I found myself making strawberry jam this last weekend. The greengrocer sent me a two for one and I couldn’t waste them so
and as I was making the jam it was snowing outside and it felt quite strange. The colour of Santa’s coat and the smell of strawberries… So strange in fact that:
This month has been good creatively in many ways so…

here is a summary of my online links this month. I also have poetry coming up in A New Ulster and in Bewildering Stories.

And Twisted Tales an anthology brought out last year on kindle, is now available in print. 🙂 Click the link and order yours today.

A Real Talent was at least in part inspired to last September’s Gangster Tour in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. That was a tremendous eye-opener and also great fun and so was this — fun to write as a Valentine’s Day fun fantasy horror. Genres? Who needs’em!

This poem The Tragedy of Richard III was obviously inspired by the programme about the discovery of Richard III’s skeletal remains under a municipal car park in Leicester. Only that I was inspired by this gave me quite a surprise since I had never given the man a second thought — nor a first. But the real tragedy of Richard III is not only that he was cruelly murdered, nor that his body had been vilely abused, nor just that his remains were lost for so long and the victors rewrote history as victors always do. No. It is the tragedy of us all — spelled out in the last lines of the poem.


This tribute to my brother in law who, when my father died, took on that role at the tender age of 25 and who is himself man of great faith, stemmed from the discovery that he’d once done a charity parachute jump — a thing I only found out about recently and which speaks to his modesty. Trusting to a piece of silk when jumping from a plane takes great courage and is an act of faith. If ever there was a man of faith and courage, Hubert is that man and I honour him in this poem. It is not meant as a religious poem. It is a tribute to one man’s humanity — an inspiration.


It’s what it shows. You might like to know that the photo was taken at Cresswell in Northumberland — a favourite walk of ours. Dave Morehouse whom I met in Minneapolis last autumn, has accepted a couple of these postcard poems and I really like doing them. Very nice site, Dave!

I have covered Prometheus Bound in great detail in a previous post: here. Also in Bewildering Stories this month is Global Language Village Art. This is an ekphrastic too but I had much more difficulty in writing it. There was a competition about a year ago asking for submissions based on this Chagall painting. I didn’t get my poem ready on time — by a long way. The truth is that I have never understood Chagall. This poem was my my first attempt to do so. In a way this was the opposite of Prometheus Bound, to which I felt an immediate connection. Here I was delving into a painting for which I felt no affinity at all.  It was interesting to me to verbalise the various images presented to make sense of them. I still wouldn’t put a Chagall on my wall but feel I can at least I succeeded in understanding much more than I did before. I suppose for me, poetry is my way of understanding the world.