morning moon
morning moon

Winding road; the moon
plays peek-a-boo
behind the mountains


Bedraggled autumn afternoon;
a thousand robin’s eyes watch
from the elder tree.


No, not elderberries, but the visual effect is similar
No, not elderberries, but the visual effect is similar

un hand-washing day

I was taken aback to read the following headline on the BBC:
Millions mark UN hand-washing day.

In fact, if you click through, you’ll find it is not, as I first suspected, a day of non-handwashing, to save the world’s limited soap and water resources, but a “campaign and pledge to embrace more hygienic practices by the simple act of washing [your] hands.”

at work...
at work...
...or not.

So, wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing today, whether working or celebrating, just make sure your hands are (UN)clean!

the narrator in poetry I

As may be apparent from the blog title – and even moreso if you have read the about this blog page – the subject of the narrator is one I feel quite strongly about.

I write a lot of first person poetry and creative non-fiction. I also believe that real life can provide raw material for my writing.

However, despite what many people think, this doesn’t mean that I write about my life.
Continue reading “the narrator in poetry I”

a for apple

In the summer, the untended land here is mostly too dry for weeds and no lawn can survive without almost daily watering. The neighbour moves his grand-daughter’s shetland pony around between the various empty gardens and fields, and she may not be in one place for more than a couple of days, depending on the grazing.

We’ve had rain now – torrential thunderstorms and strong winds – but not enough sun to bring the weeds on again, though no doubt they’ll be knee high again in a week or so.
Continue reading “a for apple”

on translating poetry

I’ve been thinking again about translating poetry, partly because it’s a pet subject of mine, and partly because I’m hoping to run a course on the subject next year and have been preparing the course spec.

One of the recurring questions is “when does a translation cease to be a translation and become a derivative work?”.
Continue reading “on translating poetry”

de tiendas II

It’s not just the bread and cake shops that confuse me in Spain. There’s a-whole-nother area of shop difficulties associated with chemist shops and drug stores.

In the UK we have chemists. Inside a chemist shop you’ll find the pharmacy counter where you can buy your medicines – or, hopefully, in the near future get your prescription made up free of charge. You’ll also usually find a photographic department, perhaps an optician, even, maybe, a wine-making area. Continue reading “de tiendas II”