red botinki

Sunday, 22 June 2014


There was a sign on the bottom of the tree saying Boot Sale!

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Sometimes it's good to stop and consider what you've achieved so far/ recently/ this year/ last year/etc.

I remember saying once to the young poet Jake Campbell   "If you think it's good enough then keep it in the post." This year I have followed my own advice, with some really heartening results: poems have been taken for Envoi, the Rialto, the Frogmore Papers, the Journal, Acumen, the Interpreter's House, Antiphon, ink sweat and tears, 'And other Poems', and The Shot Glass Journal (the latter 4 are all on-line poetry magazines.)
Also I am one of 6 poets to be featured in Prole's forthcoming anthology "Caboodle" .

I simply decided to use up whatever I thought was 'good enough' of the poems which have languished in files for some time, plus new work. And it brought success. But like many poets I find the effort of submission tiring - all those SAEs, letters, newly printed-out bits of paper etc. So possibly that will be it for a while, a long rest is called for maybe before the next round? On the other hand, unless it's a question of e-mail submissions, it's good to help keep the Post Office in business. Not that this counts as big stuff, it isn't; to borrow a title from the above list, it's only 'ink sweat and tears' on my part!

Although this year, more smiles than tears.YES!

Friday, 9 May 2014


 5W5W (Five Writers, Five Workshops)

Here we are, from left to right: Sarah Maclennan, Mandy Coe, Colin Watts, myself and, in front, Janine Pinion, on the occasion of Sarah's birthday.

And also on the occasion when we decided to look at poetry in translation, choosing Pasternak, Neruda, Montale,  and Antonio Olinto.
We sat out in Sarah's exquisite Liverpool garden and considered the difficulties of tranlsating poetry. We reached no firm conclusions but agreed more or less that it was fairest to keep fairly close to the original if possible, including the format, again if possible. (Funny how forms don't always pass easily from one language to another). And agreed that even a poor translation is better than no translation evn though it does no great service to the original poetry. But just to know what speakers of other tongues are thinking and writing about.....

We tweeted one of the poets, Miguel Huazo Mixco, whose poem "Si la Muerte" had us almost in tears. Within seconds he had retweeted it and favourited it - this is when you really marvel at the digital age, it shrinks time and space to so little.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Flat Roof, drip drip

For a couple of weeks now my flat roof, a large area of same over kitchen and small "sun-room" (where is the sun?) has been leaking. Finally found a splendid roofer and his son who have now sheeted the whole roof and secured it against leaks until the sun returns and they can finish the job of renewing it. R S Roofing, in case anyone wants to know!   Feel much more relaxed each time I leave the house. It's raining heavily this morning and I have to go out tonight to be a guest writer for Janine Pinion's Creative Writing class in B'head. It will be so pleasant not to worry about drip, drip, drip!!

I look forward to meeting them all. I'll read some of my work to them, talk briefly about my writing life and set them a short exercise to do with doors. We don't think much about doors, do we, but how many times a day do we walk through them? As Charles Tomlinson wrote:" too little/ has been said/of our coming and leaving by them."

I find doors really interesting; some invite, some repel. Church doors for instance- occasionally you have to use so much muscle to get one open you think it's not surprising the numbers at church services are falling off....There's a door into Hawarden Park in Hawarden that's really Alice in Wonderland: it's a  massive studded gate with a little pedestrian door set into it. I always expect to enter another world when I go through it!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

AND CO....

The others are Karina Vidler, Rafael Miguel Montes, Kate Garret, Angela Croft and Russell Jones.
Congratulations to each of them!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


The above anthology  will be out in December and will feature the work of 6 poets of whom I am one; it's going to be quite a large volume as they have accepted a collection of mine called Pawprints of Light and it's not exactly short!
Angela Croft will be in it and so will 4 others whose names I don't yet know. But I'll post them when I
Prole publish really nicely made books.

This has been a very happy year for acceptances -even had a poem chosen for The Rialto!

Thursday, 3 April 2014


like the silhouette of the Road Runner?