Two poems featured in The Poet By Day in talented company. Thankyou Jamie.

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Madeleine L’Engle … perhaps one can even say this applies to poetry. Tuesdays are among the most popular days for people to visit the The Poet by Day […]

via “Rainy Day Comfort”. . . and other poetic responses to the last Wednesday Writing Promp — THE POET BY DAY

“The Pack” my twenty fourth ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the astounding art of Marcel Herms.

24 The pack[26029]The Pack

comprises grief’s that must be ridden
with teeth that must bite
the hand that feeds.

makes books, newspapers, films irrelevant
items collected with memories attached


are after you for what you
meant to do and what you are.

will prove how strong you can be,
with funeral arrangements, emptiness.

Are the Wild Hunt and Gabriel’s hounds,
Cerberus and the Kindly Ones.

follow you to the port of your final departure,
see you on to the vessel
and leave of their own accord

“Our Dad’s Soul” my twenty third ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the astonishing art of Marcel Herms.

23 In search of the magic mushroom[25818]

Our Dad’s Soul

is both a mountain and a boiler room.
Our dad helped hospitals and schools
to breathe healthy, designed heating
and ventilation systems to reuse waste
heat and air to give folk clean
so they may learn and get better.

Learned his trade, scrubbed inland boilers
National Serviced ships boilers
in the clank of hot oiled, greased
and asbestosed merchant ship engine rooms
Whilst in sweltered India or Borneo.


Tops and tails his life with mountains.
Ascends Moel Famau, the Hill
of the Mothers, with his friend
who teaches him to paint. Later,
in retirement conquers Scafell Pike.
Now struggles with loss of breath
Up each rise on his stairs.

Later he will reach the port
Embark on his final voyage,
My sister, his mam and dad
wait on the quayside
for his ship to dock,
probably after he has inspected
the vessels engine room.

“She Civilises Wild” my twenty first ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the powerful art of Marcel Herms.

21 Enkidu meets Gilgamesh[25621]

She Civilises Wild

In this untime
she teaches me the alphabet
of her body so I can read
as I enter her
I write in my head
she encircles
me in warm water hug

inspired by her sweet breath
on my lifted hairs
I smooth unblemished
light that covers her curves

She slows my rough thrust
learnt among the wild
Of hand and skin until
my fingers follow her furrows
a gentle plowshare
details her age
gently plays her treeclock

her maidenhood,
bare skin
words come
warm sun in the dark
soft pressure drums
out my release makes
of her a mother, marks

a straight passage
for sunlight
as it rises
between stone
along the soil

I touch the earth with words
The wild run away from me.
She brings me into a city.

“Ships Of” my twenty second ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the phenomenal art of Marcel Herms.

22 Dolphin dreaming[25670]

Ships Of

the dead

slosh at anchor in this port of souls,
The Naglfar made of the untrimmed
nails of the dead,
Charon’s obol made of coins stamped
with dolphins in open wooden eyes,
Many nameless vessels that get
a name from their passengers.
Last to leave was The Refugees.


From the quay sail the ships
of remembered souls,
who look at their reflection
in the ocean of forgotten souls.

The ships sail on the ocean
of the unremembered
Who keep the ship afloat,
Provide passage from one port
to another and know passengers
and crew have destinations.

“This Soul Nonsense” my twentieth ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the powerful art of Marcel Herms.

20 demons[25465]

This Soul Nonsense

Writers use the word without thought.
Expect readers to know what they mean.


Never define the word in their work.
A throw away word to mean something deep.

Used without care a word out of place
repeated so often it is meaningless.

Air, ether, fire or light once thought
incorporeal. If air perhaps our breath

actions at a distance. Breathe in spirit.
Perhaps we refer to our emotions.

Endeavour to give them gravity.
Don’t throw away, pick carefully.

“Alexander’s Voices” the nineteenth ekphrastic poem for National Poetry Month inspired by the searing art of Marcel Herms

19 Killing in the name of[25414]

Alexander’s Voices

are eyeballs in the soil
where animals go to ground.

The eyes follow thin twigs
of his demons as they caper
with hardened veins of blood
pulled from his live pumped body

and armed with blackthorn spikes.

are one book twice a persons size
he lugs, back and knees bent,
with each step he takes
another page is added to the volume.

Were once satirical, light hearted
lithographs of student life.
Those voices are distant now.

Den’s and set holes follow
him without a blink.


“Warlord” my eighteenth ekphrastic response for National Poetry Month prompted by another painting showing the wit of Marcel Herms.

18 The war lord reads poetry[25299]Warlord

loves to be entertained.
After a battle where skulls are blown apart
he sits and laughs at Anthem For Doomed Youth.

After a skirmish in which men are screaming
With half a leg or arm bone shattered
By shrapnel, he guffaws at  Dulce Decorum Est.

The more graphic, the more comic to him.
He says if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
Laughter is healthy. Laughter is human.

Laughter affirms life, essential before
a fight amidst bullets, stabs and snipers.

“Oh What A Lovely War”, is his favourite film.
“All Quiet On The Western Front” a comic classic.

He knows we laugh at what we fear most.
War is like great stand up when you can barely

Breathe for laughter, your sides hurt
as if they need stiches. War is medicinal.