Friday, 3 February 2017

What is down

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco, May 2011


Who talks about despair?
It’s boring, a deep hole.
And what to say?
The dance is hard.

You felt it, for sure;
The evidence is stone.
But we can’t talk about it,
Not now.

RF 2017

It's been a while since I wrote anything even remotely about my Dad. He killed himself way back in 1973 and Mum died in 2010 so her loss kind of took over, in the parental bit of my mind, from the very old history of his. But I suppose the fact that there is so much news just now that can depress a decent caring person (i.e. all the people I like online and in the flesh) has brought thoughts of depression back into the foreground for me (what it is, how to deal with it, how to get things done in a world that seems so difficult and... mental at times). I'm not depressed myself, I should point out. I do feel down here and there but usually with good reason. And there is much to feel good about just now too... we join together, we oppose together, we do not let them pass...

Saturday, 28 January 2017



Aye, you were that right enough,
Write from the start,
A story once heard,
A presence so light,
Like a pulling together
Of all the best words.

And paths aren’t plans;
We are our own page.
Read us in peace,
Sing us on streets,
As la-la-la-la lullabyes,
Tra-la-la-la love yous.

RF 2017

It's new. First line sounds pretty Scottish (to me) but then we have been living here 14 and a half years now... Photo was taken in Musselburgh in October 2016.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Sign of the times

Significant age milestone approaches so here I am (above), in 1970, having the kind of crazy fun we had in the 1970s. Beach is somewhere in North East England... it could be Scarborough, Redcar, Filey... it doesn't say. I was 3. It says 'September' on the back.

As part of grand ageing I promised myself I would put out a little pamphlet of poems this year. My last publication was 2008 so I if I am serious about this it's probably time to be getting on with something. I don't do a lot of inspirational quoting but here is something from Jeanette Winterson's very marvellous "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" (possibly best memoir ever...):

"I am an ambitious writer  I don't see the point of being anything; no, not anything at all, if you have no ambition for it."

The poem below is from a few years back and I come and go with it... is it cheesy (a cardinal sin in poetry world...), do most 'proper' poetry folk think my poems are off the scale anyway so what does that matter, have I got too many 'I' poems already (another sin), am I just a sinner (answer, well, yes, undeniably, out of choice for the main part), do I want to write like anyone else? Anyway, here it is. What shall I do with it..?

A rainbow state of mind

It's just another image,
Me up on a cliff edge.
Can you see me – look harder,
I'm doing something absurd.

I'm on my tippest toes,
My whole being straining
Like I'm taller and daring,
Arms reaching, quite mad.

There are colours above me
And I'm trying to grasp them,
To grab hold of a rainbow,
That is my task in hand.

Its arch seems so solid,
The prettiest concrete,
I'm mocked by a playground
And we all love to play.

I stretch for the edges,
My muscles complaining,
The prize looks so perfect,
The true swing of swings.

And though I know it's unlikely
I'll feel satisfaction,
My eyes still burn upwards,
My touch flies sky high.

RF 2010

Thursday, 5 January 2017


Make forever

I sprinkle you lightly
Wherever I go.
Ashes are ashes,
Dust is dust,
And we’re the same,
All crumbling.

The artists outside
Are sticking and slapping,
Building and raising,
A freaky palace here,
A rambling folly there,
Their reign is free.

Words can work too,
Make whoopee.
A daft bat in a hat
With a fistful of tat,
Is scribbling, giggling,
Wailing, nailing.

And the woods still grow,
Still call out names.
So, here and there,
Do what you can,
But don’t give in,
No, never that.

RF 2017

Not exactly a New Year message. Just something I've been working on a for a while. It may change again... just throwing it out into the 'world' for a bit. Photo is from early December 2016.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Open arms

Let your family
Be something good,
Open and warm,
Not ruled by blood,
Or geography.

And, large or small,
Keep this resolve:
Embrace outside,
Work hard inside,
Make history.

RF 2016

For me the best family is an open concept. Read about some very special Xmas dinners here.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Xmas number one?

Straight in

It’s been a tough year,
People gone, times hard,
But we don’t write that
In a ‘merry xmas’ card.

I think of you my love,
How you make loving fun,
And all I want to be
Is your xmas number one.

Days are short and cold
And the funds are low,
Xmas lists so long,
There’s no sign of snow.

I think of you my love,
Look, here comes the sun,
And all I want to be
Is your xmas number one.

Music’s on repeat,
Jingle bells on high,
Wham’s 'Last Xmas'
Lasts forever, who knows why.

I think of you my love,
Then I need nowhere to run,
And all I want to be
Is your xmas number one.

It’s a drawn-out day
For a lonely heart.
Some can’t wait for the end 
Of the joy to start.

But I think of you my love,
What we’ve done, done, done,
And all I want to be
Is your xmas number one.

RF 2016

Tune anyone? 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hate Crime

The opposite of brave = hate crime

It’s the land of the free
If you look like me,
If you talk like me,
If you think like me.
It’s the land of the free
If you ride like me,
All the way to the bank, guys.

And it’s just as well
I believe in hell,
That’s where I’m going,
All this hate I’m sowing.
It’s just as well
I believe in hell,
Down, down to the bank, guys.

And don’t you wish your country was free like mine?
Well, don’t cha? Don’t cha?
Terrifying kids and feeling fine?
All the way to the bank, yeah.

RF 2016