Reinvention and Writing



In the beginning, I thought I’d be a plant scientist,

a botanist,

with a laboratory and huge glasshouse,

full of plants with hard to pronounce names.


Then, I thought I’d have a clothes shop,

small, classy with carefully selected stock,

all ethically sourced,

in St Ann’s Square, no less!


Then, I thought I might run a jazz club,

this time, Whalley Range,

and convert an old cinema,

into my kind of place , with a house band.


Then, I thought I’d run a Viking centre,

on the banks of a loch,

full of artifacts and stories,

with a boat in the yard

and a café by the shore.


And now?

Now, I think I’ll write!


9th January 2017



Three Generations


My father is a preacher

like his father before him.


This grandfather was at first a miner,

until standing on a horse trough,

he called his fellows out on strike,

then finding he was not wanted back,

he found a new place,

in a pulpit.


My father followed on,

not just with pulpit,

but broadcast by the BBC.


Now I too preach in my way.

My pulpit is not of wood,

but ephemeral,

of blogs and tweets and digital dust.


7th January 2017



Silently Out Loud


My father writes to speak

I speak to find out what I should write.


The words sound out in my head

tried on for size and stretch,

rejected and adjusted,

tasted and savoured.


Sometimes I awake whole paragraphs complete.

More often, I chase down a glimpse of a thought,

just out of reach,

as it twists and turns,

then dissolves for ever

in the ringing of a phone.


Words form up in my head,

as I stand at the sink

hands in rubber gloves,


Or kneeling on damp grass,

trowel in hand,

pulling weeds.


I walk,

my mind full of phrases, scraps

that flit like butterflies or

buzz like bees

whilst I idle in the garden,

sipping tea

a line takes shape,

a thread is formed.


Now down on paper

fixed in type

the words are written

quiet at last.


7th January 2017


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