The New Year Crossover

We are now in the last days of 2013, that no-mans land of time between Christmas and New Years Eve. There is still the food, and probably drink lurking all around. This years midweek combination has disrupted the holiday patterns, no long weekend, just odd days. Do you go in for a day, loaf around? Or have you been taking the time, and stretching the break to the limits.

Looking on and looking back, a time to reflect about both years, about family, friends and journeys, and all rolling up to the crossover point at midnight when I will raise a glass to the old and welcome in the new. Work in progress for New Year, still work to be done but there is time yet.

River Avon at Stratford
River Avon at Stratford in Afternoon Sun

The River Avon, flowing to the Severn, not the same Avon I know from Bristol, but another of the large rivers of England. Flowing out through the Bristol Channel, tides and time running on, returning as rain, cycles like years and the turning world.

The End Of The Year.

Remember the times and reflect on knowing them,
no matter how short, how brief the knowledge.

The scent of a memory, of the roads, rivers and the words.
The cardinal points, the wind and the mountain.

New tracks and old friends, footprints to follow,

Shaded Tree.
Shaded Tree.

A small start that needs to be finished, the notes are longer but so disordered I need to make sense of the direction before I put them on here. In January it should be ready, as we begin another journey around the sun. I hope to post again as the year turns, we’ll see how that goes, if not. Happy New Year, I hope it holds all you would want.


A Trip To Stratford

Just back from a trip to the fine town of Stratford-upon-Avon, well known of course for being the home of The Bard. For us it was a catch up with family, Christmas shopping and a break for a little bit of sightseeing. I have done the bookend on Shakespeare, seen his birthplace and his grave. Apposite as we come towards the end of the year, and travelling to Stratford at this time was a much quieter affair than during the summer.

Shakespeare's resting place
Shakespeare’s resting place

The pleasure of any trip is in the new sights, the details we take away with us, travelling through the English countryside as the landscape changes so slowly you almost don’t notice it. A lot like the passing year, gone before you know it, and if we are not careful, a lifetime passes.

Church window light
Church window light

I’m getting some work ready for the New Year, something for my next post after Christmas. So this is a Merry Christmas post to everyone, see you on boxing day, after the food, the presents and the family traditions. For me it’s pork pie and pickle for breakfast, with a dry martini. Gift giving, and a relaxing, comfy clothes day, then relaxing with music and films.


I hope everyone has a wonderful time over the next few days, enjoy it whatever way you lean. Make sure, whatever you do over Christmas, Take some time with family, friends or just for yourself. Unplug, relax and be slow, at least for the day. Don’t get dragged into the hype…


…slow is good for more than you might think.


The idea behind a poem, a memory in this case, a short story of a memory. How do you like you poems? Narratives, with a story running through or photographic, an idea condensed to words. At our poetry evening this month the subject style came up. We talked about how different ideas come in and out of fashion, I tend to write short blank verse, I like the imagist idea of condensing an idea to its smallest point. Paul Éluard is one of my favourites. I like to try different styles, yet time and again I heave out sections and words from my writing, searching for the most efficient way of saying something. Probably the reason I’ll never write a novel, not in a hurry anyway and why my wife thinks I hide everything I want to say. One of the group described it as somehow taking away the scaffolding from the words, then you cast the reader into the unknown, an interesting thought.

A Clocks Workings
A Clocks Workings


When it all ran like clockwork,
before the screens that lit up and you wound
a mechanical world of gears and springs.

In an attempt to save the radios, Grandad
brought home broken watches. Strapless and silent
I was looking for the reason to why they stopped.

I took them apart, carefully regarding the wheels and cogs,
guarding the screws and plates as they came apart.
Working through the layers collecting pins and pivots.

Then there was the time to rebuild them,
my Frankenstein watches. I never did find
the solution for such small puzzles.

What do you like in the work you read?
What about the layout and the effect it has on the words?
And also, can the words just sound good together with little narrative or idea?

Let me know what you think.

Old trees make old bones.

This past few days I have been writing with trees in mind, the pictures I have taken on Crook Peak, and other places creep into dreams. Like the Old Man Willow from Lord of the Rings, they can grow to dislike the modern world and its pace that leaves them in an ever decreasing sphere of influence.

Old Tree
Old Tree

Old Tree.

Each tree finds a space to challenge a landscape
with time and slow gripping roots.
Talking with the stone, 

reaching into the weakness of the earth,
drinking the sun passing through summer,
sleeping when the wind fights back. 

You won't hear the words, 
the disdain for quick passing moments.
They see your shadow, your death.

They won't know you till the saw bites
and then they understand the difference
between waiting and war.

They say the cold is returning to England. The North wind will perhaps bring snow. One thing is for sure, winter is here and people are waiting to see how deep we drift this year. The old wives tales of berries red and late leaves on the trees tell of hard times ahead. I wait to see how it goes, for now, work to be done and family to attend to, what to get for that special christmas gift? All I have is ideas for the moment.

Under The Trees.

Walking through the trees, a cold morning. A slight inversion holding some mist low across the levels. All in all a perfect Sunday stroll.


Wide views and Glastonbury in the distance.


I’ve sent off a few entries to competitions this week. Working on some others, below is just a fragment, a piece to be extended, It’s also the 1st December, so now Christmas can be officially started. Presents, family, decorations, I love the build up, don’t you? Just an aside, this is my two three four post, good numbers don’t you think.


we walk into the pool of cool air
beneath the trees to look through
the leaves at the shaded blue of the sky.  

The limbs stretch out to hold and hide us.
Each year the tree grows and the leaves fall
in a bright yellow circle on the ground.