wednesday, march 4, 1998

radical writers gather
at the dylan thomas centre
on wednesday night
in early march
during st david’s week
also known as ty llen
in the maritime sector
of swansea.
with nigel jenkins,
who says ‘i’m just a gower farm boy’
and ‘i make bugger all from my writing’,
others discuss cabbage soup,
and mike jenkins talks of majis,
and  spliffs,
we drink pints of cwrw,
and don’t live in red wine republics,
with sculptors’ sons,
near seven sisters rugby club,
published by seren,
or gomer,
or parthian,
or even honno,
and the university press
come barefoot
to see mike jenkins
and 2 women
one a filmmaker
the other an historian
look at the 1930s
and wives of miners
sheep roll over cattle grids
red-necks complain
while welsh nats
and painters
listen to stories of shop boys
who steal your breath
the writer sought three wild bards up a mountain
to make his name – alun richards
back to a muddy car park
past the books on sale
in daps
looking chic
down the m4
past the traffic lights
with our own agendas
to beat own drum
words like dirty snowdrops
at home a welcoming spliff
away the celtic warrior
and weasels of valleys
present voices of wales
bits of llais cymru
chasing arts council
vocational grants
why not try self-publishing
like roddy doyle
where’s irvine welch
on the internet
in a web
handing out pamphlets
to a welsh mam
she’s barefoot & still nuts
but, harry, he’s a poet

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Time Revisited

As the planets roll
I am caught in a bubble
on the sub-atomic motorway
Trundling at the speed of light
there is only one view,
an overall that covers all
and warms this creature
All the magic of all the ages
is contained in my pocket.

The balls of our vision roll
as I roll
beneath the lowest life form
So slow, the speed of light.

There is light, there is love
There is no doubt
no sullied nag
no wind to blow
the sun away
no darkness deep
enough to stay

Create, begin to live again
another flame-flash try
A gleaming clear stack of light

Undulating via carpets of cloud
I ride another tiger tail
catch a star and put it safe
for when I need
to get away.

Survive – and when survival’s beat
when time grows longer
when the silent air
threatens to lay bare
the screaming of the soul
what remains but
self (expression).

Garbled Gobbledy Gook
gooks garbled on my face
and many loving arms
wrap the long nights
in their comfort.

More words spilling
falling perhaps
until my arm
is empty
and needs a fix
to stay

And at the end
we all must ask all
the (same) question.

Inside the darkened life
it’s too weird
too much to cope
too little as it is
without you

So where will this creature find its rest
where it can make a comfy nest
where will it lose itself in joy
where in the world is its new toy?

It’s a night of sadness
of meditation
a night to forget
a night to sigh

Scratching dudes create the tunes
Caring hands caress the bands
All around the people shout
Let me out, let me out.

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The Importance of being Earnest – in your art

They say that art is sweat and tears
You have to work at it for years
You have to burn the midnight oil
You have to suffer pain and toil

You get distracted by the world
By every precious boy and girl
They just don’t realise it’s hard
to keep it up when times are bad

When you’re tired, feeling low
and all you want’s for it to flow
You have to force yourself to work
You have to try until it hurts

The fleeting second of the scene
on the page or on the screen
Is all that others ever see
It’s a fucking joke, believe you me

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Christmas coming fast

Christmas coming fast
Should have been here Tuesday
Wednesday, Thursday night perhaps

The world has got a problem
Only one? I hear you ask
Well one that’s really pissed me off
That awful shopping task

We all come down together
to fill our metal guts
With putrefying blood and bones
and other awful stuff

The charity collectors
jangle at the doors
Piss off you pious bastards
I won’t give you any more

The dreaded day comes round again
We gorge until we’re numb
Forgive the sodding year that’s gone
and curse the one to come

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Other People

Other People
People Other People
can appear strange
They have different habits
and they smell

For instance:
they live in different houses
with different chairs
and different foods
They drink
from different cups.

And it all adds up
to strangeness

Around this time of year
(the festive season)

They come closer
They share our air
they eat our foods
(and we eat theirs)

We visit their strange houses
or meet them in pubs
sometimes they’re family
but different.

Their lights shine
and mostly
we can’t see them
(other lights)
. . . . . . they’re different

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It goes like this

it goes like this
it goes like this
you understand me
don't you?
there are gaps
where you can fit
universes even
the theme is the same
and time
it doesn't care
it doesn’t matter
m a t t e r
- - - -

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eerertertertertertertertert  drg dfg dfg dfg df d gd monkeys typing rubbish on a
computer using a program called a word provcessor

can somirtimes vatch a packet of stars ad live a litel more tha the earthworms thaey
vonae form snfd then dee if they ahf es pacvker tof ticxod

Monkeys can catch packets of stars and keep them in their pockets
They can see a thousand miles, a thousand thousand years
They must see. They must.
There is a monkey in my garden playing with platinum dust
Being careful not to breathe
It is holding, waiting, giving its madness away
Like a generous uncle
Or a forefather leaving a legacy
It is time
It is now
It is then
It is not well crafted because he doesn’t believe in that human foible
He only believes in packets of stars.
(and where they can lead)

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Nobody nobody nobody

Nobody nobody nobody
nobody nobody nobody


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A Poem and a Painting (and a book)

The full cover of Blodyn – my latest collection of poetry
Blodyn the Painting

acrylic on board 520mm x 670mm (20″ x 26″), 2001

Blodyn the Book

Collected poems 2017

Blodyn the poem

You are a creature
Mouth-organ lipped
Smudge nose askew

You are a flower (an open flower)
A head on a stalk (A face on a stick)
Seeds like eyes
Seed-like eyes

You absorb the earth
Soak up the sun
Flow with the wind
Grow with the rain

You are raw life

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This is a writing exercise

This is a writing exercise

The time when I went after a cow there were sounds carping on in that friend’s boat.

A pound of small oranges entails mucking under those twelve toadstools.

Smart moon then, Idris sparked on them after hell fried upside.

Leave young mellow fluffy badgers mind there one bantam weight.

Why don’t youth mix yesterday’s balloons.

In the end of the day I went to the shopping centre and found a yellow juggling ball.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Reviewing the evidence
he just walked up to me as if it was an hour ago
my legs were shaking
Oh he sang better than you.
It’s gonna bring tears to your eyes, I promise you
I’m just practising, excuse me
Yes I still want that
Falls asleep ’til about 9 o’clock
Tell-tale signs
New underpants
I found a number of dirty shirts in the wardrobe
Always going to collect money
I couldn’t fault him on that
I told you that the other day
He thought I was bloody thick
It was all in my head
I failed my MOT test

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An old poem

(an old poem)

Left too long in the shell
almost, touching.
Shrivelled apricots
almost, sweet.
Dried-up peanuts
without stones.
Fit only for eating
soggily, successful.
Ex-dried-up riverbed
waiting for water.
The turn of the planet
falling, will come.
Warm comfort comes
from here, from now.
Planted, the seed
waiting for water.
Welcome, a wink.
The secret exposed.
Lightly learned
the art of seeing.
Finding the form
delightfully, pleasing.
Peacefully, blissfully
sleeping, returning.

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Does this pen work?

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A couple more poems from Blodyn

Jackdaws in CAR PARKS

where they shouldn’t be

But then
eat cheap tarts
and drop crumbs

I wouldn’t like to be a jackdaw
Being a bit of a fussy eater


I wouldn’t eat a slowworm
even if I was starving

eat almost everything

They have no lines in their minds
except that possibly
(and I don’t know this for sure)
They won’t eat their own eggs

I suppose if they did
they wouldn’t exist

Imagine that you’re the last jackdaw
in the world
and the only thing left to eat
is your one remaining egg
which is about to hatch

do you gobble it up
even though you know
that however long you live

There’ll never be another jackdaw
or maybe you could

MATE with a sparrow

and have babies
Jackrow or Spardaw

What if you lay on top of your egg
and quietly died
Your decomposition
feeding your young

Then it’d grow up
and have a different dilemma
but at least it’d have


What comes last?
The jackdaw – or


If we were rich

If we were rich, would we still have a table like this?
A table covered in the most recently used bits of shit?
Like scissors and glasses and ashtrays and tips.
Like candles and radios and needles and sticks.

There’s last Tuesday’s mailshots and yesterday’s news.
There’s this week’s TV guide and half a pair of shoes.
A table that’s creaking and sagging with clues.
Yes, we’d still have a table like this – it’s the truth.


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Three thoughts

To be a good gardener, sow the seeds with love
Believe in what you’re doing, do what you believe in
Even the best words dissolve into mush when you read them too many times

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Outside in October

Outside in October

The stems of the bamboos
in my neighbour’s garden
are tall and waxy cream.
Their leaves like the bad hair
of an animated villain.
They sway like an armoury
of thin spears;
rattle, sometimes, in the wind.
It’s a small innocent valley,
where the crabplant
and the blonde-haired pampas
jostle with potatoes;
buried like eggs of ants
in well-tilled mounds,
like mist, evaporating,
under the sun.
Betrayed, their fragility stalls,
and I expect to see
a black-and-white giant
sleeping on the lawn.

From ‘Blodyn‘, my latest poetry collection

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Mid-October Blues

When the fallen leaves remind you that Summer’s gone
And the days are getting short and the nights are getting long

That’s the time to think about where you’re going to
That’s the time to think about what you want to do

The winter is coming, and with it a pause
There’ll be time to consider, to smooth out your flaws

You’ll be ready in no time, to get on with your life
For now, take it easy, enjoy the long nights

NOTES: This is off-the-cuff on a slightly drunken Saturday night, so will more than likely be deleted in the morning

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Some birds and their poems

A few short poems

about birds

from my last poetry collection




Pecking up the scraps of summer
He comes hopping –
and perching –
in cute poses;
Makes you wish you had a camera, ready.
Pictures of Robins
do well at Christmas.

Where I live
There are families
of Black Birds
They live on our roofs
and ramble on our lawns
They never stop nodding
and they make you feel

These are birds too,
even though
they’re cajoled
and crammed
and clipped
and co-erced
until they bleed for us,
at Christmas.

A varied people
or sharp white darts
tipped with black.
They argue a lot,
eat anything you throw at them,
and try to tell us
about the weather.

They are mostly seen
on man-made ponds,
and amuse us,
with their courting.
You somehow
feel obliged to them
and wish you’d brought
some bread.


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More Human Beings . . .

Another two human beings have arrived to keep the first one company

Another Portrait of a Human Being – oils on canvas 50x60cm

And Another Portrait of a Human Being – oils on canvas 50x60cm

They are here to stay
and there of course
Everything is here and there
Now and then
Was.Is.Will be.
They are flowers
in Spring.

(And here’s the first one to save a click or two)

Portrait of a Human Being – oils on canvas 50x60cm

They are lovely
They are

Like me
Like you
Utter beauty

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Portrait of a human being

Here they are, I think they’re lovely

Portrait of a human being -May 1st, 2017. Oil on Canvas 50cm x 60cm

They are lovely
They are

Like me
Like you
Utter beauty

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