The Visit, or The Arrival of the Thing

There is a well-known Afrikaans short story Die Gog (The Thing) about an unidentified creature nursed and doted upon by a couple. The thing (die gog) is kept in a box, feed and protected. Eventually the couple’s mutual obsession destroys their relationship. This serves as an imagined prelude to the un-dramatic domestic tragedy of DieContinue reading “The Visit, or The Arrival of the Thing”

Just right – a poem about a cooking-pot

When baby bear had left home and then had had a pot, it would’ve been, I like to think, like the silver one I did adopt from outside someone’s wooden gate in the back roads of North London. Either the owners had to relocate or make space for Christmas plunder. Into my little pot, thriceContinue reading “Just right – a poem about a cooking-pot”

Waitrose has finished off two fairy cakes

At the bottom of my road is a lovely green space poetically known as Cherry Tree Wood. Like the promised verdant idyll of Heather Green (explored in my poem of the same name) the Cherry Tree’s title is slightly deceptive. There are neither cherries nor much of a wood, unless you count the encalve of tress at the farContinue reading “Waitrose has finished off two fairy cakes”

Next to the postbox

I must be one of the last humans who still writes letters and postcards. From the archive, a poem about completing a letter while standing on the pavement next to a local postbox. This poem is included in my book, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys.

She’d read it in books

“His father beat him around the head. Only a little bit on Wednesdays, after pay day, or on Friday late, after the races. Clean up your mess, boy!” The teachers preferred her creative writing to include such notable topics. So mature for her age! — In the accompanying essay to yesterday’s posted poem, I wroteContinue reading “She’d read it in books”

A New Room

Yonder far o’er vale and glen whereto grooms return and bread is leaven. This is another country. Today, outside, is a new room in which five builders, tiered upon scaffolding, cannot hear All Blues. This is no time for saxophone wails. Stand at the window and look out on the fresh planks. The backdrop: baredContinue reading “A New Room”

Another drop in this week before Christmas

Something for you – reads these cards. They’re blue this year for the seasonal drop. This something can be an item Special Delivery, Tracked, Recorded Signed For, An International Item. That one excites people. Or the item could be a letter, a packet, a catalogue, a number of items or, though never in my time,Continue reading “Another drop in this week before Christmas”