Latest Entries

What the gannet knows*

Scattered along the bookshelves in my study, along with the books, I keep a number of small objects. My parents and grandparents might have called them “knick-knacks”, a term that implies a general uselessness, trivial things of no real value. But to me these are small objects of desire, redolent with meaning, if only a … Continue reading


Moving the cat

Well, this is the very end of a project that I’ve managed to keep at, week after week, for a whole year. The results, predictably enough, have been quite mixed, but I think there are some poems out of the fifty-two that will survive beyond the bounds of this blog, albeit with some redrafting. Others … Continue reading


Getting my goat

The penultimate exercise in a year-long series of exercises, and perhaps it was inevitable that it wouldn’t work out too well. In all honesty, there’s been a little voice in the back of my mind all week suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the author of the exercises had also run out of ideas at this … Continue reading



I’ve almost reached the end of this year-long poetry project now, and one of the surprises to have emerged from it is that not only have the prompts encouraged me to  write more poems with an autobiographical flavour than I would have done if left to my own devices, but they seem to have been … Continue reading



There was recently a certain American painter who marketed himself as a “painter of light”. Some years ago, when I was active in a Yahoo group (yes, that far back!) called Fluxlist, there were two women who detourned some of his sentimental biscuit-tin landscapes and titled themselves “painters of dark” in response. It could be … Continue reading


The vulgar poem

52 this week set quite a poser for someone as hopeless as I am with any language other than English (and some people might argue I’m not even very good at that one!). The task at hand has been to write a poem that alternates lines between English and another language. Not as in merely … Continue reading


What I learned

Creeping towards the final weeks of the year-long project and I am, at last, back on schedule with these 52 poem posts. And that is something. The 52 theme for the week took me to thoughts about nine years that I spent living alone – a long time ago, now – and what I learned … Continue reading


A wordless whisper

As a poet I’ve drawn quite often on things overheard, in the past. There’s a whole sequence in an earlier book, Unauthorised Person, that is entirely derived from the overheard and from chance sightings. But there’s an obvious problem with gathering that kind of material at a time of pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing. Jo … Continue reading