Tuesday, 28 May 2013

They will shoot him

His beauty traps her breath
in her throat,
as she watches, unmoving;
and he looks at her, without seeing.
His secrets are hidden in darkness,
dusk-time creature rummaging and rooting;

heavy and strong, yet he glides
lightfooted over the earth.
He goes about his business in private,
touches no-one,
is confident, solid,
self-contained in his honest life.

He lifts his head, nose-twitching.
Ears prick, a stick cracks …
He’s off, the stocky swagger
powers forward … and disappears.

He is free to breathe
his noble and gracious air
as he travels in darkness
through his world.

He knows only his night-places,
lives in the underground;
and has no need of us.
Yet he is significant to us,
so vital-essential that we
call our ills his fault,

we reproach him
for our shortcomings
and seek to damage him blamelessly,
simply because he lives.

‘Knowledgable’ men and women argue about him,
discuss his trapping and killing.
Misguided, mistaken, ill-advised —
They will shoot him.

This is a revision of a poem I wrote last year after the badger cull was prevented from going ahead in Wales following court action by The Badger Trust.

Now, the killing has started in Somerset, and soon will in Gloucestershire, so this is the rewrite for England. 

See also:

Thursday, 9 May 2013


I am overwhelmed by the numbers of people who are reading this Blog now -- more than 10,000 views since I started posting regularly last July. Thank you all for reading and thank you too to those who post comments, whether on here and on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Just for your information, I have been through the Blog today and deleted a lot of the National Poetry Writing Month posts -- a Poem a Day through April was some task and most of them now need revising and editing.

I have also deleted other poems that are being further edited and submitted for competition or publication. 

It is time that I spent time and effort working on submissions and I am now doing this. I am braced for many rejections -- but we poets are hardy folk. I reckon if you survive long enough, get through the tough times and then are able to write from the heart, you can put up with a few rejections along the way.

Maybe there will be some good news too.

For the time being all the haiku are staying on the site; and most of the political stuff stays too. I believe that here is the best place for the protest/political work. I prefer to publish that here and promote it myself through Facebook and Twitter.

By far the biggest readership on the Blog is the political poetry. It gets a bigger -- and more relevant -- readership here than anywhere else.

The other poem that stays, for the time being at least, is the one called 'LOVE', which gets so many views a day I dare not take it down! I hope to include it as part of a collection I am submitting this summer, but publication on here does not preclude it from that project, so it can stay for now.

I will be posting more new material soon, so keep reading.
And most important, keep writing!

Friday, 3 May 2013

New Vision

It is a year today since I had my cataract operation. Afterwards, the change in my eyesight was staggering – life turned from an impressionist painting to a 3D hi-tech movie, every detail highlighted.

And as well the improvement in the eyesight, I somehow gained new vision in other ways. As it turned out it was an event that changed my life.

I waited about nine months to see the specialist after being referred by my optician, because he thought he saw signs of macular degeneration, and I was thought to be a bit young to be starting that.

That was a very difficult nine months for me. With early onset ARMD (age-related macular degeneration) I had no idea what might happen to my eyesight. I could quickly lose the ability to see well enough to drive, for instance, and I live in a rural area where having a car is essential. Even worse, there was the fear I may go blind.

It was also possible, of course, that there would be no change; or that there was an error. But until I saw that specialist, I had no idea what I was in for.

Waiting nine months not knowing what would happen was tough – but the relief was amazing when the problem was diagnosed; and even more so when it was corrected and I could see clearly again.

That whole process made me think a lot about my life and what I was doing with it. And after the op I had four weeks off work in which to decide what changes to make.

When you have a cataract op you can’t do stuff like gardening – bending over is not allowed for several weeks; and lifting anything heavier than a pen and paper is not allowed either.

And so, with loads of time to think,  and write, by the end of the four weeks I had made the decision to leave my job in journalism, go freelance again and to start doing more creative work.

And here I am, still writing -- putting together a poetry collection, sending off submissions and competition entries -- and wondering why I didn’t do all this sooner.  So, this is an anniversary I celebrate.

Oh, and this Blog, which I started at the end of June 2012 when I left my job,  has today hit 10,000 views. People from all over the world drop in regularly to read the poetry.

Thank you all – and keep reading, there is plenty more to come. x