Friday, 31 December 2010

Robin Redbreast

              ROBIN REDBREAST

              Seen on Christmas Day
              pecking at the bird table
              scraps of cake and sage

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Naburn, 11th October 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1995 Sparrow (Croatia)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)


                                        na Bozic kljucanje s pticje trpeze mrvice kolaca i kadulje

        Gerald England

           translated into Croatian by Marijan Cekolj


1995 Sparrow (Croatia)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Greylag Goose

              GREYLAG GOOSE

              Leaving the latest,
              the flight of the greylag geese
              fortells frosty weeks

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Naburn, 10th October 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1995 Sparrow (Croatia)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)


divlje guske,
odlazeci posljednje navjescuju
studene dane

        Gerald England

           translated into Croatian by Marijan Cekolj


1995 Sparrow (Croatia)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010



              Who'd kill the streaker
              hang him by the beak ? - let them
              be struck by lightning!

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Naburn, 10th October 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010



              The hawk stands on stones
              hovers over the M1
              rattles out the mouse

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Naburn, 10th October 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)

Monday, 27 December 2010



              Looking through the cafe window grill
              beyond the fence of heavy iron spikes
              the view is of the electric grid

              I stir an over-sweetened mug of tea
              while scanning the uncrossable road
              from Old Trafford to the motorway

              Green and grim is the ancient tree,
              seeded back in cartwheel days,
              that blocks now the cumulus cloudscape

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Gee Cross, 9th September 1986


1987 Aireings (UK)
1996 POET'S ENGLAND 18 - LANCASHIRE (West Kirby, Headland)

Sunday, 26 December 2010


 (for M.R.B.)

                   And  having  said
                   all that he could
                   he knew there was
                   more  to be  said

                   And having  opened  his hand
                   there were no further hiding
                   places    He had to face the
                   critics  with  only  his pen
                   for  a  weapon  -  only  his
                   computer   and  his  printer
                   make  hard  copy of the word

                   © GERALD ENGLAND.

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 20th August 1986


1993 Vigil (UK)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

By A Sleepy English Village


            Beyond the wooded embankment home
                   of Flopsy, Mopsey, Bobtail -
            over which the diesels thunder
            on their flight from King's Cross to Waverley
            the village lies hidden from view

            The green is split but each side
                   cottage-lined -
            a wood of shelter for snails
            opposite bare grass and war-memorial
            with Church Lane a "No Through Road"

            Between the Post Office Stores, half
                   of a house -
            and the Elephant & Castle's bloated car-park
            leading to beer-garden, swings, play-area,
            stands the twice-a-week bus shelter

            The parish notice-board is discreet
                   but manifests -
            a note from the US Airforce concerning
            a vital twenty-four hour NATO exercise
            during which the commander will ensure

            night-time flying is to be kept
                   to a minimum -
            On the approach lane to a nearby hamlet
            a warning-sign establishes priority
            - "Slow ! Ducks crossing !"

           © GERALD ENGLAND.

Composed: Nacton, 8th August 1986


1986 Periaktos (UK)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1992 Quickenings (USA)
1995 POSITIVELY POETRY (Hyde, New Hope International)
1998 Creative Ooze (Internet)
2008 Ackworth born, gone West (Internet)


                 grey squirrel scenting
                 the approach of man and dog
                 - camouflage of trees

                 © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Harewood, 25th May 1986


1997 Lateral Moves (UK)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)

Thursday, 23 December 2010



              The lane separates church from chapel
              primroses from daffodills.
              A fingerpost thumbs to the Military Canal
              separating Welland from Oxney isle.
              Beyond the Romanesque ruler
              boats line the high bank
              whereon are dry boats, a van,
              a caravan and tents.

              Road, canal, the Rother lead
              out of Kent to highwalled Rye
              filtering through to the Sussex sea.

              © GERALD ENGLAND.

Composed: Fairlight, 20th March 1986


1987 First Time (UK)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


                   the sun already
                   risen exactly one hour
                   the tired cock crew

                   © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Manton Farm, 21st March 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1995 Sparrow (Croatia)
1997 Lateral Moves (UK)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)


izlazak sunca -
citav sat umnorni
pijetao kukurice

Gerald England

translated into Croatian by Marijan Cekolj


1995 Sparrow (Croatia)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Vacation Time


Through the windy pass
frozen waterfalls cling to fell sides
In the valley park
the river is rapid with melt
To a young boy
swans are just big ducks
The bypass-building bulldozers
menace bank-holiday traffic

At nightfall
the weather howls between trees
Over the radio
comes news of strife and hardship
minds are still with sleep
Puzzle solutions
are put back to bed again

© Gerald England

Composed: Manton Farm, 20th March 1986


1993 Endless Mountain Review (USA)
1988 Conspire (Internet)


Composed: Slaithwaite, 3rd March 1986


1991 Sacrifice The Common Sense (USA)
1993 FOUR SQUARE REPLAY (Leeds, Krax)

Monday, 20 December 2010


                   black crow on white snow
                   skiers descend on Cat and
                   Fiddle road just cleared

                   © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 2nd February 1986


1989 The Old Police Station (UK)
1997 Whoosits (Internet)

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 12th January 1986


1990 Catalyst (USA)
1993 FOUR SQUARE REPLAY (Leeds, Krax)



A cumparat
Un cantec si
A aflat chip
Chiar muzicii.

Gerald England

Traduceri in limba romana de Andrei Dorian Gheorge


2000 Noi Si Cerul (Romania)

Saturday, 18 December 2010


balloons vibrating
bodies gyrating in time
to the disco beat

© Gerald England

Composed: Dukinfield, 10th January 1986


1996 Quickenings (USA)

Friday, 17 December 2010

Ballade of Halley's Comet


Away from all the city lights
With binoculars skyward scanned
Up on hills where the cold wind fights
And tries to get the upper hand,
Frozen and all alone I stand.
Below the Pleiades I stare,
Hoping I can see that firebrand -
Oh, Halley's Comet, are you there?

I've seen some meteorites -
Shooting stars over the moorland -
The moving lights of satellites,
And once when on the Rio Grande
A full eclipse of sun was planned
I saw it well, I do declare,
But now this answer I command -
Oh, Halley's Comet, are you there?

I have searched all these starry nights
Like Customs after contraband.
In nineteen-ten you reached the heights
With tail stretching to Samarkand.
Towards you spacecraft head unmanned
With computer programmed software
To analyse and understand -
Oh, Halley's Comet, are you there?


Prince, will its tail this time expand
So I can see this sight, so rare,
I'll go to any distant strand ?
Oh, Halley's Comet, are you there?

© Gerald England

Composed:  Ashton under Lyne, 25th November 1985


1989 New Hope International (UK)
1990 International Poetry Suplemento (USA)
1999 Romanian Contemporary Astropoetry (Romania)



Departe de toate luminile orasului
Cu binocluri scanand salonul cerului
Sus pe dealuri unde vantul rece lupta
Si incearca sa obtina mana absoluta,
Inghetat si singur am stat,
Sub Pleiade am privit fix,
Sperand sa pot vedea ace taciune de foc-
O, cometa Halley, acolo esti?

Gerald England

translated into Romanian by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe.


2001 Pasi spre infinit (Romania)
2003 SARM (Internet)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

At The Poetry Workshop


           (for Mabel Ferrett & Norman Nicholson)

           In the back garden
           eight poets scan the sky
           searching with binoculars
           somewhere between Aldebaran
           and the Pleiades
           for the hairy star
           blamed for Harold's
           downfall at Hastings.

           There is nothing to be seen
           but reflections of sodium street light
           except for those with more vision
           or imagination.

           As we recross the Pennines
           at midnight,
           clouds descend
           over these northern, November moors,
           forbidding further attempts
           at spotting our traveller
           whom my son, now eight,
           waits to see -
           now -
           not at age eighty-three !

           © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 12th November 1985


1986 POEMS FOR HASTINGS (Ashton under Lyne, New Hope International)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010



(for B.S.)

"Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"  — Charles Wesley.

Who threw the money-changers
from the temple?

Who endured pain,
suffered children?

Who turned water to wine,
fishermen to saints?

Who walked on water,
trod on Roman toes?

Being gentle
is never a soft

Gentle opens more doors
than hard knocking,
can turn the key
to eternity!

© Gerald England

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 29th September 1985


1988 Tandava (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1998 The Morpo Review (Internet)



              (Para B.S.)

                  "Gentil Jesus, manso e docil"
                             Charles Wesley.

              Quem tocou os cambistas
              do templo ?

              Quem suportou a dor
              e o sofrimento das criancas ?

              Quem transformou a agua no vinho,
              pescadores em santos ?

              Quem caminhou sobre as aguas
              e pisou no calcanhar dos romanos ?

              Ser gentil
              nao e nunca a opcao
              mais suave

              Ser gentil abre mais portas
              do que bater com forca,
              e tambem pode abrir com chave
              a eternidade!

              © GERALD ENGLAND

              (Portuguese translation by TERESINKA PEREIRA)


1988 Directory of International Writers & Artists (USA)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Brigflatts Visited (Just)


       Weekending at Wrightington
       we chose Saturday
       for our pilgrimage.

       Just a few motorway miles
       saw the weather change
       to an unending pour

       Swerving to avoid a bollard
       we skidded near Forton Services,
       regained control, stopped for coffee.

       In the narrow road at Brigflatts
       we turned the car, parked briefly,
       but fearing a drenching forsook exploration

       Paying ten pence to park
       we got soaked in Sedbergh
       running to the Copper Kettle

       Lunch over we set out for Dent
       and met the river at Catholes
       flowing towards us down the road

       Several times the engine faltered
       but we low-geared through,
       the exhaust bouncing on boulders

       We escaped over the tops to Barbon
       following the brown, bubbling Barkin Beck
       as it tumbled down carrying earth and stone

       Arriving back at our quaggy field
       abandoning our vehicle by the road
       we crossed unwellied to the caravan

       Soon we settled for coffee
       and a book - mine
       The Orkneyinaga Saga with tales of Eric Bloodaxe

       On Sunday the sun shone unceasing


Composed: Wrightington, 19th September 1985


1986 BRIGGFLATTS VISITED (Ashton under Lyne, New Hope International)
1995 BRIGGFLATTS VISITED 2nd edn (Hyde, New Hope International)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Morning at Seven

              MORNING AT SEVEN

              The rising-eight,
              arising at six
              leaving parents asleep,
              watches television

              It is Sunday;
              there is no T.V.A.M.
              nor Breakfastime,
              no Popeye,
              no Roland Rat,
              Bugs Bunny, Pink Panther,
              only Open University.

              He stares amazed
              at the hieroglyphs
              of calculus and chemistry -
              "Irrational numbers are magic,
              you need a calculater for hard sums",
              says he who has just learnt
              the two-times table.

              A detailed discussion and
              analysis of the Turin Shroud
              arouses his interest in Jesus.

              A programme on Popular Culture
              examines television coverage
              of the Cup Final -
              "I love Manchester United,
              they're my favorites"
              announces he of the two
              left feet.

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 9th September 1985


1986 Mussolini's Rabbit (UK)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Churchill Barriers, Orkney


               Going to Glimps Holm
               the mast of a sunken ship
               still rises offshore,
               a rusty reminder
               of how this road was built,
               linking islands,
               bringing peace to Scapa Flow.

               In men's minds
               are the barriers to peace,
               separating lands,
               alienating people;
               but the barriers to war
               support roads,
               join people together.

               © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: off Fair Isle, 8th August 1985


1986 International Journal on World Peace (USA)
1990 International Poetry (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Composed: Manchester, 16th June 1985


1989 Bogg (USA)
1992 Apostrophe (UK)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
2000 Peace & Freedom (UK)

Friday, 10 December 2010


laughter of children
invades the cool evening wood
- dogs cross bridlepaths

© gerald england

Composed: Daisy Nook, 6th June 1985


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)
1993 Candelabrum (UK)


kora no warai
samu-yo no mori ya

© gerald england
Japanese translation by Sakuzo Takada.


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)

Thursday, 9 December 2010


how smooth the ice cracks
slow movement of glaciers
down the spring valley

© gerald england

Composed: Daisy Nook, 6th June 1985


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)
1988 New Cicada (Japan)
1996 Blithe Spirit (UK)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
1999 NASA (USA)
2000 Mir (USA)


kori ware
tani ni hygoya wa

© gerald england
Japanese translation by Sakuzo Takada.


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)
1988 New Cicada (Japan)
1996 Blithe Spirit (UK)


harsh the mountain track
above which the eagle soars
sun glistening on snow

© gerald england

Composed: Daisy Nook, 6th June 1985


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)


yama michi ni
washi ga tobi-kai
yuki hikari

© gerald england
Japanese translation by Sakuzo Takada.


1987 Red Pagoda (USA)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

National Poetry Convention Reading

A man on stilts at the entrance the Liverpool Garden Festival. © Copyright Gerald England.

26th MAY 1985.

(Written and performed at the event)

Two score of poets
under China-painted corrugated roof
bounce words into the Mersey wind

As the waterfall bounces off rocks
into a pebble-shored lake
so we listen,
absorbing liquidity of meaning

While children throw stones into the water
expecting only splashes
we throw our words at you
and await the ripples


Composed: Liverpool, 26th May 1985


1985 The Old Police Station (UK)
1994 Tree Trunk (USA)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Lands End

               LANDS END

               The island cries
               Its tears are lost
               in the spray of the racing surf
               The rock hurts
               Pain penetrates each stratum
               The gas is low
               The kettle boils but slowly
               Cove and Cape concentrate the anger of rain
               Water persists in clouds
               In the morning of Good Friday
               the sun celebrates silence
               Early risers chew noisily
               on hot-cross-buns
               It is silly to talk of islands
               that do not cry
               or of rocks that feel no pain
               On the edge
               no man is untouched
               Behind all showers
               a rainbow hides

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Sennen, 20th April 1985


1985 Pennine Platform (UK)
1986 FUTURES (Ipswich, Magic Pen Press)
1990 Spider Eyes (USA)
1993 Dial 174 (UK)
1999 Black Creek Review (USA)

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 3rd March 1985


1986 The Old Police Station (UK)
1996 Braquemarde (UK)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Status Quo


Re-listening to sixties' protest songs
recalling fledgling dreams.
We thought then if folk would only hear
the world's ways would change
in a revolution of peace and love.

Our mono records revolve on turntables
engineered for stereophonic sound.
Deafened by and deaf to heavy metal
we wonder how much our sons
will do to change their parents' world.

© Gerald England

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 12th December 1984


1986 Folio (UK)
1988 International Poetry (USA)
1989 A POEM FOR DADDY (Whitby, Canada, Plowman)
1991 Sacrifice The Common Sense (USA)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)
1997 Grape (Internet)
2008 Ackworth born, gone West (Internet)

Friday, 3 December 2010



The choked coughing
of winter's first flu
preventing sleep,
I watch the television appeal
for  "Children in Need"

Rain tap-dances on the roof
and the wind wails through trees

From next-door
rock music is punctured
by shouts I scarcely comprehend

A wife being raped perhaps ?
Or a child beaten ?

I watch the millions being pledged
I hear a husband walking out in anger

Outside the storm still rages

My dozing is disturbed
by sounds of sobbing


Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 13th November 1984


1990 The Affiliate (Canada)
1992 Outreach (UK)
1994 Tree Trunk (USA)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Grass Point


         In the tearoom we asked for coffee
         and home-baked scones with jam -
         were asked if we'd enjoyed our sail -
         unaware that we'd arrived by car!

The road from Grass Point: Photo © 2010 Sarah Charlesworth.

         Grass grows down the middle
         of the three-mile road to Grasspoint
         where the Old Ferry Inn watches
         MacBrayne's sailing past Lady Rock.

         Years past pilgrims paused here
         enroute for St.Columba's isle,
         and cattlemen drove their beasts
         across towards mainland markets.

         Now passengers on the launch from Oban
         stop off at Mull's nearest point
         for a quick taste of feeling insular
         and buy chocolate mints from the gallery

         where sculpture and collected bones,
         newspaper cuttings and books of poems
         coalesce into a single exhibition
         of history and restoration.

Stone seal at Grass Point: Photo © 1999 Dave Fergusson.

         Quiet again after the boat's return
         we watch the waves wash over the sculptured seal
         before driving off along the twisting way,
         the post-van squeezing between trees to let us pass.

         Days later, from the car-ferry lounge,
         ourselves heading for mainland motorways
         we remember our weeks on Mull
         and look across to a remote, white house.

         © GERALD ENGLAND.

Old Ferry House: Photo © 2010 Sarah Charlesworth.

Composed: Glamis, 8th August 1984




           Craig is three now

           Last year he climbed
           the height of the
           Giant's Causeway

           Today he crossed
           in wave-sprayed boat
           to Staffa and probed
           the depths of Fingal's Cave

           Craig is handicapped

           In one year
           he has crossed
           the Giant's sea
           from Ulster to the Hebrides

           How many years
           will he take
           to climb other heights
           probe other depths
           cross that other sea
           others label "normallacy" ?

           © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Fionnphort, 3rd August 1984


1984 New Hope International (UK)
1984 International Biographical Centre Magazine (UK)
1984 Boyds Walk Newsletter (UK)
1986 FUTURES (Ipswich, Magic Pen Press)
1987 White Rose Magazine (UK)


Portuguese translation by Teresinka Pereira

Text not to hand.


1985 International Poetry (USA)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Photograph © Gerald England


As midnight approaches
I stand with the dog
watching the embers
of a fire
dying on the beach.

Behind me are the lights
of several caravans.

Three cottages on
once-uninhabited Erraid,
Robert Louis Stevenson's
unhappy childhood home,
throw their light
across the Sound.

Beyond the black shapes
of sundry, rocky islets
are the bright lights of Iona
shining across the water

Earlier from the beach
we had watched the sun
set over I.,
each ray illuming
a pigeon-toe sky.

Now as morrow
becomes day
dog and master
settle to sleep
having seen.

© Gerald England

Composed: Fionnphort, 1st August 1984


1985 Periaktos (UK)
1989 Eavesdropper (UK)
1992 STEALING KISSES (Hyde, New Hope International)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Bay At The Back Of The Ocean


               At the Bay-at-the-back-of-the-ocean
               a boy wrote his name in white sand
               and drew a rude picture of mummy
               whilst his brother picked at the grains
               and bottom-shuffled towards the blue

               Hidden behind the cow-climbed Dun
               beyond the sheep-trodden tees and greens,
               at the Bay-at-the-back-of-the-ocean
               where the machair stretches smooth and clean
               a man and wife looked toward more distant isles

               At the Bay-at-the-back-of-the-ocean
               a boy cried out to the warming wind
               and waved at the royal Atlantic
               whilst his brother crawled towards daddy,
               sand penetrating nappy, caking face

               Whilst others ascended to the Abbey
               one walked, one buggied, with parents trekked
               to the Bay-at-the-back-of-the-ocean
               searching for colours in rocks hiding pools
               and crevices where pink flowers grew

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Fionnphort, 30th July 1984


1985 Period Piece & Paperback (UK)
1986 FUTURES (Ipswich, Magic Pen Press)
1998 Conspire (Internet)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Night in the Caravan

              CARAVAN: NIGHT

              Outside we may be surrounded
              by near-parked vans on a rainy
              car-park of hard macadam,
              or alone by a polecat haunted wood
              a field away from the line to Crewe -
              up to our corner-steadies in mud
              on a wind-lashed coastal strip,
              or locked in behind the railings
              of Knowlsey Safari Park -
              But wherever we are
              when the sun has sunk
              and the last cup of coffee's been drunk

              Curtained from the world
              Inside the inside
              All life -

              breaths speak

              before the dawn babble breaks!

              © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Heckmondwike, 1st May 1984


Friday, 26 November 2010

Program Out The Window


               Shadows of interest

               Lights reveal
               shiver-sending shape
               enticing the unwary
               to change of orientation

               The user-friendly
               would understand,
               request continuation,
               but basic desires
               are not computer commands

               There is no compatibility
               between soft longings
               and hard-worn peripherals

               Memory contents
               peek at forgotten designs

               Fulfilment is a forbidden run


Composed: Oldham, 12th February 1984


1985 Bradford Poetry Quarterly (UK)
1986 ANWUC (UK)
1989 The Old Police Station (UK)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

First Morning


having woken, coffeed,
walked the dog -
overcoat over pyjamas -,
we draw curtains
to a girl riding by
where the bridle path
skirts our field;
the wind blows
from the motorway;
the rain comes
over the railway line;
here we wait
to hitch ourselves
onto the new year


Composed: Ackworth, 1st January 1984


1988 QUADRA PROJECT: TEN POSTCARDS (Detroit Art Workshops)
1994 Green's Magazine (Canada)
1998 Black Creek Review (USA)
1998 Black Creek Review (Internet)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010



                   red rubber duck-
                   dudley moore with
                   long grey hair
                   and salford speech

                   - geriatric teenager
                   inciting lasciviousness
                   in an iridescence
                   of irreverant irrelevance

                   turning duckless diners
                   into toetapping dancers
                   gyrating girdles squeezing
                   on an uncarpeted square

                   while wedged waitresses
                   edge alcoholic trays
                   towards tipsy tables
                   atmosphered by candles;

                   the inside warmth
                   permeates poorly
                   to outside pavements
                   from which rain rebounds

                  ©  GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 20th December 1983


1987 National Convention Magazine (UK)



               The inner tube of a tyre
               rescued from the rocks
               of a west coast shore -
               bouying the waves
               stringed to a boy
               paddling east coast water -
               drifters don't always
               travel with the tide;
               they get unscheduled lifts
               find new uses
               before being dumped
               in a garden shed
               forgotten for at least
               a season.

               © GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Cambo Sands, 10th July 1983


1984 Orbis (UK)
1990 Quickenings (USA)
2000 Breathe (UK)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ballade of Covenience


Whenever we hear an awful lot of talk
about the local council building something new
bringing lorry-loads of sand and stone and chalk,
we always wonder where on earth they'll site the loo;
some place them underground - rooms without a view -
others up four storeys high so you worry
if you'll get there before the muggers catch you!
Why is it we can't find one when we need one in a hurry ?

We know of some Edwardian holes in York
that only for rowdy gentlemen will do.
The lack of toilets for ladies on a walk
has often got my wife into a proper stew;
she gets steamed up if she ever has to queue
like she did at the Village Fete in Surrey;
we once searched hours the Cheshire town of Crewe -
Why is it we can't find one when we need one in a hurry ?

We've visited a green bog in County Cork
that earned good marks in a motorist's review
and one at the Upper Tyne village of Wark
that even our dear old friend Kilroy would eschew.
Clean-flushing facilities are far and few
but essential after a Bengal curry
or a glass of Uncle Cedric's home-made brew!
Why is it we can't find one when we need one in a hurry ?


Prince, have you been in the gardens down at Kew
or tried to spend a penny in Hungary ?
Have you walked the dog out in the morning dew ?
Why is it we can't find one when we need one in a hurry ?


Composed: Tarleton, 20th June 1983


1985 Periaktos (UK)
1995 Boggers All (UK)

Monday, 22 November 2010



They called the cat dog
berated her for barking loudly
despite her merely harsh meow
She tried to wag her tail in pleasure
chase cats run with the dogs
She couldn't cry fetch sticks
but tears swelled from time to time
Then someone called cat cat
taught her how to purr drink milk
run from dogs climb trees
Alone but happy she forsook the pack
took to catching mice
and chasing birds


Composed: Manchester, 5th May 1983


1990 Green's Magazine (Canada)
1990 Truly Fine (USA)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
1998 Ygdrasil (Internet)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Jodrell Bank Telescope


A white shadow shines through night cloud.
In the afternoon, distanced, a bowl
of quarried light hung against the horizon -
re-orientated in evening glimmer we
see it filled with gallon upon gallon
of water with fishes each clinging
to radios beamed on distant stars.
Night rain drowns sight under mist.
Morning brings a saucer of sunlicked milk
for the cat cowered by the dog-star.

© Gerald England

Composed: Swettenham, 20th March 1983


1989 Candelabrum (UK)
1995 Weyfarers (UK)
1998 THE RED CANDLE TREASURY (Wisbech, Red Candle Press)

Saturday, 20 November 2010

In Deep


there were several entrances
indeed there were several holes
some holes were inside other holes
possible exits were only ends
with little room for turning
or else they led to other holes
there were ways out
but only for the slim and fit
or the very fat and strong


Composed: Oldham, 12th February 1983


1989 Short Fuse (USA)
1990 Lizzengreasy Magazine (Japan)
1992 Odyssey (UK)
1994 Apostrophe (UK)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
1998 NASA (USA)
1999 Black Creek Review (USA)

Friday, 19 November 2010


Me and my gran circa 1955.


Like those others whose grans
were growing old when they were
growing boys, I remember you
for your apple pies and golden pancakes, syrup-laden —
my elder brother often being sent
to bring me home from your bungalow
long after my own tea had grown cold.

That was the time when granddad sat
in the high-backed wooden chair
my mother set fire to when he died —
the sort of chair that claims
a fortune in antique shops today — but
my small, frail gran, I remember you much more
than that gaunt, great man who only sat.

You lived later in our council-house front room,
too weak to climb upstairs, too unsafe
to be left with your diabetes —
twice daily my mother tested your water —
and so that we could take a holiday
my sister and her husband came to stay
while I went with Mum and Dad
to a rented van at Thornwick Bay.

Tomorrow would be Thursday and I'd been promised
a trip on the Yorkshire Belle from Bridlington,
but Wednesday night we learnt that you had died.
That means I won't be able to go on the boat tomorrow!
the first reaction of a saddened twelve-year-old.
Dad attempted logically to explain, but all
unnecessarily — I knew that you deserved the sacrifice.

Twenty years on and I've finally made the trip
round Flamborough Head, past Thornwick Bay,
and back to Bridlington — with my own son
and his gran — his Mum's Mum like you.
Gran! — I never begrudged you dying on that day.
The waves remind me always of you, gran, because
the trip was well worth the waiting for!

© Gerald England

Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 2nd February 1983


1996 Green's Magazine (Canada)
1998 LIMBO TIME (Hyde, New Hope International)
2007 Ackworth born, gone West (Internet)

Thursday, 18 November 2010



Lost down country lanes
we come across roundabouts,
roadsigns with names
like Pimbo, Digmoor and
Town Centre - but which?

The precinct shops conform
to universal standards -
only the accents

This wet pre-Christmas
Saturday finds us
in the only town
with no bustle.

The picture of warships
in the coffee house
is hung slantwise
and off centre.

We leave the planners'
boom town, rainswept,
hidden somewhere beyond fields.

© Gerald England

Composed: Skelmersdale, 12th December 1982


War and ...

WAR AND ....

In the War of the Roses
at Hyde Horticultural Show,
Peace was beaten
by Red Devil, Grandpa Dickson and Bobby Charlton.


Composed: Hyde, 14th September 1982


1983 New Hope International (UK)
1984 Harvest (USA)
1986 International Journal on World Peace (USA)
1997 Stop Gap (UK)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Fife Fire Tongue-twister


If five fit Fife firemen
fear fir fires,
can five fit Fife firemen
fight fir fires in Fife fir forests,
for four Forfar firemen
fear for five Fife firemen
fighting fir fires,
and when four Forfar firemen
find five fit Fife firemen
can fight fir fires,
will four Forfar firemen
find fighting Fife fir fires fearful ?


Composed: Hope Bowdler, 8th September 1982


1998 Poetry Scotland (UK)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Moon Rising over the Shropshire Hills


               gently the brown hill slopes
               to forest of hard fir

               above the edge
               in cool, cloudless sky

               a tiny sliver of yellow light

               into a demon disc

               rests ready to roll
               earthly firs stand firm

               the moon
               rises to its rightful sky

              ©  GERALD ENGLAND

Composed: Hope Bowdler, 7th September 1982


1983 Folio (UK)
1986 FUTURES (Ipswich, Magic Pen Press)
1988 Quickenings (USA)
1992 California State Poetry Quarterly (USA)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Farmer Cornfield


Rounding Roseberry corner
driving his tractor like a TR7
making the landlord's Jaguar shudder
"It'll stop when we get to the top
of the Caradoc" he shouted
aiming over the steep fields
at the fifteen hundred foot hill
Over one of his pints in the "Plough"
he confessed to the fitting
of a super-charged gearbox
"You nearly gave the vicar
his fourth stroke" the landlord said
"Oh I've had more than that -
when I was at school -
but 'twas with a walking stick -
down here - " he says, "I reckon
that's what's made me what I am"


Composed: Hope Bowdler, 3rd September 1982


1992 Songs (UK)
1994 Boggers All (UK)
1996 PENNINE TRACKS (Heckmondwike, Fighting Cock Press)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

June 28th 1982

JUNE 28TH 1982

From by Ben Lawers
a rainbow spans Loch Tay

The day after the Last raft came first
and TV’s number 1 was last
Kenmore is again
just a place where the road changes sides,
shrouded in the mist
and drenched by the rain
that has nourished Fortingall’s Yew
since the time of Solomon.

A lonely youth of four
swings in the park at Killin.

He has seen eagle owls by the roadside,
deer, sheep, rabbits, cattle;
has sailed in a boat on Loch Tay
he likes little rivers!

Youth sees no history
and the future
only from a circle’s centre.

Prince William was named today.

No-one plays in the park with the boy
from whom rabbits run away;
he looks for the ducks
that come from the river begging bread.

From by Ben Lawers a rainbow spans Loch Tay.

© Gerald England

Composed: Killin, 28th June 1982


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Subject Matter


             having the resolve
             and discovering the time
             but lacking energy
             and being easily diverted

the rain beat steadily on his cottage that year
days of sunshine disappeared in grey cloud
red sunsets were only seen by other shepherds
Old Shep had fled with the flock

            getting to grips
            demanded determination
            concentrated effort
            to produce the finished article

the horns of the prize bull were not detachable
pieces of porcelain could be put back together
the cattle would be called at milking time
but no tractor can close the gate to the field


Composed: Oldham, 15th May 1981


1987 The Old Police Station (UK)
1990 Iota (UK)
1992 Alternative (USA)
1994 Indefinite Space (USA)

Friday, 12 November 2010


Composed: Ashton under Lyne, 5th May 1982


2005 World Haiku Review (Internet)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Visitors to the Pub


They talk of those who do not talk
like what they do and of pedantry
though the word seems unknown to them.

They take affront at calling a biro
a biro pen - after all you do not call
a wellington a boot, by Jove - but
they might know if a bomber dropped one on them!

Another drink?
        a gin?
            o yes,
                 but it must be...
Do you think he'll have it here
o yes, good man, he has.

At home they have a black kitten
that has taken to visiting neighbour's houses
and hiding under cars in driveways.

At night they hunt it
shouting out its name for all to hear -
Gemini! Gem-i-niii!


Composed: Stratford on Avon, 4th April 1982


2000 Other Poetry (UK)