Inktober Week (-and-a-half)

Any artists may already be familiar with Inktober, where every day reveals a new word to prompt an lunch-hour’s doodle or a quick sketch on the train home.

Well, I decided to take some of those words as titles in an attempt to beat back the block.  So this week (in the wrong month), I present my contribution to Inktober 2020.

Ah poetry – the consolation proze for those who can’t draw.











Juvenilia Week 2 – any improvement ?

Following on from the recently underwhelming week of early tat, and because I want to reach my third birthday next May before the barrel is dry and the cupboard is scraped, I’m once again fishing around in the week-old bag of lettuce leaves for the ones that not quite too-far gone – believe me, there are others in there which are nothing but liquid sludge.

These ones are just about presentable, especially after a few nips and tucks with the blue pencil.

The role of almost-shame consists of:

Five Loaves & Two Red Fishes

Calling All Stations


World Peace

The Rigours of Indolence

To the Future

Just Another Joe

Ecce Humanitas

Welcome to Juvenilia Week

Recently, I’ve been digging through some of my earliest poems from twenty years ago (I’ve written for longer, but it’s only since then that I decided they were worth keeping).  I have ignored them upto now because they are rather, well, rubbish…and yet, I was proud of them at the time, and were an important step onto better work.  Were they not salvageable, with some judicious edits and rewrites ?  Honestly…sort of.  They’re still not great, but just about make it over the threshold of what I’ll accept to be published, as long as they get a fair wind and sympathetic readership.

So, for this week, I shall be presenting some of my not-best works, as an encouragement to my twenty-year younger self.  Enjoy.  Or, at least, don’t wince too harshly, the wind might change and you’ll be stuck that way.

So, here they are:


Vanity by Numbers

Wearing the Clothes of Emperors

Blown on the Windrush

Propersome Grammar



Happy Birthday – 2nd draft

Tomorrow is this daily poetry adventure’s second anniversary, and have I got a treat for you !

Several years ago, a friend of mine was devising a piece of amateur theatre which I stage-managed, based around the laying of the first ocean-spanning telegraph cable in 1858.  His work was pretty experimental, but he had wanted it to be a musical of sorts and there were a couple of songs in it.  All of which got me thinking about writing a sequence of lyrics around the topic, a sort of soundtrack album to a film that never got made.

I should mention that that first cable failed after only three weeks and had to be replaced in 1866, but don’t look to these poems for too much historical detail.  There’s some, but it’s not a documentary.  And anyway, it’s dramatically more satisfying to imagine it as a single event with a false dawn and speedy follow-up.

So, starting tomorrow and continuing over the subsequent twelve days I present to you the The Transatlantic Cable !


St Jerome Writing
detail from St Jerome Writing by Caravaggio

The trouble with writing poetry is that there are far more writers of it than there are readers.  So pity the poor editors of literary journals who actually do have to read the stuff.  I can just imagine the brief slump they must experience when opening up my latest submission to find that yet again I have insisted of bloody rhyming.  So I thought I’d do the decent thing and punt them all into the cloud out of the way, where only bored googlers and desperate teachers will be in danger of finding them.

(I ought to say that two poetry websites have featured my in the past: Snakeskin and Lighten Up Online.  Thanks, guys !)

Anyway, I’ll try and upload a new one every few days.  Some of them might even be good.