Diverse Verse 2 sells out again at Southcart Books

It seems I just can’t print copies of Diverse Verse 2 fast enough because as soon as I get them to Southcart Books they’re sold out and I have to order some more. I shouldn’t complain though as that’s more money plus what will be made this month in digital sales that can be donated to Cancer Research UK.

Part of this success story is due to Southcart itself, this is a shop that supports local authors, writers, musicians, photograhers and more. They have a local author table and shelves full of great works by talented folk from Walsall and beyond plus they hold a regular open mic. ( Last Saturday of the month but the next one’s on the 1st July.)

If you’re a local author, poet etc with a book or CD out then you can’t go wrong getting in touch with Scott and Amy who run the shop (southcart@outlook.com) and see what they can do for you. Even better why not pop along with your books to the next open mic and give everyone a taste of your work. You’ll be glad you did.


A Big Thank You to Aldridge Transport Museum

Many moons ago, well June to be precise the cover for my latest book of poetry “Poems on the Bus” was shot at Aldridge Transport Museum. Today to say thank you I visited the museum and donated some copies of my book to their shop.


Here I am standing in front of the bus that’s on the cover of my book

So a big thanks to the museum for letting Andy Simon shoot my cover there and to Emma Dunn for appearing on it.

Poems on the bus front cover

It’s 5pm at the Seaside

5pm at the seaside

It’s 5pm at the seaside.
Bikers lick ice creams
As jet skis go for one last spin,
Frothing the water a final time.
Beach goers pop beers
And nibble on fish and chips.
Keeping a wary eye on the gulls,
Who swoop in anticipation.

Toes are dipped in the sea
An electric shock of cold
Delightfully refreshes feet.
The world seems content
To stay exactly where it is.
So I do the same,
My pale limbs proudly out
Slowly reddening.

Another quick holiday story – See here for the last one. While watching the world go by at Herne Bay as it came time to think of going my wife noted it was five o’clock and the phrase it’s 5pm at the seaside popped into my head. After an ice cream and the drive home this poem was written.

The Ballad of Peter and Ryan – the extended mix.

peter and ryan

The scene is the local tavern
Where boozing are Peter and Ryan.
Who tonight both can be found,
Terribly drunk on red wine.
They are having an argument
Peter claims Ryan’s a virgin.
Ryan defends his honour,
Peter says he’s full of wind.
Ryan takes offense at the slur
He wobbles to his feet.
Looking unsteadily at Peter
Who struggles to rise from his seat.
Ryan opens his mouth wide,
His eyes angry and red.
”Peter I have something to say,
So pin back your ears to your head.
Peter your wife’s a scarlet woman,
She has been unfaithful to you!
One marvellous wild night with me,
Plus one with the orchestra from Crewe!”
”Ryan you have gone too far sir,
When you slander my wife that way.”
”Peter open your ears man,
Don’t be deaf to what I say.
She has a meter on her bed,
She is a tuppenny whore.
She is unfaithful to you sir,
Her bedroom has a revolving door!”
”My god Ryan I demand satisfaction.”
”Ironically Peter that’s what your wife said!”
“I challenge you to a duel Ryan you cur,
Where I’m going to shoot you dead.”

Next day the sun rose bright and early
As the two ex-friends met up.
But as the pistols were loaded,
Suddenly Peter’s wife turned up.
”Oh don’t die over me,” she cried,
“My life is not worth a dime.”
Peter yes I’ve been unfaithful,
But I thought of you each time.”
These words enraged Peter,
Who aimed his pistol sight.
And let off a dastardly shot,
Which killed his tearful wife.
Ryan shook his head,
Then while Peter wasn’t looking.
Turned upon his heels,
And into the wood went running.
Peter reloaded his pistol,
Wondering why people laughed.
Then he realised that Ryan,
Was running away down the path.
Peter took careful aim at Ryan,
Then pulling the trigger shot him dead.
It was all agreed a superb shot,
A veritable triumph in lead.
The crowd cheered happily and wildly,
None thought Ryan’s death sad or cruel.
For surely they said death’s inevitable,
When two people fight a duel.
Peter walked over to Ryan,
Who in best melodrama tradition.
Was dying of a mortal wound,
But still able to give exposition.

Ryan looked up at Peter,
“Of my death you sir can brag.
But I will not deny one thing
Your wife was a very good shag!”
Peter looked rather sad,
As Ryan convulsed and died.
“Oh Ryan we could still be friends,
If only you would have lied.”
Ryan opened his eyes,
“Peter I’m not quite dead yet.”
Peter seemed annoyed at this,
So shot Ryan again in the head.
Now on a hill stand two graves
Everyday Peter visits them.
On them red roses he lays,
And if you happen upon him
As he pays his daily respects
Then you just might hear
His sighed words of regret.
“My wife, my love I miss you
More than life itself.
I didn’t mean to shoot you
I couldn’t help myself.
And Ryan you have shown me
The terrible dangers of drink.
Why did I challenge you to a duel?
I just really didn’t think.”
Then to the tavern Peter walks away
Tears clouding his eyes,
Tumbling all down his face
As he drowns his memories with red wine.



The Ballad of Peter and Ryan part 1.

peter and ryan

A long time ago I used to take part in a writing challenge where you had three ideas and you had to make a fifty word story out of them. From that idea came these two foolish gents Peter and Ryan and if I can find it in my archive I’ll dig out the full poem that this turned into.

Peter took careful aim at Ryan,
Then pulling the trigger shot him dead.
It was all agreed a superb shot,
A veritable triumph in lead.
The crowd cheered happily and wildly,
None thought Ryan’s death sad or cruel.
For surely they said death’s inevitable,
When two people fight a duel.

What if I massacred a classic ?

what if

What if I just can’t keep my head when all about me
Are losing it, why can’t I just lose it too ?
What if I can’t trust myself and often have doubts
About anything I think I might be able to do ?
What if I can’t wait and I just don’t do the queue thing
And I’m always looking for an easy compromise.
What if I can hate and be hated simultaneously
And find hatred of me comes as no surprise.

What if I can’t dream as sleep doesn’t come easy
And my thoughts are made confused by tablets.
What if I meet with triumph and disaster
And get tongue-tied and just can’t speak.
What If I can’t bear to read criticism
And swear twice a day to not write again.
What if I think my life is a broken record
A scratchy story of an existence mundane.

What if I never really want to gamble
Because I just can’t beat the odds.
What if I want to be reborn and try again
But I’ve been abandoned by all the gods.
What if I can’t force my heart to change
Because it’s totally encased in ice
What if I can’t hold on anymore
And am fed up of trying to be nice.

What if I get embarrassed at my thoughts
And think my imagination is long dead.
What if anyone can accidentally hurt me
And so I never want to get out of bed.
What if no one can count on me
And I just can’t do that too.
Then mine is this splintered existence
About which there is nothing I can do.

I Can See the Sea from the Front Window

I can see the sea from the front window.
It’s just at the bottom of the garden.
Over the fence,
Past the road,
Down the steps,
Across the sand,
There it is.
Sometimes a passing bus obscures it,
Or a throng of sun-worshippers camp in front of it,
Or the men from the council trim the verge by it.
But if I stand on my toes,
Looking very closely,
Exercising a bit of imagination,
I can see the sea from the front window.