Rip Van Winkelesque she wakes

I’ve just refound this site and reading what I wrote way back in the day, I don’t recognise myself.  I have no recollection of mastering the art of blogging, inserting links into text etc, etc.  Wow!

Well, being unemployed (and maybe unemployable) with nothing but an Msc in Poetry to my name, what should I do but pick up the thread of this half-buried thing.  Maybe share a poem or two? Well that would be a start I guess and now I’ll do a tutorial on how WordPress actually works.


A nouvelle cuisine:

two glass eels from Fujian

separate three grapes

a snail in its jus

surrounded by pearl-white spraint

that is jus-de-snail

bluefin otoro

on a bed of wakami

(or alternative)

one green pea gelée,

a sprig of mint perched, waiting

for the frost to bite

Girl on Beam

 For Jenny

On a beam,


as her mother’s

doubt, she stands,

hamstrings taut;


her perfect

backward flip.


New Beginnings

Seasonality is a thing I cherish even though I hate winter.  The change in meter is energising even when, as today, I’ve had to turn the central heating on for the first time since Spring.  Edinburgh is a tourist city all year long but still it has its particular surges.  The Festival is an annual migration that, love it or hate it, brings a distinctive verve to the place.  So too the arrival of the students.  On my way to my Saturday night shift at the hospital this weekend I was stopped by a serpentine of raw recruits, each daubed with a green E on his or her cheek.  The lads, so callow, barely through puberty it seemed, their gawky bodies too quickly grown so they didn’t know where to put their shoulders; they slouched like dreamy wanderers in a land of promised treasure they dare not touch.  The girls in fly-away mini-skirts unaware of the autumn winds that are on their way.

This year I will be joining them.  I matriculate on Thursday onto a one year, full-time Msc in Creative Writing.  Msc, you query.  Well, so did I, but why not a Master of Science from the College of Humanities?  Is it not time we stopped making these arbitrary distinctions?  Creativity and writing are universal after all.

My ID photograph shows a woman of middle-age, albeit a relatively flattering image.  If you enjoy University Challenge you may, like me, pause when Jeremy does his ‘average age’ thing.  Nineteen, twenty-two.  What would I do to those averages if I ever took the challenge?  Not that I have any intention.  Several minutes too slow for the buzzer even when I know the answer.  But, still it is a thought.  How will I get on with my woolly thinking in a tutorial of twenty-something English Lit grads?  My degree (in biology) is now 34 years old.  I read at a snail’s pace, chewing over, rereading to try to make sense of the text.  I’ll have to sharpen up my act methinks.  Am I daunted by the reading list?  You bet.  Am I excited?  You bet.  And if my tutor on the Cubism week in the second semester can help me to understand the poetry of Gertrude Stein I will be delighted

Pablo Picasso – Gertrude Stein 1905

And because this is ostensibly a poetry blog, here is a little poem apropos nothing


 Did I tell you

I almost died

at the age of two

from cyanide?

Another time

I almost died again

A foolish thing –

not at all the same

My mother caught a crab

the year I left home

Therapeutic radiation

withered her jawbone

But she survived

dispatched from the ward

disfigured, frail

the size of a bird

A good friend died

of – I won’t say what

it doesn’t matter

chance would have it

My father thought

he’d conquer death

by never planning

his leaving bash

Until he died

from sulfonamide

I used to wonder why

he lived whilst others died

and now he’s died

I am surprised

Still, as I write this

I’m alive

what a flibbertigibbit I am

How many times can you start a blog?  As an experimentalist I tend to dive into things and learn the ropes as I go along so this is my third attempt to find a blog home that suits my taste.  Plan for some furnishings over the coming months but meantime will make do with a couple of deckchairs and a stacking box if you care to join me for a little snack in my shack.  For starters here’s a poem inspired by Twitter.





Mashed potato and #edtomato



More than #youcausedthecrash



#oilexploration #exploitation