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.