Monday, 27 June 2016



She was not your enemy,
Not if you had thought about it
For longer than a minute,
Or had lifted your eyes
From the sites online,
Where every word is a knife
In some soul’s back.
Or worse.

She was not your enemy.
She was a classic striver,
Little person, big ambition,
Trying to make things better,
To help all people
(For we are all people)
Go forward to a place,
Where we all might survive.

She was not your enemy.
And even before
You set off down that hill,
You were jailed already,
In a past that never was,
Locked into a greatness,
That was simply not great,
Not for most of us.

No, in those great times
You would have dripped away,
In a trench, or other hole,
Some paupers’ prison.
You would have dreamed maybe,
Of a liberal do-gooder,
Who might fight for your rights,
For your tiny life.

You would have longed,
Don’t you see,
For someone like her,
Someone who gave a damn.
And in another trial,
Through different eyes,
She would have been your salvation,
Not your enemy.

RF 2016

The news, as ever, comes thick and fast and in amongst it all a woman died in Yorkshire on 16th June. We lived in that area, her constituency, for a few years a decade or so ago and maybe for this reason her loss is large in my mind even with all the other news that is flying about (some sad, some distressing, some confusing, some exciting... such is news, generally speaking). Her name has been in the news (and will continue to be there somewhere I am sure) and there will be other poems (by laureates and such) but for now, here is my offering. And a picture of the sky because right now I couldn't think what else to show next to a poem about someone being murdered in the street.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016



Partly I just like the feel of it,
It makes me a man,
Little else does that.

I like its shape, its strength,
What it says to people,
Fear me.

And I am scrawny and ugly,
And nothing you care about,
But you know my name,


RF 2010

I wrote this poem for the online Poetry Bus back in 2010. It seemed at least a little relevant this week, if not every week. Sad story follows sad story.

The photo is from a visit to Crosby last year where we saw the Antony Gormley work 'Another Place'. 

I'm working on putting together a little book/pamphlet (my first since 2008's 'More about the song') so I've been looking through poems, deciding which deserve a bit more of a push (and which should be hidden forever!). This poem, for example, is a maybe (I have several categories - probably, maybe, maybe maybe... and so on). I have a title for the project though so part of the way there...

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pencils and pens

A case

When you died
I cried so much
And so hard
That I wore
A groove in myself.

It was a hollow pipe,
The line inside,
Like the one
In a pencil,
That has lost its lead.

No wonder 
So few words came
For all that time;
Though good things happened,
And the rest.

Now I work more
Like a pen again.
Blue-black marks
Come scratching
From an inky vein.


Photo was taken May 2016 (six years after my Mum died). This new poem makes me think of this (much more cheerful) song. Am I the only one who sings the refrain at the end as "vegetables, I got my baaaaaaby"?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

City girl again

So, a long time ago I wrote a poem called 'City girl'. You can read it here. Recently it was used as the starting point for a piece of... dance music (and I'm not talking a light waltz). The artist is a mysterious Dark Web and you can hear the track here. There are three versions (original, original with one mild rude word removed and 2 am mix - i.e. remixed and faster with less words). As these 3 tracks are on bandcamp you can listen a few times (3 I think) and then it will 'prompt you to buy' (if you want to). After a break of nearly 20 years I think I am finally ready for loud pounding house music again. Well, now and again... when I'm not napping...