Thursday 7 December 2023

Sheila Templeton - d. November 26th 2023

Yir wirds were scrievit
wi thunner an honey,
wrocht wi a giggle
and a tear in thi een.
Ye had a Makar’s haund
an a fechter’s hert.

Benjamin Zephaniah – d. December 7th 2023

Words are a dread affair; colours
of language are never just white/
black. To read is to understand,
to understand is to change. Culture
breathed you in, breathed light
out; you were the pen in its hand.

Denny Laine – d. December 5th 2023

So many are destined only to play
the canon of overlooked songs
as if they were all number one. Now
I wonder: didn’t we already say
goodbye? You hung around so long,
but life is blue; here a while, gone now. 

Glenys Kinnock – d. December 3rd 2023

Y tu hwnt i dogma mae argyhoeddiad a
gweithredoedd da a wneir o'r golwg
Nid yw'r chwith yn golygu gadael ar ôl,
ac yn iawn yw'r hyn y gwyddoch sy'n iawn.

Beyond dogma is conviction
and good deeds done out of sight.
Left does not mean left behind,
and right is what you know is right.

Read about Glenys Kinnock here

Saturday 2 December 2023

Brigit Forsyth – d. December 1st 2023

There are Thelmas
in every blighted neighbourhood,
prim and precious,
studies of love strained into dishes
of cold disapproval,
choosing husbands as if choosing
a pair of curtains. 

John Byrne – d. November 30th 2023

A man paints all the fruits of his life,
writes likenesses of people too large
to be inventions. He looks down on the
city looking back up at him, dancing
with colour while black and white sleep.

Shane MacGowan – d. November 30th 2023

I saw a derelict in a Soho boozer,
toothless, leathered but lucid,
singing about the ould country,
two shots of punk and one of poetry,
new songs for old men, all going
where streams of whiskey are flowing. 

Henry Kissinger – d. November 29th 2023

As you step from your final shuttle,
who would greet you? Paddy fields
stagnate, despots toy with brittle
peace and nothing’s really healed.
Rivalries of birds gather above,
unsure if you are hawk, or dove. 

Terry Venables – d. November 25th 2023

For some, the ball is more missed chance
than wheeling celebration. Like the days,
it rolls past, rattles obstinate posts, leaves us
out in the semis, and out of the door.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Joss Ackland – d. November 19th 2023

I hear a distant rumble; a voice
like an articulated lorry, resonant
in its bulk, commanding the ear
and eye to follow as it swallows
the stage, the line, the language.

Frank Borman – d. November 7th 2023

The astronaut’s bleakest curse yet
brightest blessing; to be condemned
to perpetual low orbit, suspended
between the moon’s dead orb and
the rising halo of the good Earth. 

Read about Frank Borman here

David Berglas – d. November 3rd 2023

The king of misdirection cuts
the pack one last time, holds
the illusion of life in his hand.
Deck spills a diamond: the ace.
Was this the card you chose? 

Read about David Berglas here

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Richard Roundtree - d. October 24th 2023

Harlem needs its heroes too, cats
that won't cop out and won't be
nothin but badass. You're uptown,
kickin on a door on a ghetto backlot,
a door into consciousness and style.
You're gonna have to close it yourself.


Bill Kenwright - d. October 23rd 2023

Some watch from the wings;
others build the stage, seed
the pitch, lead the songs, feed
their passions, do something
with a dream, and let it breed.


Bobby Charlton - d. October 21st 2023

When this world is too full
of goalhangers, how much
we cherish those who burst
from midfield with the ball,
a humble juggernaut; a touch,
SHOOT! Unlikely, unstoppable.


Tony Husband - d. October 18th 2023

The dark Ministry wheezes,
breathless with mediocrity.
The streets are full of yobs
swaggering into conscious print.
And yet, one stroke of a pen
and this, all of this, is pricked. 

Piper Laurie - d. October 14th 2023

These are godless times;
actors wade through blood
for men and their lenses.
I came home to a dark house
to find you lighting candles
to me and my teenage horror.

Pippa Latour - d. October 7th 2023

Here’s to a life in the dark:
the sky you fell from; the
unlit lanes and assignations
under a war-torn moon; the
family who never guessed
how you set Europe ablaze. 

Terence Davies - d. October 7th 2023

I am sat with you in the boozer,
nursing a black-and-tan, sodden
with song, looking for little victories,
stolen notes of pleasure that come
only once every Preston Guild. 

Francis Lee - d. October 2nd 2023

Penalty! Down you go then up
you get to smash in from the spot,
chest bulging like a keg of lager,
sky blue blood, face in the mud,
one foul away from a fistfight.