A beautiful day in Folkestone

Yes,  it is a beautiful day in Folkestone, one of those of which H.G.Wells wrote :

It was one of those…clear days that Folkestone sees so much of- every colour incredibly bright and every outline hard.

(In case you are thinking it especially bright of me to have such a quotation to hand, I must point out that it is on a sign that I have seen a couple of hundred times since I came to Folkestone.)

I had the treat last evening of seeing the great Paul Cheneour perform at the Cheriton Light Festival. I found him in a cafe trying to warm his fingers. Paul plays the flute, and the stage was outside, in the chilly wind! I was delighted that he managed to loosen his frozen fingers, as the music was terrific.

Nothing doing this week, but next week I shall be with Dover Tales on Monday March 7th (8pm at The Louis Armstrong, Maison Dieu Road, Dover) and at Kipps’ Alehouse (top of Old High Street, Folkestone) on Wednesday March 9th  for the ‘7th Wonder Jam and Poetry Night’. 8pm

http://dovertales.co.uk          Kipps’ Alehouse is on Facebook


                              POEM IN A BOTTLE

                   I bottled up a poem

                   And launched it on the sea-

                   Fifteen years went by

                   And no-one rescued me.

I wrote verses about childhood

How innocent and free-

But nobody was listening

From across the sea.

                    I wrote of love and marriage

                    Of youth and beauty-

                    I waited by the shore

                    But nothing did I see.

I wrote of clouds and mountains

Of flowers on the lea-

I listened for an echo

But no echo came to me.

                    I wrote of God and heaven

                    Of how the world should be-

                    But when the waves came rolling in

                    They were empty.

I wrote of the dead and the dying

Of a grave beneath a tree-

And I waited for an answer

From the silent sea.

                    I bottled up a poem

                    And sent it out to sea

                    Sixteen years went by before

                    It washed back in to me.


This blog has been open for 5 days, and it is time to offer my manifesto.

Manifesto stands for More Aubades (Alexandrines, Acrostics, Anapaests) Needed In Folkestone; Epics (Elegies, Eclogues), Sonnets (Sestinas, Stanzas) TOo

My manifesto proclaims that the poetry-loving people of Folkestone need and deserve more and better poetry. According to the OPS* 95% of Folkestonians go to the newsagents to buy The Complete Works of T.S.Eliot; 4% for fags/lottery tickets; 1% for The Times/Guardian/Mail/Mirror/Sun. The evidence is overwhelming. More poetry! Better poetry!

                                                                                                                                                                                       *Office for Poetry Statistics



Looking back, from halfway up the cliff,

At the sea with glittering sunlight adorned;

I say to myself it is as if

I have been granted a vision of glory;

And I stand, stock-still with awe

And ask: What more could you ever want than this?

And I answer-











My favourite joke is this: A horse goes into a bar. The barman says “why the long face?”. Yes; that’s it. Understanding the joke depends upon two things: knowing that horses have long faces (everybody knows that), and that people who drink alone in bars sometimes pour out their troubles to the bartender. Frank Sinatra singing ‘One for my baby, and one more for the road’ is an example.

Otters almost became extinct in England during the last century. At the eleventh hour, we stopped polluting our rivers and watercourses, and otters have now returned to every county. This is called ‘Old Neptune’s Dead’.

                    Old Neptune’s dead, who raised the walls of Troy;

                    And Cupid’s lethal arrows are but toys.

                    There is no Robin Hood to feed the poor;

                    No poets hymn the ecstasies of war.

                    St George, who killed the dragon in his prime,

                    Is a refuge for scoundrel-patriots in our time.

                    Though Arthur will not come again this year,

                    The otters have returned to Cambridgeshire.

                    Great Pan is dead; the temple fires are out;

                    And Achilles is bedridden with gout.

                    Heroes we worshipped once have feet of clay;

                    And every mangy dog must have its day.

                    No matter: be of good heart, good cheer:

                    The otters have returned to Cambridgeshire.

Monday February the 22nd 2016 15:40

My new – my first ever – blog. There should be a celebratory verse. Here goes:

        People often ask if there is a book or a website

        And I answer no, I’m an amateur,

        About as amateur as you can imagine;

        In fact, this is my retirement hobby-

        It was either verse or indoor bowls

        And you have to stand up to play bowls.


There! 15:45 and I’m off and racing…