Severn Bridge

so this is where it all changes
where salt water turns to fresh
balanced between two worlds
adrift on the flooding tide
holding on to a raft of indecisions
to go back or move on?
and wondering how it must feel
jumping from a tall bridge
hitting hard water

they say it’s the fall that kills
not the drowning

like that funny feeling as a child
standing on a cliff in Cornwall
feeling pulled towards the edge
father grabbed me and shouted
how could you be so stupid girl?
the family holidays, the yellow dress
sunny summers all in the past now
a tangled overgrown mess
oblique and rewinding

it should never have ended here
we were meant to drive into the sunset

PicMonkey Collage

(bridges and cliffs are notorious suicide spots)

Notes from an Archaeological Dig

I remember it well
Humid heat after summer gales
The sweat that trickled and made us smell
Sea holly scratches, orchids, mare’s tails

August 1985…

The wind had cut through
Sallied across Kenfig Dunes
Exhuming on its way, as it flew
Forgotten bones now loosely strewn

With ancient, pursued lives

Bared knuckles, broken
Sand dusted toes, shattered
Exposed, cleaved skulls of men
Tibias, fibulas, mixed and scattered

Unknown children, hard worked wives

And in and out and interwoven
Seaweed ribbons, rib caged bars
Scuttle zones for lost crustaceans
Vertebrae for lookouts, sunny vistas

Where once a village may have thrived

We measured, sieved, elucidated
Wondered what landscape they had seen
What changes wreaked since long departed
Steel works, motorway, cars and vaccines

Like them, we’re still striving, in ways, to survive

Yes, I remember it well
Two uni students obsessing over old bones
Studying bodies, sharing warm white Zinfandel
Exploring the past and new-found erogenous zones

It’s all recorded in my own archive

Image result for kenfig dunes

(Sea Holly care of

Currently Reading: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

I’ve decided to move my ‘Currently Reading’ posts here to my main blog page to make it easier to leave comments and interact with you lovely people. Life is currently busy and I find I have too little time, or am I not using my time wisely? When the sun shines it’s difficult not to be outside and this past month has been unseasonably dry in SW Wales. The earth in the vegetable beds looks dusty and the asparagus which held so much promise of abundant deliciousness has only partially fulfilled its potential. Ah well, what will be etc.

So my ‘Currently Reading’ is actually a ‘Just Read’. I have to own up and confess but it’s worth stepping back a week to bring you up to date. ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer is the story of lone wanderer Chris MacCandless who attempted to fulfil his dream of living in the wilds of Alaska in 1992. Sadly the adventure ended in starvation and death four months later but the author has taken enormous trouble to dispel some of the myths and untruths about MacCandless’s last days.

Krakauer intersperses the narrative with his own solo Alaskan climbing expeditions which in themselves are useful comparisons to MacCandless’s experiences and also cracking good tales of bravery and endurance. Some might say these personal touches are padding in what would otherwise by a rather short book but for me they made the whole complete.

Have you seen the 2007 movie? I have not, but it’s on the ‘To Watch’ list. Or have you visited Bus 142? If ever there was a destination worth trekking to.

I was inspired to write a poem during the reading of this book but it was also based on a hike I made last year to The Channels in Virginia, USA. You can read ‘Tracks’ on my Imagined America blog:

Here’s another poem by Ellie22 directly inspired by the book:

in front of rothko

i saw a man crying in front of rothko

in a room that was very empty –


the gallery attendant turned away

fiddled with his kandinsky cufflinks

muttered obsequiously as if

diffuse ambient light filled the space

between them


“if you are only moved by color relationships

then you miss the point”


outside the crying man’s confusion

orange, red, yellow, light orange

were but cacophonous caprices –

untamed plains of discontinuity in

a burnished mirage


then why do you cry? I asked

is it because you see your soul

upon the canvas

laid bare?


“i am interested in expressing

the big emotions –

tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”


the gallery attendant clicked and scraped

impatient black leathered heals –

coughed politely and

pointed to his wristwatch

in a room that was very empty


in front of rothko



Art Credit: Mark Rothko No.5/No.22. Quote: Mark Rothko

Aime-moi ne m’aime pas

without holding his hand
she taught him how to love art
on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur
amongst the anciens échos du Louvre
and behind the shutters of her camera

she posed with backstreet hoardings
pencils poised in Le Jardins des Tuileries
shapes and colours from life abstracted
Miró, Chagall, Matisse, Jean Debuffet
Métro, tabac, café bar et brasserie

in blue duffel bags, morning boulangeries
pain aux chocolat flakes and Yoplaits
her father’s Leica in smooth leather case
her sketchpad, his notebook, M. Leconte
the weather warm, reasonable for spring

yet her coldness was her weirdness
between the sheets he failed to excite
his passions artistiques between her legs
she cried in bouts,  made him feel guilty
left no choice but to smoke on the balcony

he kept the photographs as aide mémoires
the Pompidou pictures and Tour Eiffels
and the following year he returned alone
to the same hotel in the Rue de Montholon
a room with no view, bins and brick yards

and the sound of lovers through thin walls
the bed frame banging, mattress squeaking
mon amour, mon amour, tu es mon amour
he is tearing the pictures, ripping up the past
casting them out into air and the alley trash

“I loved her un peu, beaucoup, passionnément,
à la folie, pas du tout…”



The Ghost of Christmas Past

will you send me

a cute cat in a tree

Christmas card

bought from Woolies

in a box of fifty

printed on thin paper

slightly out of focus

cheap and purply?


will you fill my stocking

with a tangerine

some wrinkled walnuts

a Matchbox hot rod car

coloured crayons

chocolate coins

a pair of silly socks

sweets and little things?


will Santa bring me

an orange Chopper bike

some Scalextric track

a new football

togs and pads

or a hamster

in a cage with straw

and running wheel?


will I sleep tonight

with eyes tight shut

sheets pulled high

night light on

in my box bedroom

with pop posters

on the yellow woodchip walls

and teddy next to me?


will the adult voices

in the hall downstairs

please quieten down

and say goodbye

to the next door neighbours

replace the tele mumble with

footsteps and secret whispers

of tipsy parents going to bed?


will Christmas ever be

as magical as this again

for when I was a 70’s child

there never was any worry for me

of buying the latest gadget technologies

from shopping centres packed with madness

or caring for our elderly parents

and getting right those turkey timings?


so will the Ghost of Christmas Past

Come in! Come in!

and know me better

now I’m a man

and look upon me

as never before

and find the boy

that lives no more?


Conspiracy Theories and why I will never believe in them

if you persuade me
that theory A is true
then I might agree
and believe in you

but if you insist
there’s a new theory B
to prove A does exist
it might perplex me

because invariably C
will feed mainly on B
promulgating into D
to further vex me

so I’m left wondering
where was I before A
became theory B and B
C and D confused me

I have my own theory
that A was a fake
a made up conspiracy
for its own selfish sake


or was it?

The Master of Rituals

his floorboarded bones are rusty nailed jointed

unoiled and wrapped in stiff wads of coiled rags

arms incorrectly angled end with scuffed knuckles

woodsmoked fingers and pipe tar bittendown nails


he is racked with medieval torture pains

a brickly arched back is nauseously slime coated

mortared graveyard teeth set in crooked abandonments

behind methylated breath-fumes his misty arcane eyes dwell


one legged he shuffles with a fossilised slum dweller ambiguity

his inner tinnitus voices weep through welted tunnelled scars

the castellated storms that rage around his corridors of power

stalk death with every eerie echoed clack of his knotted stick


and the castle children taunt:

“rotten leg!

rotten spine!

ya! ya! Barquentine!”



high velocity v.1.

losing sight of you

the smell of your skin

the sound of your voice


walking on out


eyeline tilted horizon

one way test ticket

centrifugal pilot


staring about


nose cone

stripping the ozone

frosted in glass pain


blinking doubt


returning to leave

chemtrail blood trickle

waysigned signal


singles him out


cracked fuselage

flesh and bone metal

caged in oxygen mask


freaking out


out of reach panic button

communications breakdown

ether bound definitions


drifting without


switched off to silence

lolling head



total blackout


sustained g-force

loss of judgement

visual impairment


over and out
and further still

cast out into oblivion

banned from this dominion


finding you in a parachuting dream

disintegrating into your cloud wings

precipitated onwards