Celebrating Being Published!!!

Today I’m celebrating  being published!!!

I recently submitted a poem to ‘Flight of the Dragonfly’, an amazing quarterly journal, and got accepted!

The poem is about a rite of passage for me and my brother growing up in rural Northumberland and I am very proud of it.

When my work is published, especially something so personal, is always a great feeling.

To read ‘The Lambs’, please click the link below;

I really hope you all enjoy it.

Take It Easy

Paul

Feeling

He sits with sadness in his eyes,
mercury-blue and moist,
no light shines on his face,
apart from the moon,
who cups his cheek,
from her perch in the sky,
she understands melancholy,
but he ignores her offer of help,
turning away from her slender illuminating fingers,
instead he pushes the pain down,
burying with the rest of his misery,
he shouldn’t show emotion or cry,
that’s not what men do,
how many times does he need to be told.

He takes a breath,
agitating the mercury with woollen sleeves,
he sweeps away the tears,
then paints a watercolour happiness over his face,
just in time, for his wife has returned to him,
and when she asks how he is,
in reply, with all his strength,
he let’s a tear fall and tells her how he feels.


Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. I am big supporter of men’s mental health and this deals with men being able to open up to their partners.

Take It Easy,

Paul

(image courtesy of Nik Shuliahin on unsplash)

The Sculptor

My palms are worn leather
handling hammer and chisel
the sinew in my forearms is taut
carrying marble creates strength
my neck stands tired yet agile
from always looking upwards
but my days of crafting pedestals is over
so I’ll wait for my body to reset
and return to an even keel
the cost of marble is too much
once it’s been etched
it can’t be returned
even though I probably value the material
more than the people I’ve placed upon it
I’ll craft myself an armchair
to rest and read on
and watch the pedestals crumble.

—————

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. If you want to read more, feel free to browse the site.

Take It Easy,

Paul

Reincarnate

The last of the dahlias
were picked last week
ruby red, imperial, majestic
they ruled the garden
so to let them drown
in the relentless October rain
would have been sacrilege
instead, we slipped them into a glass-vase coma
keeping them alive
until scarlet turned to rust
and petals slipped away
and we were ready to say our farewells

softened stems were carried
and placed among the compost pile
so memories of their life
can grow a new family of flora
and their majesty return.

———

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. Please feel free to have a look around my site for more of my work.

Take It Easy

Paul

Answering Doors

Opportunity rasped
repeatedly at my door
knuckles bloodied, bruised and broken
until they were incapable
of knocking again
I chose to open up
once silence fell
with head bowed
I took it’s palms in mine
and healed sores with words
Why didn’t you answer ?‘ Opportunity asked
and in my mind
the truth was told
– ‘there are far more deserving than I‘.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. I hope you enjoyed it. If opportunity knocks, always answer because it may take you to places you could only dream about.

Take It Easy

Paul

What Is A Fire Without Flame?

a dispassionate mound
of glaucous ash
the warmth lost
ready to die out
at any moment

or rather

a scattering of embers
the reminder of warmth
we shared
when flames flickered in frivolity
kissing and caressing
kindling and coal
when white,gold and ochre
danced
as strong as they could 
for as long as they could
to the gentle chaotic rhythm of crackling
shades of silver in the hearth
silently whispering
Live Life Like The Fire.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem and are having a great day.

Take it Easy

Paul

Image courtesy of Canva.

The Display

remember that time you had fun
watching the fireworks fly
rivers of light flowing across the sky
whilst a tower of kindling burned nearby
well aware the scent would wrap around your clothes
inhaling the ashen smoke through a crimpled nose
sipping hot chocolate
with friends by your side
watching people queue
to gorge on something fried
those were great times
and the photos we captured
show sincere elation
like the one that caught you laughing
when someone shrieked at the shrill
of a rocket in ascent
an excitable reaction that you’ll never forget
and the time you wrote expletives
with a sparkler in the air
and people were frowning and you didn’t care
but now you’ve joined a group on Facebook
whose culture is to cancel and signal their virtue
I know this is a display
and I’m really sorry for you
that you’d rather be passive and see the world in grey and beige
than admire the spectrum free of echoed rage
banning the possibility of fun
when you’ve already flew close to the sun
and enjoyed the inferno on your face
is a bit of a hypocritical disgrace.

It was you who once told me
the reason why fireworks will always be fun
and bonfires welcome
is what they represent
the overthrow of control
by those who have been oppressed
so rather than call for a blanket ban
add some fuel to the fire
and inhale the memories of fun
washed in smoke.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem inspired by the rise of cancel culture and hypocrisy.

(Image adapted from Jamie Street via Unsplash)

A Lesson in Falling

In my younger years
i was always afraid
of falling down
but fear has been replaced
with a potent intoxicating euphoria
when this planetary mass of mine
descends with thunderous precision
or occasional feather-light bedlam
when cloth & skin & flesh
encounter earth
i revel in the writhing of
reverting to verticality
safe in the knowledge that
any bloomed bruises or scratched skin
will heal
but i’ll still wear them
crystalline merits of resilience
because
the euphoria of falling is fleeting
it’s the rising up
i always remember.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem, feel free to have a look around the rest of my site.

(Image courtesy Canva)

Sports Mixture & The Sun

I was 11 years old
buying the Sun
on behalf of my Dad
anticipating
50p worth of sports mixture
with the change

a boy
i recognise
my sister’s age
7 years old
trying to buy
20 Silk Cut and 2 litres of Cider
for his Dad
struggling
under the weight
of expectation

a man 40ish years old
trying to provide
for his family of 6
a newsagent,eager to please his patrons
to be welcomed
into the arms of the community
his journey long
from Bangladesh to Britain
via marriage and military service
looking a blend of bemusement and sadness
at the boy trying to buy
cigarettes and alcohol
who he turns away from his counter

50-ish years old
reeking of addiction
to tabs and cheap booze
he storms the shop
firing slurred slow
deliberate insults
and asking
do you know who i am
irked by the response of
yes a thug and a bad father, we dont sell alcohol and tobacco to children
it was then I witnessed
racism first hand
shock absorbed
in my young brain
stood like a hostage
the tirade continued
the threat of a firebomb
to the newsagent
and his family
the smell eventually leaving
when he couldn’t achieve his demands

me, a boy of 11
buying the Sun
and 50p worth of sports mixture
with the change
apologising
for someone else’s actions
that I didn’t understand
receiving a wink and a sad smile
I ran home
to deliver the newspaper
and the news of what happened
to my Dad

My Dad
mid-30’s
a butcher by trade
the sight of violence and blood
known to him
sat stoically on the sofa
listening to my recap of events
crinkling the pages
between fingers
stained with ink of
yesterday’s news
providing words of wisdom
“Cowards make threats, proper men keep promises”
followed by
can I have a couple of sports mixture
I gave him the bag.

————-

This poem is based on a shocking morning trip to the Newsagent just around the corner from our house.

Most of the time there was a real togetherness in our council estate, but on rare occasions, a sinister underbelly came to the fore.

Thanks for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts,

Paul

Time Travel

Taking a carefree stroll
through an inviting burrow
of oak, ash, cedar, elm and yew
I allow myself
to talk to the trees
and travel through time
the history stored
in trunks and roots
is phenomenal
whispered secrets
shared by the world
filtered through canopies
of bronze, emeralds and golds
could fill all the libraries
in all the world
woodland sentinels
silently observing
passers-by
witnessing the same
litany of mistakes
made by multiple generations
the main one being
that your present
is already your past
and the future is now.

This is something I’ve learned
by talking to trees
while travelling through time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem, inspired by wandering in the woods and listening. I’d love to know your thoughts.