THE WORD DISTILLERY POETS 2014 LONDON TOUR- Tuesday October 7th at London Welsh Centre 7:30 pm

A group of poets from West Wales is coming up to London to perform at several venues in October 2014. They made contact with Highgate Poets and we have joined forces for a night of poetry which starts and ends with extracts from Dylan Thomas’s work.
This the centenary year of his death, and indeed October 27th would have been his birthday. Their spokesperson is Nigel Humphries and he and Anna Meryt (of Highgate Poets, who is also Welsh) will not only present some of their own work, but also a few extracts from the work of Dylan Thomas.
Eight members of Highgate Poets in total are reading with a group from Aberystwyth, the Word Distillery Poets, at the London Welsh Centre:
Address: 157-163 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8UE.
The centre is opposite the Eastman Dental Hospital and is about a 10/15 minute walk down Gray’s Inn Road. Or you can take the 45 or 46 bus from outside Kings Cross Station [Euston Road exit] and get off at Eastman Hospital stop.
The event starts at 7.15 pm.


The days flash past.
Is it Wednesday again?
It’s getting faster
this wheel I’m on.
I can’t see the spokes anymore,
they’re just a blur.
My legs pump the pedals,
I lean forward in racing position,
faster and faster.

Stop! Stop!

I can’t, here’s Friday again.
My head aches with watching
the speed of days spinning past.
Work, rest, play,
Work rest play.

Is there an end in sight?
A goal to be achieved?
A destination to reach?

Look ... it’s Monday again...
another day on the treadmill.

This is a new poem ... still working on it ...

Star Gazer

A clear starlit night in the Congo,
She walked along the perimeter fence,
picking up sticks.
Wood was needed
for the cooking pot.

She heard their voices
too late to run.
She gazed at the stars
as they held her down
and her mind flew free.

They walked off laughing and joking,
she lay in the mud looking at the dog star
and the rising moon
wondering where she was.

Her mother said
‘Why were you so long
and where’s the wood for the fire?’

She looked at her empty hands
and up at the sky, as her mother’s slap
brought stars to her eyes.

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict - Star-Thrower

To be chaired by William Hague and Angelina Jolie

This is (and I quote) 'the largest ever international Summit on the issue. Ministers from countries (currently 140) who have endorsed the Declaration as well as reps from civil society, grassroots organisations, the judiciary, militaries and international organisations will come together to agree practical actions to help put an end to the use of sexual violence in conflict. The Foreign Secretary (William Hague) wants the Summit to ... permanently change global attitudes on this issue'.

Look at the website

The performer space is
Tuesday 1:45-2:45
Wed 5:45-6:45

I will have approximately 4-5 mins

Here's one of the poems I'll be performing:

This poem is based on a story (of the same name)  by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977) who wrote it as an essay originally. It was published posthumously in an anthology of Eisely’s works (1978) with an intro by WH Auden.


The storm battered the shore that night.
Thousands of starfish were left stranded
along the beach as the tide retreated,
they were drying and dying in the sun.

A young girl was picking them up
one-by one and throwing them back
as far into the sea as she could.

A writer was walking her dog
and stopped to watch the girl.
‘What’s the point?’ she told her,
‘You can’t make a difference,
there’s just too many’.

‘I made a difference to that one’,
said the girl as she threw.

Poetry and Music Palooza, Finchley Literary Festival 24th May 2014

Don't Miss this event I'm organising  - poetry from four F A B Highgate Poets and 1920s jazz and female vocals in between - and it's at a great venue with a brilliant atmosphere - Cafe Buzz (N12 8JY) - there's a bar and food - a really good night out - what and only £3 WOW!

How to be happy?

Voices in my head
keep telling me,
you did that wrong,
you said that badly,
you’re not good enough,
you should improve,
you shouldn’t have,
you fucked it up again. 

Why don’t they say,
you did that right
you said that well,
you ARE good enough,
you could do worse.

Yes you shall.
Yes you can.
You were brilliant again?


Poetry Palooza - Poetry and Music at the BGB

Friday April 4th at 7:30 pm

Poetry Palooza with poets Eve Pearce,

Shanta Acharya and Kate B Hall

and musicians - Richard Haylock, Singer/songwriter

and blues singer, guitarist Greg Mayston

hosted by Anna Meryt


Dolly Mix

My second collection of poetry will be published this week by Tambourine Press - it's called Dolly Mix - here's the cover - it's going to be a mixture of poems - mostly light themes that have been popular in performance eg.  with favourites like  New Shoes, Felucca Night and What was I Looking For, and more.  It'll be on sale at the Big Green Bookshop, lots of illustrations and variety... Launch will be Friday April 4th 2014 at the Big Green Bookshop, Wood Green, London N22 (020 8881 6767) at the Poetry and Music evening that I'll be hosting. Soon to be launched on Amazon and Kindle!

Now we must part

For Paul Edmonds – in memoriam

The storms that raged
pulled us all apart
our little gang.

We were linked each summer,
stayed close-ranked,
but the storms that raged
pulled us globally apart.
Lightly we slipped through childhood,
our bonded band of cousins,
together in the walkways
and seaways of Abergwaun,

together in that timeless time
that children stay within,
a place I see now distantly,
together in a different time,

but the storms that raged
pulled us all apart

One day again we'll catch lizards in the gorse,
run and play and swim,
light fires in the marine byways
of a spaceless time.

We'll be reunited
our beloved tiny group
and away from the storm
we'll be close again.

Heroes and Ghosts

 wish you were here....
When I sleep, your ghost
sleeps beside me.
Your ghost sits in that kitchen chair,
smoking and talking
watching me cook, clean.
Today in the shop
I had to back away
from the men's clothes
to avoid your ghost
in every aisle.
And yesterday,
on a morning walk to the park
your ghost flitted through the shadows
of that copse of young trees
taking photos of me
in the snow.
I want to shout
come back, come back, come back.
but don’t …

Your ghost scoops up the cat
with big brown hands
and strokes her gently.
In your absence
she has retreated
further into sleep
I wish I could do the same.


This is a poem I wrote last year and apart from having been published in my pamphlet Heartbroke it is now going to be published(together with The Hospice) in a new anthology about grief and loss being edited by RV Bailey, UA Fanthorpe's widow. Oh and by the way, I've had lots of poems published in anthologies over the last 20 years!