Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ivor Cutler

I was at a school in Tunbridge Wells today. On the way I saw half a magpie, stuck to the road. Oh, I thought. That must mean I'm going to have a moderately average day.

Meanwhile - I’ve just been watching the BBC4 programme about Ivor Cutler. He came up in my writing class a few weeks ago. The question was asked - is he a poet? Well, I think so. But he’s much more than that. The programme was excellent with contributions from Billy Connelly, Paul McCartney and others. It was followed by his last public performance.


The sun disappointed me so I crawled under the ground. There was neither night nor day. I did not know when to sleep. My sandwiches ran out. The temperature was even. I could not be alone - an animal was always bursting in and with a muttered apology was gone. The same with insects. Yet the cool earth was to my taste and up above like madmen life went on. Only once did I return, for some underwear.

There are some music clips on amazon. If you’ve not heard him see what you think and report back. If you have – then enjoy!

The music of Ivor Cutler

Monday, April 25, 2005

Escape Plan and Introducing Dad

Been away from the computer for a while but looking forward to visiting a few blogs and catching up. Work’s more or less up to date and so I’m thinking about a new writing project. Not sure what it will be yet. This week I hope to finish the Live at Staplecrust CD. Mind you, I’ve said that before.
Visited a couple of primary schools last week. One – a school in a run-down part of London – was excellent, lots of enthusiasm from teachers and kids, dynamic, if slightly laid-back, head – had a great time – the other, in a smart area of London, well-dressed, well-monied kids – not so good. Badly organised, ineffective teachers, head with limp handshake… just goes to show.
Another little train incident (see earlier blogs). Got the train from Charing Cross. It forgot to stop at Waterloo. Great consternation from passengers waiting to get off. Especially when the guard said the next stop would be High Brooms – around 50 minutes away. The collective gasp in the carriage was something to behold. But then they managed to arrange with the signalman to stop at London Bridge, a few minutes away. Just forgot…
A couple more children’s poems then, before I return to the more adult (or are they?) poems.

Escape Plan

As I, Stegosaurus
stand motionless
in the museum
I am secretly planning
my escape.

At noon
Tyrannosaurus Rex
will cause a diversion
by wheeling around the museum’s high ceilings
and diving at the curators and museum staff
while I
quietly slip out of the fire exit
and melt
into the London crowds

Introducing Dad

If I may, Miss
I’d like to introduce my Dad
Mum left us last year
And that made him really sad
He told me you were pretty
And his favourite colour’s beige
And it isn’t that uncommon
To date women half your age
And we all know that he’s bald
Beneath that funny flick of hair
You just have to humour him
And pretend his hair’s all there
His feet smell a bit funny
And his brain’s a trifle slow
And you haven’t got a boyfriend, Miss
So… could you please give Dad a go?

For more info click on
The Monster That Ate the Universe

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Teacher said,
Leave out the the,
two too's one too too many
and and after the comma
should go after the any.

The the, the too -
and move the and
and that should make it flow.
Not that that, that that's fine -
but this that, that could go.

I said,
The the, the too, the and -
I would agree with you.
But I'm very fond of that -
this that and that that too.

Which that is that?
Is that this that?
Asked teacher with a grin.
Okay - but take that last in out
And leave that last out in.

From I Did Not Eat the Goldfish
Available from Amazon Click Here

Friday, April 15, 2005

Shout Hurrah

Shout hurrah
For the first open-eyed view
Of the woken room

Cry hooray
For the slap of bare feet on cold tiles
And the first sip coffee

Chirrup with joy
As the pulling of curtains
Reveals a blue sky
And the boisterous birds
Give the world an earful

Sing ooh-la-la!
As a splash of warm sunlight
Sprays her naked body

Raise the roof
As she opens her eyes
Sees me and says
Why are you so bloody cheerful?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My Love

I am the warm duvet
Patterned with tulips
Wrapped around
Your sleeping body

I am the cup of tea
Waiting by the clock
I am the tick of the clock
Barely perceived

I am the curtains
Hiding the morning light
The cloud shadows
Sweeping the ocean’s surface

I am the speck of sleep dust
On your eyelid
The moisture
On your lip

I am the sigh
The stretch
The blur of vision
The remnants of fading dream

I am
The first kiss
Of a new together day

Meanwhile - I'm still checking your top fives - see the post before last.
It's been great fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Scale of My Love

On a scale of one to nine
I love you twenty three
On a scale of grass to dandelion
I love you tree
On a scale of drip to puddle
I love you sea
My love for you is off the scales
You weigh the world to me

On a scale of nudge to bump
I love you ricochet
On a scale of sigh to smile
I love you hip hooray
On a scale of each second lived
I love you every day
On a scale of here to there
I love you all the way

Meanwhile - carry on contributing your Top Fives!
I’m enjoying them – as I hope everyone else is! (See previous post below)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Top Five Fun

One of my very first blog posts was my top five poetry books. Which made sense, as the blog was going to be a place to publish my grown-up poetry.
But a few years ago I ran a little mail art project inviting people to submit top five lists. The resulting booklet was very interesting. So I thought I might repeat the exercise again as a blog. And here it is…

Send your Top Fives here!
They can be straightforward lists like –

My Top Five Beatles Songs

1 Strawberry Fields Forever
2 I Am the Walrus
3 Something
4 Hey Jude
5 She Loves You

or be more obscure. For example –
My Top Five Surfaces

1 Old wooden table top
2 Good-quality, white drawing paper
3 Manicured lawn
4 A hot cotton under sheet in the depths of winter
5 The surface of the Moon on a crystal-clear night

I’m looking forward to reading yours.