Secrets of Men

Perched on a milestone, Spy considered offers from fylgjur, haunting woods like fox wraiths. Night worn as a cloak, tired bones aching under breeze ruffled feathers, his conspiracy betrayed by brother silhouettes circling in tempered moonlight. Revealed by flecks of white in beads of jet, he watched ghost clouds drift like lost leaves, disturbing stars…

ellipsis …

I have taken the plunge and requested a reduction in teaching hours from September. From full-time class responsibilities, I will move to working two days a week in the next academic year. This arrangement will continue until I sink my teeth further into the bullet and retire from this profession altogether sometime around my sixtieth…

Amsterdam and all that jazz

After finishing for the summer break at school, I’ve just spent a few days in Amsterdam. We were staying at the Prinz Hendrik Hotel, just across the square from Amsterdam Central Station. The time was spent visiting museums, eating out and wondering what the strange smell was that pervaded most areas outside coffee houses, restaurants…

Andrew Motion

It’s 10 pm and I am just back from an evening at The Brewery Arts Centre where I have been listening to Andrew Motion read excerpts from Essex Clay, published this year by Faber & Faber. I walked into town and arrived half an hour early so that I could have a pint at the…

Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble

Originally posted on BURNING HOUSE PRESS:
I am small in the sea, pushed around by waves that care not for any grain of sand or stuff that floats in old men’s heads. ? Arms held wide and high, that reach and cling like a child to a parent when things get rough, when routines fail…

Rainbow Friday by JH

“I once knew this girl. Small like a mouse she was … big eyes. And colourful ribbons; dancing kite ribbons in the playground. Red one day, blue the next and rainbow ribbons Friday. Didn’t say anything in the uniform rules about it; no mention of ribbons. Nothing I can remember about how far the socks…

Poetry Update …

For all these highs and lows, the submitting of poems is highly addictive; this last weekend of the half term break, I’ve rattled off and sent a children’s dinosaur poem on the advice of a poetry friend, sent film poems to Magma/Edinburgh University and found two promising new publications where there’s a (small) possibility of…

Kendal Mountain Festival 2017

Folk who know me are well aware of my passion for the challenge of the outdoors (don’t let the image of me holding a bunch of daffodils fool you; I’m a rugged mountain man at heart). Coming from the industrial plains of Goole, where as a youth I’d regularly hike from The Viking on Western…

A Day At Northern Towers …

Having finished a poem about swifts, with which I am very pleased (and in which I believe I’ve borrowed the sort of extended metaphor often associated with conceits written by Elizabethan chaps like John Donne … or not, as the case may be), I’m sitting here wondering what to do with it … Options:  Sit…

Sudden Panic …

I am a primary school teacher. Occasionally when forced to “do grammar” we look at plurals and have a good laugh at the idea that the plural of sheep is sheep and not sheeps. Then I realise, there is a huge gap in my own knowledge regarding the plural of curlew … … and having…