Tag Archives: my sunday poem

My Sunday Poem … #21

My Sunday Poem … # 21

Some years ago I remember walking along the beach at Brancaster in Norfolk when I chanced upon an old fisherman’s hut. It was long abandoned and the interior open to the elements. It made me think on a time when it would have been new and probably in daily use.

It also coincided with me having recently read a wonderful poem by William Butler Yeats called The Lake Isle of Innisfree. It began:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

I was thus later inspired to write The House of Stones …

I will build myself a house of stones
And dwell there by and by,
Close to the wild sea shore
And the seagulls’ cry.

And if,
In time to come,
My house becomes a hollow
For the wind’s lamenting song,
A temple for the moon and stars
To gaze upon,
Then chance may guide
Some weary traveller to my door.

In thoughts of me,
He may brush away the passing years
And make a fire
Of all the empty wordless days.
This man of dreams
This man of clay.


My Sunday Poem … # 19

My Sunday Poem … # 19

Dingle, Tingle and Shingle


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my sunday poem … # 18

my sunday poem … # 18

spells & shells

Here is a silly wee verse I wrote way back in the summer of 1969 when I was all of 17. Me and my best pal Charlie Parker spent a couple of weeks down in Devon and Cornwall. We tried our hand at surfing off Minehead beach and chatting up girls. We were rubbish at both.



My Sunday Poem … # 16

My Sunday Poem … # 16

The Ruins at Castle Acre


Castle Acre is a village in Norfolk, England. Just outside the present day village are the ruins of a castle and priory built in 1089 soon after the Norman Conquest. I used to visit them sometimes during the 1970s. This is a poem I wrote shortly after one such visit.

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my sunday poem … # 12

my sunday poem … # 12

I wrote this poem in January 1977 while I was living in Norfolk.
It could get pretty bleak there in winter when the cold wind blew straight across from Siberia like a breath of ice and the hard frosts could almost freeze your bones. It was the price you paid for such stunningly beautiful landscapes.


The Winter Gallery

I had a winter gallery
Set in deep woods and wild fields.
And there I would linger
Among the portraits and glass-flower images
Until the last glimmering rays of sun
Had left pale-red rivers in the darkening sky
And the twilight world was cold and still.

I would wander in the moonlit garden
And find myself an avenue
Lined with white-tinsel trees
Etched with the mystic silence
Of a thousand half-held dreams
That lay beyond the garden wall.

Walking through the frozen fields
The air so crisp and still.
The evening lights stood out
All glistening stars of ice and fire
Each holding in their distant gleam
A promise of the coming spring.

reach-for-the-stars (1)_kindlephoto-136890406

my sunday poem … # 11

my sunday poem … # 11



My poem this week was inspired in part by a true story I came across recently.

In Napoleonic times when the prison ships used to be docked at Plymouth it was general practice to march the French prisoners of war across Dartmoor to Princetown. All of these prison details were accompanied by a military escort for obvious reasons. The journey was long and arduous but was made even harder in the winter as sudden snowstorms would often blow across the moor, catching the soldiers and prisoners in the open.

One such party were caught when a storm struck. Within minutes the snow blanketed the moor and the white-out brought the visibility down to a few feet. The party knew they were somewhere near to what was then the small village of Princetown and its formidable prison but exactly where it was impossible to say.  By now the prisoners in their flimsy clothes were beginning to freeze and so the soldiers led them to the shelter of a small gully which afforded some shelter from the winter onslaught. It soon become clear that this was no passing storm and the blizzard had well and truly set in. So those soldiers on horseback were sent to try and find the prison and return with a rescue party. In order for any rescue party to find the stranded travellers, a little drummer boy was told to remain in the gully and to keep drumming a tattoo so the sound of the drum would lead the rescuers back to the refuge.

As night approached the French prisoners and the few remaining guards began to despair, the relentless snows swirled around the gully but the brave little drummer boy continued to beat out his call for rescue.

It soon became obvious that for whatever reason the rescue party was not going to come in time, two prisoners had already frozen to death and the rest were near to exhaustion. The remaining soldiers decided that as the prisoners were in such a weak condition they were not going to try to escape which meant they too could try to reach Princetown and summon help. Once again the little drummer boy was ordered to remain with the Frenchmen and continue beating out his call. By now his little fingers were blue with cold but bravely he continued with his rhythmic drumming. The last thing the soldiers heard as the curtain of snow swallowed them up was the steady rat-a-tat-tat of the brave drummer’s drum beats.

When the snow storm eventually abated the rescue party was finally dispatched from the prison to find the young boy and his French charges. Eventually the gully was found and the rescuers was faced with the pitiful sight of a huddled bunch of frozen French corpses, just to one side was the pathetic remains of the brave little drummer boy, his body stiff and icy. The poor lad still held his drumsticks in his tiny , ice-blue hands as if he had bravely drummed right up to the final seconds of life – above and beyond the normal call of duty.



His face and fingers numb with cold
Drummer trudges from the town
Lost in the stars and the drifting snow
Fears and fancies all around

Ill chance found Drummer thus that night
A friendless homeless orphan child
Alone and driven in his plight
To seek the comfort of the wild

Though fresh and young as early spring
There is an inner wintering
A wisdom born of suffering
That only need and hardship bring

And through the thickly falling snow
He marked each weary pace
Until at last all effort spent
He tumbled into empty space

When he awoke or seeming so
For truth would cry he was asleep
Before him lay on every side
A forest strangely dark and deep

The moon shone silver through the trees
And diamond-decked the even snow
As if the stars had fallen down
To glisten on the earth below

Through the crisp and silent air
He saw a steady flame
And heard a soft and gentle voice
That called him by his name

Drummer have you come this far
To huddle in the snow
Drummer come and walk with me
Safe in my lantern’s glow

I am the shepherd of all men
Come down this winter’s night
So stay you close beside me
For I am the Lord of Light

And in his dream the shepherd knelt
To lift him from the snow
And Drummer saw his kindly face
Shine in the lantern’s glow

Over fields of mantled white
And streams of standing silver bright
The Angel and the orphan
Winged their way into the night


my sunday poem … # 8

my sunday poem … # 8


I don’t have a clue as to precisely why I wrote this poem. I feel it may be more of an abstract painting in disguise than an actual poem. Everything serves some purpose. So if it makes you smile even just a little bit … then that must be why I wrote it.

no mere coincidence

once upon a time
there was a man called
bertanovitch noverichenstein
he was a russian jew
who blew
raspberries in his spare time
and who knew
a woman
who swept the kremlin floors
in her sleep
and she liked cats

there was another
his name was
nicholai popolopodopovitch
and he never knew
that russian jew
who blew
raspberries in his spare time
and who knew
a woman
who swept the kremlin floors
in her sleep

which was probably
just as well
because he didn’t
like cats