Thursday, December 22, 2005


"All time is not your tear-off jotter, you cannot afford to scribble
So many so false answers"
Louis MacNiece, Eclogue by a five-barred gate

The idea that some are just born good
Believing what's not understood
Certainty of what Jesus meant
Hating those who are different
Judging before finding out
Denying any room for doubt

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mary's lament

[a revised version of this poem appears in the collection Removals]


Pregnancy brought me joy and pain
Pain and joy, joy and pain
Joy first, and then pain

As soon as I felt it grow within me
My body succumbed
To the swashes of hormones
The tides of chemicals
The traffic in tissue
I grew and changed
As he grew and changed

I became large and ungainly,
Comically rounded;
I smiled and patted my belly
In joy

My good humour even survived
That hurried journey along crowded roads
In the muddy, frosted fag-end of the year
To Joseph's native village

No room
Still, can't be helped, we bedded down
In straw, flanked by the steaming forms
Of cows

Then the baby came, and with it, pain
My muscles straining
I lay there, panting, sweating;
heart pounding, I cried out
Wailed in the sunset
Pain, such pain

Then there were two voices wailing
Then only one
Then none


Thirty years on, and thirty miles north
I reach the foot of the little hill
Of ill-omened name
The city walls behind me; the gate locked
against encroaching dusk
The three trees stood on the summit
Long shadows sweeping the grass
And something ending

We had done so much, taken such care;
Food, water, clothes, love
Joseph taught him a trade
We had thought to relax
See out our days, warm
In the knowledge that he carried on

But then Joseph died, left us alone;
And then he left,
Said he was called to other things
Had work to do
I waved him off
Kept my fear to myself

The rumours came
From time to time
Travellers, soldiers, relatives
Buzzing with news
He'd been here and there
Doing wonders
And helping, always helping

But then the good news stopped:
Instead, capture, trial, and sentence
I hurried to Jerusalem

I can do nothing but watch
But must do what I can
As he labours through the hours
His face drawn, plastered with sweat and blood
His voice cracked
He asked why his Father forsook him
I wanted to tell him
His mother had not


Now all is dark
I'm in some room
(I can't recall where)
With some people, friends I think,
Downcast, snivelling and sobbing
He had such strength!
And we do not

It is unbearable
What can I do but bear it?
I cannot go on
What can I do but go on?

Joy and pain, he brought me,
Pain and joy, joy and pain
Joy first, then pain
Such pain

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The raven's tale

For forty days we had huddled in the rafters
Birds of every kind, squabbling over perches,
While the roof of the Ark was hammered
By incessant rain; through cracks in the shutters
I could see the swirling waters, heavy with silt,
Swelling and flowing around the boat

Then one dawn we woke in great surprise
Some change had happened, but what?
It took some time to realise
It was the silence, the absence of sound:
The rain had stopped;
We chattered in excitement

Noah strode in from the stern
His face drawn and pale
His clothes stained and damp
But relief filled his eyes
"It's over", he said, "We've come through"
We didn't know what he meant
"We'll start afresh - now all I need
Is a creature to search for land
As the water drops"

The dove, primping his white feathers,
Lifted his head high for notice
Raising envious glances
From his neighbours
But not from me

Noah shrewdly assessed the candidates:
Too fat, too slow, too dumb
He passed the dove and selected me
"Go, find a tree, quick as you can,
And bring a leaf to show me
That we can start our lives again"

Off I flew, fast and high, and straight
Lazily flapping my wings
Crossing the calming waves
Looking down for a trace of green
On and on, further and further,
Until, days later, I saw a rock
A pinnacle of some great mountain
Standing just proud of the sea
And landed there to rest

Later, much later, I heard the story
Of how the dove got on
Became a symbol for peace
For a covenant between God and man
And was blessed by Noah;
But I also heard rumours
That Noah dined on pigeon pie

I made my own way,
Needing nobody's grace,
Content to fly
Until my goal appears.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Retired sailor's lament (echo verse)

What can't be found while there's wind in the trees? (Ease)

A note on echo poems

The echo poem was a form popular in the 16th-17th centuries. It comprises a series of statements of questions followed by a response (or echo) which repeats part of the end of the question:

Then tell me, what is that supreme delight?
Echo: Light
From George Herbert (1593-1633), Heaven

Another example is Edward de Vere's echo verses (1588).

Given the limited options, it is usual to allow some laxity about the precision of the echo.

There is a modern ribald echo poem about poets of the past by Kinglsey Amis, included in his published Letters (p. 115):

Say what the realm of honey-tongued Pope is. Echo: Piss

What ails Wordsworth in Nature's mystic lap? Echo: Clap

Regret (echo poem)

What does the heart do when it's made a mistake? (Ache)
What is the fruit of being untrue? (Rue)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Broken (echo poem)

Who walked away in the dawn, scattering the dew? (You)
Who remained there under a paling sky? (I)

Will you return when the wind brings the snow? (No)
What do they do who say feelings fly? (Lie)

Where must you travel when all hope is gone? (On)
What becomes of the bond that linked friends? (Ends)

Powerless (echo poem)

Whose fate is ruled by far-distant towers? (Ours)
And who will obey Death's final call? (All)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The line stops here
Beneath arching glass

Locomotives shudder
Panting for breath

Carriages cough passengers
Onto the platform

Midnight arrives
Silence descends

Pigeons fight for litter
With the rats

A few words (public meeting)

First I must recall
That it was 30 years ago ...

Then I must thank Mr Lewis, here,
Without whose help ...

And all the members of the committee
Who have worked so hard, so hard

And now, before we start,
I ask you all to welcome

A most distinguished guest
Who I'm sure you all will know

"First I must recall ... "

Friday, November 18, 2005


The Greeks heard it

Long ago
Before there was anything else
To hear
They stared up at the night sky
Tracked the stars and planets
By eye
The harmonics of geometry
The music of the spheres
This is part of the 7th Poetry Carnival.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

News item (tanka)

On the radio
The Business reporter said:
"There is a lot of
Depression in the High Street
In the run-up to Christmas"


The fault in the rock
The crack in the wood
The flaw in the crystal
The worm in the bud

The chip in the china
The flint in the mud
The cancer in the body
The bubble in the blood

The hole in the heart
The killer in the crowd
The barb on the wire
The stain on the shroud

The triumph of evil
The pain of the good

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ars poetica (occasional flashes of lucidity)

I wake with a mind filled
With fugitive thoughts,
Quicksilver threads, like
Splinters of mirror-glass

I grope for things just out of reach-
At last, a phrase is caught
I explore its form
Learn its texture, shape and weight

I search out the proper frame
To put it on display
Select the words so the sense
Is echoed by their sound

Guiding the reader along
Through meanders, rapids, falls,
Ending in a still pool
Of quiet reflections

Part of the 6th poetry carnival hosted by Legwarmers.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ars Poetica: Horace got back

The glory of Horace will never pass:
His elegant poetica, his incomparable ars.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Alternative history

Two heroes rode into the town
Greeted by cries of "Welcome home"
Their clothes strange and bright

One had been to a foreign war
Had killed and plundered
Won spoils, captured towns

The other had gone to court
Argued persuasively before the king
Was granted lands and titles

Their sister met them at the door
Kissed their cheeks and asked them in
As night drew on, their stories failed

"Well, sister, what have you been doing
While we have been making history?"
"Nothing much- just raising kids,

Growing crops, washing clothes ..."
She left the table, called
By a child's cry from the loft

Friday, October 28, 2005

Old age: views on life and death

My memory's not
What it was- but then,
Neither is the world

Hands shake and tremble
I open the newspaper
Head shakes and trembles

Tea and cakes were treats
To fill time between kisses
Now they're all there is

A winter mountain
My summit is topped in white
The cold reaches deep

I bask in the warmth
Of company: it's good to
Be seeing old friends

Old age is not bad
When you consider what the
Alternative is

The postman brings cards
For funerals every day:
I will go to mine

I check the paper
To see whether I am dead
If not, I get dressed

Grey skies: Brown leaves drop
As nature prepares to sleep
I'll not see her wake

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

55 words for Bob Dylan

Robert Zimmerman
left his name behind- just took
his guitar with him

Wailing in the streets
of New York, he became a
hero, then Judas

mixed with drugs and rock and roll
thoughts and feelings merged

Marriage, kids, divorce
facing up to pain and loss
You always have words

Monday, October 24, 2005

The minister

Whose drive to succeed
Overrode every need?
Who schemed and plotted
And promptly forgot it?
Who drafted the laws
To milk most applause?
Who signed his name
But refused any blame?
Who crossed the line
And had to resign?
Who used to be feared
Then just disapperaed?
--The Minister


Pontius Pilate
Washed his hands and said "It's not
My jurisdiction"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A short history of Wales

As glaciers crept around Paviland Cave
We laid our first leader in his grave

We prised the Preseli bluestones free
Sent them to Stonehenge over the sea

The Roman soldier oiled his curls
Didn't bother with local girls

Arthur's veins ran with royal blood
Made a palace of sticks and mud

Rebecca's children have grown up wrong
Drunk on story, myth and song

The millennium dawns on Cardiff Bay
A nation reborn, or so they say

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Very short job interview

"So we're looking for
a self-starter-" "I thought
it said 'fire starter'".

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The moon, manless, has no thought
For its beauty
It waxes and wanes
As geometry dictates.

Tugging tides, inspiring poems,
Taunting astronauts:
It could be said to do these
If it were not a lump of rock.

On Earth its path is carefully tracked
Noted, calculated, observed
But the Moon needs no map
Only the pulls of gravity.


Tang of salt and sweat;
Glistening and wet
Skin against skin, warm,
Sharing one form;
Sweet somethings whispered
More felt than heard;
Desire's debt is paid;
Our love has been made.

Part of the 5th Poetry Carnival at Poetic Acceptance.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


All work, no play, makes
Jack dull-must be some other
reason in my case

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ghost hunter

Forget the chilled dusk
Wisps of mists trailing through shattered windows
The fox's bark and the owl's screech
Forget creaking floorboards,
Cobwebs, gnarled trees
Forget half-seen ghosts
Zombies, vampires, skeletons

What makes me shiver
Are regrets, griefs, sorrows,
From which dawn brings no relief.

Say somebody loved you (Song)

You used to be part of a circle of friends
Who flourished in each other's light
Lately you haven't been seeing them much
Instead you've been staying in nights
But now you're going back to them
And if someone asks what's new
Say somebody loved you,
You know it's true

I know that I wasn't your ideal man
I know that I wasn't your dream
If you don't keep your mind on the road
You end up just drifting downstream
But I hope you haven't forgotten me
And if someone asks why you're blue
Say somebody loved you,
You know it's true

It's so hard to clutch at moments
When you're looking for something more
And it's so hard to keep on giving
When you've nothing left in store
It seems that being happy
Is sometimes hard to do
Say somebody loved you,
You know it's true

My face is fading from your mind
You have left me far behind
And although you may not know
I still love you so

Now all that's left between us
Is something in the past
And all that's left within us
Are memories that won't last
One phrase will remain of us
Now that we are through
Say somebody loved you,
You know it's true

And so I sit in silence
And what for dawn to come
The nights are long and lonely
I end up waiting for the sun
One phrase is left repeating
Waiting for its cue
Say somebody loved you,
You know it's true

Friday, September 30, 2005

Calling like a stranger (song)

It was a long, long time ago
So many years before
When you first encountered me
Calling like a stranger at your door

You blinked once and you blinked twice
And once more to be sure
That I was the one for you
Came calling like a stranger at your door

I asked for food, I asked for drink
You gave me that and more
You asked me to come in and stay
Not come calling like a stranger at your door

And after I had stayed a while
You left me on the floor
Since then I've been travelling
Calling like a stranger at your door

So if you meet a wandering man
Ask what he's searching for
He'll tell you that he lost someone
Through calling like a stranger at your door

Call it a threat, call it a promise
But I'll see you once more
Someday soon I'll come around
Calling like a stranger at your door

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Found poetry- search terms define me

Have to say a few words
jokes about death
Fearne Cotton fashion
illusion of choice
70s hairstyles

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Have to remember to forget you (Song)

When I wake up in the morning light
I turn, expect to see the sight
Of you, but you've gone away
And though it's been a long long time
It always seems to slip my mind
Have to remember to forget you every day

When I'm staring at the TV screen
Or flicking through a magazine
There's always something makes me stray
A girl in the story with your name
An actress who almost looks the same
Have to remember to forget you every day

I stand down by the riverside
Watch the water roll on by
Watch the changes as it drifts away
Though I know you won't be coming back
I can't move on or change the track
Have to remember to forget you every day

Sometimes it's the good old days
Mostly it's the crying phase
Memories just seem to want to stay
I still expect to see your face
In every part of every place
Have to rememebr to forget you every day

Praxis- a manifesto for action

The middle way is not the safest course
And inaction is not the wisest scheme
In desperate times, unstoppable force
Must be met by an answering extreme
He who hestitates will often suffer
And hanging around, get blamed for everything-
Others have had time to run for cover
Grasp the nettle tight to avoid the sting

It is the early worm that gets the bird
The wise virgin who will remain unwed
The quiet voice of calm that goes unheard
The thoughtful monarch who loses his head
Too much time spent deciding how to act
Prevents a vision turning into fact

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sunset in Gaza

I sit on my bench as the air turns chill
I grab a handful of the well-tilled soil
I feel its warmth on my open palm
The grains glow red in reflected light
As though still stained with Philistine blood
From Samson's time

I think of fires, remembering ovens, other deaths
This was our refuge, our one safe place
Tomorrow we must leave, the soldiers say,
Another journey with an uncertain end
Carrying what we can, leaving an empty house
For the bulldozers

The wine-dark Mediterranean reflects
The last crimson rays
Stars emerge
Enough of death and retribution
Righteousness and rage
I water the earth with tears of farewell

The seeds I planted, trees I tended,
Will be harvested by other hands
Let them take good care of this land
And live in peace.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Variation on Springsteen

You are lookin' so beautiful
I can hardly keep my eyes on the road
My heart is pumpin' heavy oil
An' I think it's gonna explode

You've got your summer dress on
Flappin' in the slip stream
Your breath smells like perfume-
It's as good as gasoline

The billboards tell us nothin'
That we don't already know
An' even all the roadsigns
Can't tell us where to go

We pull over to the roadside
An' we watch the passin' cars
I swear if you say you'll marry me
I'll pick you a diamond from the stars

Monday, August 15, 2005

Jamais vu

I wake from a confused dream
Panting, trying to remember
Where I am,
Who I am.

Accidents and emergencies

After the dashes
The colons and periods
There come the wild shrieks

Note: newspapers refer to exclamation marks as shrieks.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Nature poem

"Poets walking: some find solace
Others, guts and blood"
Wendy Cope, The squirrel and the crow

Some poets, stuck for the next thing to say,
Will look outside for their inspiration
Cover the page with a note on the day:
Events in the garden's population-
A new bloom here and a fruitfulness there
The violent end of a fledgeling bird
Creeping of beetles and swelling of pear-
The world is observed and sight becomes word

But all this should remain in the background
These things happen, unworthy of remark,
They distract from the place where truth is found
By their acts and cries: cats simper, dogs bark,
Grass grows, the birds sing, and bumble bees buzz
It's just nature doing what nature does

Sunday, July 24, 2005

History lesson

"Tell us about the seaside!" I try to demur
But realise that Billy's not heard it before:
"We went in the car from city to sea-" "What's a car?"
I pause to explain what vehicles are
"And played on the sand and soaked up the sun"
"You went out in the air with no pressure suit on?"
"Yes, and swam in the water" "How brave! Were you scarred?"
"No, the water was clean; and then in the yard
We'd each have the choice of our favourite dish
Mine was fish and chips-" "Grandad, what's a fish?"

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A war of words

Words are weapons
Words can hide
Different words
Deep inside

Words can anger
Can explain
Or mystify

Words have power
Be aware:
They should be labelled
"Use with care"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Falling off a planet (2005): contents

Sonnet: Wisdom
Greek wedding (anniversary song)
Pre-nuptial agreement
Attempted limerick
Mental hygiene
Zen in a traffic jam
Cookery class
Gender difference
Cinquain: Aurora
Cinquain: Triad (after Crapsey)
At home with the Muses
Three views of age
Going back
The geography of loss
Cri de couer
Short sonnet: The thesaurus of love
My son the farmer
A stag-headed oak
Election address
A singular occurrence
The Painted Desert
Collateral damage

Lessons in life (2002): Contents

Human geography
First frost
The gospel according to Thomas
Age and wisdom: a birthday poem
A walk in the park: a piece for two voices
Textual analysis
Ozymandias speaks
Character sketch in three sentences

The silent prison (2004): contents

Into the silent prison
Peace or war
Welsh industry
Two Classical poems
Two limericks

The Wittgenstein amendment (2004): contents

The pastoral myth
Haiku: Spring
Australian epitaph
A mother's advice to a bride
Eight modern proverbs
The craftsman
Philosophy 101
Poetry 101
Binary 101
Spiritual sustenance

The fall of Troy (2003): contents

Mr Eliot's Saturday afternoon service
Time management
One person's Swansea
Rhyme and reason
Landscape painting
A churchyard cross at Evensong
Typographer's test-piece
Time over distance
The fall of Troy

Other rooms, other lives (2000): contents

The New Millennium Experience is a registered trademark
February in Evans Country
A sermon on hope given at Saron Chapel, Abergwynfi
Porthcawl out of season
Dunraven after the storm
Other rooms, other lives

A poetry of place (1998): contents

A poetry of place
Below Saddleworth Moor
Doubt in a Bath attic
Sex instruction manual
Despatch from the home front

The Shadow of Eliot's Ghost (1997): contents

Dead water, Oxwich Bay
A Monmouthshire hedgerow (Wonastow, January)
A lost world (Pen-y-Clawdd schoolhouse, 1940)
Eliot's ghost
Seven cities
Only natural
Student poet
The blackout
The cloud of unknowing
Stations of the cross

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Encounter with an old flame

Meeting up again
I hope that you haven't changed
And hope that I have

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A May night (translation of La Nuit de Mai by Alfred de Musset)

[This translationl appears in the new collection Removals]


Poet, take up your lute and kiss me
The eglantier's flower feels its buds emerge:
Spring was born tonight; the winds come to embrace it
And the shepherd girl, waiting for dawn
Perches on the first green bushes
Poet, take up your lute and kiss me


It's dark in the valley
I thought a veiled shape
Floated there above the trees
She left the meadow
Her feet skimmed the flowered grass
In the strange dream
She faded and disappeared


Poet, take up your lute; night cradles the breeze
In its scented veil
The rose, a virgin once more, jealously clasps herself
Against the pearled hornet she drugged to death
Hark! All becomes quiet; dream of your dearest one
This evening, beneath the dark-propped limes,
The sleeping light-beam leaves a sweeter farewell
This evening, all will flower: eternal nature
Renews perfumes, love and whispering
Like the newly-wed's bridal bed


Why does my heart beat so quickly?
What do I have within me that flutters
Making me feel fearful?
Will there be a knock on the door?
Why does my half-dead lamp
Dazzle me with light?
Good God! My whole body shivers
Who comes? Who calls me? Noone
I am alone; it is the hour striking
O solitude! O poverty!


Poet, take up your lute; the wine of youth
Ferments this night in the veins of God
My breast is uneasy; sensuality constricts it
And the changing winds have raised a fire in me
O lazy child! Look, I am beautiful
Our first kiss- do you not remember it?
When I saw you, so pale it touched my heart
And you, teary-eyed, fell into my arms
Ah! I consoled your bitter suffering
Alas! Still so young, you were dying of love
Console me tonight, I am dying of hope
I need a prayer to live to dawn


Is it your voice that calls me?
O my poor Muse! Is it you?
O my flower! O my immortal!
The only one who is pure and true!
Yes, you are there, it's you, my fairest
It's you, my mistress and my sister!
And I feel, in the deep night,
Your robe of gold enfolding me
Shining rays into my heart


Poet, take up your lute; it's me, your immortal
Who you saw this sad and silent night
And who, like a bird whose nest calls,
Comes down from the heavens to weep with you
Come, you suffer, friend. Some lonely trouble
Upsets you, something grieves your heart;
Some love has come to you, such as one sees on earth,
A shadow of pleasure, the appearance of happiness
Come, let us sing before God; let us sing in your thoughts
In your lost pleasures, in your past pains;
Let us leave, with a kiss, for an unknown world.
We will shake awake the echoes of your life
We will speak of fortune, of glory and madness
And that will be a dream and anybody
We will invent forgotten places;
Let's leave, we are alone, the universe is ours
Here is green Scotland and brown Italy
And Greece, my mother, where honey is so sweet
Argos and Pteleon, city of hecatombs
And the divine Messa, pleasantly doved
And the ragged brow of changing Pelion
And the blue Titarese, and the silver gulf
Which shows in its waters, where the swan admires itself
White Oloossone and white Camyre
Tell me, what dream of gold will our songs rock to sleep?
From whence will come the tears that we will spill?
This morning, when day touches your eyelids
What thoughtful angel, curled up on your bed
Will shake the lilac in its thin robe
And bury you under the loves that it revives?
Shall we sing of hope, sorrow or joy?
Shall we temper with blood the soldiers of steel?
Shall we hang up love on a silken ladder?
Shall we throw to the wind the sweat of the steed?
Shall we say which hand, in the lamps without number,
In the heavenly house, burns night and day
The holy oil of life and of eternal love?
We will call to Tarquin "It is time: here is the shadow!"
Shall we go down to collect pearls on the sea bed?
Shall we drive the goat to the bitter ebony trees?
Shall we climb into the sky like Sadness?
Shall we follow the hunt on the craggy peaks?
The girl watches him; she cries and begs;
Her heather waits for him; her does are newborn
He bows; he slaughters them; he throws down
To the sweating dogs the prey's still-living heart
Shall we paint a rose-cheeked maiden
On her way to Mass?; a page later
And she looks disturbed, on the shore
Her parted lips forgetting her prayer
She listens, trembling, in the echo of the pillar
To the clanging spur of a bold knight
Shall we tell the ancient heroes of France
To send their armies to the battlements of their towers
And revive the simple fable
That their forgotten glory taught the minstrels?
Shall we clothe in white a pale elegy?
The man of Waterloo will tell us his life
And that he reaped the human herds
Before the envoy of the endless night
Came onto this green mound to glance at them
And on his iron heart crossed his arms?
Shall we nail to the post a high satire
The name seven times sold by a pale pamphleteer
Who, forced by hunger, from the depth of forgetfulness
Comes, rattling with envy and impotence,
Before the insulted spirit of hope
And bites the laurels his breath has tarnished?
Take up your lute! Take up your lute! I can no longer suppress it
My wing lifts me on the breath of Spring
The wind will carry me; I will leave the earth
A tear from you! God hear me: it is time.


There is no need, dear sister
For a kiss from your loving lip
And a tear from my eyes
I will give you freely;
So that you'll remember our love
If you ascend back to the clouds
I do not sing of hope
Nor glory, nor fortune
Alas! Nothing's like suffering
The mouth keeps silent
To hear the speech of the heart


Do you believe that I'm like the autumn wind
Which feeds from the tears upon a tomb
And for whom sorrow is just a drop of water?
O poet! A kiss, it is me who asks it of you.
The grass that I wanted to tear from this place
Is your idleness; your sorrow is to God.
What sorrow is it that your youth suffers?
Let it grow, this holy wound
That the black angels have given your heart
Nothing makes us so great as a great sorrow
But, for it to touch you, do not believe, O poet
That your voice here below must keep mute.
The most hopeless songs are the most beautiful
And I know the pure immortals sob.
When the pelican, departed on a long journey
In the evening mists returns to his reeds
His little starvelings running on the bank
To see him from afar dropping to the waters.
Already, thinking to seize and share their prey
They run to their father with joyous cries
Succouring their beaks on their terrible goitres
He, reaching with slow steps a raised rock
Protects his dangling throat from his brood,
Sad fisherman, he looks to the skies.
The blood runs in slow waves from his open chest
In vain has he plumbed the depths of the seas
The Ocean is empty and the shore deserted
To provide food for all he offers his heart.
Sombre and silent, straggled on the pebbles,
His sons share the father's flesh,
In his sublime love he soothes his sorrow
And, watching his bloody breast drop
On his death-feast he sinks and staggers
Drunk on pleasure, on tenderness and horror.
But sometimes, in such divine sacrifice,
Weary to death from too long pain
He fears that his children will not let him live
Then he raises himself, opens his throat to the wind
And, striking his heart with a wild cry,
He splits the night with such a sorrowful farewell
That the seagulls leave the shore
And the traveller on the beach is stayed,
Sensing his death, and commending him to God.
Poet, it is thus that great poets are made.
They leave those who live once to make themselves happy
But the generous dishes served at their feasts
Are in the main like those of the pelicans.
When they speak thus of false hopes
Of sadness and oblivion, love and misfortune
This isn't a reason to speed the heart
Their speeches are like sword-blades
They trace dazzling circles in the air
But there always hang some drips of blood.


O muse! Insatiable spectre,
Don't ask so much of me
One can write nothing on black
At the hour of the eagle's flight
I saw the times when my youth
Was on my lips continually
Ready to sing like a bird
But I have suffered a hard trial
And to say the least of it
If I tried my lyre
It would snap like a reed

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Funeral wishes

Take a bright June day;
Add family, relatives,
Friends and old colleagues

A mysterious
Beauty crying at the back;
A long time from now

Thankless task

The editor's job:
Separate the wheat and chaff
Then publish the chaff

Friday, June 03, 2005

Three views of age


I'm bored now even of things I like
Skateboard, video game and bike
They can no longer fill the hole
Within me waiting for a goal
Worthy of the name - I'm ready to take on
Life, work and love, now childhood's gone
I can't grow old in time


The mirror tells me lies about my face
Shows a stranger in my place
Weathered, bruised and richly lined
Age's spell is fought off by my mind
I reject the world of slippers, tea and talk
Weekly routine, the Sunday morning walk
I can't grow old with time


As I watch my body to twist and shrink
I need time with room to sit and think
Time to wallow in regret
Time to remember, time to forget
Time to place thoughts in a row
And leave them tidy when I go
I can't grow old without time

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Advertisement for Viagra

The Grand Old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
Then he had another pill
And had them all again

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Lessons of the past

Santayana said
Those who fail their history
Course must repeat it

Views of matrimony

To some men marriage
Is just a word, and to some
It is a sentence

Cut and paste

Imitation is
Sometimes the sincerest form
Of sheer laziness

The thesaurus of love



The Painted Desert

My magpie mind hunts for dreams to steal
Takes them, confounding what is real
With tales of miracles in distant lands
Until they merge, like mingled coloured sands

A stag-headed oak

Once it towered above the land
Its thick leaves shadowing the grass
The sap no longer feeds the branches
They slowly rot while the tree
Relinquishes imperial dreams
Falling into sleep

My son the farmer

I (1996)

As I carry him up to bed
We pause at the window
To look out at the night

"Why is the moon little?" he asks
I try to give a sense of distance
"Can I fly there in a rocket?"
"Yes," I say, "One day."

Returning, after he's nodded off,
A shiver of dread runs through me:
I resolve to interest him in soil and trees.

II (2005)

Stomping off to bed in a sulk
He pauses to look at the moon

I mention it, he shrugs
"So what?"

I try to interest him in soil and trees
Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Cri de Couer

"Est-ce que toi voix dont m'appelle?'
Alfred de Musset, La Nuit de Mai

Is it yours, the voice that calls me?
My gentle siren, is it you?
Or is it the susurrus of the sea
Whispering what may be true?
Is it you whose heart is grieving
Crying out across the waves?
Or is it the sun, now leaving,
Dragging the hours to their graves?

It is you, my instinct tells me
Not some other quiet shade
For today I heard it clearly
Above the sounds that nature made
In the quiet, though far apart:
The beating of another's heart


The erotic lilt
Of the railway carriage leads
To uneasy dreams


Beggar's sign today
Made me smile to see - it said
"Will work for world peace"

The nerd's farewell

Got my anorak
And got my ticket for the
Last train to Geeksville

Friday, May 13, 2005


I used to suffer
From indecisiveness, but
Now I'm not so sure

The last word

Jean-Paul Sartre said
That God was dead. Then God said,
"Jean-Paul Sartre's dead".

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cuts both ways (song)

You asked for a promise, I gave you my word
But now it seems there's something I heard
They say you are playing a game with your days:
Don't you know loving cuts both ways?

You said you were mine, I said I was yours
You closed all my windows, then you walked out the door
They say you are searching for the way from the maze
Don't you know freedom cuts both ways?

When I was with you, I was on top
I feel like nothing, now I've been dropped
They say you are walking around in a daze
Don't you know hurting cuts both ways?

I try not to be angry, I rarely succeed
You are so brazen, all gone to seed
My mind has got broken, it's all out of phase
Don't you know a dagger cuts both ways?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spock on childcare

To all new parents
My advice is: be afraid
Be very afraid.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Collateral damage

"Hark, lamentation is heard in Ramah, and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her sons.
She refuses to be comforted : they are no more."
Jeremiah 31.xv, quoted in Matthew 2.xviii

"Were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly"
T S Eliot, Journey of the Magi


Raising a child in a world of dirt
There are times of necessary hurt:
A thorn extracted, a decayed tooth removed;
Parents must demonstrate their love
By acting thus, but also by
Soothing pain and explaining why.


The birth of God's son needed witnesses
He called the Magi from afar
From obscure Eastern fastnesses-
And sent them a guiding star

It was unfortunate that the Wise Men
Had been directed through Jerusalem
And by enquiring for God's son on earth
Alerted Herod to his rival's birth.


Through the smoke of Chanukah's candles
The soldiers came to Bethlehem:
Their orders were clear.

They searched the village, house to house,
Rounding up babies and toddlers
Who stared dumbly, not understanding
The import of this baleful power.

Too late they heard blade slip from scabbard
Saw the edge gleam in the dusk:
Their cries were brief.


Weeping, I lifted the featherweight body
Carried it to a table and laid it out
The rabbi came to comfort me

"God's hand might have saved him-
We know that One escaped,
But He did not -could not, or would not - rescue more"

"Perhaps His purpose entails
Some suffering of innocents
To achieve His great designs-
We are as children to Him,
And cannot hope to comprehend His plan."


No ceremony was made at the burial
I had no confidence in the care
To which I must entrust my child's fate
Turning away, I covered my head.

And laid curses on the soldiers
And I cursed the king
Then I cursed the Magi
And then I cursed the Author of my loss.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Variation on Hooper

"I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty."

I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty
, Ellen Sturgis Hooper

I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke and found it wasn't.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Why devolution?
Because all indexes say:
"For Wales see England"

Quincain: Triad (after Crapsey)

Three things
That can turn your
Hair to white overnight:
Hair dye . . . painting the ceiling . . . and

The original Triad is posted at

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Toolshed argument

"You called me a spade"
"Well, you called me a hoe!"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Going back

The gate hangs open.
I walk the mossy path
To the door- its paint is blistered,
Blotchy with mould.
The windows are cracked,
the chimneys nested.

No fire warms the hearth.
The guardians have departed;
they left the gate
hanging open.

An application of the precautionary principle

They say that hard work
Never killed anybody-
I'll take no chances.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Gender difference

Fathers love all of their children,
even the ugly ones.

For mothers, the question doesn't arise,
since all their children are beautiful.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

At home with the Muses

The nine daughters of Mnemosyne (Goddess of memory) : Calliope (the fair voiced, Muse of epic poetry), Clio (the proclaimer, Muse of history), Erato (the lovely, Muse of love poetry), Euterpe (the giver of pleasure, Muse of music), Melpomene (the songstress, Muse of tragedy), Polyhymnia (she of many hymns, Muse of sacred poetry), Terpsichore (the whirler, Muse of dancing), Thalia (the flourishing, Muse of comedy) and Urania (the heavenly, Muse of astronomy).

Clio has got Time
On her hands, now they say that
History is dead.

Rather quiet these days-she's
Very seldom called

Melpomene's such
A drama queen, dressed in black
Veiled, gloved and stockinged

Terpsichore's out
'Til dawn, at a rave or in
Some cellar night-club

Thalia laughs but
Needs no joke-it's just as well
The last has been told

Euterpe plays
With drum'n'bass and scratches
Her harp is rusted

Urania's head
Is in the clouds that obscure
Her quarry, the stars

Erato’s busy
Wrtng txt mssges of
Electronic love

Calliope sleeps:
Now that movies are epics
She is not disturbed

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Haiku: Youth

Springtime lambs jump for joy
Heedless that their destiny
Is to become sheep

This poem won 1st prize in the NMGW/NLW E-steddfod 2005

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Dilemma in Creative Writing 101

"Write of what you know"
is all very well, but what
if you know nothing?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Election address

Please, please, please, give me your X,
And your wife's and your parents' too,
So when I get elected
I can turn and say "XXXX you!"

A singular occurrence

I swear I saw it happen
It did, I'm telling you:
The government said "Sorry"
The opposition said "Us too".

A bisexual woman explains

Sometimes, you know, I
Just feel like a lesbian-
And so I have one.


Eyeline flashes, fingertips
Reaching out to touch your lips.

Mental hygiene

Every day, you should
Brush up your ideas and
Floss between your thoughts.

Zen in a traffic jam

The cars do not move
The vans do not move
The trucks do not move
What moves? The mind moves


An ice-cream girl from Llanilar
Had a face like a mountain gorilla
Said her mother, in pain,
'Don't say she's plain
If you must, please call her vanilla'

Attempted limerick

There was a young man from Loughborough
Who had a most terrible cough
It woke him at four
After an hour
He started to feel better though

Pre-nuptial agreement

"If you should ever find yourself
Drawn to classical music or to jazz
You will have to accept this as
Grounds for divorce"

"If you should sprout extra hairs
Or become definitely fat
I'm afraid you'll find that that
Is grounds for divorce"

"If you become a Buddhist
Or start to discover God
These, I think, are hardly odd
Grounds for divorce"

"If rugby ever starts to appeal
And you sulk unless you hear the score
These, and similar, traits are more
Grounds for divorce"

"If you abandon argument
And sulk and whine like a spoiled child
Then this, too, will be filed
As grounds for divorce"

"If you stay forever as you are
Loving me as I love you
Then there will be few
Grounds for divorce"


In the beginning was the Word;
Then came the Critic
And Lo!
It was made Text.

The geography of loss

This is the chair
Where you would have sat
And eaten and talked and laughed

This is the room
Where you would have lain
And read and slept and woken

This is the view
You would have seen
As days and seasons passed

This is the life
We would have shared

Quincain: Aurora

The horizon
Glows pale; the silhouettes
Of hills loom out of the blankness.
Dawn breaks.

For the source of this verse-form, see A few words.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Haiku: Simile

Writing a poem's
As easy as it is to
Fall off a planet

Friday, March 18, 2005

Into the silent prison

The closing gates muffle the sounds
No cries can be heard

I enter the halls
Where slippered guards pace

Led to my solitary cell,
I'm invited to reflect and repent.

Peace or war

Please tell me, for I am not sure,
As propaganda fills the screen:
Do these things happen in peace or war?

Does hatred of other countries' poor
Become part of the social scene?
Please tell me, for I am not sure

When half are against, half are for
And nobody can fall between-
Do these things happen in peace or war?

Would the leaders by whom we set most store
Mislead the media machine?
Please tell me, for I am not sure

The death-count's like a cricket score
And the images become obscene-
Do these things happen in peace or war?

As propaganda fills the screen
I understand what it must mean;
I thought so once, but now I'm sure:
These things happen in peace or war

Welsh industry

Once the ports kept freighters full
Of iron and coal, slate and wool

Marinas occupy the docks
With bistros and apartment blocks

Where a factory used to stamp and rage
Now there's an annual car-rally stage

Railway tracks grow dull with rust
The rotting trucks are filled with dust

Hands fall idle for want of tasks
"What of Welsh industry?" someone asks

The answer is becoming clear:
It would be a good idea


Sorry I can't help you now
Sorry I can't help you
Sorry I can't help
Sorry I can't
Sorry I

Two classical poems


Aeneas turned to face the shore
Strode to the waiting ship
His love for Dido forgotten:
Her second album really wasn't very good

A pomegranate seed

going underground
crossed the chill fields
crusted with snow
to be swallowed
by the

Two limericks


A Methodist preacher called Glyn
Thought it time for a sermon on sin
"When so many stray
There's plenty to say:
The problem is where to begin"


An old financier of Nanking
Wearied of a life's banking
This made him decide
To commit spermicide
Aka death by wanking

Mr Eliot's Saturday afternoon service

"Judy Egerton had bought the toffee at a bazaar opened by T S Eliot."
Anthony Thwaite, Selected Letters of Philip Larkin

I have seen them coming in
Their hats and coats like dromedary's hair
As they brave the streets of Pimlico

I have seen the stalls weighed down
With so much useless clutter
Left over from a life apart

And now the church hall clock is telling us it's time
It's time for us to reach across
To try to spend and buy and sell
As if we were not coral reefs
Immersed inviolate alone

Outside I hear the tramcar sound its mournful bell
As night enwraps the street and tucks it in
At half past four the dark descends

Aegeus lived to see the black-sailed ship's return
There is no cure to salve the Gorgon's breath
The fete is open, worse than death.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


"I can't complain, but sometimes I do"
Joe Walsh, Life's been good

Number the days you hope to last,
The maximum at your command;
Then review your tallied past,
The hourglass's grains of sand:
How much time is lost in thought,
Dreams, attempts at making sense?
As if reflections of that sort
Have ever made a difference

Life's endeavour is to engage,
To go out to other hearts, connect:
It does no good to mourn or rage,
Or think of the past with regret:
Pain and sickness, loss and death
Complaining is a waste of breath

Greek wedding (anniversary song)

Six plates in the wedding room
A gift for the bride and groom

Moving the stuff into Elwood Drive
The box was dropped, and then there's five

Washing up drunk, one drops to the floor
Smashes to pieces- then there were four

Stacked on the draining board, one struggles free
Slides to its doom, and then there were three

A baby's first dinner, mashed into goo,
Ends on the carpet, and then there were two

A meal in the microwave, cooked by the son:
Hadn't read the label, and then there was one

A plate for a flowerpot on the sill in the sun
The cat knocks it over, and then there are none

China gets broken, whatever we do
Love is unbreakable; love sees us through.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


He refers to this
The refers to that
That damn'd allusive Pimpernel

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The pastoral myth

Truths are found under open skies:
Libraries are full of lies

Martin Locock, 2004

Time management

As they tell you life's too short
Waiting must be undergone
Before they let you voice a thought.

"I'm busy" you are ready to retort
But their syllables are slow and long
As they tell you life's too short.

Martin Locock, 2003

One person's Swansea

Watch the steelwork's light display
Through banks of mist across the bay;
The tide tirelessly trudging up the sand
Then turning back, defeated, to the strand.
Oases of peace lurk among the squares
Forgotten corners that can take you unawares
Passages that lead down hidden ways
Through high-walled alleys opening into space
Cemeteries, parks: secret doors
That only you know of, for they are yours.

Martin Locock, 2003

Rhyme and reason

There are, after all, some grounds for hope
It’s not as desperate as you fear
People do like Wendy Cope

Although poets dismiss a facile trope
“Mere doggerel” is the usual sneer
There are, after all, some grounds for hope

Not everyone has bought the dope
That they should distrust what is made clear
People do like Wendy Cope

Simplicity does limit the scope
For hiding that you’re insincere
There are, after all, some grounds for hope

People who've never heard of Pope
Know of Strugnall's "Ode to beer"
People do like Wendy Cope

It’s not as desperate as you fear
Dumbing down won't happen here
There are, after all, some grounds for hope
People do like Wendy Cope

Martin Locock, 2003

Landscape painting


Martin Locock, 2003

A churchyard cross at Evensong

s h a d o w

Martin Locock, 2003


It's a wise user knows their own password.

You can fill a car with petrol but you can't make it go.

Where there's a will there's a solicitor's fee.

Neither fish nor fowl nor reprocessed animal byproducts.

Christmas is coming, nobody's at home,
The office is closed till Easter: leave a message at the tone.

Red sky at night, rioter's delight
Red sky in the morning, global warming

Put down roots and you vegetate.

Martin Locock 2003
This poem won 1st prize in the NMGW/NLW e-steddfod 2004 for "A collection of eight modern proverbs"

Typographer's test-piece

The sword is mightier than the pen is.


"And age, and then the only end of age"
Philip Larkin, Dockery and Son

Breasting the ridge, the vista opened out;
Breathless, we stopped, as our eyes absorbed
The falling foreground, and beyond it, our destination.

We'd started at a bold and striding pace, hardly conscious
Of the gentle slope, idly switching from track
To track at each junction, zig-zagging
Upwards as our comrades dispersed
As they made different choices.
The horizon was the goal on
Which all thought focused:
There would be peace
And rest.

Now we
Can see the
Sort of peace
That we can expect;
The length of rest with
Which our journey ends;
And we can also see the
Convergence of every path
At one point, distant, but finitely so.

Time over distance


A far-off meeting means an early start,
Up in the dark, breakfasting in silence,
While upstairs the children snore and murmur.

The car pulls out onto the empty street
Reflecting the orange glow of streetlights
On the tarmac moist with an early dew

I leave the village wrapped in night
But soon enough as I drive on,
Day calls forth its usual signs

Bleary paper boys tote their heavy loads
Leaning to counterbalance dense masses of newsprint;
Milk vans drive, in fits and starts

As night edges into definite morning
The pavements fill with schoolward groups
Straggling wayward distracted knots

Then they clear as everyone
With any specific place to be
Has gone there, leaving the day

To those whose time is less constrained
With room for choices, and room
To choose none if they wish

Paucity of options is perhaps implied
By the popularity of bench-sitting
Dog-walking and weeding


Duty done, words said and heard
I return, rolling back the sequence
But not the time: it hurries on

So I catch glimpses of the gleeful rush
As the school bell releases its flood
And then the grimmer, sadder faces

Of drivers worn down by their toil
Ready for time they can call theirs
And then the streetlights flicker

Angry red bulbs burning away
The ashes of the day; it's dark again
By the time I reach my home

Curtains shut tight against the world;
I hear the bath-time shrieks
And a spectrum of electric noise


Places are the same, really;
Similar things happen everywhere, at least:
Work, sleep, school;

What marks out our special ones
Is just who lives there;
It is too much to hope

That anything we devise is new;
But ordinary life, ordinary love
Will suffice.

Martin Locock, 2003

The fall of Troy


The fall

After ten years, the siege was lifted
The encircling army gone off in their ships
Leaving the Horse as recompense
We hardly considered it, in the delirium of victory;
Brought it into the city, and then
Gave over our night to drink.

Few noticed as the shrieks changes pitch
Laughter dying as the gutters ran red
Flames licking up to the wooden roofs
As shadowy figures, armour clinking,
Sought out the handful of sober guards.

It was a different dawn
Than we had dreamed the day before
Victory become defeat.
Lines of captive women and children queued
To fill the ships, some looking back
At the smoking ruin of their homes
While the men lay dead, unburied,
Unregarded by the Greeks,
Laden with loot, laughing.

There was a rumour
The Prince had got away
Escaped with his family;
But rumours will fly wildly
And even if true
Remove no chains,
Open no locks.



I have been proud
I have told the truth
Though fated not to be believed
I warned them
With unwelcome doubts
They chose to ignore

And though I 'm now
Dragged into exile
To be some prince's trophy bride
It still is good
To be proved right:
But I'd rather have been listened to.



Despite the tears that we shed
We must rebuild the walls of Troy
This is the debt we owe the dead

It's difficult to look ahead
When time's done nothing but destroy
Despite the tears that we shed

Comfortless words must be said
A duty that none can enjoy
This is the debt we owe the dead

Memories of the lives they led
Urge our talents into employ
Despite the tears that we shed

Though auguries can be misread
And the future vision can be coy
This is the debt we owe the dead

Martin Locock 2003

Human geography

China is far away
Loneliness enwraps me

Japan is close at hand
Fall, I will catch you

India lies to the west
Sadness grows between us

Tibet will house our souls
Come, I will hold you

The sea washes my feet
The wind dries my hair

I will wash your feet
I will dry your hair

Martin Locock, 2002


“So I, most miserable, ever sick with the heats of impatience, must of necessity sigh after, and invoke, and persistently plead for, that health of patience which I possess not”
Tertullian, On Patience (trans S Thelwall)

Base metal takes some time to change to gold;
Like last night’s pizza as a breakfast snack,
Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

Fools rush in, and won’t be told:
Frustrated alchemists established it as fact
Base metal takes some time to change to gold

Take the long view as the years unfold
You pay your dues and then you pay them back
Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

The instinct is to fight, be bold
But it’s best not to react
Base metal takes some time to change to gold

Wait until the final dice is rolled
Before you drop your token in the sack
Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

A knife needs work to forge and mould
Until it’s sharp and ready in the rack
Base metal takes some time to change to gold;
Revenge is a dish best eaten cold

Martin Locock, 2002


"I might write one of those villanelle things of yours"
Kingsley Amis, letter to John Wain (Letters of Kingsley Amis)

I'm trying to write a villanelle
It's a tradition, of a sort
It's not going very well

The convention's being held in a hotel
Drunken shouts derail each thought
I'm trying to write a villanelle

To cries of "Look at that" and "Bloody hell!"
As the rugby crowd makes its sport
It's not going very well

While others sip at Muscatel
And circulate the port
I'm trying to write a villanelle

The intrusions break the spell
I reach for words but none are caught
It's not going very well.

Woken by the breakfast bell
Last night's work has come to nought
I'm trying to write a villanelle
It's not going very well.

Martin Locock, 2002


"It's not the despair, Laura. I can stand the despair. It's the hope."
Michael Frayn, Clockwise

They say such things sometimes do take place
You never know your luck, you see
I keep it by me, just in case

My pockets fill with paper on lottery days
I am lured by dreams of swift luxury
They say such things sometimes do take place

A rabbit's foot's supposed to be my secret ace
Not lucky, as it's proved, for him or me
I keep it by me, just in case.

A travelling encounter may end in an embrace
A brief exchange on the way from A to B
They say such things sometimes do take place

It's not something I've ever had to face
I bought a condom back in '93
I keep it by me, just in case.

Incense and plainsong fill the sacred space
Demanding an answer from the deity
They say such things sometimes do take place

Silence, I've found, is all my prayer repays
Although I've made a bauble of my rosary
I keep it by me, just in case.

A feature noted by students of the human race
Is the survival of hope against all probability
They say such things sometimes do take place
I keep it by me, just in case.

Martin Locock, 2002

First frost

“Most things never happen: this one will”
Philip Larkin, Aubade

Summer stretched, dry and warm, onwards into October
Almost as if the seasons had been set aside for ever

Almost: but then one dawn, the ground was white, the air chill;
A foretaste of inexorable autumn, inevitable winter.

Martin Locock, 2002

The gospel according to Thomas

Jesus was a friend of mine
We clicked on meeting, straightaway
But now he's gone, I don't know why
He impressed me so.

Perhaps it was the way he smiled
As if he understood your pain,
And when he waved, it was meant for you:
A trick that politicians know.

Of course, he was very kind
In a slightly offhand way
Well-intentioned but a bit rushed,
People to see, places to go.

The time he healed the stricken child
The one who was blind and lame
He forgot to cure the cancer too,
A bit of a public relations blow.

He liked his work, and didn't mind
The photo call that began each day;
Now he's gone, the press has dispersed
Looking for the next freak show.

Martin Locock, 2002


Sand is not my world
I do not live on grains
But in the gaps, the crystal lattice.
Electrons cross my skies:
From them I read my fate
They must know more than I
They have, at least, got somewhere else to go.

Sand is not my world
I fall in space, dragged by random gravities
Not dead matter but flesh and blood
I am not sand, and sand
Is not my world.

Martin Locock, 1982

The pastoral myth

Truths are found under open skies:
Libraries are full of lies

Martin Locock, 2004


Virtue is its own reward
And this is a good thing too
Since no-one bothers to record
The good deeds that others do

Martin Locock, 2004

Age and wisdom: a birthday poem

"What were vices have become the fashion of the day"

"Shot? So quick, so clean an ending?"
A E Housman, A Shropshire Lad, XLIV

What? Still alive at forty-two?
Is there no justice, only luck?
All those years of sniffing glue
And still you haven't come unstuck.

Oh, you have changed, there's no denying
For excess you have begun to pay
But even without very much dyeing
You still aren't like Dorian, grey

What once were childish misdemeanours
Now are habits, hard to break:
The iron grip of Dionysus
Is, like a cocktail, hard to shake.

Martin Locock, 1984

Haiku: Spring

Thaw: white turns to green
The sun draws the shoots upwards
Beware of late frosts

Martin Locock, 2004

Australian epitaph

Here lies John Smart, a foolish man
Who died for his beliefs
He thought inflatable dinghies can
Be used on coral reefs

Martin Locock, 2004
This poem won 1st prize in the NMGW/NLW e-steddfod 2004

A walk in the park: piece for two voices

I said "See the greenness, the lushness,
The verdant irrepressibility of nature,
Springing out even in the midst of this concrete wasteland!"

She said "Beauty can be found anywhere,
Poppies grow on battlefields,
Even death cannot be death,
When life continues"

I said "Don't rely on surfaces:
The deeper beauty lies in structures;
There is nothing in this city as complex or as neat
As a single blade of grass"

She said, abashed, "I always knew you were a poet:
Don't you think that love's the same:
Outwardly simple, yet its workings are mysterious
Even to those that it affects"

"Yes", I said,
There being nothing more to say.

Martin Locock, 1983


A beer-loving farmer called Wil
Said that ale was the cure for his chill
When next he was seen
His tongue had turned green
And his face was pure eau-de-Nil

Martin Locock, 2003

Textual analysis

"Credit where credit's due:
You work, you're literate, you rarely smell."
Wendy Cope, Faint Praise

It's not so much
The leaden touch
Of your drear recital
What annoys
Nauseates and cloys
Is the terrible title.

Martin Locock, 1982

A mother's advice to a bride

Take care to teach him every day
The skills he needs to master
Otherwise, I'm sad to say,
You're heading for disaster

"The toilet seat goes down again;
Dirty clothes go in the basket;
Blaming a smell on man's best friend
Will do nothing to mask it"

Tell him he needn't waste his time
Devising wild excuses
Quick confession of a crime
Is what a wise man chooses

Life can be sweet if both assent
To nurture one another
If not, your time is better spent
In looking for a lover

But love is love, when all is said
It cannot be diminished-
Man's not complete until he's wed
And after that, he's finished.

Martin Locock, 2003
This poem won 3rd= in the NMGW/NLW e-steddfof 2004.

The craftsman

The craftsman gives this good advice
(He's learned it over many years):
Before you cut once, you should measure twice.

Materials have a heavy price,
And what is wasted is always dear:
The craftsman gives this good advice.

If you rush, then in a trice,
You'll find you've made a fault appear:
Before you cut once, you should measure twice.

He's learned it over many years:
Preparation saves you later tears.
The craftsman gives this good advice:
Before you cut once, you should measure twice.

Martin Locock, 2003

Ozymandias speaks

I met a traveller from an antique land
Where, armed with trowel and arcane knowledge
He had come to understand
The country's past, and in one village
Found a tomb, unrobbed, still sealed,
Containing gold, bronze spears and jade;
His careful work had revealed
The painted plaster, still undecayed,
On which was shown a noble face
Creasèd with a ruling frown
And in the language of the place
"Here the king lies down".
And so again the king is known
To many as once rich and brave:
Around the world his face is shown
Potent even from the grave.
The digger's name is now unsure
He didn't finish his PhD,
The pottery he was looking for
Still catalogued as "? type 12 b".

Martin Locock, 1983

Character sketch in three sentences

You disapprove of many things:
Sex, alcohol, dancing, for a start.

Yet you have your passions:
Art with a capital A,
Proper punctuation,
The cool thrill of architecture.

You do not often make fun of yourself.

Martin Locock, 1982

Philosophy 101

The Wittgenstein amendment

The philosopher, his voice become violent,
Asked again: "Where's the volume that I lent?"
I answered in pique
"Whereof one can't speak
Thereof one must remain silent."

Socratic wisdom

While browsing the books on the shelf
Among those about health and wealth
One touched my soul
Its contents, in whole,
Were these two words: Know Thyself.

Language and logic

The logic of Professor Ayer
Can distinguish between every layer
Of black and white;
But that's not right-
The truth is often greyer.

Only human

When my studies had reached up to Goethe
I started by looking at 'Werther'
But couldn't find
The strength of mind
To investigate any further

The danger of nihilism

In the writings of Freidrich Nietzsche
Morality doesn't much feature
My classmate soon fell
Quite under his spell
And proved it by killing the teacher

Angst Parisienne

Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre
Was always a bit of a martyr
To De Beauvoir's moods
And exotic foods:
He preferred escargot as a starter

A Communist manifesto

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
Between them have covered all angles
Capital, family,
The bourgeois mentality,
And the radical's right to wear sandals

Psychoanalytical debate

When Carl Jung disputed with Freud
Sigmund became quite annoyed
"Your ideas fall flat:
If I spoke to my cat
My time would be better employed!"

When Freud disputed with Jung
Carl replied "Now just hold your tongue
Your ego and id
Don't like what I did
But that's just because I am young."

Cogito ergo sum

In the mind of Rene Descartes
Doubt comprised the main part
But he knew that he was
And this was because
He thought, which at least was a start

Revolutionary prose

The work of Thomas Carlyle
Is set out in a tedious style
His theories of power
Are usually dour
And seldom engender a smile


The groom found the works of Rousseau
Hidden in his wife's trousseau
When he taxed her, she
Said "We were born free,
If I want to read them, I will do so!"


"The author is dead" said Derrida
"The readers' powers are wider"
But there on the spine
Is his name, not mine,
Which ought to be the decider


According to R D Laing
(Whose Sixties went with a bang)
Nobody is mad
The doctors are bad
They all conspire in a gang

Martin Locock, 2004


Curfew has fallen like a drunken man
Stumbling as he tries to climb the stairs
The night is so solid you can almost hear it slam
The stars are out hunting in pairs

Way overhead the crimson sky is bleeding brass
The gutters run with tears of vain remorse
The rain is rubber-truncheoning the window glass
And the wind is rushing through the door

Underneath the weary eye of the graveyard-shift moon
The fugitives are drifting out to sea
They are sailing out to freedom or sinking to their doom
They are sailing with the hopes of you and me

Won't you aid them on their journey? Won't you lend a hand?
Won't you tell them where they are and where to go?
They are sailing for the future and they're out of sight of land
And if you don't tell them they will never know

Curfew has fallen, it drives us all inside
Beyond us there is nothing but the rain
Driving into darkness where nobody can hide
Driving all of us insane.

Martin Locock, 1983

Poetry 101

As I was walking on the beach,
Or through the wood, or in the street
I found a seashell,
Or saw a bird, or met a man
It set me thinking about life,
Or love, or death
And I resolved to do good works,
Or behave better, or get on with things

Martin Locock, 2004

Binary 101

Binary 101
Equals 5, base 10.

Martin Locock, 2004


"Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast."
W H Auden, The Fall of Rome

Unexplored places, lost in space and time,
Wait for me.

Unknown lands, clouded from the world,
Lie at my feet.

Uncharted deeps, far from the shore,
Draw me on.

Unseen chasms, infinitely void,
Block my return.

Martin Locock, 2002

Spiritual sustenance

Hermits, they say, have simple tastes
Their needs and wants are few:
A bed, a hut in the frozen wastes
And a diet of watery stew;
Oh, and a stream of fawning guests
To praise them for what they do.

Martin Locock, 2004

Antiphonetic alphabet

A is for Aye
B is for Bee
C is for Sea
D is for Dee
E is for Yvonne
F is for Efflorescence
G is for Jelly
H is for Honest
I is for Iwan
J is for Giraffe
K is for Knight
L is for Elusive
M is for Eminent
N is for Energy
O is for Owe
P is for Psychosis
Q is for Queue
R is for Architect
S is for Essential
T is for Tea
U is for Yew
V is for Five
W is for Wring
X is for Exact
Y is for Yves

Martin Locock, 2004

February in Evan's country

"Hallo pet. Alone? Good, it's me"
Kingsley Amis, The Evans Country

In Spring, a young man's fancy turns to love
Others aim less high
Instead of roses, Valentines and stuff,
I flick through my book of phone numbers to try

"Hiya love, it's Dai - just you at home?"
Nervously she giggles in reply.
She says she can't talk on the telephone,
Scared someone's listening on the sly.

She banters but does nothing to resist
"You devil you": she knows her Dai
We arrange a midnight tryst:
The husband's working nights, and so am I.

Martin Locock, 2000

A sermon on hope, given at Saron chapel, Abergwynfi

Industry shaped this village:
The streets nestle up to the incline;
The houses were shaken by coal trucks rattling down.

A closed world, once, where a life could be spent;
Called to pit by the knocker-up,
A day's work, damp, dank, dark, dusty,
Then rolling home, grimed and wearied, to sleep.

Mine and jobs have gone,
But pride and dignity remain,
An army of everyday heroes.
A child fed, dressed, to school on time,
A triumph as great as any battle won.

On the pavement by her gate,
Nana Griffiths is setting the world to rights
With each sweep of her broom.

Martin Locock, 2000

Porthcawl out of season

In the harbour, the mournful clang of hawser on mast
Rises and falls with the eddying gusts.
The boats are covered, shrouded for winter.

Benches wait unused, paint scratched and peeling;
The front is deserted,
Swept clean of sightseers by the biting wind.
Shop after shop is shuttered up;
Noone needs spades, or rock, or candy floss.

The hotels are almost empty;
Only the residents remain.
The peace of the promenade is broken only
By the discreet swish of the hearse.

Martin Locock, 2000

Dunraven after the storm


As we rounded the Lizard, Bristol bound,
The gale backed to southerly,
Pushing the Hazel towards the Welsh shore.
We were low in the water,
Heavy with hogsheads of wine from Lisbon;
She rolled and pitched all night.

Time after time we climbed the rigging,
Taking in sail to slow our speed.
The storm blew out as dawn was breaking;
The rocks were just a league ahead.
When the roll was called, there was an absence.


The morning light revealed the damage:
The high-tide line strewn with plastic flotsam;
The busy waves had undermined the cliff,
Claiming a yard of ground.
On the pebbles lie exposed pale bones,
Remains of a long-dead sailor,
Washed up one night, buried hastily then and there,
Perfunctory charity to an unknown soul.

Even in our high-tech homes,
Where we live, encapsulated from the elements,
We are not safe. On any night we may become an absence,
Dependent for our fate upon the mercy of a Stranger.

Martin Locock, 2000

Other rooms, other lives

Back in Cambridge, twenty years on,
Embaggaged with kids, I am baffled by road signs
Alien to my remembered pedestrian geography.

College windows leak the whiff of student rooms:
A cocktail of coffee, joss-sticks, cigarettes,
Sweat, lust, hope and lassitude.

Living here then I had felt at home;
All conceivable wants were served.
Leaving had left me feeling bereft,
Cast into the outer darkness.

As dusk descends the lights go on
In libraries and studies
Like candles lit in supplication to Academe;
I once had wished to worship thus.

Now, though, it wouldn't suit:
Too busy, too cramped, too constrained
By endless polite negotations.

It is as well all wishes are not granted,
I conclude as I re-pack the car,
The swirling Fenland wind catching vainly at my coat.

Martin Locock, 2000

The New Millenium Experience is a registered trademark

Midnight rolled westwards
Over seas of careless revellers.
Blinking in the new dawn,
We tentatively flicked switches.

Domestic appliances failed without cause;
Computer systems froze;
Planes fell from the sky:
Nothing had changed.

Leaving the dead century behind,
We moved on,
Trailing the stench of deodorant,
And the stale tang of air freshener.

Martin Locock, 2000


“Nothing, like something, happens anywhere”
Philip Larkin, I remember, I remember

On the Levels, the sky seems vast,
A vault of blue above the fields.
A slow procession of clouds, trailing skirts of rain,
Gives notice of the need for shelter,
If there were shelter to be found:
But the hedges are sparse ragged clumps,
The few trees gnarled and stunted by the wind.

On the pasture, horses stand immobile,
Heads downwind, tails blowing back and forth,
Incurious eyes looking out, unblinking;
Overhead, gulls fly in busy Vs.
Across the Channel, hills emerge,
A fleeting vision of another shore.
The gulls can leave; the horses stay behind:
Yet, they observe, the gulls always return.

On this approximation of the mathematician’s plane,
Zeno’s motion paradox stays the smallest step;
Free will is revealed as illusion:
All we choose is how we stand,
Not where. And if once the chain should fall
Allowing us to move to other, better, places,
Still the evening wind would blow,
Bringing the scent of far bazaars,
The prospect of distant hills mocking our ambition
For purely local victories

Martin Locock, 1998

Below Saddleworth Moor

For Eleanor Spence

‘What love of thine own kind? What ignorance of pain?’
Percy Bysshe Shelley, To a Skylark

All through that dreadful 60s summer
Overhead the frantic planes were circling,

Crossing and recrossing their trails
Trying to find the unmarked graves, searching,

Each night I held my daughters close,
Shutting out the shadowy fears lurking,

The reality of evil touched us all,
Left a weal on our souls, scarring,

At night I lie and puzzle at the world,
Looking for meaning or reason, searching,

Above the Moor the skylark flies,
Seeking out a safer roost, circling,

Martin Locock, 1998

Doubt in a Bath attic

I’ve made myself a sort of study in the box-room;
Sitting at the window, I can reach bibles on the left
Text-books on the right; from below come the busy sounds
Of family feet and cries.

I sit at the top of a tall thin house
Perched on the hillside, overlooking the dark slope
Sandwiched between other houses,
Whose lives I also hear and share.

I look across the valley, over the sad slow River Avon,
To the far ridge, above the streetlights,
Where points of light among the heavy trees
Mark out my previous home.

There, before I heard the Call, I had lived
In clean light rooms; we breathed the air of wealth,
Sleek cars safe in the garage.

In the luxury of time to think, I thought,
And felt alone.
Slowly I’ve shrugged the old life off,
Crossed the valley, traded in the cars.

And now I stare out into the night
And ask for assurance that my choice
Was more than blind egotism;
And ask for forgiveness from my children
At the mercy of my arbitrary act.

As the darkness grows
I see a flood engulf the city;
The busy water, bulbous with currents,
Reflecting the sky.
So few stars; so little light.

Martin Locock, 1998


Since noon the sun has been slowly sinking
The air becomes chill; the hearth,
Quit eagerly at dawn, is now regretted,
Forever distant.

Darkness stalks the corners of vision,
Creating unnoticed a blank corona.
Pupils distend to compensate,
But still the blackness spreads,
Disabling vision, leaving only the still night.

Martin Locock, 1998

Sex instruction manual

Keep out of direct sunlight.
Remove all outer packaging.

Position components A and B
So that the facets correspond.
Offer up the location lug in component A
To the socket in component B.

Keep all parts well lubricated
Repeated insertions may be required for satisfactory operation.

After working temperature has been reached for several minutes, fluids may be emitted.

Retain address for future reference.

Martin Locock, 1998

Despatch from the home front

In August 1914,
Mr and Mrs Charles Rennie Mackintosh holidayed
At Walberswick, a sleepy village on the Norfolk coast.
They spent lazy days drawing in ink,
and produced a study of willow herb.

When they returned in 1919,
The world had changed;
So this time they drew larkspur.

Martin Locock, 1998

A poetry of place

At first there is a sudden peace;
A silence as tangled words uncoil,
An expectation of imminent release,
Of spirits stirring in the living soil.

A special sense becomes attached to ground;
The grammar of thought has a locative case:
A characteristic blend of sight and sound,
As a glimpse of a half-remembered face.

Out of the quiet, an idea takes shape,
Echoing the structure of the land.
Fresh eyes see old paths, old escapes,
Old hazards, and then understand.

A sympathy links eye and mind,
Ego dissolves; skin ceases to divide
Senser from sense, signer from signed;
External states reflect inside.

The trance then fades and disappears,
Leaving behind it, as a trace,
A note in the archaeology of ideas;
An instance of the poetry of place.

Martin Locock, 1998

Rabble babble

The grey men stare out at the sun
Through the smoking glass
Going down the tube again
The sky is blue and I am too
I never knew the world was built on sand:
Coarse grain reality

The glass is broken
Grey men shine
Closedown in a tough town
Dot on the TV is all I know:
Karma coma

Streetsmart kids
They burn their souls
Blasting down the ghettoes of your mind
With their sounds.
A jogging suit
Suits me fine.

Martin Locock, 1982
Printed in Ampersand 1 (1982)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dead water, Oxwich Bay

The languor of a hot midday in June
Spreads to the sea, where slackwater waves
Slap ineffectually at the sand.
A moment of silence: the humid air unmoved,
All action countermanded by the heat;
And in that moment all the world stood still

A choice to be made: to start again?
Renew the tide of life and thought?
Or else to let it end, worn out
By one too many days and doubts.

My heart drummed out the seconds one by one,
Until at last an answer came -
A breeze across the water cooled the shore;
A Wind forgave the sinful land.
Gabriel unpursed his lips, lowered his horn.

Martin Locock, 1997
Published in Gower Society Newsletter (November 1997)

A Monmouthshire hedgerow (Wonastow, January)

"No, I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be"
T S Eliot, The love song of J Alfred Prufrock

Stark against the skyline, bare branches
Reach up from the frozen land,
Skeletal fingers grabbing at the sky.
Caught, perhaps, a mist descends.

Moisture collects, runs along the bark,
And drips on rustling leaf-litter below;
Nestling in the fork of a leafless beech
The only patch of green is mistletoe.

White berries show among the partnered leaves
Singular fruit of a barren season;
They say in winter, when all was dark,
There came a man to light the world.

The chill cloud now enwraps the field;
I turn for home and button tight my coat,
The bitter berries not for me to taste:
The blank horizon is a lesser gall.

Martin Locock, 1997

A lost world (Penyclawdd schoolhouse, 1940)

“Never such innocence again”
Philip Larkin, MCMXIV

Cool in my outstretched palm the perfect sphere sits
Its surface milky white and streaked with blue
“Go on Harry, use your two-er”
I pitch the marble at the playground wall.

A siren screams; Mrs Taylor claps her hands,
Chivvies us along
“Come on children, form a line;
You’ve got your gas-mask boxes, good”

Robert’s dad had come last Christmas
To build the concrete shelter round the back;
We troop into the airless room
Pale bulbs hang above the benches where we sit;
The steel doors are closed; we listen.

At first a distant throbbing roar
Echoes around the hills – the ‘planes;
And then the ack-ack barrage starts up.

A rattling metal shower hit the roof
“It’s alright, only shrapnel from our guns”
Says Bill, whose Dad’s over in France.

The siren sounds again;
We rush into the fading light.

The playground glints with sherds of window glass.
I find the fragments of my shattered globe;
Trying to collect them in my hand,
I cut my finger, drawing blood, and cry.

Martin Locock, 1997

Eliot's Ghost

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
T S Eliot, The Waste Land I

The shadow of Eliot's ghost still falls across the land,
His tongue the language that we use
In trying to make others understand
Fragmented thoughts and discordant views

Images of decay and creeping doom
Alongside cityscapes of frozen souls
He leaves on walls of modern catacombs,
The subways, rendered bright by aerosols

As we face another weird winter
And wonder when and how the end will be,
Knowledge cracks and cultures splinter:
Discourse fades into soliloquy.

In times when everything is going mad
What chance to defend frail sanities?
Eliot's ghost has nothing else to add:
He is unsurprised by all he sees.

A desperate duel of faith and dread
Injures hope and breeds distrust.
The shadow watches, hears what is said,
And, leaving, scatters handfuls of dust.

Martin Locock, 1997

Seven cities

"You saw such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands"
T S Eliot, Preludes III

"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it"
Jonah 1 ii


On Malvern Hill, I looked across the peopled plain;
I lay down to rest and, sleeping, dreamt a dream.


It is the evening of the world,
And it will soon be night.

In the suburbs of the world,
The dormitory countries,
The remnants of the green belt,
The crickets sing at sunset.
They need no sleep, no sun; they only sing.

Here in the busy city,
We also need no sun:
For we have neon, sodium,
And furnace fires always lit.
And as for sleep,
We do not sleep.


The razor-blade dawn slashes the night canvas
Yellow-white light stabs through
The dawn chorus of cups of tea rings out.

Did you feel the buildings shiver?
Facades are streaked with soot;
Blank windows cry carbon tears.

An echoing roar heralds the march
Of the smoke-screen maker,
The silver arrowhead, the frozen bird,
The jet, across the burning sky.

Did you see the girls in summer clothes?
They stretched out lazily on lawns and benches,
Chatting through the molten hours.

The town hall clock has stopped again
Only shadows move across its face.

Did you hear the rattle of the goods train in the night?

Domes and steeples, tower blocks and pylons,
shine in silhouette against the city glow.

Did you read the news today?
Or did you make a headline when you died?


I heard the choir of angels; I heard them in the halls,
And they echoed in the streets:
Yes, I heard them in a dream.

I heard them when awake; I heard them in the dawn,
But only on the radio:
They were not living, were not here.

Unclimbed stairs echo; the elevator falls,
Blinking its lights as it passes the floors.
Will we stop? Will we rise? Will we rise again?

The shroud sticks: a curtain wall without a window.


We have been cast out from the temple
How are we to enter once again?

We are not here to live, here in the city,
We are here to collect our rations in a line

We are in the egg of the phoenix
We feel the heat of flames

We are the ashes, we are the embers;
We shall fly, we shall grow again -
We will burn again.


Above the traffic noise I heard a voice
Did someone smile, did someone love,
Among the millions?

I love them all, each one, even those I do not know,
But one especially - an intimate communion.


In the dormitory countries, they sleep to the sound
Of crickets singing.

Here, we do not sleep (we do not need to)
We hear no singing (we cannot hear)
And yet we live, until we die,
And then we cease to live among the crowds.

It is the night-time of the world
But in the city there is no night;
Where there is no night there can be no end
World without end

Martin Locock, 1984


Across the rolling hills I heard the sighs
Of trees in rambling woods as evening fell.
In the dusk the creatures closed their eyes,
In summer heat - the drowsy, lazy spell,
Of gentle rain was falling from the skies,
Causing heads to droop and streams to swell.
The water dripped and rushed on to the sea,
Away from hills, from forests, and from me.

Martin Locock, 1985

Only natural

Your skin is cold, my dear,
To the touch of my manicured fingers;
Your silicone-enhanced curves unreal,
Stiff as sea-waves, frozen in a moment.

Your hair is blonde, my dear,
The hue of summer wheat, permanently waving
In the air-conditioned breeze;
Bottle-born, fading,
With the hiss of a hundred showers.

Your face is blank, my dear,
As, helpless, I am driven
To lay down at your feet
My artificial heart.

Martin Locock, 1984


"Here I am, an old man in a dry month"
T S Eliot,
Gerontion by Thomas Stearns Eliot

Within my room, inside the walls,
I do not count the passing of the days.
Papers rustle as a brown leaf falls,
And lamplight cloaks the winter greys,
With warmer, orange, steady light,
By which I read, and even sleep,
For, careless both of day and night,
I sit, half-awake, a coddled heap.
And in the grate the fire smokes away
All year round - I am now cold all year,
While crimson curtains fade and fray,
Hanging undrawn, unwanted and unclear.
I have grown tired of books and ancient dust,
I will go out to meet the cold,
I accept Life and so I must
Admit at last that I am growing old.

I shall sit and stare, watch and wait,
Once more a child, I shall laugh and learn,
And when the sun says "Sleep, it's getting late",
I shall at once to bed and blanket turn.
And I shall strain to hear a winter snow,
And smile as catkins cover trees,
And in the summer, soak up the glow
Of sun; in short, I shall do my best to please.
I shall wait for knocks upon the door,
And answer them, and talk, and offer tea,
And shuffle through the dust upon the floor,
And sit becalmed as a silver bell rings "Three".

My skin is wrinkled, my muscles gone to waste;
I struggle with the passing of the days.
The ashes of the years all I taste;
My self-possession crumbles, courage frays.
I shall sit and wait here, watch and - hark!
I hear a footstep now upon the stair.
Death calls me out, I walk into the dark,
Uncertain whether Hell is here or there,
And uncertain whether life was mine at all.

Martin Locock, 1984