Provenance

A face distorts in a fractured glass eye.In the wreckage of a house clearance,painted on gesso and northern white pine,old acrylic eyelashes flash a recognition. Stippled like a stormy summer,worn and battered flanks shiver in the dust.A torn rosette from a forgotten fetehangs by a mane, shabby and faded. Familiar sounds echo in the room:the…

December Update

I have recently written two poems. I am very pleased with both. One is a poem for children and the other is not. Both have been entered in competitions (see an earlier blog entry about competitive poetry). To me this feels significant because they are my first creative efforts since leaving school and retiring from…

One Called Paul (revisited)

A few years ago, while cycling back home along a country lane from Kendal’s Saturday market, I was attacked. The assailant came out of nowhere, making an unearthly noise, causing me to fall onto the grass verge before she escaped over the fields. On reaching my destination, slightly bruised, I persuaded my wife to come…

Goodwill to all Men and Mice

I am a soft clart. Situations requiring cold, reasoned logic and swift decisive action are often dealt with ineptly when they involve wildlife infestations. Let me paint a picture … In Cumbria where I live, my house is situated next to a field. Along with the help of neighbours, the field is run as a…

Poetry and the Addicted Serial Submitter

Back in 1967, the Milk Marketing Board ran a competition to promote their dairy products. Pictures had to be sent from entrants depicting the wholesome quality of milk, cheese and/or eggs. My dad, a milkman working for the Co-operative, brought an entry form home and at six years old, I set about producing my own…

Last day …

Old Dog Heart racing as if a mile had been lost, at odds with the stillness of a newly emptied room, taking in the failure of pencils on the floor and books left on tables. He sees ghosts, hears the echo of children’s voices, careless and free now it has gone three, oblivious of the…

Fledge Reviewed #5

Hot off the press … news of the latest review of Fledge from those lovely chaps at Happenstance Press who focus on one point of interest in their Sphinx Review page. Thank you to Anne Bailey for her kind words. Fledge, Jonathan Humble Maytree Press, 2020    £7.00 Winged witness There is so much to enjoy here!…

Yorkshire Times Article: Goole Revisited

As a child in the sixties, I lived and played down Jefferson Street in the Port of Goole. Home was handily placed for an unpaid job as ball boy with the town’s football team at The Pleasure Grounds. We could hear the busy railway lines that ran from Kingston Upon Hull to Doncaster (the same…

Book Review: Impermanence by Colin Bancroft

In the doctrines of Buddhism we are told that existence is transient and unpredictable. In the cycle of life nothing lasts, everything decays and because of this impermanence, attachments to things can cause suffering; which is a bit of a shame really, because Colin Bancroft’s collection of poems is a thing of loveliness and I’d…

Early Mornings With Arthur

I always wake early. Alarm clock set for 6:00 am, I’m conscious by 5:30. A quick visit to the bathroom, then down to the kitchen, where Arthur the dog blinks as I turn on one small light which triggers mad tail wagging and a luxurious stretch out of his dishevelled bed. Arthur gets a breakfast…

November 1st 2020 … déjà vu, all over again

Borrowing the above phrase made famous by professional baseball player and undoubted sage Lawrence Peter ‘Yogi’ Berra, we do seem to have been here before. Back in March 2020, when news of the first coronavirus lockdown was sinking in and the UK came to a shuddering halt, I had been deep in preparations for an…

Conveyor belt education … or the kindling of a flame?

There are now fourteen days left before my metaphorical mortar board is hung up in the cupboard for the last time … and I feel like getting something off my chest. I have many happy memories of working in schools as a teacher and deputy head. In my time I have known and worked with…