Day 30 — the final poem on this topic for now (but probably not the last I’ll ever write on it)

Thank god this month is over. Today was another exhausting (yet rewarding) experience. Another short film made. Well — shot, at least; editing still to come. 

I’ve been planning this poem for a couple of weeks now, so it was quick & easy to record as variations of it have been roiling though my mind ever since I conceived of it as a fairly neat way to wrap up & round out this month.



despite everything 
pledge to myself

in exactly one year
i’ll contact you again

see if things have changed
enough for it to just

possibly maybe perhaps 
work out between us

this time

Day 26 — stream of consciousness poem

I wrote this (well the first draft of it) dictating it into my phone as I lay in bed about 3am this morning, unable to sleep. I was just trying to record some ideas that have been roiling round in me for much of the past fortnight (possibly longer). Sure, I’ll be glad when April is over, but I gotta say it’s been hella good therapy. 

When I looked at it again around 7am, I realised it made a dreamy kind of poetic sense so instead of ripping phrases out & assembling them, I thought I’d try a different poetic technique & go with the flow. This consisted mainly of tidying up the times I had to repeat myself cos it didn’t understand what I was saying & deciphering some of the VRS’s quirkier interpretations. Adding a phrase or two here & there, but really very little.

When I read it again at 11pm in preparation to post it, I cried. (But then I always have been a bit of a sook!)


dream of consciousness

we spoke with such softness and hope … of a life we might live together … we felt like everything was coming together the way it was meant … the way it should’ve done years ago … years and years ago … where all those missed opportunities finally reached fruition … like flowers being born … after long years in dry ground … waiting for the rains … of being fully awake … fully alive … at last … we discussed living together … we discussed weddings … we discussed babies … we discussed beliefs … talk of souls and eternities … re-discussed lives together … loves together … lives passed … lives present … we really did wonder if we’d known each other before … been together before … as if some web connected us through time … and space … the dark matter mattered … and for a few months it felt like everything we did … tapped into that magic stream … we appreciated everything … it was all wondrous and wonder full … the connection … the constant need to be in contact … the thousands and thousands of text messages … over 7000 last time you counted … sure about 6500 were from me to you … but still … along with hundreds of photos and videos … little snippets of where we were … what we were doing … random thoughts … random things … tiny silly things … things that made us smile … made us happy … things we thought we’d do together one-day … road trips that we go on … places we’d visit … things we’d write … plays we’d be remembered for … play time 

the hardest thing is … you took away the fear in my heart … filled it with joy and laughter and hope … and now going back to what it was … is worse than it never filling in the first place … but I think I get it … seems now you only were ever half-present half-engaged half-involved half-accepting half-believing half-wanting … half of where I was … I know that’s a lot of halves

you say you don’t believe in fairytales … that life isn’t a fairytale … but it could’ve been … and more … could’ve been better than that … we had all the ingredients … we had the potential the promise the prospect … the energy of fire … the connection (again with that word) … the buzz … the celestial bees buzzed right through us … through me anyhow … when I’m brave enough … to look back through some of the photos … or god forbid … read some of the messages … we sent to each other … I still can’t understand why … why you didn’t want this

why … you didn’t at least want to try

Day 06 — been a weird couple of months 

A list poem, that in turn, contains several ideas/lines that might themselves become their own poems this month.

the weird love, 

the tyrannical distance,
the disparate time zones,
the clashing schedules,
the near twenty years,
the roller coaster that never coasts,
the bicoastal bipolar,
the unromantic romance,
the life-is-not-a-fairytale,
the beautiful beast,
the beastly beauty,
the attractive repulsion,
the anxious agony,
the unmated souls,
the singing universe,
the sparkling shiver, 
the cold silence,
the nagging thorn,
the out-of-sync hearts,
the half-made promise,
the broken chain,
the joke that bombed,
the unequal exchange,
the one word reply,
the stranger in the bed,
the intimate inmate inside the head,
the reluctant endearments,
the belligerent confessions,
the definitions of love,
the expectations on love,
the ramifications if it is love,

the very real ghost of another …

Day 01 – the oldest topic for poetry

April again = Na/GloPoWriMo. Normally each year I debate about if I should put myself through the somewhat excruciating agony of participating, but not this year. I knew I would months ago. Because something has recently happened to me which has meant I’ve been churning out new poems (some of them even quite good) at a furious rate since December. Why you might well ask. Good question.

And so to themes. 

In 2020, every poem explored corona, plague, pandemics & virus.  
In 2021 it was heat, denial, climate change & extreme weather. 
This year 2022 the theme is even bigger. And also infinitely more intimate.

You soon work out what it is when you start reading.

an old romantic on a new seesaw 

i don’t begrudge

your silences
your lake swims
your long walks

your reading of books
or baking of cakes
just to cook something
not work related 

whatever needs to be done
to stay sane, find calm
detox, disengage, downtime
needs to be done

i can cope with

running soft & hot
sweet & giggly
mere moments 
after ice & distance
business & banter

the seesawing
between soul mates
sizzling with sparkles
& endless iterations
on the various types
of falling rain

all the talk about romance
& romantic gestures
& the most romantic things done
have been leading to one place

this place:

where all 
i need is 
a message
every sporadic 
(say every 30 
minutes or so)

a simple bit of ascii 
binary code
with a “missing 
you” here &
a kiss emoji 
or a purple
love heart

one of these 
will keep me 
off the saw
for half a dozen
hours at least

i promise

Day 21 – Taking a Stone Away

I’ve played with a couple of ideas today, but none have truly impressed me. So I’m just going to go with this one. The poem pretty much tells its own story.

NOTE: This is the first poem of the month not inspired by a book (I think after scouring dozens of books for inspiration for the past 21 days, I’m temporarily over them. To be honest, I’ve hardly read anything for pleasure this month, which is quite sad).

This game is called Song Title (so not that much different really 🙂 )

Stone Heart

side 1: a heart
ever since the resumed after
twenty years love affair failed
before it began — a stone
has sat on my heart ; despite

all your claims of missed love ;
soul mates separated ; being one
that got away & comparing
me to every lover since — none

of that meant anything once
you arrived — & so for two long
sad years , i couldn’t bear
listening to the band you said

we would dance to when married

side 2: break
no more death defying acts to please
you as you laughed from the stalls —
you delighted in making our love
crash & burn in the middle of main

street — so everyone soon knew
what a grizzly bear you were not
the wonder i’d sold them — so ,
i drank a little whiskey — & sure ,

whenever i wonder wherever you are
my heart beats slow other things
slow my broken heart too — but
take my word for it — at long last

i have been able to get home

boat CROP

Valentine’s Day presence

So, the pay off for some hard work over the past week or so is here — I’ve been exploring/researching the world of epublishing.

love: a test run is my first foray into ebooks. I still seek publication via the literary journals & poetry publication websites & competitions, etc … but the reality is, I have already written more poems than I’m ever likely to see published via traditional methods. & I’m certainly not writing poetry for the $$$$. Not to mention, much of what I write probably doesn’t fit the criteria for online journals …

So be it…

I want people to read my stuff. Or at least have the opportunity to. To connect with it. To be moved by it. Even to disagree with it. Which is why epublishing is so amazing. & why I’ve taken this first Test Run step … & why there are more planned.

& so to love: a test run

Love - a test run

This collection of poems came out of an experiment for a project a fellow poet & I are working on (giving rise to one of the multiple meanings of “test run” which makes up the book’s subtitle).

The task was simple, to write a poem a day, every day for a month.

24 hours to conceive, plan, write & edit a new poem every day & email it to each other before midnight. Well, the midnight deadline didn’t always quite get met, but the poem a day did. This was not for the famously challenging event NaPoWrMo (National Poetry Writing Month) but shared similar draining/exhilarating characteristics. Oddly enough, once you got over the hump, it became easier the further on it went. Some days several poems came out of the exercise – but we only shared one per day.

The catch: every poem was to explore love in some form.

I haven’t edited them overly much, just a tweak or two here & there for clarity. I wanted to keep it close to what I churned out, I mean, produced in that furiouso month. I have altered the order of several poems to make the whole have a better flow; & a couple of the poems I sent through, I have replaced with others written in that month because they felt like they fitted the collection better. I would have liked to have shuffled the order more, but I really went with the “snap shot” notion of the test run here.

What pleases me is their diversity: there’s a wide range of styles evident; there are several different voices; the tone varies; some are more experimental than others; some are profoundly personal, others wholly imagined; even just simple things like the variety in their length (both of lines & overall poem); & of course, some succeed better than others. Naturally there are certain topics, images, phrases that echo themselves – but overall, I hope they make for an eclectic, interesting read.

What remains constant is the theme: there’s poems about true love, soul mate love, infidelity, whale love, first love, lost love, unrequited love, undeclared love, dark love, abandoned love, arrogant love, ghost love, broken love, eternal love, love-at-first-sight love, literary love, 10-second love, pure perfect impossible love, painful love, imagined love, fantasy love, universe-ending love … & more besides I’m sure.

I hope you seek out & enjoy love: a test run …

it’s available at these addresses: (sample & full download available) (sample only)

& via your ereading devices shortly (i hope, once it gets approval) ((if i understand how it all works 🙂 ))

if you read & like, leave a comment.

but as a taste test of the test run …

here are two poems i particularly enjoy

Day 10. explaining the universe, using the physics of love

here’s what happened
put into the simplest
language i can muster
as best as i understand
20 years on

i gave you more of my heart
than i could reasonably
be expected to lose
then you died
gone — none know where

that part of my heart so gifted
went with you

& that … is how
black holes are made

Day 16. love poem to my plump lover

how do i love thee
let me not count the weighs

Later skaters. May you survive Valentine’s Day — whether it is a day of joy or pain for you …