Sunday, 15 September 2013

On Conkers

The strength of will required to resist
A whole family of shiny new conkers
Is immeasurable,
Except in as much as it is directly comparable
To the resistance required to ignore
A whole box of shiny new chocolates,
And, therefore,
One could construct
An equation of temptation,
And there would be something quite pleasurable
A kind of jollity
Amidst the frustration
Of trying to decide
What should be added to the conkers side
In order to achieve equality.

photo credit: nzbuu via photopin cc

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Making Pork Curry In Time To Jazz Record Requests 'Sound of Cinema' On Radio 3.

The onion is chopped in syncopation,
giving rise,
to uneven size
and the the spices' distribution
becomes a matter of concern
as I toss it in on a riff
and recoil from the whiff
of turmeric which burns
in the gas flame
licking madly round the pan
as I scan
the fridge for something crazy
enough to match the sound of the sax,
squealing in ecstasy.
But then I understand; my expectancy
that this lazy,
way to cook and simultaneously relax,
won't change the way
the food tastes. It'll be the same
old pork curry as ever,
food that tastes like my food,
because there's never any Billie Holiday
in the cupboard, to change the mood.

BBC Radio 3

Friday, 6 September 2013


The euphemism 'thinned' applied to trees,
Does not imply a strict diet imposed,
The euphemism 'thinned'  applied to trees,
Suggests a day when quietude, supposed
To reign in woodland; noise of falling leaves,
A snuffling as the  forest floor is nosed,
The snap of twigs, the clap of wings, the breeze,
The silence which of small noise is composed,
Is smashed by sound which cuts the calm and peace,
As easily as logs, and juxtaposed
To stillness, which is balm, jars nerves and frees
The mind from rational thought and thus exposed
To instinct one forgets one's winter needs
For timber and its solar heat enclosed
In fragrant tissue, lignified; one sees
Only destruction, and thus, so disposed
To a romantic form of thought, to please
Poetic mood, illogically opposed
To human need, one thinks "I'd rather freeze!"

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

On Film Music

How can it clarify and best explain
With eloquence superior to speech,
So much we only partly understand?
If it were absent, what would then remain:
The actors looks, and smiles, eyes that beseech,
And words which either question or command?
But looks can be deceiving, words contain
A double meaning, obscure, out of reach,
And so we need an aid, a guiding hand.
Thus music speaks and helps us to retain
A comprehension of the nature each
Character possesses.  So the band
Plays on and gradually we  come to gain
A nuanced knowledge; music can impeach
And then acquit, ask politely or demand,
With leitmotif or riff or sad refrain,
And by manipulation it can teach,
Inform us of a fresh, surprising strand
Of complication in the plot, a train
Of thought quite new, then stabbing sound or screech
Of saxophone might show us how, as planned,
We've been lead falsely and again
Have been deceived.

Or music can, like bleach,
Remove the darkness from a plot, turn bland
Then just as we begin to  feel relief,
Provide a final, deeper, blacker stain.

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Pink Grey

The pink grey
At the break of the day
Is like light shining through clay.
It seeps into me
In a strange way,
As my thoughts stray
From dreaming
To seeming
Then pink grey
Loses opacity
As my mind
Regains its capacity
For thinking of things to say,
And the light's play
As the dawn unfolds
Brings real clarity.
And as pink grey
Becomes blues and gold,
I long for a child's charity,
Which would present to me,
Without being told,
My breakfast, on a tray.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Alex Plays The Accompaniment to Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine

An undulation of triplets floats outside
into this warm September air,
joining the pigeons as they glide
on currents, beneath cirrus,
fine as angels hair.
And even the dog is lulled to sleep
basking on the flags, drying his fur.
And I swing in the hammock wide and deep,
keeping time 'til all becomes a blur.