Sunday, 20 October 2019


A few pints of Deuchars and my spirit is soaring.
The child dances out of me,
goes running down to the Tyne,
while the little man in me wrestles with a lass
and William Blake beams all his innocence in my glass.
And the old experience sweats from a castle’s bricks
as another local prophet takes a jump off the bridge.

It’s the spirit of Pat Foley and the ancient brigade
on the loose down the Quayside stairs
in a futile search,
just a step in the past,
for one last revolutionary song.

All the jars we have supped
in the hope of a change;
all the flirting and courting and chancing downstream;
all the words in the air and the luck pissed away.
It seems we oldies are running back
screaming to the Bewick days,
when a man could down a politicised quip
and craft a civilised chat
before he fed the birds
in the Churchyard.

The cultural ships are fair steaming in
but it’s all stripped of meaning -
the Councillors wade
in the shallow end.

O Blake! buy me a pint in the Bridge again,
let it shiver with sunlight
through all the stained windows,
make my wit sparkle
and my knees buckle.

Set me free of this stifling age
when the bland are back in charge.
Let us grow our golden hair wild once more
and roar like Tygers
down Dog Leap Stairs.



Tuesday, 8 October 2019



The lines on our faces
show us testing times
we survived,
scrbbling poems and drawings
often against brick walls,
pleading for the funds
to make our crazy dreams happen.
Down the back lanes of home,
in Spencean Holborn,
tacky Amsterdam
and surreal Den Bosch,
we have trudged
with our artistic gifts;
on to the ancient boulevards of Prague,
inside the boozy nooks of Tuebingen,
on Isle of Man steam trains,
we fearfully hawked our pamphlets
hoping that they’d make
someone’s little life a little better.
Now, catching a moment of oral history
in the sunshine of our days,
we drink for the moment
to be done with pain,
brief as a kiss
in a sudden poem
or life-sketch.
Expressing ourselves endlessly
in a way that lights up others’ lives
we carry on planting
bolts of joy
on the banks of the sloshing Tyne.