In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

Four New Poems


1/ ‘In the Cathedral‘ is in 5 short parts.

2/ ‘Word-Finding‘  is in 5 short parts.

3/ ‘Dancing in a Daze’  is of 1 part, but there are ‘notes’ overleaf.

4/ ‘Rowing‘  is of one part.


I seem to have stopped spluttering helplessly and hopelessly in prose, in response to present-day developments within and without.

Instead, I have been producing quite a lot of poetry recently, on a range of topics, writing at speed and sometimes in quick succession. Are the new poems worth paying attention to – or are they just another symptom and product of the turmoil and malfunction, alongside so much else ? Are they doctor or patient ? Stepping stone or just more of the flood ?

Rather than set out each poem separately as a post, to be followed by another, and then another, I decided to make a little list of links here, each to a separate poem. Sometimes it’s been one a day.

One obvious difference between prose and poetry, I am reminded, is that in prose you are likely to know more or less what you want to say and why you’re saying it. You feel more or less in charge of what is likely to come next. In poetry, it is not the same. The topics, and also the different ways of addressing those topics, come as if on their own accord, like something suddenly bubbling out of the earth. Not dissimilar to a dream, I suppose. And yet the dreamer is largely at the mercy of the dream, or so it feels, even though the dreamer is also creating the thing. The poet does not feel quite so much at-the-mercy as that, but more like some sailor of a small boat. Come the wind, as it will, in terms both of strength and direction, but then you work with it, using tiller and sail and – if you’re lucky – a bit of knowingness. You find the line of the wind, you run with it or across it, and try to trace a course on the strength of it. 

For instance, the ‘In the Cathedral’ poem took me completely by surprise. Was I carrying that all this time ? And what is ‘that’ ? And why ?

I have put the links in chronological order of writing.