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Robert Louis Stevenson

The Lamplighter
My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I’m to do,
Oh Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!

Robert Louis Stevenson


The Lamplighter

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Brown Brogue Leather Shoes

My dad was John Wayne to me
Looking up, he was quarter of an inch short of six foot.
Something he was very proud of.

He took us to school
Cried at my wedding
and fell out of a plum tree
when my son was born.

Working with farmers
he wore green wool worsted trousers and
brown brogue leather shoes
(mum tried to keep him looking smart)

and driving away to work
our dog, Fluffy used to hang out of the car window
and scamper round the car.

At home, his gardening clothes
and woolly hat had seen much better days

So time has passed
my son has grown
and today find a box with holes
and look inside
and see
a pair of brown brogue leather shoes

big shoes to fill.
and try not to
but cry a little.

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Kew Gardens (after the gates had shut)

Over the wall, softly,
tumbling thru’ the leafy
landing deep in a
silvery blue fragrance.

Shade and light
flowing towards you – where
spangled fronds flip
jewels of moisture

The sound of bells
carries in the wind.

One dragonfly swims
someplace down a dusty

(written while living in London at the end of the underground line in a small bedsit for a strange while not far from Kew Gardens longing to be in the country. daytime worked in a factory where fizzy drinks were made and nighttime used to imagine what it would be like to walk round the Gardens when the gates had shut)

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Summer evening


I listen
and hear birds settling down to sleep,
dry leaves rustling in an evening breeze,
dogs barking and a motorbike
driving away into the distance.

One late bee rushes past to bed

I see the sky changing to night
and lights going on indoors
and smell the earth, summer flowers
and faintly – sweet cut hay left to dry

The wind is a summer wind
warm and playful but
there is a nothingness
which leaks out into what i see
sitting on the warm wooden stairs
which hardens the edges
and a sadness
autumn winds
soughing through the trees.


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You may have stashed away your spirit
in a dark corner of a dark cupboard
in a dark room
in a dark house
on a dark street
in a dark town
(on a dark night)

because… so many different reasons
probably because it hurt

but somewhere – it is still lying there
to be


Under Milk Wood - Illustration by Emily Milne Wallis

Illustration by Emily Milne Wallis
Poster for Under Milk Wood
by Dylan Thomas
Performed in Aberystwyth

Think Wales and Dylan Thomas have crept into my thoughts…
To be honest dont know a lot about Wales, when have been there walking, spend a lot of time, sitting in laundrettes waiting for the rain to stop and drying our clothes

But the countryside is beautiful, mountains mainly but it rains so much
its difficult to appreciate

‘Under Milk Wood’ spoken in a dark, deep Welsh accent is very special…



FIRST VOICE [very softly]

To begin at the beginning:

It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.”



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Sunrise –


Woke with unknown expectation
and pushed the window ajar.

my cat arrived and with excitement we listened
to the chorus of birdsong exploding outside
and felt the cool air

I know if i could see beyond the trees i could see the sunrise
and it would be very beautiful
but through the trees i can see glimpses
of firey red and umber
below the clear pale blue sky

Gradually the sky to the east behind the trees
fills with tangarene
like paint seeping along the paper
of a watercolour until
the whole sky glowed

and another day begins.
4am June 10th 2016