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”

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”