Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Deal

‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost!’ She exclaimed.
‘I…I wasn’t expecting you’. He stuttered in reply.
‘Me as in us? Or me as in me?’
He puzzled over this. ‘Both. I suppose. You’d better come in.’
‘Were you expecting someone else?’ She asked, putting the parcel down and shuffling out of her coat.
Looking around, it surprised her how neat everything was. She couldn’t help noticing a thick envelope sitting in the middle of the desk. Then she noticed how neatly dressed he was too.
‘I was expecting my wife’, he replied.
‘But isn’t she..?’
‘Dead, yes.’, he answered matter-of-factly. ‘But she told me that she’d be coming to collect me today’.
‘Oh. I didn’t know. Congratulations, I suppose.’
He didn’t reply, just looked sadly at the parcel that she had brought.
‘Do you ever regret..?’
‘The deal?’ He finished for her, looking into her eyes and nodding. ‘Sometimes.’

Monday, 29 October 2018

Bus Station

I read with some sadness today, that from 31 October, Greyhound Canada will be discontinuing all routes West of Ontario. Apparently due to falling passenger numbers.
Twelve years ago I spent some fabulous months backpacking across Canada, using Greyhound buses as my major means of transport. I got into that regular rhythm of being dropped off with your fellow passengers every few hours in the middle of nowhere, with some sort of eatery close to hand (often Tim Hortons of course), and the bus would disappear for an hour to change drivers, before returning, and everyone would claim the same seat that they had before.
I took that 30+ hour route all the way from Toronto to Winnipeg, which will no longer be available since buses will now go no further than Sudbury. When I got off my bus in Winnipeg, it felt close to being born again. I had been on it so long that I felt a sense of disorientation, of not knowing what to do without that bus, that took several hours to shake.
I continued my tour, by Greyhound bus again, to Saskatoon, and then onto Edmonton, and Banff and finally into Vancouver. We travelled through the Rockies, and for hours saw nothing but highway and blue sky and cloud touching, snow capped, and beautiful mountains.
During the earlier legs, in farmlands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, there was nothing but highway and a sky so large it is virtually impossible to imagine, when you're in a country as small and close as Britain.
I am sure that other bus companies will step in to carry on those routes in one way or another, but something will still have been lost, especially to any future backpackers. At least they will stay in my memory and in those of others before and after me.
I would like to close with a poem I wrote on this trip, inspired by the numerous hours I spent in bus stations across the country.

The Bus Station

The watching and waiting of the flickering screen
To come the departures, that arrivals have been
Quiet and hallowed is the waiting hall way
A mind numbed by hours has little to say

Friends and loved ones are met with a smile
But it's tears for the travellers who'll be gone for a while
As the chill wafts in on the ten-thirty bus
Flesh is covered up with a minimum of fuss

For a time of transition, which some would delay
Much drama is seen at each parking bay
It happens so often, and yet goes unseen
As most are fixed watching the flickering screen

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


They twist reality to their own ends
Tying the truth in knots
Dismissing the data of scientists
Accusing them of making plots

Saying gas and oil drives economies
Creating jobs an indisputable fact
And with growth the only important thing
They'll grab all that can be fracked

And global warming is not a concern
It's all a natural cycle folks
For every few hundred millennia
All life on this planet chokes

The sad thing is we can't make the change
We can either drown or fry
At least while they still have all the power
They'll deny, deny, deny

Thursday, 11 October 2018


Standing in front of the coffee
That only one of us will drink
Staring at the red reflected bubbles
We have no thoughts to think

Too tired from two coldy kids
Nights laid too long awake
Blocked up noses in the early hours
On call without a break

And now the seasons close up around
We're up before the sun
Dark envelops body and soul
No light for Summer fun

Our energy levels are twisted
They're crumpled up in a ball
And with blank paper and empty pens
We feel our creativity stall

Saturday, 6 October 2018


I am too soft.
Like a sketch left in the rain
Ink outlines dripping
Beauty, but lost in a downpour.

I am too soft
Like a sand sculpture on the beach
Overcome by the breaking waves
Art, but vanished in the tide.

I am too soft
Like a chocolate at dawn
Melting at the suns first rays.
Sweet, but a puddle before noon.

I could be hard
Like a diamond dug from the earth
Cutting with the slightest touch
Sparkling, but not so rare.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Trying My Hand

I'm not all that good at drawing and sketching. But lately I've been inspired to try my hand. What do you think.

Thursday, 4 October 2018


We used to play in the garden
And tend it.
Thinning out the tangled roots
Of the hedges.
Strimming and cutting the grass.
Keeping out
The strangling weeds.
Plants in their colour and vibrancy.
Fresh smells
And laughter in company.

But something changed.
We stopped playing
And now no longer tend.

The brambles have taken over.
Choking the garden
With their stinging touch.
The weeds have grown woody.
Twisting and smothering
The brightness of variety.
And all that's left
Are lingering tears of dew.
Amidst the stench
Of mulched decay.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Kicked in the Creatives

It had been quite a while since I'd posted much on here in a meaningful way. A combination of young kids, anxiety and low mood put paid to that, and I didn't really have the energy or inspiration to be creative.

However, along came Kick in the Creatives and a metaphorical kick up the backside from my wife, who suggested I take part in their Poetember challenge for September. And so I did. A poem a day for all thirty days.

Some I'm really pleased with and some are a little more so so, but still, I put my brain to work every day and I feel much better for it. It's also been really nice to engage with such a friendly and supportive group of people, and to get a chance to be inspired by their creativity too.

So, now it's a new month and I still feel a little inspired to continue with my creativity. This month I will take part in their Kick Time October, which is a single prompt word for the whole month.

I plan to put together some poems on the theme of Twisted, and maybe a handful of sketches too. If I feel inspired I might also do some things outside this based on their optional prompt words, but I will see how I feel.

Before I began, I did a bit of a word splurge to get my brain working, but already this month I've come up with a couple of poems, so things are going well so far.