We take for granted every breath
Forget the gifts of life and death
The love that’s given every day
In changing sky of scudding grey
The rain which washes all things new
And sudden shafts of sun and blue
A buzzard’s sweep and mewling cry
The darting squirrels scrambling high
A neighbour’s greeting warms the heart
With carrot cake and lemon tart
The fact that shopping comes to me
Convenient delivery.
A time for books, to read, to write
To phone those friends now out of sight
A time to help grandkids on Zoom
Encourage those who feel it’s doom
Around the corner, when in fact
Our world does need us all to act,
Go slow, don’t fly, or drive or cruise
Just for a time. We’ve much to lose
Unless we make our earthly deeds
The Valentine our planet needs.

Well, that was worth it for the prize. Even if there were only six applicants.

The Compleat Works

My lovely book group is full of poets.  As we nestle down in the pub, taking up large amounts of space and taking in large amounts of alcohol, I am aware that writing novels is not conducive to sharing production on a monthly basis, unlike those poets who wrote an entire oeuvre this morning.  And those oeuvres are sad, or hilarious, or clever or just plain dotty, but they are complete.

‘Where was I?’ I say, having lost the post-it note which said ‘Read (past, not present, tense) to book group up to here’. There is then a confused babble of inaccurate memory, and I am truly embarrassed at having to recap my love story to those who were not there last month, and to the ones who weren’t there two months ago.  Anyway, I can only read at most one quarter of a chapter if I am not to hog the time which must be divided between eleven aspiring scribblers.  Yes, poetry is the way forward.

I think I never did blog that my one and only oeuvre was published in December.  I’m supposed to market this thing, so it’s called


How many more sales will that bring me?  By the way, friends and family, thank you for buying or downloading. And thank you, thank you for reviewing. And thank you, thank you, thank you for 4 stars not 5.  5 stars for a debut novel? They can only be from faithful kind friends or family.