Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Hanging on to ‘Toad Hall’,
Trying to keep it heated,
Ignoring the damp patch on the wall,
Hoping one’s not being cheated,
Burying one’s head in the sand,
Holding fast to that which is grand,
Knowing one’s standards are slipping,
Closing one’s ears to the gutters, which are dripping,
Living in one or two rooms,
Breathing in coal smoke and fumes,
Hoping one isn’t deluded,
Or that others have not so concluded,
Keeping appearances up,
Turning a blind eye to the half empty cup,
Knowing deep down the struggle is worth it,
You have your reason; others may not un-earth it,
And always robbing Peter, to pay Paul:
But hanging on to Toad Hall.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Fog in the Vale of York

A misery of teenage proportions,
Deceptive and causing strange distortions,
Showing the trees but hiding the railings,
Shifting the focus onto ones failings,
Wrapping the promise of spring in a shroud,
Making the internal voice curse out loud,
Growing in density, never lifting,
Coldly, gloomily swirling and drifting,
An almost too obvious metaphor,
Attention seeking and hard to ignore,
Mist made emptiness like La Folia,
Meteorological melancholia.

Friday, 1 March 2013


At the Aire’s end,
At the close of the day,
The sky, a rather boring grey,
Melds with the waters at the bend,
Where the Ouse, pale and wide,
Still and listless at ebb tide,
Accepts the waters from Leeds and Keighley,
Almost half heartedly, swirling them briefly,
And the wind turbines stand unresponsive,
With a correspondent despondency,
Brought about by their failure to whirl,
And the smoke and steam from Drax,
So often brilliant white,
Is an absence of billowing curl,
A barely perceptible haze, 
And the dripping trees in greens and blacks,
Add to the dull scene, absorbing the light,
And I stand here trying to erase
The thought : ‘I am part of this desolation,
Subsumed, at one with the gloom,’
Until the sun from behind the power station,
Suddenly highlights the cooling towers,
And in that moment all is changed,
And we are ourselves again,
Me, the rivers, the sky, the warp-land plain,
The cold wind and the icy showers.