Bast, again

This week I am engaging with Arvon's #5DayPoetryChallenge around #NationalWritingDay.
One of today's prompts is called 'Tranklements' and is about finding inspiration in everyday objects.
The object I found I wanted to write about is the opposite of 'everyday', in most senses - it's a Bast sculpture that Erica gave me and it sits in a little shrine on the bookcase. I attribute my one poetry contest win ('Catwoman') to Bast so it has real meaning for me - but it's also something that I see every day.
Bast, again.
Cat of brown stone, hear my vow.
She is smooth like the skin of the one you love. She has heft. She tugs downwards. She could never have been owned by anyone but you. As a gift she can only return.
She dreams of a thousand thousand naked men.
She dreams of a sea of liquid gold.
She dreams of burying her face in the mane of a lion.
She dreams of plucking eagles from the air.
She dreams of prowling and of pursuit.
She dreams of perfume and of pur…

The Naughtiest Thing

Once upon a time in a place called Wheatley (which means wheat field, and is well named)
there was a field of wheat - I tell a lie, there were many. But there was a certain field among these fields, and in that field grew the very finest wheat that ever swayed in the breeze. And when the wind blew over this field, if you listened, you would hear golden bells tinkle in the air. And when the sun shone on this field
it would warm your heart. And when rain blessed this field
the fish in the rivers near it
leapt into the air for sheer joy, their scales glinting like your mother’s best jewellery. Now, you should know that this field was tended by a goblin, and the goblin’s name was Chaffinch, for his father was a bird and his mother was a lie. And Chaffinch the goblin spun gold from the wheat in the field, and the gold that Chaffinch spun from the wheat brought good luck to anyone so lucky as to wear it. And all that the goblin asked in return for his gold was to be told a lie to help him remember his moth…

The Way to Zed: a psychic pilgrimage in twenty-six parts

In 2018 I undertook a fool's journey through the letters of the alphabet, writing a poem a day (more or less) for each of the 26 letters known to English speakers today. The poems were influenced by the shapes and sounds of the letters, and by the ancient symbols - the hieroglyphs and pictograms - which were their ancestors.

The sequence of poems quickly began to take on the form of a surreal quest narrative, with the mysterious letter zed at its end.

After some crossing some hurdles I finally made it to the izzard on the July 1st 2018. I am now (as of February 2019) working on a Tarot deck inspired by the poems with the artist Abigail Jones.

The rest of the sequence is now taken down for editing (and publisher-seeking), but the current (February 2019) drafts of 'A' 'B' and 'C' appear below. The ancestral symbols which are relevant here include: for A, a bull's head (I would also refer readers to Malcolm McNeill's article 'A is for Girl'); f…


Highly commended in the Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival Poetry Prize, 2018 - click the link to read the other winning entries.

Thanks to David Reakesmith for alerting me to the contest, and Billy the Bard (Chaired Bard of Glastonbury) for representing me at the prizegiving.

The Poet's Bridge, Rotherhithe

Cross-posted from Southwark Heritage.

On Tuesday 5 December, the footbridge over Salter Road was named ‘The Poet’s Bridge’ in a short ceremony which also involved the unveiling of twi

The Poet

Once I sat down and told myself,
‘Just write what comes. Don't make it happen -
let it.’
The Awen is meant to be breath
or flow,
couldn't I let it breathe through me?
Couldn't I let it flow through my pen?I went out to check the traps of my imagination-garden,
To see what had caught there lately.
I wrote about checking the traps.
And in one of them was a leopard,
so I wrote about the leopard.
And the leopard was black with soot,
so I wrote that it was black with soot,
And he asked me to brush him,
so I wrote about brushing him. I just did as I was told.
I just watched.Who put the leopard there?I wrote it.
Who was the poet?

'Love Rules' - a verse for cross-border couples.

These few lines were composed for Stephen and Sandra Cole, members of the Bardic College of Ynys Witrin, on the occasion of their handfasting on the Fair Field at Glastonbury Tor today. They are pictured here 'jumping the broomstick' as part of the ceremony. Stephen is British and Sandra is from Mexico - by extension, this short verse is meant for everyone in a cross-border relationship.

This love has beaten national notions
This love has overcome the ocean
This love has defeated Theresa May
This love has conquered all, today.

The mention in the third line of this short verse, of the name of our current Home Secretary in the United Kingdom, Theresa May, has a particular relevance in this country and at this time - but I hope that Bards and others will feel able to recite these lines at all times and in all places to honour the additional challenges that couples in cross-border relationships must face. The name 'Theresa May' here stands for all national officials and bureau…