before I make the tea

Five minutes, 
before I make the tea.
Short minutes snatched,
no time wasted
My blurry eyes struggle
to make out words
spoken noiselessly without
applied thought.


Comparison between ChatGPT and Bard for poetry writing

Brief: write a poem about a homeless person who died on a freezing cold january night. it doesn’t need to rhyme

Chatgpt version

In the heart of the city’s icy breath,
A soul, forgotten, faced a bitter death.
Beneath the moon’s pale and distant light,
A homeless spirit succumbed on a frigid January night.

No hearth to warm the weary bones,
No shelter to shield from the chattering stones.
Wrapped in tattered layers of despair,~
They faced the cold with a silent prayer.

City lights blinked in indifferent glow,
As frosty winds whispered tales of woe.
No solace found in the urban sprawl,
A lonely figure succumbed to winter’s call.

On cardboard beds, where dreams turned to frost,
A life extinguished, a poignant cost.
Each exhale painted in the frigid air,
A testament to a world that couldn’t care.

No eulogy spoken, no mournful song,
Just the city’s heartbeat, relentless and strong.
Yet, in the quiet of that icy night,
A story ended without a fight.

No longer burdened by the weight of strife,
The homeless soul transcends this cold, harsh life.
Into the unknown, they find release,
As winter’s grasp grants a final peace.

Bard version

The city slept, a million dreams beneath a sheet of ice,
while shadows stirred, an unseen tide in concrete canyons.
He was a wraith, a wisp of smoke against the steel-edged dawn,
curled beneath a threadbare blanket, breath frosting on the stone.

January’s teeth were bared, the wind a biting whip that lashed,
flaying hope from ragged skin, each rasping breath a prayer.
He’d dreamt of hearth and hound, of supper’s gentle steam,
of walls that held the night at bay, a haven’s whispered gleam.

But dreams are brittle things, like frost upon a pane,
melting with the rising sun, leaving only shards of pain.
The city woke, a symphony of horns and hurried feet,
oblivious to the slumber etched in stillness bittersweet.

A crumpled form, a vacant space where shadows used to lie,
a silent testament to nights beneath a frozen sky.
No name to etch on marble now, no eulogy to sing,
just an empty space that spoke of winter’s cruellest sting.

But let the snowflakes falling soft be whispers on the breeze,
a lullaby for one who found, at last, a troubled heart’s release.
May gentle hands unseen weave warmth from sorrow’s thread,
and mend the tattered tapestry where dreams and shadows bled.

For in the hush of memory, where starlight paints the ground,
a fragile hope takes flight, a silent, circling sound.
He walks in fields of moonlit grain, with laughter on his breath,
no longer lost, no longer cold, embraced by endless death.

So let the city sleep, its dreams beneath a sheet of ice,
while shadows dance, an unseen tide in concrete canyons.
For in the hush of memory, where starlight paints the ground,
a love unspoken lingers, where the lost and lonely found.


hopeful leaves

Steady rain smothers the land.
November trees are mostly stripped 
of leaves, a few hopefuls 
cling on in vain, 
remembering the glory days
of summer.


Sat on a sofa, staring

Darkness in focus, nothingness
Vague shapes loom
Coming from a different world
Different planet
Uninhabitable dispossession
Roamed by no being.

Sat on a sofa, staring
I might as well have my eyes shut
Releasing me from this self imposed prison cell
Taking me to far improbable places
Anywhere, I care to go.

Even when I have nothing


train of thought

I happen to be, offline
Tis the way of things, on tran
French, on l’Euro, star
Brussels bound, I am, 
Careering through Kent,
Garden of England
Headlong for tunnel chunnel, 
tunnel chunnel, choo choo.

Music fills my earful 
tap my feet


I do 35

It was 35 years ago today,

THG said I do, yay yay,

Still together as a team, fair play,

What a wonderful day, wonderful day.


The Last Tablet

Contemporary crowd once full of purpose. Sole survivor, somehow symbolic, the last tablet.  GONE! Plate purge purist, soil eliminator, grime grabber and cleanser of crockery. Succumbed. Final moments: aged pellet, slow dissolution, dissemination of power. Bare utility, poignant gap, uncertain future.


a good hour

The good hour, 
Long enough, for some
Good enough, for others
Not rushed like ten snatched minutes
Or as fleeting as a moment of your time
A generous measure by all accounts

I waited and then left

In truth, a good hour awake
In the darkness
Keeping my dreams at bay


This year I’m spending Christmas with my piano

This year I’m spending Christmas with my piano

My body comes gradually to its senses. It lies there for a while before realising it has changed state. An arm reaches out and brings life to the radio. 

There is something all powerful about bringing life to a radio

Some time later the radio drives me out of bed. Dressing gowned stumble downstairs and stick the coffee.

I wander into the music room

Sitting at the piano my hands rest on the keys. A moment of inspiration awaits. Gradually notes appear and the piano picks the music.

Time dances

The day fades into reverie. Coffee miraculously changes to wine and into brandy. An empty plate lies on top of the piano, evidence of the day. 

Sun sets

The music continues into the night…


I dozed

I dozed. Under my blanket. On the sofa. In the shed. The TV blared.


Damp October days

Damp October days
very little happening
in my head
as if thought
has been suspended.
An empty cup
drained of tea
had some effect.


The (big) world of philosopherontap

Tales of the philosopherontap
Philosophical tapitudes shut off from the world
Man walks with arm behind back
The one armed man of (flight) BA8472
Rear arm, forearm, forewarned, 
flight attendant rhymes with pendant
Man behind, penetrating voice (that)
Occasionally breaks through noise cancellation defences
Fast train to Lincoln
Platform zero hero
Can’t walk in a straight line 
But focussed on getting home
Outdoors indoors, the vast roof of the station
Write me a letter with no words


Lament for a hat

The hat, vanished, tossed into the celestial hat box
Once a creator of character, now piled high on an altar of anonymity
Naked head, naked truth; hatless and hapless.
Hat trick, three hats in a taxi, hats off to you driver.

Times have been different.
A feather in your hat? 
Hat tip, typically, tip collector
Sunshade keeper of cool and heartfelt radiator of warmth

Wisdom applies but never practised: hold on tight to your hat

Mock me not with stab to the heart, twisting knife
Blood wiped on the sleeve of the conscience
Bury my bones six feet deep. 
Watch my grave until the letters fade.

Mad hatter


Dazzling October sun

Dazzling October sun
Relaxed Sunday morning start
Tea and toast consumed
Conservatory corner basking
Noises in the kitchen
Radio lulls
Hedge rustling wind
Considerations of the day

A traditional Sunday lunch in prospect with a log fire blazing in the grate. Last day of the holiday finished off in an appropriate manner.

opinion poetry


Ageless, forever young, liver of life, lovely tiki loving Joe lover, disc spinning colourista, friend of many, wine drinker, foodie, traveller, Shiraz appreciator, Devotee.

Happy Birthday Ren