Poetry Uncategorized

Wilhelmina J

Today, April 10th 2021, is the thirtieth anniversary of the sinking of the Portsmouth based scallop trawler Wilhelmina J. Wilhelmina J, a 26m beam trawler left Portsmouth on April 9, 1991, to trawl for scallops in the English Channel near fishing grounds known as Horseshoe Bank. But at 2am on April 10, the vessel was involved in a collision during foggy conditions with MV Zulfikar, a 142m Cyprus-registered cargo ship. All six members of the…

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Poetry

On Rejection

I received my first poetry rejection of the year last week. I’ve had enough over the years to not be bothered by them. They come with the territory, no matter how good a writer you are.  “I love my rejection slips,” wrote Sylvia Plath. “They show me I try.”  A rejection means very little in terms of meaningful judgment on the quality of the rejected poem, or poet for that matter. Rejected poems can do…

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Photography Poetry

A Sea of Blue

In other circumstances I would be at Wembley today, along with another 50,000+ Portsmouth FC fans, for the final of the Leasing.com Trophy. Blue skies, a beautiful spring day, the stuff of memories (or nightmares depending on the result!). A real shame – though the stadium’s empty silence today is of course of minor consequence compared to what else is happening in the UK and around the world right now. I’ve been lucky though. If…

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Poetry

Stinking Cleg

This post has been prompted by #FolkloreThursday on Twitter. I’ve long been fascinated by folklore, myth and local legend – growing up in the heart of Wessex and living in a city such as Portsmouth, these are topics that resonate and they are obviously great starting points for poetry. There are lots of urban legends, myths and ghost stories centred on this small island on the south coast of England, some of which I have…

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Poetry

On Inspiration; Philip Henry, Steve Knightley and the Meaning of Gobstoppers

Apart from Brexit and being off work for the tail end of the week – and missing today’s Pompey home game due to having a heavy cold, it’s been a good few days. On Wednesday I headlined at Chichester Poetry, which was great – a nice appreciative audience, and some excellent open mike poems from poets I was unaware of beforehand. I also had a poem accepted for the next edition of South Magazine the…

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Poetry

Springwatch 2029

I just found an attempt at an environmental themed haibun on the Poetry Magazines website at the South Bank. This was one of a pair that originally appeared in South – this one in issue 41, from April 2010. It’s interesting looking back at old magazines, plenty of familiar names whose work I admire and who are continuing to develop as writers, following their own path. As for the subject matter, irrespective of the merits…

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Poetry

South Poetry Magazine Issue 60 Launch

I’ve had poems accepted a number of times by this magazine, which as it’s name suggests, is based in the South of England (though they accept submissions from anywhere). The contents are selected by different guest poets, and all submissions are judged anonymously. Each issue also has a larger selection of poems by a profiled poet, alongside an editorial piece to accompany the poems. I was delighted to be the profiled poet for issue 60.…

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Poetry

Landings – Third Review

The third review of Landings appeared in South Magazine issue 59. As South is a print only publication the review can’t be found online, so I am copying the whole review here in full. Landings – Richard Williams Dempsey & Windle 57 pp £8.00 (ISBN 978-1-907435-591) Language in this memorable collection is both precise and lyrical. In The Feng Shui shop on Fratton Road the area is bright with “sleet and oil and rainbows”. In…

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