Well, the property might be alarmed, but I’m more shocked by the falling educational standards that allow signs like this to be designed, printed and displayed in London streets without anyone correcting the spelling error:

Alarmed by the drop in educational standards?
Alarmed by the drop in educational standards?

the narrator in poetry II

As I said before, one problem when you write first person poetry is that people tend to think of it being personal.

I suppose it is for some writers. Certainly one friend told me that he was the narrator in all his poems, and that all his poetry was based on personal experience. He has several collections to his name and we aren’t talking about adolescent angst or “diary entry” poems, so it’s a technique that clearly works for him.

Of course, one of the first things that we are told to do to make our writing realistic is “write about what you know.” Continue reading “the narrator in poetry II”


While designing course content recently, I’ve been looking at some of the implications of email and blogging. One thing that particularly strikes me is the lack of realisation among most people that what is written on-line is automatically archived long term, perhaps even permanently.

I’ve been posting to usenet news groups for nearly ten years now, and one of my initial concerns was the fact that my thoughts and ideas could appear on millions of screens around the world. Fortunately, that thought bothered me a lot, Continue reading “e-phemera”


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”