Saturday, 28 February 2009


The restless dead are all around
in the air and on the ground.
It’s just as well that Julie’s here
to chivvy spirits and bring cheer
to all those long-departed souls
that haunt the park and graveyard holes
without her there would never be
a spiritual cup of tea.

Flea Market, Chesterfield

Every Thursday
you can see the prices now
on stuff you threw away

Friday, 27 February 2009

Gloaming's Child

Emily Partridge was a broken writer
no words came though deadlines got tighter.
Her mystery novel ‘A Shot in the Head”
had gone to the morgue, the storyline dead.
Her fantasies vanished, her cowboys went west;
her FBI hero still lounged in his vest.
Her demons and angels had gone for their tea
and her double-O agent had nowhere to be.
With no plot in her pocket; no words in her head,
Emily wrote vampire romance instead.

Disused Factories

Kim 4 Luke, it says
in teenage tag-line scrawlings.
Dogs are unimpressed.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Jimmy on the Wagon

Quite why he thought the need to diet, nobody could say,
but Jimmy Parker bought a book – began that very day
“Away with burgers, chips and fries and all that stands between
the healthy and good looking chap that my mum had said I’d been.
From now on I’ll eat carrots and a cup of steaming rice
I’ll stay away from chocolate bars and everything that’s nice.
When I go out to restaurants, a salad I’ll devour
instead of birianis and a nan with leavened flour.”
His mother asked the doctor who responded with a sigh
“He misread my report,” he said. “I wrote that Jim should die.”

Walking along

Disused factory
waits for life
with boarded windows

fallen trees
lit at night
by car-park globes

The backs of garages
show signs of neglect
and corrugated tales

Catkins on the trees
a sure sign of spring.
No cruelty here.

lines and angles.
I am nearly run over
taking the first
by a car
going the wrong way
up a one way street.

Pedestrian paths
seem safer.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Chap's Book

A modest run, it seemed to me
to suit my meager purse
twenty books of poetry
in haiku and blank verse.

The printer was as pleased as Punch
to take on my request
so eager he ignored his lunch --
assured me of the best.

“A three inch margin all around
your pretty verses here,”
he said but couldn’t hear a sound
with carrots in his ear.

“No no,” I said “Too big a gap
will leave no room for lettering –
I am not your average chap
who doesn’t know typesetting.

I sent a letter to redress
and start it all again
for the man who owns the letter press
is marginally insane.

Back Garden Bench

After dog walking
some garden relaxation
while two dogs get fuss.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Thomas Aquinas
peered out from dark glasses
at his descendant.

“You must have a thousand questions,” he said.

Harold smiled.
“Not I,” he said,
“though I have many waiting
in the back room.”

And he led
us through a grating
in the gloom
to a narrow door once painted red
but now scuffed and peeling
where a flock of notecards
launched into the air.

“Pick one,” he said,
and Thomas Aquinas caught the nearest,
a blue one scented with violets
and laughed.
“Like a duck out of razors.”

Club Erotica - Woodyard

Music thumping
refuge sought outside
among the smokers

Monday, 23 February 2009

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Appetite of Edward Edwards

Edward Edwards loved to eat
the sweetest things of all
he wouldn’t touch his veg or meat,
his mother wouldn’t call
young Edward to the table ‘til
the pudding was set out
(though bread and butter made him ill
and custard gave him gout.)

Edward ate ice-cream and fudge
and toffee in the wrappers;
for cake and biscuits wouldn’t budge
and milkshakes like the clappers.
You might be worried that his teeth
would rot from all the sugar
he had them taken out beneath
a dental surgeon mugger.

He’s more than happy with his gums
to suck at sweets and cakes
He still lives at his dad and mums
and current buns he makes.
A heart attack at twenty four
a news reel on the telly.
They would have saved his life before
but couldn’t pass his belly.

St Mary and All Saints Chesterfield

Still morning quiet
the sound of buses, muted
twisted spire beckons.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sacred Stones

Sacred stone, chipped
and forgotten at the edge
of a churchyard green

Goyt Side Road

Supermarket trip
Impromptu photography
dogs are bored silly

Friday, 20 February 2009

Sacred Stones

‘SACRED’ declares the mossy stone
set with the others, not alone
in stating such a forthright plea
without such words where would we be?
but someone needed to be told
the message carved on stones of old
the mournful plea of those long dead
who’ve had their gravestones moved instead.
“Gravestones grate the public hearted –
they don’t want their dear departed
trodden on by beer-soaked youths
and so the graves have been removed.
It’s better now, this fine green space
has meant a bigger market place.”

Last Bolsover Castle Pictures

Such vistas
reserved for the rich
and PC users

More Bolsover Castle pictures on my Flickr account.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Ode to Tea.

Suck a simple drink, it seems
and yet the stuff of many dreams
the tea I drink is not the stuff
of supermarket cheapy stuff.
Assam for strength is always nice
or Chai if you prefer the spice.

Often ‘Rington’s’ brand suffices
to keep my hedonistic vices
though a sample of the green
or white leaf tea is often seen
to grace the after-dinner table
I like my tea whene’er I’m able.

Herbal teas are well and good
when aches and pains, misunderstood
are desired to go away
and not return another day
but given choice I’d rather drink
the Rington’s brand until I sink.

Bolsover Caste - Outer Courtyard

Standing at the corner
People look at me oddly -
I realise it's the toilet.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Discerning Customer

She stands at the counter
holding two plastic meter cards
and a packet of gum
and a twenty.

“Forty Bensons,” she says
with a nod at the cigarette stand
“and a packet of king-sized rizlas.”

She looks at the total displayed on the till
in black-against-green LEDs
“and five on the gas,” she says,
“and four on the ‘leccy,
and a sherbet dip
for the babby’s tea.”

Bolsover Castle Approach

Imaginary Crows
watch the progression of revellers
along stony paths

Joiner taken from red spot

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Holy Trinity Church

I walk on hallowed ground
as the morning fades to noon -
the scrutiny of crows

Dying Trade

Clocks tick in the House of Dread
as Samuel Holdstock irons a shirt
a little starch to lift the head
and keep it from the graveling dirt.
The corpse embalmed and fit to view
and dressed in stern Victorian fit
So relatives can gape anew
and talk of death and stand, and sit.
But such a waste of work it feels
to scour the dead below the ground
better still to fit some wheels
so clockwork motors whirl around.

Monday, 16 February 2009

The Teamaker

Dead five years this coming spring
he still remembers tea
grinding acrid leaves in pots
just like he showed to me
Steeped with the hours upon the rim
of coal-fired Aga stove,
a brew to stand your spoon up in
and watch it soon dissolve.
Is that sound a burglar rattling
the hinges on the door?
Or the ghost of Uncle Frederick
making tea at four?

The Shambles, Chesterfield

Narrow streets
and crowded shops
Laverstone inspiration

Sunday, 15 February 2009

No 33, Jeeves

Inspector White took half an hour
to bring the man to trial.
Mr. Jeeves of thirty-three
stood in the dock and smiled.
“I’ll admit to nothing, sir,”
he said when asked his plea;
the trinkets in my house were all
just given me, you see.
“The watch you found of diamond face
for services I rendered:
the rings and necklaces of jade
were pay for bills I tendered.
Every bit of jewelery,
when pushing comes to shove
was given me by ladies:
I think, therefore I love.

Queen's Park Cycle Path

Snow melting
but still enough
to highlight conifers

Saturday, 14 February 2009

More Snow and Mist

Sun through mist
edges of trees
bleed into light

Guardian trees
ward wandering spirits

Stone angel
forever scatters petals
on abandoned graves

Happy Lupercalia :)


In a little house in Laverstone,
a little girl has grown
without a mum to guide her
she was left to play alone.

Bullied by the boys at school
she couldn’t help but weep
her daddy did his very best
and rocked the girl to sleep.

When she was only seven years
she saw a poster for
a martial artists teaching group;
there wasn’t one before.

Her Aunty Julie took her there
on a Tuesday night:
within a year she had no fear
and never shirked a fight.

A black belt by the age of twelve
a terror with the stave
now all the boys are extra-good
and never misbehave.

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Terrace, Laverstone

22, The Terrace
is where a mean old lady lives.
She throws stones
at cars parked in front of her house

24 – there isn’t a 24.
Dad says it burned down
when he was a boy.
“Don’t play with Molotov cocktails.” he says.

26 is a young couple.
They’ve just had a baby
and they called it Emo.
Something like that, anyway

31 used to have zombies
but they rotted away to just bones
and the man that lives there now
buried them in the coal shed.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Taste Sensation

"Tell me something true,” she said
as if my tongue
were Pinocchio’s nose
and I had just lied my way
into her pants.

“You taste of violets,” I said
“Musky in autumn as the leaves fade
and the wind holds the scent of snow.”

It was a lie, of course;
she tasted of blood
as they always do.

Snow and mist

Mist and snow and sun ice crunches underfoot
mystical light