confessions are self-serving

Tag: nature

Another self-centred poem

I tried
being a deadbeat alcoholic
the nights got longer
and the world darker
and much smaller.

After I tried
sobering up,
drying out,
walking, watching
the dogs, the ducks
envious of their glass-eyed

I began to meditate
and things did quiet down,
I look more kindly
on the dogs, the ducks
now, not that they care
either way
of my opinion.

They’re safe, I suppose
on that Other Shore
while I thrash
and sometimes drift
against and sometimes with
the current, studying
much too seriously
the shadows in the shallows.



I didn’t realise how much I needed the rain
until it came, and kept coming
heavy and hard, reassuring
as a bronzed hand on the shoulder, silent,
two of us sheltering under one brolly
splashing, and the wind too, wrestling
with it like a rod reeling humongous carp.

We came to the river under a canopy
of thick red wood, the river whipped white,
boiling, and you shout:


I didn’t really hear, a wet hood sucked to my head:



I paused too long, didn’t show
enough emotion, you say:

“You’ve spent too long in the city”

You’re right – I watch the heron watch the foam,
the river thrashes in time with my stomach
as my mind crashes against its man-made banks
fragile, fit to dissolve as easily as salt in water.

Robin Redbreast

It may not be fashionable, but
it certainly is nice
to go to bed at 11pm on a Saturday.
The air seems lighter,
though that may just be the spring,
outside, the street sounds calmer
trickle, tick in like raindrops
off banana leaves.

Today, I did not wake up
to find marinara sauce
slopped over my keyboard, nor
crinkled lager cans
by the sink excreting their
sweet yet sour scent.

I know it’s not popular
for a man of my years
to walk around a cemetery,
but the sun and grass and graves
hold no opinion
as I stand and watch
a robin sing
under the canopy
of firs.


Fish & Chips

Rambling mad under the threat of spring rain
Dirty old field, ploughed, pulling up last year’s dirty jobs
City slush grey sky, and the skylark sings
Fevered, flapping upwards full of guts
Bold backbone and hardy in the gusts
Air cool and eyes tight, cheeks pinched
We gotta go
Jolly Roger, sign clanging, cod bites ‘famous’,
Kid in there, eye glasses, eight or nine or years old
Mother fixes his collar, and here the chips
Fresh from the smooth amber glow of boiling beef fat
And salt shaking escaping down newspaper folds
Dad lifting potato with finger and thumb pinch and suck hot
Squeezing vinegar in there, down brown cone swamp
Tart first chip smoking open mouth tongue dance
Steam to the street stagger homeward bound.

Often Art #93 – River Crouch


Drawn from the life down ye olde river. Definitely need more practice on landscape/nature

Often Art #86 – Just a tree


Thanks to my buddy Eifion for the coloured pencils for my birthday! I’ve never used them before so it was definitely a challenge. This was just from the imagination to try them out. Coloured pencil A3

Daily Sketch #48 – Trees


Severe Weather Warning

Our burdens crackle off our backs
like claps of thunder over wheat silver to the moon,
patterns of stem floundering like puppet arms
or the arms of the drowning, drowning, drowned.

You hear them hidden everywhere,
quiet booms of guilt and debt
like beating hearts and busy heads
it’s common, common ground.

We don’t have to weather storms back West,
lightning’ll smack an evening like a bedroom whip; god
it’s exciting to see everything in white,
to feel something unexpected.

The sea, wind, dripping leaves tick ticking, nothing
but motifs you always turn to
from a safe and sandless spot,
your only predator yourself.

Ritual Washing

What started as a western squat
strains gently into an eastern squat,

the gum soles of your shoes
pressing into damp sand, flat

and you bring the flannel, dripping
up to your left armpit, first

then the right, and the water is cool,
the sun bright.

River weeds release their easy grip
from their easy bed and begin to drift,

tendrils reach out to flannel, flannel reciprocates,
and the union is brought over your bent head

as you stare past your forearm submerged
to the wrist, and dead skin loosens

muddy, like city snow. And you might not breathe
at all, or let out long slow lungfuls

like leech let blood. Too precious
you know them to be now,

those simple, peaceful

Desert Storm

Trouble followed me effortlessly
across the desert three thousand miles, a dirt shag rug lives
at my feet, black armies scurry in mad method,
distant dark clouds are bloated
with message, trees seem dead
all year round, hollow trunks brittle and still,
shrubs offer only thorns, lightening snaps
at featureless plains, grandfather storm clears his throat

to begin a story that must stir
the muddy banks of river history,
bored with war’s broken record,
bored with how sweet men still find the taste of blood.

Something heavy thumps near, dust animates
under wind’s command, rain squabbles on the roof.
I thunk close doors, I roll up windows,
I prepare
for whatever is coming.

I drew inspiration for this poem from this song by Ismail Ahmed