Hour 11 – Swallowtail Jig

It’s my father.


Banjo, Irish folk,

With a Scottish accent

And a flutter of Jazz.

Everything intertwined,

Always moving,

Always turning,

Always out of reach.

It’s me.

Learning the recorder,

Irish jigs, Sully’s,

Play them faster,

Fingers moving

Without instruction.

Always moving,

Always turning,

Always out of reach.

It’s him and me.

A pro and a child.

The goal, the same,

The distance different

Music not connecting,

Evading the point.

Always moving,

Always turning,

Always out of reach.

Hour 10 – The Colour Purple

There’s a whole generation

Of women, of a certain age,

Who took the poem about

Wearing purple when you’re old

A little too seriously.

The liberation of being able

To dress in a less demure fashion

Is muted, when every woman

On the bus or in the doctor’s

Wears purple pants or coats

Or both. It’s so extreme at times

That they’re difficult to distinguish;

A sea of mauves and lilacs,

Heady with talcum powder and Halls

Bursts from the bus to the pavements.

Any waiting grandchild might not

find their Grammy in the purple waves.

When I am old, I shall wear

Whatever I please, which is,

I think, what the original poem

Was saying, quite clearly.

Hour 9 – Spider

Alone in my room,

you sat on the wall,

waiting. Next to my bed.

I turned on the light

And flinched at the sight of you.

You are not ugly.

I flinch anyway.

Alone in the house,

Alone but for you.

In the place where I sleep.

I take a tennis racket,

never used in anger

And try to encourage you

to move from my bed,

I need to sleep.

You fall and as I try to catch you

I squash you instead.

I never meant to hurt you.

I never meant to hurt anyone.

Hour 8 – Golden Shovel

So often, I wish I could weep.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, if

Broken, for so long, as I have been, you

Hold your pieces together, tightly, as if you must

To survive. Everyone is hurt by parting.

What if that was all there is?

What if there is no heaven or hell?

I found this poem on the back of a photo but

I didn’t know who wrote it, who’s life

Had been reflecting these words, so it goes.

We all end up carrying on and on

Regardless of our experiences, so,

As long as you have breath, sing,

As long as you sing, smile as well.


“Weep if you must, parting is hell, but life goes on so sing as well”. Joyce Grenfell. A nod to Kurt Vonnegut too with “So it goes”.

Hour 7 – Inside Out

There is pain inside

That I don’t let out.

Pain that I hide,

That I do not flout.


It’s not secret pain,

It’s just buried well

It isn’t a strain

To not share my hell.


If I release it

And unleash the grief

Emancipate it,

There is no relief.


Inside my being

Pain is intent,

Nobody seeing

The cost of it’s rent.

Hour 6 – Thoughtless

It started without thinking,

No plans were made

Or broken.

No outlines drawn

Or ideas hewn.

It started without thinking.


Without thought what do we create?

The value of inspiration

The priceless muse

To drive us.

Without planning do we ever

Get where we want to be?


Whatever we do we end up

making plans, even for the moment.

You can’t live tomorrow today.

You can’t live yesterday tomorrow.

All there is, is now.

But now still needs thought.

Now is every day.

Hour 5 – The Sea

Childhood was a long time ago.

There’s a difference between memory

and what we know.

There are places, sure, I remember well;

The sailing club with all it’s perks,

The mansion of my bestest friend

But few places held my attention.

I guess, it would have to be, for me,

The sea.

A place of fun and happiness

An escape with an endless horizon

Of possibility.

A source of interesting food and smells.

The ever soothing ebb and flow of life

At the edge of land,

Where anything could come

And anything could go.

I have lived, land-locked, for many years now.

Everyday I miss the sea,

It’s not a memory,

It’s what I know.

Hour 4 – The Time We…

Do you remember the time

We fell over drunk?

Our arses all wet from the rain?


Do you remember the time

We made love all night?

To the same, repeated refrain?


Do you remember the time

We let go of our child?

And how we ignored all the pain?


Do you remember the time

We illicitly met?

And realised that nothing had changed?

Hour 3 – Lady with Light

The light within her shone bright,

Splitting the darkness of the night.

As she released it’s glowing spheres

So she released her darkest fears.

And all around, the people’s dreams

Were filled with golden, dancing, beams.


The light within her reaching far,

Met with happiness, none could mar,

tearing darkness from within,

Lightening her blackest sin.

And all around, the light did glow,

And there inside, they watched her grow.

Hour 2 – Yearnings

Is that we which we do not speak of


Is it possible for every emotion to be


In longing, for anything, anyone, do we ever share


When I dream of kissing you, whom should I


Who would want to know my deepest


And worse, who would want to know the


If we share everything, what of us is


To ourselves longing, desires and dreams