“My pen is my brush” A Three Part Tribute to the late Dai Fry. Part Three. In this final post there are the submissions Dai did for #WorldInsectWeek, his poems for the special ekphrastic challenge I did last November during lockdown and some heartfelt messages from his friends and fellow poets. I can still add your memories and messages for Dai, if you wish.

Dai Fry 1


23/04/2020 11:05

The drovers road
ran through this moor, stone people in their days.

Between times, raiders from the west
just walked the beef away.

Railways came to check the lie, on mattresses of wood and roots. Took sleep on earth and ash.

Sheep in heavy jumpers came aboard the train, in a festive holiday mood
bound once, Firth of Moray.

When glaciers departed the land breathed a relief like proven bread raised on bubbles of yeast.

At black woods edge on Rannock Moor
the heart stone marked the way, glacial erratic.

Near there I saw a heron take a rest from flight.

A heart is mended
in a dream this Isles way.

© Dai Fry 23rd April 2020

03/05/2020 13:57

I take my bow, it is really yours.
Proud bends the back of the master.
Semaphored arms embrace acoustic gold.

The tenants appraise, heads in silenced rows.
Bodies rustle, anticipation is
subsumed into soft cough and quiet creak.

All is submission
as a pin of fallen angels sprawls across the floor. Equations their silent recitals while music sits patient
as an obedient hound.

So now…
To elevate a multitude of trailing notes.
Spinning of helicopter leaves in a brass breeze.
A syncing of vibration and desire
pitches each point perfect, till buttercup soft
lit hard and sharp, under home’s dull light.

as summer lemon trees.
Then boom-dark crash, as water calling
dead souls to the combe.

And all this while
in a discomfort of seats, ears make ready to meet the brightling core
that sits within.

©. Dai Fry 3rd May 2020.

03/05/2020 23:12

Foe forest, faux forest fee-fi-fo forest.
Where giants hurl their broken stories from broadcast heaven to stone cast ground.
Real, this least of things.

Inarticulate metal arms pluck down your dreams, to place within the flakes of soul slow dying desiccation.

Sick insects wave.
These metal poles sway clamped to roof and breast.

All point as one, their martyr fingers show.
As minds walk psychotic in their circular days.

To stars and planets
that orbit our night sleep late night drunk deep on their celestial milky ways.

Antennae wave hello. Behind smudged glass walls as we sit and stare
into this aquarium hell of our own making.

As we spread across our furniture of forked cartons, plastic and messy despair We start to take on our corrupt story.

© Dai Fry 4th May 2020.

19/05/2020 11:13

Round you go. See your life, you catch a glimpse of what’s to come?

Round you go, lights and blur
pan piped carousel.
Having fun?

Round you go, just starting so get used to these new circular days.

Round you go, finally figured it out. Round and round, you just go round.

Round you go. Bell rings,
it starts to slow. This ride’s at an end.

© Dai Fry 19th May 2020.

20/05/2020 12:06

In this next age
a sepia dawn will break and sustain.

End time dust clouds, shifting umbrae lands.
Now all are crawlers, gloamers in twilight sun rays.

First television then just the sound, now sometimes distant radio, deep far into the brown.

Some mouldy cheese or black edged leaf. The last vitamin D, piled in quarters.

What was the argument? Dunno.
Toilet paper, hand sanitiser, people in old boats.

We let their children drown.
Watched them sink into our northern seas.

Then a doubter wrapped in self anger/
poisoned by malaria tablets, pushed the button.

© Dai Fry 20th May 2020.

23/05/2020 15:41

“I scourged myself today in sea salt, wind and spray”

Take this anger, really despair, in a blanket of gentle silence. To lay on the rock ledge pitted and wet,
within strike of the sea.

Something inside is
both explosive and caustic. And as each day builds containment appears
to be, a vain solution.

But the ocean’s water soothes, takes the pain and wraps it in a sea of
love and indifference.

“Wind chilled, exhilarated: I turn for home.
And in my emptiness grows wisdom’s warming glow”

© Dai Fry 23rd May 2020.


For #WorldInsectWeek

Dai had this to say about his poem “Clouds”:

My butterfly poem. A path near Badbury Rings Dorset.

25/06/2020 17:42

There is a country path bound by a country hedge and a field of barley.
Blood splatter of poppies, heads of hot crimson shame.

And early summer
bakes the fields and hills.
And you walk slow and dusty.

And all the way down the slope
to the wooden fingerpost. Clouds of butterflies erupt from the hedge
woven of bladder campion, hazel, old mans beard, scarlet pimpernel and hogweed… a pretence
of cow parsley.

© Dai Fry 25th June 2020.

26/06/2020 11:07

This crypt still place of twisted sheets,
a midnight room black wings in flight.

I wake and struggle to free my tangle understand where and how I lie.

The room lightens monochromatic,
a landscape of shape and shadow.

A large patterned moth a terror to me.

A single flame, a wooden box. At last I sleep.

In this morning light I opened the box,
it was empty.

© Dai Fry 26th June 2020


For The Special Ekphrastic Challenge November 2020

Sunday, 1 November 2020 19:31

I turn out the living room light,
now into the pitch as thousands of times before.
With my finger still on the rocker switch,

in the dark familiarity of a sleeping house.
Preoccupied with bedtime thoughts:
Tomorrow is Tuesday, is the front door secure? Are the cats home yet?

This time,
this one time the night eternal, eons of darkness await.

Switched off ceased
my consciousness terminated.

First my glass of water leaves my dead hand, bouncing once throwing a wave.
My final act.
no more damage in this life,

for an angel of destruction, heaven’s warrior,
has placed a hand on my ageing chest.

And all time stops. Pack your thoughts for I am death’s angel.
Dark destroyer
of Sennacherib’s army.

Hitting pause, leaving my life all is undone,
I am complete.

© Dai Fry 1st November 2020.

03/11/2020 09:01

Consider the night if you will,
turned and twisted, hacked from Jade.
Down gloom’s black river, as a steamboat dealer shuffles the pack.

Sheets once flat and ice cool.
Now are snake gripped, sun burnt, twisted
and trapped.
The night is tinned and piping hot.

Old, I sleep creaking under menaced sky. When young I slept deep,
my dreams rolled velvet slow. They journeyed carefree where they would.

Now my stories are light They stick and jam
and know just where to bite.
While I sleep… just below the line of sight.

Waiting for dawn as the hours slow. For it will bring deep sleep and
vivid chocolate dreams.

And when the waking comes and the sandman burns my eyes, I’m too tired and sleepy, just wishing my
day was waiting sweet as a Sunday morning.

© Dai Fry 3rd November 2020.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020 11:51

Jeremy’s cool,
he’s the dude you know. Sitting in the corners, dark smokey rooms.

Jezza’s cool,
he don’t say much.
This is fortunate as thinking is not his forte.

Jerry’s cool.
Even in school,
he smoked the right stuff and hung with the crew.

Jeremiah’s cool. Babylonians knew this too. He handled the long journey and wrote a book, its true.

© Dai Fry 4th November 2020.

05/11/2020 12:07

Eternity reaching, senses fade.
To day dream, maybe stay a little longer.
But this is the beckoning.

Do what it will.
Feeble anger in
the absence of light, wishes
without relevance.

A turmoil of time,
not chaos but entropy, the physics within
a stormed wave.

© Dai Fry 5th November 2020.

06/11/2020 11:50

Celebrity doctor-dapper, shy spring flower behind his giant mahogany desk.

The little forked tongue flickers, tastes the air.
Pebble glassed eyes brown infinity pools.

It appears that this time all is well. Until the next testing, adieu.

But I have to win every time.
You only the once.

© Dai Fry 6th November 2020.

07/11/2020 13:20

River’s teeth salivating, waiting bowed, primed for mastication.
Time has named me my psychopomp.
Charon’s boat awaits.

Now in journey’s time. wood sits hollow a bouncing on water’s skin. A coin to the rower,
bent arms racked. To take me speedy and dry through deep gates.

Leaning back over the stern Stretching my arm
far over life’s stream, I let my ray-bans slip into the dark river.

© Dai Fry 7th November 2020.

08/11/2020 16:55

Gravity squeezed those eyes tight from oval to disc, colour to dark.
Yet where
is the finger point, one inch away.

Tight, claustrophobic, breathe hot air in black sauna’s crime.
My sweat bound clothes rub against arterial tunnels tight and bent.

Tasting the dust, coal choked never forgotten. And in time,
thoughts get louder more insistent, percussive-persuasive.

A million tons of rock creaking.
Smell movement,
shift and displacement. Run into splintered panic, just run.
From this pit of pick axed tunnels, soon to be entombed.

In the mind a babble is rising,
confusion and jumble. Listen, far above,
tells the beginnings of the last terror.

And in a thousand years the archaeologist’s trowel will unearth a scream,
a foot wide
tattooed blue and black.

© Dai Fry 8th November 2020.

09/11/2020 17:02

I bow my head as words pour down from your heavens.

Like stormed crows, torrential and overwhelming.
My mind, soaking short circuit wet.

Emotion’s coat is a tight
rubber swimming cap.

I cannot think but still
you squall and rage.
I can hear nothing through this tempest.

Words continue around my head like arrow tips or angry bees all buzzing.

I realise;
We’ve both forgotten why I’m here.

© Dai Fry 9th November 2020.

11/11/2020 12:52

I thought I knew Mum and Dad.
I’d known them all my life.

But one night Mum collapsed as a swan might, graceful yet leaden.

Dad threw her over his shoulder.
Not a word was said as he climbed the imperial stairs.

I tiptoed up quietly along creaking landings, to their bedroom door.

A single ray touched the wooden floor. So
I placed my eye to spy.

He turned Mum’s left ear half way round and
then unscrewed her head.

Lifting her battery on to the bed. He
reached for the charger.

I touched my left ear.
Felt my head start to turn.

© Dai Fry 11th November 2020

12/11/2020 13:12

We the plebians do hunger and toil under rain in soil, whilst trapped
in our names,
at our station. As
you fatten and prosper.

And all that you are, you did it for us, your very own
hoi polloi.

To our benefit, you breakfast and dine off the finest china. Served by the meek and menial.

Your sterling efforts do not ever go unnoticed by…
we the people, inheritors of these lands.

Lumpen proletariat for whose sake
you feast lavishly,
still remain comforted.
As you endure the horrors of your prosperity.

You sacrifice, as we
-in our rank and file- await your pleasure.

And should you think that this a joke
or a literary slight of hand,
it is happening right now.

© Dai Fry 12th November 2020.

15/11/2020 13:51

Carry our devils tandem them with love. A double helix,
true life force.

On wars that rage, we are the both sides and as we sing powerful anthems, they are same song.

Deep runs duality. Right and left,
victim and persecutor all one.
Philosophy has said and done. We have cried expressed pain.

Healed wounds and let love flow deep.
Until it is time for sleep.

all living things is design.
Bound by chains of love and hate.

After dreams
… all else is
but simple physics.

© Dai Fry 15th November 2020.

16/11/2020 12:10

In my omnipotence I see the oceans
of Europa.

Life hurries on, abundant under that icy crust.

In my dreams,
I know why they swim.
It is enough for me.

© Dai Fry 16th November 2020.

17/11/2020 17:25

I live alone under the stairs not under the stars
-pay attention please- but mostly alone with my iphone.

Safe from passers by their long bloody knives.

There is a spider in here his name is Rodney.
He tells me I am the third visitor who has come to stay,
but the first one with a smart phone.

He wants me to download the BBC weather app.
He also has a keen interest in current affairs.

I’m still thinking about the app: but we’ve had some
interesting conversations about Brexit and the virus.

© Dai Fry 17th November 2020.

18/11/2020 12:36

Heads are going to roll. Needles click-clicking, as I knit my liberty caps.

Why would I care, as the baskets fill,
with a lull of conversation. I sit in its wooden shadows, Place de la Révolution.

They think they’re so fine and mighty but I’ve heard that they piss and shit
in the palace corridors. Sales porcs.

But my work goes on regardless.
At least my brood
will be warm this winter.

© Dai Fry 18th November 2020.

19/11/2020 12:07

Wait cloudless
as skies are gathered under a moon’s rise.

For hunters are out blades still dark.
As we run through still-born night,
towards the distant bluff.

Fear these tarot lands learn to read the signs.
A baby king is out tonight wrapped in course linen. A single ruby decorates his neck.

Soon the moonlight will paint him
in the richest red.

© Dai Fry 19th November 2020.

20/11/2020 12:27

“Pssst, listen; a word to the wise You live in a dangerous place full of anger and toxicity.

You’re chained.
Eat those who live below.
Flee from those who live above.

But sometimes those from above, look like those from below.
And contrariwise.

Also we have language.
It has a different meaning to all that speak it.
And to all that listen.

Then the liars come out of their shadows. Some also believe,
in what it is they say.

We are also pray to urges from our ancient lizard brain, that drive all reason away.

Listen governor; a word to the wise Best you leave now,
before its too late”

© Dai Fry 20th November 2020.

21/11/2020 16:23

Kid Blue comes riding into town, a pair of six shooters
and a notching knife. I’m feeling mighty fine, says the kid.

Gonna drink me some sour mash, play poker
and pop a few caps says the kid.

He turns to his horse. No son of a bitch messes with the kid, says the kid.

He goes into the saloon
crashing through the double doors, spilling a woman’s drink.
I’m terribly sorry Ma’am, says the kid.

She looks at the stain on her fine red dress,
and shoots him in the head. The kid don’t say nothin’.

© Dai Fry 21st November 2020.

22/11/2020 14:16

You’re supposed to fly … evermore.

Lost rocket swallow diving.
A slow descent into the centre of the Milky Way.

Dark ghost heart beating. Tin can meets,
the silent eye of the vacuum.

Do machines dream alone?
A maker’s memory emerging so far away.

Sing the song electric giving
mechanicals comfort until their doomsday.

Do they cry aloud
or silently despair as they sleep alone.

One by one
the lights go out.
Is it enough that
they still serve?

© Dai Fry 22nd November 2020.

23/11/2020 12:51

And the meek
shall inherit the earth. Once probate has cleared and taxes are paid
and the plastic is tidied away.

The thermostat
must be lowered now and the squatters, sent on their way.

Mum and Dad
may be gone for good, but their mess is
here to stay.

© Dai Fry 23rd November 2020.

26/11/2020 12:04

Hear the meaning not the words.
Let knowledge unfold.
Care for it
as if a fledgling bird.
Be here for now,
not before or ever after.

For in a time of true learning, all is in
a state of flux.

© Dai Fry 26 November 2020.

28/11/2020 17:27

When I was young, they seemed bigger.
Proud standing above the land.

Bark like elephant skin, they have no obvious bite.
In fact the only teeth they fear are in the jaw of the saw.

I once met a man who told me, we
can never be truly sure that trees exist.

Try running down the hill, pell-mell.
Full of vim and vigour.
Straight into their iron trunks.
They are there.

What I never knew was that trees are like icebergs. So much
more under the ground.

Its where they talk and feed each other. Looking after the weak and the sick.

I love trees and fervently hope, that they in turn love me.

© Dai Fry 28th November 2020.

29/11/2020 13:51

Visitors bring
their esoteric truths, kabbalistic and misunderstood.

For their strangeness in itself, is
a kind of blinding.

Hermetic truth hidden amongst
bales of perceived treasure.

None see what is cloaked. Glitter and finery really promise fugacious riches.

But the truth is always lost in plain day sight.

And the road to these treasures is metalled and wide.
Leaving death and extinction in its wake.

© Dai Fry 29th November 2020.


This is my Xmas Top Tweet but if you are ok with that you can also use it for your #Jupiter and Saturn conjunction

20/12/2020 13:02

Shamans tales
worn smooth and sweet by the telling years.

Before gnostic midwinter, as Jupiter and Saturn nearly kissed.
The oral lore spoke of this shy love.

Huddled deep within, our dwellings to welcome the ghosts of sleep.

In times of fire, leather and wool The evergreen
holly guards our door Sweet pine promises a fecund return.

For we will be here when spring is restored, to see the baby lambs jumping for joy
in our green fields.

© Dai Fry 21st December 2020.


Brian McManus says of Dai:

I didn’t know Dai well but I knew him through his poetry. Both the man and the poetry are a sad loss. However, as someone once said to me, we all think we are immortal but we are not Dai left us a legacy of his thoughts and his words. Treasure it.

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