Poet Introduction I compare poetry to painting, believing that I lack any drawing/painting skills but believing my imagination and training in writing has enabled me to transfer my love of visual art to the written word
About three months after I arrived, I heard that the vicar had a dog and I asked (cheekily) if I could walk the dog. A few days later, I went on my first walk with Toby, a golden Labrador.
A powerful healing tool. I began taking Toby around Highgate Wood and Alexandra Palace. I loved the solitude of nature coupled with the silent companionship of the dog; the memories of Royton, Lancashire, when I had walked the family dog, Timmy, around the estate that we'd lived on; the reminders of the C of E primary school in Royton, St Paul's, and how much a part of the school I had felt...
One Sunday afternoon, my brother Robin and I took a walk to my maternal grandmother’s in Prestwich. She lived on the first floor of an old draughty house that had been converted into two flats.
We sat talking in her cosy kitchen for a while, the three of us drinking stewed tea, Grandma telling us stories about her past in her loud slightly falsetto voice. She was very much an eccentric who took delight in saying something, then chuckling to herself. We used to tease her a bit. Understandably.
That afternoon in the downstairs flat, she was talking about discipline and...
During the car ride, I always looked forward to the moment when the third movement of Beethoven’s Seventh symphony (the scherzo and trio) would burst out over the car speakers, the opening announcing itself like a fanfare, the rises and falls in the music matching the mounts and vales of the Lancashire/Yorkshire countryside.
War memorials. Village church clocks. Quarries stretching out at the bottom of winding roads. Pieces of machinery humming over the stillness as we climbed hills.
The patch of land lies bare and unspoilt An array of paths that weave through trees Mud puddles and rusty railings Steps that twist up a steep rise An assortment of hidden colours The photographer’s hour A fresh wind A hint of sunlight Silvery like a winter mist
Nearly five hours had passed since she’d put the washing in the machine and poured a glass of orange squash.
In the kitchen, she found the radio off and the back door bolted, although she couldn’t remember bolting it. An empty glass stood on the kitchen table, along with a half eaten banana and the remains of a sandwich. A snack she didn’t recall preparing.
The washing had dried and was folded up on a chair. Presumably, she’d taken the clothes out of the machine, left them to hang on the washing line in the heat, then brought them in once they’d dried.
His joints ached from the cold. Crunching up the empty coke can, he tossed it into the bin with a perfect throw and left the park.
He walked up Church Street and turned onto the High Street, chest tight with anger.
He didn’t like wandering around searching for people, as it reminded him of how he’d run along the Dorset cove in the middle of a heat wave, a boy of eight looking for an elderly gentleman and their wife, eager for news on estranged relatives.
He’d ended up by the fair marquee in the middle of the seaside resort, sweaty and thirsty and hungry....