To note the architectural twists
to relive or dream

Another football ground for the lists
Been there: won, draw, defeat, abandoned, postponed
Not been there: next season if...or in the FA Cup

"I can see the lights"
I'd shrill as a child
And still, as a child
when no more a child


n.b. The NaPoWriMo 2023, Day 7 prompt a list poem, that is not quite a list, but has list poem qualities.

I have two lists on the go and I am not the only one.

CLP 07/04/2023

Snakeskin Boots

Dolphins threaded the white horses
Frigate birds drifted o'er our wake
We hauled ropes in song, with curses
Dolphins threaded the white horses
Dreams of Frisco, gold in purses
Sun kissed women, fine boots of snake
Dolphins threaded the white horses
Frigate birds drifted o'er our wake


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 4. Triolet time.

CLP 04/04/2023