Appearing On… Eat The Storms – Christmas Episode

The Christmas episode of the Eat The Storms Poetry Podcast has been released. On it, you’ll hear me (!!!) reading four of my poems with a wintry and festive feel. I am so grateful that Damien (the host with the most!) invited me back to read. I love Christmas and the last time I appeared on the podcast was my podcasting debut, my reading live debut and was so much fun.

Some of the poems I’ve read you’ll find on Paul Writes Poems already; the others will be released between now and Christmas along with my daily Haiku Advent Calendar so keep your eyes peeled.

The last time I had the opportunity to appear on Eat The Storms, the other readers were amazing. The same is said for my fellow poets appearing on the Christmas episode, but, this time Damien has ramped things up for the festivities so it’s bursting at the seams like a vintage stocking.

I have released a poem this month already, you can find the piece of nostalgia by clicking, ‘At Christmas‘.

It was a massive honour and privilege to take part, especially with the calibre of the other poets reading. I may have been was awestruck! (I must apologise for the sore throat though.)

Merry Christmas Everybody

Ho Ho Ho

Paul

Bobby’s Wake

The pitmen gather around the empty hearse,
standing like Davids around Goliath,
some with roll-up cigs burning,
a glowing tobacco-fuelled pyre for,
another brother lost to history.

The colliery band are gearing up,
it’s good to see them still looking strong,
a shame some of the brass looks dull,
but the sapphire and gold thread of the banner,
is still resplendent in the tender summer drizzle.

Bobby’s family give their thanks to the vicar,
with a handshake and bottle of whisky;
his widow unsteady from grief
– and a brandy she’d drank for his honour and her nerves –
is weightless in the arms of her daughters,
the sorrow they’re carrying is a heavy enough burden.

Some of his friends from the village,
wander around the nearby graves,
hunching over the headstones and fading flowerheads,
making empty apologies they aren’t there more often.


Everyone congregates at the roadside when the band begins,
ready for the march to the pub;
tubas and trumpets blowing out the tune to
‘The Bonny Pit Laddie’
a reminder of the man,
just returned to the earth;
close to the coal he used to dig.


At the pub – we all raise a ‘Percy Special’ in toast,
and the tales and tankards come thick and fast;
like pick-axes on silver-black mine walls,
did only a couple of years ago;
the only hush comes from the opening of the buffet table.


These ageing men who’ve fought the police and government;
legends in their own lifetimes;
know that they’ll be together again soon enough,
wondering if they’ll be the missing face, lying in the dirt;
some have a fleeting sadness on their hard faces,
quickly burnt away by the furnace behind their eyes,
and then songs break out with soft smiles

this is a celebration.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem.

I really appreciate all your support.

Take It Easy

Paul

Sarcophagi

The low autumn sun
blinding-white but bereft of gold
because the beech and sycamore stole it
to paint their leaves
before purging the dying
windswept sarcophagi of the season
everyone and everything
wants to be a king for a day
and all kings know kingdoms fall
crumble to decay
and history remembers in bronze
the colour of rotting leaves
atoms return to atoms
return to life elsewhere.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem about autumn.

I hope you enjoyed it, if so why not check some of my other work out.

Take It Easy

Paul

Photo from unsplash: Ilham Ramadhan

Good To Me

From the sea glass
you smuggled me home
from the beach
I built a cairn
a tiny megalith
in honour of those
who in my history
have had a positive influence
some I still know now
others are silhouettes
billowing in the breeze
of my memory
smooth-edged like the shards
and when light rebounds and refracts
among the edges
glinting blue psychedelia
I find myself floating
staring upwards
lost in a soliloquy
for my soul.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. I have many other pieces of writing available to read on my site, plus there are links to publications featuring my work, so feel free to have a look around.

Take It Easy

Paul

The Bench At The Harbour

We sat under a steady autumn sky
watching the tiny acts of rebellion
as young clouds broke away from old
grey from white, white from grey
and the sun threw firecrackers
at the surface of the sea
silent, straw-gold crackling amid the calm
we stole glances from each other
as the tender harbour breeze
kisses our cheeks turning us blush-pink
the terns and gulls played tag
swooping too close to earth
that the seagrass stole some feathers
and – as nature misbehaved all around us
I softly gripped your hand
knowing you’d never let me go
because I was falling in love with you even more
and this falling will go on forever
like the marble-blue horizon

– under the steady
autumn
sky.

Thanks for taking time to read my poem, I hope you enjoyed it. While you’re here, why not check some of my other work out.

Take It Easy

Paul

Margins

I write in the margins
because I used to live there
an oddity, an anomaly, a correction
wasting valuable space on the page 
until the margins became
too tight to breathe in
too tight to survive in
so I leaked into the rest of the page
sharing my words with others
finding friendship and love.

I write in the margins
because the margins made me.

———

Thanks for taking time to read my poem. I hope you enjoyed. Why not take time to read some of my other pieces?

Take It Easy

Paul

Celebrating Being Published in Daily Drunk!!!

I’m so happy to share my news!!!

I have been lucky to be selected to be published in the Daily Drunk for my poem ‘The Off-Vengers’. It’s a poem based on if the characters from The US Office were cast in the roles of some of The Avengers.

Check it out using the link below;

Hope You Like It,

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

Great Grandad Grandstand

I remember the things I learned
watching Grandstand on Saturday afternoons
at my Great Grandad’s house
like the rules of snooker, darts
and horse racing
how to pick a winning horse out the newspaper (look at the jockey)
sound like Woody the Woodpecker
how to use a mangle to dry out clothes
still steaming from the old washing machine
I found that snuff tobacco was minty
and cured a sniffle
that I preferred my squash diluted
and scotch eggs and ‘black bullets
are the food of kings
The most important thing
he taught me and many others
           – was kindness.

Although Grandstand Saturdays came to an end
I still keep what I learnt
sacred in my mind and heart
except the food
I eat that.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. A little letter to my Great Grandad who used to have me round when I was a kid.

Take It Easy

Paul

Morning Fishing Trips

A September Saturday in 1995
the four a.m. sea air is salt-sour
silicate sand shimmers
under the after-midnight-blue canopy
the waning moon a spotlight
on discarded worm skins

I dig since I’m the youngest –
because even morning fishing trips have hierarchies –
success arrives after ten minutes
of shovel and scoop
we loot the fresh bait
they can wriggle all they want
we own them now

we march in early morning muteness
preserving our energy
until we can cast off
and pour ourselves a flask-coffee
topped with a nip of whisky

destination reached we pick our spots
wisely or not
our rods are set
with hands stained with dying worm-dye

waiting for the first ripple
or bend of pole
the craic is quiet
about the things men like to talk about
as dawn passes over us

an hour passes by
then three of five rods
begin to quiver
the ancient part of our hunter-brains
spike our natural instincts

we let our rods sway
luring in the line tenderly
then reel rapidly
drawing in a decent-sized pollock
the crack of the baton
gives me the first of a few fish
caught before the nearby B&B’s
serve their breakfasts.

After some further success
we head back to the van
our shoal are all fair sizes
my pollock glimmering longest in the bucket
but hierarchies exist
and I may get landed with a small plaice
but where there are hierarchies
there are rites of passage
and it’s the first fish i’ve caught
so I get to keep it

I also get to gut all the catch
my fumbling numb fingers
dyed crimson by dead fish
find their rhythm
and I’m proud to be
on the first
rung of the hunter’s hierarchy.

I used to go fishing in Northumberland regularly, this poem is about when i first started out, I was 12. One of our neighbours took me with his friends, it was always a great experience.

I hope you like it.

Take it easy

Paul