Outside the Lines at the Twitter Art Exhibit

Been away  for a while. Getting two new jobs will kind of cut into blogging that way.

Anyway, have found some time to doodle a little pic and add some words. The result has gone on to join many other postcards at a recent charity exhibiton in Edinburgh.

This postcard is now on sale online and can be found here along with work by proper artists. Go take a look, and maybe make a purchase to help a good cause. Thanks.


Photo: Pen picture of multicoloured cartoon-style flowers, with words “In shades of illogical, nonsensical and impossible beauty – colour outside the lines”.



For World Mental Health Day

This time last year I posted a poem for World Mental Health day that could be considered deep, and perhaps even meaningful. This year, I shall swerve that, in favour of something I hope will make you smile. Sometimes the simplest things can lift our mood after all. Hope you enjoy it.

Very Bad Dog

Lucky will shed fur all over my chairs,
Lucky will at scratch the door,
Or run like a lunatic up and down stairs
Then flop in a heap on the floor.
At night he will curl up, all snug on my bed,
So we are both lovely and warm.
Until an insistent paw pats at my head
To signal the first light of dawn.

Lucky will loiter around by my legs
To show me just how much I mean;
Yet this is truly the way that he begs,
It says his food bowl is too clean.
He’ll wave his long tail and gaze into my eyes
To ensure that I quite comprehend
That I must not skimp on the portion size,
After all, he is my best friend.

He’ll sit on my lap whilst I’m reading a book
And then disappear for some time
Returning with the most insouciant look
As if to ask,‘What? I was fine!’
And tho’ I will scold him, my dear little mog,
He’ll not be much troubled by that;
For these things – which would make him a Very Bad Dog –
Simply mean he’s a Typical Cat!

A Glowing Review

Last week, I told you that my friend Jill Grey was due to speak at Writers Aloud, telling us of her new book about caring for her husband with dementia. Those of you with good memories may also remember that I said to expect a glowing review of the evening in due course. Well, here it is!

I can say without any fear of contradiction that last Wednesday evening at the Goytre Arms pub was one of the best we have ever had – if not actually *the* best. Jill was both entertaining and composed, punctuating the account of publishing her book with personal anecdotes from her life with husband Chris. The reading she chose to illustrate her talk was a perfectly pitched balance of humour and pathos, providing an insight into the struggles of caring for a loved-one, whilst not losing sight of the humour that can be found in such situations. Many folk present noted how well Jill spoke, managing to project her voice to the back of the room without it losing any of its characteristic gentleness.  (A skill which I lack, and to which I certainly aspire.)

After the necessary break to recharge our glasses, a number of the gathered crowd then then had their turn to entertain. The usual eclectic mix of poems and prose arose from the usual eclectic mix of people present, carrying the latter part of the proceedings along with ease. We were also pleased to welcome some new faces to our little band of writers which, along with a good turn out of the ‘usual suspects’, made for a very well attended and enjoyable evening.

I personally had a fabulous time and judging by the words of thanks and positive comments I have had from people since, it would appear that I was not alone in this. It has admittedly set the bar pretty high for the next Writers Aloud evening, in October, so perhaps I shall hand the responsibility for co-ordinating that one to someone else!

Any volunteers…? 😉

Writers Aloud once more

Another fabulous evening with my writing buddies at the Goytre Arms last week.  It was good to spend time with friends, especially those who have been out of the loop for a while for various reasons.

Not many people had come with the intention of sharing their work this month, so we took the opportunity to have a much needed catch up.  A number of us also stayed on for the quiz, where our team ‘The Polite Clappers’ came a respectable third place.  (Team name courtesy of pub landlord Rich, who has commented with amusement on the way we applaud each other during our Writers Aloud evenings.)

I must confess to writing very little new material recently, so I will wheel out one of my older pieces with which to entertain and inspire you – well, hopefully.

A Gloucestershire Landscape

Golden corn
Stacked in stooks.
Honey-light streaming
Through blue-sky patches.

Uneasy leaves
Rattle the trees.
As the wind rises
With threat of rain.

Scudding shadows
Punctuate the green,
Pursuing one another
Across the verdant hillside.

Sons of the soil
Gather in the harvest;
Protecting their treasure
From approaching storms.



Writers Aloud

Once again, my online life has suffered at the hands of real life.  Consequently, I am dropping by quickly to redress that by telling you about the poems-and-pints-open-mic-thing which I help to co-ordinate.

Writers Aloud takes place on the second Wednesday of the month, every other month, at a local pub called the Goytre Arms.  Excellent food starts the evening for some of us, with the rest turning out later to lubricate the vocal chords with fine real ale (other alcoholic beverages are available) and share our work with each other.

The most recent evening took place on 9th April (I *did* say it had been a while since I last posted) and was the usual relaxed mix of poetry, prose and banter between good friends.  The Facebook page for Writers Aloud can be found by following this link and you may find out more about the Goytre Arms by clicking here.  

If you live in the local area, you would be most welcome to come along to our next evening.  People are welcome to take part or simply to listen.  As long as you enjoy yourselves, that is fine by us. 🙂

Postcard home

‘Verse in Unexpected Places’ recently returned to its roots.  The picture accompanying the verse on my postcard is of a steam train pulling in to Harmans Cross railway station, also shown in the header of this blog.  Here is one of the postcards is at the station itself.

I could try to form draw some profound and meaningful conclusion from that.  The fact is, I took the orignal photo at a place I visit often, near my parents’ home, and I published the postcards.  So, highly likely really. 🙂

Still, I hope that someone found this, read and enjoyed  it.